Academic journal article International Journal of Applied Educational Studies

Construct Validation of an Arabic Version of the College Students' Self-Efficacy Scale for Use in Jordan

Academic journal article International Journal of Applied Educational Studies

Construct Validation of an Arabic Version of the College Students' Self-Efficacy Scale for Use in Jordan

Article excerpt

Introduction and Theoretical Framework

Changes in the academic environment represented by globalization, organizational restructuring, and reform initiatives have prompted higher education institutions to graduate confident students with independent learning capabilities to better succeed in their future employment (Long, 2001; Zeegers, Martin & Martin, 1999). Previous research has emphasized the importance of initiating and processing learning on part of the learner (Taylor, 1999). For example, Hammond and Collins (1991) mentioned that learners need to develop the capability of directing their own learning and acting on the world around them, otherwise, they will be partially educated, and limited in what they can do. Moreover, learners need to be more independent and responsible for their own learning (Codde, 1996). This notion of independent learning is referred to as self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy is a term coined by Bandura (1977) which refers to one's beliefs in his/her own capability to perform a specific task or behavior. It has been shown through research that self-efficacy consistently impacts courses of action pursued, predicts performance, and enhances learning (Alderman, 1999; Cole & Latham, 1997; Maltby, 1995; Pajares, 1996; Phillips & Gully, 1997; Stevens & Gist, 1997; Woolfolk, 2001). Furthermore, the research indicates that an individual's logic of self-efficacy is also related to achievement goals (Braten & Olaussen, 1998; Pajares, Britner & Valiante, 2000), attributions (Chase, 2001; Sherman, 2002), self-regulation (Joo, Bong & Choi, 2000; Malpass, O'Neil & Hocevar, 1999), and volition (Garcia, McCann, Turner & Roska, 1998). Based on these findings, self-efficacy is regarded as a motivating factor that influences the course of action individuals choose to pursue, the effort they put forth to achieve a task, the commitment they put forth to successfully accomplish desired outcomes, and how long they will persevere in the face of obstacles (Bandura, 1977). According to Bandura (1982), perceptions of self-efficacy is what guides human's life decisions to undertake activities and choose situations deemed to be within-capabilities for success. He further mentioned that once efficacy beliefs have been established, they are unlikely to change.

Self-efficacy provides individuals with the ability to influence their own courses of action and alter their environments (Bandura, 1977). Self-efficacy for college students is comprised of four dimensions: self-efficacy for self-regulated learning, which taps students' confidence in utilizing a variety of self-regulatory strategies in the academic environment without the constraint of particular subject matters (Bong, 1999), self-efficacy for academic achievement, defined as "personal judgments of one's capabilities to organize and execute courses of action to attain designated types of educational performances" (Zimmerman, 1995, p. 21), self-efficacy for financial attitudes and difficulties. Financial capabilities not only directly impact students' withdrawal decisions, but other variables including academic factors, socialization process, and psychological outcomes such as perceptions of fitting in at an institution, satisfaction with the institution, perceived utility of the education obtained at that institution, commitment to the goal of completing college, and intent to persist (Cabrera, Nora, & Castaneda, 1992), and self-efficacy for career decision-making. Career decision-making self-efficacy identifies the extent to which students' have self-efficacy about their abilities to engage in educational and occupational information gathering, goal-planning, and decision-making (Taylor & Betz, 1983). Research on these four dimensions is well-documented in the literature. For example, previous research has emphasized that when students actively engage in the academic process, an increase in their academic performance was obtained (Dweck, 1986; Zimmerman, 1989). …

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