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Assessment Of Web Based Information Literacy Program For Industrial Engineers

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Information Literacy

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.247.1 - 8.247.10



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Paper Authors

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Elizabeth Smith

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Lawrence Whitman

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Assessment of a Web-based Information Literacy Program for Industrial Engineers

Beth A. Smith, Asst. Prof., Larry Whitman, Asst. Prof. Wichita State University


Industrial engineering students require three distinct “types” of information. The first type is the subject knowledge traditionally taught through lectures and textbooks. The second type is in the use of software tools. The third type is locating and critically analyzing engineering literature. Most engineering curricula minimize formal classroom time to teach skills in types two and three. An example of the type two information requirement is the ability to manipulate spreadsheets, which is a necessary skill in Engineering Economy. An example of the type three information requirement is information literacy skills, which are a critical component of a graduate education. WSU requires an Engineering Research Writing class of all graduate industrial engineering students with a library component taught by the engineering librarian. Web-based lectures “captured” using Tegrity software are used at Wichita State University to teach spreadsheet and literature retrieval skills on a limited scale. Before expanding our offering of Web lectures it was necessary to test the effectiveness of this mode of instruction. The Engineering Economy and Engineering Research Writing classes were each separated into two sections in fall 2002. One section of each course received instruction in a traditional lecture setting. The other section was taught using the web lectures. Pre and post-tests were given before and after the instructional sessions to assess the instruction. This paper presents the method of the study, the specific results, and the implications for Web instruction in these areas.


First semester Industrial Engineering graduate students at Wichita State University are required to take Engineering Research Writing. This is an eight-week, 1 credit course usually taken in a student’s first semester. Over eighty percent of the students in this program are international. They are typically ill-prepared to write graduate-level research papers having limited experience in performing library research. Even U.S. students are required to do very little writing and traditional research in their undergraduate programs. This course is taught by an adjunct faculty member and is taught as a workshop to give students plenty of practice writing at the graduate level.

The library component is an essential part of the research process. Informal surveys of the students indicated that in a class of thirty usually only 4-6 indicated they had written a “research” paper. About the same number had ever been required to do library research. This is consistent with the research regarding engineer’s information-seeking behavior. Pinelli, et. al. talk about engineers’ preference for relying on informal sources of information like peers and

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Smith, E., & Whitman, L. (2003, June), Assessment Of Web Based Information Literacy Program For Industrial Engineers Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12422

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015