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- Accessing Information on the World Wide Web: Predicting Usage Based on Involvement
- Advice for Web designers often includes an admonition to use short, scannable, bullet-pointed text, reflecting the common belief that browsing the Web most often involves scanning rather than reading. Literature from several disciplines focuses on the myriad combinations of factors related to online reading but studies of the users' interests and motivations appear to offer a more promising avenue for understanding how users utilize information on Web pages. This study utilized the modified Personal Involvement Inventory (PII), a ten-item instrument used primarily in the marketing and advertising fields, to measure interest and motivation toward a topic presented on the Web. Two sites were constructed from Reader's Digest Association, Inc. online articles and a program written to track students' use of the site. Behavior was measured by the initial choice of short versus longer versions of the main page, the number of pages visited and the amount of time spent on the site. Data were gathered from students at a small, private university in the southwest part of the United States to answer six hypotheses which posited that subjects with higher involvement in a topic presented on the Web and a more positive attitude toward the Web would tend to select the longer text version, visit more pages, and spend more time on the site. While attitude toward the Web did not correlate significantly with any of the behavioral factors, the level of involvement was associated with the use of the sites in two of three hypotheses, but only partially in the manner hypothesized. Increased involvement with a Web topic did correlate with the choice of a longer, more detailed initial Web page, but was inversely related to the number of pages viewed so that the higher the involvement, the fewer pages visited. An additional indicator of usage, the average amount of time spent on each page, was measured and revealed that more involved users spent more time on each page.
- Adolescent Task Management: Multitasking and Social Media in the Student Search Process
- This study examines adolescent students at an American international school and observes student use of social networking programs as well as physical actions in the search process. The study specifically observed multitasking behavior and organizational skills among students, as well as linkages made through social networking sites. Student observations, student interviews, analysis of Facebook entries, and a survey on multitasking yielded rich data. Students appear to be far more organized than previously suggested in the literature, and in this study, the organization proved to be largely self-taught. Students used their social networks to build a kind of group expertise that compensated for their youthful naivety. Students exhibited self-control within the search to the degree that they could focus on what they wanted to find, and they used heuristics—mental shortcuts—to achieve what they needed. Searches also suggest creativity in that students were flexible in their search methods and used a number of tools to gather information. Students could balance the needs of the academic or imposed search with their own online lives, meaning that they made compensations for social media and media multitasking when it was deemed necessary.
- The Adoption and Use of Electronic Information Resources by a Non-Traditional User Group: Automotive Service Technicians.
- The growing complexity of machines has led to a concomitant increase in the amount and complexity of the information needed by those charged with servicing them. This, in turn, has led to a need for more robust methods for storing and distributing information and for a workforce more sophisticated in its use of information resources. As a result, the service trades have "professionalized," adopting more rigorous academic standards and developing ongoing certification programs. The current paper deals with the acceptance of advanced electronic information technology by skilled service personnel, specifically, automotive service technicians. The theoretical basis of the study is Davis' technology acceptance model. The purpose of the study is to determine the effects of three external factors on the operation of the model: age, work experience, and education/certification level. The research design is in two parts, beginning with an onsite observation and interviews to establish the environment. During the second part of the research process a survey was administered to a sample of automotive service technicians. Results indicated significant inverse relationships between age and acceptance and between experience and acceptance. A significant positive relationship was shown between education, particularly certification, and acceptance.
- The Adoption of Open Source Software in Uganda: a Pragmatist Approach to the Formation of a National Information Policy for a New Technology
- This exploratory research examined an information policy formation process for the adoption of open source software (OSS) in Uganda. Grounded in a pragmatist tradition, this theoretical and empirical study pursued a qualitative research approach with a triangulation of theoretical concepts, data collection, and analysis techniques in an iterative and interactive process. The design provided a powerful context to develop and conduct field activities in Kampala with a purposeful sample of 22 participants, 20 in interviews and 5 in a focus group discussion. The research design enhanced consistency in the evidence from the data, increased robustness in the results, and confidence in the findings. The results highlighted a vibrant ICT sector in Uganda, underlined the multiple stakeholders and their competing interests in the policy, revealed a lack of consensus between the government and OSS promoters on the meaning of OSS, and illuminated the benefits in the OSS model over proprietary software. The stakeholders' conflicting perceptions appear to be too far apart to allow meaningful progress and are derailing the policy. Unless their conflicting perceptions are resolved, the OSS policy will continue stagnating. The study fills critical information gaps in Uganda’s policy formation processes, provides timely and relevant information to holistically understand a complex policy formation stage to enable stakeholders to resolve their impasse and enact a law to embrace OSS. It breaks ground in information policy research in framing policy formation processes for new ICTs, such as OSS, as ideologically-oriented. The findings offer ideas to scholars and African countries to draw applicable lessons.
- Affordances of External Representations in Instructional Design: The Effect of Narrative and Imagery in Learning.
- Consisting of both theoretical and empirical inquires, this study examines the primary functions of narrative and the relationship between narrative and mental imagery. The study proposes a new framework to interpret semiotic resources. Combining this with the linguistic functional theory of Halliday (1978), a functional method to empirically investigate semiotic representations was also developed. In the empirical inquiry, the study developed a latent construct method to empirically test the effects of narrative in a real learning situation. This study is the first to investigate the functional relationship between narrative and mental imagery, and among the first to suggest a theory and empirically investigate representations of a multimodal nature. The study is also among the first to use latent constructs to investigate the learning experience in a real educational setting. Data were collected from 190 library professionals who enrolled in three sections (two in narrative and one in plain text) of an online course administered through Vista 4.0 and who completed the course and responded to several instruments. Essay data (n = 82 x 2) were analyzed using content analysis based on the narrative analysis framework developed. Quantitative data analysis methods include univariate data analysis, factor analysis, and structural equation modeling that tests the proposed model and verifies the relationships between the latent variables. Overall, the findings support the hypotheses about the functional effects of narrative identified, and narrative is found to provide a favorable and positive learning context which is tested by the proposed model of learning experience measured by several latent constructs (X2 = 31.67, df = 47, p = .9577, RMSEA = .00, SRMR = .047, NNFI = 1.05, CFI = 1.00, and GFI = .94). The results indicate that participants who enrolled in the narrative sections of the course gained higher creative scores and showed better results in performance-based and attribution-based experiences. The model testing results indicate that even though more time spent during learning led to better outcome and performance in both groups, more time spent means more satisfaction for the individuals in the narrative group, but led to less satisfaction for the individuals in the non-narrative group.
- An Analysis of the Ability of an Instrument to Measure Quality of Library Service and Library Success
- This study consisted of an examination of how service quality should be measured within libraries and how library service quality relates to library success. A modified version of the SERVQUAL instrument was evaluated to determine how effectively it measures library service quality. Instruments designed to measure information center success and information system success were evaluated to determine how effectively they measure library success and how they relate to SERVQUAL. A model of library success was developed to examine how library service quality relates to other variables associated with library success. Responses from 385 end users at two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers libraries were obtained through a mail survey. Results indicate that library service quality is best measured with a performance-based version of SERVQUAL, and that measuring importance may be as critical as measuring expectations for management purposes. Results also indicate that library service quality is an important factor in library success and that library success is best measured with a combination of SERVQUAL and library success instruments. The findings have implications for the development of new instruments to more effectively measure library service quality and library success as well as for the development of new models of library service quality and library success.
- Analyzing Learner Characteristics, Undergraduate Experience and Individual Teamwork Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Toward Identifying Themes to Promote Higher Workforce Readiness
- With the world amidst globalization and economic flux affecting business, industry, and communities the need to work together becomes increasingly important. Higher education serves an important role in developing the individual teaming capabilities of the workforce. This environment is the time and place - opportunity for student personnel to develop these capabilities. This multiple case study utilized the analysis phase (learner, setting and job) of an instructional design model to analyze learner characteristics, the higher education environment/undergraduate experience, and the job/skills associated with individual teamwork knowledge, skills, and abilities of students from a senior cohort of the TRiO - SSS Project at a public student-centered research institution. The results yielded themes to promote the development of target populations individual teamwork KSAs which should increase their readiness to meet the teaming demands of today's employers. With an engaging undergraduate experience, inclusive of interaction with faculty members and collaborative learning with their peers, structured opportunities to practice individual teamwork KSAs in a work setting or internship, these underrepresented students may be an asset that is needed to meet the global workforce needs and fill civic capacities in their home communities.
- The Applicability of SERVPERF in Judging Service Quality for Biomedical Information Professionals
- The applicability of SERVPERF as a tool for judging the quality of services used by biomedical information professionals was tested using standard statistical procedures. Data was gathered nationally via a combination of electronic and non-electronic forms, from Area Health Education Center (AHEC) information professionals and the results consolidated to provide information for the study. It was determined that SERVPERF was applicable in making judgements about service quality for AHEC information professionals. Their perceptions about service quality tended to have a greater influence than did their level of actual satisfaction on whether or not they planned to use a particular service in the future. There is currently no validated tool available to ascertain the quality of services offered to these valuable members of the rural health care team. This dissertation proposes to provide such a tool, and to serve as a guide or template for other professionals seeking a means to judge service quality in their own disciplines.
- Are Online Catalogs for Children Giving Them What They Need? Children's Cognitive Development and Information Seeking and Their Impact on Design
- Research shows children in an online environment often search by browsing, which relies heavily on recognition and content knowledge, so catalog systems for children must use effective symbols or pictorial representations, which correspond with children's own cognitive schema and level of recognition knowledge. This study was designed to look at the success of young children (ages 5 to 8) in searching 3 online public library catalogs designed for them, and it focused specifically on the pictorial representations and text descriptors used in the systems' browsing hierarchy. The research sought answer whether young children (ages 5 to 8) are really poor searchers because of cognitive development and lack of technology skills or if system design is the major reason for poor search results; i.e., Do current children's online catalog designs function in a manner that is compatible with information seeking by children? Although these results can not be generalized, this study indicates that there was a disconnect between the cognitive abilities of young users and catalog design. The study looked at search success on the 3 catalogs in relation to the catalog characteristics and individual user characteristics and makes 3 significant contributions to the field of library and information science. The first contribution is the modification of an existing model posed by Cooper and O'Connor and modified by Abbas (2002). The second significant contribution is the proposal of a new model, Creel's second best choice (SBC) model, that addresses the cognitive gap and design flaws that impact the choices participants made. The third significant contribution is that this study addresses and fills a gap in the literature.
- Assessing Perceived Credibility of Web Sites in a Terrorism Context: The PFLP, Tamil Tigers, Hamas, and Hezbollah
- The purpose of the study was to contribute to the overall understanding of terrorist organizations' use of the Internet and to increase researchers' knowledge of Web site effectiveness. The methodological approach was evaluation of the perceived credibility of Web sites based on existing criteria derived from information users. The Web sites of four terrorist organizations were assessed: two secular nationalist groups, the People's Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers); and two religious nationalist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah. The findings of this analysis showed differences in perceived credibility factors among terrorist organizations' Web sites and positive levels of perceived credibility for the Web sites. These findings indicate the potential for positive impressions of the organizations' Web sites by information users, which would help empower the organizations with the capacity to reach their objectives. By using Web sites, these groups can effectively increase their support base through disseminating information, improving recruiting, and attracting monetary contributions, and can establish themselves as legitimate components of society.
- Assessment of a Library Learning Theory by Measuring Library Skills of Students Completing an Online Library Instruction Tutorial
- This study is designed to reveal whether students acquire the domains and levels of library skills discussed in a learning library skills theory after participating in an online library instruction tutorial. The acquisition of the library skills is demonstrated through a review of the scores on online tutorial quizzes, responses to a library skills questionnaire, and bibliographies of course research papers. Additional areas to be studied are the characteristics of the participants enrolled in traditional and online courses at a community college and the possible influence of these characteristics on the demonstrated learning of library skills. Multiple measurement methods, identified through assessment of library instruction literature, are used to verify the effectiveness of the library skills theory and to strengthen the validity and reliability of the study results.
- Blogging and Tweens: Communication Portal to Reading Selection and Engagement
- The ethnographic study utilized the research techniques of observations, content analysis, and semi-structured interviews with tween participants (i.e., 9 through 13 year-old youth) during an 8-week literary blog project. Twenty-six participants created individual blog pages within a member-only classroom blog site that allowed for online communication between members. the blog project incorporated social networking applications with which youth frequently engage. the research questions ensured data regarding what facets participants found appealing and motivating during the project was collected. the questions allowed for determining if participants utilized peer blogs for reading material selection or repurposed the blogs to discuss other topics. Components of self-determination theory and engagement theory underlay the project design and aided in identifying motivational aspects of the data. Frequency tables outlined the identified patterns and structures of participants’ online activity. Participants found the ability to change the colors of their blog backgrounds and to design their individual blogs and the giving and receiving of feedback to be the two most appealing features of the project. Participants chose books from peer suggestions in the online world but also selected materials from recommendations they received in face-to-face interactions with their peers, their teacher, and the school librarian. Little evidence of repurposing the blog for social topics was observed. Participants engaged in discussions predominantly based around the books they were currently reading or had read. Implications for incorporating social networking applications within the classroom environment are discussed.
- Bridging the Theory-to-practice Gap: a Multivariate Correlational Study Exploring the Effects of a Graduate Online Learning Environment As a Community of Practice Framework
- In this multivariate correlational study, the researcher examined the course culture of an online graduate course whose environment exhibited characteristics of a Community of practice (CoP). An online survey captured data used to explore the relationships among variables shown to describe a CoP in field environments and among student perceptions of their experience in the course culture. A canonical correlation analysis (CCA) and commonality analysis (CA) were conducted using five predictor variables and three criterion variables to evaluate the degree and direction of the relationships. The CCA revealed that the full model was significant, explaining approximately 74% of the variance among the two synthetic variates. Impact, faculty leadership, and connection were the largest contributors to the predictor variate. The criterion variate was primarily explained by value and perceived CoP, with exposure to the profession providing a smaller contribution. The CA confirmed these findings. Results from this study indicate that a CoP could be fostered in an online graduate course. The overall significance of the model indicates teachers can nurture an environment wherein graduate students will take the initiative to work with others to create and acquire knowledge that creates a sense of professional connection with each other and with the profession overall. The results of this study suggest further empirical research in implementing and assessing CoPs in online graduate courses is warranted.
- A Change Agent in the Use of Continuing Online Distance Learning Technology
- Managers of public libraries have been presented with a new set of challenges in the day-to-day operations of public libraries. These include their ability to serve as change agents as they manage the use of continuing online distance learning (CODL) for staff. This online tool may provide staff opportunities for on-the-job learning, yet for managers and managerial staff little is known about how the tool impacts their role in light of the changes. This research investigates the perceptions of 103 Northeast Texas Library System managers and managerial staff about their role as a change agent in the use of CODL using an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to determine the outcome. Administrators from urban, suburban, and rural public libraries were surveyed using a General Training Climate Scale to explore three constructs: extent of the manager role, manager role, and use of CODL. Data analysis was performed using exploratory and confirmatory analysis to support the theoretical model. An altered model was tested and confirmed through model fit indices.
- Children's Color Association for Digital Image Retrieval.
- In the field of information sciences, attention has been focused on developing mature information retrieval systems that abstract information automatically from the contents of information resources, such as books, images and films. As a subset of information retrieval research, content-based image retrieval systems automatically abstract elementary information from images in terms of colors, shapes, and texture. Color is the most commonly used in similarity measurement for content-based image retrieval systems. Human-computer interface design and image retrieval methods benefit from studies based on the understanding of their potential users. Today's children are exposed to digital technology at a very young age, and they will be the major technology users in five to ten years. This study focuses on children's color perception and color association with a controlled set of digital images. The method of survey research was used to gather data for this exploratory study about children's color association from a children's population, third to sixth graders. An online questionnaire with fifteen images was used to collect quantitative data of children's color selections. Face-to-face interviews investigated the rationale and factors affecting the color choices and children's interpretation of the images. The findings in this study indicate that the color children associated with in the images was the one that took the most space or the biggest part of an image. Another powerful factor in color selection was the vividness or saturation of the color. Colors that stood out the most generally attracted the greatest attention. Preferences of color, character, or subject matter in an image also strongly affected children's color association with images. One of the most unexpected findings was that children would choose a color to replace a color in an image. In general, children saw more things than what were actually represented in the images. However, the children's interpretation of the images had little effect on their color selections.
- The Cluster Hypothesis: A visual/statistical analysis
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By allowing judgments based on a small number of exemplar documents to be applied to a larger number of unexamined documents, clustered presentation of search results represents an intuitively attractive possibility for reducing the cognitive resource demands on human users of information retrieval systems. However, clustered presentation of search results is sensible only to the extent that naturally occurring similarity relationships among documents correspond to topically coherent clusters. The Cluster Hypothesis posits just such a systematic relationship between document similarity and topical relevance. To date, experimental validation of the Cluster Hypothesis has proved problematic, with collection-specific results both supporting and failing to support this fundamental theoretical postulate. The present study consists of two computational information visualization experiments, representing a two-tiered test of the Cluster Hypothesis under adverse conditions. Both experiments rely on multidimensionally scaled representations of interdocument similarity matrices. Experiment 1 is a term-reduction condition, in which descriptive titles are extracted from Associated Press news stories drawn from the TREC information retrieval test collection. The clustering behavior of these titles is compared to the behavior of the corresponding full text via statistical analysis of the visual characteristics of a two-dimensional similarity map. Experiment 2 is a dimensionality reduction condition, in which inter-item similarity coefficients for full text documents are scaled into a single dimension and then rendered as a two-dimensional visualization; the clustering behavior of relevant documents within these unidimensionally scaled representations is examined via visual and statistical methods. Taken as a whole, results of both experiments lend strong though not unqualified support to the Cluster Hypothesis. In Experiment 1, semantically meaningful 6.6-word document surrogates systematically conform to the predictions of the Cluster Hypothesis. In Experiment 2, the majority of the unidimensionally scaled datasets exhibit a marked nonuniformity of distribution of relevant documents, further supporting the Cluster Hypothesis. Results of the two experiments are profoundly question-specific. Post hoc analyses suggest that it may be possible to predict the success of clustered searching based on the lexical characteristics of users' natural-language expression of their information need.
- Cognitive Playfulness, Innovativeness, and Belief of Essentialness: Characteristics of Educators who have the Ability to Make Enduring Changes in the Integration of Technology into the Classroom Environment.
- Research on the adoption of innovation is largely limited to factors affecting immediate change with few studies focusing on enduring or lasting change. The purpose of the study was to examine the personality characteristics of cognitive playfulness, innovativeness, and essentialness beliefs in educators who were able to make an enduring change in pedagogy based on the use of technology in the curriculum within their assigned classroom settings. The study utilized teachers from 33 school districts and one private school in Texas who were first-year participants in the Intel® Teach to the Future program. The research design focused on how cognitive playfulness, innovativeness, and essentialness beliefs relate to a sustained high level of information technology use in the classroom. The research questions were: 1) Are individuals who are highly playful more likely to continue to demonstrate an ability to integrate technology use in the classroom at a high level than those who are less playful? 2) Are individuals who are highly innovative more likely to continue to demonstrate an ability to integrate technology use in the classroom at a high level than those who are less innovative? 3) Are individuals who believe information technology use is critical and indispensable to their teaching more likely to continue to demonstrate an ability to integrate technology use in the classroom at a high level than those who believe it is supplemental and not essential? The findings of the current study indicated that playfulness, innovativeness, and essentialness scores as defined by the scales used were significantly correlated to an individual's sustained ability to use technology at a high level. Playfulness was related to the educator's level of innovativeness, as well. Also, educators who believed the use of technology was critical and indispensable to their instruction were more likely to be able to demonstrate a sustained high level of technology integration. Further research is recommended to investigate numerous personality traits, such as playfulness, innovativeness, creativity, and risk-taking that might relate to technology adoption. Doing so may lead to modifications of professional development, assisting individuals in adapting better and faster to systemic change.
- A Common Representation Format for Multimedia Documents
- Multimedia documents are composed of multiple file format combinations, such as image and text, image and sound, or image, text and sound. The type of multimedia document determines the form of analysis for knowledge architecture design and retrieval methods. Over the last few decades, theories of text analysis have been proposed and applied effectively. In recent years, theories of image and sound analysis have been proposed to work with text retrieval systems and progressed quickly due in part to rapid progress in computer processing speed. Retrieval of multimedia documents formerly was divided into the categories of image and text, and image and sound. While standard retrieval process begins from text only, methods are developing that allow the retrieval process to be accomplished simultaneously using text and image. Although image processing for feature extraction and text processing for term extractions are well understood, there are no prior methods that can combine these two features into a single data structure. This dissertation will introduce a common representation format for multimedia documents (CRFMD) composed of both images and text. For image and text analysis, two techniques are used: the Lorenz Information Measurement and the Word Code. A new process named Jeong's Transform is demonstrated for extraction of text and image features, combining the two previous measurements to form a single data structure. Finally, this single data measurements to form a single data structure. Finally, this single data structure is analyzed by using multi-dimensional scaling. This allows multimedia objects to be represented on a two-dimensional graph as vectors. The distance between vectors represents the magnitude of the difference between multimedia documents. This study shows that image classification on a given test set is dramatically improved when text features are encoded together with image features. This effect appears to hold true even when the available text is diffused and is not uniform with the image features. This retrieval system works by representing a multimedia document as a single data structure. CRFMD is applicable to other areas of multimedia document retrieval and processing, such as medical image retrieval, World Wide Web searching, and museum collection retrieval.
- A Comparative Analysis of Style of User Interface Look and Feel in a Synchronous Computer Supported Cooperative Work Environment
- The purpose of this study is to determine whether the style of a user interface (i.e., its look and feel) has an effect on the usability of a synchronous computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) environment for delivering Internet-based collaborative content. The problem motivating this study is that people who are located in different places need to be able to communicate with one another. One way to do this is by using complex computer tools that allow users to share information, documents, programs, etc. As an increasing number of business organizations require workers to use these types of complex communication tools, it is important to determine how users regard these types of tools and whether they are perceived to be useful. If a tool, or interface, is not perceived to be useful then it is often not used, or used ineffectively. As organizations strive to improve communication with and among users by providing more Internet-based collaborative environments, the users' experience in this form of delivery may be tied to a style of user interface look and feel that could negatively affect their overall acceptance and satisfaction of the collaborative environment. The significance of this study is that it applies the technology acceptance model (TAM) as a tool for evaluating style of user interface look and feel in a collaborative environment, and attempts to predict which factors of that model, perceived ease of use and/or perceived usefulness, could lead to better acceptance of collaborative tools within an organization.
- Comparing the Readability of Text Displays on Paper, E-Book Readers, and Small Screen Devices
- Science fiction has long promised the digitalization of books. Characters in films and television routinely check their palm-sized (or smaller) electronic displays for fast-scrolling information. However, this very technology, increasingly prevalent in today's world, has not been embraced universally. While the convenience of pocket-sized information pieces has the techno-savvy entranced, the general public still greets the advent of the e-book with a curious reluctance. This lack of enthusiasm seems strange in the face of the many advantages offered by the new medium - vastly superior storage capacity, searchability, portability, lower cost, and instantaneous access. This dissertation addresses the need for research examining the reading comprehension and the role emotional response plays in the perceived performance on e-document formats as compared to traditional paper format. This study compares the relative reading comprehension on three formats (Kindle, iTouch, and paper) and examines the relationship of subject's emotional response and relative technology exposure as factors that affect how the subject perceives they have performed on those formats. This study demonstrates that, for basic reading comprehension, the medium does not matter. Furthermore, it shows that, the more uncomfortable a person is with technology and expertise in the requested task (in this case, reading), the more they cling to the belief that they will do better on traditional (paper) media - regardless of how well they actually do.
- A Comparison of Communication Motives of On-Site and Off-Site Students in Videoconference-Based Courses
- The objective of this investigation is to determine whether student site location in an instructional videoconference is related to students' motives for communicating with their instructor. The study is based, in part, on the work of Martin et al. who identify five separate student-teacher communication motives. These motives, or dimensions, are termed relational, functional, excuse, participation, and sycophancy, and are measured by a 30-item questionnaire. Several communication-related theories were used to predict differences between on-site and off-site students, Media richness theory was used, foundationally, to explain differences between mediated and face-to-face communication and other theories such as uncertainty reduction theory were used in conjunction with media richness theory to predict specific differences.Two hundred eighty-one completed questionnaires were obtained from Education and Library and Information Science students in 17 separate course-sections employing interactive video at the University of North Texas during the Spring and Summer semesters of the 2001/2002 school year. This study concludes that off-site students in an instructional videoconference are more likely than their on-site peers to report being motivated to communicate with their instructor for participation reasons. If off-site students are more motivated than on-site students to communicate as a means to participate, then it may be important for instructors to watch for actual differences in participation levels, and instructors may need to be well versed in pedagogical methods that attempt to increase participation, The study also suggests that current teaching methods being employed in interactive video environments may be adequate with regard to functional, excuse-making, relational and sycophantic communication.
- A Complex Systems Model for Understanding the Causes of Corruption: Case Study - Turkey
- It is attempted with this dissertation to draw an explanatory interdisciplinary framework to clarify the causes of systemic corruption. Following an intense review of political sciences, economics, and sociology literatures on the issue, a complex systems theoretical model is constructed. A political system consists of five main components: Society, interest aggregators, legislative, executive and private sector, and the human actors in these domains. It is hypothesized that when the legitimacy level of the system is low and morality of the systemic actors is flawed, selected political, social and economic incentives and opportunities that may exist within the structure of the systemic components might -individually or as a group- trigger corrupt transactions between the actors of the system. If left untouched, corruption might spread through the system by repetition and social learning eventually becoming the source of corruption itself. By eroding the already weak legitimacy and morality, it may increase the risk of corruption even further. This theoretical explanation is used to study causes of systemic corruption in the Turkish political system. Under the guidance of the complex systems theory, initial systemic conditions, -legacy of the predecessor of Turkey Ottoman Empire-, is evaluated first, and then political, social and economic factors that are presumed to be breeding corruption in contemporary Turkey is investigated. In this section, special focus is given on the formation and operation of amoral social networks and their contribution to the entrenchment of corruption within the system. Based upon the findings of the case study, the theoretical model that is informed by the literature is reformed: Thirty five system and actor level variables are identified to be related with systemic corruption and nature of the causality between them and corruption is explained. Although results of this study can not be academically generalized for obvious reasons; the analytical framework proposed here can be referenced by policy makers who are willing to trace the roots of systemic corruption in developing countries.
- Computer Support Interactions: Verifying a Process Model of Problem Trajectory in an Information Technology Support Environment.
- Observations in the information technology (IT) support environment and generalizations from the literature regarding problem resolution behavior indicate that computer support staff seldom store reusable solution information effectively for IT problems. A comprehensive model of the processes encompassing problem arrival and assessment, expertise selection, problem resolution, and solution recording has not been available to facilitate research in this domain. This investigation employed the findings from a qualitative pilot study of IT support staff information behaviors to develop and explicate a detailed model of problem trajectory. Based on a model from clinical studies, this model encompassed a trajectory scheme that included the communication media, characteristics of the problem, decision points in the problem resolution process, and knowledge creation in the form of solution storage. The research design included the administration of an extensive scenario-based online survey to a purposive sample of IT support staff at a medium-sized state-supported university, with additional respondents from online communities of IT support managers and call-tracking software developers. The investigator analyzed 109 completed surveys and conducted email interviews of a stratified nonrandom sample of survey respondents to evaluate the suitability of the model. The investigation employed mixed methods including descriptive statistics, effects size analysis, and content analysis to interpret the results and verify the sufficiency of the problem trajectory model. The study found that expertise selection relied on the factors of credibility, responsibility, and responsiveness. Respondents referred severe new problems for resolution and recorded formal solutions more often than other types of problems, whereas they retained moderate recurring problems for resolution and seldom recorded those solutions. Work experience above and below the 5-year mark affected decisions to retain, refer, or defer problems, as well as solution storage and broadcasting behaviors. The veracity of the problem trajectory model was verified and it was found to be an appropriate tool and explanatory device for research in the IT domain.
- A Conceptual Map for Understanding the Terrorist Recruitment Process: Observation and Analysis of Turkish Hezbollah Terrorist Organizations.
- Terrorism is a historical problem; however, it becomes one of the biggest problems in 21st century. September 11 and the following Madrid, Istanbul and London attacks showed that it is the most significant problem threatening world peace and security. Governments have started to deal with terrorism by improving security measurements and making new investments to stop terrorism. Most of the governments' and scholars' focus is on immediate threats and causes of terrorism, instead of looking at long-term solutions such as root causes and underlying reasons of terrorism, and the recruitment style of terrorist organizations If terrorist recruitment does not stop, then it is safe to say terrorist activities cannot be stopped. This study focused on the recruitment process by observing two different terrorist organizations, DHKP/C and Turkish Hezbollah. The researcher brings 13 years of field experience and first-person data gathered from inside the terrorist organizations. The research questions of this study were: (i) How can an individual be prevented from joining or carrying out terrorist activities?; (ii) What factors are correlated with joining a terrorist organization?; (iii) What are the recruitment processes of the DHKP/C, PKK, and Turkish Hezbollah?; (iv) Is there any common process of being a member of these three terrorist organizations?; and (v) What are the similarities and differences these terrorist organizations? As a result of this analysis, a terrorist recruitment process map was created. With the help of this map, social organizations such as family and schools may be able to identify ways to prevent individuals from joining terrorist organizations. Also, this map will also be helpful for government organizations such as counterterrorism and intelligence to achieve the same goal.
- Constraints on Adoption of Innovations: Internet Availability in the Developing World.
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In a world that is increasingly united in time and distance, I examine why the world is increasingly divided socially, economically, and digitally. Using data for 35 variables from 93 countries, I separate the countries into groups of 31 each by gross domestic product per capita. These groups of developed, lesser developed and least developed countries are used in comparative analysis. Through a review of relevant literature and tests of bivariate correlation, I select eight key variables that are significantly related to information communication technology development and to human development. For this research, adoption of the Internet in the developing world is the innovation of particular interest. Thus, for comparative purposes, I chose Internet Users per 1000 persons per country and the Human Development Index as the dependent variables upon which the independent variables are regressed. Although small in numbers among the least developed countries, I find Internet Users as the most powerful influence on human development for the poorest countries. The research focuses on key obstacles as well as variables of opportunity for Internet usage in developing countries. The greatest obstacles are in fact related to Internet availability and the cost/need ratio for infrastructure expansion. However, innovations for expanded Internet usage in developing countries are expected to show positive results for increased Internet usage, as well as for greater human development and human capital. In addition to the diffusion of innovations in terms of the Internet, the diffusion of cultures through migration is also discussed in terms of the effect on social capital and the drain on human capital from developing countries.
- Coyote Ugly Librarian: A Participant Observer Examination of Lnowledge Construction in Reality TV.
- Reality TV is the most popular genre of television programming today. The number of reality television shows has grown exponentially over the last fifteen years since the premier of The Real World in 1992. Although reality TV uses styles similar to those used in documentary film, the “reality” of the shows is questioned by critics and viewers alike. The current study focuses on the “reality” that is presented to viewers and how that “reality” is created and may differ from what the participants of the shows experience. I appeared on two reality shows, Faking It and That's Clever, and learned a great deal as a participant observer. Within the study, I outline my experience and demonstrate how editing changed the reality I experienced into what was presented to the viewers. O'Connor's (1996) representation context web serves as a model for the realities created through reality television. People derive various benefits from watching reality TV. Besides the obvious entertainment value of reality TV, viewers also gather information via this type of programming. Viewers want to see real people on television reacting to unusual circumstances without the use of scripts. By surveying reality TV show viewers and participants, this study gives insight into how real the viewers believe the shows are and how authentic they actually are. If these shows are presented as reality, viewers are probably taking what they see as historical fact. The results of the study indicate more must be done so that the “reality” of reality TV does not misinform viewers.
- Creating a Criterion-Based Information Agent Through Data Mining for Automated Identification of Scholarly Research on the World Wide Web
- This dissertation creates an information agent that correctly identifies Web pages containing scholarly research approximately 96% of the time. It does this by analyzing the Web page with a set of criteria, and then uses a classification tree to arrive at a decision. The criteria were gathered from the literature on selecting print and electronic materials for academic libraries. A Delphi study was done with an international panel of librarians to expand and refine the criteria until a list of 41 operationalizable criteria was agreed upon. A Perl program was then designed to analyze a Web page and determine a numerical value for each criterion. A large collection of Web pages was gathered comprising 5,000 pages that contain the full work of scholarly research and 5,000 random pages, representative of user searches, which do not contain scholarly research. Datasets were built by running the Perl program on these Web pages. The datasets were split into model building and testing sets. Data mining was then used to create different classification models. Four techniques were used: logistic regression, nonparametric discriminant analysis, classification trees, and neural networks. The models were created with the model datasets and then tested against the test dataset. Precision and recall were used to judge the effectiveness of each model. In addition, a set of pages that were difficult to classify because of their similarity to scholarly research was gathered and classified with the models. The classification tree created the most effective classification model, with a precision ratio of 96% and a recall ratio of 95.6%. However, logistic regression created a model that was able to correctly classify more of the problematic pages. This agent can be used to create a database of scholarly research published on the Web. In addition, the technique can be used to create a database of any type of structured electronic information.
- CT3 as an Index of Knowledge Domain Structure: Distributions for Order Analysis and Information Hierarchies
- The problem with which this study is concerned is articulating all possible CT3 and KR21 reliability measures for every case of a 5x5 binary matrix (32,996,500 possible matrices). The study has three purposes. The first purpose is to calculate CT3 for every matrix and compare the results to the proposed optimum range of .3 to .5. The second purpose is to compare the results from the calculation of KR21 and CT3 reliability measures. The third purpose is to calculate CT3 and KR21 on every strand of a class test whose item set has been reduced using the difficulty strata identified by Order Analysis. The study was conducted by writing a computer program to articulate all possible 5 x 5 matrices. The program also calculated CT3 and KR21 reliability measures for each matrix. The nonparametric technique of Order Analysis was applied to two sections of test items to stratify the items into difficulty levels. The difficulty levels were used to reduce the item set from 22 to 9 items. All possible strands or chains of these items were identified so that both reliability measures (CT3 and KR21) could be calculated. One major finding of this study indicates that .3 to .5 is a desirable range for CT3 (cumulative p=.86 to p=.98) if cumulative frequencies are measured. A second major finding is that the KR21 reliability measure produced an invalid result more than half the time. The last major finding is that CT3, rescaled to range between 0 and 1, supports De Vellis' guidelines for reliability measures. The major conclusion is that CT3 is a better measure of reliability since it considers both inter- and intra-item variances.
- Detecting the Presence of Disease by Unifying Two Methods of Remote Sensing.
- There is currently no effective tool available to quickly and economically measure a change in landmass in the setting of biomedical professionals and environmental specialists. The purpose of this study is to structure and demonstrate a statistical change-detection method using remotely sensed data that can detect the presence of an infectious land borne disease. Data sources included the Texas Department of Health database, which provided the types of infectious land borne diseases and indicated the geographical area to study. Methods of data collection included the gathering of images produced by digital orthophoto quadrangle and aerial videography and Landsat. Also, a method was developed to identify statistically the severity of changes of the landmass over a three-year period. Data analysis included using a unique statistical detection procedure to measure the severity of change in landmass when a disease was not present and when the disease was present. The statistical detection method was applied to two different remotely sensed platform types and again to two like remotely sensed platform types. The results indicated that when the statistical change detection method was used for two different types of remote sensing mediums (i.e.-digital orthophoto quadrangle and aerial videography), the results were negative due to skewed and unreliable data. However, when two like remote sensing mediums were used (i.e.- videography to videography and Landsat to Landsat) the results were positive and the data were reliable.
- Development and Validation of an Instrument to Operationalize Information System Requirements Capabilities
- As a discipline, information systems (IS) has struggled with the challenge of alignment of product (primarily software and the infrastructure needed to run it) with the needs of the organization it supports. This has been characterized as the pursuit of alignment of information technology (IT) with the business or organization, which begins with the gathering of the requirements of the organization, which then guide the creation of the IS requirements, which in turn guide the creation of the IT solution itself. This research is primarily focused on developing and validating an instrument to operationalize such requirements capabilities. Requirements capabilities at the development of software or the implementation of a specific IT solution are referred to as capabilities for software requirements or more commonly systems analysis and design (SA&D) capabilities. This research describes and validates an instrument for SA&D capabilities for content validity, construct validity, internal consistency, and an exploratory factor analysis. SA&D capabilities were expected to coalesce strongly around a single dimension. Yet in validating the SA&D capabilities instrument, it became apparent that SA&D capabilities are not the unidimensional construct traditionally perceived. Instead it appears that four dimensions underlie SA&D capabilities, and these are associated with alignment maturity (governance, partnership, communications, and value). These sub factors of requirements capabilities are described in this research and represent distinct capabilities critical to the successful alignment of IT with the business.
- Diagnosing Learner Deficiencies in Algorithmic Reasoning
- It is hypothesized that useful diagnostic information can reside in the wrong answers of multiple-choice tests, and that properly designed distractors can yield indications of misinformation and missing information in algorithmic reasoning on the part of the test taker. In addition to summarizing the literature regarding diagnostic research as opposed to scoring research, this study proposes a methodology for analyzing test results and compares the findings with those from the research of Birenbaum and Tatsuoka and others. The proposed method identifies the conditions of misinformation and missing information, and it contains a statistical compensation for careless errors. Strengths and weaknesses of the method are explored, and suggestions for further research are offered.
- Diffusion across the digital divide: Assessing use of the Connecticut Digital Library (ICONN) in K-12 schools in Connecticut.
- State digital libraries are manifestations of the diffusion of technology that has provided both access to and delivery of digital content. Whether the content is being accessed and used equitably in K-12 schools has not been assessed. Determining patterns of the diffusion of use across socioeconomic groups in K-12 schools may help measure the success of existing efforts to provide equitable access and use of digital content, and help guide policies and implementation to more effectively address remaining disparities. This study examined use of the Connecticut Digital Library (ICONN) in K-12 schools in Connecticut by determining annual patterns of use per school/district over a four-year period, using transaction log search statistics. The data were analyzed in the paradigm that Rogers (2003) describes as the first and second dimensions of the consequences of an innovation - the overall growth and the equality of the diffusion to individuals within an intended audience --- in this case, students in K-12 schools. Data were compared by school district and the established socioeconomic District Reference Groups (DRGs) defined by the Connecticut State Board of Education. At the time of this study, ICONN used aggregate data (total searches) for K-12 schools, but did not have relevant data on diffusion within the public schools in Connecticut related to district or DRGs.
- Discovering a descriptive taxonomy of attributes of exemplary school library Websites
- This descriptive study examines effective online school library practice. A Delphi panel selected a sample of 10 exemplary sites and helped to create two research tools--taxonomies designed to analyze the features and characteristics of school library Websites. Using the expert-identified sites as a sample, a content analysis was conducted to systematically identify site features and characteristics. Anne Clyde's longitudinal content analysis of school library Websites was used as a baseline to examine trends in practice; in addition, the national guidelines document, Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning, was examined to explore ways in which the traditional mission and roles of school library programs are currently translated online. Results indicated great variation in depth and coverage even among Websites considered exemplary. Sites in the sample are growing more interactive and student-centered, using blogs as supplemental communication strategies. Nevertheless, even these exemplary sites were slow to adopt the advances in technology to meet the learning needs and interests of young adult users. Ideally the study's findings will contribute to understanding of state-of-the-art and will serve to identify trends, as well as serving as a guide to practitioners in planning, developing, and maintaining school library Websites.
- An E-government Readiness Model
- The purpose of this study is to develop an e-government readiness model and to test this model. Consistent with this model several instruments, IS assessment (ISA), IT governance (ITG), and Organization-IS alignment (IS-ALIGN) are examined for their ability to measure the readiness of one organization for e-government and to test the instruments fit in the proposed e-government model. The ISA instrument used is the result of adapting and combining the IS-SERVQUAL instrument proposed by Van Dyke, Kappelman, and Pybutok (1997), and the IS-SUCCESS instrument developed by Kappelman and Chong (2001) for the City of Denton (COD) project at UNT. The IS Success Model was first proposed by DeLone and McLean (1992), but they did not validate this model. The ITG instrument was based on the goals of the COD project for IT governance and was developed by Sanchez and Kappelman (2001) from UNT. The ISALIGN instrument was also developed by Sanchez and Kappelman (2001) for the COD project. It is an instrument based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) that measures how effectively a government organization utilizes IT to support its various objectives. The EGOV instrument was adapted from the study of the Action-Audience Model developed by Koh and Balthazrd (1997) to measure how well a government organization is prepared to usher in e-government in terms of various success factors at planning, system and data levels. An on-line survey was conducted with employees of the City of Denton, Texas. An invitation letter to participate in the survey was sent to the 1100 employees of the City of Denton via email, 339 responses were received, yielding a response rate of 31%. About 168 responses were discarded because they were incomplete and had the missing values, leaving 171 usable surveys, for a usable set of responses that had a response rate of 16%. Although the proposed and some alternate models were partially consistent with the hypothesized theory, the confirmation of the relationships among the constructs warrants further research via either by replication of this research or by development a new theoretical model. However, the significant validity and reliability measures obtained in this study indicate that the e-government readiness model has the potential for use in future studies.
- The effect of information literacy instruction on library anxiety among international students.
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This study explored what effect information literacy instruction (ILI) may have on both a generalized anxiety state and library anxiety specifically. The population studied was international students using resources in a community college. Library anxiety among international students begins with certain barriers that cause anxiety (i.e., language/communication barriers, adjusting to a new education/library system and general cultural adjustments). Library Anxiety is common among college students and is characterized by feelings of negative emotions including, ruminations, tension, fear and mental disorganization (Jiao & Onwuegbuzie, 1999a). This often occurs when a student contemplates conducting research in a library and is due to any number of perceived inabilities about using the library. In order for students to become successful in their information seeking behavior this anxiety needs to be reduced. The study used two groups of international students enrolled in the English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) program taking credit courses. Each student completed Bostick's Library Anxiety Scale (LAS) and Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) to assess anxiety level before and after treatment. Subjects were given a research assignment that required them to use library resources. Treatment: Group 1 (experimental group) attended several library instruction classes (the instruction used Kuhltau's information search process model). Group 2 (control group) was in the library working on assignment but did not receive any formal library instruction. After the treatment the researcher and ESOL program instructor(s) measured the level of anxiety between groups. ANCOVA was used to analyze Hypotheses 1 and 2, which compared pretest and posttest for each group. Research assignment grades were used to analyze Hypothesis 3 comparing outcomes among the two groups. The results of the analysis ascertained that ILI was associated with reducing state and library anxiety among international students when given an assignment using library resources.
- The effect of media on citizens' fear of crime in Turkey.
- This study was conducted on-site in Istanbul, Turkey, to determine the effects that mass media has on citizens' perceptions about fear of crime, in particular, and fear, in general. Specifically, the study was designed to (1) determine the tendency of citizens' media consumption, (2) determine the level of fear of crime among Turkish citizens, (3) establish the effect of media on citizens' fear of crime, and (4) determine if gender, age, educational level, neighborhood, and monthly income have an independent effect on fear of crime. To achieve this purpose, after administering a survey in Istanbul, the researcher collected appropriate data and then utilized regression analysis to examine the relationship between media variables and fear of crime. A survey consisting of three parts was administered to 545 Turkish citizens over the age of 18 who currently reside in Istanbul, Turkey. In Part I of the survey, respondents were asked to identify their trends in relation to media consumption, and in Part II respondents were asked to report their feelings about fear of crime. Finally, Part III consisted of socio-demographic characteristics including gender, age, marital status, level of education, and income. The media variables used for this study were, general TV viewing, watching crime drama, watching TV news, listening to radio news, reading newspaper news, and reading Internet news. Regarding the independent effects of socio-demographic variables on fear of crime, only gender was found to be significantly related thereby supporting the research hypothesis. From six media variables, only watching crime drama show and reading Internet news found to be related with individuals' fear of crime; however, this relation disappeared after controlling with socio-demographic variables. In addition, no cultivation effect could be found among the sub-groups of sample.
- The effect of personality type on the use of relevance criteria for purposes of selecting information sources.
- Even though information scientists generally recognize that relevance judgments are multidimensional and dynamic, there is still discussion and debate regarding the degree to which certain internal (cognition, personality) and external (situation, social relationships) factors affect the use of criteria in reaching those judgments. Much of the debate centers on the relationship of those factors to the criteria and reliable methods for measuring those relationships. This study researched the use of relevance criteria to select an information source by undergraduate students whose task it is to create a course schedule for a semester. During registration periods, when creating their semester schedules, students filled out a two-part questionnaire. After completion of the questionnaire the students completed a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument in order to determine their personality type. Data was analyzed using one-way ANOVAS and Chi-Square. A positive correlation exists between personality type as expressed by the MBTI and the information source selected as most important by the subject. A correlation also exists between personality type and relevance criteria use. The correlation is stronger for some criteria than for others. Therefore, one can expect personality type to have an effect on the use of relevance criteria while selecting information sources.
- The effectiveness of using LEGO Mindstorms robotics activities to influence self-regulated learning in a university introductory computer programming course.
- The research described in this dissertation examines the possible link between self-regulated learning and LEGO Mindstorms robotics activities in teaching concepts in an introductory university computer programming course. The areas of student motivation, learning strategies, and mastery of course objectives are investigated. In all three cases analysis failed to reveal any statistically significant differences between the traditional control group and the experimental LEGO Mindstorms group as measured by the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire and course exams. Possible reasons for the lack of positive results include technical problems and limitations of the LEGO Mindstorms systems, limited number and availability of robots outside of class, limited amount of time during the semester for the robotics activities, and a possible difference in effectiveness based on gender. Responses to student follow-up questions, however, suggest that at least some of the students really enjoyed the LEGO activities. As with any teaching tool or activity, there are numerous ways in which LEGO Mindstorms can be incorporated into learning. This study explores whether or not LEGO Mindstorms are an effective tool for teaching introductory computer programming at the university level and how these systems can best be utilized.
- The Effects of Computer Performance Assessment on Student Scores in a Computer Applications Course
- The goal of this study was to determine if performance-based tests should be routinely administered to students in computer application courses. The purpose was to determine the most appropriate mode of testing for individuals taking a computer applications course. The study is divided into areas of assessment, personality traits, and computer attitudes.
- The Effects of Task-Based Documentation Versus Online Help Menu Documentation on the Acceptance of Information Technology
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The objectives of this study were (1) to identify and describe task-based documentation; (2) to identify and describe any purported changes in users attitudes when IT migration was preceded by task-based documentation; (3) to suggest implications of task-based documentation on users attitude toward IT acceptance. Questionnaires were given to 150 university students. Of these, all 150 students participated in this study. The study determined the following: (1) if favorable pre-implementation attitudes toward a new e-mail system increase, as a result of training, if users expect it to be easy to learn and use; (2) if user acceptance of an e-mail program increase as expected perceived usefulness increase as delineated by task-based documentation; (3) if task-based documentation is more effective than standard help menus while learning a new application program; and (4) if training that requires active student participation increase the acceptance of a new e-mail system. The following conclusions were reached: (1) Positive pre-implementation attitudes toward a new e-mail system are not affected by training even if the users expect it to be easy to learn and use. (2) User acceptance of an e-mail program does not increase as perceived usefulness increase when aided by task-based documentation. (3) Task-based documentation is not more effective than standard help menus when learning a new application program. (4) Training that requires active student participation does not increase the acceptance of a new e-mail system.
- Effects of Tasks on Information-Seeking Behavior in a Police Work Environment in the Context of Criminal Intelligence
- Although dominant effects of tasks on individuals' information-seeking behavior is accepted by many scholars, a limited number of studies has been conducted to reveal the nature of the relationship between tasks and information-seeking behavior. In their studies, some earlier researchers categorized tasks according to their complexity while others did the same according to the specifications of tasks. Two of the groundbreaking researchers in this area are Katriina Byström and Kalervo Järvelin who contributed to the understanding of the relationship between task complexity and information-seeking behavior. However, their findings also need empirical support for theory growth. In response to this need, this study attempts to test Byström and Järvelin's findings through a research using different research methods and applied in a police work environment. Other than providing empirical support for theory growth, this research is also expected to contribute to the understudied area of police information-seeking behavior. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected from the participants who came from traffic, homicide, and anti-terrorism divisions of Ankara, Eskisehir, and Kirikkale Police Departments in Turkey. The participants identified terrorism cases as the most complex cases to solve, followed by homicide and traffic accident cases. Differences in the information-seeking behavior of three groups of police officers were examined through qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Oneway ANOVA technique and post hoc comparisons were used to analyze the quantitative data. In addition to shedding light on information-seeking behavior of police officers investigating related cases in Turkey, the results provided support for Byström and Järvelin's findings. For instance, the officers investigating more complex tasks used significantly more information sources than the others, while the use of external information sources was significantly higher in more complex cases.
- The Electronic Ranch: the Information Environment of Cattle Breeders
- The present study was a longitudinal analysis of the information needs of Red Angus cattle breeders and their use of networked information services. It was based on two surveys. The first, conducted in 1995--96, polled all 1067 ranches of the Red Angus Association of America. Responses from 192 Red Angus breeders were used to determine the value of different information types and to evaluate perceptions of the greatest barriers to the adoption of network information services. The second survey, mailed to 41 Red Angus breeders in 1998, focused on early adopters and likely users of network services. Responses from 15 breeders were used to evaluate perceptions of the greatest barriers to the effective use of Web-based information services.
- An Empirical Investigation of Critical Factors that Influence Data Warehouse Implementation Success in Higher Educational Institutions
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Data warehousing (DW) in the last decade has become the technology of choice for building data management infrastructures to provide organizations the decision-making capabilities needed to effectively carry out its activities. Despite its phenomenal growth and importance to organizations the rate of DW implementation success has been less than stellar. Many DW implementation projects fail due to technical or organizational reasons. There has been limited research on organizational factors and their role in DW implementations. It is important to understand the role and impact of both technical but organizational factors in DW implementations and their relative importance to implementation performance. A research model was developed to test the significance of technical and organizational factors in the three phases of implementation with DW implementation performance. The independent variables were technical (data, technology, and expertise) and organizational (management, goals, users, organization). The dependent variable was performance (content, accuracy, format, ease of use, and timeliness). The data collection method was a Web based survey of DW implementers and DW users sampled (26) from a population of 108 identified DW implementations. Regression was used as the multivariate statistical technique to analyze the data. The results show that organization factors are significantly related to performance. Also, that some variables in the post-implementation phase have a significant relationship with performance. Based on the results of the tests the model was revised to reflect the relative impact of technical and organizational factors on DW performance. Results suggest that in some cases organizational factors have a significant relationship with DW implementation performance. The implications and interpretation of these results provide researchers and practitioners' insights and a new perspective in the area of DW implementations.
- Empowering agent for Oklahoma school learning Communities: an examination of the Oklahoma Library Improvement Program
- The purposes of this study were to determine the initial impact of the Oklahoma Library Media Improvement Grants on Oklahoma school library media programs; assess whether the Oklahoma Library Media Improvement Grants continue to contribute to Oklahoma school learning communities; and examine possible relationships between school library media programs and student academic success. It also seeks to document the history of the Oklahoma Library Media Improvement Program 1978 - 1994 and increase awareness of its influence upon the Oklahoma school library media programs. Methods of data collection included: examining Oklahoma Library Media Improvement Program archival materials; sending a survey to 1703 school principals in Oklahoma; and interviewing Oklahoma Library Media Improvement Program participants. Data collection took place over a one year period. Data analyses were conducted in three primary phases: descriptive statistics and frequencies were disaggregated to examine mean scores as they related to money spent on school library media programs; opinions of school library media programs; and possible relationships between school library media programs and student academic achievement. Analysis of variance was used in the second phase of data analysis to determine if any variation between means was significant as related to Oklahoma Library Improvement Grants, time spent in the library media center by library media specialists, principal gender, opinions of library media programs, student achievement indicators, and the region of the state in which the respondent was located. The third phase of data analysis compared longitudinal data collected in the 2000 survey with past data. The primary results indicated students in Oklahoma from schools with a centralized library media center, served by a full-time library media specialist, and the school having received one or more Library Media Improvement Grants scored significantly higher academically than students in schools not having a centralized library media center, not served by a full-time library media specialist, and the school not having received one or more Library Media Improvement Grants. Students in schools having even one of these components scored higher academically than students in schools with none of these components.
- Enhancement of spatial ability in girls in a single-sex environment through spatial experience and the impact on information seeking.
- The test scores of spatial ability for women lag behind those of men in many spatial tests. On the Mental Rotations Test (MRT), a significant gender gap has existed for over 20 years and continues to exist. High spatial ability has been linked to efficiencies in typical computing tasks including Web and database searching, text editing, and computer programming. The relationships between the components of visuospatial ability and performance are complex. However, research strongly indicates that a connection exists, and further research is necessary to determine the interactions between the variables of environment, genetics, and spatial training. Spatial experience can enhance spatial skills. However, to what extent spatial skills can be enhanced in female adolescents through a spatial curriculum to reduce the gap in scores has not been fully researched, nor has the impact of spatial skill on information seeking. This research project investigated spatial skill in adolescent females by examining (1) the extent to which the intervention of teaching a spatial curriculum in a single-sex setting could improve mental rotation test scores, and (2) the impact of spatial skills on an information seeking task in a single-sex setting. The extent to which a spatial visualization curriculum can improve MRT scores from a pretest to a posttest for girls was the first factor examined using a spatial visualization curriculum. The information seeking task used 4 tasks from a doctoral study and utilized the scholarly journal database JSTOR® (JSTOR, Ann Arbor, MI, www.jstor.org).
- Evaluating e-Training for public library staff: A quasi-experimental investigation.
- A comparative evaluation framework of instructional interventions for implementation of online training for public library staff would enable a better understanding of how to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and efficacy of training in certain training environments. This dissertation describes a quasi-experimental study of a two-week, asynchronous online training course that was provided at four levels of instructional intervention to public library staff in the United States. The course content addressed the complex issues of difficult patron policy development and situational coping techniques. The objective of the study was to develop and demonstrate a theoretically grounded, evidence-based impact evaluation framework. The framework was used to assess the relative impact of an online course for public librarians at four levels of instructional intervention. The researcher investigated the relationships between the type of e-Training instructional interventions and the short- and long-term impacts on participants' knowledge, self-efficacy, and workplace performance. The study used a longitudinal, quasi-experimental design that included a pretest, posttest and three-month delayed posttest with follow-up survey. 194 participants completed all three phases of the study. The evaluation tools measured course content related knowledge and self-efficacy at all three phases (pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest) and assessed workplace application of training at 3-month follow-up. The results of this study contributed to evaluation theory and learning theory literature applied to the online learning environment and informed public library staff online training practices and evaluation methodologies.
- Evaluation by Korean Students of Major Online Public Access Catalogs in Selected Academic Libraries
- The objective of this study was to provide information on the characteristics of a specific group of international college students from a developing country in order to assist system managers in the selection of OPACs.
- An Evaluation of the Effect of Learning Styles and Computer Competency on Students' Satisfaction on Web-Based Distance Learning Environments
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This study investigates the correlation between students' learning styles, computer competency and student satisfaction in Web-based distance learning. Three hundred and one graduate students participated in the current study during the Summer and Fall semesters of 2002 at the University of North Texas. Participants took the courses 100% online and came to the campus only once for software training. Computer competency and student satisfaction were measured using the Computer Skill and Use Assessment and the Student Satisfaction Survey questionnaires. Kolb's Learning Style Inventory measured students' learning styles. The study concludes that there is a significant difference among the different learning styles with respect to student satisfaction level when the subjects differ with regard to computer competency. For accommodating amd diverging styles, a higher level of computer competency results in a higher level of student satisfaction. But for converging and assimilating styles, a higher level of computer competency suggests a lower level of student satisfaction. A significant correlation was found between computer competency and student satisfaction level within Web-based courses for accommodating styles and no significant results were found in the other learning styles.
- An Examination of the Adoption of Preservation Metadata in Cultural Heritage Institutions: An Exploratory Study Using Diffusion of Innovations Theory
- Digital preservation is a significant challenge for cultural heritage institutions and other repositories of digital information resources. Recognizing the critical role of metadata in any successful digital preservation strategy, the Preservation Metadata Implementation Strategies (PREMIS) has been extremely influential on providing a "core" set of preservation metadata elements that support the digital preservation process. However, there is no evidence, in the form of previous research, as to what factors explain and predict the level of adoption of PREMIS. This research focused on identifying factors that affect the adoption of PREMIS in cultural heritage institutions. This study employed a web-based survey to collect data from 123 participants in 20 country as well as a semi-structured, follow-up telephone interview with a smaller sample of the survey respondents. Roger's diffusion of innovation theory was used as a theoretical framework. The main constructs considered for the study were relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, observability, and institution readiness. The study yielded both qualitative and quantitative data, and analysis showed that all six factors influence the adoption of PREMIS in varying degrees. Results of a regression analysis of adoption level on the six factors showed a statistically significant relationship. The R2 value for the model was .528, which means that 52.8% of the variance in PREMIS adoption was explained by a combination of the six factors. Considering the complexity of issue, this study has important implications for future research on preservation metadata and provides recommendations for researchers and stakeholders engaged in metadata standards development efforts.
- An Examination Of The Variation In Information Systems Project Cost Estimates: The Case Of Year 2000 Compliance Projects
- The year 2000 (Y2K) problem presented a fortuitous opportunity to explore the relationship between estimated costs of software projects and five cost influence dimensions described by the Year 2000 Enterprise Cost Model (Kappelman, et al., 1998) -- organization, problem, solution, resources, and stage of completion. This research was a field study survey of (Y2K) project managers in industry, government, and education and part of a joint project that began in 1996 between the University of North Texas and the Y2K Working Group of the Society for Information Management (SIM). Evidence was found to support relationships between estimated costs and organization, problem, resources, and project stage but not for the solution dimension. Project stage appears to moderate the relationships for organization, particularly IS practices, and resources. A history of superior IS practices appears to mean lower estimated costs, especially for projects in larger IS organizations. Acquiring resources, especially external skills, appears to increase costs. Moreover, projects apparently have many individual differences, many related to size and to project stage, and their influences on costs appear to be at the sub-dimension or even the individual variable level. A Revised Year 2000 Enterprise Model is presented incorporating this granularity. Two primary conclusions can be drawn from this research: (1) large software projects are very complex and thus cost estimating is also; and (2) the devil of cost estimating is in the details of knowing which of the many possible variables are the important ones for each particular enterprise and project. This points to the importance of organizations keeping software project metrics and the historical calibration of cost-estimating practices. Project managers must understand the relevant details and their interaction and importance in order to successfully develop a cost estimate for a particular project, even when rational cost models are used. This research also indicates that software cost estimating has political as well as rational influences at play.