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Use of Blogs in Instruction and Student-Recommended Web Resources Guide(s)

:: Gerry McKiernan, Science and Technology Librarian and Bibliographer for Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University Library, is looking for instructional activities which make use of blogs, as well as web resource guide featuring student-recommended resources. In a recent cross-posted e-mail, he writes:

The coming Fall semester, I will be collaborating with a faculty member for a Semester Project assignment. For the project, several groups of ten students (or so) from a graduate class and an undergraduate class in different mechanical engineering courses, will be required to address and propose reasonable solutions for a real world issue.

In addition to a WebCT component for reach class, I've proposed the use of a Blog to facilitate communication and documentation among the various project participants, as the two classes will not formally meet.

In addition to a proposed Blog, I am considering the creation of a Web Guide of relevant Web resources that have been identified and recommended by the *students* (not The Librarian (Me) {:-)).

The philosophy of this approach is that as part of their training in proposing solutions to areal-world problem, students should Think Creatively and Think Critically about The Issue at Hand. Within this framework, the role of the Librarian and Instructor is to provide guidance to the students in assessing the quality/credibility/authenticity (not to prepare The Compilation of The Ten Sites).

I' d very much appreciate learning of Any and All instructional activities that have employed Blogs in information literacy initiatives in engineering/science/technology (or other disciplines)


I would also appreciate learning of examples of Student-Recommended Web Resource Guides that have been Aided and Abetted by librarians, but not Controlled primarily by The Librarian {;-)

Thanks in Advance!

Gerry McKiernan
Science and Technology Librarian and Bibliographer for Mechanical Engineering Iowa State University Library Ames IA 50011
gerrymck AT iastate DOT edu

I have thought about embedding blogs into individual courses, and am aware of at least one professor, a good friend who teaches at U Lethbridge, who uses blogs in his classes. Last year, I began suggesting to students in some of the fourth-year engineering design courses that they consider using blogs as a means of communication between design group members. In other words, pure project management. This fall, in my library and research skills instruction sessions, I will be encouraging the students to use blogs from the outset to manage their design projects, thus reducing the number of phone calls, e-mails, text messaging, and other means of communication, as they work in teams on their capstone design projects.

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