The present study was guided by the belief that the accurate prediction of students’ performance difficulties, even before such difficulties manifest themselves, is critical to the effectiveness of remedial instruction for at-risk students. The study focused on Middle Eastern students (n = 167), an understudied population, who were enrolled in a general education course devoted to learning how to write research reports. Prior withdrawal rates and students’ end-of-semester evaluations qualified the course as challenging. The study aimed to examine the extent to which individual differences in active and passive procrastination and self-efficacy may predict the initial writing performance of such students. Contrary to passive procrastination, which denotes intentional avoidance of work, active procrastination refers to the intentional decision to postpone work until the last minute to enhance motivation. Self-efficacy is the confidence in one’s competence to execute the necessary actions to achieve desired outcomes. In the extant literature, by and large of Western import, students’ under-performance has often been reported as linked to low self-efficacy and passive procrastination, whereas academic success has been linked to active procrastination, but null or weak findings also exist. We found no evidence that self-efficacy and either active or passive procrastination predict initial writing performance. Instead, performance was predicted by behavioral measures, such as attendance records, and the timing of the submission. Taken together, these findings suggest that the identification of students for remedial interventions intended to enhance their resilience may benefit from attention to obvious behavioral measures.
Maura Pilotti, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, Saudi Arabia
Emaan Nazeeruddin, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, Saudi Arabia