Evaluating Sources in an Age of Misinformation

Lateral Reading as a Skill for Democratic Citizenship


Wednesday, October 21,
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.


Online, Blackboard Collaborate

Those who register will receive access details prior to the event.

In this age of online misinformation, we often struggle to evaluate the credibility of news and other sources. While misinformation represents a significant challenge for our democracy, and research indicates that students have trouble evaluating sources on the web, it can be difficult to incorporate information literacy into traditional disciplinary content. However, as educators, we have an obligation to address these issues because all students, regardless of their major or career interests, are citizens and consumers of online information. How, then, do we help students evaluate the credibility of news and social media content?

In this session, participants will learn about current trends in information literacy research and examine the concept of “lateral reading” as a specific technique for evaluating sources. We will also introduce Ekstrom Library’s new online toolkit for faculty, Citizen Literacy, and participants will leave with new teaching ideas they can use to promote information literacy as a key aspect of democratic citizenship and lifelong learning across disciplines.

Who should attend?

All faculty, especially those who teach Gen Ed/Cardinal Core courses.

As a result of attending, participants will be able to:

  • Define information literacy and explain its relationship to democratic citizenship.
  • Describe and utilize lateral reading as a technique to evaluate online sources.
  • Brainstorm short and engaging information literacy lessons in their disciplinary context.


Presenter Bios

Rob Detmering is Professor and Head, Instructional Services, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville. He provides information literacy instruction and research support in a variety of disciplines and serves as library liaison to the English and Philosophy Departments. He has published on information literacy in journals such as College and Research Libraries, Portal: Libraries and the Academy, and Reference Services Review.

Amber Willenborg is Assistant Professor and Online Learning Librarian, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville. She creates online instructional content, provides information literacy instruction and research support, and serves as library liaison to the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department. She has published on online learning and information literacy in various journals, including College and Research Libraries and Portal: Libraries and the Academy.

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