Metaliteracy MOOC Inspired a Curated Site to Move Past Confirmation Bias

We welcome this guest posting from Patti Kingsmill,, Pedagogical Counsellor:
Programs & Instructional Technologies and AQPC-College Liaison for Pedagogical Support and Innovation at Vanier College.

Curated Site on Moving Past Confirmation Bias

by Patti Kingsmill

As a final project for the MOOC Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, I created a curated site on moving past confirmation bias. The site has two purposes: it serves as an example of a curated site for instructors wishing to teach curation, and it provides teachers with resources on confirmation bias—an important concept for curators to understand. The ability to select sources as objectively as possible is fundamental to curating in a responsible manner. As organizations rely on curators to manage information for them, curation is increasingly touted as a must-have 21st century skill. It is, therefore, important that we not only teach students how to curate, but to develop their metaliteracy skills in order to curate well and to avoid contributing to filter bubbles. This entails, among other things, recognizing the human tendency to fall prey to confirmation bias, learning how to move past it, and acknowledging one’s responsibility to do so as a producer of content and member of a digital, collaborative community.

The first section of the site, “Defining It,” presents different sources that define and offer examples of confirmation bias. The next section, “Mitigating It,” provides sources that offer strategies on lessening, or moving past, confirmation bias. The “CB & Filter Bubbles” section introduces the concept of filter bubbles and how they can result from confirmation bias. Finally, the “Lesson Plan” section includes a few classroom activities useful for teaching students about confirmation bias and filter bubbles and learning to get beyond them.

 

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

2018MLCharacteristics

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.

Register Now for Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World!

Registration is now open for Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, a new Open edX MOOC developed by colleagues from SUNY Albany and SUNY Empire State College who work together as part of the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative. This six-week Open edX MOOC starts on March 18, 2019, so register today!  The course examines how to address post-truth challenges through the lens of metaliteracy while exploring ways to rebuild communities of trust. The content of the course is informed by the new book published by Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson for ALA-Neal Schuman, Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World. The MOOC is supported by a SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant and is hosted by the University at Buffalo, College of Arts and Sciences Continuing Education.

The instructors for the course include Tom Mackey, Trudi Jacobson, Kelsey O’Brien, Tom Palmer, Lisa Stephens, Christine Fena, Allison Hosier, and Nicola Marae Allain. In addition to the instructors, we worked with a team that included Alena Roddick (Instructional Designer), John Hughes (Videographer), David Dickinson (Videographer), and Christine Paige (Project Manager). Thanks to Jay Stockslader, Director of Continuing Education at the University of Buffalo for supporting our MOOC on Open EdX. Check out the promo video below created by Kelsey O’Brien and register now!

Metaliteracy Discussed at ASIS&T 2016 in Copenhagen

Picture of Metaliteracy panel at ASIS&T 2016 in Copenhagen

(L-R) Louise Limberg, Jamshid Beheshti, Joan Bartlett, Yusuke Ishimura, Thomas Mackey, Jacek Gwizdka, and Dania Bilal

At the invitation of Prof. Jamshid Beheshti from McGill University, an international team of researchers participated in a panel related to metaliteracy at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) in Copenhagen, Denmark. The panel presentation entitled “Information Literacy: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice” reflected this year’s conference theme Creating Knowledge, Enhancing Lives through Information & Technology. Tom Mackey’s part of the presentation and the accompanying conference proceedings, developed with Trudi Jacobson, explored “Metaliteracy and Inter-Generational Metacognitive Learning.” The panel of information science researchers (pictured above), featured: Jamshid Beheshti, and Joan Bartlett, McGill University, Canada, Louise Limberg, University of Borås, Sweden, Dania Bilal, University of Tennessee, Jacek Gwizdka, University of Texas at Austin, and Yusuke Ishimura, Tokyo University, Japan.

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 in Practice Book Published!

MackeyMIP_300We are thrilled that our new edited book Metaliteracy in Practice (right) was published this week by ALA Neal-Schuman! This book is the follow up to our co-authored book Metaliteracy: Reinventing Information Literacy to Empower Learners (2014).  The new book features 9 chapters from faculty and librarians who have been applying metaliteracy in their teaching practices.  We really enjoyed the chance to work with such outstanding chapter authors on this project, representing a variety of institutions, including: Keene State College, Washington College, University of South Africa, SUNY College at Brockport, and the University of Scranton. The authors explore metaliteracy practices related to social media pedagogy, the politics of information, nursing education, open and collaborative learning, student empowerment, and learner agency.  In addition, ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education is examined in relation to metaliteracy in several of the chapters.  The book’s Foreword was written by Alison J. Head, Ph.D., Executive Director, Project Information Literacy (PIL), Principal Research Scientist, The Information School, University of Washington, and Faculty Associate, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University. We appreciate all of the support we received from everyone at ALA Neal-Schuman and we must say that we absolutely love the cover!  -Trudi and Tom

Metaliteracy Keynote at Cedar Crest College

We were thrilled to present on the topic Expanding Metaliteracy Across the Curriculum to Advance Lifelong Civic Engagement at Cedar Crest College last week! The Cedar Crest Curriculum Committee invited us to present a summer workshop to build on the great work they are doing to map information literacy/metaliteracy across the curriculum.  We were very impressed with the work they are doing and enjoyed our time with the faculty, librarians, and administrators very much.  This is the slide deck for the facilitated presentation and it includes the world premiere of our new book cover for the forthcoming Metaliteracy in Practice! Be sure to check it out!