Digital-built Environment:

Are Our Students Ready for the Next Challenge?

  • Praveena Munianday
  • Muneera Esa
  • Ariza Syarikin Abu Bakar
  • Sara Abhari
Keywords: Built environment, digital competencies, future skills, higher education, Malaysia


Today, the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) is producing immense uncertainty. Innovations
transform our way of life and our methods of working. In this era of technological upheaval,
employees and fresh graduates are aware of the skills gap and the importance of digital literacy due to
pervasive change across all industries. Future graduates, especially from Built Environment, should
incorporate the 4th Industrial Revolution and move toward a digital-built environment. Digital-built
environment is the application of innovative digital engineering technologies, such as 3D printing,
digital scanning, remote sensing, and building information modeling, to boost efficiency and
performance in the construction industry. Today, digital inclusion significantly depends on skills than
on technology availability. Students in the 21st century must be proficient in digital skills. Although
Malaysia has adopted a digital learning environment, indicators are not established to gauge current
digital competency standards for higher education graduates. Hence, this paper aims to investigate the
digital competencies of built environment students based on the COBADI 2.0 (Basic Digital
Competencies/Registered Trademark 2970648) questionnaire. The survey was conducted with final
year students from built environment fields at Universiti Sains Malaysia. These future graduates
demonstrated an upper-intermediate level of information and digital literacy, including
communication and teamwork, but a lower-intermediate level of digital content creation. This
research promotes digital competence in higher education and improves teaching and learning in built