The development of generic competences in Malaysian civil engineering programmes: a case study

PhD Thesis

Yusof, Yusmarwati 2013. The development of generic competences in Malaysian civil engineering programmes: a case study. PhD Thesis University of East London Cass School of Education and Communities
AuthorsYusof, Yusmarwati
TypePhD Thesis

This study focuses on generic competences that have been considered to be lacking in graduates from Malaysian polytechnics specifically their problem solving, critical thinking, communication skills, and team building. The argument concerning generic competences has focused upon teachers' pedagogical approaches and their relation to students' learning. There is therefore a need to explore innovative learning environments which will help students to improve their attitudes and skills as well as their learning achievements, with regard to these generic competences. The creation of a hybrid teaching approach was proposed in order to consider whether this would enhance students’ generic competences, as well as to enhance their academic achievements. This study is significant and original in that it aimed to establish an alternative pedagogical approach in teaching engineering subjects at polytechnics and assesses its validity. The approach was based on the combination and integration of collaborative learning and metacognitive strategies to produce a hybrid system (HybCoMet Strategy). A central objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the instructional module using the HybCoMet Strategy compared to the more traditional approaches. The study used both quantitative and qualitative approaches in order to obtain the data including: questionnaires distributed to students, pre and post-test quasi-experiments design, diary methods and semi structured interviews with lecturers. The quantitative data was used to support the qualitative data in order to triangulate the study. The First Semester Students in Civil Engineering Courses from three polytechnics and lecturers who were teaching the selected engineering subject were selected as a sample. Findings from this study show that the pattern of teaching and learning processes in the majority of polytechnics under investigation were more traditionally focused with an emphasis on teacher-centred approaches. By introducing the HybCoMet Strategy, students considered that the hybrid classroom helped to establish an atmosphere in which they felt more valued and more comfortable. Above all, it helped students to think critically; solve complex problems; write and speak effectively; have respect for others; be able to adapt to change and be ready to engage in lifelong learning. The HybCoMet Strategy, it is considered, can challenge students in their learning so that, in employment, they will be able to transfer this learning to workplace environments.

Keywordscompetences; pedagogy; civil engineering; Malaysia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintJan 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Jul 2013
Publisher's version
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