Teaching Information Literacy in Project-Based Learning

Teaching Information Literacy in Project-Based Learning 

Project-based learning offers a great opportunity to teach students about information literacy, also known as media literacy. It’s important for citizens in a democratic republic to understand how the system of government works and know something about local, national, and world events. But there is so much information available today in our high-tech modern world, people might not know what to believe. Between social media, partisan news media, the rise of ”fake news,” conspiracy theories, and disinformation, it’s hard to know what a trustworthy source of information is. 

To prepare them for civic life, students can learn what makes information trustworthy while they’re in school. In project-based learning, students are often asked to do research. They may find information on a topic by reading traditional sources from a library, perhaps by talking with experts, and by visiting websites–that’s where the most problematic sources of information are usually found. 

In some of Defined Learning’s performance tasks, especially in social studies, the Teacher Notes recommend that students be asked to keep a “Research Journal” to record notes and sources. Here, usually near the beginning of a project, is where a teacher can teach information literacy and students can demonstrate it. Here is an example of a rubric for a research journal that can be used to guide and assess students. 

Many lessons for teaching information literacy can be found online. Here are some good ones: 

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