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Social Cognitive Theory Essay

1272 words - 6 pages

Social Cognitive Theory

Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory is the framework for learning, based on the relationship between behavior, personal factors, and factors in the environment (Institute for Dynamic Educational Advance). Factors for social cognitive theory are based on a social or physical environment. Social environments encompass friends, colleagues, and family. Physical environments could run the gamut as vast as a particular food, securing a room size, room temperature, consideration of classroom setting, or an e-learning classroom online. The social cognitive theory explains the process functions of humans and aspects of emotional behaviors. In understanding these ...view middle of the document...

Gunter (2007) conducted a study, based on Bandura’s social cognitive theory, to explore how the use of immediacy can improve cognitive learning while reducing student attrition. The study consisted of teachers participating in a 14-week online professional technology course. The studies outcome showed how various interactions using instructional immediacy behaviors increased student motivation. Consistent with the social cognitive theory, online status incentives, such as frequent feedback, and social interaction were incorporated into the study to build a sense of community among the teachers, thereby resulting in improved self-efficacy of the students.
Self-Efficacy and Achievement in Online Mathematics
Academically, mathematics was one of the first subjects to foster computer- based learning (Spence, 2007). Recent years have focused on e-learning in mathematics and its courseware effectiveness. Models such as the teleological theory focus on the group, whereas the social cognitive theory focuses on the individual. Student self-efficacy–how a student thinks about his academic abilities – has gained in research attention and is being used to predict academic achievement in mathematics. Linked to self-concept, high achievement goals, and optimism, self-efficacy is used by confident individuals to help them persist against obstacles by using coping mechanisms and managing their learning. Another research using the social cognitive theory to examine online mathematics (Spence, 2007), used 88 students from a traditional environment and another 76 students from an online environment. Significant differences were found among the traditional and online classroom students, including mathematics grades, age, engagement, and achievement. If the age difference was controlled, all other factors remained at significant differences. The researchers concluded that a phenomenon of lowered belief systems existed among the online students, causing them to score lower. The researchers cited the students may have chosen online studies because of their lack of ability and were too embarrassed to reveal that to an instructor in a traditional classroom, so chose the online class method. Students with higher self-efficacy showed greater task engagement. Using a six point Likert scale (Spence, 2007), the students were asked questions such as “How well can you motivate yourself to do mathematics homework?” Discoveries from the study revealed that mathematics self-efficacy contributed greatly to mathematic achievement. The study showed an imbalance in gender selection, which may have affected the outcome of the study. Of the 167 sample participants, only 37 were men.
Student Satisfaction in e-learning
Although research shows an increase in e-learning, educators continue to search for alternate delivery solutions because of the drawbacks experienced by students. E-learners may experience isolation due to lack of peer contact, lack of social...

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