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The Gains in Effort Belief and Self-Competence in Mastery-Based Grading in Active General Chemistry 1 classrooms.

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Nick Jeffery

Additional Presenters:
Grant Hendrickson, Christian Moody
Due to the pressure of having one opportunity to show proficiency on assessments, some students struggle in science classes despite knowing the material they are taught. This pressure discourages students, can promote academic failure, and ultimately result in students leaving the sciences. Mastery-Based Grading (MBG), a nontraditional grading approach, provides multiple opportunities for students to show mastery of the course learning objectives. Hypothesis: MBG leads to increased student self-competence and effort belief compared to non-MBG courses. This hypothesis is based on self-determination (Deci & Ryan and others, 1991) and expectancy-value theory (Eccles, 1983). At a private midwestern college, general chemistry I students in an active learning, MBG course (53 students) and a lecture course (48 students) with a traditional grading policy were surveyed. Reflection questions based on the impact of MBG on students' self-competence and effort belief were administered. Surveys were given during week 2 and week 14 of the semester. Using anonymized data, a coding scheme was developed, and the data was coded to consensus. The preliminary data suggest that students perceived professor and tutor assistance to be contributors to their success in the course. Students also recognized MBG components such as test retakes and test analysis as valuable tools for improving their grades. MBG has the potential to increase students' self-competence and effort belief which promotes student retention and success in difficult science courses and majors. Deci, E. L., Vallerand, R.J., Pelletier, L.G. & Ryan, R.M. (1991) "Motivation and education: The self-determination perspective" Educational Psychologist, 26, 325-346. Eccles (Parsons), J. (1983) "Expectancies, values, and academic behavior." in J.T. Spence (Ed.) Achievement and Achievement Motivation. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.
University / Institution: Utah Valley University
Type: Poster
Format: In Person
Presentation #B76
SESSION B (10:45AM-12:15PM)
Area of Research: Science & Technology
Faculty Mentor: Heather Wilson-ashworth