July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
This will be a complete research paper. The global pandemic has necessitated a rapid move online , , requiring educators to pioneer online instruction even as they deliver it. The extent and speed of the change have raised questions about the effectiveness of online instruction, and whether asynchronous online delivery best supports students with increased caregiving or other responsibilities. This shift has particularly impacted first-year programs, in which training engineering students to find reliable information is fundamental to their professional development and ABET and CEAB accreditation criteria , . Engineering students must develop the capacity to research broad contexts informing engineering problems and emerging technical developments, and mirror the practice of working engineers when access to technical information changes after university. Typically, information seeking is taught in person so that instructors can directly observe and guide student behaviour. After a formal training session, students ask questions about search methods, need real-time assistance in interpreting results, seek advice about assessing credibility, and request guidance about recording their research. An instructor, sometimes with a librarian and teaching assistant, can move around the classroom, providing timely guidance. This practice is still evolving but is well-established by research. However, the effects of online information-seeking training and the impacts of the sudden transition on students’ learning are very poorly understood. There is limited information available about delivering information literacy for engineering students in online contexts, and much of the information is dated . Even less is known about the use of asynchronous instructional methods, with existing studies focused on using pre-text and post-test methodologies . This paper significantly enhances existing knowledge by directly comparing the efficacy of in-person and asynchronous online instructional modalities. Building on a data set of in-person instruction (Authors, 2020), we will examine moving this content online rapidly into asynchronous, electronic modules. By using pedagogical reflection and decision-making modeling, we will examine lessons learned with both modalities of instruction; this pedagogical reflection builds upon our previous work by measuring the outcomes of teaching a multi-stage iterative information-seeking unit online and comparing those outcomes to the same material taught in person in the previous year , . For 90 students in a mandatory engineering-communications course, we deployed an enhanced online baseline-assessment exercise to understand students’ existing information-seeking behaviour and initiate the students’ design thinking. Librarians then deployed an asynchronous fully online lesson to teach engineering research practices, critical appraisal, and information literacy. Students submitted two additional scaffolded design documents in which they recorded their decision-making process in source selection. Finally, we evaluated the extent to which the online lesson impacted student information-seeking behaviour and compared it to the classroom version. The results have significant implications for the development of information-seeking pedagogy to meet U.S. and Canadian accreditation standards, and for the decision-making process to create asynchronous online modules that may or may not be paired with synchronous instruction to teach information-seeking behaviors to first-year engineering students.
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Lamont, G. J., & Mutch, S., & Ohaegbu, C., & Butt, H. Z., & Mercer, K., & Weaver, K. D. (2021, July), Examining In-Person and Asynchronous Information-Seeking Behavior Instruction Among First-Year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37118
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