Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 794

Educational and Pedagogical Sciences

Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models

Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.

Computer-Aided Teaching of Transformers for Undergraduates

In the era of technological advancement, use of computer technology has become inevitable. Hence it has become the need of the hour to integrate software methods in engineering curriculum as a part to boost pedagogy techniques. Simulations software is a great help to graduates of disciplines such as electrical engineering. Since electrical engineering deals with high voltages and heavy instruments, extra care must be taken while operating with them. The viable solution would be to have appropriate control. The appropriate control could be well designed if engineers have knowledge of kind of waveforms associated with the system. Though these waveforms can be plotted manually, but it consumes a lot of time. Hence aid of simulation helps to understand steady state of system and resulting in better performance. In this paper computer, aided teaching of transformer is carried out using MATLAB/Simulink. The test carried out on a transformer includes open circuit test and short circuit respectively. The respective parameters of transformer are then calculated using the values obtained from open circuit and short circuit test respectively using Simulink.

Proposed Program for Developing Some Concepts for Nursery School Children in Egypt Using Artistic Activities

The study presents a proposed program for nursery school children in Egypt. The program consists of a collection of artistic activities and aims to develop the language, mathematical, and artistic skills of preschool children. Furthermore, the researcher has presented a questionnaire to experts about the link between the target group and the content. Finally, the proposed program was applied to group of 30 children. In addition, the researcher has prepared another questionnaire for measuring the effect of the program. This questionnaire was used as a pre-test and post-test, and at the end of the study, a significant difference was determined in favour of the post-test results.

Transformative Leadership and Learning Management Systems Implementation: Leadership Practices in Instructional Design for Online Learning

With the growth of online learning, several higher education institutions have attempted to incorporate technology in their curriculum. Successful technology implementation projects really on technology infrastructure and on the acceptance of education professionals towards innovation. This research study is aimed at illustrating the relevance of the human component in technology implementation projects in higher education by describing the Learning Management System implementation project executed by instructional designers working for a higher education institution in the southeast region of the United States. An analysis of the Transformative Leadership Theory, the Technology Acceptance Model, and the Diffusion of Innovation Process provide the support for a solid understanding of this issue and address recommendations for future technology implementation projects in higher education institutions.

Cyber Security Situational Awareness among Students: A Case Study in Malaysia

This paper explores the need for a national baseline study on understanding the level of cyber security situational awareness among primary and secondary school students in Malaysia. The online survey method was deployed to administer the data collection exercise. The target groups were divided into three categories: Group 1 (primary school aged 7-9 years old), Group 2 (primary school aged 10-12 years old), and Group 3 (secondary school aged 13-17 years old). A different questionnaire set was designed for each group. The survey topics/areas included Internet and digital citizenship knowledge. Respondents were randomly selected from rural and urban areas throughout all 14 states in Malaysia. A total of 9,158 respondents participated in the survey, with most states meeting the minimum sample size requirement to represent the country’s demographics. The findings and recommendations from this baseline study are fundamental to develop teaching modules required for children to understand the security risks and threats associated with the Internet throughout their years in school. Early exposure and education will help ensure healthy cyber habits among millennials in Malaysia.

The Way Digitized Lectures and Film Presence Coaching Impact Academic Identity: An Expert Facilitated Participatory Action Research Case Study

This paper explores the concept of academic identity as it relates to the lecture, in particular, the digitized lecture delivered to a camera, in the absence of a student audience. Many academics have the performance aspect of the role thrust upon them with little or no training. For the purpose of this study, we look at the performance of the academic identity and examine tailored film presence coaching for its contributions toward academic identity, specifically in relation to feelings of self-confidence and diminishment of discomfort or stage fright. The case is articulated through the lens of scholar-practitioners, using expert facilitated participatory action research. It demonstrates in our sample of experienced academics, all reported some feelings of uncertainty about presenting lectures to camera prior to coaching. We share how power poses and reframing fear, produced improvements in the ease and competency of all participants. We share exactly how this insight could be adapted for self-coaching by any academic when called to present to a camera and consider the relationship between this and academic identity.

Teaching Linguistic Humour Research Theories: Egyptian Higher Education EFL Literature Classes

“Humour studies” is an interdisciplinary research area that is relatively recent. It interests researchers from the disciplines of psychology, sociology, medicine, nursing, in the work place, gender studies, among others, and certainly teaching, language learning, linguistics, and literature. Linguistic theories of humour research are numerous; some of which are of interest to the present study. In spite of the fact that humour courses are now taught in universities around the world in the Egyptian context it is not included. The purpose of the present study is two-fold: to review the state of arts and to show how linguistic theories of humour can be possibly used as an art and craft of teaching and of learning in EFL literature classes. In the present study linguistic theories of humour were applied to selected literary texts to interpret humour as an intrinsic artistic communicative competence challenge. Humour in the area of linguistics was seen as a fifth component of communicative competence of the second language leaner. In literature it was studied as satire, irony, wit, or comedy. Linguistic theories of humour now describe its linguistic structure, mechanism, function, and linguistic deviance. Semantic Script Theory of Verbal Humor (SSTH), General Theory of Verbal Humor (GTVH), Audience Based Theory of Humor (ABTH), and their extensions and subcategories as well as the pragmatic perspective were employed in the analyses. This research analysed the linguistic semantic structure of humour, its mechanism, and how the audience reader (teacher or learner) becomes an interactive interpreter of the humour. This promotes humour competence together with the linguistic, social, cultural, and discourse communicative competence. Studying humour as part of the literary texts and the perception of its function in the work also brings its positive association in class for educational purposes. Humour is by default a provoking/laughter-generated device. Incongruity recognition, perception and resolving it, is a cognitive mastery. This cognitive process involves a humour experience that lightens up the classroom and the mind. It establishes connections necessary for the learning process. In this context the study examined selected narratives to exemplify the application of the theories. It is, therefore, recommended that the theories would be taught and applied to literary texts for a better understanding of the language. Students will then develop their language competence. Teachers in EFL/ESL classes will teach the theories, assist students apply them and interpret text and in the process will also use humour. This is thus easing students' acquisition of the second language, making the classroom an enjoyable, cheerful, self-assuring, and self-illuminating experience for both themselves and their students. It is further recommended that courses of humour research studies should become an integral part of higher education curricula in Egypt.

Developing Learning in Organizations with Innovation Pedagogy Methods

Most jobs include training and communication tasks, but often the people in these jobs lack pedagogical competences to plan, implement and assess learning. This paper aims to discuss how a learning approach called innovation pedagogy developed in higher education can be utilized for learning development in various organizations. The methods presented how to implement innovation pedagogy such as process consultation and train the trainer model can provide added value to develop pedagogical knowhow in organizations and thus support their internal learning and development.

Unpacking Chilean Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs on Practicum Experiences through Digital Stories
An EFL teacher education programme in Chile takes five years to train a future teacher of English. Preservice teachers are prepared to learn an advanced level of English and teach the language from 5th to 12th grade in the Chilean educational system. In the context of their first EFL Methodology course in year four, preservice teachers have to create a five-minute digital story that starts from a critical incident they have experienced as teachers-to-be during their observations or interventions in the schools. A critical incident can be defined as a happening, a specific incident or event either observed by them or involving them. The happening sparks their thinking and may make them subsequently think differently about the particular event. When they create their digital stories, preservice teachers put technology, teaching practice and theory together to narrate a story that is complemented by still images, moving images, text, sound effects and music. The story should be told as a personal narrative, which explains the critical incident. This presentation will focus on the creation process of 50 Chilean preservice teachers’ digital stories highlighting the critical incidents they started their stories. It will also unpack preservice teachers’ beliefs and reflections when approaching their teaching practices in schools. These beliefs will be coded and categorized through content analysis to evidence preservice teachers’ most rooted conceptions about English teaching and learning in Chilean schools. The findings seem to indicate that preservice teachers’ beliefs are strongly mediated by contextual and affective factors.
Academic Influence of Social Network Sites on the Collegiate Performance of Technical College Students

Social network sites (SNS) is an emerging phenomenon that is here to stay. The popularity and the ubiquity of the SNS technology are undeniable. Because most SNS are free and easy to use people from all walks of life and from almost any age are attracted to that technology. College age students are by far the largest segment of the population using SNS. Since most SNS have been adapted for mobile devices, not only do you find students using this technology in their study, while working on labs or on projects, a substantial number of students have been found to use SNS even while listening to lectures. This study found that SNS use has a significant negative impact on the grade point average of college students particularly in the first semester. However, this negative impact is greatly diminished by the end of the third semester partly because the students have adjusted satisfactorily to the challenges of college or because they have learned how to adequately manage their time. It was established that the kinds of activities the students are engaged in during the SNS use are the leading factor affecting academic performance. Of those activities, using SNS during a lecture or while studying is the foremost contributing factor to lower academic performance. This is due to “cognitive” or “information” bottleneck, a condition in which the students find it very difficult to multitask or to switch between resources leading to inefficiency in information retention and thus, educational performance.

The Challenges of Hyper-Textual Learning Approach for Religious Education

State of the art technology has the tremendous impact on our life, in this situation education system have been influenced as well as. In this paper, tried to compare two space of learning text and hypertext with each other, and some challenges of using hypertext in religious education. Regarding the fact that, hypertext is an undeniable part of learning in this world and it has highly beneficial for the education process from class to office and home. In this paper tried to solve this question: the consequences and challenges of applying hypertext in religious education. Also, the consequences of this survey demonstrate the role of curriculum designer and planner of education to solve this problem.

The Learning Impact of a 4-Dimensional Digital Construction Learning Environment

This paper addresses a virtual environment approach to work integrated learning for students in construction-related disciplines. The virtual approach provides a safe and pedagogically rigorous environment where students can apply theoretical knowledge in a simulated real-world context. The paper describes the development of a 4-dimensional digital construction environment and associated learning activities funded by the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching. The environment was trialled with over 1,300 students and evaluated through questionnaires, observational studies and coursework analysis. Results demonstrate a positive impact on students’ technical learning and collaboration skills, but there is need for further research in relation to critical thinking skills and work-readiness.

Proposing Problem-Based Learning as an Effective Pedagogical Technique for Social Work Education

Social work education is competency based in nature. There is an expectation that graduates of social work programs throughout the world are to be prepared to practice at a level of competence, which is beneficial to both the well-being of individuals and community. Experiential learning is one way to prepare students for competent practice. The use of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a form experiential education that has been successful in a number of disciplines to bridge the gap between the theoretical concepts in the classroom to the real world. PBL aligns with the constructivist theoretical approach to learning, which emphasizes the integration of new knowledge with the beliefs students already hold. In addition, the basic tenants of PBL correspond well with the practice behaviors associated with social work practice including multi-disciplinary collaboration and critical thinking. This paper makes an argument for utilizing PBL in social work education.

Teaching College Classes with Virtual Reality

Recent advances in virtual reality (VR) technologies have made it possible for students to experience a virtual on-the-scene or virtual in-person observation of an educational event. In an experimental class, the author uses VR, particularly 360° videos, to virtually engage students in an event, through a wide spectrum of educational resources, such s a virtual “bystander.” Students were able to observe the event as if they were physically on site, although they could not intervene with the scene. The author will describe the adopted equipment, specification, and cost of building them as well as the quality of VR. The author will discuss (a) feasibility, effectiveness, and efficiency of using VR as a supplemental technology to teach college students and criteria and methodologies used by the authors to evaluate them; (b) barriers and issues of technological implementation; and (c) pedagogical practices learned through this experiment. The author also attempts to explore (a) how VR could provide an interactive virtual in-person learning experience; (b) how VR can possibly change traditional college education and online education; (c) how educators and balance six critical factors: cost, time, technology, quality, result, and content.

Open Innovation Laboratory for Rapid Realization of Sensing, Smart and Sustainable Products (S3 Products) for Higher Education
Higher education methods need to evolve because the new generations of students are learning in different ways. One way is by adopting emergent technologies, new learning methods and promoting the maker movement. As a result, Tecnologico de Monterrey is developing Open Innovation Laboratories as an immediate response to educational challenges of the world. This paper presents an Open Innovation Laboratory for Rapid Realization of Sensing, Smart and Sustainable Products (S3 Products). The Open Innovation Laboratory is composed of a set of specific resources where students and teachers use them to provide solutions to current problems of priority sectors through the development of a new generation of products. This new generation of products considers the concepts Sensing, Smart, and Sustainable. The Open Innovation Laboratory has been implemented in different courses in the context of New Product Development (NPD) and Integrated Manufacturing Systems (IMS) at Tecnologico de Monterrey. The implementation consists of adapting this Open Innovation Laboratory within the course’s syllabus in combination with the implementation of specific methodologies for product development, learning methods (Active Learning and Blended Learning using Massive Open Online Courses MOOCs) and rapid product realization platforms. Using the concepts proposed it is possible to demonstrate that students can propose innovative and sustainable products, and demonstrate how the learning process could be improved using technological resources applied in the higher educational sector. Finally, examples of innovative S3 products developed at Tecnologico de Monterrey are presented.
Metal Ship and Robotic Car: A Hands-On Activity to Develop Scientific and Engineering Skills for High School Students

Metal Ship and Robotic Car is one of the hands-on activities in the course, the Fundamental of Engineering that can be divided into three parts. The first part, the metal ships, was made by using engineering drawings, physics and mathematics knowledge. The second part is where the students learned how to construct a robotic car and control it using computer programming. In the last part, the students had to combine the workings of these two objects in the final testing. This aim of study was to investigate the effectiveness of hands-on activity by integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts to develop scientific and engineering skills. The results showed that the majority of students felt this hands-on activity lead to an increased confidence level in the integration of STEM. Moreover, 48% of all students engaged well with the STEM concepts. Students could obtain the knowledge of STEM through hands-on activities with the topics science and mathematics, engineering drawing, engineering workshop and computer programming; most students agree and strongly agree with this learning process. This indicated that the hands-on activity: “Metal Ship and Robotic Car” is a useful tool to integrate each aspect of STEM. Furthermore, hands-on activities positively influence a student’s interest which leads to increased learning achievement and also in developing scientific and engineering skills.

Cultivating a Successful Academic Career in Higher Education Institutes: The 10 X C Model

The modern era has brought with it significant organizational changes. These changes have not bypassed the academic world, and along with the old academic bonds that include a world of knowledge and ethics, academic faculty members are required more than ever not only to survive in the academic world, but also to thrive and flourish and position themselves as modern and opinionated academicians. Based upon the writings of organizational consultants, the article suggests a 10 X C model for cultivating an academic backbone, as well as emphasizing its input to the professional growth of university and college academics: Competence, Calculations of pain & gain, Character, Commitment, Communication, Curiosity, Coping, Courage, Collaboration and Celebration.

Lab Activities for Introducing Nanoscience to Teachers and Students

Nanoscience has become one of the main science fields in the world; its importance is reflected in both society and industry; therefore, it is very important to intensify educational programs among teachers and students that aim to introduce "Nano Concepts" to them. Two different lab activities were developed for demonstrating the importance of nanoscale materials using unique points of view. In the first, electrical conductive films made of silver nanoparticles were fabricated. The silver nanoparticles were protected against aggregation using electrical conductive polypyrrole, which acts also as conductive bridge between them. The experiments show a simpler way for fabricating conductive thin film than the much more complicated and costly conventional method. In the second part, the participants could produce emulsions of liposome structures using Phosphatidylcholine as a surfactant, and following by minimizing the size of it from micro-scale to nanometer scale (400 nm), using simple apparatus called Mini-Extruder, in that way the participants could realize the change in solution transparency, and the effect of Tyndall when the size of the liposomes is reduced. Freshmen students from the Academic Arab College for Education in Haifa, Israel, who are studying to become science teachers, participated in this lab activity as part of the course "Chemistry in the Lab". These experiments are appropriate for teachers, high school and college students.

Conceptual Model for Massive Open Online Blended Courses Based on Disciplines’ Concepts Capitalization and Obstacles’ Detection

Since its appearance, the MOOC (massive open online course) is gaining more and more intention of the educational communities over the world. Apart from the current MOOCs design and purposes, the creators of MOOC focused on the importance of the connection and knowledge exchange between individuals in learning. In this paper, we present a conceptual model for massive open online blended courses where teachers over the world can collaborate and exchange their experience to get a common efficient content designed as a MOOC opened to their students to live a better learning experience. This model is based on disciplines’ concepts capitalization and the detection of the obstacles met by their students when faced with problem situations (exercises, projects, case studies, etc.). This detection is possible by analyzing the frequently of semantic errors committed by the students. The participation of teachers in the design of the course and the attendance by their students can guarantee an efficient and extensive participation (an important number of participants) in the course, the learners’ motivation and the evaluation issues, in the way that the teachers designing the course assess their students. Thus, the teachers review, together with their knowledge, offer a better assessment and efficient connections to their students.

E-learning: An Effective Approach for Enhancing Social and Behavior Change Communication Capacity in Bangladesh

To strengthen social and behavior change communication (SBCC) capacity of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) of the Government of Bangladesh, BCCP/BKMI developed two eLearning courses providing opportunities for professional development of SBCC Program Managers who have no access to training or refreshers training. The two eLearning courses – Message and Material Development (MMD) and Monitoring and Evaluation (MandE) of SBCC programs – went online in September 2015, where all users could register their participation so results could be monitored. Methodology: To assess the uses of these courses a randomly selected sample was collected to run a pre and post-test analyses and a phone survey were conducted. Systematic random sampling was used to select a sample of 75 MandE and 25 MMD course participants from a sampling frame of 179 and 51 respectively. Results: As of September 2016, more than 179 learners have completed the MandE course, and 49 learners have completed the MMD course. The users of these courses are program managers, university faculty members, and students. Encouraging results were revealed from the analysis of pre and post-test scores and a phone survey three months after course completion. Test scores suggested a substantial increase in knowledge. The pre-test scores findings suggested that about 19% learners scored high on the MandE. The post-test scores finding indicated a high score (92%) of the sample across 4 modules of MandE. For MMD course in pre-test scoring, 30% of the learners scored high, and 100% scored high at the post-test. It was found that all the learners in the phone survey have discussed the courses. Most of the sharing occurred with colleagues and friends, usually through face to face (70%) interaction. The learners reported that they did recommend the two courses to concerned people. About 67% MandE and 76% MMD learners stated that the concepts that they had to learn during the course were put into practice in their work settings. The respondents for both MandE and MMD courses have provided a valuable set of suggestions that would further strengthen the courses. Conclusions: The study showed that the initiative offered ample opportunities to build capacity in various ways in which the eLearning courses were used. It also highlighted the importance of scaling up these efforts to further strengthen the outcomes.

The Didactic Transposition in Brazilian High School Physics Textbooks: A Comparative Study of Didactic Materials
In this article, we analyze the different approaches to the topic Magnetism of Matter in physics textbooks of Brazilian schools. For this, we compared the approach to the concepts of the magnetic characteristics of materials (diamagnetism, paramagnetism, ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism) in different sources of information and in different levels of education, from Higher Education to High School. In this sense, we used as reference the theory of the Didactic Transposition of Yves Chevallard, a French educational theorist, who conceived in his theory three types of knowledge – Scholarly Knowledge, Knowledge to be taught and Taught Knowledge – related to teaching practice. As a research methodology, from the reading of the works used in teacher training and those destined to basic education students, we compared the treatment of a higher education physics book, a scientific article published in a Brazilian journal of the educational area, and four high school textbooks, in order to establish in which there is a greater or lesser degree of approximation with the knowledge produced by the scholars – scholarly knowledge – or even with the knowledge to be taught (to that found in books intended for teaching). Thus, we evaluated the level of proximity of the subjects conveyed in high school and higher education, as well as the relevance that some textbook authors give to the theme.
Measuring E-Learning Effectiveness Using a Three-Way Comparison
The way e-learning effectiveness has been notoriously measured within an academic setting is by comparing the e-learning medium to the traditional face-to-face teaching methodology. In this paper, a simple yet innovative comparison methodology is introduced, whereby the effectiveness of next generation e-learning systems are assessed in contrast not only to the face-to-face mode, but also to the classical e-learning modality. Ethical and logistical issues are also discussed, as this three-way approach to compare teaching methodologies was applied and documented in a real empirical study within a higher education institution.
Promoting Non-Formal Learning Mobility in the Field of Youth

The purpose of this study is to develop a framework for the assessment of research and development projects. The assessment map is developed in this study based on the strategy map of the balanced scorecard approach. The assessment map is applied in a project that aims to reduce the inequality and risk of exclusion of young people from disadvantaged social groups. The assessment map denotes that not only funding but also necessary skills and qualifications should be carefully assessed in the implementation of the project plans so as to achieve the objectives of projects and the desired impact. The results of this study are useful for those who want to develop the implementation of the Erasmus+ Programme and the project teams of research and development projects.

Hacking the Spatial Limitations in Bridging Virtual and Traditional Teaching Methodologies in Sri Lanka

Having moved into the 21st century, it is way past being arguable that innovative technology needs to be incorporated into conventional classroom teaching. Though the Western world has found presumable success in achieving this, it is still a concept under battle in developing countries such as Sri Lanka. Reaching the acme of implementing interactive virtual learning within classrooms is a struggling idealistic fascination within the island. In order to overcome this problem, this study is set to reveal facts that limit the implementation of virtual, interactive learning within the school classrooms and provide hacks that could prove the augmented use of the Virtual World to enhance teaching and learning experiences. As each classroom moves along with the usage of technology to fulfill its functionalities, a few intense hacks provided will build the administrative onuses on a virtual system. These hacks may divulge barriers based on social conventions, financial boundaries, digital literacy, intellectual capacity of the staff, and highlight the impediments in introducing students to an interactive virtual learning environment and thereby provide the necessary actions or changes to be made to succeed and march along in creating an intellectual society built on virtual learning and lifestyle. This digital learning environment will be composed of multimedia presentations, trivia and pop quizzes conducted on a GUI, assessments conducted via a virtual system, records maintained on a database, etc. The ultimate objective of this study could enhance every child's basic learning environment; hence, diminishing the digital divide that exists in certain communities.

Myths and Strategies for Teaching Calculus in English for Taiwanese Students: A Report Based on Three-Years of Practice
This paper reviews the crucial situation in higher education in Taiwan due to the rapid decline of the birth rate in the past three decades, and how the government and local colleges/universities work to face the challenge. Recruiting international students is one of the possible ways to resolve the problem, but offering enough courses in English is one of the main obstacles when the majority of learners are still Taiwanese students. In the academic year of 2012, Chung Yuan Christian University determined to make its campus international and began to enforce two required courses for freshmen taught in English. It failed in the beginning, but succeeded in the following academic year of 2013. Using the teaching evaluations accumulated in the past three years, this paper aims to clarify the myths which had been bothering most faculties. It also offers some suggestions for college/university teachers interested in giving lectures in English to English as Second Language (ESL) learners. A conclusion is presented at the end of the paper, in which the author explained why Taiwanese students could learn their profession in English.
Teaching Light Polarization by Putting Art and Physics Together

Light Polarization has many technological applications, and its discovery was crucial to reveal the transverse nature of the electromagnetic waves. However, despite its fundamental and practical importance, in high school, this property of light is often neglected. This is a pity not only for its conceptual relevance, but also because polarization gives the possibility to perform many brilliant experiments with low cost materials. Moreover, the treatment of this matter lends very well to an interdisciplinary approach between art, biology and technology, which usually makes things more interesting to students. For these reasons, we have developed, and in this work, we introduce a laboratory on light polarization for high school and undergraduate students. They can see beautiful pictures when birefringent materials are set between two crossed polarizing filters. Pupils are very fascinated and drawn into by what they observe. The colourful images remind them of those ones of abstract painting or alien landscapes. With this multidisciplinary teaching method, students are more engaged and participative, and also, the learning process of the respective physics concepts is more effective.

The Effect of Cooperative Learning on Academic Achievement of Grade Nine Students in Mathematics: The Case of Mettu Secondary and Preparatory School
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of cooperative learning method on student’s academic achievement and on the achievement level over a usual method in teaching different topics of mathematics. The study also examines the perceptions of students towards cooperative learning. Cooperative learning is the instructional strategy in which pairs or small groups of students with different levels of ability work together to accomplish a shared goal. The aim of this cooperation is for students to maximize their own and each other learning, with members striving for joint benefit. The teacher’s role changes from wise on the wise to guide on the side. Cooperative learning due to its influential aspects is the most prevalent teaching-learning technique in the modern world. Therefore the study was conducted in order to examine the effect of cooperative learning on the academic achievement of grade 9 students in Mathematics in case of Mettu secondary school. Two sample sections are randomly selected by which one section served randomly as an experimental and the other as a comparison group. Data gathering instruments are achievement tests and questionnaires. A treatment of STAD method of cooperative learning was provided to the experimental group while the usual method is used in the comparison group. The experiment lasted for one semester. To determine the effect of cooperative learning on the student’s academic achievement, the significance of difference between the scores of groups at 0.05 levels was tested by applying t test. The effect size was calculated to see the strength of the treatment. The student’s perceptions about the method were tested by percentiles of the questionnaires. During data analysis, each group was divided into high and low achievers on basis of their previous Mathematics result. Data analysis revealed that both the experimental and comparison groups were almost equal in Mathematics at the beginning of the experiment. The experimental group out scored significantly than comparison group on posttest. Additionally, the comparison of mean posttest scores of high achievers indicates significant difference between the two groups. The same is true for low achiever students of both groups on posttest. Hence, the result of the study indicates the effectiveness of the method for Mathematics topics as compared to usual method of teaching.
Comparative Quantitative Study on Learning Outcomes of Major Study Groups of an Information and Communication Technology Bachelor Educational Program

Higher Education system reforms, especially Finnish system of Universities of Applied Sciences in 2014 are discussed. The new steering model is based on major legislative changes, output-oriented funding and open information. The governmental steering reform, especially the financial model and the resulting institutional level responses, such as a curriculum reforms are discussed, focusing especially in engineering programs. The paper is motivated by management need to establish objective steering-related performance indicators and to apply them consistently across all educational programs. The close relationship to governmental steering and funding model imply that internally derived indicators can be directly applied. Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) as a case institution is briefly introduced, focusing on engineering education in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and its related programs. The reform forced consolidation of previously separate smaller programs into fewer units of student application. New curriculum ICT students have a common first year before they apply for a Major. A framework of parallel and longitudinal comparisons is introduced and used across Majors in two campuses. The new externally introduced performance criteria are applied internally on ICT Majors using data ex-ante and ex-post of program merger.  A comparative performance of the Majors after completion of joint first year is established, focusing on previously omitted Majors for completeness of analysis. Some new research questions resulting from transfer of Majors between campuses and quota setting are discussed. Practical orientation identifies best practices to share or targets needing most attention for improvement. This level of analysis is directly applicable at student group and teaching team level, where corrective actions are possible, when identified. The analysis is quantitative and the nature of the corrective actions are not discussed. Causal relationships and factor analysis are omitted, because campuses, their staff and various pedagogical implementation details contain still too many undetermined factors for our limited data. Such qualitative analysis is left for further research. Further study must, however, be guided by the relevance of the observations.

A Case Study on Theme-Based Approach in Health Technology Engineering Education: Customer Oriented Software Applications

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Degree Programme provides full-time Bachelor-level undergraduate studies. ICT Degree Programme has seven different major options; this paper focuses on Health Technology. In Health Technology, a significant curriculum change in 2014 enabled transition from fragmented curriculum including dozens of courses to a new integrated curriculum built around three 30 ECTS themes. This paper focuses especially on the second theme called Customer Oriented Software Applications. From students’ point of view, the goal of this theme is to get familiar with existing health related ICT solutions and systems, understand business around health technology, recognize social and healthcare operating principles and services, and identify customers and users and their special needs and perspectives. This also acts as a background for health related web application development. Built web application is tested, developed and evaluated with real users utilizing versatile user centred development methods. This paper presents experiences obtained from the first implementation of Customer Oriented Software Applications theme. Student feedback was gathered with two questionnaires, one in the middle of the theme and other at the end of the theme. Questionnaires had qualitative and quantitative parts. Similar questionnaire was implemented in the first theme; this paper evaluates how the theme-based integrated curriculum has progressed in Health Technology major by comparing results between theme 1 and 2. In general, students were satisfied for the implementation, timing and synchronization of the courses, and the amount of work. However there is still room for development. Student feedback and teachers’ observations have been and will be used to develop the content and operating principles of the themes and whole curriculum.

Student Feedback and Its Impact on Fostering the Quality of Teaching at the Academia
To be sure about the effective and less effective/ineffective approaches to course instruction, we hold the opinion that the faculty members need regular feedback from their students in order to be aware of how well or unwell their teaching styles have worked when instructing the courses. It can be confirmed without a slightest hesitation that undergraduate students’ motivated-ness can be sustained when continually improving the quality of teaching and properly sequencing the academic courses both, in the curricula and timetables. At Estonian Aviation Academy, four different forms of feedback are used: Lecture monitoring, questionnaires for all students, study information system subject monitoring and direct feedback received by the lecturer. Questionnaires for all students are arranged once during a study year and separately for the first year and senior students. The results are discussed in academic departments together with student representatives, analyzed with the teaching staff and, if needed, improvements are suggested. In addition, a monitoring system is planned where a lecturer acts in both roles – as an observer and as the lecturer. This will foster better exchange of experience and through this help to make the whole study process more interesting.
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