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The 360° of Information Fluency Delivery to Freshman Engineering Students

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Student-Centered Information Literacy

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1185.1 - 24.1185.17



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Paper Authors


Marian G. Armour-Gemmen West Virginia University

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Marian Armour-Gemmen has been the Patent & Trademark Librarian at West Virginia University Libraries since 2003. In this capacity she assists inventors throughout the state of West Virginia. She is also the bibliographer for Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering as well as for Civil & Environmental Engineering. Previously she worked as the head of the Physical Sciences Library and as an associate in the Government Documents department.
She is a past president of the Patent & Trademark Resource Center Association.
She holds a MLIS from the University of South Carolina, a MA from the University of Michigan, and a BA from Calvin College.

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Robin A.M. Hensel West Virginia University


Mary L. Strife West Virginia University

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Mary is the director and senior engineering librarian of the Evansdale Library at West Virginia University, a position she has held since 2002. She has been at WVU since 1995, arriving as Coordinator of Physical Sciences and Math Libraries. Over her 31 year career, she has worked at Cornell and Syracuse Universities, the University of Rochester and SUNY Institute of Technology Utica/Rome.

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The 360° of Information Fluency Delivery to Freshman Engineering StudentsDuring each of the past three years, engineering librarians from this university have beenteaching information fluency skills to 700-1000 freshman engineering students per year, using aspecific information fluency cycle. The librarians’ responsibilities in the Fall 2013 coursesyllabus included teaching once in each section, providing two-hour, in-library group sessions toaccommodate almost 700 students, delivering an intellectual property Blackboard™ module forstudents to complete over a specific period of time, and requiring students complete a plagiarismavoidance tutorial with quiz. Some of these components are similar to those of past semesters.However, past collection of the data was difficult.Student participation and compliance were increased through greater buy-in by professors,moving the plagiarism avoidance tutorial to the librarians’ control, librarians attending weeklyfaculty meetings, willingness of librarians to migrate a semester early to the new Blackboardwith the engineering faculty, and a compressed schedule for the delivery of all informationliteracy parts (from eleven weeks to six). The increase in the number of students taking thequizzes provided more data to analyze. The authors hope that the increased student participationwill provide better indicators of learning and demonstrate areas for teaching improvement.An in-library workshop was carefully shaped to control the output and focus the students.Controls included assigning relevant preselected and researched topics, stepping the studentsfrom simple to complex databases, a carefully structured worksheet, and a carefully chosenhandbook topic. The designed workshop allowed the librarians to assist students better whenencountering unanticipated technological problems such as the loss of our online catalog, andincapability of browsers with certain databases.Data were collected around the information fluency instruction cycle. The collected data to beanalyzed included plagiarism test scores, pre- and post-test comparisons, and IntellectualProperty module test. The pre-test was administered at the beginning of the cycle and the posttest at the end of the cycle (during week seven or eight). The comparison of these tests yieldedan indicator of the efficacy of the information fluency instruction. A plagiarism avoidancetutorial was administered along with a test, and data were gathered from this test. Analysis ofthose scores will include focus on the questions that were answered incorrectly most often.Student received credit for participation after sending plagiarism quiz results to librarian,completing the in-session worksheet, and emailing of a fulltext article related to their searchassignment.Overall, the data have indicted the students’ understanding of the use of information and theirbeginning awareness of the importance of information tools for their success as engineers.

Armour-Gemmen, M. G., & Hensel, R. A., & Strife, M. L. (2014, June), The 360° of Information Fluency Delivery to Freshman Engineering Students Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23118

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