Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 610

Search results for: generic skills

610 Integrating Generic Skills into Disciplinary Curricula

Authors: Sitalakshmi Venkatraman, Fiona Wahr, Anthony de Souza-Daw, Samuel Kaspi

Abstract:

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.

Keywords: Curriculum, employability, generic skills, graduate attributes, higher education, information technology.

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609 A study on a Generic Development Process for the BPM+SOA Design and Implementation

Authors: Toshimi Munehira

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In order to optimize annual IT spending and to reduce the complexity of an entire system architecture, SOA trials have been started. It is common knowledge that to design an SOA system we have to adopt the top-down approach, but in reality silo systems are being made, so these companies cannot reuse newly designed services, and cannot enjoy SOA-s economic benefits. To prevent this situation, we designed a generic SOA development process referred to as the architecture of “mass customization." To define the generic detail development processes, we did a case study on an imaginary company. Through the case study, we could define the practical development processes and found this could vastly reduce updating development costs.

Keywords: SOA, BPM, Generic Model, MassCustomization

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608 Performance Comparison and Evaluation of AdaBoost and SoftBoost Algorithms on Generic Object Recognition

Authors: Doaa Hegazy, Joachim Denzler

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SoftBoost is a recently presented boosting algorithm, which trades off the size of achieved classification margin and generalization performance. This paper presents a performance evaluation of SoftBoost algorithm on the generic object recognition problem. An appearance-based generic object recognition model is used. The evaluation experiments are performed using a difficult object recognition benchmark. An assessment with respect to different degrees of label noise as well as a comparison to the well known AdaBoost algorithm is performed. The obtained results reveal that SoftBoost is encouraged to be used in cases when the training data is known to have a high degree of noise. Otherwise, using Adaboost can achieve better performance.

Keywords: SoftBoost algorithm, AdaBoost algorithm, Generic object recognition.

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607 Generic Multimedia Database Architecture

Authors: Mohib ur Rehman, Imran Ihsan, Mobin Uddin Ahmed, Nadeem Iftikhar, Muhammad Abdul Qadir

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Multimedia, as it stands now is perhaps the most diverse and rich culture around the globe. One of the major needs of Multimedia is to have a single system that enables people to efficiently search through their multimedia catalogues. Many Domain Specific Systems and architectures have been proposed but up till now no generic and complete architecture is proposed. In this paper, we have suggested a generic architecture for Multimedia Database. The main strengths of our architecture besides being generic are Semantic Libraries to reduce semantic gap, levels of feature extraction for more specific and detailed feature extraction according to classes defined by prior level, and merging of two types of queries i.e. text and QBE (Query by Example) for more accurate yet detailed results.

Keywords: Multimedia Database Architecture, Semantics, Feature Extraction, Ontology.

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

Authors: Hiroki Shinkawa, Tadaaki Tomiie

Abstract:

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. 

Keywords: Social skills, age difference, children, adolescents.

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

Authors: Anod H. Alhazmi, Hanaa A. Yamani

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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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604 A Generic, Functionally Comprehensive Approach to Maintaining an Ontology as a Relational Database

Authors: Jennifer Leopold, Alton Coalter, Leong Lee

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An ontology is a data model that represents a set of concepts in a given field and the relationships among those concepts. As the emphasis on achieving a semantic web continues to escalate, ontologies for all types of domains increasingly will be developed. These ontologies may become large and complex, and as their size and complexity grows, so will the need for multi-user interfaces for ontology curation. Herein a functionally comprehensive, generic approach to maintaining an ontology as a relational database is presented. Unlike many other ontology editors that utilize a database, this approach is entirely domain-generic and fully supports Webbased, collaborative editing including the designation of different levels of authorization for users.

Keywords: Ontology Editor, Relational Database, CollaborativeCuration.

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603 Key Competences in Economics and Business Field: The Employers’ Side of the Story

Authors: Bruno Škrinjarić

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Rapid technological developments and increase in organizations’ interdependence on international scale are changing the traditional workplace paradigm. A key feature of knowledge based economy is that employers are looking for individuals that possess both specific academic skills and knowledge, and also capability to be proactive and respond to problems creatively and autonomously. The focus of this paper is workers with Economics and Business background and its goals are threefold: (1) to explore wide range of competences and identify which are the most important to employers; (2) to investigate the existence and magnitude of gap between required and possessed level of a certain competency; and (3) to inquire how this gap is connected with performance of a company. A study was conducted on a representative sample of Croatian enterprises during the spring of 2016. Results show that generic, rather than specific, competences are more important to employers and the gap between the relative importance of certain competence and its current representation in existing workforce is greater for generic competences than for specific. Finally, results do not support the hypothesis that this gap is correlated with firms’ performance.

Keywords: Competency gap, competency matching, key competences, firm performance.

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602 Enhancing Soft Skills through Peer Review Activity in a Technical Writing Class

Authors: Hairuzila Idrus, Zullina Hussain Shaari, Razol Mahari Mohd Ali

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Peer review is an activity where students review their classmates- writing and then evaluate the content, development, unity and organization. Studies have shown that peer review activities benefit both the reviewer and the writer in developing their reading and writing skills. Furthermore, peer review activities may also enhance students- soft skills. This study was conducted to find out the benefits of peer review activity in a technical writing class based on engineering students- perceptions. The study also highlights how these benefits could improve the students- soft skills. A set of questionnaire was given to 200 undergraduate students of a technical writing course. The results of the study indicate that the activity could help improve their critical thinking skills, written and oral communication skills, as well as team work. This paper further discusses how the implications of these benefits could help enhance students- soft skills.

Keywords: Peer review, soft skills, technical writing.

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601 Generic Data Warehousing for Consumer Electronics Retail Industry

Authors: S. Habte, K. Ouazzane, P. Patel, S. Patel

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The dynamic and highly competitive nature of the consumer electronics retail industry means that businesses in this industry are experiencing different decision making challenges in relation to pricing, inventory control, consumer satisfaction and product offerings. To overcome the challenges facing retailers and create opportunities, we propose a generic data warehousing solution which can be applied to a wide range of consumer electronics retailers with a minimum configuration. The solution includes a dimensional data model, a template SQL script, a high level architectural descriptions, ETL tool developed using C#, a set of APIs, and data access tools. It has been successfully applied by ASK Outlets Ltd UK resulting in improved productivity and enhanced sales growth.

Keywords: Consumer electronics retail, dimensional data model, data analysis, generic data warehousing, reporting.

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600 A Generic and Extensible Spidergon NoC

Authors: Abdelkrim Zitouni, Mounir Zid, Sami Badrouchi, Rached Tourki

Abstract:

The Globally Asynchronous Locally Synchronous Network on Chip (GALS NoC) is the most efficient solution that provides low latency transfers and power efficient System on Chip (SoC) interconnect. This study presents a GALS and generic NoC architecture based on a configurable router. This router integrates a sophisticated dynamic arbiter, the wormhole routing technique and can be configured in a manner that allows it to be used in many possible NoC topologies such as Mesh 2-D, Tree and Polygon architectures. This makes it possible to improve the quality of service (QoS) required by the proposed NoC. A comparative performances study of the proposed NoC architecture, Tore architecture and of the most used Mesh 2D architecture is performed. This study shows that Spidergon architecture is characterised by the lower latency and the later saturation. It is also shown that no matter what the number of used links is raised; the Links×Diameter product permitted by the Spidergon architecture remains always the lower. The only limitation of this architecture comes from it-s over cost in term of silicon area.

Keywords: Dynamic arbiter, Generic router, Spidergon NoC, SoC.

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599 Self-adaptation of Ontologies to Folksonomies in Semantic Web

Authors: Francisco Echarte, José Javier Astrain, Alberto Córdoba, Jesús Villadangos

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Ontologies and tagging systems are two different ways to organize the knowledge present in the current Web. In this paper we propose a simple method to model folksonomies, as tagging systems, with ontologies. We show the scalability of the method using real data sets. The modeling method is composed of a generic ontology that represents any folksonomy and an algorithm to transform the information contained in folksonomies to the generic ontology. The method allows representing folksonomies at any instant of time.

Keywords: Folksonomies, ontologies, OWL, semantic web.

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598 The Experiences of South-African High-School Girls in a Fab Lab Environment

Authors: Nomusa Dlodlo, Ronald Noel Beyers

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This paper reports on an effort to address the issue of inequality in girls- and women-s access to science, engineering and technology (SET) education and careers through raising awareness on SET among secondary school girls in South Africa. Girls participated in hands-on high-tech rapid prototyping environment of a fabrication laboratory that was aimed at stimulating creativity and innovation as part of a Fab Kids initiative. The Fab Kids intervention is about creating a SET pipeline as part of the Young Engineers and Scientists of Africa Initiative.The methodology was based on a real world situation and a hands-on approach. In the process, participants acquired a number of skills including computer-aided design, research skills, communication skills, teamwork skills, technical drawing skills, writing skills and problem-solving skills. Exposure to technology enhanced the girls- confidence in being able to handle technology-related tasks.

Keywords: Girls, design engineering, gender, science, women.

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597 Developing Leadership and Teamwork Skills of Pre-Service Teacher through Learning Camp

Authors: Sirimanee Banjong

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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 learning approach.

Keywords: Learning camp, leadership skills, teamwork skills.

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596 Lifelong Distance Learning and Skills Development: A Case Study Analysis in Greece

Authors: Eleni Giouli

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Distance learning provides a flexible approach to education, enabling busy learners to complete their coursework at their own pace, on their own schedule, and from a convenient location. This flexibility combined with a series of other issues; make the benefits of lifelong distance learning numerous. The purpose of the paper is to investigate whether distance education can contribute to the improvement of adult skills in Greece, highlighting in this way the necessity of the lifelong distance learning. To investigate this goal, a questionnaire is constructed and analyzed based on responses from 3,016 attendees of lifelong distance learning programs in the e-learning of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece. In order to do so, a series of relationships is examined including the effects of a) the gender, b) the previous educational level, c) the current employment status, and d) the method used in the distance learning program, on the development of new general, technical, administrative, social, cultural, entrepreneurial and green skills. The basic conclusions that emerge after using a binary logistic framework are that the following factors are critical in order to develop new skills: the gender, the education level and the educational method used in the lifelong distance learning program. The skills more significantly affected by those factors are the acquiring new skills in general, as well as acquiring general, language and cultural, entrepreneurial and green skills, while for technical and social skills only gender and educational method play a crucial role. Moreover, routine skills and social skills are not affected by the four factors included in the analysis.

Keywords: Adult skills, distance learning, education, lifelong learning.

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595 CyberSecurity Malaysia: Towards Becoming a National Certification Body for Information Security Management Systems Internal Auditors

Authors: M. S. Razana, Z. W. Shafiuddin

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Internal auditing is one of the most important activities for organizations that implement information security management systems (ISMS). The purpose of internal audits is to ensure the ISMS implementation is in accordance to the ISO/IEC 27001 standard and the organization’s own requirements for its ISMS. Competent internal auditors are the main element that contributes to the effectiveness of internal auditing activities. To realize this need, CyberSecurity Malaysia is now in the process of becoming a certification body that certifies ISMS internal auditors. The certification scheme will assess the competence of internal auditors in generic knowledge and skills in management systems, and also in ISMS-specific knowledge and skills. The certification assessment is based on the ISO/IEC 19011 Guidelines for auditing management systems, ISO/IEC 27007 Guidelines for information security management systems auditing and ISO/IEC 27001 Information security management systems requirements. The certification scheme complies with the ISO/IEC 17024 General requirements for bodies operating certification systems of persons. Candidates who pass the exam will be certified as an ISMS Internal Auditor, whose competency will be evaluated every three years.

Keywords: ISMS internal audit, ISMS internal auditor, ISO/IEC 17024, Competence, Certification.

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594 Study of Pre-Handwriting Factors Necessary for Successful Handwriting in Children

Authors: Lalitchandra J. Shah, Katarzyna Bialek, Melinda L. Clarke, Jessica L. Jansson

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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.

Keywords: Development, handwriting, occupational therapy, visual perceptual skills.

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593 The Engineering Eportfolio: Enhancing Communication, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving and Teamwork Skills?

Authors: Linda Mei Sui Khoo, Dorit Maor, Renato Schibeci

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Graduate attributes have received increasing attention over recent years as universities incorporate these attributes into the curriculum. Graduates who have adequate technical knowledge only are not sufficiently equipped to compete effectively in the work place; they also need non disciplinary skills ie, graduate attributes. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of an eportfolio in a technical communication course to enhance engineering students- graduate attributes: namely, learning of communication, critical thinking and problem solving and teamwork skills. Two questionnaires were used to elicit information from the students: one on their preferred and the other on the actual learning process. In addition, student perceptions of the use of eportfolio as a learning tool were investigated. Preliminary findings showed that most of the students- expectations have been met with their actual learning. This indicated that eportfolio has the potential as a tool to enhance students- graduate attributes.

Keywords: Eportfolio, Communication Skills, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills and Teamwork Skills

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592 Developing Measurement Model of Interpersonal Skills of Youth

Authors: Mohd Yusri Ibrahim

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Although it is known that interpersonal skills are essential for personal development, the debate however continues as to how to measure those skills, especially in youths. This study was conducted to develop a measurement model of interpersonal skills by suggesting three construct namely personal, skills and relationship; six function namely self, perception, listening, conversation, emotion and conflict management; and 30 behaviours as indicators. This cross-sectional survey by questionnaires was applied in east side of peninsula of Malaysia for 150 respondents, and analyzed by structural equation modelling (SEM) by AMOS. The suggested constructs, functions and indicators were consider accepted as measurement elements by observing on regression weight for standard loading, average variance extracted (AVE) for convergent validity, square root of AVE for discriminant validity, composite reliability (CR), and at least three fit indexes for model fitness. Finally, a measurement model of interpersonal skill for youth was successfully developed.

Keywords: Interpersonal communication, interpersonal skill, youth.

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591 Rethinking the Languages for Specific Purposes Syllabus in the 21st Century: Topic-Centered or Skills-Centered

Authors: A. Knezović

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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.

Keywords: Languages for specific purposes (LSP), language skills, topic-centered syllabus, transferable skills.

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590 Towards Bridging the Gap between the ESP Classroom and the Workplace: Content and Language Needs Analysis in English for an Administrative Studies Course

Authors: Vesna Vulić

Abstract:

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.

Keywords: English for Specific Purposes, ESP, language skills, motivation, needs analysis.

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589 An Electronic and Performance Test for the Applicants to Faculty of Education for Early Childhood in Egypt for Measuring the Skills of Teacher Students

Authors: Ahmed Amin Mousa, Gehan Azam

Abstract:

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.

Keywords: Electronic test, early childhood, skills, teacher student.

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588 Developing an Instrument to Measure Teachers’ Self-Efficacy of Teaching Innovation Skills

Authors: Huda S. Al-Azmi

Abstract:

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.

Keywords: Critical thinking, collaboration, innovation skills, self-efficacy.

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587 Informal Education and Developing Entrepreneurial Skills among Farmers in Malaysia

Authors: Golnaz Rezai, Zainalabidin Mohamed, Mad Nasir Shamsudin

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The Malaysian government is promoting entrepreneurship development skills amongst farmers through informal courses. These courses will concentrate on teaching managerial skills as inevitable means for small farms to succeed by making farmers more creative and innovative. Therefore it is important to assess the effect of informal agri-entrepreneurial training in developing entrepreneurship among the farmers in Malaysia. Seven hundred and ninety six farmers (796) farmers were interviewed via structured questionnaire to define their opinion on whether the current informal educational and training establishments are sufficient to teach and develop entrepreneurial skills. Factor analysis and logic regression analysis were used to determine the motivating factors and predict their impact on the development of entrepreneurial skills. The result from the factor analysis led us to investigate the association between these factors and farmers- opinions about the development of entrepreneurial skills and traits through participating in informal entrepreneurship training or education. The outcome has shown us that the importance of informal training to promote entrepreneurship among farmers is crucial. The training should be intensified to encourage farmers to not only focus on the modern technologies but also on the fundamental changes in their attitude towards agriculture as a business. DOA: KMO: Kaiser- Meyer- Olkin Test MOA: Ministry of Agriculture NMP: Ninth Malaysia Plan NAP: Third National Agricultural Policy (2000-2010)

Keywords: Entrepreneurial skills, farmers, informal education, Malaysia

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586 Students' Perception of Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Skills in Setting up the Simulator Welding Technology

Authors: Mohd Afif Md Nasir, Faizal Amin NurYunus, Jamaluddin Hashim, Abd Samad Hassan Basari, A. Halim Sahelan

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to identify the suitability of Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) in welding simulator application towards Computer-Based Training (CBT) in developing skills upon new students at the Advanced Technology Training Center (ADTEC) Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia and GIATMARA, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia. The significance of the study is to create a computer-based skills development approach in welding technology among new students in ADTEC and GIATMARA as well as to cultivate the elements of general skills among them. This study is also important in elevating the number of individual knowledge workers (K-workers) working in manufacturing industry in order to achieve a national vision which is to be an industrial nation in the year of 2020. The design of the study is a survey type of research which using questionnaires as the instruments and some 136 students from ADTEC and GIATMARA were interviewed. Descriptive analysis is used to identify the frequency and mean values. The findings of the study show that the welding technology has developed skills in the students because of the application of VLE simulated at a high level and the respondents agreed that the skills could be embedded through the application of the VLE simulator. In summary, the VLE simulator is suitable in welding skills development training in terms of exposing new students with the relevant characteristics of welding skills and at the same time spurring the students’ interest towards learning more about the skills.

Keywords: Computer-Based Training (CBT), knowledge workers (K-workers), virtual learning environment, welding simulator, welding technology.

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585 Identification of Training Topics for the Improvement of the Relevant Cognitive Skills of Technical Operators in the Railway Domain

Authors: Giulio Nisoli, Jonas Brüngger, Karin Hostettler, Nicole Stoller, Katrin Fischer

Abstract:

Technical operators in the railway domain are experts responsible for the supervisory control of the railway power grid as well as of the railway tunnels. The technical systems used to master these demanding tasks are constantly increasing in their degree of automation. It becomes therefore difficult for technical operators to maintain the control over the technical systems and the processes of their job. In particular, the operators must have the necessary experience and knowledge in dealing with a malfunction situation or unexpected event. For this reason, it is of growing importance that the skills relevant for the execution of the job are maintained and further developed beyond the basic training they receive, where they are educated in respect of technical knowledge and the work with guidelines. Training methods aimed at improving the cognitive skills needed by technical operators are still missing and must be developed. Goals of the present study were to identify which are the relevant cognitive skills of technical operators in the railway domain and to define which topics should be addressed by the training of these skills. Observational interviews were conducted in order to identify the main tasks and the organization of the work of technical operators as well as the technical systems used for the execution of their job. Based on this analysis, the most demanding tasks of technical operators could be identified and described. The cognitive skills involved in the execution of these tasks are those, which need to be trained. In order to identify and analyze these cognitive skills a cognitive task analysis (CTA) was developed. CTA specifically aims at identifying the cognitive skills that employees implement when performing their own tasks. The identified cognitive skills of technical operators were summarized and grouped in training topics. For every training topic, specific goals were defined. The goals regard the three main categories; knowledge, skills and attitude to be trained in every training topic. Based on the results of this study, it is possible to develop specific training methods to train the relevant cognitive skills of the technical operators.

Keywords: Cognitive skills, cognitive task analysis, technical operators in the railway domain, training topics.

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584 High Level Synthesis of Kahn Process Networks(KPN) for Streaming Applications

Authors: Attiya Mahmood, Syed Ali Abbas, Shoab A. Khan

Abstract:

Streaming Applications usually run in parallel or in series that incrementally transform a stream of input data. It poses a design challenge to break such an application into distinguishable blocks and then to map them into independent hardware processing elements. For this, there is required a generic controller that automatically maps such a stream of data into independent processing elements without any dependencies and manual considerations. In this paper, Kahn Process Networks (KPN) for such streaming applications is designed and developed that will be mapped on MPSoC. This is designed in such a way that there is a generic Cbased compiler that will take the mapping specifications as an input from the user and then it will automate these design constraints and automatically generate the synthesized RTL optimized code for specified application.

Keywords: KPN, DFG, FPGA

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583 Embedding Employability Skills in Computer and Information Science Program Curriculum

Authors: Nadezda Pizika

Abstract:

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).

Keywords: Curriculum Design, Employability Skills, Employers, Graduates.

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582 The Need for the Development of Entrepreneurial Skill in Benue State University Students, Makurdi

Authors: Philomena Ibuh Adzongo, Margaret U. Oluwole, Justina Nguveren Jor.

Abstract:

This paper investigated the need for the development of entrepreneurial skills for Benue State University students. The population consisted of all 1,500 final year students in Benue State University. A sample of 100 students was selected using simple random sampling. A 12-item self-constructed and content validated questionnaire by research experts titled, the Need for the Development of Entrepreneurial Skills in Benue State University Students (NDECBSUS) was used to collect the data. The questionnaire items were rated using a 4-point modified rating scale of Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree and Strongly Disagree, assigned the following scores of 4,3,2 and 1, respectively. The questionnaire was administered by the researcher with the help of two research assistants through the primary source. Simple percentages and chi-square were used to answer the research questions and test the hypotheses, respectively. The findings revealed that in business management, business management skills, personal skills, and technical skills need to be developed in students for them to become effective and efficient entrepreneurs and concluded that the acquisition of these skills will reduce the challenge of unemployment. The study recommended that funds should be made available by all education stakeholders for such programmes to remain functional.

Keywords: Entrepreneurial skill, entrepreneurship, need for development, university students.

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581 A Method of Representing Knowledge of Toolkits in a Pervasive Toolroom Maintenance System

Authors: A. Mohamed Mydeen, Pallapa Venkataram

Abstract:

The learning process needs to be so pervasive to impart the quality in acquiring the knowledge about a subject by making use of the advancement in the field of information and communication systems. However, pervasive learning paradigms designed so far are system automation types and they lack in factual pervasive realm. Providing factual pervasive realm requires subtle ways of teaching and learning with system intelligence. Augmentation of intelligence with pervasive learning necessitates the most efficient way of representing knowledge for the system in order to give the right learning material to the learner. This paper presents a method of representing knowledge for Pervasive Toolroom Maintenance System (PTMS) in which a learner acquires sublime knowledge about the various kinds of tools kept in the toolroom and also helps for effective maintenance of the toolroom. First, we explicate the generic model of knowledge representation for PTMS. Second, we expound the knowledge representation for specific cases of toolkits in PTMS. We have also presented the conceptual view of knowledge representation using ontology for both generic and specific cases. Third, we have devised the relations for pervasive knowledge in PTMS. Finally, events are identified in PTMS which are then linked with pervasive data of toolkits based on relation formulated. The experimental environment and case studies show the accuracy and efficient knowledge representation of toolkits in PTMS.

Keywords: Generic knowledge representation, toolkit, toolroom, pervasive computing.

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