Learn to Discern (L2D) - Media Literacy Training

Learn to Discern (L2D) - Media Literacy Training


IREX’s Learn to Discern approach builds resilience to manipulative information by empowering those who engage with media and information to navigate it in a safe, critical, responsible, healthy, and empathy-driven way.

Learn to Discern's curriculum builds emotional control and cognitive reflection, critical and analytical thinking, empathy, and other mental habits to overcome intuitive yet addictive and highly manipulative features of todays informational ecosystem. It builds technical skills such as cross-checking information and verification techniques. It also provides techniques for overcoming social incentives for negative information engagement, such as the desire for validation or belonging. 

Learn to Discern based courses, often called Very Verified or other fun, locally resonant name, are built for today’s busy, information-saturated world. They are engaging, interactive, fun, and can be used as a self-paced learning platform or as part of blended instruction where online learning is reinforced by facilitated workshops.   

Learn to Discern builds resilience in a variety of formats and has been adapted to the context and to audiences in over 20 countries around the globe. It offers multiple pathways to long-term resilience and addresses immediate threats to information integrity for: 

  • In person and virtual peer-to-peer workshops 
  • Blended and self directed online learning 
  • Integration into secondary and higher education 
  • Gamification and play based methods 
  • Media and Social Media "inoculation" campaigns


Learn to Discern has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, CNN, Columbia Journalism Review, Journal of Media Literacy Education (PDF, 836 KB), NPR, Slate, and other media outlets.

What It Can Do for You

Learn to Discern is a highly adaptable approach that has been used in diverse geographies such as Ukraine, Serbia, Tunisia, Jordan, Indonesia, and the U.S. to address a host of challenges posed by misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, and influence campaigns.

Learn to Discern's focus on developing healthy information engagement habits and increasing demand for quality information provides a range of effective solutions. We offer Learn to Discern for a variety of contexts, including for:

  • Individuals and communities: Through Learn to Discern, we are helping youth and adults develop and use critical information engagement skills in countries around the world.
  • Educators: Learn to Discern modules and professional development are available through several training sessions for U.S. teachers.
  • Digital resources for individual learning: We have partnered with Great Courses to launch an affordable online course for individuals.

Case Study: Learn to Discern in Ukraine

What we did

  • Tailored the curriculum to the needs of local schools, community centers, and libraries to strengthen individuals’ critical information consumption skills.
  • Taught more than 400 grassroots trainers and facilitated training for more than 15,000 adult citizens.
  • Adapted the approach to the education system and worked through 400 secondary schools in cities from each of Ukraine’s 24 oblasts with the goal of reaching 650 schools by 2021.
  • Trained more than 1,100 eighth- and ninth-grade teachers and equipped them with resources and instructional guidance to use in their courses, which reached at least 7,500 students.


  • In an evaluation of adult learners, adults were 28% more likely to demonstrate sophisticated knowledge of the news media industry and 13% better at identifying a fake news story, even 1.5 years after completing the program.
  • In an evaluation of students in 50 schools, students were twice as likely to detect hate speech and 18% better at identifying fake news stories after Learn to Discern.
Before this training, I considered myself to be competent in media literacy. But today I realized that I didn’t have practical skills and tools to form the ‘immune system’ against manipulation while navigating the media environment. A Learn to Discern participant

Case Study: Learn to Discern in Jordan

What we did

  • Supported Jordanian women and youth leaders to promote inclusive dialogue about the role of the internet in their communities.
  • Trained community leaders—especially mothers—from across Jordan on Learn to Discern, internet safety, media literacy, and leadership.
  • Trained school teachers to use the Learn to Discern curriculum in their classrooms.


Participants, relative to the control group, demonstrated:

  • 44% better ability to identify and analyze false or manipulative information.
  • 14% greater sense of control of how they respond to information they consume.
  • 65% more knowledge about the news media industry.



Katya Vogt
Global Lead for Media and Information Literacy Initiatives
IREX, 1275 K Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005


  • Civil Society
  • Education
  • Media
  • Technology
  • Youth
  • Americas
  • Asia
  • Europe & Eurasia
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Estonia
  • Georgia
  • Indonesia
  • Jordan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Serbia
  • Tunisia
  • Ukraine
  • United States