Exploring Self-Efficacy with Undergraduate Students

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Education


Curriculum, Instruction and Foundational Studies

Faculty Sponsor

A.J. Zenkert


The focus of this research is to explore the factors of the construct “self-efficacy” and to discover methods for improving self-efficacy. Through preliminary research and the writing of multiple precis and researcher’s journal entries, major sources of self-efficacy were identified as social persuasion, vicarious experience, natural disposition, and successful experience (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998). Through interviews, these topics were explored in more depth.

Data analysis from interviews revealed that most subjects respond to personal goals with varying levels of self-reflection or awareness. Some subjects stated that they prefer encouragement/validation over advice/suggestions, and other subjects stated that gaining additional perspectives/influence positively affected their goal progress. Participants addressed the effects of observing someone perform a specific task successfully, having performed the task successfully themselves multiple times, and their own belief in a set of skills that are transferable to the specific task. The participants then described how these factors influence their confidence in their ability to perform the task successfully in the future. Based on participant responses, new areas of inquiry include qualifications for valuable resources, the power of an individual’s mindset or attitude, and the impact of an individual’s dispositions or natural tendencies.

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