Changes in biology self-efficacy during a first-year university course

Ainscough, Louise, Foulis, Eden, Colthorpe, Kay, Zimbardi, Kirsten, Robertson-Dean, Melanie, Chunduri, Prasad and Lluka, Lesley (2016) Changes in biology self-efficacy during a first-year university course. CBE Life Sciences Education, 15 2: 19.1-19.12. doi:10.1187/cbe.15-04-0092

Author Ainscough, Louise
Foulis, Eden
Colthorpe, Kay
Zimbardi, Kirsten
Robertson-Dean, Melanie
Chunduri, Prasad
Lluka, Lesley
Title Changes in biology self-efficacy during a first-year university course
Journal name CBE Life Sciences Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1931-7913
Publication date 2016-06-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1187/cbe.15-04-0092
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 15
Issue 2
Start page 19.1
End page 19.12
Total pages 12
Place of publication Bethesda, MD, United States
Publisher American Society for Cell Biology
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Academic self-efficacy encompasses judgments regarding one’s ability to perform academic tasks and is correlated with achievement and persistence. This study describes changes in biology self-efficacy during a first-year course. Students (n = 614) were given the Biology Self-Efficacy Scale at the beginning and end of the semester. The instrument consisted of 21 questions ranking confidence in performing biology-related tasks on a scale from 1 (not at all confident) to 5 (totally confident). The results demonstrated that students increased in self-efficacy during the semester. High school biology and chemistry contributed to self-efficacy at the beginning of the semester; however, this relationship was lost by the end of the semester, when experience within the course became a significant contributing factor. A proportion of high- and low- achieving (24 and 40%, respectively) students had inaccurate self-efficacy judgments of their ability to perform well in the course. In addition, female students were significantly less confident than males overall, and high-achieving female students were more likely than males to underestimate their academic ability. These results suggest that the Biology Self-Efficacy Scale may be a valuable resource for tracking changes in self-efficacy in first-year students and for identifying students with poorly calibrated self-efficacy perceptions.
Keyword Biology self-efficiacy
Academic self-efficiacy
University students
Biology self-efficiacy scale
Academic ability
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
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