Asee peer logo

Enhancing Engineering Students’ Knowledge Of Information Literacy And Ethics Through An Interactive Online Learning Module

Download Paper |


2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Web-based Learning in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.510.1 - 15.510.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Yuejin Xu Murray State University

visit author page

Yuejin Xu is an assistant professor of psychology, Murray State University, Murray, KY. His research interests include 1) Learning, teaching, and teacher education, 2) Motivation, critical thinking and decision making processes, and 3) Effect and implementation of technology in the classroom.

visit author page


Lili Dong Cleveland State University

visit author page

Lili Dong received the M.S.E.E. from Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics, and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, China and the Ph. D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, in 2000 and 2005 respectively. Since 2005, she has been an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH. Her current research interests include the design, modeling, and control of MEMS devices, adaptive control of linear time-varying systems, modeling, and control of power systems, and engineering education research. She is currently an associate editor of the Proceedings of American Control Conference and a reviewer of multiple IEEE journals and conferences. She is also the chairperson of IEEE Control System Society, Cleveland Chapter.

visit author page


Theresa Nawalaniec Cleveland State University

visit author page

Theresa M. Nawalaniec received her B.S. degree in Chemistry from Cleveland State University and her Master of Library Science degree from Kent State University. She is currently the Sciences and Engineering Librarian at Cleveland State University, with responsibility for the subject areas of chemistry, math, physics, and all engineering disciplines. She also has over 15 years of work experience as a chemist, mostly in the area of analytical chemistry at NASA Glenn Research Center. Theresa is an officer in the American Chemical Society – Cleveland Section.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Enhancing Engineering Students’ Knowledge of Information Literacy and Ethics through an Interactive Online Learning Module


Enhancing information literacy and ethics awareness has long been recognized as one of the important tasks in engineering education. Current practices of fostering engineering students’ information literacy and ethics mainly include formal coursework on information literacy and the seminars given by subject librarians. However, few electrical engineering program core courses strive to enrich students’ understanding of information literacy and ethics in the teaching of their respective core contents. In this study, we explore an alternative to the current practices, which is the integration of information literacy and ethics training into core courses. Specifically, we developed an interactive online learning module on information literacy and ethics based on a seminar given by a subject librarian for electrical engineering in spring 2009. The module was delivered, as a course component, in two undergraduate and two graduate core courses in electrical engineering in spring 2009 and fall 2009. Participants were required to take a pretest on the knowledge of information literacy and ethics prior to the start of the module. In addition, they were required to take a posttest after their completion of the module. The effectiveness of this module on students’ knowledge of information literacy and ethics was evaluated by the analysis of pretest and post test scores.


Information literacy and ethics is a set of abilities requiring individuals to find information effectively, and use information ethically. The abilities to locate and use information properly are crucial for engineering students to complete their coursework, to perform their jobs in engineering, and to become successful lifelong learners. First of all, engineering students need the information literacy skills to conduct literature review for course projects, senior designs, and theses. Second, it is impossible for engineering students to get all solutions to engineering problems from their coursework. Instead, students must be able to find existing solutions or to create new solutions to specific problems from published literature, databases, and library. Third, developing information literacy skills will empower students to control their own learning within and beyond the classroom so that they will become lifelong learners1.

Information literacy and ethics is one of the important outcomes to achieve in engineering education. The expected student outcomes of Program of Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (PBEE) at Cleveland State University include (f) Understanding of professional and ethical responsibility; (g) Communicate effectively; (j) Knowledge of contemporary issues; (k) Use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools2. The Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) at Cleveland State University also states that it is designed for students to acquire (c) the ability to access and use the literature in one’s field; and (d) the ability to communicate effectively3. Clearly, electrical engineering students are expected to be familiar with the current standards in information literacy4, to know how to use the particular library resources available to them, to be able to conduct integrative literature review, to cite

Xu, Y., & Dong, L., & Nawalaniec, T. (2010, June), Enhancing Engineering Students’ Knowledge Of Information Literacy And Ethics Through An Interactive Online Learning Module Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15812

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: © 2010 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