Columbus , Ohio
June 28, 2017
June 28, 2017
June 28, 2017
Main Forum (Podium Presentation)
In Hong Kong a major educational reform, known as “3+3+4” has been implemented in the recent past. The new system replaced the old three-year undergraduate curriculum with a new four-year curriculum. One of the objectives of this change is to provide the students with student- centred and multidisciplinary learning experience that will improve their generic skills preparing them for a complex, mobile and challenging work environment. The curriculum of Mechanical Engineering programme of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has been changed in alignment with the core requirements of new system and the first cohort of students was admitted to new four-year programme in year 2012. With the graduation of this first cohort in year 2016, this study aims to investigate the effect of curriculum change on the students’ performance.
First the performance of 82 Mechanical Engineering graduates from the new system were investigated. Their Award Grade Point Average (AGPA) were compared with the performance in some selected core knowledge-building and knowledge-integration subjects which are mostly common across new and old curriculums. The basic objective of knowledge-building subjects is to gradually develop discipline specific knowledge while knowledge-integration subjects focused more on students’ all-round abilities and workplace skill development. The findings show that the students’ final AGPA is strongly correlated to knowledge-building subjects, such as mathematics (r = 0.82, p < 0.001), physics (r = 0.87, p < 0.001) and mechanics (r = 0.86, p < 0.001) while the correlation with major knowledge-integration subject, Final Year Capstone Project (r = 0.24, p < 0.05) is relatively weak. This cohort of students consists of 2 major groups, students admitted directly based on Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) results (4 years in the university – HKDSE intake) and the Senior Year intake from those who have completed 2 years of relevant associate degree programmes (2 years in the university – SY intake). The population of students investigated consists of 53 HKDSE intake students and 29 SY intake students. When analysed separately, both groups’ AGPA showed a strong positive correlation with their performance in knowledge-building subjects which is expected. However, their performance in Final Year Capstone Project showed a significant difference. SY intake students’ capstone project performance showed a moderate positive correlation (r = 0.47, p < 0.05) while that of HKDSE intake students showed no correlation (r = 0.099, p = 0.479). Therefore, the award classification among HKDSE intake students does not adequately reflect their all-round abilities and workplace skills. The results indicate that students who have completed a 2 years associate degree prior to university admission have developed workplace related skills significantly while regular intake students have not managed to develop those skills adequately despite the fact that they have followed the full new curriculum in the university for 4 years. The same has been analysed for 5 most recent cohorts of graduates from the old curriculum and no significant difference in performance has been observed. It is premature to make a conclusion about the effectiveness of the newly introduced curriculum based on the data of one cohort of students considered in this study. However, it is significant enough to conduct further investigation to understand the contributing factors for the observed differences of performance. This paper presents some of those contributing factors that may be of interest to international audience.
Kahangamage, U. P., & Leung, R. C. K., & Cheung, G. S., & Kwok, A. S. L. (2017, June), Investigation of Effect of Curriculum Change on Students’ Performance in Knowledge-building and Knowledge-integration Subjects Paper presented at 2017 ASEE International Forum, Columbus , Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29289
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