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.

Metaliteracy/Information Literacy Course Emphasizes Open Pedagogy

A course taught this spring at the University at Albany blended an opportunity to learn about metaliteracy and information literacy with a very public-facing assignment: writing for Wikipedia. The course, Information Literacy for the Humanities and Fine Arts, participated in the Wiki Education program. Students had the opportunity to put many of the metaliteracy learning objectives and information literacy frames into practice in a way that brought them alive. More detailed information, including student reactions, can be found in a  post on the Wiki Education blog.

When Stories and Pictures Lie Together — And You Don’t Even Know It.

metaliterateLearning_fullsize_RGBThomas Palmer, M.S., Digital Media Lecturer from the Journalism Program at the University at Albany, SUNY, and Editorial Design Director / News Editor at the Times Union newspaper introduces you to his chapter in Metaliterate Learning in the Post-Truth World: When Stories and Pictures Lie Together — And You Don’t Even Know It.

The photo in the tweet triggers your path to deception in as little as 13 milliseconds. Your brain dedicates about 85% of its processing to make sense of this picture. Your comprehension of its text finally catches up, but you’ll likely believe the false claim merely because the image is present. Confirmation bias settles in. You have just fallen prey within seconds to the intersemiotic contextual misrepresentation of photojournalism — and you weren’t even aware. This targeted disinformation to manipulate you is a success. In this post-truth era, the weaponizing of legitimate photojournalism for political and social propaganda is easy and low tech. However, in this chapter metaliterate learners can develop judgment for identifying and exposing this malpractice to protect themselves and the public.

The relationship between text and image is dynamic and complementary, while also leading to misrepresentations. This chapter analyzes the synergistic association of several visual-textual examples from photojournalism to illustrate how images are easily manipulated and misunderstood.  Metaliteracy is discussed as an empowering pedagogical response to these concerns that supports learners in developing detection and prevention strategies.