Presenter Information

Andrew Jackson

Location

West Lafayette, Indiana

Abstract

Self-efficacy has been related to student achievement, motivation and persistence. Self-efficacy beliefs, confidence in one’s capabilities to complete the task, are intuitively related to task choices—why would we attempt something when we know we will be unsuccessful? Yet, self-efficacy is domain specific and requires measurement instruments which are situated in the domain. Two scales for engineering self-efficacy have recently been developed for undergraduate students, with validity evidence relating self-efficacy responses to persistence and achievement in engineering. Evidence supports the validity of these scales and is promising for researchers and practitioners. However, the impact of self-efficacy begins much earlier than college. Further reliability and validity evidence are needed to recommend the use of these engineering-related scales in secondary education settings. This analysis considered reliability and face, structural, and criterion-related validity evidence of the General Engineering Self-Efficacy Scale and Engineering Skills Self-Efficacy Scale when administered with 9th grade technology and engineering students. Reliability and validity evidence is contrasted with existing evidence of scale validity. Based upon these new sources of evidence, I offer recommendations for using these scales in secondary contexts, extending the utility of these scales for engineering education research.

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Validity Evidence for the General Engineering Self-Efficacy and Engineering Skills Self-Efficacy Scales with Secondary Students

West Lafayette, Indiana

Self-efficacy has been related to student achievement, motivation and persistence. Self-efficacy beliefs, confidence in one’s capabilities to complete the task, are intuitively related to task choices—why would we attempt something when we know we will be unsuccessful? Yet, self-efficacy is domain specific and requires measurement instruments which are situated in the domain. Two scales for engineering self-efficacy have recently been developed for undergraduate students, with validity evidence relating self-efficacy responses to persistence and achievement in engineering. Evidence supports the validity of these scales and is promising for researchers and practitioners. However, the impact of self-efficacy begins much earlier than college. Further reliability and validity evidence are needed to recommend the use of these engineering-related scales in secondary education settings. This analysis considered reliability and face, structural, and criterion-related validity evidence of the General Engineering Self-Efficacy Scale and Engineering Skills Self-Efficacy Scale when administered with 9th grade technology and engineering students. Reliability and validity evidence is contrasted with existing evidence of scale validity. Based upon these new sources of evidence, I offer recommendations for using these scales in secondary contexts, extending the utility of these scales for engineering education research.