Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International and Multicultural Education (IME)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Dr. Monisha Bajaj


The year 2020 spotlighted problematic media coverage of the global coronavirus pandemic. Conflicting narratives of the origin of the “China virus” (Campbell & Park, 2020), the silenced journalistic freedoms (Davidson, 2020), and the impact on communities of color (Williams, 2021) created mass confusion during the global pandemic. To help address our understanding of media, teaching civic online reasoning (Wineburg & McGrew, 2017) and critical media literacy are two potential points of emphasis. Building critical media literacy helps resist the echo chamber effect of social media and cable news, which results in polarization and difficult mediation between parties (Bexley & Tchailoro, 2013). In order for social justice to thrive within a community, building critical media literacy is a necessity.

Since the 2000s, smart devices have taken over our lives and our homes. In addition to smartphones growing at a rapid pace from 1.02 billion users in 2012 to 3.8 billion users in 2021 (O’Dey, 2020), the use of smart assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Apple’s Siri have increased. The increased connectivity of these devices creates an opportunity to augment critical media literacy. When used intentionally, these smart devices can help us learn how to make critical decisions for our day to day lives.

In this field project a chatbot will be designed based on the curriculum by the Stanford History Education Group (Wineburg & McGrew, 2019; Wineburg et al., 2020) on civic online reasoning. A chatbot is a programmed conversation with a computer standing in for a live human being. Chatbots can be accessed interactively and asynchronously by students through smart devices using voice or text.