Student-Centered Approaches to Fostering Media Literacy in College Students

Authored by: Jessica E. Brodsky , Patricia J. Brooks

The Routledge International Handbook of Student-Centered Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367200527
eBook ISBN: 9780429259371
Adobe ISBN:


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Today’s students have unprecedented access to digital media via the Internet and other information and communication technologies. However, the credibility of digital information varies widely, and students may arrive at college without the requisite knowledge and skills to evaluate online information as part of academic and non-academic research. Teaching students to make informed decisions about digital information is a priority of media literacy education. In this chapter we present protectionist and empowerment perspectives on media literacy intervention and draw on cognitive and social psychology research to understand students’ experiences with media. We also outline student-centered strategies for fostering college students’ critical thinking about ways that digital information is produced, distributed, and interpreted in academic and non-academic contexts. This includes strategies for raising awareness about cognitive biases and heuristics, activities for teaching the psychology of advertising, and instruction in media production to minimize cognitive load and align with principles of multimedia learning. We conclude the chapter by examining how checklists, training in fact-checking and Wikipedia assignments can develop media literacy knowledge and skills across the curriculum.

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