Be confident in your class work
Self-efficacy is a term related to how confident and engaged your are with your class work. While it’s a term educators use and an area they hope to help you develop, there are ways you can improve your own success by enhancing comprehension skills and creating a higher level of confidence in your work.
Remember that learning is a process and you’re constantly developing skills to help you absorb information and understand it better.
Here are a few specific tips to develop your own self-efficacy:
- Take advantage of professor office hours. Whether you go in at their scheduled time, or ask for an individual session to meet, this extra time working with your professor can increase your understanding of information from the course and any assignments coming due.
- Work problems out loud. This gives you more time to think through the problem and how to solve it.
- Don’t shrug off positive reinforcement. If your instructor compliments your work or your in-class contribution, take it seriously. It’s their way of showing you you’re doing a great job and succeeding in the course.
- Take a minute to think creatively. Sometimes assigned reading for a class can be hard to get through. Take some time out to think about how what you’re reading affects you. Try connecting to the content from outside the content to form a deeper understanding.
- Remember that learning is more about the thinking than always getting the right answer. Learning how to solve problems and think about them critically and effectively is just as important as getting to the right answer. Don’t let wrong answers bog you down. Each time you work through a problem, you’re building vital skills you’ll use your entire life.
The most important job educators have is not to produce a generation of students with the right answers, but rather a generation of confident, eloquent thinkers who can understand, effectively utilize, and enjoy their individual learning processes.
Natalie Kuhtmann Haskell earned her BA in English and Secondary Education from the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, IN. Over the course of her career, she has worked with learners of all ages, running Bible Schools, teaching high school English and college composition, tutoring, doing private educational consultations, writing educational articles and blogs, and homeschooling her own seven children. Her particular interests are curriculum development and the benefits of kinesthetic learning to dyslexic and ADHD children. She is currently a freelance academic and business editor as well as a lead tutor with Smarthinking.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2011, April 4). Student confidence correlated with academic performance, class study finds. Science Daily. Retrieved June 11, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404105901.htm
Flipping the Classroom. https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/flipping-the-classroom.com. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
Teaching Problem Solving. https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/problemsolving.com. Retrieved June 11, 2016.