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COURSES AT PRE-UNIVERSITY LEVEL RELEVANT TO THE

MATHEMATICS COURSES AT FACULTY OF ENGINEERING &

BUILT ENVIRONMENT, UKM?

Haliza Othman &Zulkifli Mohd Nopiah

Fundamental of Engineering Unit,

Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment,

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,

43600 Bangi, Selangor, MALAYSIA

ABSTRACT

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 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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dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

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.

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

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.

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.

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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dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

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)

First year : DM014 (first semester) and DM024 (second semester)

Second year : follow through the one year programme

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

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

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

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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dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

Programme

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

FKAB, UKM

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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dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

First Year :

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 :

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:

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 Kongres Pengajaran

dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

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

277

multiplication and matrix and

Discrete

multiplication. System of directional

Random

linear equation. Gauss derivatives

Variables

elimination.

Kongres Pengajaran

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dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

Tangent Analysis of

dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09)

Determinant, Inverse Planes, Continuous

matrix and Cramers Rule. Normal Random

Lines, Variables

Divergence

and Curl

278

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

Kongres Pengajaran

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Seminar Pendidikan Kejuruteraan

Kongres Pengajaran

dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

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

279

Divergence NUMERICAL

Power of Matrices. theorem and DERIVATIVES &

Change of INTEGRALS

variables in

multiple Introduction to

integrals Nonparametric

Orthogonal matrices. Triple statistics

Kongres Pengajaran

Symmetric matrix, integrals

Approximation to

eigenvalues

279

Seminar Pendidikan Kejuruteraan Kongres Pengajaran

dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

Sets in ORDINARY

Diagonalization. Complex DIFFERENTIAL

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

order. independence DIFFERENTIAL

280

Cauchys (PDE)

integrals

formulas

Cartesian Tensor and its Series

application. Mclaurin and

Laurent

Series

280

Kongres Pengajaran

Seminar Pendidikan Kejuruteraan Kongres Pengajaran

dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

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

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

281

Seminar Pendidikan Kejuruteraan Kongres Pengajaran

dan Alam Bina (PeKA 09) dan Pembelajaran UKM 2009

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

Malaysia

Adam, S. 2004. Using Learning Outcomes. Report for United Kingdom Bologna

Seminar 1-2 July 2004, Herriot-Watt University Edinburgh. Scotland

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

Developing Instructional Materials in Open and Distance Learning. Kogan

Page Limited. London

Matriculation. http://www.kmph.matrik.edu.my/jabatan/Jabatan

_Matematik/unit_matematik/silibus.htm

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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