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Credited Information Literacy Training Sessions for Graduate Students - Still Relevant after 18 years: A Case Study

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Assessing, Expanding, and Innovating Information Literacy

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

21

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34351

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34351

Download Count

128

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Paper Authors

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Elise Anne Basque Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2354-2016

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Elise Anne Basque has been a Science and Engineering Librarian at Polytechnique Montréal since 2011. She holds a B.Sc. in mathematics and a Master’s degree in Information Science from Université de Montréal, and a B.Ed. in education from University of Ottawa. At the Polytechnique Library, she specializes in mathematics, statistical data, biomedical engineering, and physics engineering. She is involved in information literacy workshops and bibliometrics.

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Christine Brodeur Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-8579-3358

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Christine Brodeur holds a bachelor’s degree in education and science from McGill University, in Montréal. She taught high school for 6 years before enrolling at Université de Montréal to complete a Master of Information Sciences. She has been working as a librarian at Polytechnique Montréal since 2013, doing a variety of tasks, with a focus on bibliometrics and teaching information literacy.

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Manon Du Ruisseau Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal

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Manon Du Ruisseau has been working at the Polytechnique Montréal Library for more than 30 years. During the first years of her career, she worked as a library technician and since then she occupied various positions that allowed her to explore all aspects of library services. In 2000, she obtained her Master of Library and Information Science from the Université de Montréal and has been working as a librarian ever since. In 2012, she became Section Head of the Information Consulting Services.

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Jimmy Roberge Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-8928-3152

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Jimmy Roberge has been working as a Science and Engineering Librarian at Polytechnique Montréal’s Library since 2017. He completed his M.S.I. in Information Science (in 2016) and a Short Graduate Program in Teaching at the Post-secondary Level (in 2014), both at Université de Montréal. Prior to 2013, he received his B.A. in Geography from Université Laval and his M.Env. in Environment from Université de Sherbrooke, and worked for a consulting engineering firm for seven years as an environmental consultant.

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Arina Soare Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal

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A former engineer, Arina Soare changed careers and obtained her M.L.I.S. degree from McGill University in 2011. Since then, she has been working as a Science and Engineering librarian at Polytechnique Montreal, helping students improve their research skills. She specializes in mechanical, aerospace, computer, and electrical engineering and provides instruction in Research Methods graduate workshops in a diverse environment. She conducts workshops and provides assistance and support on EndNote and BibTeX to students and faculty.

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Marie Tremblay Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal

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Marie Tremblay has a Master’s degree in Information Science from Université de Montréal. She works as a Science and Engineering Librarian at Polytechnique Montréal since 2015, and previously worked in a hospital library. She is interested in the accessibility of information and the roles of the library within an engineering educational institution. Prior to her work as a librarian, she earned a B.A. in French Linguistics and a M.A. in Translation and spent nearly 15 years working as a translator and reviser.

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Abstract

This case study focuses on the mandatory and credited information literacy training sessions offered by a team of librarians since 2002 to more than 5000 graduate students enrolled in a research program at a francophone engineering university. Their creation was justified in part by a survey in which many professors mentioned they would like their students to develop better information research skills. This paper describes how these sessions have evolved since their implementation and discusses the factors that contributed to their continuation over time.

Initially, these training sessions were mandatory for all PhD students. In 2008, they also became mandatory for all research master’s students. Due to the significant increase in the number of students attending these sessions, important changes were made to the type of learning assessment. At first, the students were required to produce a portfolio related to their research projects that the librarians graded and to which they suggested ways of improvement. This evaluation method being time-consuming, it was changed to open-book exams. After a few years, the librarians decided to modify the assessment again to allow students to work on their own projects. Moreover, a heterogeneous clientele posed some significant challenges. For example, the university has welcomed a growing international graduate student population that did not speak French. In response to these challenges and to institutional requests, the team of librarians started offering classes in both English and French in 2010, and integrated more active pedagogies. Throughout these transformations, the University’s senior leadership always approved the proposed changes and maintained the mandatory information literacy training.

Students participating in the training sessions filled teaching evaluation surveys, for which the results are presented in this paper. The surveys asked the students about their degree of satisfaction regarding the different objectives of the training sessions, namely defining an information need, building and optimizing a search strategy, finding information sources relevant to their field, and learning how to ethically use information. The surveys also asked whether sufficient time was allocated to reach the objectives and whether the students generally improved their information research skills. Overall, the results show a satisfaction rate of over 90% since 2011 for all evaluated criteria. In addition, creating and executing a search strategy in specialized databases is among the most common answers to an open-ended question about the most important thing the students learned.

The discussion section argues that the high satisfaction rates, the adjustments made to cater to the evolving needs of the clientele, and the compliance to the institutional requests contributed to maintaining the information literacy training sessions in the graduate programs. Positive effects include the librarians’ professional development and an increased visibility for the Library resources and services. It also discusses the positive impact on the students’ research skills and on their literature reviews. Consequently, the training sessions contribute to achieving the University learning objectives for graduate students in research programs.

Basque, E. A., & Brodeur, C., & Du Ruisseau, M., & Roberge, J., & Soare, A., & Tremblay , M. (2020, June), Credited Information Literacy Training Sessions for Graduate Students - Still Relevant after 18 years: A Case Study Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34351

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: © 2020 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