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.

New Metaliteracy Paper Presented at Conference in Frankfurt, Germany

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Trudi Jacobson, Karin Lach and Tom Mackey

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.

 

Tea for Teaching Podcast Features Metaliteracy

Tea1In 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!

Reconstructing Scientific Literacy through Metaliteracy: Implications for Learning in a Post Truth World

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Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World

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

Poetic Ethnography and Metaliteracy: Empowering Voices in A Hybrid Theater Arts Course

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Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World

Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, an Associate Professor at Temple University offers the following preview of her chapter: “Poetic Ethnography and Metaliteracy: Empowering Voices in a Hybrid Theater Arts Course’ appearing in the forthcoming book, Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World.

When is a Theater arts course more than a theater arts course? How do we encourage students to “have voice”? In an age when “alternative facts” have become the new norm, how can theater and the theater studies curriculum give students agency to contribute to the discourse? Well… at Temple University, these days, its when faculty consciously use a metaliteracy lens to develop or improve their courses so as to encourage students to not just consume new knowledge but also to produce it and to distribute it through multiple modalities and across multiple platforms.

At Temple University in Philadelphia, the Theater Studies curriculum exemplifies the metacognitive domain of metaliteracy teaching students to effectively consume and produce new information in the form of devised theater productions, displays, press releases, exhibitions, community performances and critiques. One such course that goes a long way to introduce metaliteracy concepts into the theater curriculum is THTR 2008 Poetic Ethnography.

The course, THTR 2008 Poetic Ethnography operates as both ethno-drama and as a theater hybrid that incorporates several tightly structured field site audio and video digital storytelling projects into its 13-week curriculum. These projects encourage students to expand their knowledge base, investigate multiple forms of information gathering methodologies and to develop performative and distributive content across multiple cultural and social platforms.

Through the process of research and new knowledge production, students gain life-long learning skills about how to develop more nuanced, personal narratives that tell a more complete and factual story about communities, individuals and contemporary events. This chapter, then, looks at how Poetic Ethnography teaches students how to develop ethnographic and personal narratives set to poetry about Philadelphia neighborhoods and its people—giving voice to the sometimes voiceless in our communities, while simultaneously learning metaliteracy and metacognitive learning strategies.

Dr. Kimmika L. H. Williams-Witherspoon, Associate Professor

Department of Theater

Temple University