Browsing by Subject "optimism"

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  • Silvanto, Silja (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    The aim of this study was to look into university students' expectancies and achievement strategies regarding their domain studies and how they develop through the first three years of academic studies. The study also examines the differences of the development of these components between five academic domains. According to previously formulated theories (Carver, Scheier & Segerstrom, 2010; Eccles & Wigfield, 1983; Nurmi & Salmela-Aro, 1998), these aspects play an important role in motivation and learning in academic related context. In this study the three year trajectories were especially of interest, as they might offer some new insight and also present ideas for further research regarding motivation and success in academic education. This study started as a part of RYM Indoor Environment Program (TEKES, 2011-2015) and continued as a part of Mind the Gap Between Digital Natives and Educational Practices -project (Academy of Finland's Human Mind program, 2013-2016). The participants in the first year were 498 students from two different universities. In the three-year follow-up, 215 of these students continued to participate. Five disciplines were presented in the study; teacher education, chemistry, law, theology and engineering. The study was conducted as a quantitative research and the data was collected by a self-report questionnaire over three years' period and by accumulation of credits retrieved from universities' records. The five studied disciplines seem to start their studies in equivalent position – the first academic year appears to be perceived as positive and valuable, with low levels of task-avoidance, although some differences were found in domain value. When proceeding to second academic year, some differing trajectories between disciplines were recognized. While some domains' students seem to value their studies, other domains' students showed to decrease in the level of perceived domain value. Positively, optimism proved to increase in all disciplines between first and second year as well as between second and third year. However, task-avoidance, which has been found to predict poor academic performance and low satisfaction (Nurmi et al. 2003), showed to remain stable throughout the three years. Educational implications of these trajectories are also discussed in this study.