The June 27, 2022, Academic Minuteprogram featured Trudi Jacobson, and, of course, metaliteracy. The episode is entitled, Students Reflect on their Roles and Responsibilities as Wikipedia Editors. It is the first in a week of episodes by professors and instructors who teach using the Wiki Education initiative. Although the program airs on a number of National Public Radio (NPR) stations, it is produced here in Albany, NY at WAMC. This makes Trudi’s affiliation, which is listed as North-West University (NWU) in South Africa rather than the University at Albany, seem a bit odd, but in order to appear on the program, one needs to be actively affiliated with an institution of higher learning. Trudi is Distinguished Librarian Emerita at The University at Albany, SUNY and both she and Tom Mackey were appointed Extraordinary Professors at North-West University (NWU) in South Africa, soon after presenting a metaliteracy Prestige Lecture as well as keynotes and workshops there in 2019. As part of their honorary appointments, their latest Prestige Lectures at NWU continue in a series this year and next.
This is the third Academic Minute episode that features metaliteracy. Tom Mackey recorded the first, Metaliterate Leaners, which aired on May 18, 2020. Trudi’s first was Renewable Assisgnments, Wikipedia, and Metaliteracy, from December 15, 2021. As indicated by the name of the series, these are quick listens. You might want to give them a try if you’ve not already heard them. This newest episode includes quotes from two students who made connections between their work as information producers on Wikipedia, metaliteracy and learning.
Feel free to use these short clips as part of your teaching practices related to metaliteracy!
If you are interested in implementing an exciting and innovative open pedagogical project in your teaching, you might be interested in attending a panel about the Wiki Education program. This program, available in the US and Canada, provides strong support to both students and instructors for Wikipedia assignments. Having students contribute to Wikipedia in an academic setting enhances the amount of content available through Wikipedia, a boon to those who rely upon this source for information. It also diversifies the editor pool and thus the content as well. The students are able to build upon their subject knowledge and information literacy abilities. Yet moving from a traditional assignment meant for the professor’s eyes only to one openly available can be somewhat intimidating at first. Metaliteracy’s emphasis on the metacognitive and affective learning domains provides scaffolding for students who may grapple with imposter syndrome and fear of visible failure.
The one-hour panel is sponsored by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning at Ferris State University and will take place on Monday, April 11 at 3:00 Eastern time. Besides Trudi Jacobson, panel members include Helaine Blumenthal, Senior Program Manager at Wiki Education, Mark Marinkovic, a former student of Trudi’s (pictured above), Naniette Coleman, Executive Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Privacy and Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at UC Berkeley, and Ava Wu, a student of Naniette’s,
The registration page provides more information about the panel. We hope you can join us.
In this new segment, Trudi discusses the value of renewable assignments, i.e., assignments in which students create content that is useful to others, not meant simply for their professors’ eyes alone. Such assignments help individuals to become metaliterate learners and responsible digital citizens. Her example involves editing content in Wikipedia and the important scaffolding that metaliteracy can provide. If you get a chance, listen (or read it, the text is provided). The Academic Minute is produced for NPR by our local WAMC public radio station.
This is the second time metaliteracy has been featured on the program. Tom Mackey’s segment, Metaliterate Learners, aired on May 18, 2020.
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 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.
SUNY Online has just published their schedule of events for 2021’s Open Education Week.There are a number of presentations from Monday, March 1 to Friday March 5, several of which fit in well with the very metaliterate idea of learner as producer.
On Tuesday, March 2 at 10:00 ET, Trudi will be presenting “Enhancing Student Engagement Through Scaffolded Non-Disposable Assignments,” in which metaliteracy will be playing a starring role! At least one of her current students plans to participate, providing his views as a counterpoint.
Perhaps you will be able to attend one or more of the sessions. The registration link is available on the schedule of events page.
Trudi Jacobson and Tom Mackey keynoted on Teaching Metaliteracy as a Vital Literacy for Today’s Digital World at the Edge consortium’s Annual Teaching with Technology Showcase: Excellence in Action on April 24. This conference was transitioned to a virtual format as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the presentation includes open resources that are available to faculty and librarians who have transitioned to online and remote teaching during this crisis. The keynote also features adaptable reflective questions about the information we consume, produce, and share at a time when accurate and reliable information is more important than ever. Trudi and Tom were invited to keynote by Nancy Zimmerman,Executive Director for EdgeEvents and Print Communications. Edge is the regional technology partner for colleges and universities in New Jersey. If you have any questions about the slides or would like to continue the conversation let us know!
Trudi delved into how metaliteracy can both scaffold and add to student learning in open pedagogical settings, using Caroline Sinkinson’s open pedagogy model to make connections. Trudi concluded by exploring the connections in two case studies. One, which was analyzed in-depth, is an information literacy/metaliteracy course in which students contribute to Wikipedia. The second, discussed more briefly, is a political science course in which metaliteracy OER play a large role and encourage elements of open pedagogy. If interested in this latter course, look for an article next year in the International Journal of Open Educational Resources that explores this professor/librarian collaboration in more depth.
Metaliteracy provides an integrated framework for student learning and growth when
implementing open educational practices (OEP). This session created an opportunity to gain familiarity with both open metaliteracy resources and sample open educational practice models that they support. Participants explored options to meet the needs of students and started to plan for possible implementation in courses and library collaborations. Teams brainstormed ways to apply metaliteracy open content to their own practices and left the session with ideas about OEP specific to their teaching, informed by feedback from colleagues.