The Media Literacy Implementation Index

Media Literacy Now is proud to be partnering with Media Education Lab on a new research initiative that provides free access to the Media Literacy Implementation (MLI) Index, a validated survey research instrument that measures the prevalence of media literacy education in schools and communities.

“By establishing data that serves as a baseline and a benchmark on which to develop a solid academic program, school leaders can measure their progress over time,” said Erin McNeill, founder and president of Media Literacy Now. “The MLI Index gives school leaders a systematic way to measure the inclusion of media literacy education across the curriculum at the elementary and secondary levels.”

The MLI Index was developed by University of Rhode Island Professor Renee Hobbs and colleagues and has been conducted in Rhode Island to identify students’ understanding of and exposure to media literacy education. In addition, it has been conducted in the Maynard, Massachusetts school district.

“School and community leaders can finally get a clear picture of how many students in their community are getting opportunities for media literacy learning,” said Professor Renee Hobbs. “Once school and community leaders know what’s happening at the ground level, this data gives them a good picture of what curricular areas represent current strengths and where continuing improvement is needed.”


Fund the MLI Index in your state to ensure that education leaders have key data they need. MLI Index funding is included in our model bill.

School Districts:

Access public or private foundation support to conduct the MLI Index in your school or district! When school districts who use the survey agree to share their data with researchers, they get access to a digital survey that makes it easy for them to collect data from students as well as community stakeholders, including school leaders, librarians, educators, parents, community members, and elected public officials. For an additional fee, researchers will analyze the data to identify areas of strength and areas of growth needed to provide a comprehensive approach that integrates media literacy into the curriculum. School and community leaders can also receive professional support to help inform the local community about the media literacy implementation initiative and use data to assess their progress in curriculum implementation.

Collecting Data, One School at a Time

Gracie Gilligan, a former student at Maynard High School in Massachusetts, realized the effect of media on her and her peers in middle school. For her senior project, Gracie decided to look at media literacy among her peers and students in younger grades. She worked with Media Literacy Now and Media Education Lab to administer the MLI Index survey to more than 500 students and gained insight to how pervasive media’s influence is – from the information or misinformation we absorb, perpetuating harmful stereotypes, and the body image issues. Maynard teachers and administrators supported the effort and as a result of the survey findings, they are now moving forward with a broader study in the school district.