||An Investigation of Low-Achieving College Students' Self-Efficacy and Self-Regulation-A Case Study of a Distance Learning Course
||Department of English
Low-Achievers of English Proficiency
|| This study aims to investigate college students’ self-efficacy and self-regulation in distance courses. Distance courses have become more and more popular recently with the advantage of no time constraint. The 282 participants of the present study were low-achievers in English proficiency since they did not reach the threshold of English proficiency required to graduate. Their main goal of taking the distance course is to graduate. Previous studies showed that self-efficacy and self-regulation may influence students’ learning. The present study investigated college students’ characteristics of self-efficacy and self-regulation, using both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
In the study, the instructor and the students were in the 18-week distance course through the Moodle platform. The quantitative data came from students’ questionnaires and the qualitative data came from the open-ended questions.
The result showed that college students tended to have high self-efficacy and high self-regulation in distance courses. The characteristics of students’ high self-efficacy in the distance course include psychological states improvement, and gaining confidence from their instructor’s and assistants’ encouragement. Moreover, students felt more confident since they knew that peers’ English proficiency was as low as theirs. Also, students show high self-efficacy in the distance course because of their previous successful learning experiences through distance course. On the other hand, college students’ characteristics of high self-regulation came from three different sources: students’ ambition, discussion board, and assignments. Students had ambition to outperform themselves and peers’ English proficiency. They also indicated that their feeling of being isolated decreased with the participation on the discussion board. They valued the interaction with their peers and instructor on the discussion board. Moreover, college students’ self-regulation in the distance environment was high because of the strict deadline and requirement of assignments. This study may provide teachers characteristics of college students’ self-efficacy and self-regulation for future distance courses.
||TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHINESE ABSTRACT I
TABLE OF CONTENTS IV
LIST OF TABLES VIII
LIST OF FIGURES IX
LIST OF APPENDICES X
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1
Background and Motivation 1
Statement of the Problem 3
Purpose of the Study 5
Research Questions 6
Significance of the Study 6
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW 8
Distance Course 8
The Definition of Distance Course 8
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Distance Course 9
Synchronous and Asynchronous Interaction 14
The Definition of Self-Efficacy 19
Bandura’s Four Domains of Self-Efficacy 20
Previous Research on Self-Efficacy 22
CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY 36
Questionnaire for Students 42
Data Analysis 43
CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS 44
Research Question One 44
The Result of Quantitative Data Analysis of Self-Efficacy 44
The Result of Qualitative Data Analysis of Self-Efficacy 46
Less Peer Pressure in Distance Courses 46
More Personal Learning Pace 48
No Need to Rush to the Next Class 52
Confidence from Instructor’s and Assistants’ Encouragement 52
Confidence from Peers’ Encouragement 54
Confidence Because Peers Have Similar English Proficiency 55
Previous Successful Learning Experiences through Distance Learning 56
Research Question Two 57
The Result of Quantitative Data Analysis of Self-Regulation 57
The Result of Qualitative Data Analysis of Self-Regulation 59
The Ambition to Outperform Oneself 60
The Ambition to Outperform Peers’ English Proficiency 61
Feeling of Not Being Isolated On the Discussion Board 63
Peers’ Active Participation on the Discussion Board 65
Ability to Answer Peers’ Questions on the Discussion Board 66
Instructor’s Positive Feedback on the Discussion Board 66
Assistants’ Conscientious Correction on Assignments 67
Strict Deadline for Turning in Assignments 68
CHAPTER FIVE DISCUSSIONS, CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS 71
Discussions and Conclusion 71
Students Expect to Achieve Different Goals 71
Assistants’ Correction to Students’ Assignments is Important 73
Students Learned How to Manage Their Time 74
Students Were Dependent on the Discussion Board 75
Students Showed Ambition to Increase English Proficiency 76
Students Tended to Conform to Their Peers 78
Instructor’s Feedback Is Valued by Students 79
Pedagogical Implications 80
Limitations of the Study and Recommendation for Future Research 83
CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSION 85
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