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Malaysian Journal of Learning and Instruction (MJLI) Vol. 8, 2011

 
Train-the-Trainers: Implementing Outcomes-based Teaching and Learning in Malaysian Higher Education
John Biggs¹
Honorary Professor of Psychology
University of Hong Kong
& Honorary Associate
School of Psychology
University of Tasmania
Catherine Tang
Educational Consultant
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
The decision by the Minister of Higher Education, that Malaysian post-secondary institutions should move to outcomes-based teaching and learning (OBTL), involves a change in teaching in over 1,000 institutions. This massive changeover would be accomplished using the “Train-the-Trainers” model in a series of workshops. We are proud to play a role in the first of these Train-the-Trainers programmes. In this article we explain how OBTL was conceptualised in the constructive alignment model, and how this first programme was structured. The major outcome was that each trainer would devise their own training programme to suit the conditions of their institution. The results were impressive but there were some difficulties; mainly to do with limiting the number of intended learning outcomes to a workable number, that would need to be addressed in order to achieve optimal outcomes.
 

 
Application of Problem Based Learning (PBL) in a Course on Financial Accounting Principles
Nor Aziah Abdul Manaf¹, Zuaini Ishak² & Wan Nordin Wan Hussin³
College of Business
Universiti Utara Malaysia
aziah960@uum.edu.my¹;
zuaini@uum.edu.my²;
wannordin@uum.edu.my³
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – This paper aims to share experiences in teaching a Financial Accounting Principles course using a hybrid problem based learning (PBL) method. The three specific objectives of this paper are to document how the PBL project for this course was developed and managed in class, to compare the academic performance of PBL students with non-PBL students, and to investigate the students’ perceptions of how PBL had benefitted them.
 
Method – Based on our experience of the processes in developing and managing the PBL project, we described that process in this paper. Then, from the overall results of 1,148 students taking the Financial Accounting Principles course, we compared the academic performance between PBL and non-PBL students. In addition, we used a questionnaire to find out from the 267 students who had attended the PBL and the traditional non-PBL methods, how the various activities in the Financial Accounting Principles class had benefited them.
 
Findings – The results showed evidence of the superiority of the PBL method. The PBL students out-performed those without the benefit of a PBL experience. The survey results also indicated that a PBL approach provided significant benefits to the students in their presentation skills, teamwork, leadership and ability to use IT. In addition, student responses to the open-ended questions revealed that PBL was an acceptable way of learning accounting. PBL was a challenging way of learning, but it offered great benefits; PBL helped our students in the experimental group to improve teamwork, communication and other soft skills. However, we found PBL to be suitable only for students with some basic accounting knowledge.
 
Significance – PBL is an innovative teaching method because it uses problems in stimulating students to learn. This study has shown that PBL is a promising approach in teaching accounting. The major challenge for educators using this approach is to be able to provide well-developed problems in order to achieve the desired learning outcomes of the course.
 
Keywords: PBL, PBL in accounting, teaching accounting, learning through PBL.
 

 
The Roles of Social Support in Promoting Adolescents' Classroom Cognitive Engagement Through Academic Self-Efficacy
Sharifah Azizah Syed Sahil
Insaniah University College
 
Rosna Awang Hashim
College of Arts and Sciences
Universiti Utara Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – The main aim of the present investigation was to examine the role of teacher, peer, and parental academic and emotional support in predicting adolescent cognitive engagement, especially within the context of ESL classrooms.
 
Method – The present study examined the availability of academic and emotional support from teachers, classmates and parents as perceived by adolescents, via instruments which were adapted from a number of established measures. This cross-sectional study utilized the survey method, and a total of 450 adolescents from 11 secondary schools in Malaysia, representing early and middle adolescence, took part in the survey. The study assessed each source of support namely teacher, peers and parents within one model.
 
Findings – Findings from the structural equation modelling suggest that both teacher and parental support are significantly related to adolescent cognitive engagement through their academic efficacy, thus lending support for a full mediation model while peer support was directly related to cognitive engagement.
 
Significance – Even though parents and teachers played important roles in influencing adolescent cognitive engagement (as suggested by previous studies), this study suggests that the relationship was through academic efficacy, which had served as a mediating variable. One of the contributions of this study is that its findings supported the inclusion of student motivational beliefs in explaining the relationship between support factors and engagement. This study had also examined the unique contribution of emotional support. Additionally, it was found that research should not disregard the importance of peers in promoting cognitive engagement directly.
 
Keywords: Social support, cognitive engagement, self-efficacy, social cognition.
 

 
Case Study on Persuasiveness of Argument Texts Written by Proficient and Less Proficient Malaysian Undergraduates
Su-Hie Ting1, Humaira Raslie & Leong-Jin Jee
Centre for Language Studies
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – Research has shown that university students, particularly non-native speakers of English, encounter difficulties with various academic text-types and often lack the ability to organise the information in a structure considered effective by the discourse community or to use the significant language features of the text-type effectively to achieve the intended purpose. The study examined the persuasiveness of argument texts written by proficient and less-proficient undergraduates in a Malaysian university. The aspects examined were the organisational structure of the text and the language features significant for fulfilling the persuasive purpose of the text.
 
Method – Forty argument texts were analysed: 22 written by undergraduates who were more profi cient in English, and 18 by less proficient undergraduates. The analysis focused on the organization of the content of the argument text as well as selected language features, namely, connectors, modal verbs and passive voice.
 
Findings – The results showed that the proficient undergraduates used the structure considered effective for argument texts but the writing of the less-proficient group was characterised by unclear or absence of statement of stance and restatement of stance. To achieve the persuasive purpose of the text, the proficient undergraduates made use of connectors, modal verbs and passive voice more than the less-proficient group. However, the connectors ‘because’, ‘so’ and ‘besides’ were often used in a manner similar to spoken language, and there was an overdependence on the modal verbs ‘can’ and ‘will’. The lack of conditionals and nominalisations was obvious for both groups, suggesting that these are more difficult language features to master and greater pedagogical attention is needed.
 
Significance– The paper explores differentiated focus in the teaching of academic writing at university level for students with high and low proficiency in English.
 
Keywords: Argument texts, English proficiency, academic writing, university
 

 
Teachers’ Knowledge and Understanding of the Malaysian School-Based Oral English Assessment
Gurnam Kaur Sidhu & Chan Yuen Fook1
Faculty of Education
Universiti Teknologi Mara
Azleena Mohamad
SMK Dato’ Harun
Tanjung Karang, Selangor
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – The paper sought to investigate TESL teachers’ knowledge and understanding of the Malaysian School Based Oral English Assessment (SBOEA) after five years into its implementation in upper secondary ESL classrooms in Malaysian public schools
 
Method – The descriptive study involved a total of 80 TESL trained teachers from the 19 schools located in a district in Selangor, Malaysia. The study employed a three-prong strategy to collect data which included a questionnaire, semi structured interviews and document analysis.
 
Findings – The findings of the study indicated that there was a low compliance (58.7%) rate among teachers to the procedures laid out in the SBOEA Manual with regards to the implementation of SBOEA. The teachers also acknowledged their lack of knowledge and understanding of the SBOEA and a half of the teachers in the study admitted having problems with the scoring criteria. Some teachers highlighted that they felt the SBOEA lacked reliability and validity within and outside the schools.
 
Significance – The paper explores the possible implications of the study to the enhancement of the implementation of the School Based Oral English Assessment in Malaysian public schools.
Keywords: School based assessment, oral English test, school based oral English assessment
 

 
Pre-Service Teachers' Perception Toward Environmental Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviours
Mohamad Termizi Borhan¹ & Zurida Ismail²
School of Education
Universiti Sains Malaysia
 
mohamad_termizi.pm08@student.usm.my¹
zurida@usm.my²
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – The study investigated the environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviours exhibited by the pre-service teachers and determined if there was any significant relationship between environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviours.
 
Method – This descriptive study adopted a quantitative approach using questionnaires to obtain information on environmental knowledge (53 items with true/false responses), environmental attitudes (11 items with a 4-point Likert scale) and environmental behaviours (11 items with a 4-point Likert scale) of 173 3rd-year students enrolled in the Chemistry Teaching Methods course. Data were analysed using both descriptive statistics (frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation) and inferential statistics
(correlation coefficient).
 
Findings – The low total mean score on the environmental knowledge component indicated the respondents’ lack of knowledge on environmental issues especially in climate change, However, the respondents exhibited high positive environmental attitudes based on their responses to the relevant attitude items especially on items that related to adopting significant actions. Most of the items in the environmental behaviours component yielded considerably high mean scores which indicated a strong willingness on the part of the pre-service teachers to take pro-environmental behaviours. The findings also showed that there was no significant relationship between knowledge, attitudes and behaviours.
 

 
Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) in Predicting the Intent to Use the Internet for Academic Purposes
Zainol Bidin¹, Mohd Farid Asraf Md Hashim², Zakiyah Sharif³ & Faridahwati Mohd Shamsudin
College of Business
Universiti Utara Malaysia
b.zainol@uum.edu.my1
mdfarid@uum.edu.my2
zaez2205@uum.edu.my3
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – This study sought to investigate the factors that influence students’ intention to use the Internet for academic purposes in Universiti Utara Malaysia. This study applies theory of planned behaviour (TPB) as the base model. The model employed the original variables from the theory i.e. attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control and intention.
 
Method – A survey involving of questionnaires was conducted among 369 public university students. Multiple regression was employed to examine the factors influencing intention to use the Internet for academic purposes.
 
Findings – Results revealed that the variables attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control are statistically significant in influencing intention to use the Internet for learning purposes. It was also found that 38% of the variance in students’ intention to use the Internet is cumulatively explained by their attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control.
 
Significance – The paper provides useful scientific insight into the relationships between attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control variables towards intention to use the Internet for academic purposes. The findings can be used to promote the use of Internet among students in enhancing their learning experience.
 
Keywords: Attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, intention.
 

 
Kompetensi Emosi dan Kepemimpinan Transformasional di Sekolah Berkesan dan Sekolah Kurang Berkesan
Yahya Don1 & Yaakob Daud2
College of Arts and Sciences
Universiti Utara Malaysia
dr.yahya@uum.edu.my1
 
Abstrak Ɩ Full Text
Kepemimpinan merupakan proses hubungan interpersonal yang dinamik, meluas merangkumi aspek-aspek kognitif, kompetensi emosi dan beroperasi dalam konteks sosial. Kajian ini bertujuan meneliti tahap kompetensi emosi pemimpin dan kepemimpinan transformasional di sekolah berkesan dan sekolah kurang berkesan. Seramai 485 pemimpin secara random telah terpilih dari sekolah tersebut dengan mengunakan Emotional Competencies Inventory (ECI-2) dan Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ5x). Dapatan menunjukan terdapat perbezaan yang signifi kan dalam tahap kompetensi emosi dan kepemimpinan transformasional di sekolah berkesan dan sekolah kurang berkesan. Perbezaan ini memberi pengaruh yang sangat besar ke atas kejayaan dan imej terhadap kepimpinan sekolah. Oleh itu, usaha-usaha perlu dilakukan untuk meningkatkan tahap kompetensi emosi dan kepemimpinan transformasional pemimpin di sekolah kurang berkesan dalam usaha untuk meningkatkan bilangan sekolah-sekolah berkesan.
 

 
Faktor Kecerdasan Pelbagai dalam Pembentukan Profil Remaja
Siti Rahayah Ariffin, Roseni Ariffin Arbaiyah Md Zin & Nik Noralhuda Nik Mohamed*
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
 
Abstrak Ɩ Full Text
Kajian ini bertujuan mengenal pasti sumbangan faktor-faktor kecerdasan pelbagai (KP) terhadap lapan kecerdasan pelbagai yang dipelopori oleh Gardner. Kajian ini juga bertujuan meninjau perbezaan faktor-faktor kecerdasan pelbagai berdasarkan jantina, bangsa, kategori sekolah, aliran dan SES (Social Economic Status). Kajian ini telah dijalankan secara tinjauan dan dianalisa secara kuantitatif ke atas 511 pelajar dengan menggunakan instrument MyMICA 2006 (Malaysian Multiple Intelligence Check list for Adult 2006). Analisis regresi linear menunjukkan kecerdasan Visual Ruang memberi sumbangan paling tinggi iaitu 97.8% terhadap kecerdasan Logik Matematik manakala kecerdasan Verbal Linguistik pula memberi sumbangan paling rendah iaitu 22.2% terhadap kecerdasan Muzik. Melalui analisis MANOVA, antara dapatan yang diperoleh ialah terdapat perbezaan yang signifi kan berdasarkan kategori sekolah dalam dua kecerdasan pelbagai iaitu Verbal Linguistik (F = 25.11, p < 0.01) dan Intrapersonal (F = 14.85, p < 0.01). Terdapat juga perbezaan yang signifi kan antara pelajar Melayu dan bukan Melayu pada dua kecerdasan pelbagai iaitu Muzik (F = 12.82, p < 0.01) dan Kinestatik (F = 9.58, p < 0.01). Implikasi kajian menunjukkan guru dan pentadbir sekolah perlu peka terhadap kecerdasan pelbagai yang berbeza bagi setiap individu pelajar. Guru seharusnya mengguna sepenuhnya kemudahan prasarana sekolah untuk mencungkil kecerdasan ini bagi memaksimumkan prestasi pelajar.