Gatekeeping practices of participants in a digital media literacy massive open online course (MOOC)
Long before “fake news” dominated the conversation within and about the media, media literacy advocates have championed the need for media literacy education that provides the tools for people to understand, analyze, and evaluate media messages. That the majority of U.S. adults now consume news on social media underscores the importance for students of all ages to be critical users of media. Furthermore, the affordances of social media to like, comment, and share news items within one’s network increases an individual’s responsibility to ascertain the veracity of news before using a social media megaphone to spread false information. Social media’s shareability can dictate how information spreads, increasing news consumers’ role as a gatekeeper of information and making media literacy education more important than ever.
This research examines the media literacy practices that news consumers use to inform their gatekeeping decisions. Using a constant comparative coding method, the author conducted a qualitative analysis of hundreds of discussion board posts from adult participants in a digital media literacy Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to identify major themes and examine growth in participants’ sense of responsibility related to sharing news information, their feeling of empowerment to make informed decisions about the media messages they receive, and how the media literacy tools and techniques garnered from the MOOC have affected their daily media interactions. Findings emphasize the personal and contextual nature of media literacy, and that those factors must be addressed to ensure the success of a media literacy education program.
- Roschke, Kristy (Author)
- Thornton, Leslie-Jean (Thesis advisor)
- Chadha, Monica (Committee member)
- Halavais, Alexander (Committee member)
- Silcock, Bill (Committee member)
- Arizona State University (Publisher)