Learning Outcomes at Higher Education Institutions (IEO Model)

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<ul><li><p>7/23/2019 Learning Outcomes at Higher Education Institutions (IEO Model)</p><p> 1/11</p><p>The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning Vol. 5, Num. 1, June 200984</p><p>Learning Outcomes at Higher Education Institutions: To</p><p>What Extent DoInstitutional Environments Contribute?</p><p>Dr. Norlia Mat Norwani</p><p>Dr. Rohaila Yusof</p><p>Muhd Khairuddin Lim AbdullahFaculty of Business and Economics, Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia</p><p>ABSTRACT</p><p>Education at higher learning institutions (HLIs) in Malaysia functions to maximize individual</p><p>potentials and to fulfil the countrys aspirations. However, some employers feel HLIs have failed to</p><p>prepare graduates with skills that are important in organizations. Therefore, efforts to assess students</p><p>development, especially those in the business discipline, should be undertaken to ensure HLIs</p><p>effectiveness. Research in this aspect was not thorough because many did not consider factors</p><p>influencing students development. Astins Input-Environment-Output (I-E-O) model was adapted to</p><p>explain relationships between students development and students input and learning environments.</p><p>Involvement theory which posits that students development is related to the quantity and quality of their</p><p>involvement in various academic and social activities was explored in this research. The development</p><p>was assessed in term of academic achievement via cumulative grade point average (CGPA) and</p><p>development in competencies such as creative-critical thinking, communication and group work. Input</p><p>was measured by students gender, race, entry qualification, career aspiration, parental occupation and</p><p>grades in subjects at the Malaysian Certificate of Education level. Environmental factors considered</p><p>were academic facilities, course content, teaching-learning, interaction with lecturers and friends, co-curriculum, academic effort and instrumental tactics. Overall academic achievement of the students</p><p>surveyed was Second Class Lower. Creative-critical and communication competencies increased at a</p><p>moderate level while group competency increased at a high level. Step-by-step multiple regression</p><p>analyses showed that students input were the biggest predictors for CGPA while environmental factors</p><p>were the biggest predictors for competency development. Finally, the researcher highlighted</p><p>implications of the findings towards students, academicians and HLIs administrators.</p><p>INTRODUCTION</p><p>Education in Malaysia is based on objectives to provide fairness and equality, to improve the</p><p>imbalance in the community, to increase the number of Malays (bumiputra) in Science and to provide</p><p>opportunities for higher education for all citizens. The policy to make Malaysia a centre of educational</p><p>excellence allows anyone with qualification to study at a higher level. Academicians prepare courses that</p><p>create opportunities for students to widen their experience and perspective, deepen their knowledge and</p><p>increase their skills. This is in line with the objective of tertiary education which is to equip graduates</p><p>with knowledge in their area of study and to increase their ability and motivation to put an autonomous</p><p>and innovative effort in order to face the ever-changing challenges (Abdul Halim et al. 1991).</p></li><li><p>7/23/2019 Learning Outcomes at Higher Education Institutions (IEO Model)</p><p> 2/11</p><p>The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning Vol. 5, Num. 1, June 2009 85</p><p>Business and Economic Education</p><p>Graduates from higher learning institutions (HLIs) are responsible to continue planning, managing</p><p>and executing strategies to develop the country. They have to be prepared to manage changes in the</p><p>economy due to the shift of focus from agricultural to industrial, services and information. The shift is</p><p>very fast due to the advance in technology, globalization and the increase of entrepreneurial role.</p><p>Business studies curriculum at HLIs are often criticised because lack of focus to inculcate visions</p><p>among graduates, fail to stress on integration of functional areas, emphasis on quantitative analysismethod, fail to develop human management skills, communication skills and ability to adapt to the</p><p>environment, very little focus on international coverage, and fail to recognise the importance of</p><p>entrepreneurial knowledge function (Nik Abdul Rashid 1994). Education must plan courses and training</p><p>with suitable pattern, relevant knowledge, specific skills, appropriate values and perceptions that are</p><p>futuristic to enable Malaysia to succeed as an industrial country.</p><p>Background of Research Problem</p><p>Students development in business discipline and factors associated with the development have been</p><p>important and widely researched topics in countries outside Malaysia (Amin &amp; Amin 2003; Athiyaman</p><p>2001; Pool 2001; Yamchuti 2002). In this country, such research is very minimal and need to be explored</p><p>further to increase understanding about factors that contribute towards learning outcomes.</p><p>Effort to assess abilities of HLIs graduates, especially those in the business discipline should be</p><p>undertaken to ensure HLIs effectiveness in preparing future economic leaders. Research in this aspect is</p><p>very minimal and not thorough because many did not consider factors that influence students</p><p>development. Research by Mohd Khan and Mohammad Hanapi (1995), for example, contained</p><p>information regarding communication, analytical and strategic management skills of Bachelor of</p><p>Business Administration graduates from the Northern University of Malaysia (UUM) who were attached</p><p>to an electronic industry. The graduates lacked practical and technical skills, and very theoretical. The</p><p>industry suggested the program to produce graduates with high managing, problem solving andcommunication skills as well as possess positive attitudes, market oriented, experienced and creative.</p><p>Mohd Nazari and De Souza (2002) and Suraini and Azila (2003), on the other hand, only identified skills</p><p>and attributes that were regarded as important by employers and academicians.</p><p>The studies mentioned did not take into account students and environmental factors that contributed</p><p>towards knowledge acquisition and skills development. In addition, the media reported various problems</p><p>such as difficulty to secure a suitable job and lack of skills, attributes and experience required to enable</p><p>graduates to perform effectively in the dynamic working system.</p><p>Purpose of Research</p><p>This research studied knowledge acquisition based on students CGPA and business skillsdevelopment such as creative-critical, communication and group competencies. Students input and</p><p>environmental factors at public higher learning institutions (PHLIs) that contributed towards the output</p><p>measured were identified and the amount of each predictor was analysed.</p><p>Research Questions</p><p>i) What are the levels of academic achievement (based on CGPA) and development of creative-critical,</p><p>communication and group competencies as reported by business students at PHLIs?</p><p>ii) What are the input and environmental factors that predict CGPA of business students at PHLIs and</p><p>how much is the contribution of each group?</p></li><li><p>7/23/2019 Learning Outcomes at Higher Education Institutions (IEO Model)</p><p> 3/11</p><p>The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning Vol. 5, Num. 1, June 200986</p><p>iii) What are the input and environmental factors that predict creative-critical competency of business</p><p>students at PHLIs and how much is the contribution of each group?</p><p>iv) What are the input and environmental factors that predict communication competency of business</p><p>students at PHLIs and how much is the contribution of each group?</p><p>v) What are the input and environmental factors that predict group competency of business students at</p><p>PHLIs and how much is the contribution of each group?</p><p>I-E-O MODEL</p><p>Foundation of the research was student development theory which focused on institutional impact</p><p>on students development. Astins (1988, 1993a, 1993b) Input-Environment-Output (I-E-O) model was</p><p>adapted to explain relationships between students development and students input and learning</p><p>environments. Astin stated that development is closely related to students involvement with their friends,</p><p>academicians and academic programs. This approach gave attention to the impact of institutions</p><p>education on students. Involvement theory (Astin 1988, 1993a, 1993b) which posits that students</p><p>development is related to the quantity and quality of their involvement in various academic and social</p><p>activities was explored. Active involvement in academic activities, co-curricular activities and</p><p>interactions with lecturers, friends and other staffs were found to influence students learning and</p><p>development positively. Students who put in a lot of effort are expected to obtain maximum learning and</p><p>development.</p><p>I-E-O model shows relationships between input, environment and output. Input factors considered</p><p>in this research were demographic factors and students prior academic achievement. Environmental</p><p>factors considered involve academic and social aspects. Academic achievement as measured by the</p><p>CGPA and development of competencies were the output in the research. Involvement theory was</p><p>explored through environmental factors such as interaction with lecturers, interaction with friends,</p><p>academic effort, co-curricular activities and instrumental tactics. As far as Malaysia is concern, theresearcher has not come across any research on student development that incorporated the I-E-O model</p><p>and Astins involvement theory. Hence, this research provided a new perspective in looking at student</p><p>development in the Malaysian context.</p><p>RESEARCH METHODOLOGY</p><p>Survey method that utilizes questionnaire was applicable to collect the data required for analysis.</p><p>Questionnaire was the most effective and easy way to obtain standard data. The survey method was</p><p>appropriate for this research due to its scientific, logical, specificity (Gall et al. 2003). In addition, data</p><p>could be obtained from a large number of respondents and the method was suitable for analysis ofrelationships between variables involved.</p><p>Research Population and Sample</p><p>Research population in this research were final year students majoring in business discipline at</p><p>public higher learning institutions (PHLIs) in the Peninsular Malaysia. Four PHLIs were randomly</p><p>selected from nine PHLIs which were involved in the preparation of Laporan Halatuju Program</p><p>Pengurusan Perniagaan (1999). After eliminating questionnaires with more than 10% incomplete</p><p>responses or from respondents with unrelated field, the researcher ended up with 538 questionnaires for</p><p>further analyses.</p></li><li><p>7/23/2019 Learning Outcomes at Higher Education Institutions (IEO Model)</p><p> 4/11</p><p>The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning Vol. 5, Num. 1, June 2009 87</p><p>Research Instrument</p><p>Based on past research, the researcher prepared the questionnaire for the survey. Items in the</p><p>questionnaire were constructed according to the operational definition of each construct. Principals in</p><p>questionnaire development such as validity, reliability, singularity, linearity, distance equality,</p><p>replicability and practicality (Abu Bakar 1995) were closely followed. Suggestions by a panel of experts</p><p>were taken into consideration to ensure face validity and content validity of the questionnaire. A five-</p><p>point likert scale was used to measure the environmental and competency factors.The questionnaire was divided into three sections. The first section solicited responses regarding</p><p>students input, the second section regarding environmental factors and the third section regarding</p><p>students output in term of academic (CGPA) and competency development. Cumulative scores were</p><p>calculated for each environmental factor and competency by adding scores of all items in each construct.</p><p>Independent and Dependent Variables</p><p>The independent variables were divided into two blocks. The first block contained input such as</p><p>gender, race, entry qualification, parental occupation, career aspiration and grades in Malay Language,</p><p>English Language, Mathematics, Sciences and Business at the Malaysian Certificate of Education level.</p><p>The second block contained environmental factors such as academic facilities, course content, teaching</p><p>and learning process, interaction with lecturers, interactions with friends, co-curriculum activities,</p><p>academic effort and instrumental tactics. The dependent variables which were the output or students</p><p>learning outcomes were divided into two categories. The first category was academic achievement via</p><p>the CGPA while the second category contained development in creative-critical thinking competency,</p><p>communication competency and group competency.</p><p>Descriptive Statistics</p><p>Descriptive statistics involved in this research were frequency, mean score and standard deviation.</p><p>Environmental factors and competencies were scored based on the level of satisfaction, agreement orincrease reported. The interpretation was based on mean score using Nunnallys (1978) formula (Table</p><p>1). For academic achievement, the CGPA was interpreted according to the practice at the National</p><p>University of Malaysia (Table 2).</p><p>Table 1: Mean Score Interpretation for Environment and Output</p><p>MEAN SCORE MEAN SCORE INTERPRETATION</p><p>&lt; 2.333 Low</p><p>2.3333.667 Moderate</p><p>&gt; 3.667 High</p><p>Table 2: Mean Score Interpretation for CGPA</p><p>CGPA CLASSIFICATION</p><p>3.6704.000 First Class Honour</p><p>3.0003.669 Upper Second Class Honour</p><p>2.5002.999 Lower Second Class Honour</p><p>2.0002.499 Third Class Honour</p><p>0.0001.999 Fail</p></li><li><p>7/23/2019 Learning Outcomes at Higher Education Institutions (IEO Model)</p><p> 5/11</p><p>The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning Vol. 5, Num. 1, June 200988</p><p>Inferential Statistics</p><p>Inferential statistics will indicate whether the research findings happen by chance or are</p><p>consequences of certain practices or influenced by certain variables. The researcher looked at the</p><p>contribution of the independent variables in explaining the dependent variables. This was done through</p><p>stepwise multiple regression analyses. The normal significance level of 0.05 was applied for hypothesis</p><p>testing. The level is accepted by most researchers in making statistical decisions (Sekaran 2000).</p><p>RESEARCH FINDINGS</p><p>Research Question 1</p><p>This question assessed the mean CGPA and development of the competencies studied. Table 3</p><p>shows mean scores, standard deviations and interpretations of the output. On average, students reported</p><p>CGPA at the Lower Second Class level (mean = 2.93, s.d. = .425). The creative-critical competency is</p><p>measured by items that measure the increase in students ability to do activities that require them to think</p><p>creatively and critically. Students reported the development of this competency at a moderate level</p><p>(mean = 3.40, s.d. = .517). The competency in communication measures development in students ability</p><p>to communicate in various situations and methods. The average development in this competency was at a</p><p>moderate level (mean = 3.50, s.d. = .564). The group competency measures development in students</p><p>ability to interact in various situations with their friends. This competency was repor...</p></li></ul>