Call for Chapters: Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World

We are soliciting chapter proposals for a book entitled Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World that we will publish in fall 2018 by the American Library Association. We would like to include both theoretical and applied chapters written by academic librarians, disciplinary faculty from a variety of fields, administrators, and instructional designers that describe and reflect upon the importance of advancing metaliteracy in a post-truth world. We see a particular urgency in editing this book at this time when truth itself is questioned for political purposes, journalism and the free press are constantly under attack, science and climate change are doubted as factual, online hacking is prevalent, online privacy is a concern, and the ability to proliferate false information through circuitous social media networks has become a serious issue. It is profoundly clear that the competencies, knowledge, and personal attributes that define metaliteracy and inform the role of the metaliterate learner are critical in today’s connected and divided world: digital literacy and traditional conceptions of information literacy are insufficient for the extreme challenges we currently face.

We would like to like to build on the success of our previous books, Metaliteracy in Practice and Metaliteracy: Reinventing Information Literacy to Empower Learners, while leveraging the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education in relation to teaching and learning in the post-truth world. As one example of this approach, our most recent article for The Conversation, entitled “How can we learn to reject fake news in the digital world?,” applied metaliteracy to the destructive emergence of fake news in the 2016 Presidential Election. We made the argument that we need to read online information with a critical eye, apply metacognitive thinking to the consumption of all information, and make purposeful and meaningful contributions to the social media ecosystem as active participants. Given the interest in metaliteracy as a model for preparing metaliterate learners as responsible participants in today’s divisive information environment, we are especially interested in expanding the conversation to educators who have developed successful metaliteracy teaching and learning theories and practices to resist these challenges. Overall, how do we best prepare our students for being active and engaged metaliterate learners in today’s environment?

The editors are interested in ideas that are easily transferable, and that include strong components of student metacognition and empowerment. The book will include both theoretical arguments for metaliteracy in a post-truth world and innovative case studies that respond to these complex issues, all from different disciplinary perspectives, and academic institutions in the U.S. and internationally. The Metaliteracy Learning Objectives featured in our books and available via Metaliteracy.org: https://metaliteracy.org/learning-objectives/ will be core to the chapters as well.

Tom Mackey, Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Professor at SUNY Empire State College and Trudi E. Jacobson, Distinguished Librarian and Head of the Information Literacy Department at the University at Albany will write the framing chapter and edit this new book.

Please send 1-2 page proposals to Tom at Tom.Mackey@esc.edu no later than September 29, 2017. We will make our decisions by mid October. First drafts of the completed chapters (20-25 pages) will be due on January 12, 2018. Final drafts will be due by April 13, 2018.

If you have any questions about proposal ideas or about the book, please contact Tom at Tom.Mackey@esc.edu or Trudi at tjacobson@albany.edu.

Metaliteracy Featured at the University of Puerto Rico’s Mobile Learning Week Event

Metaliteracy 2Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson have been invited to present a collaborative keynote on metaliteracy at The University of Puerto Rico’s Mobile Learning Week event on Monday, March 20 at 10am eastern time. In a presentation entitled “Metaliteracy as an Empowering Model for Teaching Mobile and Social Learners,” Tom and Trudi will explore the theory of metaliteracy while illustrating practical applications that can be applied in a variety of teaching and learning situations. In today’s mobile media environments our learners are continuously engaged with information in a variety of forms using a range of technologies. Learners from around the world are texting, posting, and sharing documents they find online through a multitude of social media spaces and mobile devices. But how much of this information can be trusted? Do learners know how to differentiate between what is real and what is fake in these environments? And do learners fully appreciate the importance of critical thinking and contributing as active and original producers of information, beyond posting selfies via mobile phones? How do learners bridge their free-flowing access to information via social media and mobile devices with the academic resources available in the library? How do learners make meaning from these different sources of information to advance their participatory roles as researchers and scholars? Metaliteracy is a model for understanding how information is produced and shared collaboratively in networked social spaces. The metaliterate learner is metacognitive, a critical consumer of information and an informed producer of digital media. The metaliterate learner adapts to changing technologies and always brings a critical and reflective sensibility to these experiences, asking good questions and being open to multiple perspectives.

Our approach to metaliteracy in practice is informed by several projects developed by the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative, including a competency-based digital badging system and three Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). This presentation will examine the Metaliteracy Learning Goals and Objectives that inform these projects as a flexible, adaptable, and evolving resource. In addition, the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education will be introduced and explained. The information environment that compels us to move beyond the Standards is the one that spurred our development of metaliteracy. Indeed, one of the underpinning elements of the Framework is metaliteracy. This connection, as well as the threshold concept structure, will be explored in detail.

We appreciate the invitation to present from Ana I. Medina Hernández, MIS, Coordinadora Red Graduada, Decanato de Estudios Graduados e Investigación and Rossana I. Barrios Llorens, MIS, CLA, Head Librarian Serials and e-Access Department, Conrado F. Asenjo Library, University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus.

Metaliteracy Takes On Fake News

In an essay for The Conversation, entitled How we can learn to reject fake news in the digital world? Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson describe ways to challenge fake news through metaliteracy. The spread of fake news across social media presents us all with a reality check about the danger of deception in these spaces. As the authors describe in the article, fake news stories that appear to be easily accepted by online users is a problem that warrants a strong educational response through focused metaliterate teaching and learning. The same approaches outlined in the article address concerns about misinformation that is created and shared online as well. Several of metaliteracy’s learning goals and objectives speak directly to the situation we find ourselves in with a proliferation of fake news and misinformation online.

The response to the essay has been tremendous, leading to an interview with Tom and Trudi by reporter Torie Wells from 6CBSNews for the TV news story Facebook preparing to flag fake news stories. According to stats provided by The Conversation, the article has had over 7,000 readers to date, with 796 Facebook shares, 115 tweets, and 143 shares via LinkedIn. The article has been published by the Associated Press, Government Technology, and newspapers across the country, including the Albany Times Union, Houston Chronicle, SFGate, and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, among others.

Last year, Jacobson and Mackey wrote an article for The Conversation about how to protect ourselves online from those annoying ads that follow us around while surfing the Web. The authors said that becoming meta-literate in today’s social media world prepares us to think critically about the sites we visit online and to develop smart search strategies that protect our identity. This latest piece about fake news is an extension of that work, applying metaliteracy to real world practice.

New Metaliteracy Keynotes in June 2016!

Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson both presented on metaliteracy in June at two separate keynote presentations during the same week! Tom presented Developing Metaliteracy to Engage Citizens in a Connected World at the University of Delaware Summer Faculty Institute 2016 and Trudi presented Envisioning the Possibilities: Educational Trends and Information Literacy in Academic Libraries at the 3er Congreso de Bibliotecas Universitarias y Especializadas in Santiago, Chile! Trudi’s presentation also considered new modes and methods of teaching (including digital badges and MOOCs) and the ACRL Framework. Trudi’s slides are available via SlideShare. Tom’s keynote is available online at the SFI 2016 Sessions Recording Page and his slides are available via SlideShare and this blog posting.

Metaliteracy at the Course Level: A look at “Revising for Metaliteracy” from the forthcoming Metaliteracy in Practice book

Donna Witek and Teresa Grettano of The University of Scranton offer the following preview of their chapter, “Revising for Metaliteracy: Flexible Course Design to Support Social Media Pedagogy,” appearing in the forthcoming book Metaliteracy in Practice.

What does a course designed intentionally for metaliteracy—as both a pedagogical method as well as a learning outcome—look like? How can a course’s goals, assignments, and schedule be deliberately composed and structured to develop metaliteracy in both students and instructors? And why might instructors choose to use social media in their courses, not despite but because of the complexities that accompany these technologies when they are invited into the learning community of the classroom?

This chapter offers answers to these questions by describing, analyzing, and reflecting on a 200-level Writing course called Rhetoric & Social Media, in which students “investigate rhetoric through and the rhetoric of social media.” This course was co-designed and co-taught by the authors—an information literacy librarian and a rhetoric/composition professor—for the first time at their institution in spring 2011. At its inception the course focused on the social media platform Facebook as both the primary object of analysis and vehicle for learning in the course. By 2013, it became clear to the authors that a course intentionally designed to develop both information literacy and rhetorical and critical practice in students on social media needed to address more platforms than Facebook, and needed to be flexible in how it did so. To this end, the authors significantly revised the course in time for the spring 2013 semester to include Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, in addition to Facebook, with a restructured course schedule and new learning exercises (i.e., assignments) developed to take advantage of this expansion in scope.

This chapter shares with readers this revision process: what the revisions were, the authors’ pedagogical rationale for the revisions made, the outcomes of the revisions (i.e., how they played out in practice in the classroom), and the relationship between this revision process and the development of metaliteracy in all involved—students and instructors/authors alike. Like a companion chapter in this collection, this chapter models a metaliterate approach to course design through its method of analyzing elements of the syllabus over time, in order to build an argument for what metaliteracy at the course-level looks like. It also makes connections between the goals of rhetorical theory and the goals of metaliteracy, connections that can be leveraged by information literacy educators to further integrate these domains within and across the curriculum.