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How Well Does Collaboration Work In Engineering Project Curriculum Redesign?

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Collaboration, A Cool Tool: Librarians/Faculty/Students Work Together for Quality Results

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.676.1 - 14.676.8



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Paper Authors


Patsy Hulse University of Auckland

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Patsy Hulse has been the Engineering Library Manager, The University of Auckland Library , Auckland, New Zealand for the past 18 years, and, in addition, since 2000, the Civil & Environmental Subject Librarian. Prior to this she was employed over many years in a variety of positions in the University of Auckland library system. She is a registered professional member of the New Zealand Library and Information Association, LIANZA. She has visited many engineering libraries worldwide during her many travels. There has been a particular emphasis on North America libraries, visited extensively during her many attendances at ASEE conferences.

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John St George University of Auckland


Li Wang University of Auckland

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Li Wang is the Learning Services Manager at the University of Auckland. One of Li’s responsibilities includes working with subject librarians and academic staff to integrate information literacy into curricula. Li is completing her PhD study in education and her research topic is on how to integrate information literacy into curriculum in higher education.

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

How well does collaboration work in engineering project curriculum redesign?

Patsy Hulse, John St George and Li Wang Abstract Academics, librarians, and student learning advisors collaborated to redesign the Civil & Environmental Engineering undergraduate course curriculum at the University of Auckland and to integrate information literacy principles. The aim was to improve students’ research skills in line with the University’s Graduate Profile, and also meet the Institution of Professional Engineers’ requirements for accreditation.

This paper will focus on the changes that have been made to the compulsory Civil & Environmental Engineering Year 4 research-based project paper. The curriculum was redesigned by introducing a series of lectures and tutorials to lead students through the project process. These covered literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, searching and evaluating information resources, writing and presentation skills, data analysis, referencing and use of Endnote. Academics, librarians, student learning support staff and IT staff collaboratively designed sessions on information literacy resources and annotated bibliographies using a student-centred approach. The required literature review had to include items from at least three different sources such as patents, journal articles, standards, conference papers and e-books. Search techniques were taught by the subject librarian in a hands-on computer tutorial. Student learning advisors and academics developed a framework within the automatic online peer review system (Aröpa). Using this, each student reviewed three, randomly assigned, double-blind, students’ annotated bibliographies, literature review and abstracts. This enabled weaknesses to be identified and addressed at an early stage of the project by student learning advisors.

The collaboration between academic staff, librarians, and student learning advisors proved time-consuming but achieved excellent results in curriculum redesign. In this paper we will discuss the aims, methods used, results achieved, lessons learnt and proposals for future improvements.


This paper will discuss the collaboration between academic staff, librarians, student learning advisors and IT staff to provide information literacy skills for Civil & Environmental Engineering undergraduate students at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, with particular focus on the research-based project paper held in the fourth year.

The University of Auckland is the largest of eight universities within New Zealand and is ranked in the top ten in Australasia. The School of Engineering has over 3000 students and 250 staff. All undergraduate Bachelor of Engineering (BE) degree programmes are four years in duration. The first year course is common to all students who then select their speciality.

Admission to Year 1 is assessed on the students’ academic levels based on their performance in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) normally undertaken at high school, and, in marginal cases, by interview. With rigorous selection procedures, the academic ability of the cohort entering the School is very high (within the top 5% of New

Hulse, P., & St George, J., & Wang, L. (2009, June), How Well Does Collaboration Work In Engineering Project Curriculum Redesign? Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4805

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: © 2009 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