Self-Efficacy and Online Learning for Expelled Students
Expelled students in the Lafayette Public School System are assigned to
the Virtual Learning Program, an online program, which they complete at home under parental supervision. Students do not have the assistance of teachers or tutors. There are no monitors, teachers, or tutors available for any of their work.
With the already high rate of expulsions increasing, Virtual Learning may be a viable option for school districts such as Lafayette. The program is inexpensive in comparison to the traditional onsite high school. Students enjoy it and appear to do well in the program. Parents approve of the program. There are winners all around. Because so much of students’ progress is based on their own persistence, the concept of self-efficacy becomes complex, nuanced and essential.
This study is based on the theoretical foundation developed by Bandura (1994) for the
measurement of self-efficacy. The average level of self-efficacy for expelled students is 7.32 on a 9 point scale. Students perceive that they are able to motivate themselves and show persistence in their online classes. Students were assigned to all of the same classes that they would be taking if they were not expelled. The grades earned in Virtual Learning are recognized by the State of Louisiana and become official. The average grade for expelled students is 72 points. On average students are passing their classes. Each student was associated with two variables, self-efficacy score and average grade. A least squares linear regression model established that self-efficacy scores could significantly predict average grades earned in online classes. Self-efficacy scores could be used to explain 38.5% of the variability in average grades. ANOVA results show
F(1, 17) = 10.653, p< .0005 which provides a statistically significant prediction of the average grades based on the self-efficacy scores. The regression equation predicts (average grades) = 22.095 + 6.843 * (self-efficacy scores). This study gives evidence to the fact that expelled students can and do learn when they are provided with an environment in which distractions are minimized. Furthermore, these scores can be used to predict academic success in the online courses. Students are pleased with the courses. They like the fact that they are not bullied and that they have few distractions. They also like the fact that they can repeat work and work at their own pace with no one to “fuss” at them.
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