Factorial Validation of an Academic Environment Scale for Undergraduate Education Students in Jos, Nigeria

Factorial Validation of an Academic Environment Scale for Undergraduate Education Students in Jos, Nigeria

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Factorial Validation of an Academic Environment Scale for Undergraduate Education Students in Jos, Nigeria

This study developed and validated an academic environment assessment scale for undergraduate education students in the Faculty of Education of a University, Nigeria. Dearth of reliable academic environment assessment scale and persistent poor performance of students over the years in Research Methods and Statistics courses prompted the study. Academic variables, such as students’, personaldispositions and interactions with the course lecturers, which are intertwined with stress, tension and frustration, are assumed to be contributing factors to success or failure in the courses at the undergraduate level. A sample of 310 students was drawn from a population of 790 final year undergraduate education students in 2013/2014 academic session, using a stratified sampling technique. A 43-item Academic Environment Scale (AES), which sought perceptions of students about their academic environment developed and validated by the researchers, was used for data collection. Data collected were analysed using exploratory factor analysis technique and Cronbach alpha method. The data passed the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) test for adequacy of sample and Bartlett’,s test of sphericity for suitability of data for factor analysis. The Kaiser’,s rule (eigenvalue ≥, 1) and scree plot were adopted in extraction of five factors as underlying structure of the instrument. The factors were labeled respect for students, academic guidance to students, commitment to academic work, relationship with lecturers and freedom of learning, based on the description of items that loaded on them. The reliability coefficient of 0.91 was also established for the instrument. The factor analysis and reliability results provided clear evidence for factorial validity and reliability of the instrument. It was recommended, based on the findings, that the instrument should be used for exploring students’, perceptions of personal and social academic environment variables and as a valid diagnostic tool for providing guidance and counseling support to students.Keywords: Factorial validation, academic environment, education undergraduate students, Nigeria.

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