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Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education


The following excerpt is adapted from Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy C & RL, 72.1 January 2011, authored by  Dr. Thomas Mackey and Trudi Jacobson. You can learn more at  

Metaliteracy learning falls into four domains: 

  • behavioral (what students should be able to do upon successful completion of learning activities—skills, competencies), 
  • cognitive (what students should know upon successful completion of learning activities—comprehension, organization, application, evaluation), 
  • affective (changes in learners’ emotions or attitudes through engagement with learning activities),
  • metacognitive (what learners think about their own thinking—a reflective understanding of how and why they learn, what they do and do not know, their preconceptions, and how to continue to learn). 

These learning objectives recognize that metaliterate “learners,” as they are called here, must learn continually, given the constantly and rapidly evolving information landscape. Instructors and learners can meet these objectives in a variety of ways, depending on the learning context, choosing from a menu of learning activities. The objectives are conceived broadly, so as to remain scalable, reproducible, and accessible in a range of contexts.

Michele Forte (Empire State College), Trudi Jacobson (University at Albany), Tom Mackey (Empire State College), Emer O’Keeffe (University at Albany), and Kathleen Stone (Empire State College) 

The Metaliterate Learner Figure by Tom Mackey, Trudi Jacobson, and Roger Lipera available via CC-BY-NC