CART: Teach news literacy by having your students create their own Media Bias Chart
CART is a Software-as-a-Service platform accessible through any internet browser and available by monthly subscription. CART stands for Content Analysis Rating Tool. It is intended for students 7th grade and higher, including those in high school, college-level, and adult education classes.
CART helps educators teach students critical thinking skills using a structured, step-by-step process. With CART, now you can teach students how to rank news sources according to the Ad Fontes Media methodology.
See how it works in this video
Why teach news literacy through analyzing news articles?
In today’s news environment, students are bombarded by every possible type of news content. To be responsible news consumers, they need to be prepared to quickly judge the reliability and bias of each piece of news content they encounter.
CART has students perform close readings and analysis of news articles across the media landscape and make concrete judgments on each one. The platform creates a custom media bias chart for each student and for your class as a whole. You can compare your students’ ratings to those performed by Ad Fontes Media’s analysts every week.
Practicing this skill of closely analyzing news articles can provide a number of benefits, which can increase with repetition over time.
- Students practice reading laterally, which was shown in a 2017 Stanford study to be a more effective way for readers to determine source credibility than “vertical” reading within an article (Wineburg, Sam and mcgrew, sarah, Lateral Reading: Reading Less and Learning More When Evaluating Digital Information (October 6, 2017). Stanford History Education Group Working Paper No. 2017-A1 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3048994 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3048994)
- Students become familiar with contemporary left, center, and right positions on political issues, which is necessary for detecting bias
- Students practice reading comprehension, comparing and contrasting, and critical thinking skills
- Over time, exposure to dozens or hundreds of news articles and sources creates familiarity with sources themselves and with common rhetorical devices employed to influence and persuade readers
What do you get?
1. Access to CART interface for educators and students
- Enter students in the CART platform to give them access to rate assigned news articles on a blank Media Bias Chart interface
- Use Ad Fontes Media’s pre-assigned articles or enter your own—as many as you want, from any internet source
- Use for in-class exercises or at-home assignments
- View each students’ ratings on their individualized Media Bias Charts
- View total class ratings on a class-average Media Bias Chart
- See students’ ratings compared to each other
- See students’ ratings compared to Ad Fontes Media Analyst’s ratings
- View assignment progress
- Use a simplified or advanced version of the methodology and ratings interface according to your students’ needs
- Go at your own pace; CART is adaptable for any length course or class
- Receive assigned news articles to rate from across the media landscape
- Use interactive sliders to evaluate each factor and give each article a reliability and bias placement on the Media Bias Chart
- View assignment progress
- View ratings in individualized Media Bias Chart
It’s one thing to show students where sources rank on the Media Bias Chart. It’s another thing to teach them how to rank sources on the Media Bias Chart themselves.
2. Pre-loaded articles all year long
- Each week, Ad Fontes Media pre-loads six articles from across the media landscape into the platform, all regarding the same general topic from the current week’s news cycle, which allows students to learn about current events while developing media literacy skills. Ad Fontes Media analysts rate these six articles and publish the ratings each week
- Extensive educator and student training materials, methodology instructions, technical use guides, and lesson plan ideas in written and video format
- Each content analysis concept is broken out into short printable handouts and three-to-six-minute-long videos
- Weekly conference calls with Ad Fontes Media Founder and methodology developer Vanessa Otero for Q&A about content analysis
- Downloadable Media Bias Chart versions for in-class and at-home reference while using the CART platform
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