Self-efficacy, Motivational Email, and Achievement in an Asynchronous Mathematics Course

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Virginia Tech

This study investigated the effects of motivational email messages on learner self-efficacy and achievement in an asynchronous college algebra and trigonometry course. A pretest-posttest control group design was used. Of the 196 initial participants randomly assigned to treatment groups, 125 participants with an average age of 18.21 years completed the study. The final control and experimental groups consisted of 57 (n=17 male, n=40 female) and 68 (n=14 male, n=54 female) participants respectively. Self-efficacy to learn mathematics asynchronously (SELMA) was measured before the treatment was administered. Email messages designed to be efficacy enhancing were sent to the experimental group weekly for 4 weeks. The control group was sent email messages designed to be neutral with respect to self-efficacy weekly for 4 weeks. SELMA and math achievement were measured after the email messages were sent in week 4.

Analysis of covariance was performed using the pretest SELMA measure as a covariate to detect post-treatment differences in SELMA between the control and experimental groups. No significant differences were detected at the 0.05 alpha level. Paired-sample t-Tests revealed significant increases in SELMA for both the control and experimental groups over the treatment period. Linear regression analysis revealed a weak positive relationship between SELMA and math achievement. The findings are discussed in the context of the related literature and directions for future research are suggested.

Self-efficacy, motivational email, math achievement, asynchronous math course