INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENCE EDUCATION
Research Article

Facilitating Problem Solving in a University Undergraduate Physics Classroom: The Case of Students’ Self-Efficacy

Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(2), e2270, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11802
Full Text (PDF)

ABSTRACT

Real-life and work-related situations of the 21st century present complex problems that require graduates to possess the skills to solve problems in challenging and unfamiliar arenas. Students must therefore have the skills to deal with a wide range of problems. Unfortunately, most students struggle to apply their learning to novel problem-solving situations regardless of their self-efficacy beliefs. It appears particularly significant to investigate this phenomenon in the context of physics education. Using a mixed-methods design within a collaborative learning environment (CLE), this study investigated the factors that influence students’ self-efficacy in solving conceptual mathematical problems in physics. The primary data sources were the science problem solving questionnaire (SPSQ), the self-efficacy rating scale (SERS), and two semi-structured interview items. The results of multi-level regression and descriptive data analysis revealed students’ self-efficacy in solving conceptual mathematical problems in physics (β=.16, p<.01, SE=.065). Among all the self-efficacy variables (e.g., mastery experience, vicarious experience, physical arousal, anxiety, and gender), mastery experiences composed the largest amount of unique variance between male and female students (36% and 21%). The regression coefficient showed a significant difference between male (β=.13, p<.01, SE=.02) and female (β=.34, p<.01, SE=.07). Female students reported slightly higher levels of anxiety (3%) than male students (2%) when completing the SPSQ. In terms of physiological states, females reported 7% and males 1%. The results also showed a strong positive relationship between the instructional approach and student performance (r=.86, p<.001). One major implication of this study is that science educators could include appropriate instruction in delivering content courses to potentially support student teachers at the beginning of their science education studies.

KEYWORDS

self-efficacy collaborative learning mathematics problem-solving physics students

CITATION (APA)

Iwuanyanwu, P. N. (2022). Facilitating Problem Solving in a University Undergraduate Physics Classroom: The Case of Students’ Self-Efficacy. Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 18(2), e2270. https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11802
Harvard
Iwuanyanwu, P. N. (2022). Facilitating Problem Solving in a University Undergraduate Physics Classroom: The Case of Students’ Self-Efficacy. Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 18(2), e2270. https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11802
Vancouver
Iwuanyanwu PN. Facilitating Problem Solving in a University Undergraduate Physics Classroom: The Case of Students’ Self-Efficacy. INTERDISCIP J ENV SCI ED. 2022;18(2):e2270. https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11802
AMA
Iwuanyanwu PN. Facilitating Problem Solving in a University Undergraduate Physics Classroom: The Case of Students’ Self-Efficacy. INTERDISCIP J ENV SCI ED. 2022;18(2), e2270. https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11802
Chicago
Iwuanyanwu, Paul Nnanyereugo. "Facilitating Problem Solving in a University Undergraduate Physics Classroom: The Case of Students’ Self-Efficacy". Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education 2022 18 no. 2 (2022): e2270. https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11802
MLA
Iwuanyanwu, Paul Nnanyereugo "Facilitating Problem Solving in a University Undergraduate Physics Classroom: The Case of Students’ Self-Efficacy". Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, vol. 18, no. 2, 2022, e2270. https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11802

REFERENCES

  1. Ahn, H. S., Bong, M., & Kim, S.-I. (2017). Social models in the cognitive appraisal of self-efficacy information. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 48, 149-166. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2016.08.002
  2. Avargil, S. (2019). Learning chemistry: Self-efficacy, chemical understanding, and graphing skills. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 28(4), 285-298. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-018-9765-x
  3. Bandura, A. (2012). On the functional properties of perceived self-efficacy revisited. Journal of Management, 38(1), 9-44. https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206311410606
  4. Bandura, A. (2015). On deconstructing commentaries regarding alternative theories of self-regulation. Journal of Management, 41(4), 1025-1044. https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206315572826
  5. Belland, B. R., Glazewski, K. D., & Richardson, J. C. (2011). Problem-based learning and argumentation: Testing a scaffolding framework to support school students’ creation of evidence-based arguments. Instructional Science, 39(5), 667-694. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11251-010-9148-z
  6. Bing, T., & Redish, E. (2009). Analyzing problem solving using math in physics: Epistemological framing via warrants. Physical Review Special Topics in Physics Education Research, 5, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.5.020108
  7. Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. SAGE.
  8. Geifman, D., & Raban, D. R. (2015). Collective problem-solving: The role of self-efficacy, skill, and prior knowledge. Interdisciplinary Journal of e-Skills and Life Long Learning, 11, 159-178. https://doi.org/10.28945/2319
  9. Hwang, G. J., Lai, C. L., Liang, J. C., Chu, H. C., & Tsai, C. C. (2018). A long-term experiment to investigate the relationships between high school students’ perceptions of mobile learning and peer interaction and higher-order thinking tendencies. Educational Technology Research and Development, 66(1), 75-93. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-017-9540-3
  10. Iwuanyanwu, P. N. (2020). Nature of problem-solving skills for 21st century STEM learners: What teachers need to know. Journal of STEM Teacher Education, 55(1), 4. https://doi.org/10.30707/JSTE55.1/MMDZ8325
  11. Iwuanyanwu, P. N., & Ogunniyi, M. B. (2020). Effects of dialogical argumentation instructional model on pre-service teachers’ ability to solve conceptual mathematical problems in physics. African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 24(1), 121-141. https://doi.org/10.1080/18117295.2020.1748325
  12. Jansen, M., Schroeders, U., & Lüdtke, O. (2014). Academic self-concept in science: Multidimensionality, relations to achievement measures, and gender differences. Learning and Individual Differences, 30, 11-21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2013.12.003
  13. Jonassen, D. (2011). Supporting problem solving in PBL. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 5(2), 95-119. https://doi.org/10.7771/1541-5015.1256
  14. Juan, A., Hannan, S., & Namome, C. (2018). I believe I can do science: Self-efficacy and science achievement of grade 9 students in South Africa. South African Journal of Science, 114(7/8), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.17159/sajs.2018/20170269
  15. Kim, Y., Kwon, H., Lee, J., & Chiu, C. (2016). Why do people overestimate or underestimate their abilities? A cross-culturally valid model of cognitive and motivational processes in self-assessment biases. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47(9), 1201-1216. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022116661243
  16. Kriek, J., & Koontse, R. D. (2017). First year physics students’ expectations of the role of mathematics in physics. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 25(2), 1-16.
  17. Kruger, J., & Dunning, D. (2009). Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(6), 1121-1134. https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-3514.77.6.1121
  18. Lentfer, V. S., & Franks, B. (2015). The redirect behaviour model and the effects on pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy. Journal of Education and Practice, 6(35), 79-87.
  19. Lindstrom, C., & Sharma, M. D. (2011). Self-efficacy of first year university physics students: Do gender and prior formal instruction in physics matter? International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 19(2), 1-19.
  20. Pamuk, S., Sungur, S., & Oztekin, C. (2017). A multilevel analysis of students’ science achievements in relation to their self-regulation, epistemological beliefs, learning environment perceptions, and teachers’ personal characteristics. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 15(8), 1423-1440. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-016-9761-7
  21. Pan, Y. H. (2014). Relationships among teachers’ self-efficacy and students’ motivation, atmosphere, and satisfaction in physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 33(1), 68-92. https://doi.org/10.1123/jtpe.2013-0069
  22. Pendergast, D., Garvis, S., & Keogh, J. (2011). Pre-service student-teacher self-efficacy beliefs: An insight into the making of teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(12), 46-57. https://doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2011v36n12.6
  23. Redish, E. F., & Kuo, E. (2015). Language of physics, language of math. Science and Education, 25(5-6), 561-590. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-015-9749-7
  24. Sachitra, V., & Bandara, U. (2017). Measuring the academic self-efficacy of undergraduates: The role of gender and academic year experience. International Scholarly and Scientific Research & Innovation, 11(11), 2443-2448.
  25. Salaza, L. R., & Hayward, S. L. (2018). An examination of college students’ problem-solving self-efficacy, academic self-efficacy, motivation, test performance, and expected grade in introductory-level economics courses. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education,16(3), 217-240. https://doi.org/10.1111/dsji.12161
  26. Schwab, S. (2019). Teachers’ student-specific self-efficacy in relation to teacher and student variables. Educational Psychology, 39 (1), 4-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410.2018.1516861
  27. Shoulders, T. L., & Krei, M. S. (2015). Rural high school teachers’ self-efficacy in student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom management. American Secondary Education, 44(1), 50-61.
  28. Smith, C. S., & Hung, L. C. (2017). Using problem-based learning to increase computer self-efficacy in Taiwanese students. Interactive Learning Environments, 25(3), 329-342. https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2015.1127818
  29. Toytok, E. H., & Gurel, H. (2019). Does project children’s university increase academic self-efficacy in 6th graders? A weak experimental design. Sustainability, 11(3), 778. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030778
  30. Walter, O. (2015). Self-efficacy as an accurate predictor of teaching skills. Journal of Education Research, 9(3), 309-322.
  31. Zulkarnain, F., Zulnaidi, H., Heleni, S., & Syafri, M. (2021). Effects of SSCS teaching model on students’ mathematical problem-solving ability and self-efficacy. International Journal of Instruction, 14(1), 475-488. https://doi.org/10.29333/iji.2021.14128a

LICENSE

Creative Commons License
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.