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The purpose of this research is to identify the academic procrastination among Physical and Health education students at Faculty of Education, UiTM Campus Section 17 Shah Alam Selangor. Hence, this chapter will focus on the summary of the findings and the recommendations for future research that will help the future researcher in their investigations.
The present study has addressed the research questions of the study on procrastination behavior among Physical and Health Education students of the Faculty of Education UiTM. This section will discuss the findings based on the research questions of the study.
5.1.1 Research Question 1
What is the frequency of procrastination on academic tasks among undergraduate Physical and Health Education students?
In the first section of the questionnaire, the respondents have to rank each stated academic tasks such as (a) studying for exams, (b) reading assignments, (c) doing homework/class assignments, and (d) making/meeting a necessary appointment to which they procrastinate more to less.
Based on the findings of the present study, it is found that doing homework/class assignments received the highest frequency from most of the respondents. It might be that these tasks needed the students to do it in their own preference time which gives them more time to think on how and when to do the task. It is related to time management and indecision. According to Noran (2000), a person might procrastinate because he or she does not capable of managing time wisely, causing him or her unable to set goals, objectives or to determine what things are more important, therefore he/she postpones doing academic tasks to a later date.
The second task that received the highest frequency of procrastination is studying for exams. It is possible that students procrastinate on this task because they are afraid of failure. It has been proven that one of the most significant reasons of procrastination is fear and anxiety related to failure. Noran (2000) stated that a person with high fear and anxiety spends more time worrying about the approaching test or assignment rather than studying or starting to do his or her given assignment.
The third is reading assignments, which may include assessments by the lecturer during and for the next class. The lowest rank selected by most of the respondents is meeting/making a necessary appointment with their lecturer. It is possible that they less procrastinate on this task because it is related to other person, which in this case, their lecturer and they do not have other option but to meet the appointment.
5.1.2 Research Question 2
What types of academic task are most preferable by students to procrastinate?
The second section of the questionnaire measured the frequency of procrastination on a variety of academic tasks such as (a) studying for exams, (b) reading assignments, (c) doing homework/class assignments, and (d) making/meeting a necessary appointment.
Studying for Exam
Most of the respondents agree and strongly agree that they procrastinate on studying for exam. This task requires students to do lots of revision, which basically ask them to read and make notes for the subject that will be tested. Basically, Physical and Education students are more exposed to physical subjects matter, and when it comes to subject that requires more reading, it is possible that they might indirectly find the subject as uninteresting. N. A. Milgram et al. (1988) demonstrated that individuals tend to engage in more procrastination behaviour on tasks which are perceived to be more unpleasant or less enjoyable than others.
Regarding to which they find that procrastinating on this task is a problem for them, more than a half of the respondents agree and strongly agree that it is a problem to procrastinate on studying for exams. Most of the subjects that are compulsory for education students are tested in the examination, so it is important for each Physical and Education students to pass on these subjects. So, the possibility for the procrastinators to get themselves into problem (which may include mental and psychological distress) during preparation for examination is high.
Though most of the respondents want to decrease their tendency to procrastinate on this task, there are an amount of respondents who are not sure whether they want to decrease on procrastinating on studying for exams or not. This might be that they find a little bit of pressure towards the examination date is good for them to stay focus and study even harder so that they can excel on the subject.
More than half of the respondents procrastinate on reading assignments. This task includes reading on the notes for next lecture, and reading any educational and non-educational materials which are required in completing any writing assignments. Most of the existed reference books are in English language and this might be the major hindrance for them to stay focus in reading and understanding the text. Other than that, the students might just too lazy to read the notes, thus leads to procrastination.
Despite the fact that most of the respondents find procrastinating on this task is a problem for them, there are quite a number of respondents who are not sure of this problem matter. They might see that procrastinating on reading assignments is a usual action for most undergraduate students and it gives less negative effect to their academic performance, as they might still understand the lecture even without an advance reading on the topic presented.
Most of the respondents agree and strongly agree that they want to decrease their tendency on this task. This might be that they are aware of certain effects of procrastination on reading assignments, such as inability to prepare themselves for any unexpected quiz or the possibility for them to be asked by the lecturer regarding the topic presented during the lecture. Other than that, it might be difficult for them to complete and submit any other assigned tasks on time if they procrastinate on the reading process.
Doing Homework/Class Assignments
The content distribution for which the respondents procrastinate on this task is more or less even as there is quite a value for each response. However, most of them agree and strongly agree that they procrastinate on doing homework/ class assignments. These tasks require them to complete each of it within a short time, thus procrastinating in doing so might brings problem for them in the next class. A person who procrastinates is not capable of managing time wisely, causing him or her unable to set goals, objectives or to determine what things are more important, therefore he/she postpones doing academic tasks to a later date (Noran, 2000).
Most of the respondents find procrastination on this task a problem for them. Basically, homework and other class assignments are due within a week, so it might be more difficult for them if they are to do it last minute as their works might get bigger in amount and they have little time to finish it all. Other than that, most of these tasks require the students to cooperate with other classmates, so procrastination on doing so might hurt other's grade as well.
Regarding to which they want to decrease their tendency to procrastinate on this task, most of the respondents, which is more than a half, do want to decrease in procrastinating on doing homework/class assignments. Upon knowing the consequences of procrastinating on these tasks, such as failed to submit tasks on time and might get humiliated due to inability to do the task well, they agree and strongly agree that they definitely want to decrease the tendency in doing so.
Meeting/Making a Necessary Appointment with Lecturer
Based on the findings in the previous chapter, it is stated that more than a half respondents disagree and strongly disagree on procrastinating on meeting/making a necessary appointment with lecturer. This might be due to the fact that it is inappropriate to delay the meeting with a person who is regarded to be more superior, which in this case, the lecturer. Maintaining a good relationship with the lecturer is very important in ensuring good grades and positive perceptions of the students. However, there is no absolute proof on this matter based on previous researches.
Regarding to which they find it is a problem to procrastinate on this task, the response distribution is quite a balance ranging from disagree to agree. For the respondents who agree and strongly agree that it is a problem, the possible reason underlies might be that they value their relationship with the lecturer and by delaying the meeting, it might ruin the lecturer's trust on them. However, for the respondents who are not sure, disagree and strongly disagree that it is a problem, it might be due to the fact that they do not even procrastinate in doing so.
Most of the respondents agree and strongly agree that they want to decrease the tendency of procrastinating on meeting/making a necessary appointment with lecturer. Upon realizing that their grade and result depend on their lecturer, it might be a must for them to less procrastinate on this particular task and to maintain a positive relationship with the lecturer.
All in all, it can be concluded that the Physical and Health Education students of the Faculty of Education UiTM mostly procrastinate on studying for exam, doing their homework or class assignments and reading assignment. Meeting or making a necessary appointment with their lecturer reported a lower percentage of procrastination among the Physical and Health Education students.
5.1.3 Research Question 3
What are the reasons for procrastination behavior?
There are several reasons for procrastination behavior reported in the findings of this study, which are, the feeling of overwhelmed by the task and inability to organize time wisely, difficulty in making decision, fear of failure, risk-taking, laziness, task-aversiveness, lack of assertion, perfectionism, lack of self-confidence, dependency, peer influence, fear of success and rebellion against control.
The present study has revealed that the Physical and Health Education students at the Faculty of Education UiTM procrastinate as a result of evaluation anxiety or fear of failure, in which the present study has revealed that many of subjects reflected themselves as worried of getting bad grade. They might intentionally procrastinate on doing a task that may result in failure to avoid any possible embarrassment or criticism from others or by intentionally failing to submit their assignments, so they won't get any bad comments from the lecturer or friends (Rothblum, 2007).
Moreover is inability to manage their time wisely. This is second higher percentage of students stated that they have too many other things to do, and this suggest that, students is unable to determine which task should be given a high priority. The findings also show that students tend to overwhelmed by tasks, which lead students to procrastinate due to the inability of organizing their time properly.
The third reason is perfectionism, in which the students set very high standard for themselves and worried that they would not be able to meet those standards and they were concerned would not meet they own expectations. Based on the research conducted by Dr. Onwuegbuzie's (2000), it is stated that students procrastinate because they feel that other people have high expectations of their work. Students seem to feel an implicit pressure from their peers and professors to produce very good ideas and research on the very first try. As a reaction to this socially-prescribed perfectionism, students delay their work. The study also found that self-oriented perfectionism had a small effect on procrastination while other-orientated perfectionism had no effect on procrastination.
The fourth significant factor is lack of self-confident or low self-esteem, which they did not trust them self to do a good job and did not think you knew enough to write the final assignment. The procrastination behaviour then allows them to avoid complete testing of their abilities, thus maintaining a belief that their abilities are higher than their actual performance might be (Haycock. L. A, McCarthy. P, & Skay. C. L, 1998).
The fifth reason is dependency and help seeking. The students procrastinate because they are too dependent on others on what to do in their tasks or works. The other point is that, they might needed help on completing the task but are afraid to ask for it, so procrastinate will help them on facing the real situation. (Solomon & Rothblum, 1984) in their study on Academic Procrastination: Frequency and Cognitive-Behavioral Correlates has included this reason. However, the study has not proven the accuracy of the reason to be one of the main reasons of procrastination behavior among undergraduate students.
Aversiveness of the task is the sixth significant reason of procrastination behavior among the undergraduate students. Previous research has demonstrated that individuals tend to engage in more procrastination behaviour on tasks which are perceived to be more unpleasant or less enjoyable than others. Research done by N. A. Milgram et al. (1988) has found that students are more likely to delay tasks that they find less enjoyable doing, compared to tasks that they enjoy doing. This factor relates not only to the dislike of engaging in academic activities, but also to a lack of energy. Students who endorsed this factor reflecting difficulty in making decisions and time management, two areas that were frequently endorsed. This factor correlates significantly with depression, irrational beliefs, and punctuality and organised study habits (Solomon & Rothblum, 1984).
Laziness is also a possible reason for procrastination behavior among the undergraduate students at the Faculty of education, UiTM. The finding of might suggest that the students stated that they just feel too lazy to start writing their assignment. With no strong reason, most of the students risking themselves by doing their assignments last minutes, in which the students stated that they procrastinate because they feel excited when they start and do their task or assignments at the last minutes. According to a research done by Solomon and Rothblum (1984) laziness is related to lack of energy in which the students is not able to perform the given task because they are too occupied with other tasks and then became lazy to start doing the task.
The students also have trouble in deciding what to include and not to include for their task, and this finding suggested that the students procrastinate by spending too much time on determining their decisions before proceeding to start a task. Difficulty in making decision can be also related to evaluation anxiety or fear of failure (the main reason why students procrastinate). A person who procrastinates is not capable of managing time wisely, causing him or her unable to set goals, objectives or to determine what things are more important, therefore he/she postpones doing academic tasks to a later date.
To conclude this section, the main reasons of procrastination among the Physical and Health Education students at the Faculty of Education are the evaluation anxiety (fear of failure), tendency to feel overwhelmed and poor time management, perfectionism, lack of self-confidence, dependency, aversiveness, laziness, risk taking (related to started their assignments at the last minutes), and difficulty in making decisions. The last four possible reasons did not reflect much of the students.
The findings of the present study are almost same with any previous study on procrastination. For further research, it is recommended that a larger sample size (a recommended sample size is n = 300 or more) be used. In administrating the questionnaire, a proper session is necessary to eliminate any possible distractions when subjects filling up questionnaire, as this can affect data validity. It is also recommended that items of the questionnaire both be in English and Malay language to ensure subjects understand the question.
In addition, for getting more comparison, the future researcher should use interview than only uses questionnaire. The findings from the interview will provide beneficial information to get best result. Besides that, the future researcher also can conduct this topic to differentiate between the other programs at Faculty of Education or between the other faculties in UiTM or any others higher learning institution.
In conclusion, based from the research that has been done the findings for this research has successfully define the procrastination behavior problem among the Physical and Education Education students in UiTM Shah Alam, Selangor. All the findings from this investigation had been answered from the research objectives and research questions.
As overall conclusions, undergraduate students procrastinate more on studying for exams if compared to other academic tasks, such as reading assignments and doing homework or class assignments. It shows that these students are more confident of procrastinating this task compared to task who need them to work with other people.
There are few significant reasons of procrastination found in the present research, which are evaluation anxiety, tendency to feel overwhelmed and poorly managed time, and perfectionism. This suggest that the students are of exam oriented and are concerned much on their result which influenced their CGPA.