Learn to Discern (L2D) - Media Literacy Training

Learn to Discern (L2D) - Media Literacy Training

IREX’s Learn to Discern approach helps people of all ages develop healthy habits for engaging with information, online and offline. Unlike traditional media literacy approaches, Learn to Discern responds to the current needs of media consumers. It was designed for a polarized, hyperconnected, and impatient world.

Learn to Discern has been used around the world in classrooms, libraries, community centers, fellowship programs, peer-to-peer networks, and other contexts. Impact studies have shown that the approach is effective with a diverse range of participants—from adult populations to kids in classrooms.

Photo of seven participants at a table in Jordan. They're looking at printouts and talking to each other.

IREX’s Learn to Discern approach helps people of all ages develop healthy habits for engaging with information, online and offline. Unlike traditional media literacy approaches, Learn to Discern responds to the current needs of media consumers. It was designed for a polarized, hyperconnected, and impatient world.

Learn to Discern has been used around the world in classrooms, libraries, community centers, fellowship programs, peer-to-peer networks, and other contexts. Impact studies have shown that the approach is effective with a diverse range of participants—from adult populations to kids in classrooms.

Recognition

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. It helps build community resilience to state-sponsored disinformation, promotes inclusive communities by empowering its members to recognize and reject divisive narratives and hate speech, improves young people’s ability to navigate increasingly polluted online spaces in a safe and responsible way, and enables leaders to shape decisions based on facts and quality information.

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 video course for individuals in 2019.

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.

Results

  • 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.

Results

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.
  • 78% more knowledge about the news media industry.

People

Katya Vogt

Global Lead for Media and Information Literacy Initiatives

Contact

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