Abstract

abstract:

This brief essay details, in first person, the efforts made by one instructor to teach information literacy—the skills involved in how to find, evaluate, and use information—within an early American literature class. Although the term information literacy has been around since the 1980s, the idea has taken on new meaning in the wake of a presidential election affected by deluges of "fake news." After giving students a primer on how to evaluate the credibility of online news sources, the instructor required three current event connections that linked readings to contemporary news happenings and provided productive connections between the past and present. The course also generally foregrounded the transmission of information, the development of print technologies, and disagreements over the status of "truth." Finally, students completed a primary source project in which they selected a digitized document or image and linked it to the course readings, first presenting it to their peers orally and then finalizing it in a formal paper.

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