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Using Student Self Concepts In Placement And Evaluation

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.483.1 - 2.483.9



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Paper Authors

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Sherman K. Ward

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Dan Budny

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William LeBold

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Using Student Self-Concepts in Placement and Evaluation William K. LeBold, Dan D. Budny and Sherman K. Ward Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Abstract For the past two decades, Purdue University has been using student self-reports to provide information that has proved to be invaluable in educational planning and development. These critical student inputs are used to help place students in beginning courses, to identify high-risk and honors students, to evaluate the quality of courses, services and resources, to initiate and evaluate existing and new programs, and to help students make career decisions.

This paper discusses the use of self-reports of beginning engineering students using the Mathematics Science Inventory (MSI). The MSI is used in placing students in beginning mathematics and chemistry courses and to evaluate their perceptions of their achievements in these courses.

Introduction This paper reports on the mathematics and chemistry phases of a comprehensive research effort conducted at Purdue University to measure the background, achievements and self-perceptions of beginning engineering students. Initial efforts to examine the differential computer abilities of engineering, science and technology students demonstrated the feasibility of using self-reports to measure computer literacy, knowledge and competency[1]. Later studies using self-reports have focused on computers[2], self concepts, mathematics[3] and chemistry. Each of these student self-reports studies indicated that cognitive abilities could be reliably and validly measured and were especially valuable in measuring change. Baird[4] in his excellent ETC Research Monograph has pointed out, “self-reports can be believed, they can be made psychometrically adequate and useful, and often are more predictive of later creative accomplishments than grades and test scores”.

The Mathematical Skills Self-Appraisal Survey (MSSAS) was developed at Purdue as part of a comprehensive action-oriented research program to improve placement in beginning courses and to measure student achievement[5]. This research began in 1991 with a pilot study of approximately 400 students enrolled in beginning mathematics courses. Based on the results of this preliminary data, the study was extended to include virtually all the entering engineering students for 1992 and 1993 [6]. In 1993 we expanded our study to examine the potential of using self-reports in chemistry and found that self-reports could be effectively used in placement and in measuring change. In 1994 items from the two inventories were combined into the Mathematics Science Inventory (MSI). This paper summarizes the results of our research on the MSI.

Objectives The research goal was to provide information to students, teachers and counselors that can be used to improve the academic achievement and retention of beginning engineering students. The specific objectives were: 1)to examine the overall and differential impact of beginning mathematics and chemistry courses on students' perceptions of their mathematics and chemistry

Ward, S. K., & Budny, D., & LeBold, W. (1997, June), Using Student Self Concepts In Placement And Evaluation Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6886

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