Media contact: 
David M. Henahan, director of communications
518-587-2100, ext. 2918
David.Henahan@esc.edu

518-321-7038
(after 5 p.m. and weekends)

September 6, 2013

New “Metaliteracy” MOOC Explores Information Literacy in the Social Media Age

UAlbany, SUNY Empire State College Collaborate on Massive Open Online Course

Trudi E. Jacobson, head of the Information Literacy Department at UAlbany. (Photo/Tom Mackey)

College Mentor Nicola Marae Allain, left, with UAlbany graduate student Ashley Smolinski participate at the Metaliteracy MOOC launch. (Photo/Tom Mackey)

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Sept. 6, 2013) The University at Albany’s University Libraries and SUNY Empire State College’s Center for Distance Learning have collaborated to offer a new Massive Open Online Course, Metaliteracy MOOC.

Participation in the MOOC is free and open to anyone.

“’Metaliteracy’ is the reinvention of information literacy for open learning and social media environments,” said Tom Mackey, dean of the college’s Center for Distance Learning. “Metaliteracy empowers learners beyond the search and retrieval of static documents to the collaborative production and sharing of dynamic information online.”

The collaboration is led by Mackey and SUNY Distinguished Librarian Trudi E. Jacobson, head of the Information Literacy Department at UAlbany.

Trudi E. Jacobson, head of the Information Literacy Department at UAlbany. (Photo/Tom Mackey)

Trudi E. Jacobson, head of the Information Literacy Department at UAlbany. (Photo/Tom Mackey)

“Students sometimes see information literacy as something that is peripheral to their life after college,” said Jacobson. “That isn’t actually the case, yet the information environment has shifted so dramatically that a new model of information literacy is needed, one that clearly recognizes the astounding expansion of information types and sources, and the role that many individuals now assume of information producers. “Metaliteracy incorporates these changes. In this MOOC, participants will be immersed in a participatory, open environment, with the chance to learn from and communicate with experts from all over the globe. And they will be creating real information products, with all the attendant responsibilities and possibilities.”

More information about the concept of metaliteracy, as well as a full definition, is available here. The MOOC will be facilitated by experts from UAlbany and the college’s Center for Distance Learning.

As part of their course work, each student will create her or his own blog, which will be harvested by an RSS program, gRSShopper, and appear in the Metaliteracy MOOC newsletter, which will be sent to all registered participants. Flickr, YouTube and Instagram are examples of applications that may be embedded in blog posts, and participants will be encouraged to explore a variety of other Web-based applications. Those working on a team project will have flexibility in determining which technologies will advance their work.

By incorporating the MOOC into existing modes of study, students at both institutions will earn credit.

At UAlbany, students enrolled in undergraduate courses UUNL300x, Literacies for Lifelong Learning, 2 credits, and some sections of UUNL205x, Information Literacy, 1 credit, will participate in the MOOC as part of their course work. Undergraduate students at Empire State College’s CDL will earn 4 credits through independent study with Mackey.

Members of the UAlbany and college student, faculty and staff communities participate in the Metaliteracy MOOC launch. (Photo/Tom Mackey)

Members of the UAlbany and college student, faculty and staff communities participate in the Metaliteracy MOOC launch. (Photo/Tom Mackey)

At the graduate level, the college will offer a 3-credit, research-based guided independent study, MOOC Metacognitive Analysis, for graduate students in the college’s School for Graduate Studies Master of Arts in Learning and Emerging Technologies program.

“Students will earn a varying amount of credit depending on what is asked of them and based on the learning outcomes identified in each part of course, while other participants will engage in the MOOC for lifelong learning without pursuing credit options,” said Mackey. “It’s an open social network because participation and interaction by students and faculty from different disciplines will result in new learning for all of us. The MOOC will allow us to share the learning experience between institutions and among participants around the world.”

UAlbany’s Trudi Jacobson, left, Tor Loney, information literacy librarian at UAlbany and college Mentor Nicola Marae Allain at the Metaliteracy MOOC launch. (Photo/Tom Mackey)

UAlbany’s Trudi Jacobson, left, Tor Loney, information literacy librarian at UAlbany and college Mentor Nicola Marae Allain at the Metaliteracy MOOC launch. (Photo/Tom Mackey)

Participants not enrolled at at UAlbany or Empire State College may earn credit by enrolling as a nonmatriculated student.

“Metaliteracy MOOC” is Empire State College’s third MOOC. Creativity and Multicultural Communication and VizMath were the college’s first two and the first two offered by the SUNY system.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Students engage in guided independent study and coursework onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 70,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

More information about the college is available here.

About the University at Albany

Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany puts "The World Within Reach" for its 17,500 students. An internationally recognized research university with 50 undergraduate majors and 125 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York state colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked university, visit http://www.albany.edu/. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.

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Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

SUNY Empire State College

518-587-2100, ext. 2918

David.Henahan@esc.edu

518-321-7038 (after hours and on weekends)

Media contact: Karl Luntta, director of media relations

University at Albany

518-956-8150

518-265-4114 (mobile)