Week 3: January 22 – 28

  • Sunday, 1/25, 11:59 PM – During online weeks, your (1) Base Group Check-in and (2) initial responses to discussion questions are due by Sunday at 11:59 PM of the week assigned. After this, one point will be deducted for each day your initial discussion questions are late up to end of the online week.

  • Wednesday,1/28, 11:59 PM – Your (3) Base Group Check-out and (4) TWO secondary responses to classmates’ initial responses to each discussion question (e.g., 4 questions x 2 secondary responses = 8 total secondary response) are due by Wednesday at 11:59 PM of the week after the initial response was due. Late secondary responses will not receive any points.

  • As you respond to the discussion questions this week, remember to support your answers using specific, relevant details from the readings. We are looking for evidence that you have done the reading and are integrating course topics into your thinking. We have placed additional details and practical tips on the Discussion Questions page.

Check-in Question: Theory and research suggest that other people can influence our self-efficacy judgments. Has anyone had a positive effect on your self-efficacy? How so?

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  1. Unlike other ability perceptions (e.g., academic competence, ability beliefs), self-efficacy is not a global construct. Instead, self-efficacy is task- and situationally-specific (i.e., efficacy to perform a given task at a given time and under particular conditions). What are the strengths and weaknesses of this level of specificity, especially compared to more global constructs?

  2. At least two assumptions underly this week’s readings. One is that cognitions mediate behavior. A second is that self-efficacy is a prerequisite for initiating and sustaining a goal-directed activity (e.g., learning). For all three readings, evaluate the extent to which the authors consider whether these assumptions may be wrong or limiting. For example, do the authors consider whether behaviors can be thoughtless (i.e., habitual, reactive, unaware, etc.)? Do the authors consider whether it is possible for individuals with low self-efficacy to engage fully in an activity? In your view, do such considerations have merit? Why or why not?

  3. According to Bandura, academic self-efficacy is malleable – it can be readily changed by environmental influences. Based on the four sources of self-efficacy identified by Bandura (and drawing from Usher’s (2009) findings), identify two classroom practices that you would recommend to teachers to support students’ self-efficacy. In your response, be sure to clearly describe how the source of self-efficacy is supported based on that practice.

  4. Compared to other topics in educational psychology, qualitative methods are rarely used in research on academic motivation. Focusing on Usher (2009), what new insights were gained by conducting a qualitative investigation? How might quantitative methods be used to extend Usher’s (2009) findings?
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