Document Type


Publication Date

January 2014

Publication Title

Frontiers in Education Conference, 2014 IEEE


This work in progress describes library research instruction and baseline assessment data in an undergraduate introductory-level mechanical engineering design course. We investigate whether librarian-led information literacy instruction enables students to develop confidence and more creative solutions to their engineering design challenges. Our study will be a multi-term examination of instruction and outcomes. We review student design reports for works cited and analyze them for quality and variety. In addition we use course end feedback responses to determine student engagement in information seeking, and gather opinions of the research instruction provided. Instruction will be iterated based on student feedback. Evidence from our first term of citation analysis indicates that students were successful in finding a wide variety of sources, such as technical reports, standards, peer-reviewed literature, patents, and trade literature. Feedback indicates that students understand the value of gathering a variety of sources of information, but that there are opportunities to enhance student engagement in the research process. Our future work is to gather more data to determine whether the quality and variety of information sources used by students, as well as their opinions of the research process can be correlated to their success in their design projects.