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Understanding Media: Facts, Authority, and What We Believe is a Course

Understanding Media: Facts, Authority, and What We Believe

Ended May 15, 2017

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Full course description

Course Date:

Apr 17 - May 15, 2017


4 weeks


2 hrs/week



Course Type:





This course, intended for adults without a media literacy or research background, will examine how social media and news influence our thoughts, our feelings, and our votes without us ever realizing it. Students will learn more about confirmation bias, how we derive authority, fact-checking, and how presentation can alter the meaning of a story. After completing this course, students will have a better understanding of media and media literacy.


  • To illustrate how media influences what we believe;
  • To learn about authority, and how it's derived;
  • To recognize how media messages can be manipulated;
  • To identify when fact-checking is necessary.

Target Audience: Life-long learners.

Course is offered by the Florida Institute of Technology.

Course Instructors

Philina Richardson

Philina Richardson


Philina Richardson is a User Experience Specialist at Florida Tech’s Evans Library. Read More.

Her duties include designing and providing course-integrated instruction, and creating tutorials and guides for on-campus and off-campus students. In addition to her instruction responsibilities, Philina also leads Evans Library’s media literacy summer camp, What We Know: Understanding Media and Its Influence. Philina received her MLIS from Florida State University.

Chelsea Stripling

Chelsea Stripling

Course Designer

Chelsea Stripling is the Instruction Librarian at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL. Read More.

Chelsea has experience teaching information literacy skills to young adults and adults in public and academic libraries. As Instruction Librarian at FIT, she teaches a for-credit course on information literacy for undergraduates titled Research Sources and Systems. Chelsea is a lifelong learner committed to understanding media and being a better citizen.

Cheryl Davis

Cheryl Davis

Course Designer

Cheryl Davis, Florida Tech’s first Distance Learning Librarian, serves campus units that are involved with distance education and actively lends academic support and instruction to faculty and students. Read More.

During the summer of 2014, she team-taught Florida Tech’s first MOOC. To meet the needs of faculty and students around-the-clock and around-the-world, she continually creates and updates a wide assortment of research guides and online tutorials. Cheryl received her MLIS from the University of South Florida and served as the 2008/2009 Chair of Florida Library Association's New Members Round Table and as a member of the Bibliography Committee for ACRL's Distance Learning Section (DLS). She currently serves as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for ACRL's DLS.

Wanda Perez

Wanda Perez

Course Designer

Wanda Perez has extensive experience as an academic librarian and have served in several positions including library director, information literacy coordinator, and most recently as an instruction librarian. Read More.

She was the first librarian-in-residence at Florida Tech. Dr. Pérez earned her doctoral degree from Capella University (2011) in education specializing in instructional design for online learning. At the University of Puerto Rico, she led the systemic committee to create a proposal and a pilot project for the adoption of online learning in the eleven campuses system.