The Malaysian government through the National Department of Solid Waste (JPSPN) is targeting to achieve the national recycling rate of 22% by the year 2020. Currently, the recycling rate is estimated at approximately 10.5%. One of the key strategies in solid-waste management is to change the perception and attitude of the Malaysian public in order to encourage receptivity towards the practice of recycling. The objective of this study was mainly to investigate effects of an awareness programme on the perception of engineering students at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (the National University of Malaysia, UKM) towards the recycling of solid waste. This study provides an answer to one of the questions as to why students do not practice recycling even though recycling facilities are provided by the university. In this study, survey forms were distributed to Bachelor of Civil Engineering students, UKM regarding their perception towards recycling practices, awareness of the issues regarding solid waste generation and management in Malaysia as well as knowledge of recycling facilities provided at the university. From the results of this study, it can be concluded that the students are aware of the importance of recycling and individual responsibility to protect and conserve the environment. However, there are some conflicting attitudes towards practicing recycling even though the students are informed on the availability of recycling facilities at the university.
This study uses descriptive data to assess students' perceptions about the differences between the two programmes offered by the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering (JKAS). The programmes offered are Civil and Structural Engineering (CSE) and Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). Confusion about the name may be the key issue affecting programme selection by prospective students in their application for placement in the department, thus curtailing their keenness to join the department out of fear of choosing the wrong programme. A total of 95 respondents consisting of new intake students of Semester 1 Year 1 of the 2014-2015 session engaged in the questionnaire survey process conducted in this research. Data obtained were analysed using the percentage of the score on a Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet. The results showed that the students may have understood and may have had some basic knowledge about the field of study and the syllabus offered designed exclusively for each programme. Therefore, from the perspective of the students, efforts aimed at rebranding the programme names were not necessary. However, there were some existing courses that were identified and proposed for rebranding as their names were misleading for the students.
Programme rebranding, perception of engineering students, civil and structural engineering programme, civil and environmental engineering programme
Student honesty when completing assignments is a major indication to lecturers that students have acquired and know how to apply knowledge shared in the lecture hall. However, the problem of plagiarism among students in writing assignments has become a major problem in education. Plagiarism works as an indicator that students do not practise or apply or know how to apply knowledge that has been covered in class. The continued practice of plagiarism can only produce incompetent graduates who have no integrity. This study focusses on plagiarism as a whole; plagiarism occurs when students submit work that was actually completed by someone else but claims it as their own effort. A total of 73 students of Engineering Graphics participated in this study. A graphic drawing assignment using the AutoCad software was given to each student every week for four weeks. Plagiarism checking was carried out only after all assignments for the four weeks were received. Results of the study found that at least 25% of the students had committed plagiarism in every assignment. The largest group plagiarism was as high as 34 out of 73 (47%) students, all of whom shared the same file for one assignment. The results of this study will give better insight into temptation faced by students to commit plagiarism as a result of no action being taken by the course lecturer.
The sustainable education model with the combination of UKM's recycling centre (PKSUKM) is an educational innovation in UKM's waste management system. Volunteering activities through environmental education and recycling activities are important components in this model. This study aims to establish ekorelawanservice among the students of the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment (FKAB) through their involvement in recycling activities on campus and within the larger community beyond campus. Therefore, surveys were conducted to determine the acceptance and willingness of students to engage in ekorelawanactivities. A pilot study was done with the involvement of second-year students (73 students) of the Department of Civil & Structural Engineering in three programmes that were carried out during their first semester of the academic session 2014/2015. The programmes were MengasihiAlamAnugerahMahaPencipta (MAMA); recycling activities with students from a school in Bandar BaruBangi; and an event to create awareness of the need for the conservation of AlurIlmu UKM. Two surveys were conducted before (the start of the semester) and after the three programmes were run (the final semester). Only 23 students (32%) were interested in pursuing these voluntary activities. Time was the main constraint that prevented students from participating in ekorelawanprogrammes. The results of this pilot study are important in order to improve the programme and at the same time to devise strategies to attract more students of FKAB to participate in ekorelawan'sprogrammes in the future.
Students' understanding of foundational concepts in fundamental courses is important as it is a pre-requirement for proceeding to any advanced and specific courses in any degree programme. Despite high passing rates in most universities, students actually do not really have a good understanding of the course content, especially in fundamental courses. This paper aims to discuss how the pre-test of basic knowledge in mathematics and physics learnt during pre-university or matriculation level can be used to determine and predict student achievement in the fundamental courses of the two subjects. The pre-test questions were distributed to the first-year students at the beginning of semester one (1) of their study at the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, UniversitiKebangsaan Malaysia. In this study, two fundamental courses were selected from first- and second-year programmes, namely, Static & Dynamic (KH 1044) and Fluid Mechanics (KH 2134), respectively. A total of 35 students from the test sample of 43 students successfully obtained the pre-test scores of over 40%, while only one student scored more than 80%. However, students who did well in the pre-test did not necessarily obtain good results in the final examination of both fundamental courses and vice versa. Therefore, necessary action or improvement to the teaching and learning process of the identified courses need to be taken to ensure that students have deep understanding of the subjects before they proceed to the advanced courses.
Fundamental course, pre-test, static and dynamics, fluid mechanics
The rising awareness of the importance of professional skills for engineering students has led to increased attention given by engineering schools to developing the critical thinking skills of students. Thus, this study discusses proposed methods implemented in the teaching and learning process in concrete laboratory experiments. A combination of problem-based and open-ended techniques of teaching and learning is used. The method is supported by creative lab demonstration using an IT tool to conduct flipped laboratory demonstration. Finally, an overall assessment, which consisted of cognitive and psychomotor domains, was conducted. Student feedback and performance in a Materials Technology course are evaluated in the context of the implementation of the proposed method. Student feedback generally indicated that the method was accepted as satisfactory and that it successfully improved the teaching and learning process where the three basic domains from Bloom's Taxonomy were applied.
Education has always been a significant contribution to the development of human capital in terms of social and economic growth. Hence, it should be able to inspire students to foster creativity and innovation and provide them with the skills needed to compete in the modern labour market. Furthermore, education provides talented human capital and is the key driver of economic growth for developing countries. University students are, therefore, required to acquire high-level thinking skills besides being able to regulate their own learning because the self-measurement method has proven to be effective in improving students' academic achievement and learning behaviour. This paper analyses the data collected using the instrument designed by Pintrich and Zusho (2002) to assess motivation and strategies of students and to what extent these factors regulate student learning. The population used in this study were 78 students from the Circuit Theory course for the 2013/2014 session. Scores used were based on their self-regulated learning (SRL) characteristics and their impact on student learning strategies. The study found that the majority of the students still practised the traditional method of learning, namely, learning for higher grades and at the eleventh hour, just before the exam. They did not put more effort into understanding the course content and attempted only the simple assignments given. In order for these findings to be more conclusive, further study is necessary to assess the impact of interventions of SRL through teaching and learning strategies practised in the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, UKM such as cooperative learning and problem-based learning, among others.
Learning motivation, self-regulated learning, teaching and learning strategies
Circuit Theory 1 (KKKL1114) and Circuit Theory 2 (KKKL1124) are two core courses undertaken by students of the Electrical and Electronics Engineering undergraduate study programme. The courses KKKL1114 and KKKL1124 are offered in the first and second semesters for all students in Year One for the undergraduate degree programme in the Department of Electrical, Electronics and Systems Engineering (JKEES), Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment (FKAB), UniversitiKebangsaan Malaysia (UKM, 2013). The moderate achievement of students on these courses in the previous semesters triggered the authors, who taught the courses, to examine the factors that influence student performance. Early intervention measures can be taken to help these students to succeed in their studies. Continuing from a previous study, which analysed the students' academic background, this study was carried out to analyse the students' performance in a pre-test conducted at the beginning of the semester and correlated with their performance in the final examination in Circuit Theory 1 and Circuit Theory 2. The study population was students of the intake session 2012-2013 (Group One). Comparisons with the students' achievement for students of intake session 2013-2014 (Group Two) were also carried out. Furthermore, an analysis on ranking effect on the students based on their final marks for KKKL1114 on Group Two students was done by subdividing them into three subgroups of tutorial sessions. The groups were the low performance group, intermediate performance group and high performance group. The analysis of the results of the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) indicate that the achievement of both groups of these pre-university students is comparable, indicating no significant difference in their pre-university CGPA. However, comparing student performance within the same group shows different performance for KKKL1114 and KKKL1124 as shown by the final marks for the two groups. For all students, only significant correlation between final examination marks for KKKL1114 and the pre-test is observed (R2 = 0.47). For overall student performance, there was no significant correlation between their pre-university CGPA and their achievement for both KKKL1114 and KKKL1124. Student ranking into three tutorial subgroups based on the students' CGPA during pre-university showed a significant finding (p < 0.05) of consistent results in their final marks for KL1114. This shows that the students' final marks for KKKL1114 were linked and reflected to their pre-university CGPA. Ranking the students in this way can ease teaching and learning and allow for necessary interventions especially in the case of weak students to improve their study performance.
Circuit theory achievement, pre-test, pre-university CGPA, tutorial session
Malaysia requires human capital with critical thinking and ability to solve problems to drive the country. These attributes are also required by the Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC), which stipulates that engineering students must have the ability to solve complex problems. Many electrical and electronics engineering courses require good understanding in mathematics to solve complex problems. In addition, some engineering courses have prerequisite courses, which students must complete before they can enrol in those courses in later semesters. Normally, prerequisite courses are fundamental courses and they play important roles in helping students understand the content of the course that requires the prerequisite. In this study, the relationship between student performance in electrical and electronics engineering courses and mathematics and prerequisite course achievement is identified. One mathematics and three engineering courses are used in this study, namely Calculus Vector (KQ1124), Circuit Theory 2 (KL1124), Electromagnetic Fields and Waves (KL2134) and Signal and System (KL2124). The Pearson correlation test using SPSS was used to identify the relationship between electrical and electronics engineering course performance with mathematics and prerequisite courses achievement. The results show that there is a strong positive relationship between engineering courses and previous mathematics achievement. A strong positive relationship also exists between performance in an engineering course and its prerequisite course.
The evidence-based learning approach was introduced and implemented in a course on power electronics in this study. In order to implement the evidence-based learning approach, the power electronic course run by the Department of Electrical, Electronics and System, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, UKM was divided into three complementary phases. The first phase begins with learning the theories of power electronics topics such as rectifier circuit etc. in the classroom; the second phase is learning to design, model and simulate the rectifier circuit using a dedicated software tool; and the last phase is learning to develop the rectifier circuit hardware and to investigate the circuit's characteristics in the laboratory. As a result, students understood the lesson on rectifier circuit better than if they had only been introduced to theory alone or a combination of both theory and computer simulation lessons as they have undertaken all specified phases step by step. Moreover, the proposed learning concept also increased the students' confidence in handling the rectifier circuit experiment. Hence, evidence-based learning should be considered a preferred and alternative learning approach for the power electronics course.
Evidence, experiment, rectifier circuit, simulation, theory
The Chemical Engineering Laboratory 2 (KKKR2412) course offered by UniversitiKebangsaan Malaysia's Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, to students of Chemical Engineering in their second year of study is aimed at training them to handle basic experiments in chemical engineering. In this course, students are taught how to conduct practical training, data collection, results analysis, conclusion making and subsequently, how to write technical reports. Clear assessment is also conducted throughout the course to measure students' understanding via concise and comprehensive report writing, either individually or in a group, oral presentation and peer assessment with an appropriate grade given at the end of the course. However, so far no studies have been conducted on evaluating the relationship between the course outcomes of the subject and the students' grade achievement in order to see the effectiveness of the outcomes and assessment outlined. Therefore, in this paper, the relationship between the learning outcomes of the Chemical Engineering Laboratory 2 course for Year Two students and their grade point obtained for two academic sessions (i) 2012/2013 and (ii) 2013/2014 were linked and investigated by means of a survey form that was distributed to students at the end of the laboratory course. This study shows that mastering the practical content of the course is the most important factor in determining student grades, followed by communication and group work that was carried out throughout the course.
Grades, group work, laboratory, learning outcomes, practical work
This study was conducted to evaluate the performance of students through the achievement of programme outcomes (PO) for two programmes offered at the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering (JKKP), namely, Chemical Engineering and Biochemical Engineering. Implementation of the Outcome-Based Education (OBE) approach from the 2005/2006 session has opened a new chapter in the process of teaching and learning (TnL) at the departmental level in particular. Special emphasis was given to the ability of students to use, apply and relate engineering knowledge in order to solve complex engineering problems. Therefore, regular monitoring is important to look at the trend of PO student achievement for each session. The assessment was conducted by distributing questionnaires to final-year students of the department at MajlisMesraBakalGraduan(MMBG), an event that is held at the end of the second semester of every session. Questionnaires were distributed to students to get their feedback on the implementation of the programme during their four years at JKKP and the proposed improvements to the programme and their evaluation of the performance of the POs set by the department for both programmes. Comparison of the results from sessions 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 shows a slight decrease in terms of performance of the PO achievements.
Outcome-based education, exit survey, chemical engineering, biochemical engineering
The ePortfolio is a paradigm in constructivist e-learning. Apart from being an assessment tool, the ePortfolio is a platform to highlight the student's competency to the employer or to anybody who has an interest in the student's skills and ability. This virtual assessment tool can save employers time when it comes to shortlisting potential candidates before the face-to-face interview session. This paper discusses the ePortfolio as an assessment tool in higher education to assess students' competency. The methods used were intensive literature review and website survey on universities that have implemented the use of the ePortfolio in their learning programmes. Six American universities were chosen. The information gathered from this survey was then compared with information from the American universities. This research suggests a new basic assessment framework based on the comparison analysis. The framework listed nine abilities that must be acquired by students as the determinant factors in assessing student achievement. The abilities were artefacts, reflection/critique, use of multimedia/technology, organisation/ navigation, layout and readability/contents, quality of writing and proofreading (originality/grammar/vocabulary/citation), written and oral communication, portfolio/ documentation compilation and mechanic/ quantitative method. To produce a complete, systematic and detail assessment framework, further research needs to be conducted.
Adherence to Health and Safety (H&S) is one of the required programme outcomes (PO) in all engineering programmes offered at the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment (FKAB), UniversitiKebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). The Course Outcome (CO) is measured in the mandatory course, Engineering Ethics and Technological Advancement. A two-stage survey of students' understanding of H&S matters was carried out at FKAB. Students' responses in the first and second stages suggest that they feel they possess satisfactory understanding of H&S; however, this is not so. While this survey analysis concurs with previous studies on universities and gaps in industry expectation, these finding have to be addressed appropriately before students can enter the job market and practise H&S in the workplace as trained to do in university. The study also shows that an improved teaching method significantly increases students' understanding of H&S issues. A new syllabus for a course that addresses H&S issues has been implemented, together with the faculty-wide programme revision activity.
Health and Safety (H&S), Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), ethics
Engineering quality system among local universities has undergone stiff competition in reflecting the outcomes of education. The capability of each university of maintaining their academic structures must be given attention in order for it to stay competitive. The purpose of this paper is to develop a reliable academic quality management system for accreditation of engineering education based on EAC and MQA requirements. The main structure includes the institutional engineering curriculum, co-curriculum, governance and a systematic documentation system. The stakeholder inputs are used as elements in responding to industry and government needs. Reviewing inputs, self-assessment reports (SAR), different best practices and additional inputs helped in supporting and strengthening this academic quality management system. Three main planning elements were involved namely, establishment, assessment and continuous improvement stages. With the development of reliable academic quality management, engineering knowledge, skills and attitudes can be further enhanced to improve the quality of our graduates. The model can significantly become a platform for maintaining accreditation as well as sharing some best practices for other institutions offering similar programmes. As such, engineering education is set to reach greater heights in producing right human capital assets in nurturing future engineers.
Student performance of technical expertise at the end of the learning process is very important. The achievement of Course Outcomes (COs) must be tracked every semester and counteractive action must be carried out if the achievement does not meet the performance criteria that has been set. This paper will assess student performance for each CO for the course, Material Technology using direct and indirect assessment and triangulation as the result of continuous quality improvement (CQI). Direct assessment was measured using assignment, final examination, project presentation and laboratory report, while indirect assessment was measured using a pre-test and post-test survey. The item constructs of pre-test and post-test questionnaires were validated using the Rasch measurement model. The direct and indirect assessments were compared and the results revealed that differences exist between students' perception of their learning and their actual learning. The findings indicate that there is an inconsistency between students' perception of their learning (indirect assessment) and their attainment of knowledge and practical skills as rated by their lecturers (direct assessment). Thus, indirect measurement alone is not a valid measure of student learning achievement.
Direct assessment, indirect assessment, Course Outcomes (CO), material technology course
This article reports the results of team teaching practice at the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Systems Engineering (JKEES), UniversitiKebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Two sets of questionnaires were used for lecturers and students to explore their perception of team teaching. A total of 21 lecturers and 253 students were chosen as survey respondents. The Rasch Measurement Model was employed to measure the reliability and validity of the survey instrument developed to evaluate the team teaching practice. Data were then analysed to identify the effectiveness of the team teaching method employed, and to measure its impact on students and lecturers. Results showed that the survey questions were developed with good individual and item reliability. Most of the respondents gave good feedback to the team teaching practice. Thus, students and lecturers perceive that team teaching as a method is effective and has positive impact on teaching and learning.
Team teaching, Rasch Measurement Model, learning and teaching process
Customer focus is essential in ensuring the performance of an organisation including education and training organisations. Customers in the education and training sectors consist of a variety of groups including students, parents, industry, civil society and the relevant authorities. Other than that, the faculty and staff are also internal customers whose needs and expectation need to be satisfied. Students are the main customers, and they receive training and support services at institutions. Instructors and staff are prime movers in training and services in an institution. However, research and literature on customer focus practices in the education and training sectors are still limited, particularly in the skills training sector in Malaysia. This study is carried out so that the gap can be reduced. This study aimed to examine the extent to which customer focus is practised by skills training institutions in Malaysia and to evaluate the extent of the impact of this focus on the performance of institutions that offer such training. A questionnaire survey was used as the research instrument. Questionnaires were distributed to the managers of 500 training institutions throughout the country. A total of 218 completed and eligible questionnaires for analysis were received, representing a response rate of 43.6%. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. The results show that student, instructor and staff focus practice are is at a moderate level, which is at about five of seven points on the Likert scale. The regression analysis shows that the student focus and the instructor and staff focus significantly affect the performance of the institutions. These findings demonstrate that customer focus greatly influences the performance of the organisation, and therefore, management of these institutions should increase efforts to ensure customer satisfaction.
Customer focus, organisation's performance, skills training
Quality is something that should be given emphasis in all work and every activity undertaken. If quality becomes the priority, results will have an impact. Therefore, quality should be emphasised. Keeping this in view, the leading objective of this study is to identify the relationship between critical factors for success in training services that will influence student satisfaction by organising training in UniversitiKebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). The factors involved are the object quality, process quality, quality of the infrastructure, the quality of interaction and environmental quality. A questionnaire was developed and distributed to the students who had participated in the training organised by UKM. Frequency analysis and correlation analysis were used to analyse the data collected. Model validation is carried out to obtain the validity and sustainability of the model developed. The overall results of the analysis revealed that the highest Pearson value, which approximates the value of 1, is between the interaction quality and the environmental quality, which is 0.84. This high correlation indicates a strong relationship between the interaction quality and the environmental quality. The relationship of the object quality and the quality of infrastructure gives the lowest Pearson value of 0.651. There are proposals to improve the quality of training in the future, such as extending the period of training, diversifying activities and training content to be more attractive and using the online registration approach to simplify work processes and save time. The evaluation of this study should be taken into account to ensure that the defect can be overcome and to strengthen the training service management at the university.
Customer satisfaction, correlation, quality, quality of service, training, students
Under the double-degree programme offered by UniversitiKebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), a number of Universitat Duisburg-Essen (UDE) students are required to study in UKM for one semester each year. They are free to choose any courses offered in the programme for that particular semester. In Semester 1 of the 2014/2015 session, the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering ran four courses that were enrolled in by students from both universities. Given the different background, ways of thinking and academic competencies, it was expected that the students would perform differently and it was predicted that the German students would demonstrate better achievement compared to UKM's mostly Malaysian students. The objective of this study was to discover if there was a difference in terms of performance between the international students and the host students who took the same courses. This paper consists of three main sections. First, after a general introduction of the study, the methodology is explained. Second, a comparison of examination-based achievement in four selected courses between the two groups of students is presented in summary. Finally, some possible reasons as well as explanations for the difference or similarity in the performance of the two groups is considered. The findings suggest that in general, students from UDE showed better performance than the host students. In the long term, this study is intended to be useful in improving the quality of teaching and learning in UKM, specifically when dealing with students from UDE as well as home students.
Proper mastery of engineering mathematics is one of the key success factors for students in the field of engineering. Delays in identifying students who are weak in mathematics can result in their having difficulties in learning subsequent mathematics courses. Therefore, a method of monitoring students' ability in the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, UniversitiKebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in the subject of mathematics was developed in the form of an online system, namely, TCExam. TCExam contains a maths readiness test for the subjects of Vector Calculus and Linear Algebra. A total of 60 questions in the form of multi-objective questions are prepared based on important topics needed to be mastered by students. Also included in the TCExam are survey questions on factors among students in selecting a university. The TCExam is implemented for students during the first week of the semester. This system will provide maths readiness test results directly to the lecturers and the data will then be analysed using the Rasch Measurement Model to obtain a reliability value as well as test quality and students' level of ability. The high value of Item Reliability of 0.98 explains that the level of reliability of the readiness test questions is very high. Results from the Rasch analysis also reflect that students' level of mathematical ability is poor, indicating that the maths readiness test is needed at the early stage of their enrolment into university to identify weak students much earlier so that specific monitoring measures can be made to help these students.
Engineering mathematics, linear algebra, online, TCExam, vector calculus
Programme Educational Objectives (PEOs) are a statement of specific goals to describe the expected achievement of graduates a few years after graduation. Even though the requirements used by all the institutions are the same, the attributes within an engineering programme may differ from one university to another. This paper seeks to fill this gap, as it aims to look into the differences in approach, trait and specific need as well as the generic terms applied for the differences. In this study, 24 PEOs were used to find similarities in the attributes for five Malaysian research universities using the Venn diagram format. The results were plotted in the Venn diagrams with specific generic common attributes, shared attributes and unique attributes selected by the research institutions. The similarities indicator was achieved using input from five research universities reviewed online. This case study will highlight preferences given in selecting right PEOs among the universities to meet the main requirements of the Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) standards. In this study, it is hoped that PEO selection is updated and current best practices and market expectation needs for graduates can be materialised. PEO selection is a dynamic process; any changes and amendments made reflect the maturity of the faculty's curriculum and the courses offered in public universities. By continually exploring the expectation and demand of future graduates, important feedback from stakeholders can be collected to improve and design a programme structure that complements their future career paths.
Competency is a set of related knowledge, skills and abilities required to successfully perform work or tasks in a defined work setting. Besides having good grades, a graduate must be able to respond well, be a visionary and be a contributor in building a noble society. By exercising soft skills as part of teaching and learning, students are expected to effectively develop and apply competencies. This paper documents generally one teaching and learning approach used in design courses to train students in soft skills, the training of which is also one of the course's learning outcomes. A project management team is formed, dividing students into different segments and tasks, monitored by an advisor and assisted by a project manager who is made liable for task completeness. Students must be able to perform well in communication skills, teamwork, critical thinking skills and professional ethics, among others, the assessment of which contributes to the total course marks. A self-rated assessment by the students at the end collected as a measure for this study shows some positives improvements in their competencies as a result of the approach applied here.