Evaluating Media Literacy as Competences: What can we agree on?

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Slides from a presentation given at EuroMeduc (Second European congress on media literacy - Italy, Bellaria, 21-24 October 2009). This is the 'full version'; my actual presentation had to be trimmed down to 2/3 of the slides.

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Evaluating Media Literacy as Competences: What can we agree on?

  1. 1. Evaluating media literacy as competences: what can we agree on?<br />Pierre Fastrez<br />Groupe de Recherche en Médiation des Savoirs<br />Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium<br />
  2. 2. Where do I stand? (a few oratoricalprecautions)<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />2<br />What I intend to bring to the table<br />a social/cognitive/communication scientist’s point of view<br />a newcomer’s perspective<br />EuroMeducBellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />
  3. 3. A simple observation…<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />3<br />Media Education, a vivid field<br />Media Literacy evaluation<br />is still in its infancy<br />still lacks systematic efforts to make it a coherent endeavour<br />
  4. 4. Assessing ML : what priorities?<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />4<br />Agreement:<br />Regarding theoretical definitions of Media Literacy<br />Not on definitions and frameworks<br />But rather on how these definitions and frameworks relate<br />Regarding methodological principles for assessment<br />
  5. 5. Outline<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />5<br />Assessing Media Literacy: what can we agree on?<br />Theoretical issues<br />Methodological issues<br />A few proposals regarding Media Literacy competence assessment<br />
  6. 6. Theoretical issues<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />6<br />Assessing ML requires an agreement on what it is<br />Defining ML is dependent on<br />Historical and cultural context<br />Media landscape development<br />Policies<br />Epistemological views<br />
  7. 7. Theoretical issues<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />7<br />Goal: identify common ground for Media Literacy definitions<br />Independent of cultural contexts<br />That can be specified and interpreted in these contexts<br />Media Literacy lies in the individual’s competences<br />not the media environment: media literacy is not equivalent to media education<br />Outcome vs. process<br />Evaluating the process is evaluating its efficiency with respect to the outcome<br />Benchmarking outcomes is a sine qua non condition<br />
  8. 8. Theoretical issues<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />8<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />
  9. 9. Theoretical issues<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />9<br />A fundamental hypothesis:<br />Media Literacy is related to a number of generic skills<br />E.g. media and communication technologies as mindtools<br />These skills are generic in that they are not related to<br />specific media (film, print, internet…)<br />specific activity domains <br />E.g. commercial information, product placement, minor protection, civic participation…<br />A bi-lateral relationship (virtuous circle)<br />These skills can be developed through specific media use and specific media education practices<br />The more these skills are developed, the more they facilitate other media appropriation processes<br />
  10. 10. Theoretical issues<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />10<br />Consequence of this hypothesis: we need to relate specific skills to their “common ground”<br />E.g. “digital” skills are not of a different nature than “traditional media” skills<br />E.g. Film studies vs. media education<br />appreciating one’s media cultural heritage relies on the same skills as appreciating other cultures’ contribution to the media environment<br />E.g. Understanding the semiotic specificities of a given media:<br />Representing time in blogs and twitter (input flow and chronology)<br />Representing time on the silver screen (editing and rhythm)<br />E.g. Building typologies: reading the news and managing bookmarks<br />E.g. Perceiving the producer’s intent: watching a documentary and moderating a forum<br />
  11. 11. Methodological principles<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />11<br />Methodological issues regarding ML evaluation<br />Definition of levels<br />Competence and performance<br />Assessment tools validation process<br />
  12. 12. Levels of Media Literacy<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />12<br />There are degrees of complexity in competences<br />Operationalization: Levels (when it makes sense)<br />Tools for researchers<br />Not meant for unilateral ranking<br />Which would assume one can weigh the relative importance of skills<br />Rather, a multidimensional analysis tool<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />
  13. 13. Competence vs. performance<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />13<br />Competences are virtual, and can only be observed when actualized in practical and concrete tasks<br />Evaluating competence through performance<br />Consequences:<br />The production vs. reception distinction should be set (for now) at the performance level (vs. as categories of skills)<br />Performances are connected to different competences<br />E. g. moderating a forum: social and cognitive competences<br />
  14. 14. From concept to indicators<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />14<br />
  15. 15. From concept to indicators<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />15<br />
  16. 16. 2. An attempt at breaking down the Media Literacy concept<br />Cognitive vs. social(vs. technical) skills<br />Semio-cognitive vs. socio-cognitive skills<br />Conceptual distinctions independent of specific activity fields<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />16<br />EuroMeducBellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />
  17. 17. Cognitive vs. social(vs. technical) skills<br />Semio-cognitive vs. socio-cognitive skills<br />Conceptual distinctions independent of specific activity fields<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />17<br />EuroMeducBellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />2. An attempt at breaking down the Media Literacy concept<br />
  18. 18. 2. An attempt at breaking down the Media Literacy concept<br />Cognitive vs. social(vs. technical) skills<br />Semio-cognitive vs. socio-cognitive skills<br />Conceptual distinctions independent of specific activity fields<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />18<br />EuroMeducBellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />
  19. 19. Semio-cognitive skills<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeducBellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />19<br />Dimensions (inductive grouping) :<br />Reading (decoding / synthesizing / evaluating)<br />Writing (coding, creating, producing)<br />Navigating (searching, exploring, managing uncertainty)<br />Organizing (keeping, sorting, annotating)<br />Using responsibly (knowledge of use regulation, stakes and principles)<br />
  20. 20. Socio-cognitive skills<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />20<br />Pragmatic socialization: The extent to which an individual poses communicational acts that establish socialrelationships in more or less extended social spaces. <br />Informational socialization: The extent to which each individual extends and diversifies their relationships as a receiver, a relay, or a producerof information within social space.<br />
  21. 21. Socio-cognitive skills<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />21<br />Social levels logic (criteria, not thresholds)<br />From contact and participation, to networking and active presence, to cooperative networking<br />Diversity (from tribe to society)<br />Creativity and involvement (from follower to autonomous agent)<br />Decentration (from egocentric to allocentric)<br />Dimensions: <br />Reception: media selection and exploration<br />Expression: communicative acts, idioms and receivers<br />Pragmatics: relational contexts and interactions<br />Ethics: perceived rules and lines of conduct<br />
  22. 22. Socio-cognitive skills<br />Are informational socialization skills only socio-cognitive?<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />22<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />
  23. 23. Theoretical questions left open<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeducBellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />23<br />How are Media Literacy skills correlated?<br />From an analytical to a systemic point of view: connecting after having distinguished<br />E.g. does critical thinking development facilitate creativity?<br />Ethics as a socio-cognitive skill and responsible use as a semio-cognitive skill<br />…<br />Need to work on the structure of ML as a concept federating a set of competences<br />Not just conceptually, but empirically<br />
  24. 24. Back to methodology: validation<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeducBellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />24<br />Building relevant ML assessment tools takes time and a lot of research<br />ML dimensions (skills) can (and must) be translated into multiple indicators related to different media / activity domains<br />Validation requires<br />Multiple indicators for the same skill<br />Internal consistency evaluation<br />
  25. 25. Back to methodology: validation<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />EuroMeducBellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />25<br />Data / indicators based on (roughly in order of preference)<br />Observation of specific tasks<br />Experiments<br />Participant observation<br />Analysis of traces<br />Personal environments / personal information spaces<br />Including statistics<br />Interviews and surveys<br />Self-assessment tools<br />Triangulation: a requirement for validation<br />
  26. 26. Conclusions and implications<br />Pierre Fastrez [GReMS/UCL]<br />26<br />Working on competence definitions and their operationalization is a requirement for ML assessment.<br />Constructing ML assessment tools are a means for setting objectives for media educators<br />bridging the gap between <br />asymptotic goals (“be an active citizen and media user”) <br />and practical know-hows (“know how to frame a close shot”)<br />EuroMeduc Bellaria – Oct. 22nd, 2009<br />
  27. 27. Thank you for your attention<br />Questions? Comments?<br />pierre.fastrez@uclouvain.be<br />

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