A comparative analysis of attainment of program outcomes for courses with and without the use of modern tools

Mark Ovinis, Saravanan Karuppanan, Shaharin Anwar Sulaiman, Puteri Sri Melor, Mohd Zulhilmi Paiz, Alfonso Urquia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther

2 Citations (Scopus)


An important consideration in higher education is that graduates meet or exceed the program outcomes (POs). While there exists anecdotal evidence that the use of modern tools i.e. computer modelling and simulation, improve attainment of these outcomes, there is little empirical research available. Where empirical evidence is available, the variables considered would almost certainly have a bearing on the outcomes. In this work, the attainment of the POs by undergraduate engineering students in courses with and without the use of modern tools, based on quantitative data, were compared. It was hypothesized that courses using modern tools would lead to better overall attainment of POs, compared to courses not using these tools. As a case study, the PO attainment of students in the Mechanical Engineering undergraduate program at Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) was considered. Quantitative data obtained through UTP's outcomebased education (OBE) software was used to assess the overall attainment of the POs for all courses for a cohort of 126 Mechanical Engineering undergraduate students class of 2017. It was found that, for the case study considered, the usage of modern tools has led to slightly better attainment of some POs, with slightly poorer attainment in other POs. Specifically, attainment in POs where the cognitive or the knowledge domain is more dominant improved, as the usage of modern tools helped students to understand theoretical concepts better. Attainment in POs were the affective domain is more dominant recorded a slight decrease, and the incorporation of modern tools did not aid in the attainment of these POs. The study is at a preliminary stage and a more detailed study, involving more cohorts, is planned to establish a correlation (if any) between the use of modern tools in higher education and attainment of POs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUTP-UMP-VIT Symposium on Energy Systems, SES 2018
PublisherMATEC Web of Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2018
EventUTP-UMP-VIT Symposium on Energy Systems 2018 - Tamil Nadu, India
Duration: 18 Sept 201819 Sept 2018
https://www.matec-conferences.org/articles/matecconf/abs/2018/84/contents/contents.html (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameMATEC Web of Conferences
PublisherEDP Sciences
ISSN (Print)2261-236X


ConferenceUTP-UMP-VIT Symposium on Energy Systems 2018
Abbreviated titleSES 2018
CityTamil Nadu
Internet address

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