Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3433

Search results for: soft skills

3433 Assessing Soft Skills In Accounting Programmes: Insights From South African University Lecturers

Authors: Dolly Nyaguthii Wanjau


This study contributes to our understanding of how lecturers assess soft skills in accounting programmes, with the intention of producing graduates that are better prepared for the world of work. Insights were obtained through semi-structured interviews with twelve South African universities that offer chartered accountant training and accredited by SAICA. It was found that the lecturers assessed soft skills using traditional methods of assessments such as tests, assignments, and examinations. However, there were missed opportunities to embrace ICT tools in the assessment process, and this could be attributed to a lack of resources within the participating universities. Given the increasing use of digital tools for business activities, it is important that ICT tools be embraced as an inseparable part of soft skills because employers are increasingly looking for accounting graduates with digital skills.

Keywords: accounting, assessment, ICT skills, SAICA, soft skills

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3432 IT Skills and Soft Skills for Accountants in Thailand

Authors: Manirath Wongsim


Information technology management has become important for the achievement of organisations. An increase in the pace of technological change has revolutionised the way accountants perform their jobs. In response to this challenge, the identification of a new comprehensive set of information technology competencies combined with information technology skills and other skills (namely, soft skills) are necessary. Thus, this study aims to investigate IT competencies among professional accountants to enhance firm performance. This research was conducted with 42 respondents at ten organisations in Thailand. This research used qualitative, interpretive evidence.The results indicate that the factor IT competencies within the organizational issues defines19 factors. Specifically, these new factors, based on the research findings and the literature and unique to IT competences for professional accountants, include ERP software skills, BI software skills and accounting law and legal skills. The evidence in this study suggests that ERP software, spreadsheets, BI software and accounting software were ranked as much-needed skills to be acquired by accountants while communication skills were ranked as the most required skills, and delegation skills as the least required. The findings of the research’s empirical evidence suggest that organizations should understand appropriate into developing information technology related competencies for knowledge workers in general and professional accountants in particular and provide assistance in all processes of decision making.

Keywords: IT competencies, IT competencies for accountants, IT skills for accounting, soft skills for accountants

Procedia PDF Downloads 358
3431 New Insights for Soft Skills Development in Vietnamese Business Schools: Defining Essential Soft Skills for Maximizing Graduates’ Career Success

Authors: Hang T. T. Truong, Ronald S. Laura, Kylie Shaw


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.

Keywords: business curriculum, business graduates, employers’ perception, soft skills

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3430 Role of Leadership in Project Management

Authors: Miriam Filipová, Peter Balco


At present, in Slovak and Czech Republic, the education within the field of Project Management is carried out either within the higher education or via commercial entities, whilst the most used contents are the commonly used methodologies of project management. Obtaining a diploma after completing a university degree or a training certificate does not automatically mean the success of the project or the success of the project manager. The importance of leadership and soft skills in project management is either not included at all within the training of project managers, or it is only partially reflected. From the methodology perspective, the most important things during the preparation and management of the projects are preparation of the project plan, resource planning, and project realization in accordance with the chosen methodology. However, the key element on which the success of the project depends on are the people – whether they are team members on the supplier's side, the stakeholders, or the end users. This research focuses on the real needs of working project managers, on the development of their strengths, expertise, skills, and knowledge regarding leadership and soft skills. At the same time, it looks into identifying the elements that they consider to be key to the success of the projects they have managed and successfully delivered. The result of this research is the input for creating recommendations for a comprehensive education of project managers in the field of leadership and soft skills.

Keywords: project management, leadership, soft skills, education, academic degree, certificates, skills, talents, knowledge

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3429 Critical Core Skills Profiling in the Singaporean Workforce

Authors: Bi Xiao Fang, Tan Bao Zhen


Soft skills, core competencies, and generic competencies are exchangeable terminologies often used to represent a similar concept. In the Singapore context, such skills are currently being referred to as Critical Core Skills (CCS). In 2019, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) reviewed the Generic Skills and Competencies (GSC) framework that was first introduced in 2016, culminating in the development of the Critical Core Skills (CCS) framework comprising 16 soft skills classified into three clusters. The CCS framework is part of the Skills Framework, and whose stated purpose is to create a common skills language for individuals, employers and training providers. It is also developed with the objectives of building deep skills for a lean workforce, enhance business competitiveness and support employment and employability. This further helps to facilitate skills recognition and support the design of training programs for skills and career development. According to SSG, every job role requires a set of technical skills and a set of Critical Core Skills to perform well at work, whereby technical skills refer to skills required to perform key tasks of the job. There has been an increasing emphasis on soft skills for the future of work. A recent study involving approximately 80 organizations across 28 sectors in Singapore revealed that more enterprises are beginning to recognize that soft skills support their employees’ performance and business competitiveness. Though CCS is of high importance for the development of the workforce’s employability, there is little attention paid to the CCS use and profiling across occupations. A better understanding of how CCS is distributed across the economy will thus significantly enhance SSG’s career guidance services as well as training providers’ services to graduates and workers and guide organizations in their hiring for soft skills. This CCS profiling study sought to understand how CCS is demanded in different occupations. To achieve its research objectives, this study adopted a quantitative method to measure CCS use across different occupations in the Singaporean workforce. Based on the CCS framework developed by SSG, the research team adopted a formative approach to developing the CCS profiling tool to measure the importance of and self-efficacy in the use of CCS among the Singaporean workforce. Drawing on the survey results from 2500 participants, this study managed to profile them into seven occupation groups based on the different patterns of importance and confidence levels of the use of CCS. Each occupation group is labeled according to the most salient and demanded CCS. In the meantime, the CCS in each occupation group, which may need some further strengthening, were also identified. The profiling of CCS use has significant implications for different stakeholders, e.g., employers could leverage the profiling results to hire the staff with the soft skills demanded by the job.

Keywords: employability, skills profiling, skills measurement, soft skills

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3428 The Influence of Using Soft Knee Pads on Static and Dynamic Balance among Male Athletes and Non-Athletes

Authors: Yaser Kazemzadeh, Keyvan Molanoruzy, Mojtaba Izady


The balance is the key component of motor skills to maintain postural control and the execution of complex skills. The present study was designed to evaluate the impact of soft knee pads on static and dynamic balance of male athletes. For this aim, thirty young athletes in different sport fields with 3 years professional sport training background and thirty healthy young men nonathletic (age: 24.5 ± 2.9, 24.3 ± 2.4, weight: 77.2 ± 4.3 and 80/9 ± 6/3 and height: 175 ± 2/84, 172 ± 5/44 respectively) as subjects selected. Then, subjects in two manner (without knee and with soft knee pads made of neoprene) execute standard error test (BESS) to assess static balance and star test to assess dynamic balance. For analyze of data, t-tests and one-way ANOVA were significant 05/0 ≥ α statistical analysis. The results showed that the use of soft knee significantly reduced error rate in static balance test (p ≥ 0/05). Also, use a soft knee pads decreased score of athlete group and increased score of nonathletic group in star test (p ≥ 0/05). These findings, indicates that use of knees affects static and dynamic balance in athletes and nonathletic in different manner and may increased athletic performance in sports that rely on static balance and decreased performance in sports that rely on dynamic balance.

Keywords: static balance, dynamic balance, soft knee, athletic men, non athletic men

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3427 The Various Forms of a Soft Set and Its Extension in Medical Diagnosis

Authors: Biplab Singha, Mausumi Sen, Nidul Sinha


In order to deal with the impreciseness and uncertainty of a system, D. Molodtsov has introduced the concept of ‘Soft Set’ in the year 1999. Since then, a number of related definitions have been conceptualized. This paper includes a study on various forms of Soft Sets with examples. The paper contains the concepts of domain and co-domain of a soft set, conversion to one-one and onto function, matrix representation of a soft set and its relation with one-one function, upper and lower triangular matrix, transpose and Kernel of a soft set. This paper also gives the idea of the extension of soft sets in medical diagnosis. Here, two soft sets related to disease and symptoms are considered and using AND operation and OR operation, diagnosis of the disease is calculated through appropriate examples.

Keywords: kernel of a soft set, soft set, transpose of a soft set, upper and lower triangular matrix of a soft set

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3426 Etiquette Learning and Public Speaking: Early Etiquette Learning and Its Impact on Higher Education and Working Professionals

Authors: Simran Ballani


The purpose of this paper is to call education professionals to implement etiquette and public speaking skills for preschoolers, primary, middle and higher school students. In this paper the author aims to present importance of etiquette learning and public speaking curriculum for preschoolers, reflect on experiences from implementation of the curriculum and discuss the effect of the said implementation on higher education/global job market. Author’s aim to introduce this curriculum was to provide children with innovative learning and all around development. This training of soft skills at kindergarten level can have a long term effect on their social behaviors which in turn can contribute to professional success once they are ready for campus recruitment/global job markets. Additionally, if preschoolers learn polite, appropriate behavior at early age, it will enable them to become more socially attentive and display good manners as an adult. It is easier to nurture these skills in a child rather than changing bad manners at adulthood. Preschool/Kindergarten education can provide the platform for children to learn these crucial soft skills irrespective of the ethnicity, economic or social background they come from. These skills developed at such early years can go a long way to shape them into better and confident individuals. Unfortunately, accessibility of the etiquette learning and public speaking skill education is not standardized in pre-primary or primary level and most of the time embedding into the kindergarten curriculum is next to nil. All young children should be provided with equal opportunity to learn these soft skills which are essential for finding their place in job market.

Keywords: Early Childhood Learning, , public speaking, , confidence building, , innovative learning

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3425 Application of Soft Sets to Non-Associative Rings

Authors: Inayatur Rehman


Molodtstove developed the theory of soft sets which can be seen as an effective tool to deal with uncertainties. Since the introduction of this concept, the application of soft sets has been restricted to associative algebraic structures (groups, semi groups, associative rings, semi-rings etc.). Acceptably, though the study of soft sets, where the base set of parameters is a commutative structure, has attracted the attention of many researchers for more than one decade. But on the other hand there are many sets which are naturally endowed by two compatible binary operations forming a non-associative ring and we may dig out examples which investigate a non-associative structure in the context of soft sets. Thus it seems natural to apply the concept of soft sets to non-commutative and non-associative structures. In present paper, we make a new approach to apply Molodtsoves notion of soft sets to LA-ring (a class of non-associative ring). We extend the study of soft commutative rings from theoretical aspect.

Keywords: soft sets, LA-rings, soft LA-rings, soft ideals, soft prime ideals, idealistic soft LA-rings, LA-ring homomorphism

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3424 Best Practices in Designing a Mentoring Programme for Soft Skills Development

Authors: D. Kokt, T. F. Dreyer


The main objective of the study was to design a mentoring programme aimed at developing the soft skills of mentors. The mentors are all employed at a multinational corporation. The company had a mentoring plan in place that did not yield the required results, especially related to the development of soft skills. This prompted the researchers to conduct an extensive literature review followed by a mixed methods approach to ascertain the best practices in developing the soft skills of mentors. The outcomes of the study led to the development of a structured mentoring programme using 25 modules to be completed by mentors. The design incorporated a blended modular approach using both face-to-face teaching and teaching supported by Information Communication Technology (ICT). Blended learning was ideal as the ICT component helped to minimise instructor-mentor physical contact as part of the health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The blended learning approach also allowed instructors and mentors an online or offline mode so that mentors could have more time for creative and cooperative exercises. A range of delivery methodologies was spread out across the different modules to ensure mentor engagement and accelerate mentor development. This included: (i) Concept development through in-person instructor-led training sessions, (ii) Concept development through virtual instructor-led training sessions, (iii) Simulations and case studies, (iv) E-learning, (v) Role plays and interactive learning using mentoring toolkits; and (vi) Experiential learning through application. The mentor development journey included formal modular competency assessments. All modules contained post-competency assessment consisting of 10 questions (comprising of a combination of explanatory questions and multiple-choice questions) to ensure understanding and deal with identified competency gaps. The minimum pass mark for all modular competency assessments was 80%. Mentors were allowed to retake the assessment if they scored less than 80% until they demonstrated understanding at the required level.

Keywords: mentor, mentee, soft skills, mentor development, blended learning, modular approach

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3423 Using VR as a Training Tool in the Banking Industry

Authors: Bjørn Salskov, Nicolaj Bang, Charlotte Falko


Future labour markets demand employees that can carry out a non-linear task which is still not possible for computers. This means that employees must have well-developed soft-skills to perform at high levels in such a work environment. One of these soft-skills is presenting a message effectively. To be able to present a message effectively, one needs to practice this. To practice effectively, the trainee needs feedback on the current performance. Here VR environments can be used as a practice tool because it gives the trainee a sense of presence and reality. VR environments are becoming a cost-effective training method since it does not demand the presence of an expert to provide this feedback. The research article analysed in this study suggests that VR environment can be used and are able to provide the necessary feedback to the trainee which in turn will help the trainee become better at the task. The research analysed in this review does, however, show that there is a need for a study with larger sample size and a study which runs over a longer period.

Keywords: training, presentation, presentation skills, VR training, VR as a training tool, VR and presentation

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3422 Interdependence of Vocational Skills and Employability Skills: Example of an Industrial Training Centre in Central India

Authors: Mahesh Vishwakarma, Sadhana Vishwakarma


Vocational education includes all kind of education which can help students to acquire skills related to a certain profession, art, or activity so that they are able to exercise that profession, art or activity after acquiring such qualification. However, in this global economy of the modern world, job seekers are expected to have certain soft skills over and above the technical knowledge and skills acquired in their areas of expertise. These soft skills include but not limited to interpersonal communication, understanding, personal attributes, problem-solving, working in team, quick adaptability to the workplace environment, and other. Not only the hands-on, job-related skills, and competencies are now being sought by the employers, but also a complex of attitudinal dispositions and affective traits are being looked by them in their prospective employees. This study was performed to identify the employability skills of technical students from an Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in central India. It also aimed to convey a message to the students currently on the role, that for them to remain relevant in the job market, they would need to constantly adapt to changes and evolving requirements in the work environment, including the use of updated technologies. Five hypotheses were formulated and tested on the employability skills of students as a function of gender, trade, work experience, personal attributes, and IT skills. Data were gathered with the help of center’s training officers who approached 200 recently graduated students from the center and administered the instrument to students. All 200 respondents returned the completed instrument. The instrument used for the study consisted of 2 sections; demographic details and employability skills. To measure the employability skills of the trainees, the instrument was developed by referring to the several instruments developed by the past researchers for similar studies. The 1st section of the instrument of demographic details recorded age, gender, trade, year of passing, interviews faced, and employment status of the respondents. The 2nd section of the instrument on employability skills was categorized into seven specific skills: basic vocational skills; personal attributes; imagination skills; optimal management of resources; information-technology skills; interpersonal skills; adapting to new technologies. The reliability and validity of the instrument were checked. The findings revealed valuable information on the relationship and interdependence of vocational education and employability skills of students in the central Indian scenario. The findings revealed a valuable information on supplementing the existing vocational education programs with few soft skills and competencies so as to develop a superior workforce much better equipped to face the job market. The findings of the study can be used as an example by the management of government and private industrial training centers operating in the other parts of the Asian region. Future research can be undertaken on a greater population base from different geographical regions and backgrounds for an enhanced outcome.

Keywords: employability skills, vocational education, industrial training centers, students

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3421 Building Student Empowerment through Live Commercial Projects: A Reflective Account of Participants

Authors: Nilanthi Ratnayake, Wen-Ling Liu


Prior research indicates an increasing gap between the skills and capabilities of graduates in the contemporary workplace across the globe. The challenge of addressing this issue primarily lies on the hands of higher education institutes/universities. In particular, surveys of UK employers and retailers found that soft skills including communication, numeracy, teamwork, confidence, analytical ability, digital/IT skills, business sense, language, and social skills are highly valued by graduate employers, and in achieving this, there are various assessed and non-assessed learning exercises have already been embedded into the university curriculum. To this end, this research study aims to explore the reflections of postgraduate student participation in a live commercial project (i.e. designing an advertising campaign for open days, summer school etc.) implemented with the intention of offering a transformative experience by deploying this project. Qualitative research methodology has been followed in this study, collecting data from three types of target audiences; students, academics and employers via a series of personal interviews and focus group discussions. Recorded data were transcribed, entered into NVIVO, and analysed using meaning condensation and content analysis. Students reported that they had a very positive impact towards improving self-efficacy, especially in relation to soft skills and confidence in seeking employment opportunities. In addition, this project has reduced cultural barriers for international students in general communications. Academic staff and potential employers who attended on the presentation day expressed their gratitude for offering a lifelong experience for students, and indeed believed that these type of projects contribute significantly to enhance skills and capabilities of students to cater the demands of employers. In essence, key findings demonstrate that an integration of knowledge-based skills into a live commercial project facilitate individuals to make the transition from education to employment in terms of skills, abilities and work behaviours more effectively in comparison to some other activities/assuagements that are currently in place in higher education institutions/universities.

Keywords: soft skills, commercially live project, higher education, student participation

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3420 Detect Critical Thinking Skill in Written Text Analysis. The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Text Analysis vs Chat/Gpt

Authors: Lucilla Crosta, Anthony Edwards


Companies and the market place nowadays struggle to find employees with adequate skills in relation to anticipated growth of their businesses. At least half of workers will need to undertake some form of up-skilling process in the next five years in order to remain aligned with the requests of the market . In order to meet these challenges, there is a clear need to explore the potential uses of AI (artificial Intelligence) based tools in assessing transversal skills (critical thinking, communication and soft skills of different types in general) of workers and adult students while empowering them to develop those same skills in a reliable trustworthy way. Companies seek workers with key transversal skills that can make a difference between workers now and in the future. However, critical thinking seems to be the one of the most imprtant skill, bringing unexplored ideas and company growth in business contexts. What employers have been reporting since years now, is that this skill is lacking in the majority of workers and adult students, and this is particularly visible trough their writing. This paper investigates how critical thinking and communication skills are currently developed in Higher Education environments through use of AI tools at postgraduate levels. It analyses the use of a branch of AI namely Machine Learning and Big Data and of Neural Network Analysis. It also examines the potential effect the acquisition of these skills through AI tools and what kind of effects this has on employability This paper will draw information from researchers and studies both at national (Italy & UK) and international level in Higher Education. The issues associated with the development and use of one specific AI tool Edulai, will be examined in details. Finally comparisons will be also made between these tools and the more recent phenomenon of Chat GPT and forthcomings and drawbacks will be analysed.

Keywords: critical thinking, artificial intelligence, higher education, soft skills, chat GPT

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3419 Toward an Informed Capacity Development Program in Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development

Authors: Maria Ana T. Quimbo


As the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) approaches its 50th founding anniversary. It continues to pursue its mission of strengthening the capacities of Southeast Asian leaders and institutions under its reformulated mission of Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD). Guided by this mission, this study analyzed the desired and priority capacity development needs of institutions heads and key personnel toward addressing the constraints, problems, and issues related to agricultural and rural development toward achieving their institutional goals. Adopting an exploratory, descriptive research design, the study examined the competency needs at the institutional and personnel levels. A total of 35 institution heads from seven countries and 40 key personnel from eight countries served as research participants. The results showed a variety of competencies in the areas of leadership and management, agriculture, climate change, research, monitoring, and evaluation, planning, and extension or community service. While mismatch was found in a number of desired and priority competency areas as perceived by the respondents, there were also interesting concordant answers in both technical and non-technical areas. Interestingly, the competency needs both desired and prioritized were a combination of “hard” or technical skills and “soft” or interpersonal skills. Policy recommendations were forwarded on the need to continue building capacities in core competencies along ISARD; have a balance of 'hard' skills and 'soft' skills through the use of appropriate training strategies and explicit statement in training objectives, strengthen awareness on “soft” skills through its integration in workplace culture, build capacity on action research, continue partnerships encourage mentoring, prioritize competencies, and build capacity of desired and priority competency areas.

Keywords: capacity development, competency needs assessment, sustainability and development, ISARD

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3418 Soft Power: Concept and Role in Country Policy

Authors: Talip Turkmen


From the moment the first beats, the first step into the world mankind finds him in a struggle to survive. Most important case to win this fight is power. Power is one of the most common concepts which we encounter in our life. Mainly power is ability to reach desired results on someone else or ability to penetrate into the behavior of others. Throughout history merging technology and changing political trade-offs caused the change of concept of power. Receiving a state of multipolar new world order in the 21st century and increasing impacts of media have narrowed the limits of military power. With increasing globalization and peaceful diplomacy this gap, left by military power, has filled by soft power which has ability to persuade and attract. As concepts of power soft power also has not compromised yet. For that reason it is important to specify, sources of soft power, soft power strategies and limits of soft power. The purpose of this study was to analyze concept of soft power and importance of soft power in foreign relations. This project focuses on power, hard power and soft power relations, sources of soft power and strategies to gain soft power. Datas in this project was acquired from other studies on soft power and foreign relations. This paper was prepared in terms of concept and research techniques. As a result of data gained in this study the one of important topics in international relations is balance between soft power.

Keywords: soft power, foreign policy, national power, hard power

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3417 Functionalized Ultra-Soft Rubber for Soft Robotics Application

Authors: Shib Shankar Banerjeea, Andreas Ferya, Gert Heinricha, Amit Das


Recently, the growing need for the development of soft robots consisting of highly deformable and compliance materials emerge from the serious limitations of conventional service robots. However, one of the main challenges of soft robotics is to develop such compliance materials, which facilitates the design of soft robotic structures and, simultaneously, controls the soft-body systems, like soft artificial muscles. Generally, silicone or acrylic-based elastomer composites are used for soft robotics. However, mechanical performance and long-term reliabilities of the functional parts (sensors, actuators, main body) of the robot made from these composite materials are inferior. This work will present the development and characterization of robust super-soft programmable elastomeric materials from crosslinked natural rubber that can serve as touch and strain sensors for soft robotic arms with very high elastic properties and strain, while the modulus is altered in the kilopascal range. Our results suggest that such soft natural programmable elastomers can be promising materials and can replace conventional silicone-based elastomer for soft robotics applications.

Keywords: elastomers, soft materials, natural rubber, sensors

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3416 Complementing Assessment Processes with Standardized Tests: A Work in Progress

Authors: Amparo Camacho


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.

Keywords: assessment, hard skills, soft skills, standardized tests

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3415 Applying Personel Resilence and Emotional Agitation in Occupational, Health and Safety Education and Training

Authors: M. Jayandran


Continual professional development is an important concept for safety professionals to strengthen the knowledge base and to achieve the required qualifications or international memberships in a given time. But the main problems which have observed among most of the safety aspirants are as follows: lack of focus, inferiority complex, superiority complex, lack of interest and lethargy, family and off job stress, health issues, usage of drugs and alcohol, and absenteeism. A HSE trainer should be an expert in soft skills and other stress, emotional handling techniques, so as to manage the above aspirants during training. To do this practice, a trainer has to brainstorm himself of few of the soft skills like personnel resilience, mnemonic techniques, mind healing, and subconscious suggestion techniques by integrating with an emotional intelligence quotient of the aspirants. By adopting these techniques, a trainer can successfully deliver the course and influence the different types of audience to achieve success in training.

Keywords: personnel resilience, mnemonic techniques, mind healing, sub conscious suggestion techniques

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3414 Knowledge and Skills Requirements for Software Developer Students

Authors: J. Liebenberg, M. Huisman, E. Mentz


It is widely acknowledged that there is a shortage of software developers, not only in South Africa, but also worldwide. Despite reports on a gap between industry needs and software education, the gap has mostly been explored in quantitative studies. This paper reports on the qualitative data of a mixed method study of the perceptions of professional software developers regarding what topics they learned from their formal education and the importance of these topics to their actual work. The analysis suggests that there is a gap between industry’s needs and software development education and the following recommendations are made: 1) Real-life projects must be included in students’ education; 2) Soft skills and business skills must be included in curricula; 3) Universities must keep the curriculum up to date; 4) Software development education must be made accessible to a diverse range of students.

Keywords: software development education, software industry, IT workforce, computing curricula

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3413 The Age Difference in Social Skills Constructs for School Adaptation: A Cross-Sectional Study of Japanese Students at Elementary, Junior, and Senior High School

Authors: Hiroki Shinkawa, Tadaaki Tomiie


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) in order 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.

Keywords: social skills, age difference, children, adolescents

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3412 Soft Power in International Politics: Defense and Continued Relevance

Authors: Shivani Yadav


The paper will first elaborate on the concept of soft power as formulated by Joseph Nye, who argues that soft power is as important as hard power in international politics as it replaces coercion with non-coercive forms of co-optation and attraction. The central tenet of the paper is to extrapolate the continued relevance of soft power in international relations in the 21st century. It is argued that the relevance of soft power, in concurrence with hard power, is on the rise in the international system. This is found to be emanating out of two factors. First, the state-centric practice of international relations has expanded to allow other actors to participate in policymaking. This has led to the resources for power generation to become varied, largely move away from the control of governments, and to produce both hard and soft power attributes. Second, as the currency of coercive power seems to be devaluing in global politics, the role of intangible factors like soft power is getting more important in policymaking. The paper will then go on to elaborate on the critiques of the formulation of soft power from various perspectives, as well as the defenses to these critiques presented by soft power proponents. The paper will reflect on the continued relevance of soft power in international politics by giving the example of India, and how soft power has continued to serve its policy objectives over the years. It is observed that even as India is recognized as a rising superpower today, yet it has made a continuous effort in cultivating its soft power resources, which have proven to be its assets in furthering its foreign policy interests. In conclusion, the paper makes the point that soft power, in conjunction with hard power, will shape international politics in the coming times.

Keywords: foreign policy, India’s soft power, international politics, smart power, soft power

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3411 A Project-Based Learning Approach in the Course of 'Engineering Skills' for Undergraduate Engineering Students

Authors: Armin Eilaghi, Ahmad Sedaghat, Hayder Abdurazzak, Fadi Alkhatib, Shiva Sadeghi, Martin Jaeger


A summary of experiences, recommendations, and lessons learnt in the application of PBL in the course of “Engineering Skills” in the School of Engineering at Australian College of Kuwait in Kuwait is presented. Four projects were introduced as part of the PBL course “Engineering Skills” to 24 students in School of Engineering. These students were grouped in 6 teams to develop their skills in 10 learning outcomes. The learning outcomes targeted skills such as drawing, design, modeling, manufacturing and analysis at a preliminary level; and also some life line learning and teamwork skills as these students were exposed for the first time to the PBL (project based learning). The students were assessed for 10 learning outcomes of the course and students’ feedback was collected using an anonymous survey at the end of the course. Analyzing the students’ feedbacks, it is observed that 67% of students preferred multiple smaller projects than a single big project because it provided them with more time and attention focus to improve their “soft skills” including project management, risk assessment, and failure analysis. Moreover, it is found that 63% of students preferred to work with different team members during the course to improve their professional communication skills. Among all, 62% of students believed that working with team members from other departments helped them to increase the innovative aspect of projects and improved their overall performance. However, 70% of students counted extra time needed to regenerate momentum with the new teams as the major challenge. Project based learning provided a suitable platform for introducing students to professional engineering practice and meeting the needs of students, employers and educators. It was found that students achieved their 10 learning outcomes and gained new skills developed in this PBL unit. This was reflected in their portfolios and assessment survey.

Keywords: project-based learning, engineering skills, undergraduate engineering, problem-based learning

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3410 Recruitment Model (FSRM) for Faculty Selection Based on Fuzzy Soft

Authors: G. S. Thakur


This paper presents a Fuzzy Soft Recruitment Model (FSRM) for faculty selection of MHRD technical institutions. The selection criteria are based on 4-tier flexible structure in the institutions. The Advisory Committee on Faculty Recruitment (ACoFAR) suggested nine criteria for faculty in the proposed FSRM. The model Fuzzy Soft is proposed with consultation of ACoFAR based on selection criteria. The Fuzzy Soft distance similarity measures are applied for finding best faculty from the applicant pool.

Keywords: fuzzy soft set, fuzzy sets, fuzzy soft distance, fuzzy soft similarity measures, ACoFAR

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3409 The Intervention Effect of Gratitude Skills Training on the Reduction of Loneliness

Authors: T. Sakai, A. Aikawa


This study defined 'gratitude skills training' as a social skills training which would become a new intervention method about gratitude intervention. The purpose of this study was to confirm the intervention effect of gratitude skills training on the reduction of loneliness. The participants in this study were university students (n = 36). A waiting list control design was used, in which the participants were assigned either to a training group (n = 18) or a waiting list control group (n = 18); the latter group took the same training after the first group had been trained. The two-week gratitude skills training comprised of three sessions (50 minutes per each of sessions). In the three sessions, the guidebook and the homework developed in this study were used. Results showed that gratitude skills training improved the participants’ gratitude skills. The results also indicated the intervention effect of gratitude skills training on the reduction of loneliness during the follow-up after three weeks. This study suggests that gratitude skills training can reduce loneliness. The gratitude skills training has a possibility of becoming a new treatment to reduce loneliness.

Keywords: gratitude skills, loneliness, social skills training, well-being

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3408 The Study of Digital Transformation Skills and Competencies Framework at Umm Alqura University

Authors: Anod H. Alhazmi, Hanaa A. Yamani


The lack of digital transformation professionals could prevent Saudi Arabia’s universities from providing digital services. The task of understanding what digital skills are needed within an organization, measuring the existing skills, and developing or attracting talents is a complex task. This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the digital transformation skills needed in the organizations who seek digital transformation and identifies the skills and competencies framework DigSC built on Skills Framework for the Informational Age (SFIA) framework that is adopted by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in Saudi Arabia. The framework adopted identifies the main digital transformation skills clusters, categories and levels of responsibilities for each job description to fill the gap between this requirement and the digital skills supplied by the Umm Alqura University (UQU).

Keywords: competencies, digital transformation, framework, skills, Umm Alqura university

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3407 Analysis of Farm Management Skills in Broiler Poultry Producers in Botswana

Authors: Som Pal Baliyan


The purpose of this quantitative study was to analyze farm management skills in broiler poultryproducers in Botswana. The study adopted a descriptive and correlation research design. The population of the study was the poultry farm operators who had been in broiler poultry farming at least for two years. Based on the information from literature, a questionnaire was constructed for data collection on seven areas of farm management skills namely; planning skills, accounting and financial management skills, production management skills, product procurement and marketing skills, decision making skills, risk management skills, and specific technical skills. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire were accomplished by a panel of experts and by calculating the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, respectively. Data were collected through a survey of 60 randomly sampled poultry farm operators in Botswana. Data were analyzed through descriptive statistical tools whereby the level of farm management skills were determined by calculating means and standard deviations of the management skills among the broiler producers. The level of farm management skills in broilers producers was discussed. All the seven farm management skills were ranked based on their calculated means. The specific technical skills and risk management skills were the highest and the lowest ranked farm management skills, respectively.Findings revealed that the broiler producers had skills above the average level only in specific technical skills whereas the skill levels in the remaining six farm management skills under study were found below the average level. This prevailing low level of farm management skills can be justified asthe cause of failure or poor performance of the broiler poultry farms in Botswana. Therefore, in order to improve the efficiency and productivityin broiler production in the country, it was recommended that the broiler poultry producers should be adequately trained in areas of planning skills, financial management skills, production management skills, product procurement and marketing skills, decision making skills and risk management skills.

Keywords: poultry production, broiler production, management skills, levels of skills

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3406 Variation in the Morphology of Soft Palate

Authors: Hema Lattupalli


Introduction: The palate forms a partition between the oral cavity and nasal cavity. The palate is made up of two parts hard palate and soft palate. The Hard palate forms the anterior part of the palate, the soft palate forms a movable muscular fold covered by mucous membrane that is suspended from the posterior border of a hard palate. Aim and Objectives: Soft palate morphological variations have a great paucity in the literature. It’s also believed that the soft palate has no such important anatomical variations. There is a variable presentation of the soft palate morphology in the lateral cephalograms. The aim of this study is to identify the velar morphology. Materials and Methods: 100 normal subjects between the age group of 20 – 35 were taken for the study. Method: Lateral Cephalogram (radiologic study). Results: Different shapes of the soft palate were observed in the lateral cephalograms. The morphology of soft palate was classified into six types 1.Leaf like (50 cases) most common type, 2.Straight line (20 cases), 3.S shaped (4 cases) very rare, 4.Butt like (10 cases), 5. Rat tail (6 cases), 6. Hook shaped (10 cases). Conclusion: This classification helps us to understand the better diversity of the velar morphology in mid-sagittal plane. These findings help us to understand the etiology of OSAS.

Keywords: soft palate, cephalometric radiographs, morphology, cleft palate, obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome

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3405 Management Competency in Logistical Function: The Skills That Will Master a Logistical Manager

Authors: Fatima Ibnchahid


Competence approach is considered, since the early 80's as one of the major development of HR policies. Many approaches to manage the professional skills were declined. Some processes are mature whereas the others have been abandoned. Competence can be defined as the set of knowledge (theoretical and practical), know-how (experience) and life skills (personality traits) mobilized by a person in the company. The skills must master a logistics manager are divided into two main categories: depending on whether technical skills, or managerial skills and human. The firsts are broken down into skills on logistical techniques and on general skills in business, seconds in social skills (self with others) and personal (with oneself). Logisticians are faced with new challenges and new constraints that are revolutionizing the way to treat the physical movement of goods and operations related to information flows that trigger, they control and guide the physical movements of these major changes, we can mention the development of information technology and communication, the emergence of strong environmental and security constraints. These changes have important effects on the skills needs of the members of the logistical function and sensitive development for training requested by logistical managers to perform better in their job changes. In this article, we will address two main points, first, a brief overview of the management skills and secondly answer the question asked in the title of the article to know what are the skills that will master a logistical manager.

Keywords: skills, competence, management, logistical function

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3404 The Effects of Big 6+6 Skill Training on Daily Living Skills for an Adolescent with Intellectual Disability

Authors: Luca Vascelli, Silvia Iacomini, Giada Gueli, Francesca Cavallini, Carlo Cavallini, Federica Berardo


The study was conducted to evaluate the effect of training on Big 6 + 6 motor skills to promote daily living skills. Precision teaching (PT) suggests that improved speed of the component behaviors can lead to better performance of composite skills. This study assessed the effects of the repeated timed practice of component motor skills on speed and accuracy of composite skills related to daily living skills. An 18 years old adolescent with intellectual disability participated. A pre post probe single-subject design was used. The results suggest that the participant was able to perform the component skills at his individual aims (endurance was assessed). The speed and accuracy of composite skills were increased; stability and retention were also measured for the composite skill after the training.

Keywords: big 6+6, daily living skills, intellectual disability, precision teaching

Procedia PDF Downloads 92