Kirkwood M. Land: 0000-0001-5951-9630
CBE - Life Sciences Education
When a global pandemic hits during a longitudinal study of biology student success, researchers can unearth rich information about student resilience. By sharing case studies from two demographically different midsized 4-year institutions, this article illustrates the aspects of student self-efficacy beliefs that were undercut by the shift to emergency remote instruction (ERI) in introductory biology courses in Spring 2020: agency and belonging. By assessing student predictions of exam performance and analyzing themes from 276 student narrative surveys, we highlight the power of a careful balance between cognitive and social interventions to help students recover. Students in this study showed a 50% loss of efficacy beliefs after ERI (midsemester) but were able to improve to at least 75% above starting efficacy beliefs after instructor interventions. Thus, we also show how academic efficacy is highly malleable and is mediated in relationships. In turn, we demonstrate a new assessment model that uses student narrative writing to reveal “invisible” threats to students’ perceptions of their capacity to succeed. Finally, we generalize from their findings to provide recommendations for effective strategies for supporting those students for whom every semester feels like a pandemic.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Camfield, E. K.,
Schiller, N. R.,
Land, K. M.
Nipped in the Bud: COVID-19 Reveals the Malleability of STEM Student Self-Efficacy.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, 20(2), 1–18.