Scholarly article on topic 'Competition as an Innovative Student-centered Learning Method for Open-ended Laboratory Work'

Competition as an Innovative Student-centered Learning Method for Open-ended Laboratory Work Academic research paper on "Civil engineering"

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Abstract of research paper on Civil engineering, author of scientific article — Roszilah Hamid, Shahrizan Baharom, Mohd Raihan Taha, Lily Khairiah Kadaruddin

Abstract One of the courses introduced to second year students of Civil and Structural Engineering program at the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering is Civil Engineering Materials and Technology. One of the learning method components is the laboratory work where students do practical work in designing and testing concrete. Improvements on method of handling the laboratory work have been done to facilitate student-centered learning process. One such method is to give open ended project. Meanwhile, a small number of the second year students are actively participating in sustainable concrete cube, concrete canoe and concrete Frisbee competition held by American Concrete Institute (ACI) Malaysia Chapter, Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Petronas Malaysia. Analysis on the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domain of learning achieved by these few students, the department decided to adopt this innovative student-centered learning for Civil Engineering and Materials Technology course laboratory work.

Academic research paper on topic "Competition as an Innovative Student-centered Learning Method for Open-ended Laboratory Work"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 102 (2013) 148 - 152

6th International Forum on Engineering Education (IFEE 2012)

Competition as an Innovative Student-Centered Learning Method for Open-Ended Laboratory Work

Roszilah Hamida*, Shahrizan Baharomb, Mohd Raihan Tahab and Lily Khairiah Kadaruddinb

aCenter for Engineering Education Research, bDepartment of Civil and Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, 43600 UKM Bangi, Malaysia

Abstract

One of the courses introduced to second year students of Civil and Structural Engineering program at the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering is Civil Engineering Materials and Technology. One of the learning method components is the laboratory work where students do practical work in designing and testing concrete. Improvements on method of handling the laboratory work have been done to facilitate student-centered learning process. One such method is to give open ended project. Meanwhile, a small number of the second year students are actively participating in sustainable concrete cube, concrete canoe and concrete Frisbee competition held by American Concrete Institute (ACI) Malaysia Chapter, Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Petronas Malaysia. Analysis on the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domain of learning achieved by these few students, the department decided to adopt this innovative student-centered learning for Civil Engineering and Materials Technology course laboratory work.

© 2013TheAuthors.Publishedby ElsevierLtd.

Selection and/or peer-review under responsibilityof ProfessorDrMohd.ZaidiOmar,AssociateProfessorDrRuhizanMohammadYasin, DrRoszilahHamid,DrNorngainyMohd.Tawil,Associate ProfessorDrWanKamal Mujani, Associate Professor Dr Effandi Zakaria.

Keywords: competition; student-centered learning; open-ended laboratory work.

* Corresponding Author. Tel.: +6-012-304-8462 E-mail address: roszilah@eng.ukm.my

1877-0428 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Professor Dr Mohd. Zaidi Omar, Associate Professor Dr Ruhizan Mohammad Yasin, Dr Roszilah Hamid, Dr Norngainy Mohd. Tawil, Associate Professor Dr Wan Kamal Mujani, Associate Professor Dr Effandi Zakaria. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.10.726

1. Introduction

Civil Engineering Materials and Technology (coded KKKH2164) course is a first semester second year course taught at the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). The course deals with the introduction to construction materials, their manufacturing processes, their characteristics and properties. This course consists of lectures, project, and laboratory work on the concrete mixing and testing. The mix design method of concrete (the most widely used construction material) is emphasized. The improvement on the delivery methods of the class instruction and the laboratory work were described previously [1-3]. The assessment of the final examination questions was also analyzed elsewhere [4].

Meanwhile, the department accepts invitations by universities, government bodies and academic societies to participate in competitions that relate to the matters studied in this course. The yearly participated competition is the concrete Frisbee competition held by Universiti Teknologi Petronas Malaysia. Only two groups of students consist of three members each take part in the competition. The concrete Frisbee is to be designed based on the specification outlined by the organizers, but the students are free to choose the materials, which mean that the solution is open-ended. The Department of Irrigation Malaysia organized a concrete canoe competition in 2009 and only one group consists of five students took part. The students also produced report of the competition. The authors, as the students' advisors had observed that the students had achieved the intended course outcomes of the Civil Engineering Materials and Technology through these competitions.

This paper presents the supervisors observations on the students' cognitive, affective and psychomotor achievement at the time of pre-competition, during competition and post-competition. It is found that the same method of handling laboratory works is desirable and affective in achieving the course outcomes.

2. Competition as Innovative Student-Centered Learning Method

Each year, for the past five years, the second year students from the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering were invited to participate in competitions related to their offered subject, Civil Engineering Materials and Technology (coded KKKH2164). Table 1 shows the list of competitions and organisers where the students had participated. The objective of the Intervarsity Concrete Frisbee Competition is to produce a lightweight, stable and impact resistance concrete Frisbee that abides to the rules and regulations set out by the organiser. This competition is seen as an opportunity for the participants to explore the potential that lies in concrete through Frisbee. The participants are involved from designing the Frisbees, constructing them, and presenting their products to the judges. The presentation includes details of the design and materials used. The Frisbees are judged based on the design and easthetic value; physical and performance tests such as weight, the extent of the thrown Frisbee, the precision from the target and the impact resistance and scores are accumulated from each category. The objective of the Concrete Canoe Competition is to produce a lightweight, durable and aerodynamic concrete canoe. Lastly, the Sustainable Concrete Competition aimed at producing the targeted strength concrete utilising sustainable materials.

Table 1. List of competitions and the level of achievement

Name of Competition and year held Organiser Level of achievement

Concrete Canoe Competition 2007 Intervarsity Concrete Frisbee Competition (ICFC) 2009 Intervarsity Concrete Frisbee Competition (ICFC) 2011 Sustainable Concrete Competition 2011 Intervarsity Concrete Frisbee Competition (ICFC) 2012 Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia Civil Engineering Student Society of UTP (UCITY) Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS Civil Engineering Students' Society (UCITY). American Concrete Institute (ACI) Malaysia Chapter Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS Civil Engineering Students' Society (UCITY). Participant Participant First Runner-up Participant Participant

The domains of learning as described by Bloom's Taxonomy are the cognitive, affective and psychomotor [5]. Table 2 shows the observed learning domain achieved through the students participation in the competition by the supervisors. There are 8 levels in the psychomotor domain [6], and the highest level attained by the student through this competition are Mechanism (Level 4) and Complex Overt Response (Level 4) through the action verb "construct'.

Table 2. The learning domains achieved by participants

Cognitive

Affective

Psychomotor

a) Ability to applying basic concepts of engineering in designing the Frisbee such as aerodynamics properties

b) Ability to designing the Frisbee to the required strength

c) Ability to evaluate the most appropriate materials to produce the concrete frisbee to suit the requirements of the competition

a) Ability to manage the allocated budget

b) Ability to work in a team and ability to collaborate with team member

c) Ability to communicate effectively with the team members and to the judges

d) Ability to be creative and possess lifelong learning_

a) Ability to construct the concrete frisbee using Portland cement

b) Ability to throw the Frisbee the furthest distance and accurately hit the target

The course outcomes for Civil Engineering Materials and Technology course are as shown in Table 3.

Table 3. Course outcomes for Civil Engineering Materials and Technology course

Course Outcome

Assessment Method

Learning Domain

1) Able to understand/explain/discuss the physical and engineering properties of Civil Engineering materials

Final Exam,

cognitive

2) Able to understand/explain/discuss physical and engineering properties of concrete components (coarse and fine aggregates, cement, admixtures) and fresh and hardened concrete

Final Exam, Laboratory Report

cognitive

3) Able to design concrete mix proportion using DoE or ACI method

Final exam, Assignment, Laboratory Report

cognitive

4) Able to understand/ explain/ discuss testing of fresh and hardened concrete

Final exam, Assignment

cognitive

5) Able to communicate verbally the physical and engineering properties of Civil Engineering materials;, physical and engineering properties of concrete components (coarse and fine aggregates, cement, admixtures); physical and engineering properties of fresh and hardened concrete and testing of fresh and hardened concrete to members in class

Affective

Project presentation

6) Able to apply testing methods to determine the properties of fresh and hardened concrete under minimum supervision

Laboratory Work

Psychomotor

7) Able to analyse the different types of concrete depending on intended application and requirement to strength and environment

Laboratory Report

cognitive

Table 3 shows that the course outcomes no. 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 are delivered and assessed through laboratory work. Laboratory works are synonym with copied works, boring and free riders. By opting innovative method such as organizing a competition, the laboratory work can be made fun and at the same time the outcomes are achieved. The laboratory work is to be designed based on the problem specified by the instructor, but the students are free to choose the materials, which mean that the solution is open-ended.

3. Conclusion

Competition as a method of handling the laboratory work is a student-learning and collaborative method where students can achieved the intended course outcomes besides having some fun. The laboratory project can also be made open-ended as the solutions can be varied as long as the students are following the rules and regulations provided, which will include the standard test methods and selection of materials.

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the financial support by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia through grant project PTS-2012-005.

References

[1] Hamid, R., Yusof, K.M. and Osman, S. A. Improvement of Delivery Methods in Teaching Materials Technology Proceedings of the 7th WSEAS International Conference on Education and Educational Technology (EDU'08). Venice, Italy, 2008, 15-17.

[2] Hamid, R., Yusof, K. M., Osman, S.A. and Rahmat, R.A.O.K. Improvement in Delivery Methods in Teaching Materials Technology, WSEAS Transactions on Advances in Engineering Education 6(3), 2009, 77-86

[3] Hamid R. and Mohammed, S. A, Remote access Laboratory System for Material Technology Laboratory Work Proceedings of the 7th. WSEAS Int. Conf. On Engineering Education (Education'10), Greece, 2010, 311-316

[4] Hamid, R., Othman, E., Osman, S. A., Hamzah, N., Jaafar, O. and Kasim, A. A. A. Determination of Materials Technology Course Final Examination Questions Construct Validity through Rasch Model Approach 10th WSEAS International Conference on Education and Educational Technology (EDU '11), Penang, Malaysia, 2011, 130-136.

[5] Dooley, K. E., Lindner, J. R., Dooley, L. McCoy. Advanced methods in distance education: applications and practices for educators, trainers and learners. Information Science publishing Hershey, PA 17033. ISBN 1591404878, 2005,123

[6] Simpson, E. J. The Classification of Educational Objectives in the Psychomotor Domain, Vol 3. Washington, DC: Gryphon House, 1972.