Research Output

Development of a Self-Efficacy Instrument for First Year Computing Students

  This study addresses the high non-continuation average for Computer Science of 9.5% amongst young entrants (HESA, 2015). This seems to indicate low resilience during the key transition to first year. The majority of studies characterise low resilience as inability to recover from extreme adverse situations, but this study proposes that extreme adversity does not adequately explain the high drop-out amongst Computer Science students. It explores the possibility that a combination of relatively trivial, everyday situations and occurrences during the transitional first year can be exacerbated by coincidence, from which some students do not recover.

In order to investigate whether level of self-efficacy is a better indicator of persistence than entrance qualifications, a new 20-item domain-specific self-efficacy instrument has been developed, derived from “routine but troublesome events and situations that students might face during their first year of study” contributed by 12 Computing students at the end of their own first year.
The instrument was administered to the Computing cohort entering in September 2015, and 156 responses received. The instrument will be re-administered to the year group in April 2016.

This talk outlines the instrument’s development, and report initial findings from exploring relationships between students’ first and second self-efficacy results and their first year academic achievement.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    09 June 2016

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Bhardwaj, J. (2016, June). Development of a Self-Efficacy Instrument for First Year Computing Students. Presented at QAA13th Enhancement Themes conference: Student Transitions, Edinburgh


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