About metaliteracy1

The Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative includes Trudi Jacobson, Tom Mackey, Michele Forte, Jenna Pitera, Kelsey O'Brien, Mark McBride, Mike Daly, Emer O’Keeffe, and Kathleen Stone.

Video on Confirmation Bias Produced as Final Project for Metaliteracy MOOC

We welcome this guest post by Christina Pratt who completed our Metaliteracy MOOC, Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, and developed a video presentation about confirmation bias for her own YouTube series How Do you Like Your Coffee?

Getting to Know and Getting Beyond Confirmation Bias

by Christina Pratt

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Confirmation Bias Video Presentation

My final project for the Metaliteracy MOOC, Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, focused on confirmation bias. I decided that using a visual presentation of my thoughts and ideas would give the audience a face and personality behind the presentation Getting to Know and Getting Beyond Confirmation Bias (Please do be aware that I am quite new to the video creating scene). I chose confirmation bias because everyone has beliefs, some with such strong beliefs that they tend to become “truth” or “fact.” By sharing some information about cognitive biases and ideological/filter bubbles, I felt that the audience may become more aware of their own biases and how biases are developed. I even used an example of my own confirmation bias when it comes to Apple iOS and Android smartphones to help the audience see how common confirmation bias is, and how easy it is to develop biases even with something as simple as choosing products and services.

Thinking about the course now, I think I might have focused on post-truth as well. In our busy lives, we can become oblivious to what is going on around us. We read and watch news from many sources, research for school, work, and personal needs such as  shopping and more, and we seem to ignore the misleading information at times. We also know that technology has a huge impact on our lives, but we seem to forget that it can be hurtful and damaging as well. A good example of this is the recent circulation of doctored videos of Nancy Pelosi on various social media platforms. Having taken this course, I was able to share some of the content learned in this course with the home schooled high school-aged children in the family, especially what we learned about the effects of visual aids on how we perceive a story. This is a big help with how the children will research and collect information in hopes that they will now carefully choose more reliable sources.

In closing, I am fifty years old. At my age, sometimes you feel that you have learned all you need to know. This course has definitely proved me wrong. Touché. Even more, the course, Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World was the most influential and inspiring course that I have taken throughout my four-year academic journey. The information that I learned from the course will be most helpful not only with helping the home schooled children in the family become more aware of biases and the less than reliable information that exists, but also with passing information onto viewers of my videos. I think one of the best things about this course is the interaction between peers. This interaction adds energy, ideas, and useful information to an already well constructed course. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who does a lot of research, provides information, and teaches in any field, but even more so, I believe that anyone, child to adult, could benefit greatly from this course.

 

Metaliteracy MOOC Presentation at SUNY CIT 2019

 

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The Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative presented Advancing Metaliteracy in a Post-Truth World through the Design of a Global MOOC at SUNY’s Conference on Instruction & Technology at Purchase College on Wednesday, May 29 2019. Tom Mackey, Trudi Jacobson, Kelsey O’Brien, and Alena Rodick provided the first analysis of the Metaliteracy MOOC they created and facilitated as part of a top-tier SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant (IITG) awarded in 2018. The Open edX MOOC Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth is now available as a self-paced course and prepares learners across SUNY, as well as lifelong learners globally, to be empowered and responsible participants in rapidly changing social environments. This IITG project provided open resources for teachers and learners to grapple with the concerns of a post-truth society. The MOOC applied metaliteracy as a pedagogical framework to video content, interactive learning objects, and learning activities to promote collaborative metaliterate learning in reinventing a truthful world and rebuilding communities of trust.

Confirmation Bias Webpage Produced for Metaliteracy MOOC Final Project

We welcome this latest guest post from Jamie Witman, Online Learning Librarian and Liaison to the School of Technology, Art, and Design at the Community College of Baltimore County.

Confirmation Bias: Escaping Our Boundaries

by Jamie Witman

For my final project for the MOOC Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, I created a Webpage using Adobe Spark titled “Confirmation Bias: Escaping Our Boundaries.”

As a librarian, the topic of confirmation bias comes up in every library instruction session I and my colleagues teach. The conversations I have with students in regard to evaluating information sources generally revolve around the bias that we inherently

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Confirmation Bias Webpage Using Adobe Spark

have about certain topics and publishers, as well as the bias that those specific publishers project. This course allowed me to think deeply about how to incorporate the metaliterate domains and roles into my teaching so I can provide students with the skills needed to push beyond their comfort zone and combat confirmation bias.

The webpage itself is intended for librarians and faculty colleagues looking for a new approach to teaching confirmation bias using the four different domains of metaliterate learning: affective, behavioral, cognitive, and metacognitive. Throughout the MOOC, we read, learned, and discussed how each of these domains plays a role in how we seek, process, and use information critically.

Typically, confirmation bias is associated with the affective domain, our emotional cortex of learning. Confirmation bias relies so heavily on our deeply held beliefs that we seek out information that reaffirms our views, while disregarding information that may actually be more accurate. It is easy to see how the affective domain governs this type of thinking, but the other three domains are equally powerful in providing us with ways to think about, understand, and combat confirmation bias. By drawing out all four individual domains on my webpage, and their relationships with confirmation bias, I hope to provide my colleagues with a new and innovative pedagogical method of approaching this topic that will allow our students to escape their own boundaries in information seeking.

I hope to be able to build upon this concept and continue to incorporate the metaliterate domains and roles into my teaching to help my students grow as critical information seekers and users in the post-truth world.

Metaliteracy MOOC Inspired a Curated Site to Move Past Confirmation Bias

We welcome this guest posting from Patti Kingsmill,, Pedagogical Counsellor:
Programs & Instructional Technologies and AQPC-College Liaison for Pedagogical Support and Innovation at Vanier College.

Curated Site on Moving Past Confirmation Bias

by Patti Kingsmill

As a final project for the MOOC Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, I created a curated site on moving past confirmation bias. The site has two purposes: it serves as an example of a curated site for instructors wishing to teach curation, and it provides teachers with resources on confirmation bias—an important concept for curators to understand. The ability to select sources as objectively as possible is fundamental to curating in a responsible manner. As organizations rely on curators to manage information for them, curation is increasingly touted as a must-have 21st century skill. It is, therefore, important that we not only teach students how to curate, but to develop their metaliteracy skills in order to curate well and to avoid contributing to filter bubbles. This entails, among other things, recognizing the human tendency to fall prey to confirmation bias, learning how to move past it, and acknowledging one’s responsibility to do so as a producer of content and member of a digital, collaborative community.

The first section of the site, “Defining It,” presents different sources that define and offer examples of confirmation bias. The next section, “Mitigating It,” provides sources that offer strategies on lessening, or moving past, confirmation bias. The “CB & Filter Bubbles” section introduces the concept of filter bubbles and how they can result from confirmation bias. Finally, the “Lesson Plan” section includes a few classroom activities useful for teaching students about confirmation bias and filter bubbles and learning to get beyond them.

 

Metaliteracy Infographic Created for MOOC Final Project

We welcome this guest posting from Holly Wehmeyer, Communications & Marketing Coordinator and Educator from the Intensive English Language Program at the University at Albany, SUNY. Holly participated in the first session of our Open edX MOOC Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World and created a Metaliteracy Infographic as her final project. Our Post-Truth MOOC is now in a self-paced mode so feel free to join and create your own project!

Characteristics of a Metaliterate Social Media User

by Holly Wehmeyer

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Characteristics of the Metaliterate Learner (Mackey & Jacobson, 2019)

For my final project, I chose to create an infographic on the characteristics of a Metaliterate social media user. I have watched the social media space become polarized and partisan along with the nation’s politics and wondered about my role in developing online communities of trust. I have watched friends and strangers argue past one another, post inflammatory memes, and eventually unfollow each other. How are we to compromise on important issues if we can’t even talk to one another? Taking this course was one step I chose to take in becoming part of the solution to this problem.

The infographic attempts to draw on the concepts we’ve learned in the course to help social media users reflect on how they approach social media and what and how they share information. I wanted to create a simple guide to being a responsible online citizen. I created the graphic using Canva, an online design tool that I’ve used previously while working on newsletters and other publications. It allows the user to create simple designs and offers a number of free icons and other graphics. I also used quotations and information from Mackey and Jacobson’s book, Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World, which was not required reading for the course (other than the Introduction and first chapter), but which I read on my own.

Working on this final project certainly involved all four metaliteracy learning domains. In the behavioral realm, I was reminded of what I should be DOING – how I should be interacting with other people on social media – in responsible and civic-minded ways. My actions have consequences, so I should strive for the action that avoids harm and creates constructive dialog. In the cognitive realm, I’ve learned a lot about confirmation bias, inoculation theory, ideas about experts, and more. My background in Journalism had already given me a good grounding in the way media outlets choose photos, write captions, and construct headlines, but the course readings were an excellent reminder of how things have changed since I worked in publishing in the 1990s. In the affective domain, this course actually made me feel a lot better about my own behavior. I haven’t been doing such a terrible job online as I perhaps thought! However, there is always room for improvement. The course helped me recognize why I’m reacting strongly to certain posts or why I feel frustrated when my arguments don’t convince my opponent. Finally, in the metacognitive domain, I have reflected frequently on why I post certain stories and why I have certain reactions to other people’s posts. It has helped me ask questions of myself, many of which I’ve put into my final project.

In conclusion, by modeling the characteristics of a metaliterate social media user, both through this infographic and through my online behavior, I hope to teach others about the value of metaliteracy, to build those communities of trust, and to help return our online discourse to a place of civility and discovery.

New Metaliteracy Paper Presented at Conference in Frankfurt, Germany

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Trudi Jacobson, Karin Lach and Tom Mackey

At the recent Conference on Learning Information Literacy across the Globe in Frankfurt, Germany, Trudi Jacobson and Tom Mackey presented a new metaliteracy paper entitled “Developing Metaliterate Citizens: Designing and Delivering Enhanced Global Learning Opportunities.” This peer-reviewed essay was one of eight full-papers accepted to the conference and was co-authored with Kelsey O’Brien, Information Literacy Librarian, from the University at Albany. The slideshow for the presentation featured the metaliteracy model, a discussion of open pedagogy’s relationship to metaliteracy, and related metaliteracy projects, including the digital badging system and the Open edX MOOC Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, which is now available in a self-paced mode. The conference was hosted and organized by the DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education and was the final part of the Erasmus+ Project Information Literacy Online, a European project to improve students’ competencies.

Shown in the photo with Trudi and Tom is Karin Lach, Universitätsbibliothek, Fachbereichsbibliothek Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Wien (University Library, English and American Studies Library, Vienna), who is kindly working on a German translation of the metaliteracy goals and learning objectives.

 

Metaliteracy/Information Literacy Course Emphasizes Open Pedagogy

A course taught this spring at the University at Albany blended an opportunity to learn about metaliteracy and information literacy with a very public-facing assignment: writing for Wikipedia. The course, Information Literacy for the Humanities and Fine Arts, participated in the Wiki Education program. Students had the opportunity to put many of the metaliteracy learning objectives and information literacy frames into practice in a way that brought them alive. More detailed information, including student reactions, can be found in a  post on the Wiki Education blog.