Thursday, July 18, 2019

Call for book chapter proposals - Teaching about Fake News

Chapters are sought for the forthcoming ACRL book Teaching About "Fake News": Lesson Plans for Different Disciplines and Audiences.

The problem of "fake news" has captured the attention of administrators and instructors, resulting in a rising demand for librarians to help students learn how to find and evaluate news sources.  But we know that the phrase "fake news" is applied broadly, used to describe a myriad of media literacy issues such as misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, and hoaxes. There's no way we can teach everything there is to know about "fake news" in a 50-minute one-shot library session.  What we can do is tailor our sessions to be relevant to the specific audience. For example, a psychology class may benefit from a session about cognitive biases, while an IT class might want to talk about the non-neutrality of algorithms.  Special populations such as non-traditional students or writing center tutors could also be considered.
Although the chapter may include how you teach the topic, the emphasis should be on the "why" behind fake news.  Why is it so prevalent? Why do people believe it?  Why does it matter? Successful proposals will select one narrow reason and explore it in-depth. The heart of the chapter should explore a particular issue; this is not intended to be an activity cookbook.

Chapter structure:
Each chapter of this book will be designated for a specific audience, discipline, or perspective, and be written by an author with expertise in that area.  In order to provide a foundation for the teaching librarian, it will discuss that specific aspect of fake news and be grounded in the established scholarship.  Next it will include a brief annotated list of accessible readings that could be assigned to participants ahead of a workshop when appropriate.  Authors will be asked to house a student-friendly PowerPoint version of their chapter in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox (; the teaching librarian could use it as-is or modify it for the direct instruction portion of a session.  Finally, each chapter will include hands-on activities and discussion prompts that could be used in the actual workshop.

Final chapters will be 2,000-3,000 words in length.

Example chapter summary:
A chapter about the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal would explore the scandal, written so that the teaching librarian would feel she had a good grasp of it.  She could then use the student-friendly PPT in her one-shot workshop, and use the provided active learning exercise.

Submission due dates:
Submit proposals  here: by July 31,  2019
Notifications will be sent by September 1, 2019
Final chapters will be due by December 1, 2019

Possible chapter topics:
These are just examples of disciplines and audiences; we are open to others!

Lessons by discipline
  • Psychology
  • Journalism/Communication
  • History
  • Information Technology
  • Sociology
  • Health Sciences
  • Rhetoric/Composition
  • Political Science
  • Philosophy
  • Business
Lessons by audience
  • Writing Center
  • Senior Citizen groups
  • Professors

Proposal information:

Authors should complete the following form to submit proposals:

Proposals will include:
1.      Discipline or audience addressed
2.      100 word abstract of proposed chapter
3.      A sample learning activity

Email with any questions.

Candice Benjes-Small, Head of Research, and Mary K. Oberlies, Research and Instruction Librarian, William & Mary; Carol Wittig, Head of Research and Instruction, University of Richmond

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