History of Engineering Accreditation for the Communication Engineering Programme

Accreditation is the means of self-regulation and peer review adopted by the educational community. Accreditation signifies that an institution has reviewed itself, was examined by educators from similar organizations and was found to meet its own goals as well as standards set by the educational community. The Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) is the Malaysian coordinating body on accreditation representing the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM), The Institution of Engineers (IEM), the National Accreditation Board Malaysia (Lembaga Akreditasi Negara (LAN) and the Public Services Department, Malaysia (Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awan (JPA).

Communication engineering programme was first accredited by BEM in August 2004 for the graduation up to 2004 Intake (Five years). The visit been held on 18 – 19 August 2004. The panels were as follows:

- Ir. Assoc. Prof. Dr Norman Mariun.

- Ir. Prof. Dr Shah Rizam bt. Mohd Shah Baki.

- Ir. Mohamed Ali Yusof.

1.5.1 Actions taken to correct previous shortcomings

In general the overall accreditation in 2004 up to the graduation of 2004 intake was satisfied with overall scope and standards of underpinning studies in mathematics, science and engineering fundamentals. In addition to the specialist engineering studies for each programme. However, few comments were noted. The department responded to these comments and the responses are described in the following paragraphs.

1.6 Major Activities since Programme accreditation

Following is a brief summary of the major activities in the undergraduate programme since 2004

1.6.1 Curriculum Review.

Comprehensive review of CE programme has been conducted during the year 2005 to accommodate the comments made by the board of Engineers and also the representative of the Australian Institute of Engineers. In this process both the contents of the courses and the assessment schemes have been modified. Assessment schemes for all theoretical courses, lab based courses, final year projects and Seminars have been improved and rubrics for mark distribution have been developed.

Laboratories having no credit hours and not counted in students learning load in the previous curriculum are now shown with their own credit hours with total load of 142 credit hours of the programme (see the new under graduate prospectus). Project Based learning are being incorporated in various courses.

Mini project hands on design has been introduced to levels two and three and incorporated in ECE2201 & ECE3202 where students are having their hands on skills and practical implementation of the knowledge they obtained in the theory classes. It is an “open” or design type experiments as part of undergraduate assignments or laboratory projects. This is to address one of the issues highlighted in the report “The Future of Engineering Education in Malaysia” by Malaysian Council of Engineering Deans (MCED). The objectives of Mini Project are:

a) To enhance student creativity and problem solving skills

b) To build the spirit of team work in design process.

c) To enhance students communication skills

Keeping in view that the management, economics and ethics courses are of vital importance to Communication Engineers, these courses were been restructured and offered by other Kulliyyah.

1.6.2 Appointment of Industrial Advisory Panel

A Number of senior Professional Engineer have been appointed as an Industrial Advisory board of the programme as follows:

1. Dr Ir. Abdulkrazzag (Telekom R& D)

2. Dr. Mazlan Abbas, MIMOS

3. Ir. Hj. Yasser Asrul Bin Ahmad, Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn Bhd

4. Mr. Mustaffa Kamal bin Ibrahim Managing Director, MU System Sdn Bhd.

5. Mr Jaafar Haji Mohamad Abu Bakar, Head for Access Network System, (Telekom R& D

The advisors are a liaison between the industry and the programme where they can advise on the industrial relevance of the following:

  • Final year projects (through examining the topics and quality of work as well as the student's discussion / presentations)
  • Seminar courses (through examining list of topics and speakers )
  • Industrial Training (IT) (examining the IT annual report prepared by the the coordinator)
  • Advising on the relevant component of the programme curriculum.
  • Proposing Industrial related projects
  • Proposing Fellowship visits
  • Proposing Research related to Postgraduate Students
  • Writing a formal report about the programme.

(The comments made by industrial Advisory Panel to be made available on the EAC visit day)

1.6.3 Implementation of Learning Outcome based Education (OBE)

Outcome based Education is a method of curriculum design and teaching that focuses on what students can actually do after they are taught. While the curriculum design backward by using the major outcomes as the focus and linking all planning, teaching and assessment decisions directly to these outcomes. The programme has implemented OBE for all batches of Communication Engineering Students of the intake 2005 (new curriculum) as well as for senior batches those are still following the old curriculum. The Kulliyyah has organized a number of workshops to explain the concept of OBE and motivate the faculties to the new teaching and learning process. The department is closely monitoring the implementation process of the outcome based learning system. In addition, the programme has come up with learning outcome mapping form to ascertain the inclusion of questions in the final exam by the course instructor to achievement of targeted learning outcomes in the respective courses and plans to determine the level of achievement of learning outcome. (Samples can be provided during the visit)

1.6.4 Implementation of Stakeholders Feedback

Feed back from stakeholders have been implemented at the Kulliyyah and the University levels. Alumni Tracer Study, Industry and exit Survey. Survey results are analyzed to derive important conclusions on the effectiveness of the curriculum interim of achieving the programme objectives/ learning outcomes on programme level as well as on course level and actions are being taken to achieve Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI).

1.6.5. Implementation of Learning Management System (LMS)

Learning Management System (LMS) is a software that automates the administration of course management where the faculty can manage the log-in of registers students, manage course materials, record data from learners/students, post handout solutions, marks and get feedback from students. These exercises have been implemented at course level since Semester I-2006-2007. A number of training session to faculties been conducted to explain the benefit and usefulness of LMS system to student and staff. However, there are still rooms for improvement, since some of the lectures did not make full use of this system and also some complains that the system is not friendly.

 

History of Engineering Accreditation for Computer and Information Programme

Accreditation is the means of self-regulation and peer review adopted by the educational community. Accreditation signifies that an institution has reviewed itself, was examined by educators from similar organizations, and was found to be meeting its own goals as well as standards set by the educational community. The Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) is the Malaysian coordinating body on accreditation representing the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM), The Institution of Engineers (IEM), the National Accreditation Board Malaysia (Lembarg Akreditasi Negara LAN) and the Public Services Department, Malaysia (Japbatan Perkhidmatan Awan JPA).

Computer and Information Engineering programme was first accredited by BEM in 1998 and re-accredited in 2002 up to the graduaton of 2003 Intake. The following representatives of the Institution of Engineers, Australia (IEAust) participated as observers for the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) accreditation visit in July 2002:

- Professor Alan Bradley, Manager Accreditation, IEAust,

- Professor Andrew Dowing, National Vice President Education and Assessment, IEAust, Dean of Engineering, Flinders University, South Australia.

The following representative of Engineering Council of the United Kingdom also participated in the visit:

- Professor Philip Witting, Head, School of Electronics, University of Glamorgan, UK

1.5.1 Actions taken to correct Previous Shortcomings

In general the overall re-accredited in 2002 up to the graduation of 2003 Intake was satisfied with overall scope and standards of underpinning studies in mathematics and science, engineering fundamentals and the specialist engineering studies for the programme. However, several strengths and weakness were noted. The department responded to these comments, and the responses are described in the following paragraphs.

One admonition from the evaluators made reference to final year project activity. The department had reviewed the procedure of project titles, assessment method, team work and links to industry based projects. Industrial advisor were appointed to assess the posters which added a part of presentation. Project coordinators on Kulliyyah level meets regularly to make the continuous improve process.

There was also a comment questioning the department’s solution involving the laboratory credit hours. During the programme revision process, each laboratory is counted as 1 credit hour. The other point was laboratory consists very much of pre-determined sequence of step by step activities rather than a project based approach. Mini project has been introduced to some of laboratory on different levels.

Regarding staff teaching loads, the department is recruiting more staff and sending junior to pursued their high degrees. Staff turnover is very much reduced and department try to retain the academic staff.

1.6 Major Activities since Programme accreditation

Following is a brief summary of the major activities in the undergraduate programme since 2002

 

1.6.1 Curriculum Review.

Comprehensive review of CIE programme has been conducted during the year 2003 to accommodate the comments made by the board of Engineers and also the representative of the Australian Institute of Engineers. In this process both the contents of the courses and the assessment schemes have been modified. Assessment schemes for all theoretical courses, lab based courses, final year projects and Seminars have been improved and rubrics for mark distribution have been developed.

Laboratories having no credit hours and not counted in students learning load in the previous curriculum are now shown with their own credit hours with total load of 142 credit hours of the programme (see the new under graduate prospectus). Project Based learning are being incorporated in various courses.

Mini project hands on design has been introduced to levels two and three and incorporated in ECE2201 & ECE3202 where students are having their hands on skills and practical implementation of the knowledge they obtained in the theory classes. It is an “open” or design type experiments as part of undergraduate assignments or laboratory projects. This is to address one of the issues highlighted in the report “The Future of Engineering Education in Malaysia” by Malaysian Council of Engineering Deans (MCED). The objectives of Mini Project are:

a) To enhance student creativity and problem solving skills

b) To build the spirit of team work in design process.

c) To enhance students communication skills

Keeping in view that the management, economics and ethics courses are of vital importance to Computer Engineers, these courses were been restructured and offered by other Kulliyyah.

1.6.2 Appointment of Industrial Advisor

A senior Professional Engineer has been appointed as an Industrial Advisor of the programme, Abd Rashid Munir, President & CEO of IC Microsystems Sdn. Bhd (ICmic). The advisor is a liaison between the industry and the programme where he can advise on the industrial relevance of the following:

1. Final year projects (through examining the topics and quality of work as well as the student's discussion / presentations)

2. Seminar courses (through examining list of topics and speakers )

3. Industrial Training (IT) (examining the IT annual report prepared by the the coordinator)

4. Advising on the relevant component of the programme curriculum.

5. Proposing Industrial related projects

6. Proposing Fellowship visits

7. Proposing Research related to Postgraduate Students

8. Writing a formal report about the programme.

"The comments made by industrial Advisor to be made available on the EAC visit day"

1.6.3 Implementation of Learning Outcome based Education (OBE)

Outcome based Education is a method of curriculum design and teaching that focuses on what students can actually do after they are taught. While the curriculum design backward by using the major outcomes as the focus and linking all planning, teaching and assessment decisions directly to these outcomes. The programme has implemented OBE for all batches of Computer and Information Engineering Students of the intake 2005 (new curriculum) as well as for senior batches those are still following the old curriculum. The Kulliyyah has organized a number of workshops to explain the concept of OBE and motivate the faculties to the new teaching and learning process. The department is closely monitoring the implementation process of the outcome based learning system. In addition, the programme has come up with learning outcome mapping form to ascertain the inclusion of questions in the final exam by the course instructor to achievement of targeted learning outcomes in the respective courses and plans to determine the level of achievement of learning outcome. (Samples can be provided during the visit)

1.6.4 Implementation of Stakeholders Feedback

Feed back from stakeholders have been implemented at the Kulliyyah and the University levels. Alumni Tracer Study, Industry and exit Survey. Survey results are analyzed to derive important conclusions on the effectiveness of the curriculum interim of achieving the programme objectives/ learning outcome on programme level as well as on course level and actions are being taken to achieve Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI).

1.6.5. Implementation of Learning Management System (LMS)

Learning Management System (LMS) is a software that automates the administration of course management where the faculty can manage the log-in of registers students, manage course materials, record data from learners/students, post handout solutions, marks and get feedback from students. These exercises have been implemented at course level since Semester I-2006-2007. A number of training session to faculties been conducted to explain the benefit and usefulness of LMS system to student and staff. However, there are still rooms for improvement, since some of the lectures did not make full use of this system and also some complains that the system is not friendly.