Vol 7 Issue 1

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Editorial & Table of Content

IMPROVING CO-LEARNER INTERACTIONS THROUGH WEB-BASED ONLINE ASSESSMENTS WITHIN DISTANCE LEARNING SETTINGS: CASE STUDIES FINDINGS FROM THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

Sharifah Mazlina Syed Khuzzan Alhabshi and Bingu Ingirige

ABSTRACT

Distance  Learning  (DL)  is  an  educational  model  in  which  the student and instructor are separated by time and space is currently the fastest growing model of domestic and international education which has come into prominence during the last two decades of the 20th century.  One of the major influencing factors for achieving intended learning outcomes in a programme is the assessment strategy adopted. Tutors in DL programmes have adopted various methods of assessments that could broadly be described as formative and summative assessments. A well-documented formative and summative feedback for learners, especially early on in a course, will  facilitate  in  their  learning  and  provides  opportunities  for students  to  gain  insight  into  their  understanding  of  the  course content. However, learners often express their need for a more empowerment within their modules to enhance their active involvement and interactions within the programmes.

This   paper   firstly   looks   into   the   literature;   with   respect   to assessments within DL settings and set out the overall methodology of the paper. Then, through a survey of eight construction courses offering DL within five identified universities in the UK, the currently used web-based online assessment tools within the DL settings were identified. This paper also includes other issues within the area in improving the co-learner interactions within the DL, i.e. factors and barriers in improving co-learner interactions, gaps and flaws within the available tools, etc. The result and conclusion derived from this paper will recommend guidelines in improving co-learner interactions within DL settings through ‘effective’ use of web-based online assessment tools.

IMPACTS OF DESIGN CHANGES ON CONSTRUCTION PROJECT PERFORMANCE: INSIGHTS FROM A LITERATURE REVIEW

Hamzah Abdul Rahman, Wang Chen and Jeffrey Yap Boon Hui

ABSTRACT

Design changes and rework are inevitable in construction projects. Even though papers published in major journals have acknowledged design changes as a significant factor inhibiting construction project performance, there seems to be a limited studies in this domain to systematically synthesizing preceding studies. This paper reviewed papers published in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings in the construction management field. The objectives are to analyze the relationship of design changes and the consequent rework, to recognize their resulting impacts on project performance and to provide insights for directing further studies in Malaysian context. The findings indicate that design changes are identified as important causing factors to project delay and cost overruns. Similar results were found for studies done in both developed and developing countries round the world because construction projects commonly share key characteristics. On the contrary, preceding studies done in Malaysia that were published in the top-tier construction   management   journals   failed   to   recognize   design changes as a major cause of project schedule and cost overruns. Therefore, suggestions for future research are recognizing design changes as a major cause of schedule and cost overruns in construction project in Malaysia, identifying factors stimulating design changes and the ability to predict the resulting impacts on project performance. Thus, the analytical framework for future study is presented.

MALAYSIAN HOUSING CO-OPERATIVES: PERFORMANCE, PROBLEMS AND FUTURE PATH

Nadiya Adnan, Hasniyati Hamzah, Mohd Nasir Daud and Yasmin Mohd Adnan

ABSTRACT

Housing co-operatives used to be one of main housing providers in Malaysia. Nonetheless, their eminence as a housing provider has rapidly diminished since the late 1980s, as evidenced by number of houses developed by them.  Seeing that housing co-operatives in other countries have grown in stature and have succeeded in providing significant amount of housing for the people, it is worthwhile to examine why Malaysia housing co-operatives have been lagging behind. This paper aims to reveal current issues and challenges faced by Malaysian housing co-operatives in undertaking housing development. A qualitative approach driven by semi- structured interviews was adopted in obtaining information related to the barriers faced by Malaysian housing co-operatives. Findings revealed that there exist prevalent management, operational and funding issues among Malaysian housing co-operatives. Being part of a research into alternative housing tenure for Malaysia, this paper points out the inherent weaknesses within the current housing co- operative structure and proposes the “re-invention” of housing co- operatives in providing proper and adequate housing for their members. A new form  of housing  co-operatives  for Malaysia is proposed,  but  the  highlighted  weaknesses  need  to  be  addressed before the potentials can be harnessed.

 

TECHNICAL STUDY ON CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION OF NIAVARAN PALACE’S EMBROIDERED PATEH

Mina Janpourtaher and Mandana Barkeshli

ABSTRACT

A historical and scientific analysis was carried out on a historical textile from Sahebgharanieh Niavaran Palace’s collection. The examination shows that the sample under study is embroidered in Pateh technique. It belongs to Iran, dated around late 18th Century, from Qajar dynasty period.  To conserve and restore the textile sample under study, the material technology on its fiber, weave and motif were identified. The scientific analysis shows that the fiber is made of wool, with Twill weave technique, decorated with embroidered fiber made of silk. With the help of SEM-EDX method of analysis it is detected that the fabric contains a great value of silver and gilt scythes using metallic thread with delicate silk yarns. Motifs used in the fabric are of paisley leaf with decorative motifs of plant   and   animal   embroidered   beautifully.   The   Fabric   was graphically documented by microscopic and macroscopic methods and its degree of damage was assessed. This leads to the implementation of conservation, restoration and display techniques, which was carried out in the textile division of Sahebgharanieh Niavaran Palace Museum. It will be discussed in detail later in the paper. The paper employs scientific analysis and SEM-EDX method to analyze the historical textile. The major aim and objective of the study is to know the materials and contents from which the textile is made in order to know the best restoration and preservation method that may be  applied  in  preserving  and  conserving  the historical textile and the likes of it.

 

Notes for Contributors