Welcome to Metaliteracy.org! We have developed this blog to provide openly available resources related to metaliteracy, a pedagogical framework for empowering learners to be reflective, informed, and collaborative (and much more!). Through this site you will find the most current postings related to our research, presentations, publications, collaborations, and open learning projects. We also invite guest authors to contribute to this space, so if you have a metaliteracy idea or practice you would like to share with a wider audience let us know and we would welcome your posting or opportunity to collaborate!
If you are new to metaliteracy, you may want to start with these two short segments that were produced for The Academic Minute, a WAMC national radio production that is hosted by Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities:
- Metaliterate Learners by Tom Mackey (2020)
- Renewable Assignments, Wikipedia, and Metaliteracy by Trudi Jacobson (2021)
As you dig deeper into this blog you will find examples of metaliteracy in practice, including interactive learning objects, videos, and digital resources such as our competency-based badging system and several MOOCs. We welcome your feedback at any time so feel free to explore this site and let us know what you think.
Metaliteracy is a pedagogical model that empowers learners to be reflective and informed producers of information both individually and in collaboration with others. Mackey and Jacobson originated the concept in “Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy,” which was published in the January 2011 issue of College & Research Libraries. In that first article, the authors wrote:
Metaliteracy promotes critical thinking and collaboration in a digital age, providing a comprehensive framework to effectively participate in social media and online communities. It is a unified construct that supports the acquisition, production, and sharing of knowledge in collaborative online communities. Metaliteracy challenges traditional skills-based approaches to information literacy by recognizing related literacy types and incorporating emerging technologies. Standard definitions of information literacy are insufficient for the revolutionary social technologies currently prevalent online.
Metaliteracy was a significant reframing and reinvention of information literacy and went far beyond how that approach was conceived at the time. As the model evolved, metaliteracy expanded to include a comprehensive focus on four domains of metaliterate learning, metaliterate learner roles, and metaliterate learner characteristics.
Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative
The Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative has enhanced the metaliteracy model by contributing a theoretical focus on the four domains of metaliterate learning, the practical emphasis on two iterations of the Metaliteracy Goals and Learning Objectives, and several grant-funded initiatives that put theory into practice through innovative learning design.
The Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative was established in 2012 as part of the first SUNY-wide grant awarded entitled Developing a SUNY-wide Transliteracy Learning Collaborative to Promote Information and Technology Collaboration. The initial focus in the grant title on transliteracy, a different model first defined by Sue Thomas, et. al. (2007), showed the dynamism at the time as emerging literacies tried to address revolutionary changes in the information environment. Ultimately, we incorporated metaliteracy into the naming of our SUNY partnership since it better suited the work we were doing and envisioned for the future. Over time, the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative involved several colleagues throughout SUNY and beyond in various roles, including faculty members, librarians, administrators, instructional designers, content developers, videographers, and a news editor.
This is a list of the additional grants that supported the work of the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative while expanding our contributors:
- Designing Innovative Online Learning: Integrating a Coursera MOOC with Open SUNY Badging. (2014-2015) – This project tried to integrate our digital badging system into our first Coursera MOOC but when that was not technically possible, the team shifted gears and developed two MOOC projects, one in Coursera and a second in Canvas, which did accommodate badging.
- Scaling the Metaliteracy Badging System for Open SUNY: Collaborative Customization for Teacher Education Programs (2015-2016) – This project, with Stephanie Affinito (University at Albany School of Education) as lead PI, focused on scaling and refining the existing Metaliteracy Badging System for Open SUNY, and producing a collaborative, customized badge for teacher education programs.
- Metaliteracy Learning Pathways: Fostering Innovative Teaching Across SUNY (2017-2018) – This project was developed to customize and remix metaliteracy content based on disciplinary themes by integrating learning pathway functionality into the Metaliteracy Badging System.
- Advancing Metaliteracy in a Post-Truth World through the Design of a Global MOOC (2018-2019) – This project applied metaliteracy to the challenges of the post-truth world and led to the design of an Open edX MOOC Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World that was later adapted to the Coursera platform as well. This grant also produced a for-credit wraparound course and allowed for a substantive revision of our first Coursera MOOC Metaliteracy: Empowering Yourself in a Connected World.
The Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative is built on a strong partnership among the core team that includes Tom Mackey, Trudi Jacobson, and Kelsey O’Brien. We alternate lead roles on different research and applied projects and often work on multiple projects at one time. The core team also collaborates with contributors from different disciplinary perspectives and institutions. If you would like to work with us on a project let us know!
Thomas P. Mackey, Ph.D. is Professor in the Department of Arts and Media in the School of Arts and Humanities at State University of New York (SUNY) Empire State College. He is the recipient of the Dr. Susan H. Turben Chair in Mentoring foundation award. In 2021, he was appointed Extraordinary Professor, Research Unit Self-Directed Learning, Faculty of Education, North-West University, South Africa. Prof. Mackey’s research and teaching investigates the theoretical and applied dimensions of metaliteracy, especially related to self-directed learning (SDL), multimodality, and the collaborative production of new knowledge. His latest book co-authored with Trudi E. Jacobson is entitled Metaliteracy in a Connected World: Developing Learners as Producers (2022). This is their fourth metaliteracy book, based on a model they originated in 2011 with the article Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy. Prof. Mackey teaches Digital Storytelling, The History and Theory of New Media, Information Design, Ethics of Digital Art and Design, and has developed several metaliteracy MOOCs with the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative, including the most recent for Coursera, Empowering Yourself in a Post Truth World. His faculty web site is: https://www.tpmackey.com/.
Trudi E. Jacobson, M.A., M.L.S., Distinguished Librarian, is the Head of the Information Literacy Department at the University Libraries, University at Albany. Her interests include metaliteracy, renewable assignments, open educational practices, and student motivation. She has collaborated frequently with Tom Mackey, including co-editing or co-authoring four books on metaliteracy (one, Metaliteracy in a Connected World) to be published in early 2022) and four volumes on aspects of collaboration between librarians and disciplinary faculty members. She is the co-author of Motivating Students in Information Literacy Classes (2004) with Lijuan Xu and co-editor, with Kelsey O’Brien, of Teaching with Digital Badges (2018). She is the editor of the Innovations in Information Literacy series published by Rowman & Littlefield. From 2013 – 2015, she co-chaired the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force, which wrote the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. In 2021, she was appointed Extraordinary Professor, Research Unit Self-Directed Learning, Faculty of Education, at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Kelsey O’Brien, M.S.I.S., is an Information Literacy Librarian at the University at Albany, SUNY. Her research interests include digital badging, student engagement, metacognition, and creative instructional techniques. She has played a leading role in the development and implementation of the Metaliteracy Badging System, and co-edited Teaching with Digital Badges: Best Practices for Libraries (2018) with Trudi Jacobson. She has worked with members of the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative to develop and teach several Metaliteracy MOOCs, two of which she wrote about in Metaliteracy as Pedagogical Framework for Learner-Centered Design in Three MOOC Platforms, along with a metaliteracy module for an online course that develops students’ skills and competencies for success in college.
The core team has worked with contributors on research and applied projects from throughout SUNY and beyond.This is a listing of contributors to the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative:
- Nancy E. Adams (Penn State Hershey)
- Nicola Allain (SUNY Empire State College)
- Stephanie Affinito (University at Albany)
- Jennifer Ashton (SUNY Brockport)
- Greg Bobish (University at Albany)
- Kim Davies-Hoffman (University of Rochester)
- Christine Fena (Stony Brook University)
- Richard Fogarty (University at Albany)
- Michel Forte (SUNY Empire State College)
- Sally Friedman (University at Albany)
- Allison Hosier (University at Albany)
- John Hughes (SUNY Empire State College)
- Carleen Huxley (University of Houston Downtown)
- Tor Loney (Albany Public Library)
- Mark McBride (State University of New York)
- Brian Morgan (SUNY Geneseo)
- Emer O’ Keefe (Schalmont High School)
- Tom Palmer (University at Albany and Albany Times Union)
- Jenna Pitera (Skidmore College)
- Alena Roddick (SUNY Empire State College)
- Logan Rath (SUNY Brockport)
- Lisa Stephens (University at Buffalo and SUNY)
- Kathleen Stone (Strayer University)