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Sports Biomech. 2018 Sep;17(3):361-370. doi: 10.1080/14763141.2017.1347194. Epub 2017 Jul 21.

Important learning factors in high- and low-achieving students in undergraduate biomechanics.

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a Department of Kinesiology, College of Communication and Education , California State University , Chico , CA , USA.
b Department of Health and Human Performance, College of Education , Texas State University , San Marcos , TX , USA.


The purpose of the present study was to document crucial factors associated with students' learning of biomechanical concepts, particularly between high- and-low achieving students. Students (N = 113) from three introductory biomechanics classes at two public universities volunteered for the study. Two measures of students' learning were obtained, final course grade and improvement on the Biomechanics Concept Inventory version 3 administered before and after the course. Participants also completed a 15-item questionnaire documenting student learning characteristics, effort, and confidence. Partial correlations controlling for all other variables in the study, confirmed previous studies that students' grade point average (p < 0.01), interest in biomechanics, (p < 0.05), and physics credits passed (p < 0.05) are factors uniquely associated with learning biomechanics concepts. Students' confidence when encountering difficult biomechanics concepts was also significantly (p < 0.05) associated with final grade. There were significant differences between top 15% and bottom 15% achievers on these variables (p < 0.05), as well as on readings completed, work to pay for college per week, and learning epistemology. Consequently, instructors should consider strategies to promote students' interest in biomechanics and confidence in solving relevant professional problems in order to improve learning for both low- and high-ability students.


BCI; confidence; final grade; learning behaviours; motivation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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