WSEAS Transactions on
Advances in Engineering Education

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Print ISSN: 1790-1979
E-ISSN: 2224-3410

Volume 9, 2012

Issue 1, Volume 9, January 2012

Title of the Paper: Education to Sustainable Development: Example of a Vertical and Transversal Concrete Academic Project

Authors: Ph. Dondon, M. Martiens Dagorette, C. A. Bulucea, D. Marsan

Abstract: Sustainable development is a complex concept, which concerns a wide range of social, scientific, economical and environmental issues. The necessity of Education to sustainable development is now admitted by a majority of politic personalities. However, evolution in daily life is still slow. This paper describes a personal initiative of a few teachers of Bordeaux academy: pupils from primary school, teenagers and their secondary school professors, students and researchers from ENSEIRB-MATMECA electronic engineer school, members of University of Craiova (Romania), were involved in this multi level and cross disciplinary thematic project: details are given on project goals, development and management as well as on the technical design. Future applications for ENSEIRBMATMECA electronic engineer school are finally discussed.

Keywords: Education to sustainable development, Cross disciplinary collaboration, Renewable energy

Title of the Paper: Application of a Model of Asynchronous Web based Education (WbE) in the Agricultural Engineering Sector

Authors: K. G. Arvanitis, G. Patelis, D. Papachristos

Abstract: Nowadays, the use of Web based Education (WbE) in distance learning education is considered to be an innovative method of learning. Supporters argue that WbE renews educational practices through the use of computers and their applied methodology, as well as the technologies provided by the use of the Internet. In this article we study a WbE field and propose a research theoretical model (AETCM) that aims at delivering online Agricultural Engineering courses (i.e. Agricultural Automation Applications course), offering a flexible use of means and tools. Additionally, this model allows a synthesis of selected bibliography that covers the issue cognitively, develops cooperative spirit and individualises the learning procedure and also uses the Web 2.0 tools’ functions and dexterities for the communication between trainer-student.

Keywords: Agricultural Engineering Education, Web based education, Web 2.0, Webquest

Title of the Paper: Real Companies Demand of Competences in Higher Education Study Plans

Authors: C. Santandreu-Mascarell, L. Canós-Darós, C. Pons-Morera

Abstract: In this paper we analyse competences and skills in Industrial Engineer degrees and in master’s degrees related with this field. We have identified them in the current study plans implemented in Spanish universities. We check the fit between the different competences and skills described in Spanish degrees and master’s degree. Then, we compare these specific competences with a real business environment. We base this comparison in a study developed by Canós and Santandreu (2010), in which innovative companies highlighted some competences. There are some competences in study plans that are not mentioned by managers in the considered companies. We think this can be a reflection for new degrees and master’s degrees study plans designers in order to complement current curricula and better fit it to real companies’ requirements.

Keywords: Competences, Skills, Degree, Master’s Degree, Industrial Engineering

Issue 2, Volume 9, April 2012

Title of the Paper: Human Factors Engineering: Digital Teaching Tools and Paper-Free Handouts for Lecture Notes

Authors: Teichmann Mare, Ilvest Jyri Jr

Abstract: In the current paper we share our dozen years of experience with digital teaching tools. We examine an integrated contact and E-learning course in the field of human factors for engineering students. We discuss the findings of research on student feedback from the Human Factors Engineering course with its didactics and proportion of E-learning. The research examined whether or not the employed E-learning and didactic methods were successful in the teaching process.

Keywords: E-learning, digital teaching tool, paper-free handouts for lecture notes, didactic methods

Title of the Paper: Description of the Basic Algorithm Blocks and Structures Representation in Courses of Algorithm Development

Authors: Oldřich Horák, Libor Mitrovič

Abstract: This paper describes the possible ways to explain and represent basic blocks and more complicated structures of algorithm in courses of algorithm development. The introduction includes a brief concept of basic structures used in the flowchart for the expression of several parts of the algorithms. Next parts are dedicated to the problematic structures description, and design possibilities in the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® and Scratch environments. Last part concludes the information above and introduces possible ways for the future work.

Keywords: algorithm development, algorithm representation, algorithm expressing, flowchart, teaching of algorithms, basics of programming, lego mindstorms, scratch

Title of the Paper: Hybrid E-Training Assessment Tool for Higher Education

Authors: R. Din, H. Norman, A. Karim, P. Shah, F. R. Rahmat, F. Kamarulzaman

Abstract: As time becomes an issue in teaching and learning or training in higher educational institutions, most trainers resort to lecture-based training. When training is restraint to predominantly lecture method, meaningful learning may not be the main intention of training any longer. This is due to the fact that lecture method is essentially more pertinent for learners with auditory learning style preference only. Thus, this study attempts to develop a meaningful hybrid e-training environment for higher education and its’ evaluation tool. The paper however, will focus more on the process of developing a valid assessment tool by determining the valid factors for the measurement of e-training using principal component analysis method.

Keywords: Principal Component Analysis, Hybrid e-Training, reliability, validity, blended learning

Issue 3, Volume 9, July 2012

Title of the Paper: Detecting Gender Biasness via Gender Differential Item Functioning Analysis on Integrated Meaningful Hybrid E-Learning Instrument

Authors: Rosseni Din, M Faisal Kamarulzaman, Helmi Norman, Parilah M Shah, Aidah A Karim, Nur Ayu Johar, Verawati

Abstract: Facilitation of meaningful learning in e-learning curriculum and environments at higher education level is essential to ensure students incorporate concepts and information delivered to them. In ensuring that meaningful learning is disseminated among students, a learner’s level of meaningful e-learning can be measured using a valid and reliable measuring instrument. For this reason, we have developed a measuring instrument to measure meaningful e-learning for students in Malaysian higher educational institutions called the Integrated Meaningful e-Training instrument. The focus of the paper is aimed to determine whether there are differences in meaningful e-learning scores between male and female students in Malaysia as well as identify whether there is gender bias in the items of the meaningful e-learning instrument. This method of study is survey design. SPSS and WINSTEP software were used for data analysis. The findings showed that there was only one item that still has gender differential item functioning and one item that needs attention, which are item 12 and 22 from section B of the instrument. Thus, this instrument is fair to measure meaningful learning either for male or female students.

Keywords: GDIF, Meaningful Learning, E-Learning, Meaningful e-Training, Hybrid Learning

Title of the Paper: Measuring Learners’ Perceived Satisfaction Towards e-Learning Material and Environment

Authors: Rashidah Rahamat, Parilah M. Shah, Rosseni Din, Sharifah Nor Puteh, Juhaida Abd. Aziz, Helmi Norman, M. Amin Embi

Abstract: The use of effective teaching materials either the materials are paper-based or computer-based, ensures that knowledge is transferred effectively and meaningfully to students. The materials can even be more effective if they are well-designed. One of the design methods that have the potential to produce effective learning materials is collaborative planning. Thus, this study implemented a collaborative planning in the development of an English literature component website, called e-Lit, as the teaching material for secondary education eventually evaluated its effect on students’ satisfactions The website was assessed using a questionnaire consisting of six main dimensions. Analysis of this end-users’ evaluation was used as the guidelines for the improvement of the actual website. Results of learners’ perceived satisfactions showed that the students were not only satisfied with the course and design dimensions of the e-learning material, but also with the e-learning environment constructed from the use of this e-learning material. This suggest that involvement of the end-users was found to be beneficial for the development process of teaching and learning materials so as to increase the usability and quality of the materials developed which also satisfy the students as the end-users.

Keywords: Teaching and learning materials, e-learning, English literature components, formative evaluation, perceived satisfaction

Title of the Paper: Cultural Learning Environment and Perception of Structural Engineering Classes in Qassim University

Authors: Tomas Ucol-Ganiron Jr

Abstract: This study aimed to determine the learning environment variables related to students interest and perceived competencies of 190 students in Qassim University during the First and Second semester of school year 2011-2012. The study made use of the standardized Cultural Learning Environment (CLEQ) Questionnaire (Fisher and Waldrip, 1998) to determine the cultural factors comprising the classroom learning environment in Structural Engineering courses as perceived by the Architecture & Civil Engineering students. The students’ level of interest and perceived competencies in Structural Engineering courses were measured by adapting the Perception of Engineering Classes Survey (PECS) Questionnaire (Molina, 2011). Some interesting insight of the study are: 1). Students are more likely to collaborate, challenge their teachers, use modeling in learning Structural Engineering courses, and perceive what they learn in the class as matching their learning at home ; 2). Students have a generally low level of interest and perceived competencies in Structural Engineering courses; 3). There is a significant relationship between collaboration and congruence factors and perceived competencies in Structural Engineering courses.

Keywords: Engineering education; cultural learning environment; structural engineering; classroom learning; architecture

Issue 4, Volume 9, October 2012

Title of the Paper: Governance of an Externally Funded Research and Development: A Multiple Case Study Analysis

Authors: Rauno Pirinen

Abstract: Externally funded research and development (R&D) can promote a value that is achieved in R&D projects. This value can be expanded and utilised by regional actors, networks and innovation systems, and it can contribute to education, management and regional development. The integration of externally funded R&D projects and higher education includes a phenomenon that a participant's interests and co-creative motivation is based on value and trust, such as the value gained from a R&D project and the value given to a R&D collaboration. The focus of this study is in the understanding of “steering forums” within R&D actualisations. In this study, the research findings of a multiple case study analysis describes value sharing and steering between 1) academic, 2) research, 3) empiric, and 4) education management. The contribution of the study is in the utilisation of knowledge, roles and motivation of actors at the regional-international R&D stage. The contribution is useful in the facilitation of: 1) research context; 2) R&D agenda and scope; 3) methodology; 4) regional capabilities; 5) R&D abilities; and 6) R&D integration in higher education.

Keywords: Case Study Analysis, Governance, Innovation System, Integrative Research and Development, Integrative Research Framework, Methodology, Regional Development

Title of the Paper: The Engineers’ Non-technical Competences

Authors: Velli Parts, Mare Teichmann

Abstract: This study empirically tests a heuristic model of non-technical engineering competences. The results of factor analysis and regression analysis support the model proposing six non-technical competence domains consisting of 19 competences engineers use in their everyday work. Furthermore, the competence domains have a shared component with their neighboring competences. Engineers use more frequently these non-technical engineering competences that belong to the Personal competence domain (i.e. flexibility, learning, self-management, stress tolerance competencies), and to the Interpersonal competence domain (relationships/cooperation, communication, negotiations/conflict management), also personal and professional ethics competencies and innovation and creativity competencies. The findings indicate that the male engineers with the long professional work experience use the Innovation and entrepreneurship competences, and the Leadership, management, and administrative competences more frequently while the female engineers apply more often the Professional ethics competences, the Personal competences, and the Interpersonal competences. Development of these non-technical engineering competencies is highly recommended for the competence-based engineering education in the universities.

Keywords: Engineers’ competence, non-technical engineering competences

Title of the Paper: Multi-Criteria Decision Making Model for Higher Education

Authors: Brock E. Barry, Jeffrey T. Braun

Abstract: The Department of Civil & Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy faced significant strain on program resources which impact the Department’s ability to effectively conduct senior year independent study projects. Accordingly, the program made a strategic decision to reduce the number of independent study projects offered. To do so, the Department implemented a Multi-Criteria Decision Model. The focus of this paper is the process of exploring, developing, and evaluating that mode. The stakeholders and parameters used in the development of our Multi-Criteria Decision Model are detailed in this report. The model was evaluated relative to multiple years of department records of prior authorized independent study projects and has now been applied in the evaluation (pre- and post-performance) of four independent study project terms. The results of this decision modeling development process are likely to be of interest to engineering educators charged with the process of making curriculum decisions, particularly those decisions in which the influence of multiple stakeholders and parameters must be considered.

Keywords: Process, Selection, Independent Study, Factors