Theoretical Framework

There are a plethora of learning theories and frameworks available worthy of understanding and designing educational offerings. Bandura self-efficacy theory and the Constructivist theory were chosen to underpinned this study.

The social learning theory (SLT) was largely the work of Bandura (1977) that combined both behaviorist and cognitivist orientations. In the SLT, the active learner observed others and made decisions to reproduce the behavior. The SLT focused on learning from one another through observation, imitation of others, and by modeling behaviors (Novack, 2013). A fundamental principle of the SLT was reciprocal determinism which posits that the person, the person’s behavior, and the surrounding environment interacts to determine behavior (Pajares, 2002). The three primary constructs in the social cognitive theory were: (a) behavior capacity; (b) efficacy expectation; and (c) outcome expectation that must be modified for a new behavior to be acquired, performed, and sustained over time (Armitage & Conner, 2000). Behavior capacity or skill can be changed both through direct experience or practice and through observation of a role model who stimulated the desired behavior (Artino, 2012). Outcome and efficacy expectations, on the other hand, can be modified by four different processes of self-efficacy beliefs, which included past performance accomplishments, vicarious experiences, social persuasions, and physiological and affective status (Artino, 2012).

The self-efficacy theory was part of the SLT theory and was the major focus contributing to the theoretical framework of this study. The fundamental principle behind the self-efficacy theory was the process of how individuals perceived self-efficacy and what effect it had, if any, in influencing their choice of tasks, the performance of a chosen task, the effort the person was willing to put into accomplishing said task, and the dedication of the individual seeing the task to completion (Redmond, 2016). The self-efficacy theory postulated that people acquired information to evaluate efficacy beliefs from four primary sources: (a) past performance accomplishments or actual performance of a given task; (b) vicarious or common experiences that stem from watching other people perform a task; (c) forms of persuasion, both verbal and otherwise; (d) and physiological and affective states from which people partly judge their capableness, strength, and vulnerability to dysfunction (Artino, 2012). According to Bandura (1977), self-efficacy for any given task increases with improved competence for the behavior used to complete the task. Bandura argued that the stronger the self-efficacy, the more likely people were to select, persist, and successfully perform challenging tasks.


Armitage, C. J., & Conner, M. (2000). Social cognition models and health behaviour: a structured review. Psychology & Health, 15(2), 173-189.

Artino, A. R. (2012). Academic self-efficacy: From educational theory to instructional practice. Perspectives on Medical Education, 1(2), 76-85. doi:10.1007/s40037-012-0012-5

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.84.2.191

Novack, D. L. (2013). Fall 2013 self-efficacy case study.   Retrieved from

Pajares, F. (2002). Overview of social cognitive theory and of self-efficacy.

Redmond, B. F. (2016). Self-efficacy and social cognitive theories.   Retrieved from

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