June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.49.1 - 23.49.16
A GIS Based Laboratory in Transportation Engineering: Self-Efficacy as a Predictor of Students’ LearningThe focus of this paper is to identify and validate an exploratory model that links students’performance in a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) laboratory based learning system tomajor predictors based on students’ perceptions and beliefs. Structural equation modelingapproach was adopted in this study. The instructional process in the laboratory was similar to ashort-term training course, therefore, first, academic self-efficacy and its determinants, perceivedmotivation and perceived task complexity, were examined as significant predictors of students’performance outcomes. Second, the interest was to determine if the major change in theinstructional process during the last two semesters of the laboratory, the link of the laboratorytopic to the semester long highway design project, produced significant difference in students’self-efficacy.The results indicate that both perceived motivation and perceived complexity are significantpredictors for students’ academic self-efficacy. Higher self-efficacy produced the desiredoutcome as a result of better alignment of the complexity of the laboratory activity with the levelof expectations of students possibly based on their experiences in other similar courses. Higherself-efficacy typically results in higher chances that students will successfully engage in similarfuture activities. This outcome is of great interest as the GIS laboratory was set as a distributedlearning activity implemented as stand-alone laboratories in several courses throughout the civilengineering curricula. The model confirms that the instructional design interventions over thesemester increased students’ motivation. The data used for the analyses were obtained from alongitudinal study of student performance in a GIS laboratory over four semesters.
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