Learn to Discern (L2D) - Media Literacy Training

Learn to Discern (L2D) - Media Literacy Training

IREX’s Learn to Discern approach helps citizens recognize and resist disinformation, propaganda, and hate speech. Learn to Discern’s unique methodology builds practical skills for citizens of all ages through interactive training, videos, games, and other learning experiences.

We first implemented Learn to Discern to counter highly sophisticated disinformation campaigns in Ukraine. We are now piloting the curriculum in the United States with local communities and journalists.

An instructor teaching three participants about disinformation. They are in a conference hall with laptops and projectors during a media literacy training session.

IREX’s Learn to Discern approach helps citizens recognize and resist disinformation, propaganda, and hate speech. Learn to Discern’s unique methodology builds practical skills for citizens of all ages through interactive training, videos, games, and other learning experiences.

We first implemented Learn to Discern to counter highly sophisticated disinformation campaigns in Ukraine. We are now piloting the curriculum in the United States with local communities and journalists.

How It Works

Learn to Discern empowers trainers to teach modern media and information literacy skills. Learn to Discern is different from other media literacy programs:

  • The curriculum is flexible, practical, and fun.
  • It goes beyond offering generic media literacy advice; instead, it teaches the latest techniques for identifying disinformation and helps people develop good habits.
  • Learn to Discern uses in-person activities, online games, distance-learning courses, public service announcements, and other methods that are tailored to audiences' needs.
  • It addresses crucial aspects of media literacy that are often overlooked, such as strengthening participants' emotional intelligence and coaching participants to share their new knowledge with family, friends, and colleagues.

Watch how Learn to Discern works

Learn to Discern in the United States

We are piloting the curriculum in the United States with local communities and journalists, in partnership with the Rural Activation and Innovation Network and Free Press, and with support from the Adobe Foundation.

If you are interested in exploring this opportunity with us, please contact Tara Susman-Peña, tsusmanpena@irex.org.

Case Study: Learn to Discern in Ukraine

What we did

  • Tailored the curriculum to local needs: We developed and refined an interactive, user-centered media literacy training curriculum that responded to the propaganda and disinformation environment in Ukraine.
  • Taught a team of grassroots trainers: We worked with the Academy of Ukrainian Press and StopFake to create a cadre of 428 mixed-age, mixed-occupation grassroots media literacy trainers.
  • Built citizens' skills and empowered them to teach others: The trainers taught more than 15,000 citizens from across Ukrainian society, including high school teachers and students, professional union members, medical workers, police officers, and library patrons.
  • Conducted an advertising campaign: We conducted a highly visible public media literacy campaign with public service announcements, billboards, print materials, and social media, in Russian and Ukrainian, to build awareness about disinformation, amplify the effect of the trainings, and reach a wider audience.

Results

  • 89% of training participants reported using their new skills. The number of trainees who “almost always” cross-check the news they consume increased from 21% to 50% over three months.
  • Three months after receiving training, 92% of participants reported that they'd cross-checked their news and information sources.
  • 91% of trainees shared their new knowledge and skills with an average of 6 friends, relatives, or colleagues each, reaching 90,000 Ukrainians in total by the end of the program.
  • 54% of the 2.3 million Ukrainians who viewed the information campaign during its first two weeks reported a need for skills in discerning untruthful reporting.

Read a summary of the impact study »

Expanding the program

We are now piloting Learn to Discern in Ukrainian schools in partnership with the Academy of Ukrainian Press and StopFake, with support from the US Department of State and the Foreign Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom.

For more information about Learn to Discern's work in Ukraine, contact Mehri Druckman, mdruckman@irex.org.

At the beginning of the training, participants were confident—even arrogant.... At the end, they had grown cautious towards the information they consume. A Learn to Discern trainer

People

Katya Vogt

IREX Ukraine Country Director/Senior Development Manager

Contact

Tara Susman-Peña, tsusmanpena@irex.org