Metaliteracy in Practice: Sneak Peak #3

Barbara J. D’Angelo and Barry M. Maid of Arizona State University give you a glimpse into their chapter in the forthcoming book.

Metaliteracy Learning of RN to BSN Students: A Fusion of Disciplinary Values and Discourses

Library and Information Science and Writing Studies share a long-standing collaborative partnership in higher education. The connection often is articulated or manifested in first year composition courses, particularly the second semester composition course focused on research (commonly known as English 102 or Composition II). However, research and communication, including written communication, also are important to disciplinary discourses. Nurses, in particular, exist within sophisticated information environments in which work takes place in interdisciplinary teams ranging from medical personnel, pharmacists, home health care workers, social workers, patients, and more. For undergraduate nursing education, the importance of research and communication practices can be seen in two of nursing’s disciplinary documents related to undergraduate education: The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice and in Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaboration.

In this chapter we report on the development of a discipline-specific writing and research course, Writing for Healthcare Management, for nursing majors in the online RN-BSN degree program at Arizona State University. The course focuses on developing students’ professional writing and information abilities in a way that reflects concepts underpinning metaliteracy. The course facilitates critical thinking and collaborative practices needed for both the consumption and production of knowledge. The chapter describes the development of the course and assignments, and how metaliteracy aligns with disciplinary writing outcomes. In addition, the results of a small scale study that analyzed student work is presented to show how the course meets metaliteracy goals and learning objectives. The chapter contributes an example of a “meta” approach to course design and a model of a contextual approach to fusing multiple “literacies” and “outcomes or objectives” through valuing shared responsibility and accountability for student achievement and transfer of knowledge. While this chapter concentrates on a course in one discipline, nursing, the methods used are transferable to research and communication courses in other disciplines.