Does a reinforcement lesson on scholarly and authoritative sources positively affect the quality of students’ sources in the completion of an engineering design project? In the spring of 2017, the Design I information literacy team at Colorado School of Mines piloted a flipped lesson on evaluating sources in the first-year engineering design course. Research results demonstrated that the flipped lesson improved the quality of students’ sources on mid-semester design proposal and less so on their final report. The lesson was fully implemented for fall semester 2017. Based on data from the team’s first research project, and feedback from course faculty, the team piloted a mid-semester reinforcement lesson in fall 2019. This second phase of the research project seeks to specifically reinforce students’ retention of concepts related to both the use of proper citation formatting and incorporation of more scholarly and authoritative sources in their team’s final project report. This work in progress paper discusses preliminary results from the fall 2019 pilot, specifically faculty perceptions of the lesson and its placement within the course structure.
The 2019 reinforcement lesson provided a mid-semester opportunity for teams to revisit the scholarly and authoritative sources module from early in the semester. A short group writing assignment asked students to reflect on sources they had found and used thus far. It also provided an opportunity for faculty to remind students about related help materials in the course’s library research guide. The new mid-semester lesson was piloted in 6 course sections; deployed and graded via Canvas, the university’s learning management system (LMS).
A sampling of course faculty, both those who piloted the lesson and those who did not, were interviewed about their perceptions of the success of the pilot and the role of the information literacy lessons in the course. They were asked for their perspective on two primary topics; the content of the piloted reinforcement lesson and how valuable it is to the course as a whole. They provided input on the types of activities that should be part of an information literacy reinforcement lesson and the best time in the semester to place the lesson. This paper will discuss the design of the reinforcement lesson, results of the faculty interviews and future work needed to improve the lesson before it can be implemented course-wide.
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