Free online course to help sort fact from fiction

Posted on 10/02/20

asu_newsco_lab_logo (002).png

Could someone you know use some help in navigating our complex world of information? We’re in an age of media overload, and it seems like we all could use a little help sifting through information — information that’s often misleading, deceitful or just plain untrue.

A free online course from Arizona State University* can empower you to seek out and share credible information. The course, “Mediactive: How to Participate in Our Digital World” starts Oct. 5 and is free to anyone to enroll. 

The ASU News Co/Lab is offering the course in partnership with America Amplified, a public media initiative focused on community engagement reporting around the 2020 election.

The three-week Mediactive course helps people take control of their digital media experience with practical skills and strategies. Through a variety of educational videos, expert interviews and interactive activities, participants will learn, among other things, how to:

  • spot misinformation, 
  • better understand how the news media operate, and 
  • use media to participate in the community.

Participants can review the learning materials at their own pace, but they are also welcome to join a series of live conversations with the course team and America Amplified guests during the three-week course. 

Guests include Kate Concannon and Nate Hegyi of the Mountain West News Bureau, discussing Nate’s 900-mile bike ride along the Continental Divide; Dave Rosenthal of Side Effects Public Media, which provides health-centered journalism; and Susanna Capelouto of WABE in Georgia and Mary Shedden of WUSF in Florida. Both stations have been engaging communities with pandemic and election coverage.

ASU Oct Mediactive Promo-02.png

So far, more than 2,500 have taken the free course — including many AARP members like you. One participant notes, “Learning how media works is so important for older people who can feel left out of a busy communicating world. Like everything else we are exposed to in life, media can be handled when you’re shown how to use it, enjoy it, and let it broaden the world we live in.”

The News Co/Lab’s goal is to help people more confidently use media to make important decisions ahead of the November 2020 election and beyond.

“The way we consume media has fundamentally changed in the past several decades, and most of us have had to learn as we go without any training. It can feel like we’re barely keeping up,” said Kristy Roschke, managing director of the News Co/Lab. “The Mediactive course provides accessible and tangible information people can use in their daily media use, which is especially critical as we’re facing unprecedented challenges in the U.S. and globally.”

Click here to enroll in Mediactive: How to participate in our digital world.

*This is not an AARP event. Any information you provide to the host organization will be governed by its privacy policy.

This story is provided by AARP Colorado. Visit the AARP Colorado page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

More from AARP in Denver

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at; AARP information and resources are at En español, visite

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Denver
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner