We are honoured to welcome Thomas P. Mackey, Ph.D. and Trudi E. Jacobson, MLS, MA, who will be sharing their expertise in the following keynote presentation:

“The Role of Metaliteracy in Designing Open Learning Initiatives”

Metaliteracy, a model for teaching and learning, envisions the individual as an active and collaborative participant in today’s global community. Metaliterate learners seek to build truthful and trusted communities by looking both inward and outward. As part of a reflective learning process, they develop a mindset to recognize the importance of producing and sharing information in a range of connected social settings. Individuals are encouraged to produce and share information only after analyzing their preconceptions and the content they are referencing. This approach encourages learners to engage fully, by being alert to the affective, behavioral, cognitive, and metacognitive domains. All four enhance active roles while developing characteristics that reinforce empowered and self-directed learning.

The metaliteracy model supports the design of open learning initiatives by reinforcing the value of ethical and responsible information production and sharing, and by scaffolding learners as they step into new roles that accompany open learning opportunities. These scenarios often include the opportunity to design and contribute to the communal learning environment. This presentation will describe the metaliteracy model and its intersections with open learning, and conclude by showcasing two initiatives that embody this approach.


Thomas P. Mackey, Ph.D., is Professor of Arts & Media in the School of Arts & Humanities at State University of New York (SUNY) Empire State College.

His research into metaliteracy, a pedagogical framework he originated with Prof. Trudi E. Jacobson, envisions the learner as ethical producer of information. He has published books on this topic including the most recent with Prof. Jacobson, Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World (2019), as well as peer-reviewed articles, and conference proceedings. He and Prof. Jacobson have both been invited to keynote on metaliteracy in the United States and internationally. They provide updates on their research via their collaborative blog at metaliteracy.org. Prof. Mackey has been applying metaliteracy to his teaching in the online course Digital Storytelling as documented in the Global Digital Stories blog: https://digital-stories.org/. Prof. Mackey served as Associate Dean and Dean of the Center for Distance Learning (CDL), and in senior management roles as Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Interim Provost. He teaches courses in History & Theory of New Media, Information Design, Digital Storytelling, and Ethics of Digital Art & Design and has developed several international Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) about metaliteracy. His faculty website is: https://www.tpmackey.com/.

Prof. Mackey’s most recent publications include:
Mackey, T. P. (2020). Embedding Metaliteracy in the Design of a Post-Truth MOOC: Building Communities of Trust. Communications in Information Literacy, 14 (2), 346–361. https://doi.org/10.15760/comminfolit.2020.14.2.9

Mackey, T.P. (2020). “Exploring Metaliterate Learning through the Frames of Information Literacy.” In Julien, Gross, Latham (Eds.). Implementing the ACRL Framework in Libraries and Pre-Service LIS Education: Case Studies from the Field. Rowman and Littlefield.

Trudi E. Jacobson, MLS, MA, Distinguished Librarian, is the Head of the Information Literacy Department at the University at Albany.

She has been deeply involved with teaching and information literacy throughout her career, and from 2013-2015 co-chaired the Association of College & Research Libraries Task Force that created the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. With Prof. Thomas P. Mackey, she co-developed metaliteracy. Her most recent work focuses on open pedagogy and how the students’ learning experience can be enhanced in such settings by metaliteracy. She regularly teaches an information literacy course for upper-level undergraduates that uses editing in Wikipedia as a way to understand core concepts from metaliteracy and information literacy; an information literacy instruction graduate course; and has taught a first year experience course in which students created an OER for other first year students (https://sites.google.com/view/ualbanyforfirstyearstudents/home). She is the co-author or co-editor of 14 books, including three about metaliteracy, and numerous scholarly articles and book chapters. She is the editor of the Innovations in Information Literacy book series published by Rowman and Littlefield. Prof. Jacobson received the ACRL Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award in 2009. Her website is: http://www.trudijacobson.com/.

Prof. Jacobson’s most recent publications include:
Jacobson, T. E. (2020). Analyzing Information Sources Through the Lens of the ACRL Framework: A Case Study of Wikipedia. Communications in Information Literacy, 14 (2), 362–377. https://doi.org/10.15760/comminfolit.2020.14.2.10

Jacobson, T. and Friedman, S. (2019/2020). Teaching Critical Thinking and Metaliteracy Through OER: Theory and Practice in a Course Collaboration. The International Journal of Open Educational Resources, 2 (1): 173-189.