Media Literacy (COM 140)
Fall 2020
Carroll University, Waukesha, WI

Today’s media consumers are inundated with information and thus find it increasingly difficult to separate fact from fake news from opinion, and news from promotion. This course helps students analyze media content – verbal as well as – visual – so that they can more responsibly engage in a democratic society. The course examines the evolution of mass communication in the United States, with special focus on the critical consumption of media content. Topics include fake news, bias, and the media’s role in a democracy.

Search Engine Society (INFOST 674)
Spring 2020, Summer 2021
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI

Search engines have become the center of gravity of our contemporary information society, providing a powerful interface for accessing the vast amount of information available on the World Wide Web and beyond. The audacious mission of Google, for example, is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Attaining such a goal necessarily results in significant changes to the ways in which information is created, stored, retrieved, and used. This course will critically examine the nature of search engines and their role in our information society and reveal the unique challenges they bring to bear on information organization and retrieval, information institutions, information policy, law, and ethics. 

Global Perspectives Colloquium (CCS 400)
Fall 2019
Carroll University, Waukesha, WI

The Global Perspectives Colloquium is a two-credit course intended to bring together advanced students (usually seniors) from multiple disciplines to engage in critical reading and discussion. Students will also reflect on their cross-cultural experiences, link in-class and off-campus experiences, and participate in student-driven discussion. The course rests on a common organizational framework, common learning outcomes, and some common assessment. Within the framework of “Global Perspectives” faculty members propose broad course topics that are interdisciplinary in nature and students choose readings and lead discussion (e.g. global perspectives on Sustainability or Development). In this way, the Global Perspectives Colloquium models interdisciplinary and life-long learning, and serves as a gateway experience, preparing students to pursue continuing education after graduation.

The Information Economy (IDST 226)
Spring 2017; 2018
Beloit College, Beloit, WI

Focus will be on the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning. By using the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, this course will build the foundation needed for successful interdisciplinary research and scholarship.

Spring 2018 Syllabus

Fake News First-Year Seminar (INIT 100)
Co-taught with Jessica Fox-Wilson, Fall 2017
Beloit College, Beloit, WI

In the digital age, we are bombarded with information at an alarming rate. Consideration for accuracy is often secondary to breaking a story. If the New York Times reports on a story, is this more relevant or factual than Buzzfeed? How does the source of information change the meaning or its truth? Exploring how to decipher between fake news, misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda, this seminar will reinforce critical evaluation skills, provide methods on differentiating between types of authority, recognizing privilege in information, and how to accurately use information in academic work and everyday life. By reading from a variety of sources (academic journals, major newspapers, blogs, and Twitter), we will spend time considering the definition of information,  interrogating our own information networks, and how this can shape our worldview. Understanding the information landscape will help you increase ownership of your scholarly work, maneuver through your academic experience, and put the liberal arts into practice.