Disinformation detox: teaching and learning about mis- and disinformation using socio-technical systems research perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: This paper aims to address some limitations in existing approaches to the study of mis- and dis-information and offers what the authors propose as a more comprehensive approach to framing and studying these issues, geared toward the undergraduate level of learner. In doing so, the authors prioritize social shaping of technology and critical informatics perspectives as lenses for explicating and understanding complex mis- and dis-information phenomena. One purpose is to offer readers an understanding of the mis- and dis-information studies landscape, and advocate for the merit of taking the given approach the authors outline. Design/methodology/approach: The paper builds upon design-based research (DBR) methods. In this paper, the authors present the actual curriculum that will be empirically researched in 2022 and beyond in a program of iterative DBR. Findings: Findings of this conceptual paper comprise a fully articulated undergraduate syllabus for a course the authors entitled, “Disinformation Detox.” The authors will iterate upon this curriculum development in ongoing situated studies conducted in undergraduate classrooms. Originality/value: The value and originality of this article is in its contribution of the ontological “innovation” of a way of framing the mis- and dis-information knowledge domain in terms of social shaping and critical informatics theories. The authors argue that the proposed approach offers students the opportunity to cultivate a complex form of what Milner and Phillips describe as “ecological literacy” that is in keeping with the mis- and dis-information problem domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-110
Number of pages31
JournalInformation and Learning Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 18 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


  • Critical informatics
  • Ecological literacy
  • Information literacy
  • Media literacy
  • Misinformation
  • Social shaping of technology
  • Syllabus design


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