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Education | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this study was to determine how college students' beliefs about learning and knowledge related to the types of teaching methods and classroom activities they perceive as effective in helping them to learn. Comparisons were also made based on year in college. Beliefs about learning were assessed using the Epistemic Belief Inventory (EBI; Schraw, Bendixen, & Dunkle, 2002), which yields scores on 5 dimensions: Omniscient Authority, Certain Knowledge, Quick Learning, Simple Knowledge, and Innate Ability. A number of significant correlations were found. For example, scores on the Quick Learning dimension were negatively correlated with effectiveness ratings for lecture, lab experiments, and discussions in both small and large groups (all p < .05). Scores on the Omniscient Authority dimension were positively correlated with effectiveness ratings for lecture (p < .01). Also, significant negative correlations were found between students' GPAs and their scores on the Quick Learning and Simple Knowledge dimensions (p < .05). First-year students scored significantly higher than other students on the Quick Learning dimension (p < .05) and marginally higher on the Omniscient Authority dimension (p = .086). In addition, first-year students gave significantly lower effectiveness ratings than other students for lecture (p < .01) and in-class assignments (p < .05).


This poster received the Society for the Teaching of Psychology Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award at the 31st Annual National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology (NITOP), Jan. 3-6 in St. Pete Beach, Fla. The award was given to the poster judged by the conference committee to be outstanding in terms of (a) the importance of the research question addressed, (b) the soundness of the research methodology employed, (c) the use of appropriate qualitative and/or statistical analyses, and (d) the clarity with which the implications of the research findings for teaching and learning were expressed.