GLOBAL PROJECT-BASED LEARNING PROGRAM (gPBL) AT SHIBAURA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, TOKYO, JAPAN
SOC ONLINE- The global Project-Based Learning (gPBL) program was hosted by Department of Communications Engineering, Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT), Japan. It was held at SIT Toyosu campus from 14th November to 21st November 2016. 14 graduate students from School of Computing, Universiti Utara Malaysia were chosen to participate in this program. The UUM students were led by Professor Dr Ku Ruhana Ku Mahamud. This program was financially supported by two scholarships from Japan (Sakura Science and JASSO). The opening session was attended by Professor Dr Masato Murakami, President of SIT. The main activities experienced through the program are research workshop, poster presentation, visits to science related organizations and cultural experience among participants. During the research workshop, 46 students (UUM: 14 students, SIT: 32 students) from 11 countries participated in groups of five to discuss topics related to wearable computing, drone technology and self-driving. The output of this workshop is to produce conference papers. For poster presentation, every student has to prepare a poster related to their Masters or PhD work; 32 posters have been produced and presented.
Science related organisations that have been visited are Miraikan, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT)) and National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT). Miraikan is the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation opened in July 2001 in fulfilling Japan's aim of becoming a scientifically and technologically creative nation. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Laboratory (NTT) carries out basic research and development activities at three laboratory groups in a wide range of fields, including some of the most advanced ICT research in the world. National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) is known as Japan’s sole national research and development agency specializing in the field of information and communications technology. NICT is in-charged of promoting ICT sector as well as R&D in ICT, which drives economic growth and creates an affluent, safe and secure society.
During cultural experience, students were guided in making ‘chirimen netsuke’ (keychain with bell-like) and the art of wearing Yukata (Japan traditional cloth wear for summer). In the closing ceremony on 21 November 2016, both SIT and UUM students and lecturers gave feedbacks and comments to enhance the program. The ceremony continued with the certificate handover to the participants followed by a farewell party. The experience in SIT and Japan has enriched the students’ experiences and their research skills. Due to the success of the gPBL in SIT, Tokyo and also the previous gPBL in UUM Sintok, Prof. Dr. Eiji Kamioka, the Deputy President of SIT, has expressed his intention to bring SIT students for gPBL in UUM for the second time in 2017.