Academic journal article International Education Studies

A Comparative Analysis between Direct and Indirect Measurement of Year I Integrated Project

Academic journal article International Education Studies

A Comparative Analysis between Direct and Indirect Measurement of Year I Integrated Project

Article excerpt

Abstract

The Integrated Project (IP) has been practised in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering (JKKP) since the 2006/2007 session. Initially, the IP is only implemented for the Year II students for both Chemical (KK) and Biochemical Engineering (KB) programmes. Previously, the Year 1 curriculum was only based on the common faculty courses. Starting in the 2010/2011 session, a new curriculum was introduced for Year I with some reshuffling of the courses offered, in which the programme syllabuses are tailored to the offered departmental offerings starting in Year I. Based on the new curriculum, the students registered under the KK and KB programmes have undergone the IP since Semester I of their first-year studies. This implementation project encourages and gives the opportunity to students to take part in the open-ended problem-solving project. The students are trained to obtain information independently through lifelong learning, communication skills in terms of written and oral communications and identify the current issues and involve team work. The training can reduce the phenomenon of student dependence on lecturers or "spoon-feeding" to obtain information in order to understand a theory of learning. The exposure could also transform the learning scenario from lecture-centred to student-centred learning, which requires students to participate more actively in the learning process. The student achievement of the programme outcomes (POs), which has been set in terms of lecturer assessment (direct measurement) and student perception through questionnaires (indirect measurement), was compared at the end of the implementation of the IP in Semester II of the 2011/2012 session. From the comparison, it was found that both measurement methods gave very similar results for all the outlined POs with insignificant differences detected between the POs. This proves that the students gain benefits through the implementation of the IP which are in line with the lecturers' expectations.

Keywords: integrated project, programme outcomes, chemical and biochemical engineering, humanity skills, team works, communication skills

1. Introduction

The Integrated Project (IP) has attracted many attentions in recent years. The project has been implemented for several engineering undergraduate students at Northern Arizona University (Larson et al. 1996), University of Akron (Qammar et al. 2005) and Elizabethtown College (McBride et al. 2009). Chemical engineering associated with the operation, design, construction and management of commercial products through industrial processes (Abbass and Romagnoli 2007). Meanwhile, the profession of chemical engineer is broad and may be found across a large sector of the professional community. Thus, the appropriate learning and teaching methods as in IP are required so that the learning outcomes can be achieved to produce good chemical engineers. Through the integrated project, it could help to develop students' skills i.e., to work both independently and in teams, be able to communicate, could take responsibility for their own learning and, be able to solve tasks given independently (Yague et al. 2008).

The Department of Chemical and Process Engineering (JKKP) implemented an Integrated Project (IP) at department level in the 2006/2007 session for Year II students (Abdullah et al. 2008; Takriff et al. 2007). The implementation was based on the Outcome Based Education (OBE) which was initially introduced in the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment (FKAB), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), in Semester I of the 2005/2006 session (Mohd Nor et al. 2006). The IP project is similar to the plant design projects that were implemented for the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering programmes for final-year studies. The IP is a group work assignment that is implemented in every semester for Years II and III, which integrates all departmental courses in each semester. The purpose of introducing this project is so that the students can integrate the knowledge and theories they obtained within each semester and translate this into an assignment, and it can also reduce the students' burden as they only have to complete one project every semester. …

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