Our Methodology

To know how to implement Dialogic Media Literacy Gatherings to combat disinformation in adult education and for educators to know how to counteract disinformation in the same area, this project is implementing a Toolkit including a methodology, a curriculum and a piloting course. 

In this page you will have a chance to download our Methodology or navigate some of the key elements included. Join us as we explore the field of adult learning and dialogic media literacy to train vulnerable adults in competences needed for a critical and active digital citizenship participation. 

Key insights from our Methodology

Dialogic Media Literacy

What is Dialogic Media Literacy?

Dialogic  Media Literacy refers to an approach that emphasizes the importance of dialogue, critical thinking, and active engagement in the context of  media literacy. Dialogic Literacy recognizes that  media literacy is not just about consuming and understanding information but also about actively engaging with it, questioning it, and participating in conversations and dialogues surrounding it (Flecha, 2000). It promotes the development of skills and attitudes that enable individuals to critically analyse, create, and share digital content while actively engaging in dialogue with others.

Why is Dialogic Media Literacy important?

In the digital environment, information can spread rapidly through various channels, allowing misinformation and disinformation to spread quickly and extensively. In this regard, access to digital tools is increasingly within reach of everyone, including the ability to generate false or misleading information or disseminate misinformation.

For this reason, it is important to provide citizens with critical thinking and both digital and media literacy skills, which are acquiring a strategic importance in the contemporary information society. In this sense, the Declaration of Human Rights article 26 states that every person has the “right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications”. This implies that individuals have the right to access and benefit from scientific knowledge, advancements, and applications that contribute to human well-being, development, and progress.

Indeed, Digital Literacy and Media Literacy can play a significant role in fostering a citizenship based on fundamental rights and EU values, such as freedom of expression and active and responsible participation in society. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges in this regard. The pandemic's impact on media consumption patterns has led to individuals spending more time online, which has both positive and negative implications for media literacy. On the positive side, increased internet usage has provided opportunities for individuals to access a wide range of information, stay connected, and engage in meaningful online activities.

Digital Competences (DigComp)

Digital competence is one of the Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens (Vuorikari et al., 2022), also known as DigComp, provides a comprehensive description of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that individuals need in five competence areas: information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, digital content creation, problem-solving, and safety.

  • Information and data literacy: To articulate information needs to locate and retrieve digital data, information, and content. To judge the relevance of the source and its content. To store, manage, and organize digital data, information, and content. 
  • Communication and collaboration: to interact, communicate and collaborate through digital technologies while being aware of cultural and generational diversity. To participate in society through public and private digital services and participatory citizenship. To manage one’s digital presence, identity, and reputation. 
  • Digital content creation: to create and edit digital content. To improve and integrate information and content into an existing body of knowledge while understanding how copyright and licenses are to be applied. To know how to give understandable instructions for a computer system.
  • Safety: to protect devices, content, personal data, and privacy in digital environment. To be aware of digital technologies for social well-being and social inclusion and of the environmental impact of digital technologies and their use. 
  • Problem solving: to identify needs and problems, and to resolve conceptual problems and problems situations in digital environment. To use digital tools in innovative processes and products. To keep-up-to date with digital evolution 

Dialogic Media Literacy potential to tackle disinformation.

Dialogic  Media Literacy has significant potential to tackle disinformation in today’s information landscape, by equipping individuals with the necessary skills to use digital tools, navigate the internet, search for information, and communicate online. Digital literacy promotes digital inclusion and empowers people to take advantage of opportunities offered by digital technologies. By addressing the digital gap, the aim is to ensure equal opportunities for everyone to benefit from the digital age.

Specifically, dialogic approaches facilitate individuals in questioning and critically evaluating the credibility and reliability of information sources. Through engaging in dialogue, interactive discussions, and collaborative research, individuals can learn effective methods to verify information from multiple sources and identify reputable fact-checking organizations. This enables them to discern between reliable information and misinformation. Moreover, dialogic approaches encourage individuals to actively participate as creators of media content, empowering them to contribute to the digital landscape responsibly and ethically by promoting accurate information and countering disinformation.

Moreover, by working together, individuals can join forces and combine their knowledge and skills to tackle the challenges of disinformation. This collaborative approach not only helps strengthen relationships among people but also creates a shared sense of responsibility in fighting against false information. When individuals collaborate, they can develop more effective strategies and have a stronger influence in countering the spread of disinformation.

Interactive Groups: A Successful Educational Action for combating disinformation

  • What are Interactive Groups?
  • How do Interactive Groups work?
  • Interactive Groups applied to Media Literacy
  • Why use Interactive Groups for Media Literacy

Interactive Groups are a way to organize the classroom in small groups where participants work together through dialogic interactions, following the principles of dialogical learning (Aubert et al., 2009). Provides an inclusive classroom organization that yields optimal outcomes in enhancing knowledge and fostering unity among students in today’s society. The main aim of Interactive Groups is to collectively meet the learning objectives and achieve altogether their learning expectations. These groups enhance the effectiveness of learning by multiplying the diversity of interactions among participants, teachers, and community volunteers, facilitating the attainment of excellence for everyone while maximizing the efficiency of invested time. In other words, interactive groups generate accelerated learning for all participants (Valls and Kyriakides, 2013).

The key considerations before working with interactive groups are as follows(please download our methodology for a more detailed elaboration):

  1. Forming heterogeneous groups: It is essential to organize the session in a way that allows participants to collaborate in diverse groups, comprising individuals from different cultures, age groups, and skill levels. The more diversity there is within a group, the more varied the interactions will be, and everyone in the group will benefit from learning experiences that surpass those of homogeneous groups. More here
  2. Planning the sessions: The teacher engages in pre-class preparation of activities. Subsequently, the teacher holds meetings with volunteers to provide them with a comprehensive understanding of the activities, enabling them to effectively support the interactions among participants. It is crucial for volunteers to have a clear understanding of their role, which is to facilitate interactions. Reminding them of this during the activity explanations before class can be beneficial. 

The role of the teacher: 

Teachers are responsible for providing a clear explanation of the specific activities to be carried out during the session, which the volunteers are already familiar with. They play a crucial role in resolving doubts when participants are unable to do so on their own. However, it is important to emphasize that the primary focus should be on facilitating interaction among participants, encouraging them to learn from and reflect upon each other's contributions, rather than solely focusing on their individual tasks.

The role of the volunteers: 

Volunteers serve as coordinators of interactions and are present in the classroom to ensure that the diversity among participants is organized in a manner that enables everyone to reach the same level of knowledge.  Having a volunteer in each group is important as they ensure the presence of genuine dialogical interactions. Additionally, volunteers may offer different forms of assistance compared to the teacher. In cases where volunteers are not available, it becomes the teacher's responsibility to foster self-management within each group, allowing for these interactions to occur among the participants as adults.

The role of the participants 

Participants should be informed in advance that they are expected to collaborate and work together during activities. In cases where individuals initially work on tasks individually, it is important for the first person to finish to help others who may still be working. It is crucial for everyone to actively share their reflections and conclusions to ensure that all participants comprehend the task at hand and that no one is left behind.  

Interactive Groups are applied to digital and media literacy, with the aim of participants learning not only how to access information or digital tools, but also how to use those resources to verify information. To achieve this, digital and media literacy are divided into three steps. 

  1. ICT basic learning sessions

In the first step, the facilitator must present the content that will be covered in that session and provide a theoretical explanation on how to search for information or what resources can be used to do so. This allows participants to apply this knowledge in practice. In this regard, it is important for the facilitator not to rush the learning process and to take the time to explain the theoretical content in detail, at the pace required by the group.

  1. Searching information about a chosen topic in small groups.

In the second step, participants are divided into groups or pairs to engage in activities that help them become familiar with the platforms and apply what they have been taught at the beginning of the session. The main objective of this activity is for participants to start familiarizing themselves with scientific articles and platforms for accessing scientific knowledge (such as Sappho and Adhyayana). This is a crucial first step in verifying information in digital media. If all the activities are not completed, they can be continued in the next session. Furthermore, it is important for the facilitators to encourage both individuals in the group to use the computer and carry out the exercise together. If one of the individuals has a better understanding of the content, they should explain it to their partner. This way, the interactive groups work is fostered.

  1. Presenting the information found to the rest of the class.

The third step is the sharing of findings. The groups and/or pairs should present to the rest of the class everything they have found and explain in detail the information they have discovered. It is likely that different perspectives will emerge at this point regarding what has been researched. Therefore, it is important for the facilitator to moderate the discussion and provide space for all participants to express themselves. Lastly, it is crucial to guide the discussion based on evidence-based information and prevent an exchange of opinions without scientific foundation.

In today's information society, a significant portion of the information we require in our daily lives is available online. Developing digital competences becomes crucial to accessing and navigating this digital world. Implementing Interactive Groups in courses related to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) not only facilitates faster and more effective learning but also fosters reflective dialogue among participants, volunteers, and teachers. These interactive groups promote important skills such as information processing and critical thinking, which are fundamental requirements in today’s Information Society (DigiUP, 2015-2017).

The concept of interactive groups aligns with the ongoing social changes, and it has been recognized as one of the Successful Educational Actions within the research project INCLUDE-ED: Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe from education (2006-2011). This project, dedicated to investigating compulsory education in Europe, identifies Successful Educational Actions (SEA) (Flecha, 2015) as interventions that contribute to improved learning and solidarity among participants. According to the project, the main characteristics of Successful Educational Actions (SEA) actions are:

  • They contribute to an enhanced learning and foster a sense of solidarity among participants.
  • They possess universal qualities, with shared elements that remain consistent across different contexts.
  • They can be implemented in various educational settings and levels, yielding comparable results.

Dialogic Media Literacy Gatherings

  • Why carry out Dialogic Media Literacy Gatherings
  • How to implement Dialogic Media Literacy Gatherings
  • The Role of the Moderator and the Volunteers

Dialogic Media Literacy Gatherings (DMLGs) is a Successful Educational Action that contributes to respond to current European challenges in media literacy, concerning educational institutions and civil society.

The significance of media literacy and the need to enhance it, have been recognized in the European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP). The Digital Education Action Plan prioritizes the enhancement of digital skills, including media literacy. The EU Directive acknowledges the importance of media literacy in effectively and safely using media. In the same way, UNESCO suggests the Five Laws of Media and Information Literacy. These laws highlight the importance of citizens' access to information and the dynamic nature of media and information literacy as a lived experience involving knowledge, skills, and attitudes in accessing, evaluating, using, producing, and communicating information, media, and technology content.

The implementation of Dialogic Media Literacy Gatherings can be done through Scientific Dialogic Gatherings and/or Pictorical Dialogic Gatherings. The main aim of both gatherings is intended to foster critical thinking.

Scientific Dialogic Gatherings

First, it must be considered that it is not necessary to have academic knowledge to start or participate in a Dialogic Media Literacy Gathering. The goal is precisely to learn, share and foster critical thinking, and Dialogic Scientific Gatherings show how this is possible for everybody.  

Setting up a gathering 

A first meeting with people interested in a Scientific Dialogic Gathering takes place in which together the following decisions are made. We collectively select topics (depending on the pace and interests of the group) from the options provided, and through dialogue, we choose an original scientific work or impactful article related to the domain we wish to discuss. Everyone can make suggestions and discuss why it would be interesting to read it and share their thoughts about it in the Dialogic Scientific Gathering. 

During the gathering 

The first step to start a Dialogic Scientific Gathering is to choose the moderator. Once it is chosen, the moderator opens the floor by asking who would like to explain their chosen paragraph and writes down a list of people who wish to talk or intervene and gives the floor to the first one who raises their hand. The person who has the floor reads the chosen paragraph out loud while the rest of the participants listen. The participant explains why they chose this paragraph and shares their thoughts on the paragraph with the other participants. In the case of Dialogic Media Literacy Gatherings, it is important that, when sharing ideas on the phrase or paragraph highlighted, they do it using verified complementary information related to the selected paragraph. 

When the Scientific Dialogic Gathering finishes, the participants agree on the next chapters, articles, or work to read for the next session. Thus, the process starts again. 

Dialogic Pictorical Gathering

The use of images facilitates a dual learning process: first, it promotes the development of critical visual literacy skills, and second, it enhances understanding of the content covered in each session. Thus, images serve not only as a basis for discussing the images themselves but also to explore the associated topics. The discussions revolve around the images in a circular manner, creating spaces for debate. The objective is to analyse and reflect on the images, taking into consideration the previously covered content in each thematic session, as well as the knowledge and life experiences of each participant. The educator can use suggested questions to stimulate and enrich these debates.

The images used come from various mass media sources such as newspapers, magazines, television, the internet, and photography. The educator provides materials that introduce the thematic content for the day's discussion.  In this way, vulnerable adults will improve their media literacy, digital literacy, thinking competencies as well as social and intercultural competences.

One of the persons participating in the Dialogic Pictorical Gatherings has the role of the moderator. This person is chosen through a dialogue, and their function is to ensure egalitarian participation of everyone. It is not necessary to be an expert in the topic to be used to give clarifications and explanations. It is sufficient that the person moderating the session has knowledge about the proper functioning and criteria of Dialogic Pictorical Gatherings to facilitate collective meaning building. The participants bear the responsibility to discuss, exchange views and come up with questions. The main function of the moderator, therefore, is to maintain the order of interventions and, as mentioned before, to prioritize the participation of people with more difficulties speaking in public while their preference is not to do so. The moderator is responsible for ensuring a fair and equal distribution of the available time. 

Other points for the moderator to consider are: 

  • To never impose their opinion 
  • To not explain or present the content or judge the interventions (Science Lit, 2016-2018).
Critical Thinking against Disinformation