Self-Efficacy and Attitudes Study


Attitudes towards physics and self-efficacy, the confidence in one’s ability to perform a task, have been identified as strong predictors of success in physics. We hope to learn about the impact that a reformed curriculum designed for life-science students and taught in a team-based learning style has on these important measures. We hope that these data will indicate directions for further improvements to the course. By using measures of attitude and self-efficacy common throughout the physics education research community, we will be able to compare with similar efforts throughout the United States. Finally, by looking at breakdowns by various demographic categories we hope to learn about issues of equity in our curriculum.

What impact does a team-based learning format have on the self-efficacy and attitudes towards introductory physics of life-science (IPLS) students? How does the team-based learning format compare to other reformed curricula, such as modelling instruction and SCALE-UP, for this population? Is the TBL IPLS course at UMass actively working to combat known gender-based social pressures within the physical sciences?

The research will use a blind-analysis paradigm using the Fall 2017 data for development and the Fall 2018 data for research.

First Self-Efficacy Results

The first results, focused on self-efficacy, have been submitted to Physical Review PER! The pre-print is on the arXiv at