Michael Boyle and project co-director Mike Schmierbach from Penn State University received a research award at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conference. The award was part of the Mass Communication & Society division's research proposal contest. In winning the award, Boyle and Schmierbach received $10,000 to put toward research expenses. The proposal, titled "Exploring the use of exemplars and perspective-taking to encourage media literacy training," was one of two projects to be awarded by the division at this year's conference.
The overall goal of the project will be to explore ways to improve the effectiveness of media literacy programs. According to Dr. Boyle, "the idea is to develop different types of media literacy messages and then use an experimental design to test which one's are most effective at increasing people's willingness to be receptive to media literacy programs." The project will also test which media literacy programs are most effective at promoting critical thinking regarding media effects and how creators of media literacy programs can shift content characteristics to achieve a greater impact.