Asee peer logo

Integrating Information Literacy Skills With Engineering Course Content For Lifelong Learning

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.761.1 - 9.761.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Barbara Williams

author page

Paul Blowers

author page

Jeff Goldberg

Download Paper |

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

Session# 1793

Integrating Information Literacy Skills into Engineering Courses to Produce Lifelong Learners Barbara Williamsa, Paul Blowersb, Jeff Goldbergc a Univ. Lib./Chem. & Env. Engr./cSystems & Industrial Engr. The University of Arizona


One criterion of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is that engineering students must develop lifelong learning skills in order for a program to be accredited. We argue that developing information literacy skills will allow students to exert more control over their own learning within and beyond the classroom so they will develop these skills.

We have developed several methods of injecting information literacy skills seamlessly into engineering courses so students will see the value of being able to find information on their own. These activities incorporate discussions on peer reviewed materials, the appropriateness of using the Web for gathering information, and databases common to a core discipline. Pre- and post-implementation evaluations by sophomore, junior, and senior engineering students from two different engineering disciplines show that the incorporation of information literacy skills strengthens students' understanding of how to find and use information in engineering contexts. Future work would investigate whether students are indeed becoming lifelong learners by surveying their use of library information tools after they graduate.


In this work, we advocate for the systematic inclusion of information literacy (IL) across the undergraduate engineering curricula to meet the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) requirement for "teaching lifelong learning skills"1. Our previous paper2 showed that IL skills can be seamlessly included in engineering courses by modifying assignments and adjusting syllabi. We showed that treating the IL skill set as an after-thought marginalized the concepts of both lifelong learning and information literacy. Much of the discussion in our previous work centered on technical strategies for transferring information literacy skills by impacting the course syllabi. In this discourse, we show more examples of how to integrate IL into engineering courses while also reporting more assessment data. We also provide an in depth argument about how IL skills contribute to lifelong learning skills.

We attempt to create a parallel learning process by infusing information literacy with regular course work. This particular teaching methodology teaches information literacy skills using the class content in a way that makes the literacy point with out appearing contrived. Research studies indicate that learning which is directly related to real life situations where the

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Williams, B., & Blowers, P., & Goldberg, J. (2004, June), Integrating Information Literacy Skills With Engineering Course Content For Lifelong Learning Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13596

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: © 2004 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