Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Institutional Repository

A multi-year study of professional skills development among first year chemical engineering students

Sadikin, A. N. and Yusof, K. M. and Aziz, A. A. and Hassim, M. H. and Yamani, Z. Y. and Mustaffa, A. A. and Hamid, M. K. A. (2017) A multi-year study of professional skills development among first year chemical engineering students. Chemical Engineering Transactions, 56 . pp. 1453-1458. ISSN 2283-9216

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There is an increasing demand from employers and stakeholders for chemical engineering graduates to have a range of professional skills in addition to their chemical engineering knowledge. For chemical engineering to continuously flourish as a discipline, our graduates will need to demonstrate professional skills at a higher level. Chemical engineering graduates are expected to be good in communicating in various forms, able to work in teams, able to solve problems, able to manage time well and continue to learn (life-long learning). These professional skills are more likely to be developed within the students if the skills are embedded into the curriculum, rather than taught in separate classes. It is essential for engineering courses to implement teaching and learning approaches that can help students to not only learn the content and at the same time develop crucial professional skills. The Introduction to Engineering course is designed to stimulate students' passion and strengthen their motivation for further engineering studies as well as enhancing their technical knowledge and relevant professional skills. This 3-hour credit course is required for all first-year chemical engineering students in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. First year experience in the introductory engineering course was enhanced by competitive challenges, student-centred learning activities, problem solving and seminars that strengthen the development of students' technical knowledge and professional skills. The objective of this study is to determine the effect of an integrated teaching and learning approach on the professional skills development among first year chemical engineering students for three consecutive years. To study the impact of the course, the students were asked to write reflective journals on what they have learnt. The three years' data, Semester 2012/2013, Semester 2013/2014 and Semester 2014/2015 were collected from reflective journals written by students of different batch. Using thematic analysis, four main professional skills were identified from the reflective journals, namely team working, communication, problem solving and time management skills. The results consistently indicate that the introductory course allows students to engage in engineering practice and provide an early start to ensure engineering graduates are equipped with a broader set of professional skills and greater experience of addressing 'real' engineering problems. It was concluded that the integrated teaching and learning approach in Introduction to Engineering course is effective in promoting positive professional skills development among engineering students.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:chemical engineering graduates, professional skills
Subjects:T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Divisions:Chemical Engineering
ID Code:75818
Deposited By: Widya Wahid
Deposited On:30 May 2018 12:00
Last Modified:30 May 2018 12:00

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