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Navigating misinformation online

AU Library holding free online info session
AU Google University Graphic_WEB
Athabasca University Library is holding a free information session to teach people how to identify misinformation in the digital age. The two-hour session Oct. 27 is open to anyone. File

ATHABASCA - There is an awful lot of misinformation in the Information Age and it can be confusing to decipher fiction from reality sometimes, making the search for valid and legitimate information that much more difficult.

Athabasca University Library, in conjunction with the Alice B. Donahue library in Athabasca is hoping to teach people how to avoid the landmines next week with a free two-hour online workshop called ‘You can’t get a degree from Google University.'

It will take place Oct. 27 with an interactive session to teach, then test that knowledge, said AU Library instruction and reference services librarian Joanna Nemeth, who co-created the session with information literacy and resource access librarian Jennifer Rempel. 

“This year we use the same general template, same evaluation criteria and whatnot, but we use more relevant examples, because there's been a lot of good examples this year of misinformation,” Nemeth said. 

They will provide participants with seven evaluation criteria for Internet sources, providing an example for each, then everyone will have the chance to figure out if the information is reliable or not. 

“I think this workshop teaches the skills to take away and think about the sources you’re looking at,” said Nemeth. “Because there isn’t always a yes or no answer to those types of questions.” 

She added that initially it was created as a webinar, but they turned it into a workshop so participants could have a more hands-on experience. 

“Jen had created an outline last summer and then I made it into an actual workshop that we then hosted,” she said. “The first one we did was in August 2019.” 

And if this is successful, they will consider putting on more workshops such as medical literacy, “If you’re looking on Web M.D. trying to figure out what your symptoms are,” Nemeth said. 

There is room for 150 participants and as of Oct. 16, there were 42 registered. You can sign up at then click on the appropriate link.

Heather Stocking,  

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