As the learning outcomes movement gains strength, the need to effectively measure learning outcomes becomes more important. This study looked at the effectiveness of self-reported mastery in measuring learning outcomes by examining the correlations between (a) self-reported mastery, (b) self-reported gains, and (c) objective measures of learning outcomes. The objective measures of learning outcomes were final exams for two classes, Calculus (consisting of two forms) and Statistics. The self-reported mastery and self-reported gains items were taken from the pilot student ratings form and the old student ratings form. A total of 848 undergraduate students completed the final exam and the two student ratings forms. The summed total of the self-reported mastery items correlated at a medium strength with objective measures of learning outcomes (Calculus Form A: r = .436; Calculus Form B: r = .361; Statistics: r = .416). The relationship between self-reported gains and objective measures of learning outcomes was weaker than that of self-reported mastery and objective measures of learning outcomes (a difference of .276 for Calculus Form A, .138 for Calculus Form B, .110 for Statistics). The relationship between self-reported gains and self-reported mastery was stronger than the other two relationships (Calculus Form A: r = .473, Calculus Form B: r = .500, Statistics: r = .628). A confirmatory factor analysis produced even stronger relationships between the three latent variables, including differences between the two forms of the Calculus exam. Self-reported mastery may be more effective at measuring objective measures of learning outcomes than self-reported gains, but self-reported mastery cannot completely serve as a proxy for objective measures of learning outcomes. Administrators or researchers measuring learning outcomes on a large scale may benefit by administering self-reported mastery items instead of self-reported gains items.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Thompson, Michael S., "Self-Reported Mastery: Moving on from Self-Reported Gains in Assessing Learning Outcomes" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 4326.
learning outcomes, self-reported mastery, self-reported gains, self-assessment, subjective measurement, measuring ability