What do we expect university students to know and be able to do upon completion of their degree programs? How can faculty from different universities within a country reach agreement on higher education learning outcomes that are internationally comparable? How can we support universities in designing learning outcomes based degree programs, evaluating courses and programs, and engaging in quality enhancement? The purpose of this paper is to discuss these issues within the context of engineering education, focusing on the NIER Tuning Test Item Bank project. However, in order to put into context leading efforts in engineering education within the landscape of university education, and to derive implications for different disciplinary areas, the paper will also focus on the characteristics of engineering education that have enforced learning outcomes based educational reform.
Global engineering and education are discussed, based on teaching experience in the US and in Japan. As globalization is nothing other than exploration, it is pointed out that the following three factors are important; (1)perception, (2)wisdom and (3)divergent thinking. Further, although team working across countries becomes increasingly important, we have to be careful and we should direct our efforts to make up a team of best 11, not 11 best.
Recently, many Japanese companies go into Southeast Asia for offshore development. That means technical skills of an engineer in Southeast Asia are higher, especially from a view point of globalization though personnel expenses and a business cost are lower. Therefore, to survey and learn an education system of a university in Southeast Asia is to know what is lacked in an education system of Japanese higher education from a view point of globalization. In this article, results of a questionnaire about the education system to some leading universities in the field of engineering in Southeast Asia are shown and a suggestion for the Japanese higher education is given based on the questionnaire results.
By the year 2020, Japan is expected to account for just 4% of people with a university-level education in G20 and OECD countries, while China and India will account for 40%. For the sake of Japan competitiveness in a global context, the universities have to produce innovation- and global-minded graduates. We suggest (1) to create a truly goal-oriented education system which supports entrepreneurship (2) to develop a design-based education system (3) to gather an innovation-centered community through dedicated spaces and (4) to change students’ mindset and behavior towards difference and risk-taking. Faculties and staff members have a major role to play in encouraging students to take risk, to think differently and to overcome their “Uncertainty Avoidance” .
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide both opportunities for world-wide student engagement and learning but also challenges for institutions that are developing them. In this paper, I address these various issues relating to MOOCs based upon two years of experience in developing them on the edX platform at Tokyo Tech. In particular, I discuss the Tokyo Tech Online Education Development Office’ s MOOC teaching assistant (TA) based development model and internationalization activities.
Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) has focused on Project Design (PD) education for over 20 years. The aim of the PD education is cultivating the innovation ability of university students through team-based approaches to problem finding and solving in the real world. In 2015, KIT and Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HUTECH) in Viet Nam established a joint educational partnership to develop the PD education curriculum to Vietnamese students of Vietnam-Japan Institute of Technology (VJIT), a newly-established school in Ho Chi Minh City that is attached to HUTECH. In this paper, we describe key elements of PD education, building processes for the first PD classes in VJIT, implementation of facilitator training for lecturers, and attempted evaluation from a preliminary survey.
The Center for Engineering Education Development, Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University has been promoting the overseas internship program since its establishment in 2005. In 2014 alone, more than 100 students have participated. The students filled out questionnaires to evaluate their abilities before and after their internship. There are 13 categories, including “leadership” , “communication skills” , etc. The results are divided into groups according to the lengths of the programs and also the destinations. All the results indicated that the internship develops the students’ soft skills very effectively. The follow-up survey was conducted on students who experienced the CEED overseas internship program and are currently working. The results have proven that the program is very useful when they work in the real world.
This study evaluates the short-term study-abroad program in Penang, Malaysia for undergraduate students of the engineering department of Toyohashi University of Technology. The purpose of this one week program is to gain global perspectives and awareness through experiences such as homestay, interaction with foreign students and visiting academic institutes, companies and world heritage. Penang is internationally known as historical open city, rich in multicultural heritage. Participating students could improve not only their English communication skills but also their professional minds and their attitude towards future activities overseas.
Service-learning refers to a type of learning that allows students to learn in an active manner based on problem solving through service activities that address the needs and issues of the community. Here, I will present the following three cases: EPICS at Purdue University, SLICE at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and HESE at the College of Engineering, Pennsylvania State University. Some common characteristics among these three service-learning programs are: they are specialized engineering courses, they are interdisciplinary in nature, the programs are well established within the educational institution, and they are continuously offered. This paper proposes that it may also be beneficial to actively integrate the concept of service-learning into engineering education, as part of interdisciplinary projects.
Kanazawa Institute of Technology and Kanazawa Technical College have provided Learning Express, an immersive student exchange program that brings together students from multi-national, multi-cultural, and multi-disciplinary backgrounds to collaborate on social innovation projects in Southeast Asia. The real world environment with real problems offered the students an in-depth look at issues faced by the communities in question and challenged the participants to solve them using the design thinking methodology. Furthermore, the program involved participants in activities that addressed local needs while developing their academic skills and commitment to the community. This report introduces this program along with its unique characteristics and a preliminary evaluation of the effect of the program.
College of Systems Engineering and Science and Graduate School of Engineering and Science at Shibaura Institute of Technology have been providing educational programs in the systems engineering design with multidisciplinary and Project Based Learning (PBL) courses. On the basis of those achievements, we developed a new global PBL course which aims to educate engineering students with both of diversity and awareness for social issues. Total of 68 undergraduate and postgraduate students from eight universities in Asia participated in the course. Some of project themes for teamwork were proposed by a local government and a financial company. The participants explored social issues by conducting field research. In this paper, we describe the program design and leaning outcomes of this global PBL course.
Japanese private universities play a big role to develop professional human with global mind. Therefore, the private universities should return to the starting point of establishment and should improve the accepting system of foreign student and should reform the consciousness of the teacher by flexible idea and prompt decisiveness. In addition, continuous PBL (project base learning) based on university-industry collaboration are very effective to bring up global careerist. The contest and the workshop of monodzkuri are not only good method for bring up the challenge mind of the youth, and are very useful for development of the engineering education in overseas.
We developed an engineering educational program for fostering innovative and global engineers. The program is based on multidisciplinary, global, and industry-academia collaborating Project Based Learning (PBL) courses, and has been implemented as part of the Systems Engineering Education at Shibaura Institute of Technology. We define the educational goal of these courses by emphasizing the systems approach with interdisciplinary and cross cultural communication and teamwork skills for solving real issues in the globalizing society. Three PBL courses in the program focus on outcomes which can be achieved by educational environment with diverse students from different engineering and science disciples. The quality assurance of the education program has been achieved by assessing its learning outcomes based on the results of rubrics and a test called Progress Report on Generic Skills in the program.
As the world is evolving to accommodate the movement toward globalization, some promote the top priority of English. However, others claim that Japanese language education is essential for research in Japan. Our previous work based on linguistic considerations has shown that scientific Japanese can present clearer messages to a professional community. This paper examines the structure of an e-mail message using a test from the Japanese Language Aptitude Test 2009-2, level 3, and essays in major Japanese newspapers. Comparative analyses revealed that Japanese may not only maintain harmony in a community but also help develop creative skills. Based on these findings, language education in Japan should make it a priority issue to be aware of the linguistic properties of Japanese and the differences between Japanese and English. Studies in humanities course should be open in English as well. Only in this way can the Japanese turn out the force of arms.
This paper demonstrates the effect of a newly created professional development program for graduate students. In today’ s global era, students seeking advanced degrees have few opportunities to successfully present (in English) at international academic conferences despite the growing need to do so. This program was created to fill this niche, providing the support and scaffolding necessary for students to become effective presenters. Specifically, this paper discusses the initial case study, illuminating the steps taken to build learner autonomy in an ESP (English for Specific Purposes) setting. The presenter’ s success was due to a collaborative effort of three professionals: the student’ s advisor/supervisor in Mechanical Engineering, a Japanese language teacher specializing in ESP, and a native English-speaking language teacher.
General English tests are often considered to be insufficient for assessing global communication competency in engineering context. The authors developed a list of Can-do descriptors to measure foreign language communication proficiency in engineering settings. The Can-do list is based on The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR) , which has been used as a reference for multi-language communication competencies with “can do” statements. In the development, we evaluated the validity of Can-do descriptors in the list by analyzing its 10 self-assessment scales in relation to English test scores obtained from more than 1500 university students and engineers working at companies. The CEFR-based Can-do list has been used to access engineering students’ communication abilities in such settings as global PBLs with foreign students and global internship trainings.