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ERIC Number: ED564522
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 136
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-0903-9
Contextualized Measurement of Self-Efficacy and College Students' Perceived Sources of Self-Efficacy in Introductory Plant Science Courses
Keefe, Lisa Madalon
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University
Institutions of higher learning are recently being held more accountable for the learning outcomes of their students. As such, universities have begun to actively measure and evaluate student learning and motivational outcomes in an effort to improve the successful outcomes of their students. To support this work, two studies were conducted to measure and identify sources of college student self-efficacy in introductory plant science courses. Measuring self-efficacy is important because it is highly predictive of college student success. However, these beliefs are context specific, and it is necessary to measure them accordingly. Due to its sensitivity to context, it can be difficult to find existing instruments suitable to measure self-efficacy within a specific class, or even field of study. Therefore, two studies were designed to measure and investigate self-efficacy and sources of self-efficacy in plant science introductory courses broadly. The purpose of the first study (Chapter 1) was to create a valid and reliable instrument (IPSSQ) to measure undergraduate self-efficacy in the mastery of concepts and skills needed for successful study of plant sciences. Using factor analysis, we determined the instrument measured three factors of self-efficacy in the plant sciences: plant concept self-efficacy, general science skills self-efficacy, and major-specific self-efficacy. This structure was confirmed with confirmatory factor analysis which resulted in a 17-item questionnaire. The second study (Chapter 3) explored sources of self-efficacy for learning plant science skills in an introductory course through mixed qualitative methods. By discovering specific student experiences that either strengthen or weaken self-efficacy beliefs, we hoped to provide a means for influencing these beliefs through teaching practices. We found 13 different experiences reported by college students that contributed to college student self-efficacy beliefs to learn plant science. The most frequently mentioned experiences were: studying, background knowledge and teaching methods. These experiences supported Bandura's (1997) theorized four sources of self-efficacy, and the importance of providing mastery experiences for students. Results also reiterated the importance of verbal/social persuasion, vicarious experience and emotional response sources of self-efficacy that support and encourage students through mastery experiences, which ultimately strengthened self-efficacy. Implications for classroom use of the (IPSSQ) are discussed. Additionally, teacher practices that influence the measured outcomes are discussed. These practices include: providing an emotionally safe environment, helping classmates get acquainted with each other, and pairing lecture with contextualized practice. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A