Tom Mackey’s and Trudi Jacobson’s last, and rather unexpected, joint presentation while they were in South Africa was a session on September 25 at the International Conference on Information Literacy (ICIL) at North-West University (NWU) in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. They were invited to give this presentation by Dr. Jako Olivier when another presenter’s session fell through. The presentation, Applying Metaliteracy in Teaching and Learning Practices, was very well attended, particularly for a last minute addition to the schedule. Trudi and Tom explored changing literacy types, the value of metaliteracy in an environment of competing and overlapping literacies, core components of metaliteracy, and the open educational resources available to embed in disciplinary courses. This last part of the presentation focused on the metaliterate learner badges and the metaliteracy MOOCs (massive open online courses), although other resources were also described.
Tom Mackey presented an international keynote entitled Building Communities of Trust: Metaliterate Learning for a Post-Truth Society at the International Conference on Information Literacy (ICIL) at North-West University (NWU) in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. Tom was invited to keynote at the conference by Dr. Jako Olivier, UNESCO Chair on Multimodal Learning and OER and Professor in Multimodal Learning at NWU.
Tom’s keynote is based on the framing chapter he wrote “Empowering Metaliterate Learners for the Post-Truth World” for his latest metaliteracy book with Trudi Jacobson Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World published by ALA/Neal-Schuman.
As noted in the abstract for this presentation: Metaliteracy is a reframing of information literacy to develop metaliterate learners as active producers of information in both local and global communities of trust. In today’s post-truth society, personal and political beliefs have diminished the meaning and impact of verifiable facts and truthful reasoning. Metaliterate learners are empowered through reflective practice to responsibly consume and creatively produce information in collaborative and participatory social spaces. Through informed civic engagement, individuals take control of their participation while working cooperatively with others to build responsible communities of trust. Visualizations have the power to enhance our understanding of and connections with the metaliteracy framework and several were shared as part of this presentation.
An analysis of the Open edX and Coursera versions of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, demonstrated how metaliteracy is applied as a pedagogical model to the challenges of a post-truth society.
At the invitation of Dr. Jako Olivier, UNESCO Chair on Multimodal Learning and OER and Professor in Multimodal Learning at North-West University in South Africa, Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson presented a Prestige Lecture entitled Exploring the Foundation of Metaliteracy in Theory and Practice at the Potchefstroom Campus on September 19, 2019. This collaborative lecture set the stage for two workshops with librarians, faculty and staff during the same week. All three events were presented in advance of the International Conference on Information Literacy (ICIL) at North-West University in Vanderbijlpark. Trudi and Tom both presented individual keynotes at ICIL as well as one additional collaborative presentation.
Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson have been invited to South Africa as keynote speakers at the International Conference on Information Literacy (ICIL), being held this year at North-West University in Vanderbijlpark. The conference theme is Information Literacy in All Spheres of Life, and will take place September 23-26.
Tom’s keynote, to take place on September 24, is titled Building Communities of Trust: Metaliterate Learning for a Post-Truth Society. Trudi is presenting on September 26 on Creating Shareable Knowledge: Exploring the Synergy between Metaliteracy and Open Pedagogy. The other international and national keynote speakers at the conference include Serap Kurbanoglu of the Department of Information Management at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, Irina Zhilavskaya, Chair of Media Education, Moscow Pedagogical State University, Bosire Onyancha of the Department of Information Science at the University of South Africa, Karin de Jager, University of Cape Town, Ina Fourie, Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria, and Jako Olivier, professor of Multimodal Learning in the School of Professional Studies in Education at North-West University.
Trudi and Tom have also been invited by Dr. Olivier to give a prestige lecture and two workshops at the Potchefstroom campus of North-West University the week prior to the conference. The collaborative lecture is Exploring the Foundation of Metaliteracy in Theory and Practice, and the workshops are Applying Open Educational Practices to Develop Active Metaliterate Learners and Integrating Metaliteracy and Information Literacy into Teaching and Learning.
Look to Metaliteracy.org for future posts that feature slides from both keynotes, the collaborative prestige lecture, and the shared workshops.
Two Metaliteracy MOOCs are now available for registration via the Coursera platform. First, our original Coursera MOOC Metaliteracy: Empowering Yourself in a Connected World has been streamlined and enhanced with new video content, resources, and learning activities. Learners will be introduced to the metaliteracy model, learn about copyright, intellectual property, and open-licensing through the Creative Commons, and explore digital storytelling as a creative form of information production. By the end of this MOOC, learners will see themselves as content creators and develop a digital artifact or story of their own. Registration for this MOOC is open now for launch on October 14, 2019.
Second, the recently revised Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World MOOC is being offered on Coursera for the first time. Registration is open now for immediate launch. This course explores a wide range of issues related to the post-truth world and empowers learners to think about the role of experts in society, examine false representations in constructed media, reflect on their own biases, and explore ways to build collaborative communities of trust and reinvent a truthful world. Learners will be empowered to raise and share their own voice by creating a digital response to the post-truth world.
Both MOOCs provide dynamic video content, updated links to open readings and resources, discussions, and interactive learning activities. The MOOCs can be explored independently, or in sequence (if new to both MOOCs, you may want to start with the Connected World and move to Post-Truth World, but either sequence is fine). These updated resources are available to teachers, students, librarians, administrators, and lifelong learners interested in applying metaliteracy to a variety of teaching and learning situations and/or everyday life. Metaliteracy supports reflective learning and the active production of new knowledge in collaborative communities.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.