Industry-Academe Linkage on Instructional Materials Development: The Hytec Power Inc. Experience
A transcript of the speech of Engr. Eric Jude S. Soliman during the 14th Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities of Industrial Technology (PACUIT) with the theme “PACUIT@14: Academe-Industry Linkage Towards a Sustainable Global Society” held on April 27-29, 2016 at the Development Academy of the Philippines, Tagaytay City, Cavite
I am sharing to you our experiences on this relevant topic on Industry-Academe Linkage, particularly on the development of viable instructional materials.
Ching Jorge of the Philippine Daily Inquirer said on her commentary that industry-led programs and interventions provide a productive output that should ideally be scaled up to allow students more access to educational programs that can lead to lifelong skills, employment and job opportunities. Lifelong skills are considered as the 21st century skills and are classified in different dimensions and aspects.
Industry-academe cooperation has been identified as an important catalyst in producing ready-to-work workers and professionals. For our two decades of existence in the industry, we have seen the relevance of this partnership not only to our company but also to others.
We have understood that through partnership graduates of educational and training institutions find jobs. We have felt that industry is happy that they find graduates who can fulfill their requirements. We have realized that young people find good employment and are happy and become productive members of their communities.
Being a partner of PACUIT for three years now, you know for sure that our company has been enthusiastic in promoting a workable industry-academe linkage. We have started our own way towards partnership with academic institutions sometimes in 2010. Over the years, not only have we expanded physically as a company, we have also truly asserted ourselves in helping the nation by linking the three pillars of a productive partnership - academe, industry and community. Our doors are always open for you and your bright ideas that will help each of us to develop professionally and of course, to develop the skills of our students.
During the PACUIT assembly for curriculum review last July 2015, we have identified the relevance of technological development in industry and further defined it as:
• The introduction of new tools and techniques for performing given tasks in production, distribution, data processing, and others;
• The mechanization of the production process, or the achievement of a state of greater autonomy of technical production systems from human control, responsibility, or intervention;
• Changes in the nature and level of integration of technical production systems, or enhanced interdependence;
• The development, utilization, and application of new scientific ideas, concepts, and information in production and other processes; and
• Enhancement of technical performance capabilities, or increase in the efficiency of tools, equipment, and techniques in performing given tasks.
A significant area of technological development is on the efficiency of tools, equipment and techniques. I have mentioned in my presentation last year during the 13th PACUIT National Conference that there are available self-paced laboratory equipment. By using these equipment sets, the burden of learning is not on the shoulders of the instructors. The process becomes student-centered and the instructor acts as the facilitator. With this idea, instructor will have more time doing other tasks in the exigency of service – research and extension services.
I also announced last year that we started to conceptualize the HYTEC POWER INC. FACULTY IMMERSION PROGRAM.
This program aims to:
a. Provide faculty members an opportunity to work with the industry.
b. Develop the culture of research and development among the faculty members.
c. Give the faculty members a concrete understanding of the technical training equipment in their respective fields and share the learning to their students.
d. Enhance the capability of instructors in developing Outcome-Based Education (OBE) and self-paced modules in accordance to 21st century teaching and learning skills.
The ideal output of the HPI faculty Immersion Program is an enhanced/upgraded version of the training equipment provided by HPI with an outcome based training manual and self-paced in nature. We already have the pattern. We can include other important learning strategy such as the multimedia curriculum, e-assessment and skills certification on each track or discipline.
Although some of our equipment sets are already self-paced, we still need the help of our research experts from the academe to improve more equipment that can be used easily by our students, with minimal supervision from our instructors. This is also preparing our students to be more dependable, just like working in the industry. This is part of the 21st teaching and learning skills.
Providing an opportunity to work with the industry
The HPI faculty immersion program provides a venue for industry experience to our instructors and trainors. The program gives an opportunity to our instructors for exposure to new industrial technologies and processes.
DEVELOPING THE CULTURE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Many of our professoriate today has the gift of wisdom to conduct research studies and extension services. But one of the common problems that you experience is the lack of time and the venue to conduct such research study. Industry partnership with Hytec Power gives our faculty members a chance to utilize the facilities of the company for a collaborative research.
EXPOSURE TO TECHNICAL TRAINING EQUIPMENT
This is an obvious thing about the faculty immersion program, knowing that Hytec Power is a provider of technical training equipment in the country. But as what we always claim, we do not want to be called merely as equipment supplier. More than being a supplier, we would appreciate to be your partner in achieving a common goal – that is to equip our students with the skills they need in life. And so, with the faculty immersion program, instructors have the chance to use our equipment (of course, those aligned in their fields). They have the chance to evaluate the relevance of the equipment to their fields. Or in some cases, because some of our equipment follows technology from other countries, the instructors could review the curriculum or at least the syllabus with reference to the learning contents of the equipment.
DEVELOPMENT OF SELF-PACED / STUDENT-CENTERED MODULES
This is actually the main objective of the faculty immersion program. To assist the faculty members in developing self-paced modules. We have international partners who have already produced didactic and self-paced manuals, but still there are some who do not. It is then part of the duties of our product specialist and managers to make the self-paced manuals and instructional materials. And we cannot do this alone. We need help from the experts on the development of instructional guide and materials – you, from the academe! You know better than us, you have the expertise on your own areas and you know very well how to develop materials that suit the learning needs of the students. This is why the faculty immersion program of our company is open to all of you.
The equipment should not be limited to a certain function. These should be used for students to learn and not to be robots (because robots simply follow instructions). Therefore, equipment should support the exploration of new learning and knowledge. In the US, for example, actual hands on activities are given to students to learn on their own with the guidance of the trainors or teachers.
But how are we going to do such if we are afraid to use the equipment because of the fear that it might be damaged, knowing that such product costs hundreds of thousands or even millions. This is why leading manufacturers of didactic equipment develop a technology of e-learning platform with virtual simulator.
Instructional materials are not limited to the manual or literature. It can be a simulation software or a multimedia tool, or a PowerPoint presentation, or any tool that can aid us in delivering our lecture to the students. The e-learning platform with virtual simulator enables the students to study and learn on their own and explore knowledge without worrying.
We strongly believe that we can also make simulation applications similar to this one. We know that some of you are already doing this and applying this to your respective classes, but why not share this to others so we could leave a mark to our community.
The faculty immersion program is part of the academe-industry partnership. Other areas of cooperation include:
· Trainers’ Trainings
· Faculty Enrichment Seminars
· Sponsorship to Fairs and Exhibits
· Internship Programs for Students
· Scholarship Programs for Students
· Industry Immersion Programs for Teachers
· Research Collaboration
As they say, it takes two to tango. Same is true with academe-industry linkage. That is why it is called cooperation.
Forging sustainable academe-industry linkages
By: Ching Jorge, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 28, 2013