Institutional Capacity Building is one of the major challenges of our time. This issue of immediate concern has been exacerbated by entities pursing the centuries-old model of learning into the industrial arrangements. A big challenge of Institutional Capacity Building is to emulate a real-world environment within a typical institutional setting. Teaching Factory Concept utilizes an industry project work concept in which staff and students work closely as a team on real-life industry problems with cost, quality, reliability and deadline constraints, and often obtaining multi-disciplinary capabilities by residing in different schools.
Towards a solution
The Teaching Factory Concept is working towards a solution for providing institutional capacity building. As “learning by doing” approach has started to play a vital role in engineering and technical education in recent days, the TCF is utilizing this concept with some modifications. There are several interventions that were employed to find the steps this is created. The solutions are great in terms of preparing the students for jobs. Students will easily understand the technical knowledge presented by their lecturer if they can practice the process, method or operation in real time. This way can develop the skills of the student and give them better confidence of what they had learned using Student Center Learning (SCL) approach compare to just depending 100 percent to their lecturer or Teacher Center Learning(TCL) approach that more on theoretical only. Although the university has organized some program like an industrial visit, seminars even talk with industrial personnel, it merely increases their knowledge only but not a real-time hands-on experience. The industrial training or on-job training (OJT) approach where the student will attach to the industries for some duration tends to be the best approach for the students to experience how to operate the machines in real time in industries. However, this program only applied to final year students. Other than that, they have no opportunity to relate the theory learned with real-time hands-on job commitments.
The Teaching Factory Concept, developed by the Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) in Singapore, is a technical & vocational education and training (TVET) methodology emulates and integrates real-life industrial environment through hands-on and real-life application-oriented project work which is an integral component of the methodology.
Final year students in the School of Engineering (SEG) undertake industrial project work aimed at providing engineering and design solutions for the industry. The close collaboration with the industry has made possible opportunities for SEG staff and students to work on real-life projects within time and budget constraints while observing industry standards. These industrial projects are undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team of engineers and final year students on full-time project assignments. The real-life experiences which the students will draw from the practice-oriented course will help them to relate closely to the occupational aspects of their studies and this will help to bridge the gap between industrial needs and training. These are important part of reducing the steps for the modification of this.
The Teaching Factory Concept in SEG makes learning more effective for students as it takes place in a realistic environment. Students be more practice-oriented and focused on problem-solving. This practice-oriented training also increases the confidence and make them immediately productive upon employment. With rapid changes in technology, this concept allows active collaboration with the industry to maintain relevance and thus allows people to benefit from the latest technologies.
The Teaching Factory Concept aims to expose the production plant directly to the student so that they enable to learn, understand, explore and experience clearly with the full operation of the industry. This will build the industrial environment in the academic surroundings.
The Teaching Factory represents a total systems approach that releases the latent synergy between a number of inter-related key success factors. When correctly implemented, it creates a powerful effect not only on the quality of teaching and learning but equally, on the attitude and mindset of staff and students. In NYP, this positive self-reinforcing systemic interaction contributes to the creation of an effective environment of teamwork, innovation, strong linkage with industry, and a strong focus on capability development. It has also been a key contributor in the shaping of the unique NYP culture and spirit, which is an important prerequisite for the implementation of the borderless school’s concept.
Countries/ territories involved: Singapore
Supported by: Nanyang Polytechnic International (NYPi)
Implementing entities: Nanyang Polytechnic International (NYPi)
Project status: Ongoing
URL to the project: https://www.nypi.edu.sg/about-nypi/teaching-factory-concept.html
Dr. Henry Heng Jee Kwang
Chief Executive Officer, Nanyang Polytechnic International, Singapore