Research Partnerships Advance Media Literacy

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 1, 2022. Measuring the implementation of media literacy instructional practices has the potential to drive the systematic inclusion of media literacy into the elementary and secondary curriculum. After Renee Hobbs and colleagues developed the Media Literacy Implementation Index (MLI), a measure of exposure to foundational instructional practices for elementary, middle, and high schools. Schools and communities are using the survey (with both students and community members) to support planning and implementation processes. 

What is the MLI Index? 

The MLI Index is a survey research instrument that measures the prevalance of media literacy education in schools and communities. You can review a version of the MLI Index Student Survey, which is designed for students in grades 4 - 12. It only takes 5 minutes to complete. Then review a version of MLI Index Adult Stakeholder Survey. This survey takes 15 minutes to complete and it is designed for school leaders, teachers, librarians, parents, community members, and elected public officials.

Would you like to use the MLI Index to improve media literacy education in your school or community? Choose one of these options: 

  1.  Collaborate freely with the Media Education Lab, who will lightly adapt the survey for use in your school and community. You will get a unique URL to collect the data at no cost to you because you are sharing the results with the Media Education Lab. You get a raw data file to use as you see fit. 
  2. Develop a partnership with the Media Education Lab, who will adapt the survey to your specifications, provide you with a unique URL to distribute the survey. For an additional fee, we will produce a report of findings to serve as a baseline and a blueprint to guide your curriculum development and implementation process. You and your organization will be credited as co-author of the report. We can also recommend consultants who can guide your change management process. For an additional fee, get professional support from Media Literacy Now to promote the story of your community's media literacy implementation initiative to local and national media outlets. Establish your school or community as a leader in data-driven implementation of media literacy education!

Contact Renee Hobbs at for more information. 

Statewide Survey of Media Literacy in Rhode Island

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 15, 2021. In an age awash in misinformation, toxic social media, and deep political and cultural divisions, students need to learn how to critically analyze media messages. But not enough Rhode Island students are getting opportunities for media literacy education either at school or at home. The Media Education Lab has released a new report which documents findings resulting from a statewide study of the level of media literacy integration in RI schools. The study includes an online survey of over 500 school educators, administrators, parents, elected public officials, and community members, along with interviews with 30 respondents who provided more in-depth information. After analyzing the findings, we issue letter grades to school districts in Rhode Island to document their efforts in providing media literacy education to all students.


Statewide Survey of Media Literacy Education Serves as National Model

KINGSTON, R.I. – June 15, 2021 – Screen time during the pandemic increased for almost everyone. What effects might that increase have caused to ourselves and our children? Are there ways to mitigate the negative effects of media use and increase the positive ones? Media literacy advocates believe that education is one important part of the solution. Media Literacy Now-RI, in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island’s Media Education Lab, is conducting a statewide study of the level of media literacy integration in Rhode Island schools during June, July, and August. The study, led by professional and student researchers at the Media Education Lab, includes an online survey of school educators, administrators, and parents, and follow-up interviews with volunteer respondents for more in-depth information. The project is being supported with funding from Social Science Institute for Research, Education, and Policy (SSIREP) at the University of Rhode Island.

“The fake news crisis, coronavirus and vaccination misinformation, cyberbullying, and the misuse of social media to incite extremist views are the latest issues to highlight the need for the concept of literacy in this century to include the critical analysis of all forms of media,” said Pam Steager, state coordinator for Media Literacy Now-RI, part of the national Media Literacy Now movement which works with state legislatures to get legislation passed towards integrating media literacy into state education programs. “But media literacy education also covers a wide range of skills and practices that can improve our understanding of and engagement with media and technology, increase our understanding of ourselves and others, and strengthen our democracy.

This research is a follow-up to the survey completed by school superintendents in 2018 to determine how well media literacy skills are being taught in Rhode Island schools.” Are you an educator, school librarian, parent or guardian of a K-12 student? Curious about media literacy education activities? Want to learn more and help Rhode Island determine the next steps to become a leader in media literacy education? Participants in the project will be entered in a sweepstakes for an iPad Mini. The winner will be chosen in August.

To learn more or take the survey, visit Media Literacy Now-RI at To contact Pam Steager of Media Literacy Now RI, call (401) 439-1292, or email

Researching the State of Media Literacy in Rhode Island