DEFINING PATTERNS OF STUDENT AFFECT IN INTRODUCTORY GEOLOGY COURSES ACROSS 4,000 STUDENTS, 130 CLASSES, 36 INSTRUCTORS, AND 13 INSTITUTIONS
Confirmatory factor analysis of data from 3140 students from Fall 2008-Spring 2012 was used to develop a parsimonious model for student affect from the 15 original MSLQ subscales. This final model consists of a three factor structure that aligns with findings in the educational psychology literature. The value factor contains the MSLQ subscales of intrinsic goal orientation and task value, the expectancy factor consists of self-efficacy and control of learning beliefs, and the self-regulation factor of effort regulation and meta-cognitive regulation.
Data from over 4000 students in over 130 class sections surveyed Fall 2008- Spring 2013 was evaluated to identify shifts in affect over a semester of introductory physical geology using the model described above. There is a dominant pattern of decline at the classroom level in the aforementioned factors of value, expectancy, and self-regulation over the course of the semester regardless of classroom set up, teaching styles, or institution. The prevalent pattern of decline in student affect over the course of a single semester, regardless of the classroom environment, is cause for concern as there are documented links between the student affect and learning. These surprising findings stress the need of educators to consider more than the cognitive domain in the introductory geology classroom to promote learning and retention.