Jan. 31, 2024

UCalgary library releases toolkit for faculty to help students navigate the information landscape

New resource combats misinformation with stronger information literacy skills
A person looks at a computer screen that has a newsfeed on it with a big red stamp stating 'fake' on it

It’s never been more important for students to have the skills they need to recognize wrong or misleading information and be able to track down legitimate sources. At a time when misinformation is commonplace, being able to distinguish between fact and fiction has become a crucial life skill. 

A new resource at UCalgary will help faculty members empower students to identify misinformation, determine what is credible and understand how and why misinformation is spread. The Building Resilience to Misinformation: An Instructional Toolkit is the outcome of a 2021 Teaching and Learning grant awarded to Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR) from the Taylor Institute of Teaching and Learning, and funded by the Provost’s Office.

“The toolkit is intended to assist faculty in discussing and engaging with students on the topic of misinformation,” says Dr. Justine Wheeler, PhD, assessment and social work librarian. “It’s designed to offer customizable content and flexible delivery options. For example, modules can be edited to add discipline-specific content, delivered synchronously or asynchronously, and used in online or in-person classes.”

A person holds a phone with a newsfeed on it


Wheeler led the group that developed the toolkit. The team included LCR staff members Dr. Diana Lorenzetti, PhD, Renee Reaume, Susan Beatty, Robert Tiessen, Heather Ganshorn, Bronte Chiang, John Wright, and Matthew Halajian, research assistant in the Faculty of Arts.

The toolkit contains four modules: Introduction, Encounters with Misinformation, The (Dis)information Landscape, and Information Response. Each section includes editable content in PowerPoint presentations, suggestions for learning activities, quizzes and additional resources and a teaching script. 

Faculty may customize the modules to best suit their course needs. They’re also encouraged to reach out to their subject librarians to determine how to integrate the toolkit into their course content. 

The material covers both misinformation (information that is unintentionally false and not intended to cause harm) and disinformation — false information that is intended to cause harm. 

“It’s important to give students the tools and knowledge they need to confidently navigate a the current information landscape,” says Wheeler. “These skills will serve them well in all aspects of their lives, now and long after they graduate.”

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