Personal Learning Space is not about where we learn, but how we learn personally. How we stay motivated, and how our self efficacy comes into play when self direction is needed through our personal learning. Pew says, “low achievers tend to attribute to lack of ability and success to luck. High achievers tend to attribute failure to a lack of effort and success to effort and ability.” (Pew, 2007) Motivation that demands self efficacy and self direction include personal recognition such as pleasing a loved one, avoiding shame such as not failing a class, and goal setting such as receiving a promotion or saving money. (Pew, 2007)
An important part of self efficacy is to always be reminded of long-term goals and to bounce back fro disappointments. (Pappas, 2010) Students with self efficacy will view challenging problems as tasks to be conquered and recover quickly from setbacks. (Cherry, 2017) While, students with weak self efficacy sills will believe that difficult tasks, or assessments, are beyond their level of attainments and focus on personal failures. These types of beliefs start in early childhood as they start their education career from the first years of schooling. According to Bandung, there are four levels of self efficacy (Cherry, 2017)
- Mastery experiences (doing something right)
- Social modelling (witnessing other people doing something right)
- Social persuasion (persuading someone they have the skills to do something right)
- Psychological responses (emotional reactions and responses to situations)
These ideas of self efficacy and self direction have been proven, in not only academic research, but in secondary and tertiary education experience. I know that is the case for myself, and do not doubt it would have been the case for readers of this article. Too often, high school and university students fall into a ‘security blanket’ of “I’m not smart enough, I don’t have the skills, I can’t fit being a great student in with my schedule etc.” Zimmerman & Kulkiwoch’s article Online Learning Self-Efficacy in Students with and without Online Learning Experience shows research on how self efficacy comes into place with students, and how it helps students who have had no online learning experience. The most important point that Zimmerman and Kulkiwoch make is that self efficacy is task specific – as it is not what they can do, but what they believe they are capable of doing. (Zimmerman & Kulikowich, 2016)
Cherry, K. (2017). Self Efficacy: Why Believing in Yourself Matters. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-self-efficacy-2795954
Pappas, P. (2010). The Reflective Student: A Taxonomy of Reflection (Part 2). Retrieved from http://peterpappas.com/2010/01/reflective-student-taxonomy-reflection-.html
Pew, S. (2007). Andragogy and Pedagogy as Foundational Theory for Student Motivation in Higher Education. Student Motivation, 2, 17-18.
Zimmerman, W. and Kulikowich, J. (2016). Online Learning Self-Efficacy in Students With and Without Online Learning Experience. American Journal of Distance Education, 30(3), pp.180-191.