June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.998.1 - 26.998.22
Integration of Information Literacy Skills to Mechanical Engineering Capstone ProjectsInformation literacy is an important component for engineers, especially in their pursuit of life-long learning. Teaching engineering students how to search for information and use itappropriately should be an important part of every engineering design project. It has beenreported that design engineers spend about 30% of their time searching for information.Experience has shown that even senior level students have not received proper training, eitherdirectly or indirectly, in information literacy (IL). They usually search for information intuitivelyin inappropriate places. For mechanical and aerospace engineering students at this institution, theMechanical Engineering System Design I and II (MAE 480 and 481) courses are probably thelast opportunity to teach students about IL. Introducing information literacy into the curriculumof the senior Mechanical Engineering capstone project certainly assisted the students with theirresearch and helped them be better and more effective users of information. In this project,information literacy outcomes were added to the course syllabus and activities and assignmentswere designed to instruct to better select the best information for their projects and evaluateacquired IL- related skills. Three librarians, two of whom were at a distance, were integrated intothis course. The librarians guided the students across all facets of available informationresources including intellectual property. While the delivery for this particular class waschallenging: resources had to be adapted to those available at a different institution, one librariantraveled to the site, and the other librarian presented a lecture via ooVoo, these challenges wereovercome. The students’ feedback and course evaluation tools have confirmed an improvementin the IL-related skills in the students. The results of the post-test as well as student responsesindicate that the instruction was effective. Our hope is that other senior engineering designclasses will see it fit to bring librarians into the mix in helping students to “an understanding ofprofessional and ethical responsibility” as well as “a recognition for the need for, and an abilityto engage in life-long learning” (ABET standards f and i).
Zabihian, F., & Strife, M. L., & Armour-Gemmen, M. G. (2015, June), Integration of Information Literacy Skills to Mechanical Engineering Capstone Projects Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24335
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