Read more: Terms and conditions
Why was the course made?
Very Verified was created to help Baltic citizens evaluate information that they interact with in their daily life and be able to spot manipulation and disinformation. This course aims to equip people with basic media literacy and information verification skills. It also provides educators with easy-to-use blended learning lesson materials that correspond with the course. Anyone can download and freely use the lesson plans and presentations to help others learn these very necessary skills.
Who can use this course?
The course was developed primarily for high school and undergraduate students but anyone is welcome to use it. With five different language versions, the course or excerpts of it may be beneficial to individuals across generations.
I want to use your blended learning lesson presentations in a school or training. Can I?
Yes. Feel free to do so. The only thing to know is that you must do so free of charge as these materials are open access. We will also appreciate if you will send us a brief message at email@example.com letting us know where you held the training, which materials you used, and how many people attended so that the program team can keep track of how many people this course has benefited.
I am a youth trainer / a teacher / a media literacy trainer. I am preparing for a media literacy training using your lesson plans and need some support. Who can I reach out to?
Feel free to reach out to the program team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I become a Very Verified trainer?
If you want to become a volunteer Very Verified trainer, you are required to first complete the online course and attend a training for trainers organized by IREX. You can find out about these trainings on the IREX in the Baltics Facebook page and its events section. After finishing the online course and the training, you will receive a special trainer certificate and join our volunteer movement of nearly 350 youth trainers who can organize events in their communities and help us combat disinformation in the Baltics.
What competencies are strengthened by taking this course?
VeryVerified.eu online course on media literacy can help students develop media and digital literacies – the abilities to discern truthful and credible information from manipulative information and disinformation, as well as gain emotional resilience and practical fact-checking skills. Some of the competencies students will develop include text and information source analysis, civic participation and inclusiveness, information verification, and critical thinking. The course can also help build self-guided learning and self-reflection competencies such as:
- Recognizing how emotions affect thinking, reasoning, and information engagement; emotional regulation ability;
- Awareness and reflection on cognitive biases, such as stereotypes, confirmation bias, and motivated reasoning;
- Reflection on one’s own information behaviors (time spent engaging with information, quality of chosen nformation, formats);
- Critical thinking skills, analytical skills, and cognitive reflection – ability to override intuitive, fast, and often misleading responses to stimuli;
- Discerning the impact of increased access to information through digital media, understanding of the attention economy and digital addiction;
- Realizing the impact of information overload on self-image, mental and physical health, and ability to make informed decisions; practicing digital hygiene, safety, and wellness skills.
Students will also build knowledge of information space infrastructure, algorithms, business models, ownerships; including:
- Understanding of social media infrastructure – algorithms, business models, targeted content, filter bubbles, customized search results, the presence of artificial intelligence (AI), and other features;
- Knowledge of media structures and factors that can impact quality of information – media ownership, censorship, competition for audience and advertising revenue;
- Evolution of content production from professional to models where everyone has access to large audiences.
Students will also be given skills and tools to interact with the information space and verify information; such as:
- Awareness that information space contains excessive amounts of manipulative information designed to trigger emotional, biased engagement;
- Abilities and commitment to detect and reject manipulations;
- Ability to differentiate between fact and opinion;
- Media and information literacy, digital literacy, data literacy, visual verification;
- When possible, consulting multiple sources on different topics to cross-check information.
Behaviors for the information community:
- Awareness of how our digital engagement (content creation, sharing, liking, commenting) affects others;
- Understanding the importance of responsible digital citizenship and personal responsibility;
- Curating our own information ecosystem with empathy at the center.
What kind of data are you gathering on the users of the course and why?
We gather information you are asked for upon your registration and the quiz results. After you finish the quizzes, you receive a personalized certificate of completion. But there also is another goal – all the data of the quiz results gets stored in an anonymized way because we want to see whether our course has been useful in helping people improve their media literacy skills – whether overall, on average people tend to improve, and by how much. We compare the answers users give throughout the course when they are first exposed to the topics in our curriculum and then later on when they do the final test. We look at, for example, whether people feel more confident with their skills, are more commited to not sharing information before verifying it, understand the roles and goals of different content creators better, and show actual improvement when analyzing information.
How can I get the certificate that proves I have completed the course?
All the registered users who have finished the course and all the quizzes will be able to download the certificate after finishing the final test.
Why can’t I do the final test?
You can do the final test once you have finished all the quizzes in the course.
When I go to the final test I get an error message saying that I haven’t filled all the quizzes although I have / I can’t find the quiz I have to finish to get to the final test. What should I do?
Please make sure that you have taken the entire course and have completed all the quizzes. Here is a list of all the quizzes in the course:
This section about fact-checking contains two quizzes. One at the top and one at the bottom of it – Case Study: Deaths After the Covid-19 Vaccine and Become a Fact-Checker.
Who made this course?
Very Verified: An Online Course on Media Literacy was developed by Media Literacy in the Baltics, a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by the global development and education organization IREX. The first version of Very Verified was developed in Ukraine. Its content was renewed and adapted for the Baltic context in English and Russian versions of the course, and each country version more specifically in Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian by five Baltic media literacy experts – Solvita Denisa Liepniece, Monika Hanley, Signe Ivask, Lukrecijus Tubys and Mihhail Salenkov. The work of these experts was led and edited by the IREX team – Sabīne Bērziņa, Kaspars Rūklis, Jūlija Višņevska, Aleksejs Busarovs, Stanley Currier, Sarah Bushman, Simon Mairson, Jocelyn Young, Milda Petkauskaitė and Jekaterina Molotkova. Language version texts were proofread by Agnes Ojala, Dace Rēķe, Roberta Tracevičiūtė, and Marianna Tarassenko. Special thanks to consultants Ingūna Irbīte and Renata Matkevičienė for their additional review of some of the material. Sense Media made the videos and the design concept for illustrations. Natālija Šindikova served as the designer for the project, and Cloud Enterprise Systems developed the platform.
Who can I reach out to with more questions?
In case you have additional questions, you can contact the program team at email@example.com.