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BUBBLES IN THE OCEAN

The humble journey to The Creator: After all, we are just a tiny bubble in the ocean

Month

August 2015

Be kind, always

Be kind, always. [written by Ummu Amanina]

Dah lama saya tak tulis panjang-panjang. Busy, and nothing much to share perhaps. But something happened today, and I wish to share my reflection about it.

Pagi tadi saya ke sekolah untuk mengambil borang pendaftaran pra-sekolah untuk Nurhan. Kami bercadang untuk mendaftarkan Nurhan ke pra-sekolah di sekolah yang sama dengan kakak dan abangnya.

Apabila saya tiba di kelas pra-sekolah tersebut, senyum dan bersalaman dengan guru yang bertugas, pembantunya memberikan saya buku untuk menulis nama. Tiba-tiba saya tersentak apabila guru tersebut berkata kepada saya,

“Janganlah berharap sangat ye”.

Saya lihat muka dia tetapi saya senyap saja dan terus menulis nama di dalam buku yang diberikan. Saya agak terkilan dengan beliau yang belum apa-apa lagi dah kata begitu. Beliau menyambung lagi dengan mengatakan yang permohonan sebenarnya dah ditutup, dan pemilihan akan dibuat oleh jawatankuasa termasuk dengan guru besar, dan akan dibuat melihat juga faktor gaji. Katanya, ada ibu bapa yang gaji RM8000 tetapi hantar ke pra-sekolah kerajaan. Walaupun mereka akan dahulukan yang umur 6 tahun (pra untuk 5 dan 6 tahun campur sekali kelas).

Saya katakan yang saya memang berharap anak saya dapat tempat di prasekolah ini sebab saya rasa ianya akan jadi satu pengalaman yang baik utk dia — tetapi kalau akan dipilih ikut gaji.. saya tak dapat nak kata apalah.

Tak lama lepas itu, pembantunya memberikan saya borang dan meminta bayaran RM1. Kebetulan saya tak bawak dompet dan saya minta maaf tak dapat bayar terus. Tidak semena-mena guru berkenaan cakap sekali lagi kat saya,

“Nanti jangan lupa bayar”

Terdiam saya dibuatnya. Guru berkenaan terus berkata dengan mangatakan sebelum ini ramai saja ibu bapa yang buat tak tahu tak bayar RM1 seperti yang diminta selepas hantar borang.

Saya pulang dengan perasaan yang hampa. Hampa dan kecewa dengan sikap orang dewasa, Islam, yang tidak berkomunikasi dengan baik, dan berprasangka. Dalam kereta sewaktu perjalanan pulang, minda dan hati saya masih terusik. Kecewa dengan sikap manusia yang tidak ‘kind’.

Tidak lama selepas saya masuk ke kawasan perumahan kami, dari jauh saya ternampak kelibat seorang anak muda OKU yang cukup dikenali oleh penduduk setempat, sedang berjalan terhinjut-hinjut (beliau sedikit tempang). Saya tersenyum kerana saya mengenali beliau, cuma belum sempat nak kenalkan anak-anak dengan beliau (dari usia kecil sekolah menengah, beliau rajin ke surau, dan bila sudah besar, sara diri sendiri dengan mengambil upah menyapu sampah sarap di sekitar kawasan kedai dan jalan raya).

Saya nampak seorang pemuda bermotosikal menghampiri dan menyapanya. Anak muda OKU berkenaan kelihatan mengangkat tangannya yang bengkok, menunjuk ke hadapan. Sewaktu kereta saya melintasi mereka, saya lihat anak muda OKU itu tersenyum. “Oh, kawan rupanya mereka”, kata saya dalam hati. Saya terus melihat mereka melalui cermin kereta dan kelihatan anak muda OKU itu cuba naik untuk membonceng motosikal itu.

I immediately realised — the pemuda bermotosikal itu sebenarnya hendak menumpangkan anak muda OKU itu ke tempat yang hendak dituju! So kind of him. Many people would have just drove past the anak muda OKU, including me! My eyes immediately welled up, because just a few moments ago I felt bad seeing unkind people, but now Allah showed me there are still those who care, those who are truly kind. And that the impact of any acts of kindness, even small, is just very uplifting and motivating. Just imagine, a human, us, seeing an act of kindness even from far away, can feel good about ourselves, and good about mankind. May Allah reward the motorcycle man and the anak muda OKU smile emoticon

Kindness is very important. And I learned to remember a very important lesson today:

BE KIND. ALWAYS.

Promoting Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) and Sparking Creativity Among University Students

previewAssalamualaikum wrt & Hello to all

Sorry we’ve been away for quite sometimes from blogging. We were quite busy with Ramadhan and Syawal and thus unable to concentrate on blogging very well.

As the Head for newly established Centre for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETaL) at my university, it is my responsibility to bring the change and show a good example to my colleagues how innovation could be done in the classroom to promote higher order thinking skills (HOTS) and at the same time sparking the creativity among them. So, this is the story:


These are the efforts of my students & AP Dr Suzana Yusup, CCB3043 Kinetic Reactor Design, who also enrolled in Process Safety & Loss Prevention course, (the owner is Dr Dzul​) and they also enrolled in Chemical Process Dynamic and Instrumentation Control (CPDIC), and the course owners are Dr Abbas and Dr Haslinda Zabiri.

This semester, the students were given two projects that they have to carry out comprising of
i) Development of Board Game which integrates all three courses
ii) Solve an open ended problem – related to managing waste to wealth

What is the underpinning learning theory?

We used cooperative learning as the learning strategy. Cooperative learning has been introduced as an instructional method of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and each other’s’ learning [1]. Cooperative learning is also claimed to reduce the occurrence of unpleasant situation in a group work [2]. Many world renowned engineering education specialists recommended to use cooperative learning as it confirms the effectiveness in cooperative learning in higher education [2]. This is supported by another study, which suggested that the students dropped out the college are mainly for two reasons: failure to establish a social network of friends and classmates, and failure to become academically involve in the class [2]. Many researches on cooperative learning were carried out in US, and the impact of cooperative learning can be classified into four aspects: i) Academic Success, ii) Quality of Relationships, iii) Psychological Adjustment and iv) Positive Attitude towards College Experience.[2]

A formal cooperative learning is a more structured activity, in comparison to the active learning [2]. Five essential elements that must be embedded in a structured cooperative learning are: positive interdependence, face to face promotive interaction, individual accountability, teamwork skills and group processing [2]. These elements shall promote the group to become a high performing cooperative learning group, and effectively learn.

What is the motivation?

We carried out this kind of project to address the program outcomes in chemical engineering program, as well as to fulfil the framework of 21st century education on technology & creativity. We found that based on the index of learning styles survey made in January 2015 and
May 2015, using an instrument developed by Felder and Solomon (1992)
[4], of four batches of chemical engineering students in UTP, majority of
the students are found to be active learners, sequential learners as well
as sensing learners. This suggest that an active learning strategy such as
cooperative learning [1], should be adopted to ensure the students can
sustain their interest in the classroom, via the collaborative and cooperative
nature of classroom activities. The students also generally complained that
they could understand the lecture, but often unable to solve the problems
given to them. Thus, combining this scenario with the old teaching style,
the students can easily get bored with the courses, and practically, not
really learning.

So the students are randomly distributed into a group, which basically they are strangers to each other. This push them to work professionally in the group to achieve a maximum output.

So, what’s new?

Apart from the cooperative learning strategy, the students need to do the following activities as part of their output:

1. Board game
2. Video presentation (preferably animation)
3. Group portfolio (which includes reflection of the projects and the courses they enrolled)
4. Documentation of their projects

There are several rubrics developed to evaluate the students performance. Alhamdulillah, based on the survey made to the students, and their reflection, I can say, I am happy, a job well done by them. I really feel satisfied with their achievement. Alhamdulillah, based on this effort we were awarded silver medal in recent I-PHEX 2015 (just because we’ve not published yet in any journal publication)

To see my students’ masterpieces, kindly please visit any of these websites.

GROUP PORTFOLIOS:
Group 1
http://group1ceproject.wix.com/6bombs6
Group 2
http://theboardgameprojectgroup02.weebly.com/
Group 3
http://www.group3krd.wix.com/worldofreactors
Group 4
http://soong1stemail.wix.com/utp2015krdgrp4
Group 5
http://johnkb.wix.com/group5checkers
Group 6
http://enginius94.wix.com/enginius
Group 7
http://tricoursegroup7.weebly.com/
Group 8
http://the-uber.weebly.com/
Group 9
http://tsdlim8.wix.com/krdprojectgroup9
Group 10
http://group10integratedprojectmay15.weebly.com/
Group 11
http://rockychiew.wix.com/group-11
Group 12
http://deshalinee.wix.com/krdprojectgroup12
Group 13
http://www.i-m.mx/Group13/UTPGroup13/
Group 14
http://teammavericks.wix.com/krdgroup14
Group 15
http://krdgroup15.jimdo.com/
Group 16
http://3in1projectgroup16.weebly.com/
Group 17
http://tzechyuan1994.wix.com/group17
Group 18
http://valour18krd.weebly.com/
Group 19
http://kishor19.wix.com/utpkrdgroup19
Group 20
http://krdgroup20.wix.com/thecapitans
Group 21
http://krdgroup21.wix.com/krdgroup21

References:

[1] Felder, R. M., & Brent, R. (2007). Cooperative learning. In Active learning: Models from the analytical sciences, ACS Symposium Series (Vol. 970, pp. 34-53).
[2] Smith, K. A., Sheppard, S. D., Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2005). Pedagogies of engagement: Classroom‐based practices. Journal of engineering education, 94(1), 87-101.
[3] Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1999). Making cooperative learning work.Theory into practice, 38(2), 67-73.
[4] Soloman, B. A., & Felder, R. M. (2005). Index of learning styles questionnaire.NC State University. Available online at: http://www. engr. ncsu. edu/learningstyles/ilsweb. html (last visited on 14.05. 2010).

Further details about what is covered in our course, are shared in this prezi link

https://prezi.com/nf5xip8focoe/

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