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2008 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


This paper describes how librarians at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) work with administrators and faculty of the Interdisciplinary & Global Studies Division (IGSD) to ensure that students are prepared for real-world off-site projects. Information literacy (IL) skills carry over from the academic setting to professional and personal life. According to a recent report by American Association of Colleges and Universities information literacy is listed as an essential learning outcome in the area of Intellectual and Practical Skills. At WPI these skills become practice with the real-world projects undergraduate students perform as part of their degree requirements. Librarians partner with faculty to infuse these important skills for future engineers and scientists into the curriculum through a project experience completed during their junior year. All WPI undergraduates are required to complete a team-based project that examines the impact of science and technology on society. The majority of students choose to complete their projects off-site in a wide variety of Project Centers around the world. Prior to going abroad students are enrolled in a seven-week Research Methods course. Librarians work with IGSD faculty to embed tutorials and team consultations into the course requirements. In 2006-2007 librarians met with 101 project teams and the program is part of all Research Methods courses. Student evaluations indicate that librarian involvement enhances their development of information literacy skills.

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Copyright 2008 American Society for Engineering Education


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