Advertisement

Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 696–708 | Cite as

Scientific Inquiry Self-Efficacy and Computer Game Self-Efficacy as Predictors and Outcomes of Middle School Boys’ and Girls’ Performance in a Science Assessment in a Virtual Environment

  • Bradley W. Bergey
  • Diane Jass Ketelhut
  • Senfeng Liang
  • Uma Natarajan
  • Melissa Karakus
Article

Abstract

The primary aim of the study was to examine whether performance on a science assessment in an immersive virtual environment was associated with changes in scientific inquiry self-efficacy. A secondary aim of the study was to examine whether performance on the science assessment was equitable for students with different levels of computer game self-efficacy, including whether gender differences were observed. We examined 407 middle school students’ scientific inquiry self-efficacy and computer game self-efficacy before and after completing a computer game-like assessment about a science mystery. Results from path analyses indicated that prior scientific inquiry self-efficacy predicted achievement on end-of-module questions, which in turn predicted change in scientific inquiry self-efficacy. By contrast, computer game self-efficacy was neither predictive of nor predicted by performance on the science assessment. While boys had higher computer game self-efficacy compared to girls, multi-group analyses suggested only minor gender differences in how efficacy beliefs related to performance. Implications for assessments with virtual environments and future design and research are discussed.

Keywords

Self-efficacy Scientific inquiry Computer games Immersive virtual environments Gender differences 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the contributions of Brian Nelson, Catherine Schifter, Martha Caray, Mandy Kirchgessner, Chris Teufel, Angela Shelton, and other SAVE Science team members for their contributions to the larger project of which this study is a part. We also are grateful to Jennifer Cromley and anonymous reviewers for their helpful feedback on previous versions of this manuscript. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0822308.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

References

  1. Bandura A (1977) Self-efficacy: towards a unifying theory of behavioural change. Psychol Rev 84:191–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bandura A (1986) Social foundations of thought and action: a social cognitive theory. Prentice Hall, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar
  3. Bandura A (1997) Self-efficacy: the exercise of control. Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Bandura A, Barbaranelli C, Caprara GV, Pastorelli C (2001) Self-efficacy beliefs as shapers of children’s aspirations and career trajectories. Child Dev 72(1):187–206. doi: 10.1111/1467-8624.00273 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bickel R (2007) Multilevel analysis for applied research: it’s just regression!. Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Britner SL, Pajares F (2001) Self-efficacy beliefs, motivation, race, and gender in middle school science. J Women Minor Sci Eng 7:271–285Google Scholar
  7. Britner SL, Pajares F (2006) Sources of science self-efficacy beliefs of middle school students. J Res Sci Teach 43(5):485–499. doi: 10.1002/tea.20131 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Buchman DD, Funk JB (1996) Video and computer games in the ’90 s: children’s time commitment and game preference. Child Today 24:12–15Google Scholar
  9. Bussey K, Bandura A (1999) Social cognitive theory of gender development and differentiation. Psychol Rev 106(4):676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen JA, Usher EL (2013) Profiles of the sources of science self-efficacy. Learn Individ Differ 24:11–21. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2012.11.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chen JA, Metcalf SJ, Tutwiler MS (2014) Motivation and beliefs about the nature of scientific knowledge within an immersive virtual ecosystems environment. Contemp Educ Psychol 39:112–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clark DB, Nelson B, Sengupta P, D’Angelo CM (2009) Rethinking science learning through digital games and simulations: genres, examples, and evidence. Invited topic paper in the proceedings of the national academies board on science education workshop on learning science: computer games, simulations, and education, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  13. Clarke-Midura J, Dede C (2010) Assessment, technology, and change. J Res Technol Educ 42(3):309–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eccles JS, Adler T, Futterman R, Goff SB, Kaczala C, Meece JL et al (1983) Expectations, values, and academic behaviors. In: Spence JT (ed) Achievement and achievement motivation. Freeman, San Francisco, pp 75–146Google Scholar
  15. Habgood MPJ, Ainsworth SE (2011) Motivating children to learn effectively: exploring the value of intrinsic integration in educational games. J Learn Sci 20(2):169–206. doi: 10.1080/10508406.2010.508029 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hartmann T, Klimmt C (2006) Gender and computer games: exploring females’ dislikes. J Comput Med Commun 11(4):910–931CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hill C, Corbett C, St. Rose A (2010) Why so few? Women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. American Association of University Women, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  18. Johnson RD, Hornik S, Salas E (2008) An empirical examination of factors contributing to the creation of successful e-learning environments. Int J Hum Comput Stud 66(5):356–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ketelhut DJ (2007) The impact of student self-efficacy on scientific inquiry skills: an exploratory investigation in River City, a multi-user virtual environment. J Sci Educ Technol 16(1):99–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ketelhut DJ (2010) Assessing gaming, computer and scientific inquiry self-efficacy in a virtual environment. In: Annetta LA, Bronack S (eds) Serious educational game assessment: practical methods and models for educational games, simulations and virtual worlds. Sense Publishers, Amsterdam, pp 1–18Google Scholar
  21. Ketelhut DJ, Nelson B, Schifter C, Kim Y (2013) Improving science assessments by situating them in a virtual environment. Educ Sci 3(2):172–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kıran D, Sungur S (2012) Middle school students’ science self-efficacy and its sources: examination of gender difference. J Sci Educ Technol 21(5):619–630. doi: 10.1007/s10956-011-9351-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Klimt C, Hartmann T (2006) Effectance, self-efficacy, and the motivation to play video games. In: Vorderer P, Bryant J (eds) Playing video games: motives, responses, and consequences. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, pp 153–168Google Scholar
  24. Kline RB (2010) Principles and practice of structural equation modeling, 3rd edn. Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. Lapan RT, Shaughnessy P, Boggs K (1996) Efficacy expectations and vocational interests as mediators between sex and choice of math/science college majors: a longitudinal study. J Vocat Behav 49(3):277–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lepper MR, Malone TW (1987) Intrinsic motivation and instructional effectiveness in computer-based education. In: Snow RE, Farr MJ (eds) Aptitude, learning and instruction: III. Conative and affective process analyses. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, pp 255–286Google Scholar
  27. Lucas K, Sherry JL (2004) Sex differences in video game play: a communication-based explanation. Commun Res 31(5):499–523. doi: 10.1177/0093650204267930 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Meluso A, Zheng M, Spires HA, Lester J (2012) Enhancing 5th graders’ science content knowledge and self-efficacy through game-based learning. Comput Educ 59(2):497–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mikropoulos TA, Natsis A (2011) Educational virtual environments: a ten-year review of empirical research (1999–2009). Comput Educ 56(3):769–780. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2010.10.020 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Multon K, Brown S, Lent R (1991) Relation of self-efficacy beliefs to academic outcomes: a meta-analytic investigation. J couns psychol 38(1):30–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Muthén LK, Muthén BO (2012) Statistical analysis with latent variables. Mplus user’s guide: 7th edition (Version 7.0), Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  32. National Research Council (2005) America’s lab report: investigations in high school science. National Academies Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  33. Nelson BC, Erlandson BE (2012) Design for learning in virtual worlds. Interdisciplinary approaches to educational technology. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  34. Nelson BC, Ketelhut DJ (2008) Exploring embedded guidance and self-efficacy in educational multi-user virtual environments. Int J Comput Support Collab Learn 3(4):413–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nietfeld JL, Shores LR, Hoffmann KF (2014) Self-regulation and gender within a game-based learning environment. J Educ Psychol 106(4):961–973. doi: 10.1037/a0037116 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. O’Reilly T, McNamara DS (2007) The impact of science knowledge, reading skill, and reading strategy knowledge on more traditional “high-stakes” measures of high school students’ science achievement. Am Educ Res J 44(1):161–196. doi: 10.3102/0002831206298171 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Orvis KA, Horn DB, Belanich J (2008) The roles of task difficulty and prior videogame experience on performance and motivation in instructional videogames. Comput Hum Behav 24(5):2415–2433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pajares F (1996) Self-efficacy beliefs in academic settings. Rev Educ Res 66:543–578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pajares F (2002) Gender and perceived self-efficacy in self-regulated learning. Theory Pract 41(2):116–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pavlas D, Heyne K, Bedwell W, Lazzara E, Salas E (2010) Game-based learning: the impact of flow state and videogame self-efficacy. In: Proceedings of the human factors and ergonomics society annual meeting Vol. 54, No. 28, SAGE Publications, Beverley Hills, 2398–2402Google Scholar
  41. Schunk DH (1983) Ability versus effort attributional feedback: differential effects on self-efficacy and achievement. J Educ Psychol 75:848–856CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schunk DH, Meece JL (2005) Self-efficacy development in adolescence. In: Pajares F, Urdan T (eds) Self-efficacy beliefs of adolescents. Information Age, Charlotte, pp 71–96Google Scholar
  43. Stajovic AD, Luthans F (1998) Self-efficacy and work-related performance: a meta analysis. Psychol Bull 124:240–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tai R, Liu C, Maltese A, Fan X (2006) Career choice: enhanced: planning early for careers in science. Science 312(5777):1143–1144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Terlecki M, Brown J, Harner-Steciw L, Irvin-Hannum J, Marchetto-Ryan N, Ruhl L, Wiggins J (2011) Sex differences and similarities in video game experience, preferences, and self-efficacy: implications for the gaming industry. Curr Psychol 30(1):22–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Timms M, Clements D, Gobert J, Ketelhut DJ, Lester J, Reese D, Wiebe E (2012) New measurement paradigms. Report by the new measurement paradigms group prepared for the community for advancing discovery research in education. Retrieved from http://cadrek12.org/sites/default/files/NMP%20Report%20041412_0.pdf
  47. Turkle S (1995) Life on the screen: identity in the age of the internet. Simon and Schuster, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  48. Usher EL, Pajares F (2008) Sources of self-efficacy in school: critical review of the literature and future directions. Rev Educ Res 78(4):751–796. doi: 10.3102/0034654308321456 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wang MNM, Wu KC, Iris Huang TC (2007) A study on the factors affecting biological concept learning of junior high school students. Int J Sci Educ 29(4):453–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Weiner B (2005) Motivation from an attribution perspective and the social psychology of perceived competence. In: Elliot AJ, Dweck CS (eds) Handbook of Competence and Motivation. Guilford Press, New York, pp 73–84Google Scholar
  51. Wigfield A, Eccles JS (2002) The development of competence beliefs, expectancies for success, and achievement values from childhood through adolescence. In: Wigfield A, Eccles JS (eds) Development of achievement motivation. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 91–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Woodruff SL, Cashman JF (1993) Task, domain, and general efficacy: a reexamination of the self-efficacy scale. Psychol Rep 72:423–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wouters P, van Nimwegen C, van Oostendorp H, van der Spek ED (2013) A meta-analysis of the cognitive and motivational effects of serious games. J Educ Psychol 105(2):249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wright JC, Huston AC, Vandewater EA, Bickham DS, Scantlin RM, Kotler JA, Finkelstein J (2001) American children’s use of electronic media in 1997: a national survey. J Appl Dev Psychol 22(1):31–47. doi: 10.1016/S0193-3973(00)00064-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zimmerman BJ (2000) Self-Efficacy: an essential motive to learn. Contemp Educ Psychol 25(1):82–91. doi: 10.1006/ceps.1999.1016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bradley W. Bergey
    • 1
  • Diane Jass Ketelhut
    • 2
  • Senfeng Liang
    • 3
  • Uma Natarajan
    • 4
  • Melissa Karakus
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Psychological and NeuroscienceDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Teaching and Learning, Policy and LeadershipUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.University of Wisconsin—Stevens PointStevens PointUSA
  4. 4.Education Development CenterWalthamUSA
  5. 5.Department of Psychological, Organizational and Leadership StudiesTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations