Research Grant Awarded to Toronto Metropolitan University And Royal Roads Researchers to Study Misinformation Related to Coronavirus

$478,000 in new funding from the Government of Canada supports collaborative research from Toronto Metropolitan University and Royal Roads University on mitigating COVID-19 misinformation

TORONTO — As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, so too does the flow of information and misinformation related to the virus. In a recent announcement by the Government of Canada, researchers at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Ted Rogers School of Management and Royal Roads University will collaborate to examine the spread of digital misinformation related to the coronavirus. The study seeks to mitigate the spread of misinformation, stigma and fear through education.

The study, Inoculating Against an Infodemic: Microlearning Interventions to Address CoV Misinformation, will be a two-year study that aims to develop online learning interventions to improve people’s knowledge, beliefs and behaviours related to COVID-19.

Professor Anatoliy Gruzd, Canada Research Chair of Social Media Data Stewardship and Philip Mai, Director of Business and Communications at the Social Media Lab at the Ted Rogers School, will examine how COVID-19 related misinformation propagates across social media platforms and will be developing a real-time information dashboard that will help the public track efforts to debunk coronavirus misinformation online.

“Coronavirus misinformation is spreading quickly on social media,” said Gruzd, “we are starting to see that many of the tactics and tools used to spread politically-motivated misinformation are now being used to spread misinformation about COVID-19.”

Professors George Veletsianos and Jaigris Hodson from Royal Roads University will be working on the “microlearning” aspect of the study.

Veletsianos, a Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology, says that complex societal problems such as COVID-19 require interdisciplinary efforts and thinking.

“By developing and evaluating microlearning – essentially education that is of short duration – we hope to help improve the public’s understanding of the virus,” said Veletsianos.

The researchers are available for media interviews to discuss topics about misinformation and microlearning related to COVID-19.

About the Ted Rogers School of Management

Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University (TRSM) is developing collaborative, creative leaders who will drive 21st century business forward while making a positive impact on society. Home to over 11,000 students and more than 200 industry-connected faculty, TRSM is Canada’s leading diverse, entrepreneurial business school centred in an urban learning environment. TRSM offers 12 Bachelor of Commerce degrees, two Bachelor of Health Administration degrees, four graduate programs, including the Ted Rogers MBA, and Executive Education courses. TRSM is also home to 15 innovative research centres, institutes and labs.