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July 19, 2017

High School Students Learn to Recognize Fake vs. Real News in Pre College Workshop at Adelphi

by Michelle Bermudez '18

Since the 2017 presidential election, the emergence of fake news and “alternative facts” has been a trending topic in the media. In February 2017, Adelphi University was the first college on Long Island to create a Fake News Library Guide and, currently, the guide is one of the most popular fake news library guides on Springshare, the premier content and curation platform used by libraries worldwide. 

FiOS1 News covered the workshop, which was a part of a two-week summer Law and Society Pre-College Program, where producer of the guide and Adelphi digital learning and instruction librarian, Sally Stieglitz, delivered the educational workshop aimed at helping students develop fact-check skills and recognize fake vs. real news. While Stieglitz has taught extensively on the critical evaluation of resources, this was her first workshop on the specific topic of fake news. “Most students are getting their news from social media and that’s a large part of fake news,” said Stieglitz. 

Associate Professor of Sociology Deborah Little, who teaches the pre-college course, joined in on the workshop as well. “I want them to have some tools for recognizing fake vs real news,” said Little about her students. 

Eight students gathered in the George T. Hay computer lab in high spirits while Stieglitz led them in exercises on how to determine what makes a news source reliable and what doesn’t, as well as how to tell the difference between bias and authority. “I get my news from The Onion,” one student joked as he took a seat. 

Stieglitz made use of Adelphi’s own library guide as well as Factitious, a game reminiscent of the dating app Tinder, where students swiped left when they thought an article was fake and swiped right for an article they believed to be authentic. During the two exercises preceding the game, Stieglitz was pleased with how well the students performed, citing reasons behind their choices like inflammatory language in headlines and inadequate citation of sources.

“I think the takeaway for the students is the understanding that the critical evaluation of sources will be key in their academic careers, professional lives, and personal lives because accurate information is a valuable commodity upon which we all depend,” said Stieglitz.

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About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

For further information, please contact:

Office of High School and Pre-College Programs
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