Monday, June 11, 2012

ELD conference session evalutions

ASEE has chosen to stop using paper evaluation forms and is sending session attendees to fill out online evaluation forms.

The URL for the library sessions is:

ASEE Division Mixer

The new ASEE Division Mixer was a success in many ways. As one of the more active tables during the Mixer, the official photographer stopped and snapped a photo of several of our ELD folks at the table and then included it in the ASEE conference blog.

In the photo you'll see that we had a poster on the table describing our division and the committees that help us accomplish our work, as well as some playing cards on the table which we used to determine the category of trivia questions we would ask people who visited the table.

And honestly, we did not coordinate the orange tops. :-)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Welcome to the Real World: Showing the Value of Information Literacy Beyond the Classroom 
John B. Napp, University of Toledo started his career as a librarian at an engineering firm. When he started as an academic librarian, surveyed engineering firms to find out how many have librarians (very few). His goal is to make sure the engineering students are capable of finding the information they need when they start their engineering careers, since they may not have librarians to assist them.


Napp decided a problem-based learning would be a useful approach to build in ACRL IL & ABET outcomes. Working with engineering faculty and students, they devised a team-based PBL assignment. He surveyed students on their use of information types as well as perceptions. 41% felt they would still be able to find everything they need on Google. Check out the paper for more findings.

What Information Sources Do Engineering Students Use to Address Authentic Socio-technical Problems?
Eugene Barsky, Annette Berndt, Aleteia Greenwood, and Carla S. Paterson from University of British Columbia discussed their work with an applied science course, Technology and Development, The Global Engineer. Instructors work with a local community partner, a social entrepreneur Charlotte Kwon ( who works with global artisans. The students focus on authentic problems of rural artisans in India. One example is the potential use of solar energy to power sewing machines. Students are required to produce a formal report proposing technological and socially appropriate solutions. The problems are ill-defined and students have to move into areas they are unfamiliar with. 
One of the course outcomes is to get students "to develop a tolerance for ambiguity." 

Librarians worked with these students to teach them research skills. To assess they conducted 3 student surveys, a pre, post and one after the formal reports were complete. Librarians and faculty also reviewed the reference list of the reports. In the pre-survey they found that 90% of students plan to use library resources, 70% mentioned library books, and 40% mentioned library journals and databases. After completing the project 55% of students reported using library resources, 15% books, and 50% library databases and journals.

People are an important source of information for engineers. Some students reported talking with academic experts, a few to librarians, and they expressed a desire to have more contact/communication with the project sponsor/contact in India.  

Their post-survey and paper review confirmed high use of non-academic sources. Overall only 20% of sources were academic sources. Due to lack of clarity and vagueness of project, one student commented that internet search engines are a good place to start. 75% of students reported that presentations by librarians were useful to them. 60% of students reported subsequently using advanced search commands presented by librarians.

Authentic problems as “high engagement, high impact” (Kuh, 2009) activities lead to co-creation of new knowledgebases.

Gauging Workplace Readiness: Information Behavior and Preparedness of Engineering Students in Cooperative Education Programs
Jon N. Jeffryes, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, collaborating with another librarian surveyed co-op students to find out what types of information they are using “on the job.” Out of 42 co-op students, 36 responded. Almost all were mechanical engineering students, most junior/senior level.

Not surprisingly, the librarians found that everyone had to find information on the job. Three areas the data will guide:

1. Portfolio program: six skills students need for their careers, many gleaned from their literature review, putting together this program and used survey findings to help make the case for this initiative.

2. Teamwork workshop: piloted 90-minute workshop already, drop in workshop, not required. Sent to faculty and some strongly requested that one student from each team attend. Focus on team skills and library tools that can assist with teamwork, recent physical space improvements aid with this effort, many active learning/collaborative learning labs. Discussions are now underway on how to incorporate into the curriculum.

3. Information literacy integration: survey data will help and provide examples to engage students within large lecture format IL session for engineering students.

It's a Wrap: a Real-life Engineering Case Study as the Focus of an Online Library Tutorial
Patsy D. Hulse at University of Auckland working with subject librarians D. Dantang Han, E.I. Melnichenko, and S. Brookes developed an online tutorial that incorporates a real-life engineering case study. The idea for this was to fill a research education gap within the engineering students third year. This class has 550 students so an online tutorial was the best approach for an already overstretched staff. They needed to create this within 4 months. Six modules cover how to find the information the students need. Module 4: Time to do testing, is the finding standards part of the tutorial, is one example where they create a scenario that outlines the information need and provide information on how to use databases for finding standards. They created a bank of around 80 assessment questions, and there is a test is worth 3% of the final grade.

To evaluate the effectiveness of the online tutorial they used direct observation, a feedback form, test results, paper evaluation during lectures to get higher response rate (also offered a raffle prize). Found 24% of students learned about patents for the first time. They made changes after student feedback, such as adding video times/sizes, improving navigation and fonts.  Side benefit: 
Librarians were able to use some of the videos within other courses at the graduate level. 

Aside: UofA’s Engineering Library has a neat creativity center, with building materials and a large engineering firm sponsors a model building competition.  

Engineering Information Literacy: Theory and Practice

Gaming Against Plagiarism: A Partnership between the Library and Faculty 
Amy G. Buhler, M. Leonard, M. Johnson and B. DeVane;
Problems with plagiarism at University of Florida prompted Buhler, et al to create a game to help students learn to avoid plagiarism. This project is grant-funded. Using ADDIE and instructional design principles, they constructed a project plan to create this game. Phase 1, content development has completed and now the librarians are in the design phase. Content-building team, Don McCade from Rutgers, a well known researcher on plagiarism in higher education, and others. Content is broken into 3 levels of understanding, based on six outcomes. Level one is foundation knowledge which is to identify major types of plagiarism, basic rules to avoid, and identify data fabrication and falsification. Level two explains consequences, three complexity. The design team, from digital design institute at UF.  The design team is developing small mini-games, incorporated into meta-game that will help students achieve the outcomes. Using Bloom’s taxonomy, game one will allow students to “identify,” two “manage,” and three an investigator will “argue” within a plagiarism mystery, thus using higher order skills.

Once the prototype is developed there will be a 3-week test cycle and librarians hope to do 3 test phases with end users. UF partnered with various institutions who will be using and testing this game within their courses over the next year.

Follow the progress of the game at {note: link doesn't work today so need to check on this}

See also Games in Libraries Blog for posts on education games in libraries, including some other examples of plagiarism games.

Finding Your Way around the Engineering Literature: Developing an Online Tutorial Series for Engineering Students – Janet Fransen

In order to reach graduate students at University of Minnesota Jan developed a series of online tutorials, “consumable and short bursts.” She wanted the students to have a compelling reason to do these tutorials so performed some citation analyses on prior student work at UM in order to make the case to students.

In selecting a tool, they wanted some interactivity and quizzing options so selected Adobe Captivate  and Audacity for audio recording. She created a template for the tutorial series and included information about subject librarian(s). Using engineering examples her citation research on electrical engineering peers, the tutorials are focused on graduate students information needs.

See tutorials at:

Collaborative Information Behaviour of Engineering Students in a Senior Design Group Project: a Pilot Study 
Nasser Saleh, Queens University

Assumption that info seeker is an individual, interested in looking at behavior of groups. Saleh wanted to find about collaborative information seeking.

See Dervin’s Sense-making Theory

Two case studies within 4th year design course, 2nd case study he did interviews with students.

For this pilot study, first interested in task formulation/initiation.  He surveyed students to understand clarity, interest in project, ability to find background information and so on. Students reporting that finding information for their project was an ongoing activity, which could be important for engineering librarians to be mindful of. Students reported using people as information sources (93%) such as client, instructor, and librarian. When asked for reasons for collaborative information seeking, complexity of project was one factor. Are students assigning roles? Almost 76% reported they are in order to increase productivity. They meet, split to search, then come back to reconvene to discuss findings.

See also Talja, Hansen "Information Sharing" chapter within Information Sharing in New Directions in Human Information Behavior Seeking (2006).

Keeping the Conversation Alive: Maintaining Students' Research Skills Throughout Their College Careers
Jay Bhatt with L. Milliken, L. Ackert, and E.J. Goldberg
At Drexel, Bhatt was teaching first year and senior engineering research skills, but there were issues with students retaining these skills. He wanted to find a way within their sophomore or junior year to embed information literacy. To intervene within the mid-academic career, Bhatt performed a careful analysis of the engineering curriculum and found that HIST285: Technology in Historical Perspectives was often taking by students in the junior year. Collaborating with the Humanities librarian and professors of this course, Bhatt was able to infuse IL into this course. For the final research assignment students needed to find scholarly sources, books, and primary historic documents. In the future these sessions will be recorded and made available online for students via Adobe Connect.

In the future they are considering a field trip to the Franklin Institute Museum can help students generate ideas for research on inventions or innovations.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rethinking PowerPoint - Deviation from ELD but Worth a Gander at Assertion-Evidence Slides

Assertion-evidence Slides Appear to Lead to Better Comprehension and recall of More Complex Concepts
Kerri Wolf, Penn State & Dr. Joanna K Garner, et al at Old Dominion University asked whether or not assertion-evidence slides are better for communicating technical information. Two groups of students viewed different PPTs with same recorded scripts on MRIs. Researchers then assessed knowledge retention with immediate essays and then tested on their retention of the information two weeks later via a quiz.

Assertion-evidence slides have an assertive statement, a large image, and focused labels via layers. They found A-E slides worked better than the traditional bulleted list which tend to have more text/noise. Use of PPT layers or animation can help students visualize. Over 20% increase in understanding of technical concept was seen with the assertion-evidence slides. Students wrote an essay right after the presentation on the process of MRI. Researchers used a rubric to grade the essays, for the common practice 42% and for assertive-evidence students attained 59%. The common practice students also led to more misconceptions.

These slides do take longer to construct, but worth the time investment! 

Informed Influence: Preparing Graduate Students to Present with Power instead of Just PowerPoint
Christine G. Nicometo & Traci N. Nathans-Kelly from University of Wisconsin, Madison discussed the shift from textual to visual slide design and ability for presented to engage audience or students. They teach in Master of Engineering in Professional Practice, which is primarily on online program, and students have been in industry for at least five years.

Teach students to make assertive statement on their slides along with visuals. They also recommend the use of archival/speaker notes, especially useful when sharing presentations. Their professional students are required to record and view their presentations in order to practice and improve, and they have found the powerful impact of using assertion-evidence based presentation slides.

Information Literacy Programs for First Year Engineering Students

Lifelong Learning and Information Literacy Skills and the First Year Engineering Undergraduate: Report of a Self-assessment – Meagan C. Ross with Michael Fosmire, Ruth Wertz, M.E. Cardella, and S. Purzer

Meagan C. Ross, discussed first year IL and assessment projects at Purdue University. This particular project was funded by an Engineer 2020 grant.  Ross, et al found engineering students self-reported lack of gains in “lifelong learning.” ABET Outcome 3i Lifelong Learning and information literacy are connected. Librarians found they had a hard time teaching IL skills as well as a difficult time assessing these skills. Looking to develop an easy to administer test for librarians and engineering faculty to use. Guglielmino developed a self-directed learning readiness scale (SDLRS), a SDLRS for Nursing education, as well as Shinichi, et al who created a more generic 13 question instrument.

Purdue wished to develop an instrument that would be more focused on engineering. They also desired to bring in Kuhlthau (2004) Information Search Process (ISP). First year students who took their information skills assessment reported being good at task definition, citation, reflection/self-assessment. The weakest areas included exploration of alternative sources, ability to locate information effectively, and these correlate with Kuhlthau’s ISP.

Junior level data shows they are more humble than the first year students. Instructors created an authentic “memo” assignment where they found one weak area for the juniors was citing sources.

They are looking for partners, they have designed three instruments and will be further developing them. They are looking for partners, so feel free to contact them. See also other presentations by this team at ASEE.

Future work, continue developing instrument (circumvent ‘novice effect’)
Librarians should address beginning part of ISP

Embedded Assessment of Library Learning Outcomes in a Freshman Engineering Course 
Larry Schmidt and Melissa Bowles-Terry from University of Wyoming described their experience with IL inclusion within their engineering first year courses. Students are required to perform research on an assigned topic such as autonomous robots then work on a related engineering challenge. Librarians have one-short session and they now have electronic classroom. Short in-class assignments, but they did not know what students were coming away with. They narrowed down to 3 learning outcomes: identifying appropriate research databases, using appropriate vocabulary/keyword choices, and differentiating source types. Started with pre-test (online form), developed worksheet and rubric to assess student keyword choices, and a post-test (online form) to assess databases choices and defining scholarly sources.

Using a constructivist learning approach, they start where the students are by teaching Google then move to Wonderwheel and Scholar, then to an engineering database. Showing search process from general to more specific, and how to modifying search terms.

On the pre-test, almost half of 192 responses had not ever used a database and half were familiar with Academic Search, but this is offered in the Wyoming schools/libraries. For learning outcome 1 (databases) librarians categorized into beginning, developing, exemplary based on the students’ reasons for choosing a specific database. For keywords, librarians created a small rubric, based on quantity of keywords (will be moving to quality in the future, this rubric will be revised). They found most of the students with beginning proficiency in keyword selection were non-native speakers. For learning outcome 3 (source differentiation) students were asked to identify characteristics of a scholarly article, they found the students did not do well.  Self-reported confidence levels increased during the 1-hr session. Future idea: taking research paper samples and matching with student confidence levels. They would also like to give a presentation to the engineering faculty with these findings.

The Research Studio: Integrating Information Literacy Into a First Year Engineering Science Course 
C. Michelle Baratta, Alan Chong and Jason A. Foster

At University of Toronto, two engineering design instructors worked with Baratta, a librarian to develop new active learning method of incorporating IL skills, which they call a “research studio.”

Students have three major design projects within this course. One project has a research assignment with real focus, to design pedestrian bridge to cross a ravine in Toronto. Students need to incorporate technical load/structural engineering concepts and go beyond and think about issues of usability and sustainability. This assignment involves site visits as well as secondary research. Instructors wanted to introduce students to reference handbooks, building codes so they brought in the librarian to assist.

LOGISTICS: Three hundred students visited the library over 3 days, one hundred at a time. They were required to visit up to six stations per team (minimum of 3 spending 30 minutes at each stop). Part of the goal is to foster mutual interdependence, not all teams visited the same stations. Instructors developed a 28 page handout.

STATION EXAMPLE: Evaluating Information
Students were asked to view and evaluate websites about specific bridges. Reflections questions such as “would they use these web sites in their daily lives,” or “would they use this site for an academic research project.”

At the Search Strategies stop students constructed searches and learned about/constructed Boolean searches. For non-traditional sources, students wandered the library to find examples of non-traditional sources.

Instructors found students are now providing longer reference lists, more credible sources, but they feel that the students still do not strategize (but this is a program level issue). Question about how the students are using the references, but have not had opportunity to do this yet.

In the future they will be adding codes/standards, trying to slow students down, reducing structure/overload (like their 28-page handout), and they plan to “gamify” this activity. Students did not like the mutual interdependence, they wanted to know the information themselves. Progressive disclosure based on attainment of skill, moving from using a screwdriver to a Dremel tool.

NSF Funding & New Data Initiatives: Library Repositories on the Leading Edge Panel

Research Data Management Services at the MIT Libraries
Amy Stout

“Science changes the tools and the tools change science.”

“Our ability to create data has outpaced our ability to organize and store it.”

What can librarians do? Stout suggests we learn as much as possible about our departments and their data. We can respond to these changing environments, we can understand the fields we support, we know how to organize, make accessible, and preserve data. You can have an understanding of how to deal with the data, without really understanding the specific data.

Since 2006, study group formed at MIT Libraries, in 2008 brought in a social sciences data librarian and geosciences/GIS expert. For Stout, this is 30% of her job. Services offered:

  • Web site:  Data Management and Publishing 
  • Education: Managing Research Data 101 (4-5 times per year), new presentation coming soon 
  • Bioinformatics for Beginners (team taught with bioinformatics librarian) – using NCBI resources, especially BLAST 
  • One-on-one consulting: format migration, DM plans, working on template which will be on their site soon
  • Radish: – data set collection example. Small pilot which libraries helped faculty member bring data from another institution. Raised questions such as how to handle non-MIT contributors. Still working on this issue! Also, brought up file type issues: multiple/zip file issues (need software to unpack on server and repack on server, not yet integrated with IR). Inconsistent metadata, much of it esoteric, what is needed? Working through this issue too. 
  • Creating data profiles of individual researchers and data audits of entire departments.  
  • Developing service model for assisting researchers in the lab. 
  • Liaison librarian outreach: developing discipline-specific knowledgebase
Stout suggests librarians “try new things, just call them pilot."

Active Data Curation in Libraries: Issues and Challenges William H. Mischo & Mary C. Schlembach At University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Mischo and others are working to embed data curation within the scientific workflow of researchers. Solutions that library IT and others are campus will have a great impact on librarians and libraries, at UIUC librarians are focusing on connecting data to literature, determining their role within the knowledge creation process, and creating GrIPs (Group Information Profiles) on faculty centers. These profiles are online and linked to Scopus, Google news, as well as specific faculty publications and links to searches in their focused areas of research. They also integrate their custom metasearch box within these search profiles.

What data should be curated? They suggest librarians check out federally funded projects such as DataNet, Data Conservancy, DataONE, and Purdue Data Curation Profiles. What levels of data and streams need to be saved? Raw, calibrated, image products which visualize data, derived data, all of this or only some. Also, instrumentation data and metadata must be saved.

For NSF Data Management Plans (DMP) be sure to see varying requirements for engineering directorate, raw data not required to be archived for instance. Check out UIUC Grainger library website and template for DMPs. They are strongly encouraging use of the institutional repository to deposit data. Recent grant was funded, the NSF Ethics CORE Digital Library so stay tuned for more information on this. Mischo and others are working on Responsible Conduct of Research requirement database and wizard to help researchers.

Developing a Data Program at Stanford University
Bob Schwartzwalder pointed out there’s been a surge in interest in reusing data and there is a great economic value in doing this. Librarian’s jobs are changing as there is a packaged approach to information acquisition. At Stanford, there is a wonderful opportunity where librarians “can provide value and benefit not only to communities but society at large.” Leveraging current work with digital repository, partnerships with faculty, and building on existing expertise. Recently, librarians have expanded expertise in the geospatial area.

Establishing integrated data service meets needs of their organization. Metadata issues are critical, especially with the potential of data reuse. Metadata standards are a “mixed playing field.” Some arenas have advanced metadata protocols, while others have none. Data is a “collection issue” and at Stanford revamping collection development policy to support storage and reuse of data. Context may be needed to translate and utilize these data.

For NSF DMPs, librarians at Stanford right now are offering one-on-one consultations to learn needs. Changes in staffing are underway, for instance in 2010 created Associate Director position for STEM data, also a Data Librarian in 2011, and other future plans for staffing shifts are underway.

SUL’s technical infrastructure has three layers. The Stanford Digital Repository as the base with  users/librarians getting info in through the digital object registry (hydra), as well as get info out though the digital delivery system (SUL use Blacklight, searchworks).

Schwartzwalder’s crystal ball: he sees more changes in staffing and focus, a need to build program to assess faculty practices, design technology, need to develop pilot projects and new polices, as well as a need to develop tool sets to “use” data. Tool sets are still an unexplored area with much potential.

Conversations with scientific publishers are also needed, could be assumptions on whether (or not) data included are also peer reviewed.

Q & A
Role for librarians who don’t have institutional repositories?
Promoting the inclusion of data into public repositories. Offer distributed data services, education, not storing data. In the future more collaborative portals will be available for researchers to archive data.

 See ICPSR for example for Social Science data, this data is more homogenous so it’s easier.

Some confusion expressed over goals/commitment involved with ARL eScience Initiative which kicks off in July with a webinar, some uncertainty of what level of commitment, time and outcomes for this program, but this requires a lot of staff commitment.