Norwegian freshmen engineering students' self-efficacy, motivation, and view of mathematics in light of task performance


  • Ragnhild Johanne Rensaa UiT the Arctic University of Norway
  • Timo Tossavainen Luleå University of Technology



We report on 71 Norwegian freshmen engineering students' self-efficacy and motivation in mathematics. Students' responses to five-point Likert scales were analysed across three groups corresponding to different performance levels on a set of mathematical tasks. The groups were investigated to trace differences in self-efficacy, motivation, and the epistemological beliefs about the nature of mathematics. Results show that the Norwegian first-year engineering students' self-efficacy is closely related to task performance, but there is not a similar correspondence between task performance and the motivational values. The amount of higher performing students who regard mathematics as a set of (ready-made) tools for solving tasks is a little higher than the amount of lower performing students, while in the case of valuing problem-solving processes in mathematics, the distribution of students is opposite with lower performing students being a majority. The task performance levels are a significant predictor of how dynamic the distribution of the epistemological beliefs is.


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