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Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 29 (2) Jun. 2021 / JSSH-6846-2020


Development of the Self-efficacy Beliefs of Engineering Undergraduates Preparing for an International Contest

Cheng-Hu Chen and Nga Thi Tuyet Phan

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 29, Issue 2, June 2021


Keywords: Contest, engineering, qualitative, self-efficacy

Published on: 28 June 2021

This study was designed to understand the everyday experiences influencing the self-efficacy of a group of engineering students preparing for the TECO Green Tech International Contest. It also aimed to understand whether participants’ self-efficacy levels fluctuated under the influences of these experiences. The paper takes a qualitative approach using focus group discussion, journaling, and one-to-one interviews as data gathering tools. Our study confirms previous theoretical assumptions and empirical findings that four sources of self-efficacy information are related to self-efficacy beliefs. In addition, the study also supports the role of collective efficacy and context in influencing engineering students’ self-efficacy. During the first two weeks of the contest preparation period, participating students experienced a low sense of self-efficacy under the influence of perceived lack of knowledge and skills, contest pressure, doubt of team ability, and negative feelings. A couple of weeks prior to the contest, as the students draw inspiration from a growth in knowledge and skills, verbal feedback, and positive feelings, their self-efficacy was enhanced. Comparison with team members and trust in the advisor’s credibility also strengthened their sense of self-efficacy. This research has the potential to inform the development of engineering undergraduates’ contest self-efficacy.

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