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Self Efficacy Concepts And The Evaluation Of Instruction

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.459.1 - 4.459.10

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David R. Haws

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1615

Self-efficacy Concepts and the Evaluation of Instruction David R. Haws Boise State University


As instructors, we need to do more than provide our students with an opportunity to absorb content. We also need to help them to develop the continuing motivation to devote large portions of their time to gaining proficiency—in our own course (a micro-goal), in future courses (a macro-goal), and professionally (a mega-goal). As Bandura1,2 has pointed out, intrinsic motivation is a function of the beliefs we have in our personal efficacy to achieve. A well- prepared final (keyed to a pre-test) can assess the learning of cognitive skills. A similarly referenced performance test can assess the learning of psychomotor skills. But we should also be seeking to achieve and demonstrate learning within the affective domain, including an increase (or at least a maintenance) of student self-efficacy belief. This would require a deeper evaluation, in terms of the four levels (Reaction, Learning, Behavior and Results) proposed by Kirkpatrick3.

This paper will discuss a method of instruction evaluation that develops a course-specific, quantitative expression of change in self-efficacy belief keyed to actual performance on diagnostic and final exams. This system is being developed by the author, and was used to evaluate courses in Soil Mechanics, Strength of Materials, and Reinforced Concrete Design at Boise State University during the 1998 calendar year. For clarity, only examples from the Strength of Materials course will be discussed.


Four levels of assessment are critical to a well-triangulated instructional evaluation. Kirkpatrick3 identifies these levels as Reaction, Learning, Behavior and Results. Reaction evaluations (Level 1) ask students to “react” to instruction by sharing personal perceptions of the learning experience. Learning evaluations (Level 2) try to quantify isolated “learning” as the algebraic difference between the comprehension revealed on post- and pre-tests. Behavior evaluations (Level 3) reveal the affective response to learning within the context of performance—whether the learner modified personal “behavior” following instruction, by either using or enhancing (as opposed to simply ignoring) the newly acquired skills and knowledge. Finally, Results evaluations (Level 4) seek to determine the extent to which those behavior modifications targeted by the learning experience have “resulted” in the fundamental goals they were designed to achieve.

These four levels of evaluation represent a hierarchy of complexity ranging from micro-level interests, to macro and mega-level concerns4. All four levels are meaningful and need to be included in any systemic, systematic approach. Results evaluations (Level 4) are something new in engineering education, entering largely through Engineering Criteria 2000. Reaction

Haws, D. R. (1999, June), Self Efficacy Concepts And The Evaluation Of Instruction Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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