Innovative Applications of Social Software in Reaching Out to Engineering Students
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Innovative Applications of Social Software in Reaching Out to Engineering Students

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This poster highlights how engineering students at Drexel can keep uptodate with new information using social networking tools.

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Innovative Applications of Social Software in Reaching Out to Engineering Students

  1. 1. Innovative Applications of Social Software in Reaching Out to Engineering Students Sasha Gurke, Senior Vice-President and Co-Founder of Knovel Corporation, Email: sgurke@knovel.com Jay Bhatt, Engineering Librarian, Drexel University, Email: bhattjj@drexel.edu Josh Roberts, Assistant Librarian for Engineering, Drexel University, Email: jcr382@drexel.edu Drexel Engineering Background So…How Do We Approach Them? Using ‘Notes’ Application to Import Feeds from Engineering Blogs • Meet them where they already are… Facebook and Bookmarks from del.icio.us other social sites • All major disciplines, with an emphasis on new, interdisciplinary programs • “Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.” • Undergraduate research is encouraged – Facebook’s website • Students ask their friends for information there Drexel Engineering • Programs are growing rapidly – 40% increase • Organizations such as Drexel Student IEEE use Information in doctoral students in last 5 years Facebook Awareness Campaign Group • More users than ever before… • Vendors including E-Book provider Knovel have a presence • Librarians can be informal information providers via Facebook Survey of How do you most How would you prefer How did you learn to often find information to keep yourself find information you Engineering about new resources up-to-date with new needed for research Survey of Engineering Students Survey of Engineering Students; Students available from the information projects? Conclusions (n=122) library? Have social networking sites helped you to become aware of the Knovel’s Facebook availability of electronic resources, e-books, or any other library Face-to-face consultation page allows reaching 15.6% 13.9% 29.5% with a librarian resources? • Friends and colleagues are a major way students find out to the users, Email consultation with a 26.2% 37.7% 18.9% information librarian keeping them IM chat consultation with a • When this study was carried out Facebook was not up-to-date with the 2.5% 11.5% 4.9% librarian “I wasn’t aware that the University libraries had any form of integration widely promoted on campus; increasing awareness is our latest news about the From friends and colleagues 44.3% 31.1% 45.9% with any social networking services nor that they had postings about next step library resources on these services.” product. From postings on social sites such as Facebook 4.9% 19.7% 3.3% “I have just connected on Facebook so have not had time to see how it will • Despite not being heavily used, the emphasis on friends affect my awareness.” as information sources indicates great potential for social From postings in course 17.2% management software such 24.6% 40.2% networking sites as library outreach as Blackboard “Haven’t seen anyone talking about research work on Facebook.” From postings in the Library’s website and blogs 42.6% 56.6% 35.2% “I didn’t know it was available for that purpose.”

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