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Feb 18, 2017 09:55 AM EST

University of Michigan Fights Fake News with New Class

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The University of Michigan library, which has gone a long way in helping students find, evaluate and utilize information in their academic work is now taking a step to fight back fake news, the school announced last Thursday.

The marked increase in the spread of fake news on the internet urged the librarians to come up with something that can help students critically evaluate news and information, and so they joined campus partners at the school's College of Literature, Science and the Arts to create a new class, Click On Detroit reported.

The new class entitled ""Fake News, Lies, and Propaganda: How to Sort Fact from Fiction," is a one credit course and will be available to students starting in fall 2017, according to Michigan News.

Laurie Alexander, associate university librarian for learning and teaching said that the recent concerns about the spread of fake news led them to explore more ways to expand professional efforts in helping their students to become more critical in evaluating information and news items.

She said that the library has the commitment to help its users build skills to locate, evaluate and effectively utilize information. Their step aims to promote and advance information literacy so that the students will develop the skills to critically question the information they receive.

Doreen Bradley, one of the course designers and the director of learning programs and initiatives at the U-M Library, said that misinformation, disinformation, half-truths and propaganda have always been there, even before. It's just that because of the technology, it is a lot easier to share and spread among students.

A robust set of skills is what she said are needed so that students can distinguish what is true and what is not, and they should be able to apply it in whatever situation, venue or environment.

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