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Osif - Just-in-time tutorials for engineering students.


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Osif - Just-in-time tutorials for engineering students.

  1. 1. Just-in-time tutorials for engineering studentsBonnie Osif, Pennsylvania State University, bao2@psu.eduThere are a number of challenges facing librarians in the delivery of informationliteracy skills. Resources and interfaces are proliferating and changing at a startlingrate. The need to deliver information literacy classes increases but the number oflibrarians to deliver the instruction is stable or possibly decreasing, andinterdisciplinary subjects increase the complexity of teaching. Distance education isbooming. Tenopirs studies show an additional challenge relating to information skillsand engineering students. In addition, students have become more digital, turning totheir mobile devices and tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google andWikipedia as their information resources of choice.Just-in-time is a popular subject in engineering. It has increased efficiency anddecreased costs. This manufacturing philosophy easily can be applied to address theneed for increased, focused, evaluative information literacy skills and a means ofinstruction delivery that is focused and subject specific - short, online tutorials.Many students are taking at least some of their classes through distance/onlineeducation and in some programs the majority of students are registering as distanceeducation students. There is an obvious need to provide information literacy skillselectronically. Online tutorials meet the needs of these students as a means ofdelivering just in time information literacy skills. In addition to being availablewhen the students need to apply the skills, they could be reviewed as often as needed,used in conjunction with the appropriate assignments, and are easily customizable fordifferent subject specializations.Online tutorials were created that are short, focused by subject, and purpose.Supplemented by various supporting guides, relevant assignments, and personal helpavailable in various ways, they provide a flexible, efficient means to meet the variedand changing needs of todays students. These easily can be customized andpackaged for specific audiences with new software that is readily available.