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.
Trudi Jacobson and Tom Mackey presented a second workshop (see October 3 post for details about and slides for the first, on metaliteracy and open educational practices). This workshop entitled Integrating Metaliteracy and Information Literacy into Teaching and Learning, also held at the Potchefstroom campus of North-West University (NWU), South Africa, occurred on Friday, September 20. Trudi and Tom conducted the workshop at the invitation of Dr. Jako Olivier, UNESCO Chair on Multimodal Learning and OER and Professor in Multimodal Learning at NWU.
The workshop, Integrating Metaliteracy and Information Literacy into Teaching and Learning, was designed to introduce metaliteracy and the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education to participants. Of particular note was the unveiling of a new comparison of the metaliteracy learner characteristics and aligning dispositions from the ACRL Framework (slide 22). This figure and the accompanying investigation is the focus of a chapter by Trudi Jacobson, Tom Mackey, and Kelsey O’Brien, “Visualizing the Convergence of Metaliteracy and the Information Literacy Framework,” which will be included in a forthcoming book edited by Jannette Finch, Envisioning the Framework.
After a brief overview of the two frameworks, it was time for the participants to start applying concepts and ideas to their own teaching. Working in small groups, attendees identified an information literacy goal they have for their students, and determined how metaliteracy and existing metaliteracy OER might help to achieve this goal.
Trudi Jacobson and Tom Mackey facilitated an interactive workshop Applying Open Educational Practices to Develop Active Metaliterate Learners for faculty, librarians, and administrators on Thursday, September 19 2019 at the Potchefstroom campus of North-West University (NWU), South Africa. Dr. Jako Olivier, UNESCO Chair on Multimodal Learning and OER and Professor in Multimodal Learning at NWU invited Tom and Trudi to present this metaliteracy workshop in advance of the International Conference on Information Literacy (ICIL) in Vanderbijlpark.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.