Qualitative Development of Students’ Digital Skills by Integrating a Spreadsheet Software in First Year Introduction to Engineering and Seminar Course
Keywords:digital skills, Microsoft Excel, problem-based learning
The Introduction to Engineering (ITE) and Industrial Seminar and Profession (ISP) courses conducted at School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, are integrated courses which implement the Cooperative Problem-based Learning (CPBL) methods in the same semester. Based on this integrated courses, the main aim of this paper is to investigate the qualitative impact of spreadsheet hands-on seminar on the first year students' digital skill. At the beginning of the semester, students are given sustainability-based project to work on, which requires them to collect and to report the data in a series of presentations and written reports. In order to present those data, they need to use analysis tools such as a spreadsheet software. The students are introduced with some in-depth applications of the Microsoft Excel software through the seminar sessions in the ISP course. With the knowledge that the students gain, they are expected to implement it in the CPBL project. A qualitative approach has been adopted to implement the study. Student’s reflections were used as the data source to identify common attributes that they have managed to gain from seminar sessions. This study has found that all students had primarily learned about digital skills. They perceived hand-on activity during the seminar as a good platform to acquire knowledge on basic calculation and developed learning skill on Excel. Moreover, students recognized the skills they are learning will be useful in other courses and future careers.
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