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Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award



Dr. Jim Larsgaard, Eastern Kentucky University, received the 2013 Doctoral Research Award at the ARBE-DPE luncheon held during the NBEA conference for his research titled, “Self-Efficacy Heightening Affordances in an Instructional Design to Increase Self-Efficacy and Critical Thinking Skills.” An abstract of his research follows.

Self-efficacy, identified by Bandura as part of his Social Cognitive Theory, is the levels of confidence individuals have in their ability to execute a course of action or attain specific performance outcomes. Self-efficacy of college students has been found to be one of the best predictors of their likelihood to succeed, in terms of GPA and persistence, at a university. Research has revealed that students’ level of self-efficacy can be increased through an instructional design that facilitates students experiencing self-efficacy building affordances identified by Bandura.


In contrast to a standard lecture format, when students experience self-efficacy building affordances in the classroom, they may feel more confident in their ability to succeed academically. That heightened feeling of confidence can result in students’ performing better academically and result in a higher likelihood that they will persist through graduation at the university. 

The primary focus of this study was to examine the effects that two instructional designs for teaching critical thinking (one that included self-efficacy building affordances and one that did not include those affordances) had on the self-efficacy of incoming freshmen at a Southeastern U.S. public university. Pre and post treatment testing was administered in this quasi-experimental research design with a treatment group, traditional group, and a control group to collect data on the students’ self-efficacy and critical thinking.

The secondary focus of this research was to examine the effects the instructional design had on students’ critical thinking skills. Finally, this study compared participants’ change in self-efficacy with their change in critical thinking skills through the treatment.

The self-efficacy affordances research in this study failed to produce significant gain scores, possibly due to high pre-test means, as measured by the Student Strategies for Success (SSSS) instrument pre/post of the treatment. However, the instructional design developed to teach critical thinking resulted in the treatment group’s critical thinking mean gain score being significantly higher than the traditional and control groups’ mean scores.


Application Submission Deadline:   October 1st


To download the application form, please click here


Past Recipients of Doctoral Dissertation Award

2012 Diane Rutkow Persky
  The Ethical Orientation of Advertising Executives: The Relationship Among Ethical Climate, Sex Role Identity, and Selected Demographic and Job Variables, 2011.
2011 Craig Wentworth
  The Role of Collegiate Sports Participation in Preparing Women for Executive Leadership, University of Georgia, 2010.
2010 Kellie Shumack
  Professional Development in Business Education: Status, Needs, Motivators, and Impact on Instruction, Mississippi State University, 2009.
2009 Lynn B. Keane
  A Technology-Supported Academic Community of Practice: A Case Study, New York University, 2007.
2008 Joy Roach
  Factors Affecting Written Business Communication Creation and Productivity,   Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 2006.
2006 Bryan D. Sisson
  Importance of Accounting Software Selection Activities for Small Businesses. Utah State University, 2004.
2005 Margaret S. Kilcoyne
  Identifying Skills Needed by Office Information Systems Graduates in the Changing Work Environment: Perceptions of Administrative Support Occupations Workers. Louisiana State University, 2003.
2003 Anthony Basile
  Achievement of Accounting Students Relative to Individual Learning Styles and Locus of Control: An Experiment Involving Internet-Based Instructional Technology. New York University, 2001.
2004 Mary Ann DeLine
  Computer Keyboarding Skill Retention. Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 2002.
2002 Sandra J. Braathen
  A Comparison of Business Communication Students' Writing Achievement when Constructivist or Behaviorist Methods of Instruction Are Used. University of Minnesota, 2000.
2001 James E. Bartlett, II
  Analysis of Self-Directed Learning in Secondary Business Educators. Louisiana State University, 1999.
2000 Karl M. Soehnlein
  The Relationship of Job Insecurity, Career Planning, Self-Efficacy, Goal Orientation and the Self-Development of Survivors of a Downsizing Corporation. New York University, 1998.
1999 Jill M. D'Aquila
  Internal Control Environment Forces and Financial Reporting Decisions Made by Financial Accountants. New York University, 1997.
1998 Ratna Sinha
  Teaching as a Career: Patterns and Perceptions of Business Education Teachers. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1996.
1997 Stacy L. Ball
  Workforce Diversity: Perspectives from Human Resource Management and Human Resource Development. Northern Illinois University, 1995.
1996 Gail A. Hoover
  The Importance of Selected Finance Topics Needed in Preparation for an Entry-Level Position in Financial Management as Perceived by Finance Practitioners and Educators. Northern Illinois University, 1994.
1995 John N. McKenna
  Ethical Dilemmas in Financial Reporting Situation and the Preferred Mode of Resolution of Ethical Conflicts as Taken by Certified and Noncertified Management Accountants in Organizations with Perceived Different Ethical Work Climates. New York University, 1993.
1994 Susan E. Maxam
  The Effects of Phases of Keyboarding Speed on Student Grades in Beginning Computer Class, Utah State University, 1992.
1993 Thomas T. Krueger
  Characteristics and Perceived Competencies of Plant Managers. University of Minnesota, 1991.
1992 Paula E. Brown
  The Relationship Between Graphic Aids in a Business Report and Decision-Making and Cognitive Style of a Report Reader. Northern Illinois University, 1990.
1991 Randy L. Joyner
  A Comparison of Errors Detected: Video Display Terminals vs. Hardcopy. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1989.
1990 Sherry Hellmuth
  A Comparison of the Effects of First-Year High School Accounting on Student Performance on Selected Concepts Taught in First-Semester College Accounting. Northern Illinois University, 1988.
1989 Eleanor J. Davidson
  Sex-Role Identity, Attitudes Toward Women, and Other Variables As Related to Women in Information Process Careers. New York University, 1987.
1988 Vivian Arnold
  A Comparison of Three Experimental Approaches to Teaching Proofreading to Third-Semester Typewriting Students at the High School Level. University of Kentucky, 1986.
1987 Donna L. Kizzier
  Attitudes of Office Personnel Toward Advanced Office Technology. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1985.
1986 Carolee Sormunen
  A Comparison of Two Methods for Teaching Microcomputer Keyboarding at the Elementary School Level. University of Minnesota, 1984.




Last Updated: 01/02/2014

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