Unit 1 final project: Truth-o-meter

Today we are preparing you for the final assignment in Unit 1 — Truth-o-meter — by looking over the materials, talking about ways of assessing fact-checking, and practicing assessment by using a rubric to provide feedback to our helpful volunteers.

Choices for your Truth-o-meter post

A key difference between this final Truth-o-meter post and your posts up until now is that the former will be more developed and refined. Above all, the Truth-o-meter post is intended to be a demonstration of your web literacies and fact-checking abilities. In other words, you cannot pick a fact to check that has already been thoroughly debunked by a fact-checking site, nor one that is so complex that it takes 1,000 words just to describe the situation. Here, then are some ideas to get you going:

  • Develop and improve FC#2 or FC#4.
  • Choose a political meme that (1) hasn’t already been fact-checked by Snopes, Politifact, or another fact-checking site and (2) references a specific fact that allows you to go upstream.
  • Choose another recent study that hasn’t been fact-checked.
  • Search for viral hoaxes or other fear-mongering stories in the news, like this one about an Uber abduction that hasn’t already been fact-checked.
  • A political report or news story, especially from a far-left or far-right source like these stories from Alternet and Breitbart.
  • Facts about controversial issues that have been shared. Search these topics on Buzzsumo to find especially viral ones, like gun control.

Criteria for “excellent” posts

You have two grades in this unit: one based on four shorter fact-checking blog posts (4 x 12.5 points), which I grade based on demonstrated effort, and a more developed one at the end called Truth-O-Meter (worth 50 points). Although this final post is greater in scope (that is, more detailed) the basic requirements have been roughly the same for the homework posts as the final one so as you reflect on these shorter posts, you’ll be reiterating the same basic process all the way through to the Truth-o-meter post. That makes it important to understand the genre of the fact-check and its criteria for excellence. Here’s is a rubric of criteria my previous classes have developed with my help. Let’s take a look.

Reviewing FC#4

Activity: I need 4-5 volunteers to offer up their fourth fact-check for peer review, preferably one from each group. For next steps, head over to the Google Doc for your class:

Sec 2/9:30 a.m.
Sec 3/12:30 p.m.


Homework for next class

Draft your final Truth-o-meter post in Google Docs. Be ready to workshop this in class on Tuesday, which is the final day for this unit.