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Contextualized Measurement of Self-efficacy and College Students’ Perceived Sources of Self-efficacy in Introductory Plant Science Courses. Lisa Keefe Doctoral Dissertation Seminar. Overview. Introduction Theoretical Framework Review of Literature Dissertation Conceptual Framework

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Lisa keefe doctoral dissertation seminar

Contextualized Measurement of Self-efficacy and College Students’ Perceived Sources of Self-efficacy in Introductory Plant Science Courses

Lisa Keefe

Doctoral Dissertation Seminar


  • Introduction

  • Theoretical Framework

  • Review of Literature

  • Dissertation Conceptual Framework

  • Study #1

  • Study #2

  • Implications for Practice


Science Literacy & Career

Theoretical framework
Theoretical Framework

  • Bandura (1997)definition of SE: belief in personal capabilities to organize and execute tasks required to produce specific results within a specific context

  • 4 Sources of SE

I do…

I hear…

I see…

I feel…

Review of literature
Review of Literature

  • Self-efficacy (SE) = good predictor of academic performance.

  • SE has been studied in the sciences

  • Need for context-specific studies

  • Sources of SE also important but few existing studies

(Usher, E. L., & Pajares, F. (2008). Sources of self-efficacy in school: Critical review of the literature and future directions. Review of Educational Research, 78(4), 751-796

Schunk, D., Pintrich, P. R., & Meece, J. (Eds.). (2007a). Motivation in dducation: Theory, research and applications (3rd ed.): Pearson.

Klassen, R., & Usher, E. (2010). Self-efficacy in educational settings: Recent research and emerging directions. In S. Karabenick & T. Urdan (Eds.), Advances in motivation and achievement (Vol. 16a): Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Gore, P. A. (2006b). Academic self-efficacy as a predictor of dollege outcomes: Two incremental validity studies. Journal of Career Assessment, 14(1), 92-115. doi: 10.1177/1069072705281367

Study 1 measuring self efficacy
Study 1-Measuring Self-efficacy

  • Current Instruments

  • Participants

  • Development

  • Data collection and analysis

  • Results

  • Limitations

  • Measuring Plant SE (Instrument Development)

  • EFA n=248

  • CFA n=241

Current instruments
Current Instruments

  • Science Motivation Questionnaire (Glynn, Taasoobshirazi, & Brickman, 2009)

Baldwin, J. A., Ebert-May, D., & Burns, D. J. (1999). The development of a college biology self-efficacy instrument for nonmajors. Science Education, 83(4), 397-408.

Glynn, S. M., Taasoobshirazi, G., & Brickman, P. (2009). Science Motivation Questionnaire: Construct validation with nonscience majors. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(2), 127-146. doi: 10.1002/tea.20267

Dalgety, J., Coll, R. K., & Jones, A. (2003). Development of chemistry attitudes and experiences questionnaire (CAEQ). Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(7), 649-668

Uzuntiryaki, E., & ÇapaAydın, Y. (2009). Development and Validation of Chemistry Self-Efficacy Scale for College Students. Research in Science Education, 39(4), 539-551.


HORT 101, BTNY 110 & AGRY 105

major (M), science major (SM) and non-science major (NSM)

CFA:Fall 2012 (n=241)




EFA:Spring 2012 (n=248)

  • M=20%

  • SM=32%

  • NSM=48%

80% White/caucasian & 50% male/female ratio

Data collection and analysis
Data Collection and Analysis

  • Students told about the research before participating. Also asked if concurrently enrolled and not to fill out questionnaire twice

  • 1st group factor analysis (EFA)

  • 2nd group confirmatory factor analysis (CFA)


























































CFI (0.92)

RMSEA (0.08)

GFI (0.88)




Please rate how confident you are in your ability to perform the following tasks today.

1) Not at all confident 2) Slightly confident 3) Somewhat confident 4) Mostly confident 5) Extremely confident

  • PCSE

    • Explain how a plant produces food and uses energy.

    • Predict how a plant will respond to a given environmental condition.

  • GSSE

    • Instruct a classmate on how to write an experiment report.

    • Ask a research question that could be answered experimentally.

  • MSSE

    • Use concepts of life science in solving everyday problems at home.

    • Tutor another student in a 1st year life science course.

Limitations and recommendations
Limitations and Recommendations the following tasks today.

  • Minimally adequate model fit

  • Small # of students

  • Demographics (High non-science majors/low racial diversity)

For practice
For Practice the following tasks today.

  • Measures SE of core (lynchpin) plant science concepts

  • Measures SE of translatable science skills

  • Fills a need for SE questionnaire aimed at core plant science concepts/skills and may have use in any introductory plant science class

Study 2 sources of self efficacy in an introductory plant science class
Study 2-Sources of Self-efficacy in an introductory plant science class

  • Participants

  • Deductive analysis

  • Results

  • Limitations

  • Exploring Sources of Plant SE (Qualitative)

  • Short-answer (initial coding) n=200+

  • Interviews (Provisional Coding) n=4

  • Literature (Triangulation)

Participants science class

Short-answer (n=>200)

  • 200+ students enrolled in HORT 101, AGRY 105 or BTNY 110

  • Spring semester 2012 and Fall 2012

    Interview-Fall semester 2012 (n=4)

  • 2 Landscape Architecture majors

    • Alice had taken a plant biology dual-credit course

    • Melinda’s parents own a landscaping company

  • 2 Agricultural Education majors

    • Rose had little experience but parents dabbled in row crops

    • Adam had an interest in gardening

Deductive analysis
Deductive Analysis science class

Realism assumes a single, blurry reality; therefore, we made every effort to triangulate our data in order to illustrate a single, complex reality as experienced through context and perception (Sobh & Perry, 2006).

Short answer
Short-answer science class

  • Please rate how confident you are in your ability to perform the following tasks as of today—

    • Achieve success in another life science class

    • Receive good grades on exams in this course

  • “Think about the reasons you considered when answering the question above. Describe briefly all of the reasons on which you based your confidence rating to this particular question. Include everything that comes to mind in the spaces provided.”

Hutchison, M. A., Follman, D. K., Sumpter, M., & Bodner, G. M. (2006). Factors influencing the self-efficacy beliefs of first-year engineering students. Journal of Engineering Education, 39-47.

Example science class

Provisional Coding

Initial coding

“We kind of covered a lot compared to what we would have covered in high school so I guess that amount of material surprised me first and foremost. Some of it was a little more than I thought was, not necessarily that it was more than what should have been taught, it was just more coming in with no knowledge, like prior knowledge of any of this.”

Saldana, J. (2013). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (2nd ed.). Washington D.C.: Sage.

Limitations science class

  • Overlapping constructs - Further qualitative study focusing on the interaction of these constructs

  • A narrow perspective from the limited number and diversity of interviews.

Practice science class

  • Process of measuring sources of SE provide a framework for college departments of any field to better assess student outcomes early in a course

  • Qualitative inquiry can be time consuming, but when using deductive analysis, the time commitment can be manageable.

  • Sources could be studied with a rating scale

Acknowledgements science class

Committee Members:

Neil Knobloch

Kathryn Orvis

Levon Esters

Jon Harbor

Plant Scientist Team:

Kathryn Orvis

Lori Snyder

Michael Zanis

John Cavaletto

NIFA Grant 2010-01801: Enhancing science capacity in introductory Animal, Plant, and Food sciences courses

Students enrolled in HORT 101, AGRY 105 & BTNY 210 2011-2012

Grant Team Leaders:

Bryan Hains

Mark Balschweid