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Efficacy of an assessment instrument to measure affective and cognitive learning domains of students enrolled in food or nutrition courses

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The purpose of the project was to evaluate the feasibility of using a public domain instrument, the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ), to assess affective and cognitive learning domains among volunteer students (n=44) enrolled in food and nutrition courses. Using SAS and alpha 0.01, significant Pearson's Product Moment Correlation Coefficients were calculated between the MSLQ scale, intrinsic motivation, and the following MSLQ scales: task value (r=0.55), metacognition (r=0.5) and time management (r=0.54). Correlations between task value and metacognition, students' effort, rehearsal or elaboration learning strategies were r=0.48, 0.51, 0.55 and 0.58, respectively. Correlations between students' effort and time management, metacognition and sense of self-efficacy were r=0.71, 0.73 and 0.48, respectively. Significant inverse correlations were identified between students' fear of tests and their sense of self-efficacy (r=-0.50) or the effort expended to master learning (r=-0.40). Multiple regression analysis revealed that a three predictor variable model including metacognition, peer help and seeking help from the instructor explained 51.6% of the variance in scores of the first course exam (F =14.22, P=0.0001). Educators need to consider how cognitive and affective differences in learning processes influence curricular and instructional decisions in human nutrition and dietetics.
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Keywords: cognitive and affective assessment; dietetic education; metacognition; motivation and learning strategies

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA 2: The University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Publication date: 01 December 1998

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