What is it? Distance education involves the linking of teacher(s) and student(s), through technology rather than face-to-face interaction. Distance education serves the educational needs of people who cannot come to a Penn State campus due to job, family, time, distance, economic, or other constraints.
Penn State’s first distance education courses, developed over one hundred years ago, used the U.S. mail to link students and teachers. Today, we employ various technologies, including: the Internet, CDs, DVDs, interactive video conferencing, live or on-demand streaming media, videotapes, fax, and e-mail to deliver and facilitate the interaction between learners and teachers. The tremendous technological advances in recent years in computing power, storage technology, and communication links have set the stage for marvelous advances in the quantity and quality of distance education. Penn State faculty and staff are working to bring you new and exciting learning opportunities through distance education.
Library Use Tutorials
Successfully identifying and locating resources available from
the Penn State Library is critical for your success in the Penn
State Nuclear Engineering Distance Courses.
The Engineering Library has several short on-demand video tutorials. They each give access to different resources crucial to engineering study. These databases are supported by Penn State to give you quality information resources. These sites have been evaluated and can help you in your studies (papers, homework, research, etc.).
It is worth your time to check out each of these videos!
If you have any questions regarding the content of these short tutorials, literary research, or a library question, please contact the Engineering Library at UL-ENGR@lists.psu.edu or call 814-865-3451.
Library Basics provides an overview of the information you need to be an effective searcher. It describes the things you should know about each database before searching, how to form a good search using logical operators, truncation and more, and how to evaluate your search results. These are essential skills for quality and efficient searching.
Resources and Services is an overview of the information on the many resources and services the libraries’ provide. These include a number of means to get help, as well as research, course and writing guides. Knowing these can really help you with your research and coursework.
The Cat and Lionsearch tutorial provides an overview of the information you need to know to search the CAT – the database of books, journals, videos, CDs and more that the University Libraries owns or has access to and to LIONSearch, a google-like search option that searches the CAT, inside many of our subject databases, and our digital collections.
The Technical Reports tutorial provides information on technical reports, a critical area for information in engineering. Tech reports can be very current, detailed and may not be duplicated in the journal literature so they are an important area of research.
The NTIS tutorial provides an overview of the information you need to search NTIS, the database for locating technical reports. Many US and International agencies index their reports here and it is an important research tool. NTIS, Compendex and your subject specific databases should be searched whenever you are doing a comprehensive research project.
The Compendex tutorial provides an overview of the information you need to search Compendex, a database of journal articles and conference papers from all areas of engineering with coverage starting in 1884. I recommend Compendex be included in all engineering searches.
Energy Databases provides an overview of the information in the two databases from the Dept of Energy. These provide detailed coverage of reports in all areas of energy research. This tutorial provides an example of a subject specific database, so is worth a look from all majors to show the detail available in a very focused database.
Citation searching tutorial provides an overview of the information you need for citation searching or as I sub-title it “taking an excellent article and using it to find more like it” This is a great way to build on your research and really worth a look.
Full text resources is an overview of the information to find full text articles, reports and more on the web. While some are freely available to all, others require a PSU IP so take a look at the tutorial to see what kinds of materials are available and how to get them.
The Standards and Patents tutorial provides an overview of the information you need to access standards and patents. Both of these are very important in engineering but can be overlooked as information resources. Take a look to see where and how to search for them.
Web Resources covers the wealth of materials on the web (although everything is NOT on the web and much of the quality resources are not free). It covers evaluation of web sites and content, how to find quality web sites and some specialized search engines that are more focused than the commonly used general search engines. Knowing these can be a real timesaver.
The Pennsylvania State University - Office of Continuing & Distance Education - College of Engineering
301-A Engineering Unit C | University Park, PA | 16802
Phone: 814-865-7643 | Fax: 814-865-3969 | Email: email@example.com