Information Literacy

Hello LINCS Colleagues,

Sorting out facts from lies, mistakes, errors and opinions may be a tough set of skills to learn and use well, for adult basic skills practitioners as well as for adult learners. What suggestions or strategies do you use yourself in sorting out the facts in the news from TV, radio, social media, and in conversations with family or friends? How do you help students do this?  Have you found news sources that you trust? What are they? Why do you trust them? When you are presented with information that is new to you, do you fact check? If so, how? Can you give us an example?

David J. Rosen




You are so right, David, that distinguishing fact from fiction is a critical thinking skill that we would do well to emphasize more in instruction. I think that we don't do more of it because it is difficult to teach! Basically, in my case, if I agree with the opinion, I consider it fact. :) I hope others contribute more useful and serious ideas! Leecy

I ran across material that was part of a Digital Citizenship program some years ago and have tried to use the idea in my program.  Students had to visit several sites, judge them by the provided criteria and say whether it was a fake/satire site or factual.

Here are a couple of the sites.

Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus -

Dihydrogen Monoxide Research -


Hello colleagues, There are many useful resources online to help all of us to evaluate information, which is clearly a much needed skill these days as we are all flooded with so much information that is not credible. Some of the most useful resources were shared by one of our (wonderful!) Minnesota colleagues, Stephanie Sommers.  Check out Stephanie's blog which links to some excellent lesson plans that support teachers and learners to critically evaluate information.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP

Hello colleagues,

Here's an information literacy resource designed for young people in school, but also useful for adult learners: the Checkology website,

From the website:

students learn how to navigate the challenging information landscape by mastering the skills of news literacy. The virtual classroom’s lessons help educators equip their students with the tools to evaluate and interpret the news and learn how to determine what news and other information to trust, share and act on.

Leading journalists, along with First Amendment and digital media experts, guide students through the platform’s interactive multimedia lessons. These e-learning experiences use real-world examples of news and information that test students’ emerging skills and lead them to mastery.

Here's a short YouTube video on Checkology.  

Do you use this resource with your students? are you considering using it? What are your thoughts about using it?

David J. Rosen

David, thanks for the additional resource to help students discriminate between true and false information.  I watched the video clip on the page, which has both free and fee-based resources, which is nice. The free option offers limited access to three foundational Checkology news literacy lessons for one-to-many delivery. I wonder if anyone has tried those lessons and can tell us more about them.

 The second link you added took me to a Johnny Carson interview with Robin Williams?

I found this other YouTube click on Checkology: 


Hello Colleagues,

Have you taken this Pew Research Center "Fact or Opinion"  10-question quiz ? It only takes a few minutes. Perhaps you would also like to share it with your students. If you do, please let us know what their experience was like, Share your own experience with us too.  When you get your results you also see how you compared with other Americans who took the quiz. Those results could stimulate an interesting discussion of why that might be and what your students think could be done to change Americans' understandings of what the difference is between a fact or an opinion statement.

David J. Rosen

Hi David!

I came across your post b/c I was searching for a recent post on Info Literacy within which I had commented. In any event, our Fantastic & Free First Fridays Resource of the Month focused on some great information literacy resources that I encourage folks to check out. 

You can check out the blog here. CrowdED Learning intends to provide CCRS alignments of the iCivics resources. 

One note based on this thread: I have looked at Checkology (from the News Literacy Project) with a demo account they had given me to examine. I think it is very high-quality....the best part of it being there are interviews with expert journalists and the lessons have a nice, clean format. I did not include in my article, however, because it predominately is a paid resource. As Leecy mentions, they do have some free content, but it heavily pushes you toward subscribing. (That said, it is only around $3-5 per student).