Metaliteracy Discussed on The Academic Minute—Again!

Trudi Jacobson is featured on a segment for NPR’s The Academic Minute that was first presented on December 15, 2021: Renewable Assignments, Wikipedia, and Metaliteracy.

In this new segment, Trudi discusses the value of renewable assignments, i.e., assignments in which students create content that is useful to others, not meant simply for their professors’ eyes alone. Such assignments help individuals to become metaliterate learners and responsible digital citizens. Her example involves editing content in Wikipedia and the important scaffolding that metaliteracy can provide. If you get a chance, listen (or read it, the text is provided). The Academic Minute is produced for NPR by our local WAMC public radio station.

This is the second time metaliteracy has been featured on the program. Tom Mackey’s segment, Metaliterate Learners, aired on May 18, 2020.

Metaliteracy, Self-Directed Learning, and Assessment

Trudi Jacobson, Tom Mackey and Jako Olivier (UNESCO Chair on Multi-Modal Learning and Open Educational Resources, and Professor at North-West University) co-authored a chapter in a recent open-access volume, Learning Through Assessment: An Approach Towards Self-Directed Learning. The book was edited by Elsa Mentz and Anitia Lubbe, and is a part of the NWU Self-directed Learning Series.

Cover for Learning through assessment: An approach towards self-directed learning
Learning Through Assessment (2021)

The chapter by Trudi, Tom and Jako is entitled “Aligning Metaliteracy with Self-directed Learning to Expand Assessment Opportunities,”

The chapter’s abstract:

Metaliteracy is a holistic model that emphasises information-related knowledge attainment whilst challenging individuals to take charge of their learning strategies and goals. It prepares learners to become informed consumers and responsible producers of information. Metacognition is a core concept in metaliteracy, just as it is in self-directed learning (SDL) and in methods of assessment appropriate to SDL, such as Assessment as Learning (AaL) and Assessment for Learning (AfL). This congruence provides clear avenues for using metaliteracy’s framework in ways that support SDL. The first part of the chapter explores metaliteracy and its connections with SDL and assessment. The remainder of the chapter provides two examples of how the intersection of metaliteracy, SDL and assessment might be addressed in practice. These case studies provide additional and practical connections that might suggest applications in other settings. The first section explores a comprehensive metaliteracy digital badging system that is designed to advance SDL, with a focus on how the self-directed unit from this system was adapted for use in an open textbook. The final section of the chapter provides an example of how an online undergraduate course intertwines metaliteracy, information literacyand editing on Wikipedia, exemplifying principles of SDL and providingexamples of AaL and AfL. (p. 72)

We look forward to furthering our investigations into the connections between metaliteracy and self-directed learning.

Information Has Value: Engaging Students as Wikipedia Editors

Trudi and Jackson Grey, a student in her fall 2021 Information Literacy in the Humanities and Fine Arts course, presented at the virtual 2021 WikiConference North America in October. This course uses a combination of the Wiki Education program, metaliteracy, and frames from the ACRL Information Literacy Framework for Higher Education to encourage students to see themselves as ethical and responsible information producers.

The Wiki Education program provides excellent training for novice Wikipedia editors, but a conceptual understanding of the value of information, as well as scaffolding to recognize themselves as information producers, can provide a rich underpinning for this new set of skills, a background that will help them to see the value of their contributions, and encourage them to continue as metaliterate Wikipedia editors.

Jackson, a senior at the University at Albany majoring in philosophy, provided a student’s viewpoint in such a learning situation where It is possible to share growing knowledge in a field of study. He also explored the differing values of information, inherent vs. as a means to an end, and the disconnect between the availability of information and its importance.

The presentation is available on YouTube as part of a day of programs. It starts at 6:05, and this link is set to start at that point.

The Roles of Metaliteracy and Wikipedia Editing in Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

“Anyone could make edits, and anyone could challenge those edits…This helped me feel less like an outsider trying to fit into a conversation and more like one of a million voices that were working together towards a shared goal of information creation and consumption.”

It is not only illuminating, but also vital to hear from learners about the impact of their encounters with metaliteracy. Asking them to write reflective pieces is one way to find out how components of metaliteracy may have had an effect on their learning. A recent Wiki Edu blog post by Corrin Baker, a graduating senior at The University at Albany, provides such insight. Corrin expanded a wonderfully written course reflection for this post about a course taught by Prof. Trudi Jacobson.

In describing metaliteracy’s producer role, Ms. Baker wrote:

The shared roles of producer and consumer were present in every step of the course. I was fully engaged in locating and evaluating sources, and then finding ways to make that information both understandable and accessible. I felt a great sense of responsibility to the audience and to the authors whose work I was using. I was also far more aware of diversity in a global audience, especially as I found myself struggling to find non-male authors to cite. 

The course, which lasts just seven weeks, is challenging for students, but aims to have a lasting effect on their understanding of information and their roles in producing and sharing it. Corrin’s reflection testifies to the incredible impact that the blend of metaliteracy, information literacy, and the wonderful Wiki Education program can have.

Read the full post here: Overcoming imposter syndrome by editing Wikipedia

Wiki. edu logo by David Peters of EXBROOK for Wiki Education Foundation – Wiki Education Foundation, Public Domain,