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Combining Different Inoculation Types to Increase Student Engagement and Build Resilience Against Science Misinformation

Journal of College Science Teaching—January/February 2024

By ,

Inoculation theory, which applies the biological concept of vaccination to misinformation, provides a range of ways to effectively build resilience against misinformation. In this article, we define and organize the various types of inoculation, which includes three delivery mechanisms that can be useful in the classroom—passive, active, and experiential. In passive inoculations, students passively receive inoculating messages while in active inoculations, students actively generate misinformation using misleading techniques. We introduce a new category of inoculation—experiential—which involves misleading students then debriefing them on how they were misled. We then describe how these three techniques were implemented in a general-education science class designed to teach critical thinking and science literacy. Through these activities, we illustrate how the different types of inoculation can be creatively combined to maximize student engagement and learning.

Biology Curriculum Literacy Preservice Science Education Teaching Strategies

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