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Seminar Pendidikan Kejuruteraan Kongres Pengajaran

dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

ARE THE LEARNING OUTCOMES OF THE MATHEMATICS


COURSES AT PRE-UNIVERSITY LEVEL RELEVANT TO THE
MATHEMATICS COURSES AT FACULTY OF ENGINEERING &
BUILT ENVIRONMENT, UKM?

Fadiah Hirza Mohammad Ariff, Noorhelyna Razali,


Haliza Othman &Zulkifli Mohd Nopiah
Fundamental of Engineering Unit,
Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment,
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,
43600 Bangi, Selangor, MALAYSIA

ABSTRACT

A study on learning outcomes is conducted to investigate the relevance of


mathematics courses of Pre-University to mathematics courses of university level
at Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment (FKAB), UKM. The study
involved the details learning outcomes of mathematics courses at Pre-University
which include matriculation and STPM and the details learning outcomes of all
mathematics courses at FKAB, UKM. The findings of the study will be used as a
guidance to improve the syllabus of mathematics courses in FKAB, UKM so that
the knowledge of mathematics is sufficient among engineering students of FKAB,
UKM.

INTRODUCTION

Mathematics plays an important role in engineering field. For thousands of years,


mathematics is one of the tools that have been used to assist engineers in
inventing and producing necessities for the community. However, most of the
engineering students having difficulties to achieve higher grades in mathematics
although they have been exposed to mathematics since they were in school. There
are many factors due to this problems and one of them is the transition of
mathematical knowledge from school level to pre-university and lastly to
university level through the syllabus of the mathematics courses. According to
Yudariah and Roselaini (2001), school mathematics emphasised on the synthesis
of knowledge, starting from the simple concepts, building up from the experience
and examples to more general concepts. The teaching was mainly focused on
procedures and manipulation skills as it was aimed at preparing students for the
national examination. However, at the university, the teaching of mathematics
usually begins with the presentation of theory, moving to general abstraction and

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making deductions from the theory to apply in a wide variety of specific contexts.
In order to reduce the difficulties in teaching and learning mathematics, the
implementation of learning outcomes in various universities has been made.
Various universities and colleges have implemented learning outcomes to
represent their course outlines. During the early 1990s learning outcomes were
used in England to help set the national standard for education and training
(Melton, 1997). In Malaysia, the implementation of learning outcomes in various
levels of higher education courses has been set up by National Accreditation
Board (LAN). The objective of the development of learning outcomes in higher
education institute of Malaysia is to produce balanced, informed and graduates of
calibre as well as to improve the standard and the quality of higher education in
Malaysia.
A learning outcome is the specification of what a student should learn as the
result of a period of specified and supported study (Harvey, 2004). Learning
outcome according to Adam (2004) is a written statement of what the successful
student is expected to be able to do at the end of the course unit, or qualification.
It is concerned with the achievement of the students rather than the intentions on
the teacher. It is also can describe significant and essential learning that students
have achieved and can reliably demonstrate at the end of a course or a program.
Learning outcome refer to observable and measurable knowledge, skills and
attitudes. It should:
reflect broad conceptual knowledge and adaptive vocational and generic
skills
reflect essential knowledge, skills or attitudes
focus on results of the learning experiences
reflect the desired end of the learning experience, not the means or the
process
represent the minimum performances that must be achieved to
successfully complete a course or program

University of Warwick (2004) for example has divided learning outcomes that
has been set out in the course specification into four categories:
1. subject knowledge and understanding
2. subjects-specific skills are practical skills, practice of which integral to
the course
3. cognitive skills, intellectual skills such as an understanding of
methodologies, synthesis, evaluation or ability in critical analysis
4. key skills are skills that are readily transferred to employment in other
contexts, such as written and oral communication, working within team,
problem solving, numeracy and IT skills.

Therefore the objective of this study is to investigate the relevance of


mathematics courses of Pre-University to mathematics courses of university level
at Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment (FKAB), UKM.
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dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

LEARNING OUTCOMES OF PRE-UNIVERSITY MATHEMATICS

There are two major pre-university systems for admission to Malaysian public
universities which are Malaysian Higher School Certificate (STPM) and one-year
matriculation programme conducted by Ministry of Education. Mathematics is
one of the compulsory subjects that have to be taken by both STPM and
matriculation students.

Learning Outcomes of STPM Mathematics

In STPM level, there are a few types of mathematics offered namely Mathematics
T, Mathematics S and further mathematics. Mathematics T (also known as Pure
Mathematics) is taken by most science stream students whereas Mathematics S
(also known as Statistical Mathematics) is taken by some art students.
Meanwhile, further mathematics is taken as the optional fifth subject by some
science stream students. Table 1 below shows the syllabus of STPM mathematics.

TABLE 1 Detail Syllabus of STPM Mathematics


STPM Mathematics T STPM Mathematics S STPM Further
Mathematics
1. Number and Sets 1. Number and Sets 1. Logic and Proof
2. Polynomials 2. Polynomials 2. Complex Numbers
3. Sequences and series 3. Sequences and series 3. Matrices
4. Matrices 4. Matrices 4. Recurrence Relations
5. Coordinate Geometry 5. Coordinate Geometry 5. Function
6. Functions 6. Functions 6. Differentiation and
Integration
7. Differentiation 7. Differentiation 7. Power Series
8. Integration 8. Integration 8. Differential Equation
9.Differential Equations 9. Linear Programming 9. Number Theory
(DE)
10. Trigonometry 10. Network Planning 10. Graph Theory
11. Deductive Geometry 11. Data Description 11. Transformation
Geometry
12. Vectors 12. Probability 12. Coordinate Geometry
13. Data Description 13. Probability 13. Sampling and
Distributions Estimation
14. Probability 14. Sampling and 14. Hypothesis Testing
Estimation
15.Discrete Probability 15. Correlation and 15. 2 Tests
Distributions regression
16. Continuous 16. Time Series and 16. Correlation and
Probability Distributions Index Number Regression
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Learning Outcomes of Matriculation Mathematics

Unlike STPM, the mathematics syllabus for matriculation is divided into two
types which are for one-year programme and for two-year programme.
Mathematics syllabuses for one-year programme are:
QM016 (for all students for the first semester)
QS026 (for science students for the second semester)
QA026 (for accountancy students for the second semester)

whereas the mathematics syllabus for two year programme are:


First year : DM014 (first semester) and DM024 (second semester)
Second year : follow through the one year programme

The details syllabus for matriculation mathematics is as shown in Table 2 and


Table 3 (Unit Matematik Kolej Matrikulasi Pahang, 2008).

TABLE 2 Detail Syllabus of Matriculation Mathematics for One-year Programme


First Semester Second Semester
QM016 QS026 QA026
1. Number System 1. Conic Sections 1. Introduction To Linear
Programming
2. Equation, Inequalities 2. Trigonometric 2. Application Of
and Absolute Values function Differentiation

3. Polynomials 3. Hyperbolic Function 3. Applications Of


Definite Integrals
4. Sequences and Series 4. Applications 4. Partial Differentiation
Differentiation
5. Matrices and System 5. Vectors 5. Mathematics Of
of Linear Equations Finance

6. Functions and Graph 6. Differential Equations 6. Descriptive Statistics


7. Limits and Continuity 7. Numerical Methods 7. Permutations and
Combinations
8. Differentiation 8. Data Descriptive 8. Probability
9. Integration 9. Permutations and 9. Random Variables
Combinations
10. Probability 10. Special Probability
Distribution
11. Random Variables 11. Regression And
Correlation
12. Special Probability 12. Index Number
Distribution
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TABLE 3 Details Syllabus of Matriculation Mathematics for Two-year


Programme

First Year Second Year


First Semester (DM014) Second Semester
(DM024)
1. Indices, Surds, And 1. Differentiation
Logarithms
2. Equations 2. Applications Of
Differentiation
3. Inequalities And 3. Integration
Absolute Values
4. Functions 4. Applications Of Follow through the one
Integration year programme
5. Trigonometry 5. Differentiation And
Integration Of
Exponential And
Logarithmic Functions
6. Circles And Parabolas 6. Differentiation And
Integration Of
7. Arithmetic Series And Trigonometric Functions
Geometric Series

LEARNING OUTCOMES OF MATHEMATICS COURSES IN


FKAB, UKM

Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment (FKAB), Universiti Kebangsaan


Malaysia is one of the most outstanding engineering faculties that has been
produced lots of excellent engineers who are innovative, creative and highly
ethical in applying the scientific knowledge in inventing and producing
necessities for community. All the students in this faculty are selected and they
are accepted according to the admission qualification that has been implemented
by the faculty in order to retain the quality and the standard of the faculty. One of
the requirements is good mathematics result during pre-university programme
(STPM, matriculation or polytechnic). The candidates must have at least grade B
in mathematics (for science students) in the STPM or matriculation or they must
possess good diploma in the field of engineering or science from recognised
institute (Panduan Prasiswazah, 2007).
In FKAB, mathematics courses are compulsory courses for all undergraduate
students. It is offered from first year until the third year of study. The
mathematics courses that have been offered are as follows:

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First Year :

First Semester: KKKQ1114 Linear Algebra (compulsory to all


first year students from JKAS, JKMB, JKKP and JKEES)
Second Semester : KKKQ1214 Vector Calculus (compulsory to
all first year students from JKAS, JKMB, JKKP and JKEES)

Second Year :

First Semester: KKKQ2113 Differential Equation (compulsory to


all second year students from JKAS, JKMB, JKKP and JKEES)
Second Semester : KKKQ2213 Statistics & Numerical Method
(Compulsory only to JKEES) and KKKQ2013 Statistics
Engineering (compulsory to JKAS, JKMB & JKKP)

Third Year:

First Semester: KKKQ3213 Complex Analysis (compulsory to


JKEES only)

All the mathematics courses are taught according to the learning outcomes that
have been developed by the coordinators of the courses. Table 4 below shows
syllabus of the mathematics courses in FKAB.

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Seminar Pendidikan Kejuruteraan


dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09)
TABLE 4 Syllabuses of Mathematics Courses at FKAB, UKM
KKKQ1114 KKKQ1214 KKKQ2113 KKKQ2013 KKKQ2213 KKKQ3213
Vector ORDINARY Introduction to FUNCTIONS OF A
Complex Number. functions DIFFERENTIAL Statistics INTRODUCTION COMPLEX NUMBER
EQUATIONS Engineering TO NUMERICAL
METHODS
Motion on a Introduction
Hyperbolic Function and Curve First Order ODE Introduction to
expansion of function in Linear Second Probability
the form of power series. Order ODE
Partial Laplace LINEAR INTEGRATION IN THE
Matrices: Additional, scalar Derivatives Transform EQUATION COMPLEX PLANE
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Series Solutions Analysis of


multiplication and matrix and
Discrete
multiplication. System of directional
Random
linear equation. Gauss derivatives
Variables
elimination.

dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009


Kongres Pengajaran
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Tangent Analysis of

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Determinant, Inverse Planes, Continuous
matrix and Cramers Rule. Normal Random
Lines, Variables
Divergence
and Curl

Line ROOTS SERIES AND


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Vector Space and integrals and Normal EQUATION RESIDUES


Subspace. independence Distribution
path
Double
Point
Linear independence, Integrals and
Estimation of
Basis, Dimension. Rank of double
Parameters
matrix. integrals in
and Sampling
Polar
Distributions
Coordinate

dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009


Kongres Pengajaran
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Kongres Pengajaran

dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09)


dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

Greens PARTIAL INTERPOLATION CONFORMAL


Analysis of
Change of Basis: Theorem and DIFFERENTIAL AND CURVE MAPPINGS
Sample Linear
Gram_Schmidt Surface EQUATIONS FITTING
Regression
Orthogonolization Process. Integrals Separable PDE
and
Classical
Correlation
Equations
Solutions Using
Transforms
Stokes
Eigenvalue and Theorem Introduction to
eigenvector. Statistical
Process
Control
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Divergence NUMERICAL
Power of Matrices. theorem and DERIVATIVES &
Change of INTEGRALS
variables in
multiple Introduction to

dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009


integrals Nonparametric
Orthogonal matrices. Triple statistics

Kongres Pengajaran
Symmetric matrix, integrals
Approximation to
eigenvalues

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Seminar Pendidikan Kejuruteraan Kongres Pengajaran
dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

Sets in ORDINARY
Diagonalization. Complex DIFFERENTIAL

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dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09)
plane and EQUATION
Cauchy
Riemann
Equation

Applications:Cryptography, Contour
Error correcting code, Integrals and
method of least squares, Cauchy
discrete compartmental Goursat
models Theorem

Vector as tensor in first PARTIAL


order. independence DIFFERENTIAL
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of path and EQUATIONS


Cauchys (PDE)
integrals
formulas
Cartesian Tensor and its Series
application. Mclaurin and
Laurent
Series

dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009


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Seminar Pendidikan Kejuruteraan Kongres Pengajaran
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RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Based on the learning outcomes for both levels of mathematics courses, the
content of the syllabus during pre-university is relevant with the university
syllabus. Most of the topics in university are the extension of what the students
have learnt during their pre-university and there are also new topics to be learnt
for example complex analysis is only exposed to the students from Electrical
Engineering and it is not yet taught to the students during their pre-university
level. Normally, during pre-university, student is exposed to the basic need of the
topics. Most of the basic need including the introduction of the topics and the
basic formula that will be use to solve the mathematical problem whereas in
university they have to be exposed to the theory before they learn how to solve. In
other words, they will learn mathematics deeper than they had learnt in pre-
university.
As we can see from Table 4, there are so many topics that majority of the
FKAB students have to take in order to complete their study. They actually have
to focus on the topics that are relevant to their field. Due to this, the fundamental
lecturer especially who are teaching the mathematics courses have to
communicate with the engineering lecturer in order to restructure the mathematics
courses that are relevant to their field. In order to make this work, the faculty has
to play an important role to provide more lecturers in mathematics. A research
done by William (1966) found out that the lecturer who modified the curriculum
and balancing the contents and methods of teaching with students ability, will
produce better students.
Besides from restructuring the courses, the first year syllabus should be
emphasized. This is because the syllabus for first year student should be designed
to take into account students prior mathematical knowledge (Yudariah &
Roslelainy, 2001). The teaching method should consider the transition from the
pre-university to university mathematics.
The development of mathematical method into application can also be done to
improve the learning outcomes of university mathematics courses. There is a need
for mathematics education at higher level to reflect the intensive development in
the use of mathematics. Thus, there is a need to review the current curriculum in
view of new skills required for the development of science and technology in the
country as the current undergraduate mathematics curriculum follows closely the
topics that developed in 19th century.

CONCLUSION

Mathematics is an important tool in engineering. The learning outcomes of pre-


university mathematics are actually relevant to the learning outcomes of
university mathematics in FKAB, UKM. Although the findings of the
investigation is on the positive side it does not mean that the relevance of the

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learning outcomes of mathematics courses during pre-university to university


mathematics will improve the achievement of FKAB students in mathematics
courses without taken any action on their side. As educators and academicians of
the faculty, we can only restructure the courses due to the relevance of their fields
and deliver the contents in the best way.

REFERENCES

2007. Panduan Prasiswazah. Fakulti Kejuruteraan. Universiti Kebangsaan


Malaysia

Adam, S. 2004. Using Learning Outcomes. Report for United Kingdom Bologna
Seminar 1-2 July 2004, Herriot-Watt University Edinburgh. Scotland

Harvey, L. 2004. Analytic Quality Glossary. Quality Research International.


http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/glossary/

Melton, R. F. 1997. Objective, Competencies and Learning Outcomes:


Developing Instructional Materials in Open and Distance Learning. Kogan
Page Limited. London

Unit Matematik, Kolej Matrikulasi Pahang. 2008. Mathematics Syllabus for


Matriculation. http://www.kmph.matrik.edu.my/jabatan/Jabatan
_Matematik/unit_matematik/silibus.htm

University of Warwick. 2004. Course Specification:Glossary of Terms Relating


to Course Specifications.
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/insite/info/quality/coursespecs/view/glossary/ (24
August 2004

Yudariah Mohd Yusof & Roselainy Abdul Rahman. 2001. Mathematics Eduation
at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) : Learning From Experience. Jurnal
Teknologi. 34(E):9-24. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

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