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Beyond Fake News

Identifying Problems within Evolving Information Technologies Online

This tutorial suite was developed in partnership with Dr. Abigail Bakke's Fall 2018 ENG 674 Special Topics Class.*

About this Collection

"Fake news" is a trending phrase, but the concept has been around for as long as there’s been news. The term has become a way for political opponents to discredit one another. However, the concept goes beyond the popular definition.

This tutorial collection will help you gain an understanding of the complexity of "fake news."  Each module will help you understand problems related to fake news and other types of misinformation. You will gain strategies to work through these problems and become more prepared for the current age of information.

The American Library Association's Framework for Information Literacy states that:

“Students have a greater role and responsibility in creating new knowledge, in understanding the contours and the changing dynamics of the world of information, and in using information, data, and scholarship ethically.”

This collection of tutorials is meant to help you gain that understanding.

Tutorial Categories

Because this tutorial collection teaches concepts that go beyond fake news, it is recommended that you complete the beginning-level tutorials “Is this Fake News?” and “Confirmation Bias” before working through the rest of the collection.

This learning module is broken into three sections grouped by general themes. The tutorials in each section are in order from most familiar concepts to most specialized concepts. It is recommended that you complete the “Basics of Misinformation” tutorials before moving on to "Problematic Sources" and "Social Media."


There are many types of problematic information online. This information may be deliberately designed to fool you, or may be innocently shared but still inaccurate, so it’s important to increase your information literacy. These tutorials focus on fake news; scams,; confirmation & media biases; and misinformation, which can spread via social bots, video editing, and online virality. The tutorials don’t cover everything that’s out there, but the lessons you learned can help you identify accurate information and credible sources. With this in mind:

  • Keep learning to increase your awareness of problematic information.
  • Maintain a healthy skepticism toward claims that appeal to your beliefs or emotions.
  • Trust your instincts and do your own research on questionable or controversial information.

The way information is produced, sourced, and shared is always changing, so problems in the information landscape will never disappear. Knowing how to evaluate information is essential in a world of persuasive and conflicting content.

*Student Contributors

Stephen Burgdorf, Julie Sargent, Michela Sims, Lisa Ann Daraskevich, Jordan Walker, Karl Olmanson, Johnelle Rodriguez

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License