Comparing the Utility of Predictor Variables at University Level

Matthew Rudd


This quantitative research study investigated the predictive utility of six separate predictor variables; self-efficacy scales, teacher ratings, prior performances, students’ study habits, perceived attitudes, as well as the reliability of self-reporting instruments. Anticipated English language outcomes across all measures were compared with end-of-term scores using significance testing (0.05) and Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient. The sample population consisted of 84 third year university students (females = 51; males = 33) studying at a private university located on the outskirts of Bangkok, and were from two separate faculties; business administration  (n = 58) and engineering (n = 26). Overall, the mean level of English language performance was 59.94%, and comparative to which, the most reliable predictor of academic performance were self-efficacy scales (S.E: 60.07%; not sig, p <0.05), which also manifested a relatively close correlation (r = 0.5598). Likewise, teacher ratings (57.98, not sig, p <0.05) were almost as precise, and highly correlative (r = 0.7068), but considered to be less pragmatic owing to potential subjectivity in non-experimental conditions. However, contrary to previous research, students’ prior performances (54.36) were significantly inferior to end-of term attainments, despite the inference of a strong correlation (r = 0.842). Moreover, study habits (42.14) and attitudes towards English (76.31) were grossly inaccurate with minimal correlative value. Separately, results generated from self-reported instruments closely resembled the students’ official grades (prior: 54.36 vs. reported: 55.37%; r = 0.9393); notwithstanding this level of accuracy, the efficiency of this instrument may be put into question when researching debuting students with little academic history. Thus, in terms of overall dependability and practicality, self-efficacy judgments were classified as the most efficacious means of predicting academic performance.
Key Words: Self-efficacy, predictor, attainments, performance, variable

DOI: 10.7176/IKM/9-3-07

Publication date:March 31st 2019

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