Self-efficacy in academic reading and writing, authorial identity and learning strategies in first-year students

Maguire, Moira, Everitt Reynolds, Ann and Delahunt, Brid (2013) Self-efficacy in academic reading and writing, authorial identity and learning strategies in first-year students. AISHE-J: The All Ireland Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 5 (1). ISSN 2009-3160


Increasingly evidence indicates that students' engagement with academic writing and their  wider approaches to study are influenced by their  beliefs about themselves as writers.  To provide effective support for academic writing, an understanding of these beliefs, particularly in the first year, is essential.  This study sought to examine beliefs about writing held by first year students in a department of Nursing, midwifery & Health Studies, the relationships between these beliefs and their associations with learning strategies. First- year students were surveyed at 3 points over the first-year.  They completed measures of academic reading and writing self-efficacy, authorial identity, learning strategies and the extent to which they saw themselves as novice writers.  Findings revealed that, typically, our students had fairly positive beliefs about their writing, although there was considerable variability.  Beliefs were associated with student characteristics: mature students and Nursing & Midwifery students reported higher levels of writing self-efficacy,. First-generation students were also significantly more likely to see themselves as novice writers.  There were strong positive correlations between all the measures of writing beliefs and in particular between reading and writing self-efficacies.  Beliefs about writing were positively associated with deep learning, and, to a lesser extent strategic learning.  Only a minority of students could be compared at different points in the year.  Where this was possible the beliefs were stable with the exception that positioning as a novice writer showed a significant increase.  The implications are discussed.

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