Investigation of Academic Self-Concept of Undergraduates in STEM Courses

Lawrence O. Flowers, James E. Raynor, Jr., Erin N. White


Academic self-concept is an important component of undergraduate student success. Academic self-concept refers to an individual’s perception about their academic aptitude in a particular academic field. The purpose of this science education research study was to examine the effects of online and traditional (face-to-face) courses on academic self-concept. Undergraduate students enrolled in online and traditional science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses were administered the academic self-concept scale (ASCS). The ASCS measures students’ perceptions of their capacity to attain academic success. Research findings indicate that online students were more likely to report a higher academic self-concept than traditional students enrolled in STEM courses. Future research studies will reveal the factors that underpin academic self-concept for students enrolled in STEM courses. Additional research on the mediators that influence positive academic self-concept are necessary to further inform online and traditional pedagogical strategies.

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