Unit 1 final project: Truthometer

Today we are preparing you for the final assignment in Unit 1 — Truthometer — 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.

Criteria for “excellent” posts

You have two grades in this unit: one based on three shorter fact-checking blog posts (3 x 10 points), which I grade based on demonstrated effort, and the Truthometer project (a post and video, worth 70 points in total). Although this final project is greater in scope (that is, more detailed and across platforms) the fundamental fact-checking task is the same. That makes it important to understand the genre of the fact-check and its criteria for excellence. Here’s a rubric of criteria my previous classes have developed with my help. Let’s take a look but think about how we would adapt this to a video format since this is the first time I’m asking students to produce one.

Reviewing FC#3

Activity: It’s one thing to look at a rubric and another to use it. In order to better understand this, and start thinking concretely about how to remediate a blog to a video, I’m looking for 4-5 volunteers to offer up their 3rd fact-check for peer review, preferably one from each group. For next steps, head over to the Google Doc for your class:

Sec 1/11:00 a.m.
Sec 2/3:30 p.m.

Choices for your Truthometer post

Again, a key difference between this final Truthometer post and your posts up until now is that the former will be more developed and refined. It will also take the form of a video in addition to a blog post. Above all, the Truthometer post is intended to be a demonstration of your web literacies and fact-checking abilities in multiple formats. 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 or much time to describe. Here, then are some ideas to get you going:

  • Develop and improve FC#2 or FC#3.
  • Choose another recent study that hasn’t been fact-checked.
  • Search for viral hoaxes or other fear-mongering stories in the news.
  • Scrutinize a tweet, report, or news story from a radical or extreme source from the far-left or far-right, 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.

Homework for next class

  • Purchase or bring a 16gb (or larger) thumb/flash drive to class.
  • Draft your complete final Truthometer post in Google Docs. On Tuesday we’ll start learning iMovie and so you’ll want to work from this draft in class as we storyboard the text and decide what to import and how.