Sense of belonging of sexual minority students participating in work-integrated learning programs


Maureen T.B. Drysdale, Sarah A. Callaghan, & Arpan Dhanota

This study examined sexual minority status on perceived sense of belonging and compared sexual minority students and exclusively heterosexual students as a function of participating in work-integrated learning (WIL). A cross-sectional, quantitative design was used with participants grouped by sexual minority status and participation in WIL. Sexual minority students (WIL and non-WIL) reported lower sense of belonging than exclusively heterosexual students (in WIL and non-WIL). Sexual minority students in WIL also reported significantly weaker sense of belonging compared to non-WIL sexual minority students suggesting that WIL presents some barriers to establishing a strong sense of belonging for sexual minority students.

Academic Self-efficacy, Subjective Well-being, and Academic Achievement of Students Who “Believe” They Are Gifted


Sarah A. Callaghan & Maureen T.B. Drysdale

Previous research about the relationship between giftedness, well-being, academic self-efficacy, and academic achievement has been inconclusive in most settings and lacking in higher education contexts. This study addressed these uncertainties and gaps using a quantitative, cross-sectional design that included correlational and quasi-experimental methods to examine the subjective well-being, academic self-efficacy, and academic achievement of students in higher education who reported being gifted. Analyses were conducted as a function of students who reported giftedness without a formal diagnosis, students who received a formal diagnosis, and students who self-reported that they were non-gifted. A total of ninety-eight students (thirty gifted and sixty-eight non-gifted) from a large Canadian University participated in the study. Results demonstrated that all self-reported gifted students had significantly higher academic self-efficacy and faculty grade-point averages than students who were not gifted. Students who reported being gifted but had no formal diagnosis reported having significantly higher levels of happiness, self-esteem, and mental balance than students who had received a formal gifted diagnosis. Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Motivation, self-efficacy and learning strategies of university students participating in work integrated learning


Maureen T.B. Drysdale & Margaret McBeath

This study examined differences in the psychological constructs of motivation, academic self-efficacy, and learning strategies between higher education students who participated in a work-integrated learning (WIL) programme and those who did not. Undergraduate WIL (n = 1048) and non-WIL (n = 656) students in all years of study and from several academic faculties, completed the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ), which measures the constructs of motivation, academic self-efficacy and use of learning and study strategies. Results revealed that students who do not gain practical work experience while pursuing their studies have lower grade-point averages, are more likely to use shallow learning strategies, and are more extrinsically motivated compared to students who do gain work experience through a WIL programme. Differences in academic self-efficacy as a function of WIL were not found, however, significant relationships between self-efficacy, motivation, learning strategies, academic performance and anxiety did emerge. Implications and recommendation for future research are provided.

Work-integrated learning and the importance of peer support and sense of belonging


Margaret McBeath, Maureen T.B. Drysdale, & Nicholas Bohn

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between peer support and sense of belonging on the mental health and overall well-being, with a specific focus on comparing the perceptions of students in a work-integrated learning (WIL) program to those in a traditional non-WIL program. Semi-structured group interviews were conducted with 25 participants, selected from a university with a WIL program. Interview data captured perceptions of peer support, sense of belonging, and how these influenced mental health, overall well-being, and confidence in making school-to-work transitions. Analysis followed the grounded theory approach of Glaser. The analysis revealed that peer support and sense of belonging were essential protective factors for university student’s mental health and well-being, particularly during off-campus work terms or when transitioning to the labor market after graduation. Data suggested that participating in a WIL program can exacerbate students’ perceived barriers to accessing peer support resources and, in turn, lead to poor mental health.

Learning attributes, academic self-efficacy and sense of belonging amongst mature students at a Canadian university


Sandra Erb & Maureen T.B. Drysdale

The current study investigated learning attributes, academic self-efficacy and sense of belonging of mature adult students in higher education. Undergraduate students of all ages at a large Canadian research intensive university were recruited to participate in an online survey. Mature and traditional age students were compared on their motivation and learning strategies, test anxiety, academic self-efficacy and sense of belonging. Results revealed that mature students possessed significantly higher levels of overall academic self-efficacy and lower levels of test anxiety than traditional age students, boding well for their success in higher education. However, significantly lower levels of sense of belonging reported by mature students provide cause for concern considering the relationship between sense of belonging, persistence in higher education and well-being. Implications, limitations and recommendations for future research are provided.

Building multi-target commitment through work-integrated learning : The roles of proactive socialization behaviours and organizational socialization domains


Antoine Pennaforte, Maureen Drysdale, & T. Judene Pretti

This research tested the relationships between 2905 newcomers’ proactive socialization behaviours and two outcomes – organizational socialization domains and unidimensional target-free commitment – in the particular context of short-term contracts prior to graduating. The short-term contracts were four-month work-integrated learning work terms built into a student’s degree requirements. Results from multiple regressions supported the direct relationships between proactive socialization behaviours and two outcomes of organizational socialization domains and unidimensional target-free commitment. In addition, a mediating effect of socialization domains in the relationship between proactive socialization behaviours and commitment (to the team and to the work) was revealed. Findings indicated that even in temporary short-term employment, individuals mastered socialization in organizational domains and developed multiple paths to nurture several links between themselves and their organizations with respect to commitment. The discussion focuses on the theoretical and practical implications of the findings and provides recommendations for future research.

Psychological attributes and work-integrated learning: an international study


Maureen T.B. Drysdale, Margaret McBeath, Kristina Johansson, Sheri Dressler, & Elena Zaitseva

The purpose of this paper is to explore – on an international level – the relationship between work-integrated learning (WIL) and several psychological attributes (i.e. hope, procrastination, self-concept, self-efficacy, motivation, and study skills) believed to be important for a successful transition to the labor market. A between-subjects design was used with participants in one of two groups: WIL and non-WIL. The design provided data on the effects of the independent variable (WIL) on a number of dependent variables (attributes) across four countries. Data were collected via an online survey and analyzed using a series of ANOVAs and MANOVAs. WIL and non-WIL students in the four countries shared several attributes – however – significant differences also emerged. WIL compared to non-WIL students compared reported stronger math and problem solving self-concepts, yet weaker effort regulation and perceived critical thinking skills. WIL students were more extrinsically motivated than their non-WIL peers in three of the four countries. Female students in WIL reported being the most anxious compared to other students.

Exploring Hope, Self-Efficacy, Procrastination, and Study Skills between Cooperative and Non-Cooperative Education Students


Maureen T.B. Drysdale & Margaret McBeath

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between participation in cooperative education, and several psychological constructs believed to be related to success in both academic and professional settings. Participants, undergraduate cooperative (n = 1224) and non-cooperative education (n = 746) students in all years of study and from several academic faculties, completed a survey measuring the psychological constructs of hope, self-efficacy, procrastination, and study-skills. Results indicated significant differences in several study skill characteristics as a function of co-op, gender, and faculty. No significant differences emerged between co-op and non-co-op students on the hope, self-efficacy, or procrastination scales. Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.