Finding the Facts, Students Use Checkology E-Learning Platform

MCSH Students Use Checkology E-Learning Platform Students in Mrs. Erin Milburn’s English Dual Credit English 111 and Honors English 4 classes have been working on an E-Learning Platform called Checkology. This content relates to learning how to separate credible information from non-credible in all information venues from broadcast journalism to social media postings.

The purpose of this e-learning platform created by the News Literacy Project is to provide students with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the cultural landscape of today's America in which distinguishing between fact and opinion is becoming more and more difficult. The program guides students through the basics of journalistic ethics led by journalism professors and editors of credible news sources such as the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. They learn about the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights as they relate to the value of a free and unbiased press. Students also get to experience actual news reporting and editing and they are exposed to the pros and cons of all kinds of digital media information sources. There are four modules in the course and as students proceed through the activities, their responses to writing prompts and their answers to questions about the content are automatically forwarded to the online teacher platform where students’ work is evaluated and assign grades. Once students have completed all four modules they receive access to what is called The Check Tool; a virtual program through which students can evaluate the credibility of any news story at any time. To practice, they used two stories; 2 Senators Strike Deal on Health Subsidies That Trump Cut Off and Should the House Accept the Alexander-Murray Deal?.

The program guides them through the process of reading information for content but also for signs and markers that either confirm or discredit the source's reliability. This is 21st century learning and a great preparation for the vast amount of online learning opportunities students will encounter in college

As part of their final exam on the unit, students were asked to discuss the program and what they learned. Here is what some of the students said:

"This type of learning made me think outside of the box and deeper than I normally would." Alexis Bradshaw

"The self-directed and interactive nature of the program allowed me to work at my own pace and fully understand the material. The classroom discussions allowed us to see how my classmates were understanding the material compared to how I was understanding it." Amit Patel

"During my experience working with Checkology I learned so much valuable information. This experience taught me how to properly spot credible news sources... This is a skill that will help me greatly through college." Kelsey Bugg

"The internet is making it harder to tell fact from fiction and Checkology really helped me to learn that. While we see journalists at work everyday, Checkology also taught me what good journalism should look like and how to recognize bias." Noah Sheperson

"The Checkology content felt sincere and real. The use of real-world examples rather than made-up ones really helped my interest in the lessosns and my ability to learn. I learned how to spot propaganda and bacame more aware of bias...I hope this service helps educate people about truth and makes people into more critical thinkers." Wezley Mitchell
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