Learning Methodology

Research on “fake news” or misleading information connected to discrimination or indoctrination is a complex subject that on the one hand needs a broad set of digital competences and on the other hand, a proper learning environment is necessary to bring these competences into effect.  Enquiry-based learning matches those requirements because of motivational and methodological aspects and it could be an adequate method for students to do research on fake news or misleading information connected to discrimination or indoctrination.

It allows them to use research methods that are closely linked to the particular research object.  The research process teaches students to critically evaluate information rather than simply absorbing given facts. In this way, it supports the development of skills that are essential for dealing with fake news or misleading information.

The project proposes a guide for teachers to conduct Enquiry-based learning with a group of students who do research on a topic that is connected to “Fake News”.   An overview of the learning methodology and a step-by-step guide for the process of the students’ assignment is also provided.

A flexible framework for digital media use is, also, provided in order to assist teachers being able to guide their students in integrating (digital) media and converting, in an effective way, the learning process into digital output.

 

For more information about the learning methodology and the framework to transform the learning process into media outputs please see Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of the Digital Handbook.

 

Teachers comments on the Digires experience

Austria

I was amazed by the skills of planning and shooting a movie that the pupils already had. There was a more or less profound knowledge of how to tell a story by creating a movie and the outcome could be described as one of high quality.

I think the key learning was the realization that education can look very differently and that knowledge is so much more than just answering questions and learning facts by heart. I had the impression that they realized that knowledge is something that is created in a discourse, in lively and meaningful communication and discussion.

In independent groups the pupils discussed and decided the forthcoming steps and milestones and thereby developed responsibility for their work and their projects.

Adaptability during the course of the work became necessary because the discoveries made in the procedure did not always follow the planned path.

Quality was rather high. The students had very interesting ideas and also they reacted very well to criticism and skepticism and they also tried to take them into consideration. This helped them improve their work.

Students had to do research on their own which included identifying sources for learning and seeking confirmation of new information from other people when needed.

As shooting a movie aims to communication between the viewers and the producers of the movie, our short discussions about filmmaking involved reflection about language and communication. Pupils had to anticipate the reception while planning their storylines in order to tell a consistent and coherent story.

In most cases the results showed that most students were sceptical about the news stories that had only text titles and mostly long written sources, and believed the stories of the other groups, if they were ‘well-documented’ with photos and videos. In the end, they realized that images, videos and pompous language made them believe false
stories more easily.

By creating an artistic product, self-efficacy can be developed to a high extend,
because it shifts the perspective from just consuming art to creating it by yourself.

As the pupils worked more or less autonomously, my teaching was focused on giving suggestions and involving the various groups in short discussion about the aim of their creative product. As most of the groups decided to shoot movies, we discussed the limitations and possibilities of this medium, the specific conditions and preparations that
had to be done before starting to shoot.

Within little time the students managed to produce posters on their respective topics that could give the other students within the class a first impression of what they were thinking to do. Some of them were more elaborated than others, which reflects the fact that some topics need more time to get into than others.

Greece

All students have participated willingly. They seemed to have “things to say” on the subject and actively participated in the learning process.

 During the process, students have been shared a story for investigation in the class.  It is worth mentioning that the students who shared the story didn’t apply fact-checking tools or criticism before sharing, although they are experienced in terms of knowledge and skills. They thought the story was true as it concerned the local community and it was shared by a friend but when following the investigation procedure in the classroom, they concluded that the story was “fake news”.  Thus, they had to reconsider their initial naive attitude.  They became aware of the importance of developing a critical attitude towards information and examining the validity of news items at any time in their daily life.

 Those who worked in the project on the same field had the opportunity to validate their work as well as to find out omissions and mistakes in the procedure working together.  It was the best way to learn from each other.

Digital Resistance
Digital Resistance is a project funded by the Council of Europe and European Commission Joint Programme Democratic and Inclusive Culture in Operation (DISCO). Launched in April 2018, the project builds on the Council of Europe’s framework Competences for Democratic Culture as well as the European Union’s Digital Competence Framework for Citizens aiming to promote digital citizenship.

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