The Impact of an Interdisciplinary Seminar on First-Year University Students' Development of Personal Epistemology and Motivational and Strategic Components of Self-Regulated Learning

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rebecca A. Olive-Taylor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Samuel Miller

Abstract: The study first sought to determine if students' self-reported scores on measures of personal epistemology and motivational and strategic components of self-regulated learning (a) changed over time and (b) were impacted by enrollment in an interdisciplinary course. Secondly, the study questioned how these measures impacted end-of-term GPA. Four hundred ninety traditional aged first-year students at a mid-sized private southeastern university, 287 females and 203 males, comprised the sample. Data were collected during a fall term in a pre-post format for this quasi-experimental research design. After scaling and adjusting to fit this study population, three scales were derived from the Epistemic Beliefs Inventory and seven scales were derived from the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire. A repeated measures MANOVA was conducted for treatment (interdisciplinary course) x time (pre/post) for each of the 11 scales and found no interaction effect for treatment. Over time, significant within-group differences indicated that all students moved toward the naïve perspective for measures of Quick Learning and Innate Learning. Motivational measures of Task Value and Extrinsic Goal Orientation declined significantly. More significant use of Elaboration and Written Study Strategies were reported over time. Between groups differences indicated that students in the interdisciplinary course had more desirable mean scores for the following scales: Quick Learning, Self-Efficacy for Learning and Performance, Task Value, Intrinsic Goal Orientation, Extrinsic Goal Orientation, Elaboration and Critical Thinking. Additional data analysis determined that significant differences existed between group means on entering academic record variables. However, there were no significant differences in the variance of pretest scores and only one significant difference for posttest scores. Consequently, these entering characteristics may only indirectly account for the between-groups significant main effects. Correlation analysis between pre and post scores for the 11 scales and end-of-term cumulative GPA isolated significantly correlated variables to include in a stepwise multiple regression analysis. Analyses indicated that Quick Learning pretest scores and posttest scores for Self-Efficacy for Learning and Performance explained 8.8% of the variability of GPA.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
epistemology, motivation, SRL, freshmen, interdisciplinary
College freshmen--Psychology
Learning strategies
Prediction of scholastic success
Motivation in education
Learning, Psychology of
Knowledge, Theory of--Education

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