In fall 2016, Skyfactor piloted two sets of questions related to student interest in taking and student confidence they could do well in math, public speaking, science, and writing courses. Early information related to course interest and confidence can help to identify potential issues, particularly related to major selection and academic performance. For example, a pre-nursing student who is not interested or confident in science courses may have difficulty in or not be a good fit for a nursing program.
Therefore, this note explores the concept of course confidence and how it relates to the broader student academic experience.
- How confident are students that they can do well in certain types of courses?
- How does course confidence relate to the student academic experience?
- How does course confidence relate to academic performance?
Does Student Confidence Relate to Whether They Can Do Well in Certain Types of Courses?
In general, students are moderately confident that they can perform well in various types of courses. Figure 1 on page 2 displays the results of questions asking about how confident students are that they could do well in the current academic year in math, science, public speaking, and writing courses. Depending on the course type, anywhere from a quarter to roughly one-third of
students indicated they are extremely confident they could do well in courses and just over half indicated they were moderately confident in their ability to do well in those courses. For example:
- The highest levels of confidence in courses was in math, with 35% of students indicated they were extremely confident they could do well in math courses.
- The lowest levels of confidence in courses was seen in public speaking, with 27% of students indicating they were extremely confident they could do well in public speaking courses and 18% not at all confident they could do well in public speaking courses.
- Confidence in courses varies by course type
- Overall, course confidence is positively related to various aspects of the academic experience, including several non-cognitive variables
- Confidence in courses is not strongly related to academic performance.
To access all the data in this robust research note, just fill out the form to the right. What else has an effect on the success of students in college? Check out our blog, Four Things to Know About Successful First-Year Students.