This paper describes several examples of how metaliteracy is embedded in teaching praxis through open educational resources (OER) that include interactive learning objects and digital badging content as well as fully developed Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Specifically, these metaliteracy OER have been applied by the authors in an information literacy course at the University at Albany, SUNY, as well as online courses in the Digital Arts at SUNY Empire State College (Mackey & Jacobson, 2021).
In this interactive workshop, participants will explore metaliteracy, including the metaliterate learner model and characteristics, review the goals and learning objectives and their value, touch upon differences between metaliteracy and the ACRL (2015) and CILIP (2018) conceptions of information literacy, and consider both open metaliteracy resources and sample open educational practice models that they support. Participants will explore options that will meet the needs of their students, and start a plan for incorporating metaliteracy in their formal or informal teaching. They will be able to learn from one another and share ideas on an online, open platform for continuing consultation, reporting of results, and idea-sharing.
(Jacobson & Mackey, 2021)
The ideas and techniques applied in this workshop are flexible and transferrable to different pedagogical settings and situations. If you would like to talk with us about ways to adapt this workshop to your setting, feel free to contact us.
This is the seventh translation of the Metaliteracy goals and learning objectives. We appreciate the previous translations in French, Afrikaans, Italian, Setswana, Spanish, and Portuguese. This work demonstrates the international interest in Metaliteracy and the transferability of these ideas to different educational settings.
Are you interested in translating the Metaliteracy goals and objectives in a language that has not been completed yet? Feel free to reach out to us!
Tom Mackey, Professor of Arts and Media at SUNY Empire State College and Trudi Jacobson, Distinguished Librarian at The University at Albany were invited to represent “Team USA” from the State University of New York (SUNY). Trudi and Tom presented a Team USA Workshop that explored their contributions to the project from a metaliteracy perspective, including related open educational resources (OER) developed as part of their work with the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative.
As part of this week-long transnational online course, students collaborated on final projects that they presented to all participants on the last day of class. Each of the student projects provided a detailed analysis of an information literacy or metaliteracy online resource. The students conducted research and closely examined each platform based on content analysis, usability, and accessibility. Two of the teams analyzed specific metaliteracy OER including the open content associated with the Metaliteracy Digital Badging system and the Coursera MOOC Metaliteracy: Empowering Yourself in a Connected World. Both presentations are exceptional and will inform the further development of each metaliteracy resource. The slides from each student group are shared with their permission:
CNN and other news sources recently reported on a study of over 8000 Americans who were surveyed about their ability to discern fake news via “headlines presented in the format of how news articles would look if they appeared in a Facebook feed. They were also asked to rate their ability to determine whether stories were true.”
Trudi was asked to comment on the article by a member of her University’s Office of Communications and Marketing. That piece was published on June 2 in a shortened form. Here are her original comments with brief CNN quotes setting the stage:
From the CNN article: “In all, these results paint a worrying picture: The individuals who are least equipped to identify false news content are also the least aware of their own limitations and, therefore, more susceptible to believing it and spreading it further…”
Trudi: It can be eye-opening to realize your powers of discernment may not be what you think they are, regardless of your level of education, profession, or political leanings. I recommend that everyone take the Common Misconceptions test offered by the organization Clearer Thinking. While it focuses on common misconceptions rather than headlines, there is enough similarity to assess, as they put it, “How well can you tell reality from B.S.” Not only will you find out if your understanding of the 30 items they ask about is on target, but, more importantly, “this test will analyze your answer patterns and provide a custom report that tells you how often you should trust your gut and when it’s better to be suspicious of your intuitions.” I was speaking from personal experience when I said it was eye-opening!
From the CNN article: “If people incorrectly see themselves as highly skilled at identifying false news, they may unwittingly be more likely to consume, believe and share it, especially if it conforms to their worldview. Recognizing that one’s judgments on the truthfulness of headlines or content aren’t infallible will, hopefully, keep down the negligent sharing of false information.”
Trudi: There are other things that you can do besides take the Common Misconceptions test and triangulating news from sources with different perspectives. I recommend becoming familiar with the Metaliteracy Framework, which emphasizes the importance of becoming a responsible citizen and ethical consumer, sharer, and creator of information, both individually and collaboratively. The Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative has developed a number of free online tools, from short videos on YouTube to fun quests to more extensive Coursera MOOCs (massive open online courses), all of which provide a great introduction to the learning domains, roles, and characteristics of metaliterate learners—people who know to be skeptical about information until it is assessed. This list of resources was originally offered in the form of a blog post, but is now the first item under the Metaliteracy in Practice tab. Kudos to Kelsey O’Brien for the design of the resource list.
A second approach, related to metaliteracy, is to shift one’s thinking away from cognitive biases and towards open inquiry and curiosity. There are a number of new initiatives, such as the Open Mind non-profit which offers tools that “equip people with the mindset and skillset to communicate constructively across differences.”
In a second metaliteracy presentation, Prof. Tom Mackey collaborated with Prof. Sheila Marie Aird on Collaborating to Teach Global Digital Storytelling Online. Tom and Sheila’s presentation explores how they applied metaliteracy to the design of a Digital Storytelling course they co-teach at SUNY Empire State College as a fully online international experience. Their slideshow is available via their Global Digital Stories blog.
“Anyone could make edits, and anyone could challenge those edits…This helped me feel less like an outsider trying to fit into a conversation and more like one of a million voices that were working together towards a shared goal of information creation and consumption.”
It is not only illuminating, but also vital to hear from learners about the impact of their encounters with metaliteracy. Asking them to write reflective pieces is one way to find out how components of metaliteracy may have had an effect on their learning. A recent Wiki Edu blog post by Corrin Baker, a graduating senior at The University at Albany, provides such insight. Corrin expanded a wonderfully written course reflection for this post about a course taught by Prof. Trudi Jacobson.
In describing metaliteracy’s producer role, Ms. Baker wrote:
The shared roles of producer and consumer were present in every step of the course. I was fully engaged in locating and evaluating sources, and then finding ways to make that information both understandable and accessible. I felt a great sense of responsibility to the audience and to the authors whose work I was using. I was also far more aware of diversity in a global audience, especially as I found myself struggling to find non-male authors to cite.
The course, which lasts just seven weeks, is challenging for students, but aims to have a lasting effect on their understanding of information and their roles in producing and sharing it. Corrin’s reflection testifies to the incredible impact that the blend of metaliteracy, information literacy, and the wonderful Wiki Education program can have.
As educators strive to deal with this information flood in a world of partisan politics and questionable content, critical and reflective thinking are required to better understand this philosophical moment and one’s role in it. Metaliteracy promotes the development of metaliterate digital citizens who are civic-minded and effectively produce content in a participatory networked culture (Hill & Mackey, 2021, p. 220).
As part of this article, the Community Virtual Library (CVL) in Second Life is analyzed through the four primary goals of metaliteracy. Valerie J. Hill is the director of the CVL and provides insights about related programming in this virtual library community such as the annual Dickens Project that features a reading of A Christmas Carol and historical simulations.
Thanks to Trudi E. Jacobson for reading a draft of the article and providing feedback!
Hill, V., & Mackey, T. (2021). Embracing metaliteracy: Metamodern libraries and virtual learning communities. College & Research Libraries News, 82(5), 219.
Profs. Trudi Jacobson and Tom Mackey delivered the keynote address entitled Metaliteracy: Engaging Students through Assessment as Learning at the Second Virtual Training Session 4th National Meeting of Information Literacy Competencies. This virtual event was hosted by the University of Puerto Rico in February and the presentation is now available as a recording on YouTube.
This presentation explores both the theory and practice of metaliteracy with a particular emphasis on assessment as learning. The following topics are covered:
Engaging Students in Learning
Developing a Metaliterate Mindset
Metaliteracy and Open Learning
Metaliteracy and Assessment
Integrating Assessment through Metaliteracy in Your Setting
In addition to the recording, feel free to explore the slide deck for ideas about ways to apply metaliteracy to your own teaching strategies.
We welcome any feedback or ideas that you have and when you adapt one of these techniques to your own setting let us know!