Creative Skills Supported by Multidisciplinary Learning: Case Innovation Course at the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
This paper presents findings from a multidisciplinary course (bachelor level) implemented at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland. The course aims to develop innovative thinking of students, by having projects given by companies, using design thinking methods as a tool for creativity and by integrating students into multidisciplinary teams working on the given projects. The course is obligatory for all first year bachelor students across four faculties (business and culture, food and agriculture, health care and social work, and technology). The course involves around 800 students and 30 pedagogical coaches, and it is implemented as an intensive one-week course each year. The paper discusses the pedagogy, structure and coordination of the course. Also, reflections on methods for the development of creative skills are given. Experts in contemporary, global context often work in teams, which consist of people who have different areas of expertise and represent various professional backgrounds. That is why there is a strong need for new training methods where multidisciplinary approach is at the heart of learning. Creative learning takes place when different parties bring information to the discussion and learn from each other. When students in different fields are looking for professional growth for themselves and take responsibility for the professional growth of other learners, they form a mutual learning relationship with each other. Multidisciplinary team members make decisions both individually and collectively, which helps them to understand and appreciate other disciplines. Our results show that creative and multidisciplinary project learning can develop diversity of knowledge and competences, for instance, students’ cultural knowledge, teamwork and innovation competences, time management and presentation skills as well as support a student’s personal development as an expert. It is highly recommended that higher education curricula should include various studies for students from different study fields to work in multidisciplinary teams.
The Effectiveness of Therapeutic Exercise on Motor Skills and Attention of Male Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) involve myriad aberrant perceptual, cognitive, linguistic, and social behaviors. The term spectrum emphasizes that the disabilities associated with ASD fall on a continuum from relatively mild to severe. People with ASD may display stereotyped behaviors such as twirling, spinning objects, flapping the hands, and rocking. The individuals with ASD exhibit communication problems due to repetitive/restricted behaviors. Children with ASD who lack the motivation to learn, who do not enjoy physical challenges, or whose sensory perception results in confusing or unpleasant feedback from movement may not become sufficiently motivated to practice motor activities. As a result, they may show both a delay in developing certain motor skills. Additionally, attention is an important component of learning. As far as children with ASD have problems in joint attention, many education-based programs are needed to consider some aspects of attention and motor activities development for students with ASD. These programs focus on the basic movement skills that are crucial for the future development of the more complex skills needed in games, dance, sports, gymnastics, active play, and recreational physical activities. The purpose of the present research was to determine the effectiveness of therapeutic exercise on motor skills and attention of male students with ASD. This was an experimental study with a control group. The population consisted of 8-10 year-old male students with ASD and 30 subjects were selected randomly from an available center suitable for the children with ASD. They were evaluated by the Basic Motor Ability Test (BMAT) and Persian version of computerized Stroop color-word test and randomly assigned to an experimental and control group (15 students in per group). The experimental group participated in 16 therapeutic exercise sessions and received therapeutic exercise program (twice a week; each lasting for 45 minutes) designed based on the Spark motor program while the control group did not. All subjects were evaluated by BMAT and Stroop color-word test after the last session again. The collected data were analyzed by using multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). The results of MANCOVA showed that experimental and control groups had a significant difference in motor skills and at least one of the components of attention (correct responses, incorrect responses, no responses, the reaction time of congruent words and reaction time of incongruent words in the Stroop test). The findings showed that the therapeutic exercise had a significant effect on motor skills and all components of attention in students with ASD. We can conclude that the therapeutic exercise led to promote the motor skills and attention of students with ASD, so it is necessary to design or plan such programs for ASD students to prevent their communication or academic problems.
Entrepreneurship Skills Acquisition through Education: Impact of the Nurturance of Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude on New Venture Creation
Entrepreneurship through higher education has taken a paradigm shift from traditional classroom lecture series method to a modern approach, which lay emphasis on nurturing competencies, enhancing knowledge, skills, attitudes/abilities (KSA), which has positive impact on the development of core capabilities. The present paper was focused on the analysis of entrepreneurship education as a pedagogical intervention for the post-graduate program offered at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Gujarat, India. The study is focused on a model with special emphasis on developing KSA and its effect on nurturing entrepreneurial spirit within students. The findings represent demographic and thematic assessment of the implemented pedagogical model with an outcome of students choosing a career in new venture creation or growth/diversification of family owned businesses. This research will be helpful for academicians, research scholars, potential entrepreneurs, ecosystem enablers and students to infer the effectiveness of nurturing entrepreneurial skills and bringing more changes in personal attitudes by the way of enhancing the knowledge and skills required for the execution of an entrepreneurial career. This research is original in nature as it provides an in-depth insight into an implemented model of curriculum, focused on the development and nurturance of basic skills and its impact on the career choice of students.
Developing an Instrument to Measure Teachers’ Self-Efficacy of Teaching Innovation Skills
There is a growing consensus that adoption of teachers’ self-efficacy measurement tools help to assess teachers’ abilities in specific areas in order to improve their skills. As a result, different instruments to assess teachers’ ability were developed by academics and practitioners. However, many of these instruments focused either on general teaching skills, or on the other hand, were very specific to one subject. As such, these instruments do not offer a tool to measure the ability of teachers in teaching 21st century skills such as innovation skills. Teaching innovation skills helps to prepare students for lives and careers in the 21st century. The purpose of this study is to develop an instrument measuring teachers’ self-efficacy of teaching innovation skills related to the classroom context and evaluating the teachers’ beliefs regarding their ability in teaching innovation skills. To reach this goal, the 16-item instrument measures four dimensions of innovation skills: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. 211 secondary-school teachers filled out the survey to quantitatively analyze the quality of the instrument. The instrument’s reliability and item analysis were measured by using jMetrik. The results concluded that the mean of self-efficacy ranged from 3 to 3.6 without extreme high or low self-efficacy scores. The discrimination analysis revealed that one item recorded a negative correlation with the total, and three items recorded low correlation with the total. The reliabilities of items ranged from 0.64 to 0.69 and the instrument needed a couple of revisions before practical use. The study concluded the need to discard one item and revise five items to increase the quality of the instrument for future work.
Exploring Students’ Self-Evaluation on Their Learning Outcomes through an Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average Reporting Mechanism
An Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average (iCGPA) is a mechanism and strategy to ensure the curriculum of an academic programme is constructively aligned to the expected learning outcomes and student performance based on the attainment of those learning outcomes that is reported objectively in a spider web. Much effort and time has been spent to develop a viable mechanism and trains academics to utilize the platform for reporting. The question is: How well do learners conceive the idea of their achievement via iCGPA and whether quality learner attributes have been nurtured through the iCGPA mechanism? This paper presents the architecture of an integrated CGPA mechanism purported to address a holistic evaluation from the evaluation of courses learning outcomes to aligned programme learning outcomes attainment. The paper then discusses the students’ understanding of the mechanism and evaluation of their achievement from the generated spider web. A set of questionnaires were distributed to a group of students with iCGPA reporting and frequency analysis was used to compare the perspectives of students on their performance. In addition, the questionnaire also explored how they conceive the idea of an integrated, holistic reporting and how it generates their motivation to improve. The iCGPA group was found to be receptive to what they have achieved throughout their study period. They agreed that the achievement level generated from their spider web allows them to develop intervention and enhance the programme learning outcomes before they graduate.
Complementing Assessment Processes with Standardized Tests: A Work in Progress
ABET accredited programs must assess the development of student learning outcomes (SOs) in engineering programs. Different institutions implement different strategies for this assessment, and they are usually designed “in house.” This paper presents a proposal for including standardized tests to complement the ABET assessment model in an engineering college made up of six distinct engineering programs. The engineering college formulated a model of quality assurance in education to be implemented throughout the six engineering programs to regularly assess and evaluate the achievement of SOs in each program offered. The model uses diverse techniques and sources of data to assess student performance and to implement actions of improvement based on the results of this assessment. The model is called “Assessment Process Model” and it includes SOs A through K, as defined by ABET. SOs can be divided into two categories: “hard skills” and “professional skills” (soft skills). The first includes abilities, such as: applying knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering and designing and conducting experiments, as well as analyzing and interpreting data. The second category, “professional skills”, includes communicating effectively, and understanding professional and ethnical responsibility. Within the Assessment Process Model, various tools were used to assess SOs, related to both “hard” as well as “soft” skills. The assessment tools designed included: rubrics, surveys, questionnaires, and portfolios. In addition to these instruments, the Engineering College decided to use tools that systematically gather consistent quantitative data. For this reason, an in-house exam was designed and implemented, based on the curriculum of each program. Even though this exam was administered during various academic periods, it is not currently considered standardized. In 2017, the Engineering College included three standardized tests: one to assess mathematical and scientific reasoning and two more to assess reading and writing abilities. With these exams, the college hopes to obtain complementary information that can help better measure the development of both hard and soft skills of students in the different engineering programs. In the first semester of 2017, the three exams were given to three sample groups of students from the six different engineering programs. Students in the sample groups were either from the first, fifth, and tenth semester cohorts. At the time of submission of this paper, the engineering college has descriptive statistical data and is working with various statisticians to have a more in-depth and detailed analysis of the sample group of students’ achievement on the three exams. The overall objective of including standardized exams in the assessment model is to identify more precisely the least developed SOs in order to define and implement educational strategies necessary for students to achieve them in each engineering program.
Building the Professional Readiness of Graduates from Day One: An Empirical Approach to Curriculum Continuous Improvement
Industry employers require new graduates to bring with them a range of knowledge, skills and abilities which mean these new employees can immediately make valuable work contributions. These will be a combination of discipline and professional knowledge, skills and abilities which give graduates the technical capabilities to solve practical problems whilst interacting with a range of stakeholders. Underpinning the development of these disciplines and professional knowledge, skills and abilities, are “enabling” knowledge, skills and abilities which assist students to engage in learning. These are academic and learning skills which are essential to common starting points for both the learning process of students entering the course as well as forming the foundation for the fully developed graduate knowledge, skills and abilities. This paper reports on a project created to introduce and strengthen these enabling skills into the first semester of a Bachelor of Information Technology degree in an Australian polytechnic. The project uses an action research approach in the context of ongoing continuous improvement for the course to enhance the overall learning experience, learning sequencing, graduate outcomes, and most importantly, in the first semester, student engagement and retention. The focus of this is implementing the new curriculum in first semester subjects of the course with the aim of developing the “enabling” learning skills, such as literacy, research and numeracy based knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs). The approach used for the introduction and embedding of these KSAs, (as both enablers of learning and to underpin graduate attribute development), is presented. Building on previous publications which reported different aspects of this longitudinal study, this paper recaps on the rationale for the curriculum redevelopment and then presents the quantitative findings of entering students’ reading literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills degree as well as their perceived research ability. The paper presents the methodology and findings for this stage of the research. Overall, the cohort exhibits mixed KSA levels in these areas, with a relatively low aggregated score. In addition, the paper describes the considerations for adjusting the design and delivery of the new subjects with a targeted learning experience, in response to the feedback gained through continuous monitoring. Such a strategy is aimed at accommodating the changing learning needs of the students and serves to support them towards achieving the enabling learning goals starting from day one of their higher education studies.
An Electronic and Performance Test for the Applicants to Faculty of Education for Early Childhood in Egypt for Measuring the Skills of Teacher Students
The current study presents an electronic test to measure teaching skills. This test is a part of the admission system of the Faculty of Education for Early Childhood, Cairo University. The test has been prepared to evaluate university students who apply for admission the Faculty. It measures some social and physiological skills which are important for successful teachers, such as emotional adjustment and problem solving; moreover, the extent of their love for children and their capability to interact with them. The test has been approved by 13 experts. Finally, it has been introduced to 1,100 students during the admission system of the academic year 2016/2017. The results showed that most of the applicants have an auditory learning style. In addition, 97% of them have the minimum requirement skills for teaching children.
Robot Technology Impact on Dyslexic Students’ English Learning
Involving students in English language learning process and achieving an adequate English language proficiency in the target language can be a great challenge for both teachers and students. This can prove even a far greater challenge to engage students with special needs (Dyslexia) if they have physical impairment and inadequate mastery of basic communicative language competence/proficiency in the target language. From this perspective, technology like robots can probably be used to enhance learning process for the special needs students who have extensive communication needs, who face continuous struggle to interact with their peers and teachers and meet academic requirements. Robots, precisely NAO, can probably provide them with the perfect opportunity to practice social and communication skills, and meet their English academic requirements. This research paper aims to identify to what extent robots can be used to improve students’ social interaction and communication skills and to understand the potential for robotics-based education in motivating and engaging UAEU dyslexic students to meet university requirements. To reach this end, the paper will explore several factors that come into play – Motion Level-involving cognitive activities, Interaction Level-involving language processing, Behavior Level -establishing a close relationship with the robot and Appraisal Level- focusing on dyslexia students’ achievement in the target language.
Towards Bridging the Gap between the ESP Classroom and the Workplace: Content and Language Needs Analysis in English for an Administrative Studies Course
Croatia has made large steps forward in the development of higher education over the past 10 years. Purposes and objectives of the tertiary education system are focused on the personal development of young people so that they obtain competences for employment on a flexible labour market. The most frequent tensions between the tertiary institutions and employers are complaints that the current tertiary education system still supplies students with an abundance of theoretical knowledge and not enough practical skills. Polytechnics and schools of professional higher education should deliver professional education and training that will satisfy the needs of their local communities. The 21st century sets demand on undergraduates as well as their lecturers to strive for the highest standards. The skills students acquire during their studies should serve the needs of their future professional careers. In this context, teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) presents an enormous challenge for teachers. They have to cope with teaching the language in classes with a large number of students, limitations of time, inadequate equipment and teaching material; most frequently, this leads to focusing on specialist vocabulary neglecting the development of skills and competences required for future employment. Globalization has transformed the labour market and set new standards a perspective employee should meet. When knowledge of languages is considered, new generic skills and competences are required. Not only skillful written and oral communication is needed, but also information, media, and technology literacy, learning skills which include critical and creative thinking, collaborating and communicating, as well as social skills. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the needs of two groups of ESP first year Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students taking ESP as a mandatory course: 47 first-year Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students, 21 first-year employed part-time Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students and 30 graduates with a degree in Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study with various amounts of work experience. The survey adopted a quantitative approach with the aim to determine the differences between the groups in their perception of the four language skills and different areas of law, as well as getting the insight into students' satisfaction with the current course and their motivation for studying ESP. Their perceptions will be compared to the results of the questionnaire conducted among sector professionals in order to examine how they perceive the same elements of the ESP course content and to what extent it fits into their working environment. The results of the survey indicated that there is a strong correlation between acquiring work experience and the level of importance given to particular areas of law studied in an ESP course which is in line with our initial hypothesis. In conclusion, the results of the survey should help lecturers in re-evaluating and updating their ESP course syllabi.
Using Thinking Blocks to Encourage the Use of Higher Order Thinking Skills among Students When Solving Problems on Fractions
Problem-solving is an activity which can encourage students to use Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). Learning fractions can be challenging for students since empirical evidence shows that students experience difficulties in solving the fraction problems. However, visual methods can help students to overcome the difficulties since the methods help students to make meaningful visual representations and link abstract concepts in Mathematics. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether there were any changes in students’ HOTS at the four highest levels when learning the fractions by using Thinking Blocks. 54 students participated in a quasi-experiment using pre-tests and post-tests. Students were divided into two groups. The experimental group (n=32) received a treatment to improve the students’ HOTS and the other group acted as the control group (n=22) which used a traditional method. Data were analysed by using Mann-Whitney test. The results indicated that during post-test, students who used Thinking Blocks showed significant improvement in their HOTS level (p=0.000). In addition, the results of post-test also showed that the students’ performance improved significantly at the four highest levels of HOTS; namely, application (p=0.001), analyse (p=0.000), evaluate (p=0.000), and create (p=0.000). Therefore, it can be concluded that Thinking Blocks can effectively encourage students to use the four highest levels of HOTS which consequently enable them to solve fractions problems successfully.
Integrating Generic Skills into Disciplinary Curricula
There is a growing emphasis on generic skills in higher education to match the changing skill-set requirements of the labour market. However, researchers and policy makers have not arrived at a consensus on the generic skills that actually contribute towards workplace employability and performance that complement and/or underpin discipline-specific graduate attributes. In order to strengthen the qualifications framework, a range of ‘generic’ learning outcomes have been considered for students undergoing higher education programs and among them it is necessary to have the fundamental generic skills such as literacy and numeracy at a level appropriate to the qualification type. This warrants for curriculum design approaches to contextualise the form and scope of these fundamental generic skills for supporting both students’ learning engagement in the course, as well as the graduate attributes required for employability and to progress within their chosen profession. Little research is reported in integrating such generic skills into discipline-specific learning outcomes. This paper explores the literature of the generic skills required for graduates from the discipline of Information Technology (IT) in relation to an Australian higher education institution. The paper presents the rationale of a proposed Bachelor of IT curriculum designed to contextualize the learning of these generic skills within the students’ discipline studies.
Inquiry on the Improvement Teaching Quality in the Classroom with Meta-Teaching Skills
When teachers reflect and evaluate whether their teaching methods actually have an impact on students’ learning, they will adjust their practices accordingly. This inevitably improves their students’ learning and performance. The approach in meta-teaching can invigorate and create a passion for teaching. It thus helps to increase the commitment and love for the teaching profession. This study was conducted to determine the level of metacognitive thinking of teachers in the process of teaching and learning in the classroom. Metacognitive thinking teachers include the use of metacognitive knowledge which consists of different types of knowledge: declarative, procedural and conditional. The ability of the teachers to plan, monitor and evaluate the teaching process can also be determined. This study was conducted on 377 graduate teachers in Klang Valley, Malaysia. The stratified sampling method was selected for the purpose of this study. The metacognitive teaching inventory consisting of 24 items is called InKePMG (Teacher Indicators of Effectiveness Meta-Teaching). The results showed the level of mean is high for two components of metacognitive knowledge; declarative knowledge (mean = 4.16) and conditional (mean = 4.11) whereas, the mean of procedural knowledge is 4.00 (moderately high). Similarly, the level of knowledge in monitoring (mean = 4.11), evaluating (mean = 4.00) which indicate high score and planning (mean = 4.00) are moderately high score among teachers. In conclusion, this study shows that the planning and procedural knowledge is an important element in improving the quality of teachers teaching in the classroom. Thus, the researcher recommended that further studies should focus on training programs for teachers on metacognitive skills and also on developing creative thinking among teachers.
Age and Second Language Acquisition: A Case Study from Maldives
The age a child to be exposed to a second language is a controversial issue in communities such as the Maldives where English is taught as a second language. It has been observed that different stakeholders have different viewpoints towards the issue. Some believe that the earlier children are exposed to a second language, the better they learn, while others disagree with the notion. Hence, this case study investigates whether children learn a second language better when they are exposed at an earlier age or not. The spoken and written data collected confirm that earlier exposure helps in mastering the sound pattern and speaking fluency with more native-like accent, while a later age is better for learning more abstract and concrete aspects such as grammar and syntactic rules.
Development Framework Based on Mobile Augmented Reality for Pre-Literacy Kit
Mobile technology, augmented reality, and game-based learning are some of the key learning technologies that can be fully optimized to promote pre-literacy skills. The problem is how to design an effective pre-literacy kit that utilizes some of the learning technologies. This paper presents a framework based on mobile augmented reality for the development of pre-literacy kit. This pre-literacy kit incorporates three main components which are contents, design, and tools. A prototype of a mobile app based on the three main components was developed for promoting pre-literacy. The results show that the children and teachers gave positive feedbacks after using the mobile app for the pre-literacy.
Changing Roles and Skills of Urban Planners in the Turkish Planning System
This research aims to find an answer to the question of which knowledge and skills do the Turkish urban planners need in their business practice. Understanding change in cities, making a prediction, making an urban decision and putting it into practice, working together with actors from different organizations from various academic disciplines, persuading people to accept something and developing good personal and professional relationships have become very complex and difficult in today’s world. The truth is that urban planners work in many institutions under various positions which are not similar to each other by field of activity and all planners are forced to develop some knowledge and skills for success in their business in Turkey. This study targets to explore what urban planners do in the global information age. The study is the product of a comprehensive nation-wide research. In-depth interviews were conducted with 174 experienced urban planners, who work in different public institutions and private companies under varied positions in the Turkish Planning System, to find out knowledge and skills needed by next-generation urban planners. The main characteristics of next-generation urban planners are defined; skills that planners needed today are explored in this paper. Findings show that the positivist (traditional) planning approach has given place to anti-positivist planning approaches in the Turkish Planning System so next-generation urban planners who seek success and want to carve out a niche for themselves in business life have to equip themselves with innovative skills. The result section also includes useful and instructive findings for planners about what is the meaning of being an urban planner and what is the ideal content and context of planning education at universities in the global age.
Millennial Teachers of Canada: Innovation within the Boxed-In Constraints of Tradition
Every year, schools aim to develop and adopt new technology and pedagogy as a way to equip today's students with the needed 21st Century skills. However, the field of primary and secondary education may not be as open to embracing change in reality. Despite the drive to reform and innovation, the field of education in Canada is still very much steeped in tradition and uses many of the practices that came into effect over 50 years ago. Among those are employment and retention practices. Millennials are the youngest generation of professionals entering the workplace at this time and the ones leaving their jobs within just a few years. Almost half of new teachers leave Canadian schools within their first five years on the job. This paper discusses one of the contributing factors that lead Canadian millennial teachers to either leave or stay in the profession - standardized education system. Using an exploratory case study approach, in-depth interviews with former and current millennial teachers were conducted to learn about their experiences within the K-12 system. Among the findings were the young teachers' concerns about the constant changes to teaching practices and technological implementations that claimed to advance teaching and learning, and yet in reality only disguised and reiterated the same traditional, outdated, and standardized practices that already existed. Furthermore, while many millennial teachers aspired to be innovative with their curriculum and teaching practices, they felt trapped and helpless in the hands of school leaders who were very reluctant to change. While many new program ideas and technological advancements are being made openly available to teachers on a regular basis, it is important to consider the education field as a whole and how it plays into the teachers' ability to realistically implement changes. By the year 2025, millennials will make up approximately 75% of the North American workforce. It is important to examine generational differences among teachers and understand how millennial teachers may be shaping the future of primary and secondary schools, either by staying or leaving the profession.
New Insights for Soft Skills Development in Vietnamese Business Schools: Defining Essential Soft Skills for Maximizing Graduates’ Career Success
Within Vietnam's system of higher education, its
schools of business play a vital role in supporting the country’s
economic objectives. However, the crucial contribution of soft skills
for maximal success within the business sector has to date not been
adequately recognized by its business schools. This being so, the
development of the business school curriculum in Vietnam has not
been able to 'catch up', so to say, with the burgeoning need of
students for a comprehensive soft skills program designed to meet the
national and global business objectives of their potential employers.
The burden of the present paper is first to reveal the results of our
survey in Vietnam which make explicit the extent to which major
Vietnamese industrial employers’ value the potential role that soft
skill competencies can play in maximizing business success. Our
final task will be to determine which soft skills employers discern as
best serving to maximize the economic interests of Vietnam within
the global marketplace. Semi-structured telephone interviews have
been conducted with the 15 representative Head Employers of
Vietnam's reputedly largest and most successful of the diverse
business enterprises across Vietnam. The findings of the study
indicate that all respondents highly value the increasing importance
of soft skills in business success. Our critical analysis of respondent
data reveals that 19 essential soft skills are deemed by employers as
integral to business workplace efficacy and should thus be integrated
into the formal business curriculum. We are confident that our study
represents the first comprehensive and specific survey yet undertaken
within the business sector in Vietnam which accesses and analyses
the opinions of representative employers from major companies
across the country in regard to the growing importance of 19 specific
soft skills essential for maximizing overall business success. Our
research findings also reveal that the integration into business school
curriculums nationwide of the soft skills we have identified is of
paramount importance to advance the national and global economic
interests of Vietnam.
The Perception on 21st Century Skills of Nursing Instructors and Nursing Students at Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Chonburi
The aim of this descriptive study was to determine the perception of 21st century skills among nursing professors and nursing students at Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Chonburi. A total of 38 nursing professors and 75 second year nursing students took part in the study. Data were collected by 21st century skills questionnaires comprised of 63 items. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the findings. The results have shown that the overall mean scores of the perception of nursing professors on 21st century skills were at a high level. The highest mean scores were recorded for computing and ICT literacy, and career and leaning skills. The lowest mean scores were recorded for reading and writing and mathematics. The overall mean scores on perception of nursing students on 21st century skills were at a high level. The highest mean scores were recorded for computer and ICT literacy, for which the highest item mean scores were recorded for competency on computer programs. The lowest mean scores were recorded for the reading, writing, and mathematics components, in which the highest item mean score was reading Thai correctly, and the lowest item mean score was English reading and translate to other correctly. The findings from this study have shown that the perceptions of nursing professors were consistent with those of nursing students. Moreover, any activities aiming to raise capacity on English reading and translate information to others should be taken into the consideration.
An Inclusion Project for Deaf Children into a Northern Italy Contest
84 deaf students (from primary school to college) and their families participated in this inclusion project in cooperation with numerous institutions in northern Italy (Brescia-Lombardy). Participants were either congenitally deaf or their deafness was related to other pathologies. This research promoted the integration of deaf students as they pass from primary school to high school to college. Learning methods and processes were studied that focused on encouraging individual autonomy and socialization. The research team and its collaborators included school teachers, speech therapists, psychologists and home tutors, as well as teaching assistants, child neuropsychiatrists and other external authorities involved with deaf persons social inclusion programs. Deaf children and their families were supported, in terms of inclusion, and were made aware of the research team that focused on the Bisogni Educativi Speciali (BES or Special Educational Needs) (L.170/2010 - DM 5669/2011). This project included a diagnostic and evaluative phase as well as an operational one. Results demonstrated that deaf children were highly satisfied and confident; academic performance improved and collaboration in school increased. Deaf children felt that they had access to high school and college. Empowerment for the families of deaf children in terms of networking among local services that deal with the deaf also improved while family satisfaction also improved. We found that teachers and those who gave support to deaf children increased their professional skills. Achieving autonomy, instrumental, communicative and relational abilities were also found to be crucial. Project success was determined by temporal continuity, clear theoretical methodology, strong alliance for the project direction and a resilient team response.
Study of Pre-Handwriting Factors Necessary for Successful Handwriting in Children
Handwriting is essential to academic success; however, the current literature is limited in the identification of pre-handwriting skills. The purpose of this study was to identify the pre-handwriting skills, which occupational therapy practitioners deem important to handwriting success, as well as those which aid in intervention planning. The online survey instrument consisted of 33 questions that assessed various skills related to the development of handwriting, as well as captured demographic information. Both occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants were included in the survey study. The survey found that the respondents were in agreement that purposeful scribbling, the ability of a child to copy (vertical/horizontal lines, circle, squares, and triangles), imitating an oblique cross, cognitive skills (attention, praxis, self-regulation, sequencing), grasp patterns, hand dominance, in hand manipulation skills (shift, translation, rotation), bilateral integration, stabilization of paper, crossing midline, and visual perception were important indicators of handwriting readiness. The results of the survey support existing research regarding the skills necessary for the successful development of handwriting in children.
Rethinking the Languages for Specific Purposes Syllabus in the 21st Century: Topic-Centered or Skills-Centered
21st century has transformed the labor market
landscape in a way of posing new and different demands on
university graduates as well as university lecturers, which means that
the knowledge and academic skills students acquire in the course of
their studies should be applicable and transferable from the higher
education context to their future professional careers. Given the
context of the Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) classroom, the
teachers’ objective is not only to teach the language itself, but also to
prepare students to use that language as a medium to develop generic
skills and competences. These include media and information
literacy, critical and creative thinking, problem-solving and analytical
skills, effective written and oral communication, as well as
collaborative work and social skills, all of which are necessary to
make university graduates more competitive in everyday professional
environments. On the other hand, due to limitations of time and large
numbers of students in classes, the frequently topic-centered syllabus
of LSP courses places considerable focus on acquiring the subject
matter and specialist vocabulary instead of sufficient development of
skills and competences required by students’ prospective employers.
This paper intends to explore some of those issues as viewed both by
LSP lecturers and by business professionals in their respective
surveys. The surveys were conducted among more than 50 LSP
lecturers at higher education institutions in Croatia, more than 40 HR
professionals and more than 60 university graduates with degrees in
economics and/or business working in management positions in
mainly large and medium-sized companies in Croatia. Various elements of LSP course content have been taken into
consideration in this research, including reading and listening
comprehension of specialist texts, acquisition of specialist vocabulary
and grammatical structures, as well as presentation and negotiation
skills. The ability to hold meetings, conduct business correspondence,
write reports, academic texts, case studies and take part in debates
were also taken into consideration, as well as informal business
communication, business etiquette and core courses delivered in a
foreign language. The results of the surveys conducted among LSP
lecturers will be analyzed with reference to what extent those
elements are included in their courses and how consistently and
thoroughly they are evaluated according to their course requirements.
Their opinions will be compared to the results of the surveys
conducted among professionals from a range of industries in Croatia
so as to examine how useful and important they perceive the same
elements of the LSP course content in their working environments.
Such comparative analysis will thus show to what extent the syllabi
of LSP courses meet the demands of the employment market when it
comes to the students’ language skills and competences, as well as
transferable skills. Finally, the findings will also be compared to the
observations based on practical teaching experience and the relevant
sources that have been used in this research. In conclusion, the ideas and observations in this paper are merely
open-ended questions that do not have conclusive answers, but might
prompt LSP lecturers to re-evaluate the content and objectives of
their course syllabi.
Competitive Advantage Challenges Affecting the Apparel Manufacturing Industry of South Africa (AMISA): Application of Porter’s Factor Conditions
This paper applied factor conditions from Porter’s
Diamond Model (1990) to understand the various challenges facing
the AMISA. Factor conditions highlighted in Porter’s model are
grouped into two groups namely, basic and advance factors. Two
AMISA associations representing over 10 000 employees were
interviewed. The largest Clothing, Textiles and Leather (CTL)
apparel retail group was also interviewed with a government
department implementing the industrialization policy were
interviewed. The paper points out that AMISA have basic factor conditions
necessary for competitive advantage in the apparel industries.
However advance factor creation has proven to be a challenge for
AMISA, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and government. Poor
infrastructural maintenance has contributed to high manufacturing
costs and poor quick response technologies. The use of Porter’s
Factor Conditions as a tool to analyze the sector’s competitive
advantage challenges and opportunities has increased knowledge
regarding factors that limit the AMISA’s competitiveness. It is
therefore argued that other studies on Porter’s Diamond model
factors like Demand conditions, Firm strategy, structure and rivalry
and Related and supporting industries can be used to analyze the
situation of the AMISA for the purposes of improving competitive
The Effectiveness of Teaching Games for the Improvement of the Hockey Tactical Skills and the State of Self-Confidence among 16 Years Old Students
This study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of Teaching Games For Understanding (TGFU) in improving the hockey tactical skills and state self-confidence among 16-year-old students. Two hundred fifty-nine (259) school students were selected for the study based on the intact sampling method. One class was used as the control group (Boys=60, Girls=70), while another as the treatment group (Boys=60, Girls=69) underwent intervention with TGFU in physical education class conducted twice a week for four weeks. The Games Performance Assessment Instrument was used to observe the hockey tactical skills and The State Self-Confidence Inventory was used to determine the state of self-confidence among the students. After four weeks, ANCOVA analysis indicated the treatment groups had significant improvement in hockey tactical skills with F (1, 118) =313.37, p<.05 for school boys, and F (1, 136) =92.62, p<.05 for school girls. The MannWhitney U test also showed the treatment groups had significant improvement in state self-confidence with U=428.50, z= -7.22, p < .05, r=.06 for school boys. ANCOVA analysis also showed the treatment group had significant improvement in state self-confidence with F (1, 136) =74.40, p<.05 for school girls. This indicates that TGFU in a 40-minute physical education class conducted twice a week for four weeks can significantly improve the hockey tactical skills and state self-confidence among 16-year-old students. The findings give new knowledge to PE teachers to implement the TGFU method as it enhances the hockey tactical skills and state selfconfidence among 16-year-old students. Some recommendation was suggested for future research.
The Age Difference in Social Skills Constructs for School Adaptation: A Cross-Sectional Study of Japanese Students at Elementary, Junior, and Senior High Schools
Many interventions for social skills acquisition aim to decrease the gap between social skills deficits in the individual and normative social skills; nevertheless little is known of typical social skills according to age difference in students. In this study, we developed new quintet of Hokkaido Social Skills Inventory (HSSI) to identify age-appropriate social skills for school adaptation. First, we selected 13 categories of social skills for school adaptation from previous studies, and created questionnaire items through discussion by 25 teachers in all three levels from elementary schools to senior high schools. Second, the factor structures of five versions of the social skills scale were investigated on 2nd grade (n = 1,864), 4th grade (n = 1,936), 6th grade (n = 2,085), 7th grade (n = 2,007), and 10th grade (n = 912) students, respectively. The exploratory factor analysis showed that a number of constructing factors of social skills increased as one’s grade in school advanced. The results in the present study can be useful to characterize the age-appropriate social skills for school adaptation.
Algorithmic Skills Transferred from Secondary CSI Studies into Tertiary Education
Testing the first year students of Informatics at the
University of Debrecen revealed that students start their tertiary
studies in programming with a low level of programming knowledge
and algorithmic skills. The possible reasons which lead the students
to this very unfortunate result were examined. The results of the test
were compared to the students’ results in the school leaving exams
and to their self-assessment values. It was found that there is only a
slight connection between the students’ results in the test and in the
school leaving exams, especially at intermediate level. Beyond this,
the school leaving exams do not seem to enable students to evaluate
their own abilities.
Developing Leadership and Teamwork Skills of Pre-Service Teacher through Learning Camp
This study aimed to 1) develop pre-service teachers’
leadership skills through camp-based learning, and 2) develop preservice
teachers’ teamwork skills through camp-based learning. An
applied research methodology was used. The target group was
derived from a purposive selection. It involved 32 fourth-year
students in Early Childhood Education Program enrolling a course
entitled Seminar in Early Childhood Education provided during
second semester of academic year 2013. The treatment was camp-based
learning activities which applied a PDCA process including
four stages: 1) plan, 2) do, 3) check, and 4) act. Research instruments
were a learning camp program, a camp-based learning management
plan, a 5-level assessment form for leadership skills and a 5-level
assessment form for assessing teamwork skills. Data were analyzed
using descriptive statistics. Results were: 1) pre-service teachers’
leadership skills yielded the before treatment average score at x= 3.4,
S.D.=0.6 2and the after-treatment average score at x 4.29 , S.D.=0.66
pre-service teachers’ teamwork skills yielded the before-treatment
average score at x=3.31, S.D.=0.60 and the after-treatment average
score at x=4.42, S.D.=0.66 Both differences were statistically
significant at the .05 level. Thus, the pre-service teachers’ leadership
and teamwork skills were significantly improved through the camp-based
Embedding Employability Skills in Computer and Information Science Program Curriculum
The paper discusses possible approaches of embedding the development of employability skills in the program curriculum. This paper contains analysis of the problem areas raised by employers regarding new graduates’ readiness to join workforce, the ways of possible improvements, and the actions required from different stakeholders. The case discussed in the paper is related to Computer and Information Science (CIS) Program offered at Higher Colleges of Technology (UAE).
The Project Evaluation to Develop the Competencies, Capabilities, and Skills in Repairing Computers of People in Jompluak Local Municipality, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkram Province
The results of the study on the project evaluation to
develop the competencies, capabilities, and skills in repairing
computers of people in Jompluak Local Municipality, Bang Khonthi
District, Samut Songkram Province showed that the overall result
was good (4.33). When considering on each aspect, it was found that
the highest one was on process evaluation (4.60) followed by product
evaluation (4.50) and the least one was on feeding factor (3.97).
When considering in details, it was found that: 1) the context aspect
was high (4.23) with the highest item on the arrangement of the
training situation (4.67) followed by the appropriateness of the target
(4.30) and the least aspect was on the project cooperation (3.73). 2)
The evaluation of average overall primary factor or feeding factor
showed high value (4.23) while the highest aspect was on the
capability of the trainers (4.47) followed by the suitable venue (4.33)
while the least aspect was on the insufficient budget (3.47). 3) The
average result of process evaluation was very high (4.60). The
highest aspect was on the follow-op supervision (4.70) followed by
responsibility of each project staffs (4.50) while the least aspect was
on the present situation and the problems of the community (4.40). 4)
The overall result of the product evaluation was very high (4.50). The
highest aspect was on the diversity of the activities and the
community integration (4.67) followed by project target achievement
(4.63) while the least aspect was on continuation and regularity of the
activities (4.33). The trainees reported high satisfaction on the project
management at very high level (43.33%) while 40% reported high
level and 16.67% reported moderate level. Suggestions for the project
were on the additional number of the computer sets (37.78%)
followed by longer training period especially on computer skills
Body Composition Index Predict Children’s Motor Skills Proficiency
Failure in mastery of motor skills proficiency during
childhood has been seen as a detrimental factor for children to be
physically active. Lack of motor skills proficiency tends to reduce
children’s competency and confidence level to participate in physical
activity. As a consequence of less participation in physical activity,
children will turn to be overweight and obese. It has been suggested
that children who master motor skill proficiency will be more
involved in physical activity thus preventing them from being
overweight. Obesity has become a serious childhood health issues
worldwide. Previous studies have found that children who were
overweight and obese were generally less active however these
studies focused on one gender. This study aims to compare motor
skill proficiency of underweight, normal-weight, overweight and
obese young boys as well as to determine the relationship between
motor skills proficiency and body composition. 112 boys aged
between 8 to 10 years old participated in this study. Participants were
assigned to four groups; underweight, normal-weight, overweight and
obese using BMI-age percentile chart for children. Bruininks-
Oseretsky Test Second Edition-Short Form was administered to
assess their motor skill proficiency. Meanwhile, body composition
was determined by the skinfold thickness measurement. Result
indicated that underweight and normal children were superior in
motor skills proficiency compared to overweight and obese children
(p < 0.05). A significant strong inverse correlation between motor
skills proficiency and body composition (r = -0.849) is noted. The
findings of this study could be explained by non-contributory mass
that carried by overweight and obese children leads to biomechanical
movement inefficiency which will become detrimental to motor skills
proficiency. It can be concluded that motor skills proficiency is
inversely correlated with body composition.