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Bosman, L., Paterson, K. & Phillips, M. (2021). Integrating online discussions into engineering curriculum to endorse interdisciplinary viewpoints, promote authentic learning, and improve information literacy. International Journal of Engineering Education 37(1), pp 19-30.


Engineering is very much an applied discipline where math and science concepts, skills, and tools can be used to design products or processes with new and/or increased value. Research suggests active learning is an effective method for teaching and learning in the engineering classroom. Moreover, students continue to express increased satisfaction when taught using this experiential pedagogical approach. One approach to active learning gaining traction in the engineering classroom is the use of online discussions. The purpose of this paper is to offer a structured approach for engineering educators to develop online discussion prompts aimed to prepare engineering students for entering the workforce; this structure approach includes an intentional and purposeful focus on three core elements: (1) interdisciplinary viewpoints, (2) real-world and authentic experiences, and (3) information literacy applications. A mixed methods analysis provides evidence towards student exposure and awareness to the three core elements of interdisciplinary viewpoints, real world and authentic experiences, and information literacy applications. In addition, students reported a positive experience participating in online discussions, and improvements in student perception changes related to blended learning and self-regulated learning.


undergraduate, information literacy, mixed methods, engineering

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