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Figuring "It" Out: Informational Literacy for Problem Scoping in Engineering Design (Theory)

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Design in the First Year

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Brianna L. Dorie Gonzaga University

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Brianna L. Dorie is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Gonzaga University responsible for the implementation of the first year engineering program. Her research centers around the formation of engineering thinking and broadening participation in engineering.

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We live in a digital age, where we have access to a plethora of information at our literal fingertips. The relative speed of getting an answer has fundamentally changed the way that individuals locate and process information. The intersection of engineering and library science has delved into the field of informational literacy, which investigates the skills necessary to locate, evaluate and effectively use the needed information. This information gathering stage is important in the problem scoping stage for “wicked” open-ended engineering design problems. Studies have shown that differences exist in how high schoolers, first-year students, senior students, experienced engineers and even preschoolers approach problem scoping and information gathering. This paper will outline the key research at each of the stages (preschool to engineering expert) to determine what key differences and/or similarities exist such as the source of information gathering, relation to context, and the ability of the individual to discern the necessary information. Observations from a unit on informational literacy for problem scoping in a first-year engineering program will be presented.

Dorie, B. L. (2021, July), Figuring "It" Out: Informational Literacy for Problem Scoping in Engineering Design (Theory) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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