In a rapidly changing world, universities are preparing students by developing learner-centered experiential learning programs. Experiential learning (EL) courses are developed to build a foundation for undergraduate engineering students to become lifelong learners. EL programs are successful in training students with well-defined technical and analytical skills. However, all too often, the assumption is non-technical skills, such as research and communication, are acquired automatically during a degree, which is not true. As with other areas of competence, students need to be actively taught these skills and given opportunities to develop and practice them until they can be used easily and competently.

In response to the training gap in the engineering experiential learning curriculum, a team at McMaster University has created a series of online modules in the format of this Pressbook that focuses on the development of essential skills for success in experiential learning programs.

This book, Engineering and Information: Research Skills for Engineers, is intended to expand experiential learning course offerings for undergraduate students through a series of interactive modules. The developed resource includes seven independent modules that focus on essential skills for engineering including how to find, understand, evaluate, and document information sources that are commonly used by engineers such as journal articles, patents, standards/guidelines, books, and webpages.

The resource has been created as a series of self-learning modules to support all undergraduate engineering students, regardless of their level of study. The resource can also serve as supplementary training modules for instructors to ensure that there is proper assessment and evaluation of student assignments. Since each online module focuses on building different skills, they can be used in combination or individually. Educators can incorporate the modules at different points in their programs.

This project is made possible with funding by the Government of Ontario and through eCampusOntario’s support of the Virtual Learning Strategy. To learn more about the Virtual Learning Strategy visit:


Resource Development Team at McMaster University:

photo of Project Lead, Shelir Ebrahimi
Project Lead: Shelir Ebrahimi, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
Photo of Alanna Carter
Educational Developer, Online Learning Specialist: Alanna Carter, MacPherson Institute
Phot of Katie Harding
Learning Support Librarian, SME: Katie Harding, Faculty of Engineering
Photo of Raymond Tolentino
Content Creator: Raymond Tolentino
Photo of Eva Mueller
Content Developer & Content Creator: Eva Mueller
Photo of Jacob Krone
Media Designer & Content Creator: Jacob Krone

For any comments or questions or concerns, please contact project lead, Shelir Ebrahimi via

Note: Engineering Reflection Guidebook is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA license.


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Engineering and Information: Research Skills for Engineers Copyright © by Katie Harding, Alanna Carter, Shelir Ebrahimi, and Eva Mueller is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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