Course Title: Truth and Lies in the Digital World
Course Code: 50:209:110
Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 9:35-10:55
Location: Digital Commons, Room 102
Professor: Dr. James Brown
Office Location: Digital Commons, Room 104
Office Hours: Tuesday 11:00-12:30 (or by appointment)

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this class, students will be able to:

  • Use the tools of rhetorical analysis to analyze the problems of misinformation, propaganda, and verifying truth in digital environments
  • Recognize the complex ethical obligations of the producers and consumers of information
  • Explain the roles certain digital technologies play in the problems of misinformation, propaganda, and verifying truth
  • Create digital works that to express arguments about misinformation, propaganda, and verification of truth

Ethics and Values Outcomes

This course fulfills the Ethics and Values general education requirement. Upon completion of this EAV course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze ethical debates in terms of their underlying assumptions and implications.
  • Recognize the ethical values at stake in practical, concrete, and/or everyday situations.
  • Apply ethical reasoning toward solving practical problems.
  • Formulate, communicate, and evaluate effective ethical arguments.

Required Texts

Most of our texts will be available as PDFs on Canvas. For this class, you are required to purchase:

Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card (ISBN: 9781250773029)
Little Brother, Cory Doctorow (ISBN: 9780765323118)


Grades in this class will be determined by the Learning Record Online (LR). The LR will require you to observe your own learning and construct an argument for your grade based on evidence that you accumulate throughout the semester. You will record weekly observations, and you will synthesize your work into an argument for your grade. You will construct this argument twice - once at the midterm and once at the end of the course. We will be discussing the LR at length during the first week of class. We will discuss the LRO in detail throughout the semester.

Attendance Policy

Attendance will be crucial for success in this class. When you complete your midterm and final portfolio, your attendance record will be part of the evidence you will draw upon to make an argument for your grade.

Content Warnings

If we will be reading and discussing material that addresses sensitive topics, I will do my best to let you know in advance. If there are certain specific topics you would like me to provide warnings about, please let me know. I will do my best to flag content based on your requests.

Technology Policy

If possible, I ask that you please silence and put away your phone during class. If you absolutely need to have access to your phone during class on a regular basis, please see me during the first week of class to discuss. You are free to use devices that aid your participation in class, such as accessing readings or taking notes.

University policies and resources

Academic Integrity
My assumption is that any work you turn in for this course has been completed by you. If you ever have questions about proper attribution or citation, please don't hesitate to ask.

Code of Conduct
Rutgers University-Camden seeks a community that is free from violence, threats, and intimidation; that is respectful of the rights, opportunities, and welfare of students, faculty, staff, and guests of the University; and that does not threaten the physical or mental health or safety of members of the University community and includes classroom space. As a student at the University, you are expected adhere to Student Code of Conduct:

Rutgers-Camden has a wide range of resources to help you stay on track both personally and academically. The Raptor Cares Report ( connects you to our Dean of Students Office and they can assist you with a variety of concerns: medical, financial, mental health, or any life issue that impacts your academic performance. You can share a concern for yourself, a classmate or a friend.

Office of Disability Services
The Office of Disability Services (ODS) provides students with confidential accommodation services in order to allow students with documented physical, mental, and learning disabilities to successfully complete their course of study at Rutgers University – Camden. ODS provides for the confidential documentation and verification of student accommodations, and communicates with faculty regarding disabilities and accommodations. The ODS provides accommodation services, which can include readers, interpreters, alternate text, special equipment, and note takers. The ODS also works with students, faculty, staff and administrators to enforce the American with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Office of Military and Veterans Affairs
The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs can assist our military and veteran students with benefits, deployment issues and much more. Contact: Fred Davis 856-225-2791

Support for Undocumented and Immigrant Students
In an ongoing effort to support all students on campus, Rutgers University has established two offices to support undocumented and immigrant students with questions or concerns related to immigration status. The Rutgers Immigrant Community Assistance Project (RICAP) provides free and confidential immigration legal consultations and direct representation to currently enrolled students. For more information or an appointment, contact Jason Hernandez, Esq., at 856-225-2302 or The Rutgers Office of Undocumented Student Services provides one-on-one case management to assist undocumented students and help them access campus resources including financial aid, career services, health services, etc.

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