|dc.description.abstract||This study was aimed at determining: (i) relationships among goal expectancy,
self-efficacy, attributions and attributional dimensions, (ii) whether motivational
patterns, and (iii) attributional styles, differ in accordance with conceptual levels
of courses, and (iv) whether attributional style and self-efficacy influence
academic achievement in courses differing in conceptual level.
A literature study was undertaken to examine the nature of goals, attributions
and self-efficacy, and their influence on learning and academic achievement. It
was found that the approach to learning and motivation determines whatever
influence the variables have. •with a product-oriented approach students
.concentrate on learning content, and evaluate their performance according to
academic achievement and social approval. A process-oriented approach, which
is more conducive to learning, develops metacognitive skills, necessary for self-evaluation
of learning performance. Through a Christian evaluation, the
conclusion was reached that the process-oriented approach to motivation was
acceptable, given that self-evaluation was based on a Christian anthropology.
Perceptions of the locus, stability and control of attributions (i.e. attributional
style or goal orientation) were found to influence motivation more than choice of
attribution. Level of self-efficacy, however, mediates the influence of goal
orientation on course type and academic achievement. Students with high self-efficacy
choose challenging courses and persevere, whether they have learning or
performance orientations. Students with low self-efficacy and performance
orientations choose average-to-easy courses, to avoid unfavourable external
evaluation and loss of self-esteem. A learning orientation is more positive than a
performance orientation, as competence, and not academic achievement or
social approval, is emphasised.
With a process-oriented approach students thus learn cognitive and
metacognitive skills necessary for self-evaluation, and develop a learning
orientation. As perceptions of self-efficacy are based on competence, students
become motivated to learn and choose challenging courses.
Students enrolled for first-year courses in history and physical education (less
conceptual courses) and mathematics and private law•(highly conceptual)||en_US