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The impact of online learning: mechanical engineering education perspectives

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posted on 22.06.2018, 13:09 authored by Dk S.R. Pg-Ya'akub
An emerging issue in both the mechanical engineering field and almost all other study disciplines is online learning. Many universities have changed their teaching strategies and are investing heavily in the online presentation of coursework without much investment dealing with lecturers. The migration from a traditional learning technique to online learning has grown rapidly over time. However, the problem is whether all students are ready for the transition from traditional face to face learning to online learning. This research explores the impact of an online learning approach within the mechanical engineering context. The focus of this study was to identify the improvement in the satisfaction, performance and self-confidence of the mechanical students in learning the Mechanical Engineering Design module using the online method. There are four stages involved in this research work. The first stage was problem discovery involving review of related literature and a preliminary study conducted to investigate the student experiences and teacher perceptions on the existing learning techniques for the mechanical design process. This preliminary study also aimed to identify the difficulties and problems faced by students that have resulted in the suggestion of a learning approach using computer technology. The second stage involved the designing and developing of a new prototype web-based learning system. A System Development Life Cycle model (SDLC) was applied comprising four phases of a concept, design, coding and testing. The third stage was the implementation and data collection. A main study was conducted with 160 mechanical engineering students from three different levels of study at one of the universities in Brunei Darussalam. Finally, the fourth stage was data analysis using SPSS statistical software. Based on the main findings, a significant difference was found between the experienced and inexperienced students in terms of their learning satisfaction in using online learning. Significant differences were also identified in terms of time taken between the experienced and inexperienced students when using traditional and online techniques of learning to solve the simple task. Additionally, the findings also indicated that there were significant differences among the experienced and inexperienced students in terms of marks performance in solving complex tasks using the online web-based learning system. The study has shown that the online learning approach is expected to be useful as an additional learning tool to the existing traditional learning technique, particularly in the context of engineering education.


Brunei, government.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Dk Seri Rahayu binti Pg Ya'akub

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.



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