Personal epistemology refers to individuals' beliefs about the nature of knowledge or knowing. Each particular belief is called an "epistemic belief". The aim of the present study was to examine the hypothesis proposed by Nomura & Maruno (2011, in Japanese) that students' personal epistemology determines their view of their classes and that students' behavior in class is one of the effects of students' personal epistemology of the teaching and learning processes. First, a scale of epistemic beliefs, based on a survey of 745 undergraduate students (Study 1), was constructed and validated. Second, a class was conducted for undergraduate students (79 male,80 female),using inquiring and answering. It was found that the students who had a higher estimate of the nature of knowledge-to-use (the extent of taking conditions into account and wide applicability) viewed the class as collaborative and reported that inquiring and answering in the class was effective. Moreover, their self-reports accommodated differences between others' opinions and their own in the discussion phase. The results are discussed from the viewpoint of epistemic beliefs regarding a class as a collaborative activity.
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