Course Title: Fact Checking and Verification

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Fact Checking and Verification

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities.  

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption.  

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT:  

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance:  

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance. 


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Gordon Farrer

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5022

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: B009.04.057

Course Coordinator Availability: Please check with course coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces you to concepts and practices used by journalists and other investigators to tackle challenges posed by the Internet and social media. It reviews current debates about the importance of “facts”, and explores issues of accuracy, credibility and trustworthiness of information. You will learn how misconception and disinformation are used to undermine rational debate, and how to use practical fact-checking and verification skills to ensure accuracy and objectivity in your own news reading and writing.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes This course aligns with the following Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop practical, and technical skills to quickly adapt to current and future changes in the industry 
  • Apply a body of theoretical and practical knowledge and specific skills in media and communication, particularly in journalism in which to base your professional practice or future study.

Course Learning Outcomes Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the difference between fact, opinion, conjecture and prediction.
  2. Identify and contrast trustworthy and untrustworthy instances and sources of information and communication.
  3. Identify and apply techniques and tools to fact-check claims and statements made by public figures 
  4. Verify or debunk user-generated and user-shared content online (such as images and video).
  5. Describe and discuss the misinformation/disinformation ecosystem, its impact on democratic discourse and the challenges it creates for journalism. 

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of activities such as studios, project work, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, individual and group activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.
A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.
The University Library has extensive resources for Journalism students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies
There are services and resources available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student website. 

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include essays, reports, reflective papers, creative projects and presentations, individually and in groups. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.


Assessment 1 - Quizzes (total of four)
This assessment contributes 20% to your overall grade (4 x 5%). 
It covers the following course learning outcomes: CLO1, CLO3, CLO5

Assessment 2 - Fact Check micro-credential
This assessment contributes 5% to your overall grade. 
It covers the following course learning outcomes:CLO1, CLO3, CLO4, CLO5

Assessment 3 - Dis/misinformation case study (group project)
This assessment contributes 30% to your overall grade. 
It covers the following course learning outcomes: CLO2, CLO3, CLO4, CLO5

Assessment 4 - Fact-check report: verify/debunk online content
This assessment contributes 45% to your overall grade.
It covers the following course learning outcomes:  CLO2, CLO3, CLO4

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.