Luhan, Gregory Anthony (2016-12). Measurement of Self-Efficacy, Predisposition for Collaboration, and Project Scores in Architectural Design Studios. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • The design of high-performance, sustainable, built environments in architectural practice is becoming more collaborative, and the demands on architectural education to provide measurable learning outcomes that more successfully prepare students to contribute in a practice setting are increasing. Since educational experts assert that self-efficacy is a key attribute of successful students and architectural education relies heavily upon project-based learning in design studios, it is a reasonable expectation that the character and quality of architectural design studio courses may affect the development of Design Self-Efficacy. This research has developed instruments by which instructional methods, self-efficacy, and student projects may be measured and scored, enabling reliable and valid investigation of the relationships among these factors. This dissertation has three primary foci: (1) developing an instrument to measure student Design Self-Efficacy and predisposition to collaboration in design studios; (2) developing a framework for better understanding how studio type and project type impact Design Self-Efficacy, and (3) developing an instrument employing an assessment rubric to measure student learning outcomes through end results of a Project Score. Data was collected from Texas A&M University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Kansas via content analysis of studio syllabi; focus groups and interviews with faculty; electronic surveys of students enrolled in architectural design studios; and the assessment of projects using a validated rubric. This research included the development and calibration of measurement instruments to determine if correlation exists between Design Self-Efficacy (DSE), disposition for collaboration (PD), studio-type (ST), project-type (PT), and project score (PS). Research revealed that PD is sensitive to different students and different moments in time. The DSE instrument produced results that aligned to self-efficacy theory and data analysis revealed increased self-efficacy from undergraduate through graduate studies, and theoretical groupings that parallel the processes of design studio problem solving, project development, iteration, evaluation, and communication. The PS data analysis revealed gaps in architectural design studio evaluations that can be addressed with an assessment rubric. The results of this dissertation serve as a foundation for a future research agenda to improve design education, inform the accreditation process of professional architecture programs in North America and by extension, impact the practice of architecture.

publication date

  • December 2016