21st Century Integrated Learning Experience in Higher Learning Institutions

Date: February 15, 2023 /
Program Type: Webinar /

9:30am Afghanistan | 10:00am Maldives, Pakistan | 10:30am India, Sri Lanka | 10:45am Nepal | 11:00am Bangladesh, Bhutan | 11:30am Myanmar | 12:00nn Thailand | 1:00pm Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore | 3:00pm Papua New Guinea | 5:00pm Fiji


Stress among students has been a topic of extensive research for many years. Many studies were able to recognize the different stressors that the higher learning institutions (HLIs) students experience. Ross, Niebling, and Heckert (1999) determined forty sources of stress among students. The top five sources of stress are associated with changes in sleeping habits, lack of vacations or breaks, changes in eating habits, increased workload, and new responsibilities. Schneider (2002) found that HLI students' perceived workload stipulated in the curriculum, competitive peers, and difficulty of the curriculum content cause emotional stress. It is common for HLI students to feel anxious due to the workload of their studies and their ability to meet those demands (Talaei, et. al., 2008). Another work suggests that heavy workload, a lot of time used to complete assignments, lack of sleep, difficult and inflexible curriculum, competitive classmates, and performance pressure (Schneider, 2002; Murphy, et. al., 2009). A few other works show that the common causes of stress in academic performance are associated with examinations and grades, fear of failing, lack of time between tests, and criticism at work (Sekhon, et. al., 2015; Murphy, et. al., 2009; Muirhead & Locker, 2007). In a study conducted in the Philippines, it was found that college students experienced immense pressure and their concerns were about earning good grades, too many projects, homework and incoming exams, time constraints and maintaining good relationships with teachers. (Hicks & Heastie, 2008).

The most frequently reported factors contributing to stress among students in other studies were: academic workload (Burnett & Fanshawe, 1997; Jones, 1992; Verma, et al., 2002) examinations (Lee & Larson, 2000; Verma, et al., 2002), performance in academic work, academic difficulties (Agolla & Ongori, 2009; Johnson, 2009), self-expectations and parents’ expectation (Ang & Huan, 2006a; Ang, et al., 2009; Misra & Castillo, 2004). Researchers in China and Vietnam who have conducted studies using the Educational Stress Scale for Adolescents (ESSA) revealed that academic stress was found to be related to five factors: pressure from the study, workload, worry about grades, self-expectation and despondency (Sun, Dunne, Hou, et al., 2012; Thai, 2010).

It is apparent based on these studies that one of the most important sources of stress for students is in their academic life. In order to prepare for their careers, students in HLI must adapt to a variety of psychological changes in addition to dealing with academic and social requirements. Thus, academicians and authorities need to be wary of this situation and intervene for the well-being of these students. Academicians, especially, could assist by changing the method of teaching and learning in order to reduce the workload of students. One documented approach to lessen the students’ academic workloads is by introducing Integrated Learning Experience (ILE)

The ILE approach helps students get a unified view of reality, and enhances their capability to acquire real-life skills. ILE does this by linking learning content between and among subject areas. There is integration when pupils are able to connect what they are learning in one subject area to a related content in another subject area. John Dewey claimed that learning could be more meaningful if content areas are blended for curriculum and instruction. The use of unifying themes and real-life activities could lead to more relevant learning (Dewey, 1938; New, 1992). The quality of learning outcomes improves as pupils are able to integrate information across disciplines instead of acquiring them in isolation. The intention of the teachers, the learning outcome of the subject, the learning environment prepared to achieve the learning outcomes, and the authenticity of the assessments are crucial in ILE implementation (Thorburn and Collins, 2006). As a conclusion, ILE method would enable students’ workload to be lessened as they carry out tasks in groups, across subjects and finally assessed collectively by related content lecturers.


  • To share the challenges of isolated T&L and its impacts on students’ well-being
  • To share the ILE approach in engineering and non-engineering environments
  • To share the framework of critical factors for ILE
  • To share the success stories of ILE in the Malaysian polytechnic system