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.
Registration is now open for Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, a new Open edX MOOC developed by colleagues from SUNY Albany and SUNY Empire State College who work together as part of the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative. This six-week Open edX MOOC starts on March 18, 2019, so register today! The course examines how to address post-truth challenges through the lens of metaliteracy while exploring ways to rebuild communities of trust. The content of the course is informed by the new book published by Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson for ALA-Neal Schuman, Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World. The MOOC is supported by a SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant and is hosted by the University at Buffalo, College of Arts and Sciences Continuing Education.
The instructors for the course include Tom Mackey, Trudi Jacobson, Kelsey O’Brien, Tom Palmer, Lisa Stephens, Christine Fena, Allison Hosier, and Nicola Marae Allain. In addition to the instructors, we worked with a team that included Alena Roddick (Instructional Designer), John Hughes (Videographer), David Dickinson (Videographer), and Christine Paige (Project Manager). Thanks to Jay Stockslader, Director of Continuing Education at the University of Buffalo for supporting our MOOC on Open EdX. Check out the promo video below created by Kelsey O’Brien and register now!
Trudi Jacobson and Tom Mackey co-authored a feature article entitled Why You Should Fight for Metaliteracy on Your Campus for the HigherEdJobs leadership newsletter. This publication is sent to approximately 40,000 subscribers at the executive level, including presidents, provosts, and deans. The article was written to support all educators interested in applying metaliteracy in a wide range of disciplines and institutional contexts to advance metaliterate learning. As Jacobson and Mackey (2018) argue in this new essay:
Metaliteracy provides a model for thinking and knowing in a social media age that is fraught with misleading and downright false information from a wide range of questionable sources. Metaliterate learners are developed across many academic disciplines through teaching and learning situations that promote self-direction, collaboration, participation, and metacognitive thinking. This approach requires us to work together and innovate, applying the metaliteracy goals and learning objectives, and supporting institutional partnerships among key stakeholders such as faculty, librarians, and instructional designers.
As noted in this essay, collaborative conversations among key stakeholders at the campus level are ideal to advance metaliteracy initiatives. If you have questions about how to get these conversations started or to share innovative programs already in place, feel free to reach out directly to Trudi Jacobson at email@example.com or Tom Mackey at Tom.Mackey@esc.edu.
In the latest Tea for Teaching podcast produced by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at the State University of New York at Oswego, Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson participate in a conversation about metaliteracy with John Kane, an economist, and Rebecca Mushtare, a graphic designer. John and Rebecca run the Center and produce the Tea for Teaching series. As part of this podcast, Trudi and Tom define what metaliteracy is, provide illustrative examples of metaliteracy in practice, and explore the connection to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. This conversation also goes into detail about the latest SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant (IITG) awarded to the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative to support a new metaliteracy MOOC Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, currently under development in the Open EdX platform for a March 2019 launch. Tom and Trudi talk about their forthcoming book for ALA Publishing Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World and Trudi provides updates on the Metaliteracy Digital Badging System. As part of the podcast, a full transcript of the discussion is provided, along with related references. Get ready for this Tea for Teaching podcast with your favorite tea and then listen for the latest ideas about metaliteracy that will support your own teaching and learning!
Allison Brungard and Kristin Klucevsek offer the following preview of their chapter, “Reconstructing Scientific Literacy through Metaliteracy: Implications for Learning in a Post Truth World,” appearing in the forthcoming book, Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World, edited by Thomas Mackey and Trudi Jacobson.
Science now exists in a wide range of digital contexts. Scientific information can be shared through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and user-generated communities such as YouTube, Flickr, Blogger, and Wikipedia. These platforms can help disseminate scientific information to the wider public, but they also can spread misconceptions and distortions. In our post-truth world, this has a strong impact on scientific literacy, with downstream implications for health, politics, and the environment. We also encounter effects of this post-truth world in our classrooms as we work to build stronger literacy skills with our students. The need for learners to critically examine and reflect on what they encounter in these participatory online environments is crucial. To improve scientific literacy, learners must develop the metacognitive processes necessary to discern fact from fiction. As teachers, we must re-examine competencies for scientific literacy in this post-truth, digital world.
In this chapter, we address the challenges of scientific literacy within the larger framework of metaliteracy. With an emphasis on the four domains of metaliterate learning, we align scientific process with metaliteracy competencies to enhance scientific literacy. We explore the impacts of current events and education on scientific literacy, as well as the relationship between social media and personal biases through which scientific facts can be misconstrued. We also focus on strategies for academic librarians and disciplinary faculty to infuse metaliterate objectives in their teaching, curriculum, and research. Reflective and participatory learning can move learners beyond the consumption of information and towards critical thinking, research, and writing. This encourages learners to also be content producers, with the ability to understand the most effective ways to use science in their daily lives
Thomas Palmer, M.S., Digital Media Lecturer from the Journalism Program at the University at Albany, SUNY, and Editorial Design Director / News Editor at the Times Union newspaper introduces you to his chapter in Metaliterate Learning in the Post-Truth World: When Stories and Pictures Lie Together — And You Don’t Even Know It.
The photo in the tweet triggers your path to deception in as little as 13 milliseconds. Your brain dedicates about 85% of its processing to make sense of this picture. Your comprehension of its text finally catches up, but you’ll likely believe the false claim merely because the image is present. Confirmation bias settles in. You have just fallen prey within seconds to the intersemiotic contextual misrepresentation of photojournalism — and you weren’t even aware. This targeted disinformation to manipulate you is a success. In this post-truth era, the weaponizing of legitimate photojournalism for political and social propaganda is easy and low tech. However, in this chapter metaliterate learners can develop judgment for identifying and exposing this malpractice to protect themselves and the public.
The relationship between text and image is dynamic and complementary, while also leading to misrepresentations. This chapter analyzes the synergistic association of several visual-textual examples from photojournalism to illustrate how images are easily manipulated and misunderstood. Metaliteracy is discussed as an empowering pedagogical response to these concerns that supports learners in developing detection and prevention strategies.
The forthcoming metaliteracy book Metalierate Learning for the Post-Truth World, edited by Thomas Mackey and Trudi Jacobson will be published in spring 2019. Metaliteracy is a pedagogical model for ensuring that learners successfully participate in collaborative information environments, including social media and online communities. Today’s post-truth world requires learners to ethically produce and share information while checking their own biases, and critically evaluating the proliferation of false or misleading information, unfiltered content, and outright denialism of facts. Indeed, it is clearly evident that the competencies, knowledge, and attributes of metaliterate individuals are critical for grappling with the post-truth era. Metaliteracy supports reflective learning through metacognitive thinking, the ethical production of new knowledge, the critical consumption of information, and the responsible sharing of verifiable content across media platforms. Through metaliteracy, learners are envisioned as teachers in collaborative social spaces. This book examines the newest version of the Metaliteracy Goals and Learning Objectives, including the four domains of metaliterate learning. Several chapter authors explore the relationship between metaliteracy and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.
This new metaliteracy book includes a Foreword written by Troy Swanson, MLIS, Ph.D., Department Chair Library Services, Moraine Valley Community College and features persuasive contributions from information literacy instructors, librarians, and disciplinary faculty. All of the chapter authors present effective methods for advancing metaliterate learning in the post-truth world, exploring such relevant topics as:
- Strategies for empowering metaliterate learners through the newly developed metaliterate learner characteristics and revised Metaliteracy Goals and Learning Objectives in the framing chapter by Thomas P. Mackey, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Arts and Media at SUNY Empire State College
- Documentation as an expanded dimension of the metaliteracy model to reinforce ethical and responsible information practices examined by Marc Kosciejew, M.L.I.S., Ph.D., Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences in the Department of Library, Information, and Archive Sciences, University of Malta
- Inoculation theory as a way to build resistance to influence in the post-truth world theorized by Josh Compton, Ph.D., from the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at Dartmouth College
- Scientific literacy enhanced as a holistic learning strategy through metaliteracy examined by Allison B. Brungard, M.L.I.S., from Slippery Rock University and Kristin M. Klucevsek, Ph.D., from Duquesne University
- The synergistic relationship between text and image in photojournalism analyzed by Thomas Palmer, M.S., Digital Media Lecturer from the University at Albany, SUNY, and Editorial Design Director / News Editor at the Times Union newspaper
- The role of LIS professionals in supporting metaliterate learning and the ACRL Framework in a chapter co-authored by Nicole A. Cooke, Ph.D., M.Ed., M.L.S., and Rachel Magee, Ph.D., M.A., from the University of Illinois
- Teaching students to be wrong through lessons designed with metaliteracy and the ACRL Framework in a freshman seminar developed and taught by Allison Hosier, M.S.I.S., Information Literacy Librarian, at the University at Albany, SUNY
- Developing metaliterate learners as analytical readers and writers through genre analysis and fictionality in first-year writing instruction as described by Jaclyn Partyka, Ph.D., in the English Department at Temple University.
- Incorporating Poetic Ethnograpy and digital storytelling based on poetic narratives from neighborhoods in Philadelphia in the closing chapter by Kimmika L. H. Williams-Witherspoon, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Theater at Temple University
Metaliteracy is an empowering pedagogical model for preparing learners to be ethical and responsible participants in today’s divisive information environment. This new book showcases several teaching and learning theories and practices that have already proven effective and are certain to inspire new ideas. Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World builds on the two previous metaliteracy books Metaliteracy in Practice (2016) and Metaliteracy: Reinventing Information Literacy to Empower Learners (2014).