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The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology

A review of self-efficacy training for international student

Hillman Wirawan Muhammad Thahir Bandu
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To cite this document:
Hillman Wirawan Muhammad Thahir Bandu , (2016),"A review of self-efficacy training for international
student", The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, Vol. 33 Iss 2 pp. 115 -
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A review of self-efficacy training Review of

for international student
Hillman Wirawan
Department of Psychology, 115
Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, USA, and
Muhammad Thahir Bandu Received 27 December 2015
Universitas Muslim Indonesia, Makassar, Indonesia Accepted 13 January 2016

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to consider the implication of self-efficacy training for
international students (SETIS). International students faced various transitional challenges which also
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potentially attenuate their academic performance. Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) is sufficient in
explaining this phenomenon as well as suggesting self-efficacy enhancement strategies.
Design/methodology/approach This paper is a speculative viewpoint on the implications
of SETIS. The author reviewed relevant literature and systematically constructing the SETIS based
on the SCT. The SCT was used to design an appropriate training to help international students cope
with transitional challenges which significantly attenuate their academic performance.
Findings The SCT and self-efficacy theory were relevant in designing the training for international
students. There are four key elements of the SETIS: goal-setting; effort explanation; modeling; and sharing
and evaluation. The implementation of SETIS follows the common rule in conducting effective training
including need assessment and post-training evaluation. Information from academic performance record,
English as Second Language test score, General Self-efficacy Scale, Students Adaptation to College
Questionnaire, and Focus Group Discussion is also necessary to justify the need for SETIS.
Research limitations/implications Despite theoretical evidence of the SETIS, further research is
necessary to test the effectiveness of this training. Future study in this specific area should focus on
examining the effectiveness of the training.
Originality/value This paper addressed important issues in international education. A systematic
effort in providing robust and theoretical-based training for international students is necessary.
By considering the importance of self-efficacy and academic performance, this paper had begun an
initial effort in designing training for international students who are struggling for a transitional
challenge. Additionally, this paper provides a practical guideline in implementing SETIS.
Keywords Self-efficacy, Training, International, Students, Education
Paper type Viewpoint

1. Introduction
Academic performance is an important outcome in a complex education process.
Many scientists and practitioners believe that there are various factors that might
affect this outcome, such as individual differences and motivation. However, unlike
other domestic students, international students potentially experience particular
challenges which can affect his/her academic performance. In many cases,
international students lose their capability to struggle in a new environment and
later affect their academic performance. The first academic year is a crucial
transitional period and it impacts subsequent academic year. This paper intends to
review a number of theories in the area of motivation, self-efficacy, and social The International Journal of
Information and Learning
cognitive and recommends a scientific-based intervention for international students. Technology
This paper started with understanding the issue as well as reviewing some relevant Vol. 33 No. 2, 2016
pp. 115-128
literatures. At the end, we will discuss the Self-Efficacy Training for International Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Students (SETIS) as well as assessment, evaluation, and limitation. DOI 10.1108/IJILT-12-2015-0040
IJILT 2. Analysis of the issue
33,2 2.1 Defining international student
International student refers to the student who holds a valid student visa either J-1 or
F1 visa (Dozier, 2001). International student can also be identified as students under the
category of English as Second Language (ESL) student. Thus, international student is
an immigrant student, a foreign student with a valid student visa, an ESL student, or
116 any combination of the above. In this study, the authors focussed more on the first-year
international students which refers to international student who experienced the first
academic year in higher education.
The international students expect good academic performance as well as other
domestic students. Academic performance refers to the learning outcome (Ganai and
Mir, 2013). It is not only the Grade Point Average (GPA) at the end of each semester but
also the further implication of education. However, GPA is a predictor of successful
academic performance in higher education. In addition, the effort and achievement
motivation mediated the relationship between higher mental ability and academic
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performance (Sophie et al., 2011).

Similar to other student groups, international students have the ability to
perform well on academic task. Most of them were accepted in university through
highly competitive program such as grant and award competition. Unfortunately,
the transitional challenges during the first academic year might attenuate their
motivation toward successful academic performance.

2.2 Academic performance and challenges

Number of studies has found that first-year international student had lower academic
performance compared to domestic students due to transitional challenges. For example,
a study by Rienties et al. (2012) found that Non-Western students had significantly lower
scores on academic performance and social integration in comparison to other students
(e.g. Western and mixed-Western background). Moreover, international students faced
more obstacles before they can actually integrate themselves in academic life compared
to the other student categories.
Ganai and Mir (2013) argued that students in the first year of study must adapt in
an unfamiliar environment, adjust to different living arrangements, and develop new
relationships. Furthermore, Wangeri et al. (2012) also found that the first-year
international students experienced transitional challenges in all the areas
investigated such as personal autonomy, social relationships, compatibility among
roommates, accessing support services, feeding habits, and adjustment to the
academic program. In addition, female students had higher levels of adjustment in
social relationships, feeding habits, and adjustment to academic programs than their
male counterparts. The first-year male students showed higher levels of access to
university support services than the female students. However, in different finding,
both male and female in a first-year study had equally poor adjustment to roommates
(Wangeri et al., 2012).
Another study by Talebloo and Baki (2012) indicated the challenges faced by
international students and categorized them into following four categories: first,
general living adjustment, which includes adjusting to food, living/housing
environment and transportation, dealing with financial problems and health care
concerns; second, academic difficulties, such as lack of proficiency in the English
language. In addition to language difficulties, Barnes and Loui (2012) emphasized that
language poses many problems because international students are unfamiliar with
American slang, cultural references, and technical terms; third, socio-cultural Review of
difficulties, for example, experiencing culture shock and recreational problems; SETIS
and fourth, personal psychological adjustment, such as experiencing homesickness,
loneliness, depression, feeling isolation, and worthlessness.
In comparison to domestic students, international students have more difficult
adjustment experience with living comfortably and studying effectively. However,
domestic and international students should have equal opportunities in college. 117
The international students who have a more difficult adjustment experience may
initially have a less positive experience than domestic students (Barnes, 2010).
Severiens and Wolff (2008) argued that students who felt at home, who were well
connected to fellow-students and teachers and who took part in extra-curricular
activities were more likely to graduate. In contrast, if they did not receive the support
that they needed, they might become depressed, earn lower grades, and in a worst case,
would drop out of school. Thus, university must provide support by understanding the
challenge and the right way to motivate their academic performance.
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There are transitional problems during the first academic year, some students can
handle these issues and some fail. Students who believe that they have full control over
their academic stress will experience less adjustment difficulties (Hirai et al., 2015).
Adjustment difficulties can lead to greater academic failure while positive and
successful academic achievements potentially improve subsequent performance. This
idea is relevant to the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) particularly about self-efficacy
(Bandura, 1989). The student needs motivation to struggle during transitional
challenges as well as some favor in his/her academic performance.
The first-year international students are vulnerable to lose their self-efficacy as they
experience less positive experience. Poor grade or academic progress during first
semester can affect level of self-efficacy and inevitably decrease the level of motivation
toward academic performance in the next semesters. Social relationship as well as
supports from others in new environment can also affect the level of self-efficacy.
The less likely positive relationship, the more likely students frame negative image and
underestimate their ability. At this point, students lose intention toward academic
achievement and might decide to quit the study.
Having considered the above case, an effective intervention is in need. By adapting
the SCT, it is possible to develop an intervention for the first-year international
students. Next, this paper will discuss the SCT as well as the role of self-efficacy and
how this theory can explain the students motivation issues. Finally, the authors will
suggest an intervention for the students based on the theory of self-efficacy.

3. Review of literature
SCT is feasible to explain the academic performance issues among first-year
international students. The SCT explains the importance of self-efficacy where this
concept is fundamental to students motivation. The role of self-efficacy in motivating
students toward academic performance is crucial. The following session will discuss
the SCT and how it relates to international students motivation. In addition, results
from some findings will be considered to support the idea.
The SCT is an advance view of central role of cognitive, vicarious, self-regulatory,
and self-reflective processes in human adaptation and change (Bandura, 1986).
The SCT suggests that people are viewed as self-organizing, proactive, self-reflecting,
and self-regulating rather than as reactive organisms shaped and directed by
environmental forces or driven by concealed inner impulses. From this theoretical
IJILT perspective, human functioning is the product of a dynamic interplay of personal,
33,2 behavioral, and environmental influences called triadic reciprocal model.
According to Banduras (1989) SCT, individuals are imbued with four capabilities.
Primary among these are the capabilities to symbolize, plan alternative strategies
(forethought), learn through vicarious experience, self-regulate, and self-reflect.
In addition, individuals have direct control to obtain desire outcome through personal
118 agency (Bandura, 2001). The core feature of this agency contains intentionality,
forethought, self-reactiveness, and self-reflectiveness. Bandura (1986) argued that the
capability that distinct human from others is self-reflectiveness. In essence, self-efficacy
is essential part to human self-reflectiveness process.
In the early theory of SCT, Bandura (1989) defined self-efficacy as peoples
judgments of their capabilities to organize and execute courses of action required to
attain designated types of performances (p. 391). Self-efficacy becomes an important
mediator between goals and performance. This is the case in academic performance
where students self-efficacy mediates the relationship between intended academic
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goals and their academic performance.

In the SCT, it is partly on the basis of judgments of personal efficacy that people
determine what to do (choice), how much effort to invest in activities (intensity) and
how long to persevere (duration) in facing obstacles and failure experiences (Bandura,
1989). Locke and Latham (2004) also mentioned them (i.e. direction or choice, intensity
or effort, and persistence or duration) as the three aspects of action. Given this idea,
self-efficacy is the important component to motivating human action and performance.
Unless people believe on their capability to accomplish certain goals, they have little
direction (choice), intensity (effort), and persistence (duration) to face difficulties.
Self-efficacy determines whether people want to take certain action (choice), how much
effort to accomplish the tasks, and whether or not to engage in the task (duration).
Students who believe with their capability to perform on academic task have higher
self-efficacy. They are more likely to have clear direction, put more effort on academic
task, and persistence toward academic achievement. Therefore, students self-efficacy
is important part to students motivation.
The first-year international students with high self-efficacy are more likely to
perceive academic task as a challenging goal. They are capable of maintaining
direction, effort, and duration to achieve the intended goal. In contrast, having poor
self-efficacy is vulnerable to students motivation toward academic performance.
The students might underestimate their capability. Eventually, they might refuse to
make any decision regarding goals attainment, perform less effort and maintain only
short duration of work.
Number of studies found a positive correlation between self-efficacy and academic
performance among students. Hackett et al. (1992) found that self-efficacy correlate
with students spring cumulative GPA (r 0.36-0.29). Chemers et al. (2001) also
suggested that self-efficacy was significant predictor for academic performance among
students (r 0.34). Another finding by Galyon and colleagues (2012) found that
self-efficacy correlate with class participation and exam performance. In addition,
Brady-Amoon and Fuertes (2011) consistently supported the idea that self-efficacy had
positive and significant direct correlation with adjustment and academic performance.
The self-efficacy is an important predictor for academic performance and students
must have all resources to foster their self-efficacy. Bandura (1986) suggested four
primary sources of self-efficacy. First, the most influential source of self-efficacy is a
success experience. Success raises self-efficacy while failure lowers it. A strong sense of
self-efficacy comes from repeated success experience. Second, vicarious experience, Review of
people can underestimate their effort by observing others with similar competent fail or SETIS
increasing the self-efficacy belief by perceiving others with similar competent can
perform successfully. Third, social persuasion including verbal persuasion can increase
efficacy only if the persuasion is within realistic bounds. Fourth, physiological states,
people can read somatic arousal then interpret any signs of vulnerability to dysfunction
such as fear and fatigue. Eliminating emotional arousal to subjective threats heighten 119
perceived self-efficacy. All these sources do not affect self-efficacy directly but they rely
on how people interpret information through cognitive process.
The first-year international students are most likely to have problem with
transitional changes where this transitional process affect self-efficacy. At the first
academic year, international students might be at risk to perceive information
inaccurately due to transitional process and then affect the level of self-efficacy.
For example, the students misunderstood teachers instruction and received low grade
because language adjustment. They were inevitably lack of experience in new
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environment and they may not have enough success experience to foster their own
self-efficacy. Additionally, the failure to fulfill any academic task or failure to make
friends would deteriorate the level of self-efficacy.
The vicarious experience from unfamiliar situation can also impact the students
self-efficacy. By observing other domestic students performance, they compare
themselves and make judgment regarding their current performance. Moreover, in the
new environment, away from family member, and close friends, and alienated in a new
social environment make the students lack of social persuasion as well as verbal
persuasion. Some students can deal with such as conditions faster than others and
some still need more time for adjustment. However, fail to deal with this transitional
challenges would attenuate students motivation.
The role of culture, social, personal, and environmental variables are essential
in self-regulation process. Bandura (1995) suggested that students capacity to
self-manage or self-regulate their academic performance is a function of a complex
array of interdependent cultural, social, personal, and environmental variables.
In addition, Bandura (1995) also stated that students need to become engaged in
discussion about self-regulation and self-efficacy, which are well-recognized principles
in the Western academic, workplaces, and social contexts. International students
must engage in culture, social, and environment in order to improve capability to
self-regulate their academic performance.

The four primary sources of self-efficacy can be adapted to meet the students need for
motivation and support the academic performance. Self-efficacy training offers
plausible and promising solution. An intervention can be designed based on the needs
of international students by implementing the self-efficacy theory. The four primary
sources of self-efficacy are the cue to address effective intervention for the students.
This intervention is a training program and it also includes collaboration with teacher
or professor in the host university. There are four weekly sessions and each session has
different outcome. The following is more detail about the training.

4.1 Name of training

The name is SETIS. This name reflects the idea and targeted audience for the
IJILT 4.2 Training objective
33,2 The main purpose of this intervention is to train participants (i.e. the first-year
international students) on how to increase self-efficacy by utilizing the primary sources
of self-efficacy. This purpose also covers the following goals:
(1) to learn how to set an skill-oriented goal that can increase self-efficacy;
120 (2) to learn how to practice lack-of-effort explanation;
(3) to facilitate vicarious experience through learning from former international
students; and
(4) to collaborate with teacher and professor in improving students self-efficacy.

4.3 Outcomes of intervention

The outcomes are set of skill that participants can use to improve their own
self-efficacy and motivate them toward academic performance. After four sessions
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training, the students are expected:

(1) to be able to set skill-oriented goals or learning goal;
(2) to know how to use lack-of-effort as an explanation for failure and develop new
skills as explanation of success; and
(3) to be able to transfer experience from former international students and use
their strategy where relevant to his/ her problems or issues.

4.4 Method
4.4.1 Participants. This training is designed for international students who are
suffering for poor self-efficacy and potentially attenuates their academic
performance. In one package of training, the number of participants can vary from
five to 15 students.
4.4.2 Facilitator. Facilitator of the training must be familiar with facilitation
techniques, the issues, understand the theory of motivation, and capable of conducting
all the training procedures.
4.4.3 Training setting. Training can be done either in-door or out-door setting.
The facilitator might also modify and adjust the setting by combining various
learning styles.
4.4.4 Materials. There is no need to provide special equipment or materials during
intervention. However, participants and facilitators might want to use regular
classroom facilities such as board, marker, chalk, flipchart, paper, multimedia, and, etc.

4.5 The effectiveness of SETIS

The SETIS can bring significant effect to the students motivation because it provides
students with skills to foster self-efficacy. As mentioned earlier, the self-efficacy is
important mediator for students motivation. Each part of this training focusses on the
primary source of self-efficacy. It is expected that students can improve the level of their
self-efficacy by implementing the skills and change their attitudes regarding the issues.
The Bandura (1986) suggested four primary source of self-efficacy information.
These primary sources are the main source to constructing the intervention for
self-efficacy. The following is description of each session in the SETIS and how it
favors the participants in improving their self-efficacy.
4.5.1 The first session; the skill-based goal-setting. Success raises self-efficacy while Review of
failure lowers it. Participant must change the way they perceive success and failure. SETIS
Instead of using final grade or grade percentage as the only academic performance
indicator, participants can practice the use of gained knowledge or developed-skills as
the targeted goals. In addition, participants should write down their current and
targeted skills in particular course(s). This will change the way a participant perceives
the failure and success. Facilitator can help students to focus on targeted skills and 121
make some comparisons between present, past, and desired state. For example,
participant might say this week I can explain the differences between two theories of
motivation, and I should be able to explain three more in the next week. This process
will affect the way students perceive failure and success. Students are expected to
realize that gaining a new skill or make new step forward is an obvious achievement.
4.5.2 The second session; the lack-of-effort explanation. People can underestimate
their effort by observing others with similar competent perform successfully. The more
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a student perceives similarity with his/ her classmates the more likely the student
underestimates their potential performance. In order to avoid the negative effect of this
observation, the participant must learn how to explain their own efforts relative to their
previous efforts rather than comparing them with their counterparts. The second
session encourages participants to use lack-of-effort as an explanation for failure,
and the skills they have developed as an explanation for success experience. It is
expected that participants know how to practice lack-of-effort explanation when they
perform poorly. For example, I failed because I did not read the whole explanation of
the theory, I need to put more effort on reading the article. or I succeeded because
I summarized the article. Moreover, failure occurred because students did not address
enough effort while they had the ability and capability to accomplish the task. Students
must learn from this exercise on how to perceive failure as lack-of-effort and stop
blaming on external condition. This process can give the students more control over
unexpected results, that is, there is possibility where the students can perform better on
academic task.
4.5.3 The third session; the modeling. Other people can influence the way students
perceive and judge their ability. If the participants compare their poor academic
performance relative to the successful classmate, the more likely the participants
underestimate their ability. Participants must learn how to model other relevant
figures. Therefore, in the third section, facilitator will provide participants with
successful story from former international students. In addition, facilitator might also
invite former international students who had experienced struggling with academic
performance before accomplishing their study successfully. As a result, participants
would imitate the actions, problem solving, learning strategy, and stress management.
For example, the students might try to implement learning strategy, such as I will get
my homework done sooner, so I will have more time to correct my writing. Please refer
to Table I for brief description about the SETIS.
For each session (i.e. session 1-3) each participant is given six days to practice the
skills as well as to record any issues regarding the implementation of the training.
At the fourth session of training, all participants will share experiences and any
challenges during the implementation. This practice does not only give the participants
knowledge about goals, efforts, and vicarious experience but also give the
participants opportunity to experience the implementation. It is expected that after
training all participants would be able to implement the skills.
IJILT Name of
33,2 section Duration Activities Outcomes

Section 1
Goal-setting 2 hours Facilitator explains about the basic of Ability to set skill-oriented goals
Practice how to make skill-development
122 goals
Evaluate the new skills as goal
Section 2
Effort 2 hours Facilitator explains about failure and Knowledge to use lack-of-effort
explanation success explanation
Thinking and sharing about past failures/
success and why they occurred
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Practice lack-of-effort explanation

Section 3
Modeling 2 hours Facilitator explains about how to learn Ability to transfer experience
from others experiences from others
Watch inspirational movies from various
successful figures
Sharing with former international
Identify any possible and useful
experience, strategy, etc.
Section 4
Table I. Sharing and 2 hours Sharing the effect of implementing the Ability to transfer experience
Summary of evaluation skills in Sections 1-3 from others and evaluation of
self-efficacy training Fill-out scale and questionnaire implementation
for international Commitment to use any useful skills from
students this training

4.5.4 The fourth section, sharing and evaluation. Participants are expected to share
their experiences during the implementation of the goal-setting, the effort explanation,
and the modeling. This particular session intends to transfer the positive experience
and learning from one participant to the others. The facilitator may utilize Focus Group
Discussion (FGD) to facilitate experience-sharing process among participants. At the
end of the fourth session, facilitator evaluates the training outcomes and the effect of
training on participants self-efficacy.
This intervention also requires the role of teacher or professor to provide support for
participants. There are two main roles that teacher or professor should perform during
the training:
(1) Compliment student on the skill they have developed rather than comparing
them with other students or standard grading system. This also related to the
first section of intervention where students set goal which is more based on
(2) Avoid the appearance of unsolicited help because the students might think that
they are less capable for the task. Teacher can offer help to all students in the
classroom before finally offering help to the students (international students). Review of
This is to avoid the students perceive that teacher treat them special because SETIS
they less capable.
According to the brief description and the theoretical perspective of self-efficacy,
the SETIS is feasible for improving international students self-efficacy. This training
fosters students self-efficacy while the self-efficacy directs the students to their goals,
encourage them to do more effort to succeed, and persist them toward their goals. After 123
all sections are completed, the effectiveness of intervention must be evaluated. A valid
and reliable assessment tools are necessary to evaluate whether students react to the
training, change the level of self-efficacy, and bring impact to college adjustment and
improve academic performance.

5. Evaluating SETIS
The effectiveness of an intervention can be identified by assessing the change before
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and after the training. A systematic evaluation will provide practitioner and educator
information on how participants react to the training. Moreover, the assessment tools
must be chosen very carefully to justify the quality of the intervention. The assessment
procedure was adopted based on Kirkpatrick (1998) four-level training evaluation
(reaction, learning, behavior, and results). The following section will discuss the
assessment tools, need assessment, and evaluation after intervention.

5.1 Assessment tools

5.1.1 Academic performance record. The academic performance record (e.g. GPA)
intends to identify whether students having problem with academic performance.
The previous academic performance and ongoing academic progress as well as grade
from different classes will be compared. If any gap between previous academic
performance and current academic performance during first semester, the students
need intervention to improve academic performance. Further assessment is needed to
identify the cause of poor academic performance.
5.1.2 ESL test. Some international students are accepted with conditional letter of
acceptance. One of the condition is the student must take ESL course or English
training during the first semester. The ESL test is intended to measure the level of
acceptable academic English in higher education. Unacceptable score on ESL test
might lead to poor academic performance. Thus, students with low score on ESL test
need to take academic English training. However, if English is not the main issue,
a further assessment is necessary to make sure that students need the training.
5.1.3 General self-efficacy Scale (GSES). The GSES will be administered in order
to identify the level of self-efficacy (e.g. I can always manage to solve difficult problems
if I try hard enough). The scale contains ten-item Likert scale ranging from 1 to 4
(1 Not at all true, 2 Hardly true, 3 Moderately true, 4 Exactly true). This scale
has Cronbachs range from 0.76 to 0.90 and criterion-related validity. The scale was
created by Schwarzer and Jerusalem (1995) and it has been adapted to 33 different
languages (visit: http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~health/selfscal.htm). Therefore, the scale
is appropriate for assessing international students self-efficacy. The students with
poor academic performance and self-efficacy need intervention.
5.1.4 Students Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ). The culture, social,
personal, and environmental variables are essential in self-regulation process (Bandura,
1995). It is necessary to identify students ability to deal with adaptation during the
IJILT first year of study. Problems during transitional changes and adaptation can affect the
33,2 level of self-efficacy. The SACQ is a 67-item questionnaire intended to measure the level
of effectiveness of student adjustment to college (Baker and Siryk, 1999). This scale
contains four subscales: first, the academic adjustment subscale measures a students
capability to coping with the various educational demands characteristic of the college
experience. Second, the social adjustment subscale contains items relevant to the
124 interpersonal-societal demands of college. Third, the personal-emotional subscale is
intended to examine how a student is feeling psychologically and physically. Forth, the
attachment subscale focusses on a students satisfaction with the college experience.
This questionnaire is reliable and it had been validated by number of studies (Baker and
Siryk, 1999). This instrument is copyrighted and user can purchase the instrument
at: www.wpspublish.com/store/p/2949/student-adaptation-to-college-questionnaire-sacq.
5.1.5 FGD. FGD intends to identify any possible issues which not covered by
previous assessment but still related to academic performance, students adjustment,
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and self-efficacy. FGD also gives students opportunity to share their idea about their
present state and future state. The present state is about current experience and feeling
in the early of academic year while future state is about expected achievement or
performance in the future. In addition, facilitators may use FGD to evaluate how the
students implement each section during the training.

5.2 Need assessment

The need assessment is important step before an intervention. Practitioner must be
able to address a feasible and appropriate intervention to the targeted audiences. Thus,
through assessment process, practitioner must identify students need and recommend
appropriate training or other intervention. This assessment focusses on the need of the
first-year international students for motivation toward academic progress.
There are many factors that affect academic performance of the first-year
international students. Cognitive ability is the most important predictor for academic
success. However, English proficiency becomes significant factor that facilitate
learning process. The assessment intends to identify whether students need the SETIS
or other alternative interventions.
The five assessment tools intend to identify whether the student is a right subject
for the SETIS. The SETIS would not give significant effect to academic performance if
the results showed that students need other intervention (i.e. ESL class or other
additional academic training). The most targeted audiences for the SETIS are students
with low score on academic performance (based on progress report), adaptation, and
It is also possible that some students have poor academic performance, poor ESL
test, and low GSES and/or SACQ scores at the same time. If this is the case, these
students are also recommended to register for the SETIS. However, they are
encouraged to register for any additional course or training which related to their
academic performance (e.g. ESL class).

5.3 Evaluation process

There are two main steps of the evaluation. First, session evaluation; it intends to
measure the outcomes of intervention in each section. The session evaluation will use
FGD to identify the ability, experience, and challenges in implementing each section.
Second, the overall evaluation is final evaluation and it intends to measure the
effectiveness of intervention particularly the level of self-efficacy. Figure 1 depicts the Review of
process of evaluation prior to suggesting the SETIS for international student. SETIS
This overall evaluation procedure administers the reaction assessment, GSES and
SACQ. Kirkpatrick (1998) suggested that the first level of training evaluation is
participants reaction to the training. The participants fill-out the reaction assessment
sheet at the end of last section (see Table II). The reaction assessment intends to
evaluate students reaction to the training. There are four areas where reactions will be 125
assessed; they are content of training, facilitator, environment, and the overall training.
At the last session, the participants will be asked to fill-out a nine-item reaction sheet
with five-point Likert scale (1 strongly disagree to 5 strongly agree).

First Year
International Students
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Poor Academic
Yes No No intervention

Acceptable ESL
No ESL Course
GSES and / or SACQ

Self-efficacy Evaluation of
Intervention Intervention
Figure 1.
Framework of need
Notes: ______ = result_ _ _ _ _ _ = next assessment; This figure shows the need assessment assessment
process for the first year international students

No. Item

1. Learning objectives were clearly identified and accomplished in each session

2. Information presented by facilitator was significantly relevant
3. Training materials and resources enhanced my learning experience
4. Facilitator demonstrated knowledge of the training topic
5. Facilitator responded effectively to questions and issues during training
6. Facilitator delivered content in an appropriate and well-organized manner
7. Training facility was conducive to support my learning process
8. This training met my expectations Table II.
9. This training will make me more effective in my study Reaction measure
IJILT In order to measure the effectiveness of the training program, the GSE and SACQ
33,2 instruments will be administered three times, first a day after intervention, second after
first semester and third at the end of first academic year. In addition, the students will be
asked whether they still use the skills from intervention or not during the first year. It is
also important to track the students GPA at the end of the first and second semester.
The data will be analyzed in order to explain any significant change before and after
126 the training. Likewise, the results should be interpreted to further understand the
training outcome. The results will be used to make any important change for the next
training. By using the assessment tools, practitioner must be able to explain the
participants reaction (how do they react to the training?), learning (what do they learn
from the training?), behavior (Do they practice the skills and change their behavior?),
and results (would this training change the level of self-efficacy and improve academic

6. Conclusion and limitation

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6.1 Conclusion
Number of factors might determine the variability of academic performance and
motivation. Unlike other domestic students, the first-year international students have
to deal with some transitional challenges. This transitional challenge impacts students
academic performance indirectly by lowering the level of students motivation. Number
of failures and successes during transitional challenges are the primary sources for
self-efficacy where self-efficacy is a core component to human motivation. The students
need a right intervention which can enhance their self-efficacy and help them to go
through transitional challenges.
Based on the SCT, the author proposed the SETIS to fostering students
motivation by improving the level of self-efficacy. The SETIS is four-section training
with four purposes; teach the participants how to set skill-oriented goal which can
increase the level of self-efficacy, teach the participants how to practice lack-of-effort
explanation when they perform poorly, guide the participants to learn from the former
international students, and collaborate with teacher and professor to improving
participants self-efficacy.
The training need assessment will identify international students who are struggling
with academic performance, adaptation, and low-self-efficacy. However, some students
might have issues with academic performance which is not related to motivational issue.
The evaluation of effective intervention is conducted in two steps of evaluation, first
session evaluation and second final intervention evaluation. The former intends to
measure the effectiveness of each section and the latter intends to measure the
effectiveness of the overall training program. Furthermore, the training reaction scale,
GSES and SACQ will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the training.

6.2 Limitation
The SETIS was designed to solve motivational issue among international students.
However, there are number of limitations in this training which might impact the
outcomes of overall intervention. First, this intervention will not bring significant effect
unless teachers are willing to collaborate and follow the guideline such as how to give
feedback, evaluation, and so forth. Second, the effect of confounding variables on
intervention (e.g. past experience, personality, disability, and gender) might affect the
outcomes of the training. Third, participants might refuse to engage in the training and
disregard any instruction from facilitators.
According to the SCT particularly about the four sources of the self-efficacy, The Review of
SETIS is applicable for the first-year international students. Practitioner can rely on the SETIS
SETIS to foster students self-efficacy. However, a future empirical investigation is
necessary to examine the effect of SETIS on international students and to discover any
mediating and moderating variables that can vary the effect of training.

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Corresponding author
Hillman Wirawan can be contacted at: wirawanh1@montclair.edu

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