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WeCWI and Its Pedagogical Implications for Engineering Education

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Since the advent of technological innovation in the digitalisation era, the power of change has expanded across society, including education. Technology is becoming an increasingly important element of our lives, and no more so than in the habits of the younger generations who have grown up with it. Over the last few years, instructional technology has enhanced teaching by using multimedia and the internet instead of chalk and board teaching, which is considered passive instruction.

Nasser Alaeddine et al. (2015) claim that electronic teaching tools have little effectiveness in achieving greater educational standards in engineering education. Traditionally, engineering pedagogy has been delivered through the lecture-tutorial laboratory paradigm, which comprises training and teaching as the two primary complementing methods. The engineering faculty members are hesitant to implement new technologies to improve learning rather than to address technological deficiencies.

The Pedagogical Implications of WeCWI in Engineering Education Solutions

1. WeCWI

WeCWI is a framework of theoretical and pedagogical principles for designing and developing Web-based instruction (WBI) as an instructional delivery or tool (Mah, 2021; Mah et al., 2017, 2021; OIC Today, 2017). WeCWI theoretically combines language acquisition principles, cognitive theories, composition studies, and e-learning to provide a practical framework based on learners' information processing preferences. These four primary theoretical rationales are smoothly integrated at the heart of WeCWI and are summarised in an equation known as the WeCWI Integrated Formula (Mah, 2021). For more information about WeCWI, please refer to WeCWI and the Science of Instruction: The Latest and Most Comprehensive Reference.

2. Steel Fibres

Steel fibres are widely recognised as a material addition capable of improving material behaviour. Experiment findings reveal that steel fibre substantially affects the performance of plain concrete, according to a prior study by Bazgir (2016). While testing concrete with steel and other materials, several scientists focused on flexural, compressive, shear strength, ductility, and other qualities. The product test revealed that the usage of fibres substantially impacted the quality of plain concrete in all mechanical parameters, such as compressive strength, split tensile strength, and flexural strength.

Many tiny or thin concrete components are not subjected to significant stresses, whereas steel fibres reinforced concrete (SFRC) is essential to avoid brittle failure owing to cracking and shrinkage. Steel fibres are advantageous because creating items without rebar is easier and faster. Putting steel fibres in such a small element is complex and labour-intensive. Steel fibre types 4D have their speciality. These steel fibres have the same Young's modulus and fibre weight, 210 MPa and 15 kg/m3. This steel fibre is coated with zinc, which can prevent corrosion. This table shows the material properties of steel fibre introduced in the blog.

3. Blog and Blogger

Recent progress in digital technology has brought a new teaching delivery mode; many web-based courses worldwide have proliferated in late years. Digital learning has several benefits; most noticeably, it can be interactive and self-paced to suit students' needs. It also leads to implementing active learning, including problem-based learning, project-based learning (PBL), and challenged-based learning. The convergence of students from PBL and Building Information Modelling (BIM) provides a better understanding of the concepts involved (Bazgir, 2016).

Because of the blog's versatility to become one of the most frequent Web 2.0 platforms to be transformed into a WBI, a blog was chosen to be produced as the WeCWI-enabled instructional medium for teaching SFRC performance to Engineering students. By designing and integrating reading, conversation, and writing assignments as part of the pedagogical instructions inside the e-learning environment, the WeCWI-enabled instructional tool can improve learners' language and cognitive development.

Among all online blog hosting systems, Blogger produces a wide range of pedagogical features and instructional activities by utilising free server space, a naming standard, and click-and-pick templates that make blog production a snap. The blog depicts the behaviour of SFRC when exposed to compression strength, flexural strength, and rebound hammer tests. To pique and engage the viewers' attention, digital web widgets with rich material and several visualisations given via videos were incorporated. Above is an embedded video showing the procedure for making steel fibre-reinforced concrete.

An Interdisciplinary Study

Interdisciplinary research integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, or theories from two or more disciplines of specialised knowledge to improve fundamental understanding or solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or field of research practice. This study integrates and synthesises ideas by combining two fields, WeCWI and engineering education, to design and develop a WeCWI-enabled instructional tool to impart knowledge and principles relevant to engineering practice.

The pedagogical implications of the WeCWI-enabled instructional tool on Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete (SFRC) performance in engineering education are being investigated with the following objectives:

  1. To identify whether the WeCWI-enabled instructional tool improves the overall understanding of SFRC performance among engineering students.

  2. To determine whether the engineering students accept WeCWI for instructional design in engineering education.

Based on the above objectives, two research questions are formulated as follows:

  1. Can the WeCWI-enabled instructional tool improve the overall understanding of SFRC performance among engineering students?

  2. Do engineering students accept WeCWI for instructional design in engineering education?


A blog was developed as a WeCWI-enabled instructional tool to show the usage of steel fibre in the structural member and the advantages of SFRC in controlling the crack. If there is a wrong step in distributing steel fibre into the concrete, it will affect the workability and performance of SFRC to increase the performance of concrete. Thus, the blog has embedded videos to show how to distribute steel fibre in mixing concrete. The position of the fibre in the samples reduces the steel fibre's performance in controlling crack width. This image shows a screenshot of the blog developed using Blogger and applied as the WeCWI-enabled instructional tool in this study.

This study used a purposive sample strategy using only final year (Part 8) Civil Engineering Faculty students from UiTM Cawangan Pulau Pinang. All materials needed to complete the experimental tasks were procured, produced, and tested at the UiTM Cawangan Pulau Pinang Heavy Structure Laboratory with the assistance and direction of an assistant laboratory. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), fine aggregates, coarse aggregates, water, cementitious and composite material, and steel fibre were all employed in all tests. Furthermore, the blog depicts the use of steel fibre in the building industry.

After the teacher utilised the WeCWI-enabled blog as an educational tool in the classroom for a month, an online survey was undertaken to assess the influence of the WeCWI-enabled blog on Engineering pedagogy through feedback from Civil Engineering students. Questionnaires were prepared using Google Form, an online survey technology students found comfortable and straightforward. The link to the online questionnaire was shared over WhatsApp. The respondents completed and returned 30 surveys in total.

Results and Findings

The graph shows that 83% of final-year Civil Engineering students believed that the blog articles described the SFRC performance clearly. Only 5% of them disagreed with such a statement. Following that, 90% of respondents comprehended SFRC performance after visiting the blog, which included accessing all accessible materials, such as seeing the video on the blog. Only 10% of them had differing perspectives on interpreting SFRC performance.

Furthermore, the data suggest that 93.33% of respondents think the blog increased their overall comprehension of SFRC performance, while 6.67% disagree. Finally, 86.67% of engineering students endorse using WeCWI for instructional design in engineering education. The findings of the first three items have addressed the first objective: the WeCWI-enabled instructional tool increases engineering students' overall grasp of SFRC performance. This is backed by the majority of favourable comments from respondents who believed that the blog contents clearly describe the SFRC performance based on the blog's accessible resources.

In addition, the analytical result of the final item has addressed the second study's objective, which is that most engineering students approve of using WeCWI for instructional design in engineering education. They learned from the blog that SFRC, with the highest tensile strength, adds the most value to compression and flexural testing. Notably, the 5D kind of steel fibre with the maximum tensile strength of 2.3 MPa adds the most significant value to the experimental test; consequently, the students have found the optimum steel fibre for managing the crack width.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Ultimately, via the experimental examination of 3D, 4D, and 5D types of steel fibre-reinforced concrete, a blog conceived and constructed as a WeCWI-enabled instructional tool increased engineering students' SFRC performance. Most students prefer to learn through blogs and embrace WeCWI for instructional design in engineering education. This interdisciplinary study shows most respondents agreed that the WeCWI-enabled instructional tool should be implemented.

The positive reaction from responders is based on the blog's interface design, content, and interactive elements that demonstrate the appropriate approach to spreading steel fibre in mixing concrete to prevent the improper step of dispersing steel fibre into the concrete. By learning through the blog, the students better understood the use of steel fibre and how it influences the workability and performance of SFRC. They also noted the benefits of SFRC in fracture management, which improves concrete performance.

Based on the positive response, more interdisciplinary research on other Web 2.0 platforms may be conducted, adding to other topics in engineering education. WeCWI can be linked and synthesised with other scientific knowledge disciplines to create instructional tools as teaching aids. WeCWI can also be coupled with Microsoft technology to provide a remote environment for developing 21st-century learning (21CL) skills for improved learning outcomes.

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