LRNT 622 Theoretical Framework-Self Efficay

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I think the self efficacy theory of motivation (Bandura, 1977) fits as a grounding base for my research because I am looking at how the digital learning environment may be used to assist students in achieving success on an objective structured clinical evaluation (OSCE). Currently, I seem to be focused on success primarily being reduced anxiety and passing the OSCE, though have not fully fleshed this out what “success” means yet. OSCEs are commonly used in healthcare education and are seen as reliable and valid ways of assessing a healthcare students’ competency to perform in a real-life clinical environment (Harden et al.,1975; Massey et al., 2017). However, they are often viewed by students as very stressful, (Kalantari et al., 2017; Marshall & Jones, 2003) which may impact their performance.

 Self Efficacy is the belief in one’s own ability to achieve a certain goal/task. High self efficacy is when a person believes they are capable of successfully meeting a goal or completing a task (Bandura, 1977). High self efficacy is thought to be an indicator that a person will be successful in completing a goal/task (Transforming Education, 1977). In my context the goal/task would be passing an OSCE. According to Bandura (1977), there are four main factors that influence an individual’s self efficacy:

  • Performance accomplishments or mastery experiences- how successful a person has been on a similar task in the past determines self efficacy (high or low). For example, if a student has been successful on an OSCE previously, they will be more likely to have high self efficacy regarding their future performance. A student that was not successful previously will be anxious and have low self efficacy. The student with low self efficacy may possibly have decided that they will fail, resulting in a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Vicarious experience-students who have observed students be successful on OSCE, may be more confident in their own performance (high self efficacy).
  • Verbal Persuasion-students self efficacy can be affected when receiving feedback from others. Positive feedback tends to lead to higher self efficacy with negative feedback leading to lower self efficacy.
  • Physiological States/Emotional Arousal-Feelings of nervousness when performing a challenging task can be interpreted positively as excitement (high self efficacy) or negatively as anxiety (low self efficacy) (Bandura, 1977, Transforming Education, 2017).

The self efficacy theory, including the four factors of performance accomplishment, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion and emotional arousal will be a good framework on my research on if creating a digital resource may help with students issues around performance anxiety on OSCEs.



Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review84(2), 191-215.

Harden, R., Stevenson, M., Downie, W., Wilson, G. (1975). Assessment of clinical competence using objective structured examination. British Medical Journal, 1, 447-451.

Kalantari, M., Zadeh, N. L., Agahi, R. H., Navabi, N., Hashemipour, M. A., & Nassab, A. H. G. (2017). Measurement of the levels anxiety, self-perception of preparation and expectations for success using an objective structured clinical examination, a written examination, and a preclinical preparation test in Kerman dental students. Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 6, 28.

Marshall, F., & Harris, T. (2000). A study of the role of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) in assessing clinical competence in third year student radiographers. Radiography 6(2). 117-122.

Massey, D., Byrne, J., Higgins, N., Weeks, B., Shuker, M. A., Coyne, E., Mitchell, M., & Johnston, A. N. B. (2017). Enhancing OSCE preparedness with video exemplars in undergraduate nursing students. A mixed method study. Nurse Education Today, 54, 56-61.

Transforming Education. (2017, June 6). Importance of Self-Efficacy. [Video]. Youtube.

3 thoughts on “LRNT 622 Theoretical Framework-Self Efficay

  1. Excellent post Shelley and an excellent choice of TF. You’ve done a great job describing what self-efficacy is and an equally great job outlining why this is a right choice for your research. As you continue to move this forward there may be the opportunity to see whether/how this concept has evolved.

    Great work

  2. Great write-up Shelley,
    I am very interested in what you come up with here. I’m wondering if you reviewed Active Learning Theory as well? Remember those 4 e’s we worked on in 526? We discussed the importance of digital learning environments that promote active learning and I would think formative assessments that match the “real activity” would help students succeed?
    I’m about to test that theory in the classroom tomorrow! Remember all those PhET articles I collected for us during 526? Well, I decided to have students practice building circuits using the PhET digital simulation and measure current and voltage there first before the real lab tomorrow. Twenty years ago, I used to tell them not to hook up the voltmeter in series (but we’d always end up losing a few analog voltmeters due to grade 9s not following directions). Let’s see if they will remember tomorrow, given that they had some active digital learning practice! mmmm….

    1. Thanks Wendy! Active learning certainly could have been another TF to explore, but I seem to be really narrowing down on the anxiety students experience in these assessments (performance anxiety type) so self efficacy seemed like the best fit. Active learning is a framework I use a lot in practice since there is so much practical hands on learning in post secondary healthcare. There will likely be a connection to matching formative assessment to authentic experiences somewhere in my end product.

      I love how you are going to use digital simulation for the circuits. Hopefully you won’t lose anymore voltmeters!

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