Plenary Lecture

Lifting Up the Research University Status by Capitalizing Undergraduates Students’ Research Skills

Associate Professor Kamisah Osman
Deputy Director (Curriculum and Innovation)
Centre of Academic Advancement
The National University of Malaysia

Abstract: As one of the research universities in Malaysia, The National University of Malaysia has to face challenges in sustaining and lifting up its status. Besides incentives and concerted effort were invested towards research and publication, the university also regards teaching as its main priority, particularly in realizing its vision and mission. In fact, significant amount of funding was allocated to stimulate and encourage innovative teaching among its lecturers. As one of the educational objectives of the Malaysian undergraduates programme, research skills is often conceptualized as comprising critical thinking, organizing ideas, finding information, reading and writing skills, ability to work with numbers and graphs, oral communication skills, ability to ask questions, methodological knowledge, sense of big picture, time management and ability to work with others. Nonetheless, it was found that even though universities are investing considerable resources to equip students with research skills, the attainment of learning outcomes related to research skills is often not as good as expected. This paper will signify the importance of research skills as well as analyzing the current status of research skills among the undergraduates at the National University of Malaysia. It will then propose better approaches to teaching and helping the research universities students of how to learn scientific thinking and research methods in a more effective and deeper way.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kamisah Osman is currently the Deputy Director, Centre of Academic Advancement, the National University of Malaysia. After completing her undergraduate education at the National University of Malaysia in 1993, she then taught Chemistry and Physics at one of the secondary schools in Malaysia. Her passion towards effective pedagogy in science towards meaningful acquisition of scientific knowledge and dispositions has inspired her to pursue her studies in Science Education. She then obtained her Masters in Science Education from the Centre for Science and Technology Education, The University of Manchester, UK in 1996 and continued her doctoral study soon after that at the same university. In 1999, she successfully completed her Phd in Science Education and then joined the National University of Malaysia as a Science Education Lecturer in 2000. Currently, she is actively engaging herself in the Science Education Programme, at the Faculty of Education, the National University of Malaysia. Her research interest includes science education, thinking skills as well as curriculum innovation. Besides, she is also immersing herself in maintaining the Quality Assurance and Programme Accreditation processes, not only at the university level, but also national and international levels. She is an Executive Editor of Asian Journal of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, an Editorial Board member of the Eurasian Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, Science Education Review, Malaysian Journal of Education and Malaysian Action Research Journal. Her passion towards inspiring innovative teaching particularly at the university level has made her one of the key players of Action Research Committee at the National University of Malaysia.