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Use of toy cars as a stimulus in teaching information research skills to product design students

Abstract: Teaching of library and information research skills (in this case technical information - standards, patents, material data) to second year product design students is enhanced greatly if the process is active and reflective, the information meaningful and embedded into their particular situation, and the environment stimulating.
Plastic toy cars are given to the students at the start of the session and immediately create interest. With direction they stimulate discussion and exploration of the role of information within the design process. Recognition of their information needs as designers motivates students to actively engage with the information research process.

Author Information: I am an information professional working in higher education, currently Subject Librarian for School of Design Engineering and computing, Bournemouth University. Experience in teaching information skills over six years at all Levels, from Undergraduate Level 1 to MA. This includes developing and delivering material as well as contributing web pages for remote student access. Published joint article on creation and philosophy of web site InfoSkills - a generic library and information skills tutorial. I am a current member of the Institute of Learning and Teaching [ILT] and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals [CHILIP] and contributor to the ADC-LTSN Resources Database. An application to the ADC-LTSN register of consultants and advisors is pending.

Date: September 2002

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