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Choo S.S.Y.,Republic Polytechnic | Rotgans J.I.,Singapore National Institute of Education | Yew E.H.J.,Center for Educational Development | Schmidt H.G.,Erasmus University Rotterdam
Advances in Health Sciences Education | Year: 2011

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of worksheets as a scaffolding tool on students' learning achievement in a problem-based learning (PBL) environment. Seventeen PBL classes (N = 241) were randomly assigned to two experimental groups-one with a worksheet provided and the other without. Students' learning of the topic at hand was evaluated by comparing results from pre- and post-lesson concept recall tests. We also obtained information about students' perceptions of factors impacting their learning using a Learning Impact Questionnaire. The data was analyzed by means of analyses of variance. Results of the study indicated that there was no statistically significant difference between the levels of understanding for both groups of students. In addition, survey results revealed that the strongest factor perceived by students to impact their learning in a PBL context is the tutor followed by team and class dynamics, while the influence of the worksheet was rated lowest. These findings suggest that scaffolds such as worksheets may not play a significant role in enhancing students' learning within the social constructivist framework of problem-based learning. On the other hand, the importance of the role of tutor and collaborative small group learning which are key features of PBL is reinforced. © 2011 The Author(s).

Cima I.,Institute Of Bioengineering And Nanotechnology, Singapore | Wen Yee C.,National Cancer Center Singapore | Iliescu F.S.,Republic Polytechnic | Min Phyo W.,Institute Of Bioengineering And Nanotechnology, Singapore | And 3 more authors.
Biomicrofluidics | Year: 2013

This review will cover the recent advances in label-free approaches to isolate and manipulate circulating tumor cells (CTCs). In essence, label-free approaches do not rely on antibodies or biological markers for labeling the cells of interest, but enrich them using the differential physical properties intrinsic to cancer and blood cells. We will discuss technologies that isolate cells based on their biomechanical and electrical properties. Label-free approaches to analyze CTCs have been recently invoked as a valid alternative to "marker-based" techniques, because classical epithelial and tumor markers are lost on some CTC populations and there is no comprehensive phenotypic definition for CTCs. We will highlight the advantages and drawbacks of these technologies and the status on their implementation in the clinics. © 2013 American Institute of Physics.

Cheng H.C.,Republic Polytechnic | Chan D.Y.K.,Advent2 Labs Consultation Pte Ltd
Proceedings - Winter Simulation Conference | Year: 2011

This paper describes the development of a simulation model for production planning personnel to carry out optimization of part input sequence. The model simulates a flexible manufacturing system for the production of machined components. Using a custom built user interface, the planner imports production and demand data from an Excel spreadsheet into the model. The model optimizes part input sequence by simulating different combinations of part input sequences and determining the combination with the highest total slack time. Simulation conducted by the authors using this model shows that even a short, partial optimization run yields a schedule with improved slack. Presented in the paper are the steps involved in the development of the model and the benefits of the simulation-optimization model to the planner. © 2011 IEEE.

Lew M.D.N.,Republic Polytechnic | Schmidt H.G.,Erasmus University Rotterdam
Advances in Health Sciences Education | Year: 2011

The purposes of the present study were two-fold: first, to evaluate whether reflection journal writing was effective in promoting self-reflection and learning, and whether students become better at self-reflection if they engage continuously in reflection journal writing. To that end, the reflection journals of 690 first-year applied science students at a local polytechnic were studied by means of an automated coding procedures using software. Data was collected twice, once at the beginning and again towards the end of an academic year. Outcomes of the textual content analyses revealed that students reflected on both the process and contents of their learning: critical review of past learning experiences, learning strategies and summaries of what was learned. Correlational analyses showed weak to moderate inter-relationships between the textual categories and their classroom and knowledge acquisition test grades. Taken together, the findings suggest that self-reflection on both how and what students have learned does lead to improvements in academic performance, although to a limited extent. © 2011 The Author(s).

Eng Y.Y.,Republic Polytechnic | Sharma V.K.,Florida Institute of Technology | Ray A.K.,University of Western Ontario
Separation and Purification Technology | Year: 2012

The photocatalytic oxidations of anionic, dodecylbenzene sulfonate (DBS), and cationic, cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) surfactants were studied in a swirl-flow monolithic reactor. The degradation kinetics in aqueous TiO 2 suspensions was investigated as a function of catalyst loading, light intensity, initial surfactant concentration, dissolved oxygen concentration, and pH. A systematic analysis of rates at various loadings of TiO 2 was carried out to distinguish "kinetic" and "transport" limited regimes for the photocatalytic degradation of DBS and CPC in TiO 2 suspensions. The optimal catalyst loading of DBS and CPC in TiO 2 suspensions were determined to be 0.75 and 1.5 g L -1, respectively, at a neutral pH. A small increase in oxidation rates was observed with an increase in initial concentration of the surfactant and partial pressure of the oxygen in the system. The rates as a function of initial surfactant concentration and partial pressures of oxygen were determined using a Langmuir-Hinshelwood model. The photocatalytic oxidation of DBS and CPC showed an opposite pH dependence. Removal of DBS was efficient in acidic condition while CPC showed efficacy at basic pH. The adsorption of surfactants onto TiO 2 surfaces as a function of pH was studied to explain the influence of pH on the oxidation rates. The subsequent decreases in TOC levels of surfactant during oxidation were found to be more efficient at a neutral pH than acidic or basic pH. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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