Metaliteracy and Post-Truth Explored in Keynote at NWU in South Africa

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.

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Tom Mackey Keynoting at NWU (photo by Louise Olivier)

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.

Prestige Lecture at NWU in South Africa Features Metaliteracy

Trudi Jacobson, Jako Olivier, and Tom Mackey pictured at the Prestige lecture.
Trudi Jacobson, Jako Olivier, and Tom Mackey

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.

Metaliteracy Keynotes Featured at ICIL in South Africa

North-West University, South Africa, host of the 2019 ICIL

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 Revised Metaliteracy MOOCs Launch on Coursera

AI (Artificial Intelligence) concept. 3D illustration.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.

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 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.