Developing a SUNY-wide Transliteracy Learning Collaborative to Promote Information and Technology Collaboration

Awarded Grant: $60,000

Principal Investigator:

Trudi Jacobson, University at Albany

The Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative will be developed as a SUNY-wide think tank and incubator for promoting metaliteracy as an overarching and unifying construct for related information literacies. The Collaborative will define a set of learning objectives that will transcend boundaries based upon the traditional definition of information literacy and the concept of librarians as the sole interested party. This grant will assist SUNY’s efforts to develop students as lifelong creators of information in all forms. It will address how to infuse metaliteracy throughout students’ academic careers, opening dialogues among different educational groups, and exploring issues such as the transition from high school to college, and a prototype badging system outlining the myriad aspects of metaliteracy. This badging system will be scalable for various settings and pedagogical goals, in an open source and customizable format that can be used SUNY-wide, and event ually nation-wide, or globally.

Co-PI’s and Key Partners:

Thomas Mackey, Dean, Center for Distance Learning, Empire State College
Mark McBride, Coordinator of Library Instruction, Buffalo State
Michael Daly, Public Services Librarian, Fulton Montgomery Community College
Michele Forte, Assistant Professor, Community and Human Services, Center for Distance Learning, Empire State College
Jenna Hecker, Instructional Developer, University at Albany
Ellen Murphy, Director of Online Curriculum, Empire State College

Reports and Resources:

Press Report: New Metaliteracy MOOC Explores Information Literacy in the Social Media Age

Metaliteracy Learning Objectives

These learning objectives have been created with the goal of developing metaliterate learners. Comments and suggestions from a variety of librarians and faculty across the state were sought and incorporated into the final (but still evolving) document. Metaliteracy learning is divided into four domains: behavioral (skills, competencies), cognitive (comprehension, organization, application, evaluation), affective (changes in learners’ emotions or attitudes through engagement with learning activities), and metacognitive (what learners think about their own thinking—a reflective understanding of how and why they learn, what they do and do not know, and how to continue to learn). The objectives are conceived broadly, so as to remain scalable, reproducible, and accessible in a range of contexts. Instructors and learners can meet these objectives in a variety of ways, depending on the learning context, choosing from a menu of learning activities. These metaliteracy learning objectives are reflected in the new UAlbany Gen Ed Information Literacy/Information Management requirements (scroll down to information literacy). These Metaliteracy Learning Objectives are also informing the discussion as the ACRL updates its learning objectives.

Metaliteracy Badging Program

Given current trends in badging, both in education and as part of the corporate world, the grant team wanted to explore a metaliteracy badging program that would recognize information and technology competencies. We moved quickly beyond exploration into design and development. Currently, the badging program is being built with BadgeStack and, over the course of the coming year, will be piloted with 500 students across the SUNY system and at the high school level. Students will complete a series of information literacy-themed activities, tasks, and quests (as in a video game). The program will include multiple forms of assessment and levels of granularity. Once the program is completed, it can be moved to an open source platform, such as It will be open source and customizable, and linked to Open SUNY and OER Commons for others to use. This badging program has generated a great deal of excitement from SUNY campuses eager to participate in the pilot test to New York State Education Department’s interest in developing it further in the K-12 arena. The badging program may be used by some of the instructors teaching the new Writing and Critical Inquiry course at the University at Albany, which meets the general education information literacy competency requirement. The availability of this program may make a critical difference in the ability of librarians at this institution to meet important course goals.

Metaliteracy, as developed and introduced by PI Trudi Jacobson and co-PI Tom Mackey in “Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy” (January 2011), is gaining increasing attention in academia world-wide. Grant research has informed many other academic endeavors, including the development of a new Metaliteracy MOOC at SUNY Empire State College. The document is a compilation of the following links to metaliteracy-related resources.

Additional Project Outcomes

This document includes a variety of additional outcomes associated with the project, such as:

Metaliteracy Resources and Research

This document contains items arising directly from, or informed by and incorporating metaliteracy grant research including:

  • Metaliteracy MOOC, developed by Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson in partnership between SUNY Empire State College and the University Libraries at the University at Albany. Members of the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative will launch the MOOC in the opening session and grant coPIs Jacobson, Mackey, and Jenna Hecker will be MOOC facilitators. This project provides international exposure for the concept of metaliteracy.
  • Campus Initiatives: In May 2013, the University at Albany’s Undergraduate Academic Council approved General Education Information Literacy learning objectives, which were heavily influenced by the metaliteracy learning objectives. As of fall 2014, each department must attest that students in their major(s) have met these learning objectives.
    • Metaliteracy in the Classroom: As part of the IITG project, graduate student Stephanie Dudek interviewed IL instruction librarian Gregory Bobish about his use of metaliteracy-related elements in the classroom.
    • Since it was first published in 2011, Mackey and Jacobson’s Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy has been cited in over 26 different publications. We continue our coverage of metaliteracy in academic literature on New citations include:
      • A UNESCO document entitled Media and Information Literacy for Knowledge Societies (2013) provides a brief definition of metaliteracy and makes it central to the conclusion.
      • Betty Hurley-Dasgupta, Carol Yeager, and Catherine Bliss (SUNY Empire State College) refer to metaliteracy in their article cMOOC and Global Learning: An Authentic Alternative in The Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN).
      • Bernard Pochet, Philippe Lepoivre, and Paul Thirion. “Littérature scientifique et formation à l’information, la situation des bioingénieurs à Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (ULg) (synthèse bibliographique)” in Biotechnol. Agron. Soc. Environ. 2013 17(1), 118-130, which discusses the role of scientific literature in the teaching of bioengineering at Gembloux, and incorporates recent advances in Information Literacy, including metaliteracy.
      • Conceptual Relationship of Information Literacy and Media Literacy in Knowledge Societies (UNESCO). Essays cite metaliteracy and promote the framework.
      • Badges being designed for the badging program will be differentiated by color, wings (for high level), and graphic. Badges incorporate the colors of the metaliteracy logo on the grant website (this graphic has also been incorporated into the Metaliteracy MOOC described above).
      • Metaliteracy Model, used in discussions of learning objectives on the wiki.

Project Outcome Report

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