Difficult Dialogues

This page is still under construction.


National events can impact student learning in your classroom, regardless of the course that you teach. The best way to help students engage with challenging topics, or respond to difficult moments in the classroom, is to have a plan rooted in your own personal approach to pedagogy and the objectives for your course. The University of Delaware’s strategic plan underscores the importance of preparing students to be engaged citizens, as part of our shared vision of student success:  “We expect our students to be engaged citizens who are aware of their intellectual strengths and interests, as well as their ethical values and commitments. Our students must be adept at thinking critically, communicating effectively, working both independently and cooperatively, interpreting meaning from the world, and reasoning clearly in whatever discipline they pursue” (https://www.udel.edu/about/leadership-mission/strategic-plan/ Our objectives in preparing these resources are to help instructors:

  • Engage with students on difficult issues as they relate to the objectives of their courses
  • Empower students to make better use of campus resources outside of their classes to seek community and support
  • Develop a plan of action in response to politically or ideologically charged language, actions, or imagery
  • Increase student capacity to engage with difficult conversations by building resilience.


Reasoning Clearly: Reliable vs. Unreliable Sources

University Libraries, University of Georgia, “Finding Reliable Sources.”– Webpage with brief information related to the questions “What is a Reliable Source,” “Who Decides a Source is Reliable?,” “Criteria for Evaluating Reliability,” “Fact-Checking Sites.”

Cornell University Library, “Fake News, Propaganda, and Misinformation: Learning to Critically Evaluate Media Sources.” Webpage with subtabs on information related to critically evaluating media sources, such as recognizing fake news, being an active news user, pause before you share (links on social media), evaluating news sources, seeing our biases, and links to additional resources.

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Infographic on “How To Spot Fake News.”Infographic on how to spot fake news by the IFLA.

University of California Berkeley Library, “Weeding Out BS (Bad Sources).” UC Berkeley Library provides suggestions for avoiding falling victim to BS (bad sources): considering the source of information, the information context, and how delivery platforms affect you.

UTEP Connect (University of Texas El Paso), “4 ways to differentiate a good source from a bad source.” Tips for differentiating “good” (reliable) vs. “bad” (unreliable) sources when writing research papers.

Tidewater Community College, “News Literacy.”Tidewater Community College’s (TCC) library sources on News Literacy, including brief information on “Reading the News,” “Detect Unreliable Sources,” “Fact Checking,” and “Trusted News Sources.”

Stony Brook Digital Resource Center: Center for News Literacy, “A Library of News Literacy Resources.”– Stony Brook’s Digital Resource Center’s resources on news literacy, including tips on how to get started with news literacy and news literacy learning modules, as well as a teacher’s guide to news literacy and links to various resources.

University of Delaware Library Research Guides, “Busting Fake News: Evaluating Online Information.” – UD Library’s research guide on evaluating online information, including information on types of fake news, evaluating data visualizations and images, red flags to look out for, and resources for instructors.

Wardle, Claire. “Fake News: It’s Complicated,” First Draft News, 16 February 2017.” – Breaks down the different types of mis- and disinformation with infographics and discusses the dissemination of fake news, as well as what we can do to combat fake news.

Caulfield, Michael A. Web Literacy For Student Fact-Checkers, Pressbooks. – An open source textbook on web literacy for students. 

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