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About this module

The aim of the module is to impart basic knowledge and problem awareness in the subject area of conspiracy myths. In addition to the general introduction, a fundamentally critical-reflexive approach should also be conveyed at the level of the analysis and evaluation of narratives. This includes knowledge of historical events as well as a deeper understanding of the ideological implications of the ideology of conspiracy narratives and their dangers. Strategies and techniques against the spread of conspiracy myths are also part of the module and can be tried out in activities and exercises. Thinking in complex contexts and withstanding contradictions are also taught as fundamental skills and are trained in interactive sessions.

The module can be adapted easily by leaving out parts of chapters and/or activities (especially those marked as “optional”). There is also a possibility to divide the module into sections, although this is not recommended, as the inputs and activities build upon each other.

Upon completing the module, the student will be able to:

  • recognise typical features and functions of different conspiracy myths;
  • withstand contradictions;
  • obtain analytical and critical thinking skills as well as research strategies, argumentation, co-operation and conflict-resolution skills and techniques;
  • expand their knowledge and critical understanding of language and communication related to conspiracy myths;
  • obtain a deeper knowledge and critical understanding of politics, interests, history, media and economy of conspiracy myths;
  • develop problem awareness for the modes of action, intentions and risks of conspiracy myths;
  • assess topics addressed in conspiracy myths;
  • reflect on the opportunities and risks of digital communication;
  • identify different types of journalistic texts and approach the content of different texts genres; 
  • create lesson plans to address the topic of conspiracy theories in class.

Upon completing the module, the student will be able to:

  • explain how to access  the most appropriate data, information and content and navigate among them (DigiComp p. 23)
  • carry out an evaluation of the credibility and reliability of different sources of data, information and digital content (DigiComp p. 24)
  • critically assess the credibility and reliability of sources of data, information and digital content. (DigiComp p. 24)
  • apply a variety of referencing and attribution practices (DigiComp p. 27)
  • select the most reliable sources of information or advice from the range available (CDC p. 19)
  • identify any discrepancies or inconsistencies or divergences in materials being analysed (CDC p. 19)
  • use explicit and specifiable criteria, principles or values to make judgments (CDC p. 19)
  • describe the diverse ways in which citizens can influence policy (CDC p. 23);
  • express willingness to tolerate uncertainty / be comfortable when dealing with ambiguous situations (CDC p. 31)
  • analyse the motives, intentions and agendas of the people who produce propaganda, stereotypes, intolerance and hate speech in the mass media (e.g. newspapers, TV) (CDC p. 37)
  • draw the results of an analysis together in an organised and coherent manner to construct logical and defensible conclusions (CDC p. 37)
  • analyse how parts of a whole interact with each other to produce overall outcomes (CDC p. 37)
  • examine both short-term and long-term perspectives (CDC p. 37);
  • evaluate the preconceptions and assumptions upon which materials are based (CDC p. 37)
  • reflect critically on diverse narratives from different perspectives about the historical forces and factors that have shaped the contemporary world (CDC p. 51)
  • Ability and openness in critical-reflexive thinking and withstanding contradictions
  • Basic knowledge of misanthropic ideologies, especially anti-Semitism
  • Some experience and knowledge of the principles of source criticism is an advantage
  • Some experience in image and text analysis would be an advantage


  • Prior knowledge of the lecturers/teachers: For some parts of the module some prior knowledge of the lecturers might be needed.  Literature and links/resources that could be consulted in order to be prepared as a teacher can be found in the “self study material” in the table, accompanying each lesson. They can also be found in the detailed description of the module.