The News Checker - a digital tool for pupils and teachers to critically evaluate online news
Purpose and goal
The News Evaluator was developed as a research-based tool to evaluate and support a source critical use of digital newsfeeds among young people. The tool and its database has now been tested by thousands of Swedish teenagers, with excellent results. In this present digital world of fake and strongly biased news, the project has provided a tool that fosters a source critical way of thinking among its users, and simultaneously generates unique data for analyses and comparisons, nationally as well as internationally.
Expected results and effects
The impact of the News Evaluator in schools, the mass media, and among policymakers has exceeded expectations. Currently, more than 6 000 teenagers have used the tool to critically assess their news feeds. The project was featured in radio, television and national newspapers, and also received international attention. Evaluations with teachers and students show that the tool is highly appreciated and promotes new insights among its users. Presently, the next steps for further development and wider distribution are being prepared.
Planned approach and implementation
The project has developed and confirmed specifications, usability and functionality of a research-based tool for practicing digital source criticism. The News Evaluator was created through an iterative design process involving researchers, designers, science communicators, teachers and students. The tool and its database show great potential for further development and distribution. Feedback from thousands of users and data from thousands of assessed news indicate that the tool can contribute to a more fact-based view of the world among individuals and society as a whole.