If there’s one college assignment I had to do which I could force on all college students, it’d be this paper I had to write for a Research Methods class. It was later in the semester, and the professor gave us a very straightforward assignment: you need to find a news article which reports on the results of an academic study, read the actual study, and then explain in detail why the article did not properly represent the study’s findings.
Not only was having to do that a really useful exercise in terms of figuring out how misinformation gets passed around, but talking with a class of 25 other students who all had to do the same thing for 25 different articles makes you realize that the majority of all “studies show…” news articles misrepresent the studies they’re based on
bonus round, somewhat related:
i had a cs systems professor who taught a graduate class
where they had all the students try to replicate a paper in their field
that’s it. just one lil paper
and… whew boy… the number of papers that just straight up did not replicate… the number of papers where people had made some stupid programming error and thus unintentionally misrepresented their results… the number of papers where there were no factual inaccuracies, but like, once you worked through it & the graphs, it became real obvious that data was being presented misleadingly, trying to sweep the rug over obvious drawbacks to their methodology, etc
like “trendier” subfields were more prone to this kind of bullshit but. afaict no discipline came out unscathed. good times