Academic journal article International Education Studies

A Rasch Analysis on Total Learning Experience of UKM Engineering Students

Academic journal article International Education Studies

A Rasch Analysis on Total Learning Experience of UKM Engineering Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

Learning experience has always been influenced by not only the academic materials presented to students, but also others factors within the surroundings of the students. Assessment is conducted to monitor the students' total learning experience (TLE) throughout their academic tenure-ship at the higher learning institution. UKM has taken the initiative to assess their students' TLE annually. The findings then serve as their benchmark on the enhancement of the facilities provided and the progression of the students' characteristics. UKM prepared a comprehensive TLE assessment on the infrastructure provided, the soft skill development and on personality traits. This paper discusses the findings on UKM's engineering students' TLE in relation to the infrastructure provided by UKM. The students perceived that they learned more from their industrial training provided with mean measured at -1.10 logit. Where else, the least contributing factor towards the students' learning experience is the college facilities with mean measured at +0.50 logit.

Keywords: total learning experience, infrastructure influence, TLE assessment, students' perception, Rasch measurement model

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1. Introduction

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) has always paid the attention to the learning experience of their students through consistent and well planned efforts on providing a conducive learning environment. The emphasis will, in hope, give maximum impact to the development of student learning progress through the enforcement of the comprehensive policy DPM UKM (2009). UKM wanted its students not only to excel in academic but also having confidence, leadership and promoting national identity internationally.

Learning process involve many things surrounding the person. It does not only mean to disseminate technical knowledge but also include the environment factors, the experiences, and the learning styles of the person (Keefe, 1979; Stewart & Felicetti, 1992; Chalabine, 2008). Dewey (1938, 1944) argued that education and learning are social interactive processes, and thus the school itself is a social institution through which social reform takes place.

Learning experience simply relates students experience towards their internal cognitive development processes. Learning is a process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience (Kolb, 1984). Kolb (1984) emphasized that learning takes place in four cycles and learners have to go through all these cycles for effective learning to take place. The cycles initially involve experiencing new situation or the reinterpreting of existing experience. It then influences the students to review the situation and reflect it back to the experience to understand the phenomena. Subsequently, triggers new ideas or modification to the existing experience which the individual may use the idea later to adopt to new situation or environment (McLeod, 2010). Figure 1 summarised the learning process cycles.

Most famous universities all over the world have already emphasized on the learning environment within their institutions for the students. Kolb (1984) quoted Lewinian model and Dewey's model of learning as similar, where both stressed that learning experience is a process of observing the surrounding, knowledge gained from the surroundings and the judgment of putting together of what is observed and what is recalled to see what they signify. In fact, learning is a continuous process in which the learning experience is very much influence by the surroundings.

The learning experience will be well embedded in the subconscious mind of the students, giving significant whole life impact on the knowledge, skills, attitudes and conscience. Characteristics of such learning experience not only enhanced students' achievement, but will encourage and enhance the internationalization image of the institution. UKM are emphasizing these issues on the students through outbound mobility programs allowing students to apply the experience in life job (Prosser, 2008). …

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