Assessing approaches to learning, attributional beliefs and strategic learning in specific subject domains: Scales development

Year: 1994

Author: Fairbairn, Hedy, Moore, Phillip J., Chan, Lorna K.S.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports on Study One of a three-year project examining the changing pattern of the influence of motivation and strategic learning on school achievement across years of schooling from both a cross- sectional and longitudinal perspective. One of the specific aims of the project involves the examination of motivational orientations and strategic learning in specific subject domains and their relationship with generalised global measures of these constructs.

In this first study, three assessment scales used as global measures in previous research were refined and new scales were constructed for use in the specific subject domains of English, mathematics and social sciences. These include three sets of four scales (generalised context and three subject domains), each set developed from Biggs' (1987) Learning Processes Questionnaire, Chan's (1994) Causal Attribution Scale, and Youlden and Chan's (1994) Self-Regulated Learning Strategies Scale. Each scale includes a junior and senior version for primary and high school students. The scales were trial- tested using 148 students from Years 5 and 6, and 205 students from Years 7 to 9. The construction of the scales in mathematics is reported in some detail as illustration of the methodology. Further, reliability estimates and factor analysis results are reported.