Keeping the Conversation Alive: Maintaining Students' Research

Drexel University
Jay Bhatt, Larry Milliken, Lloyd Ackert and Eleanor Goldberg
ASEE ELD (2011) - session T530
Library instruction for engineering students
for freshman
ENGR101-103 sequence
◦ ENGR102-ENGR103 Engineering design
◦ Understanding fundamentals
ENGL101 during the Fall term
◦ Main emphasis on scholarly papers
Senior Design
No formal library instruction between
freshman and senior years
◦ Except a few courses where a faculty member
requests instruction
More and more new resources are added
Eresources updated
Students need reinforcement to make senior
research for engineering design more
Practicing and refining students’ information
gathering skills is critical for Senior Design
True innovation cannot occur without a solid
understanding of the ethical, legal, social,
and technical contexts
Well developed library research skills are
integral to students’ success
Students tend to forget research skills if not
HIST285 – a possible solution? Literature
supported integrating library instruction in
Course offered by the Department of History
and Politics in the College of Arts and
Examines the interrelationship between
technology and its economic, social,
intellectual, and political context.
Research intensive
Engineering students take this course in
prejunior year
Addresses contemporary historical issues as
the relationship between technology,
government, and culture
Incorporates a variety of media, guest
lectures, and weekly discussion sessions
Students are required to write
a 1500–2000 word research essay
or alternative product, e.g. website,
or short documentary film,
or digital library project exploring a focused topic
in the history of technology
Students are required to include:
◦ Scholarly secondary sources, including journal
◦ Monographs
◦ Primary historical documents such as patents,
diaries, and engineering publications
◦ Other credible print and web based resources.
Library Instructional sessions planned
address these requirements
Senior design projects may benefit
Direct instruction by librarians
◦ Humanities and social sciences librarian conducts a
library instructional session highlighting the
important resources
Direct instruction by faculty
◦ Faculty members reinforce library resources while
teaching content
◦ Important resources and tools are also linked from
their course web pages
◦ Video based instruction
◦ Instruction for students in Burlington County
Community College
◦ These sessions will be videotaped and made
available online for students
◦ Possible instruction through Adobe Connect
◦ Virtual chat for simple questions
Research Guides
◦ Help students in navigating through core
◦ Available from the Library web site
◦ Linked from course management software
◦ For more in depth research help
◦ Examples include: history and invention of the
ball point pen, the jet engine, the steam engine,
Plexiglass, and the electric guitar.
Field Trip
◦ Students explore history, science and technology
◦ Franklin Institute Museum
 Students, librarians and faculty members visit museum
 Explore historical aspects of invention together
 Museum has exhibits on: computing, flight, electricity,
automation and more
◦ Instructional activities
 Brainstorm research topics after the visit
 Group discussion where peers help each out for
selection of their research topic
Journal Groups
◦ Students explore their research topic in a group
◦ Active discussion among students and librarians
◦ Dialog based inquiry to help learn more about:
Scholarly papers
Web resources
Primary resources
Peer review
Students need information skills before
Senior Design Project
◦ Heavy research demands
◦ Need for ethical, social, legal context of inventions
HIST 285 provides unique opportunity to
address student needs
◦ Collaboration of librarians and History faculty
◦ Both direct library instruction and information
skills-building activities
◦ Students using tools and sources needed for Senior
Design Project
◦ Jay Bhatt
Librarian for Engineering
Drexel University
Gmail IM drexeleng
◦ With Larry Milliken, Dr. Lloyd Ackert and Eleanor Goldberg