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Title: I believe I can write : exploring the impact of writing workshops on self-efficacy beliefs of Foundation degree students
Author: Hood, Sonia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 8301
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2019
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Developing academic writing skills is crucial to degree outcomes but can be specifically challenging for widening participation students. Research suggests that writing support offered to university students should also attend to the affective dimensions of writing, particularly self-efficacy beliefs. This thesis explores the benefits of a writing workshop designed to foster self-efficacy beliefs with the broader aim of contributing to understanding of widening participation into Higher Education. The thesis reports on the impact of a writing self-efficacy intervention, using a quasi-experimental design, to assess the effectiveness of three writing workshop conditions. Forty-two students, following a Foundation degree programme, completed writing self-efficacy questionnaires at three time intervals. Correlational analysis investigated the relationship between assignment grades, academic goals and performance self-efficacy, and further statistical analysis assessed the impact of the different workshop conditions. In addition, qualitative research, in the form of eight semistructured interviews, explored the relative influence of each of the four sources of self-efficacy (mastery experience, vicarious experience, social persuasion and physiological and emotional state) on writing beliefs. The relationship observed between self-efficacy for writing, performance self-efficacy and academic goals evidenced the importance of self-efficacy beliefs to academic attainment. Crucially, a lack of correlation was observed between self-efficacy for writing and writing attainment, with students interpreting their grades inconsistently. While students within the writing self-efficacy workshops experienced an uplift in self-efficacy for writing scores, this was not maintained over time. Mastery and vicarious experiences were fundamental in fostering self-efficacy beliefs, as was having an internal academic locus of control. The research contributes new insights into the importance of an internal locus of control to longterm increases in self-efficacy beliefs. In addition, it contributes to the evidence that it is the student's interpretation of their grade, not the grade itself, which impacts on their self-efficacy beliefs. This not only furthers our knowledge on the sources of self-efficacy beliefs but has implications for those supporting students to become more efficacious, particular with regards their academic writing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral