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- The Relationship Between Time-on-Task in Computer-Aided Instruction and the Progress of Developmental Reading Students at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College
- This research sought to determine what relationship exists between time-on-task in computer-aided instruction (CAI) using Destinations courseware and progress in reading ability of developmental reading students as indicated by the reading portion of the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) test. Time-on-task is the time during which a student actively works on Destinations activities, as recorded by the software management system. TASP, an exam required of all students in Texas public colleges, assesses reading, math, and writing skills. The population was made up of 482 students who took the TASP exam before and after CAI and who used Destinations CAI for remediation of reading skills. Null hypotheses were explored using Pearson correlation and linear multiple regression. The findings for the null hypotheses were the following: Ho1 - Correlation and linear regression correlation showed that time-on-task in Destinations CAI had no significant effect on the TASP scores of the population studied. Ho2 - Correlation and linear regression correlation showed that females made significantly better gains on the TASP test from CAI than males. Ho3 - Correlation and linear regression correlation showed that low-achiever students made no better gains on the TASP test from time-on-task in CAI than high-achiever students. Difference between the two group's gains was not statistically significant. Ho4 - The regression equations predicted the gain in TASP reading scores for less than 1% of the population studied. Only the regression equations for male students and female students separately were statistically significant. The researcher recommends replication of this study each semester to determine the effectiveness of CAI. Regular and systematic evaluation using pretest and posttest data will provide benchmarks so that the value of changes in instructional methods can be measured. This method of research can help to clarify questions that should be answered through other research methods.
- Prediction of community college students' success in developmental math with traditional classroom, computer-based on-campus and computer-based at a distance instruction using locus of control, math anxiety and learning style
- The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between individual student differences and academic success in three pedagogical methods (traditional classroom, computer-aided instruction (CAI) in an on-campus setting, and CAI in a distance education setting) for developmental mathematics classes at the community college level. Locus of control, math anxiety and learning style were the individual differences examined. Final grade, final exam score and persistence were the indicators of success. The literature review focused on developmental mathematics, pedagogical techniques and variables contributing to academic performance. Two parallel research populations consisted of 135 Beginning Algebra students and 113 Intermediate Algebra students. The Rotter I-E Locus of Control Scale, the Abbreviated Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale, the 4MAT Learning Type Measure, and an instrument to gather demographic data were used. It was the conclusion of this study that the instructional methods were not equal with respect to achievement. In Beginning Algebra, the CAI students received significantly higher final grades than did the traditionally taught students. In Intermediate Algebra traditional students scored significantly higher on the final exam than did the CBI students. There were more students persisting than expected in traditionally taught Beginning Algebra and no significant difference in attrition in Intermediate Algebra. There was no significant prediction of achievement in Beginning Algebra. For Intermediate Algebra math anxiety was a significant predictor for final exam percentage and locus of control was a significant predictor for final grade percentage. Only the instructional method contributed significantly to the prediction of attrition. While these findings are statistically significant, they account for only a small part of student success. However, the results had implications for the future. In particular, further study should be given to the question of whether CAI, and its associated expenses, is prudent for developmental mathematics instruction.
- Effects of a Simulation Game on Trainees' Knowledge and Attitudes About Age-related Changes in Learning and Work Behaviors of Older Workers
- This investigation was conducted in response to the need for effective diversity awareness programs to help employers create intergenerational-friendly work environments. An experimental pre- and post-test control group randomized block design was employed to answer two research questions about the effects of a simulation game on knowledge and attitudes about age-related changes in learning and work behaviors of older workers. Participants were assessed immediately prior to and following the treatment, followed by a third assessment 60 days later. Necessary measures were taken to control for threats to the study's internal validity. An applicant pool comprised of human resource management and development practitioners and senior undergraduate students enrolled in human resource management courses yielded a sample of 65 participants. Chapter one introduces the study. Chapter two provides a review and summary of relevant literature on ageism in the workplace, training older workers, and simulation games. Chapter three describes the procedures and methods used to answer the research questions. Chapter four presents the results of all analytic procedures related to the investigation. Chapter five provides the conclusions and recommendations based on the findings of this investigation. In this investigation, the treatment group did not score significantly higher on their knowledge of age-related changes in learning and work behaviors of older workers than the control group following treatment. The attitudinal change experienced by the treatment group did not differ significantly from the attitudinal change experienced by the control group. Recommendations for further research include the following: (a) the disordinal interactive effect of the control group's performance on the knowledge measure during the 60-day interval between post assessments warrants further investigation, (b) the statistically significant change in attitude that occurred within each group during the 60-day interval following treatment warrants further investigation, and (c) more reliable instruments need to be developed for measuring the effects of heightened awareness following diversity interventions.
- Emotional/behavioral disturbance and speech/language disorders: Prevalence of the dual diagnoses in a school-age population
- The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of the comorbidity of emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD) and speech/language disorders among those students identified as under The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act criteria as emotionally disturbed and speech impaired. The literature reviewed included clinical and school settings that examined a cooccurrence of language disorders in the EBD population. Other research reported a lack of routine involvement of speech/language therapists in the assessment of the EBD population. Implications from clinical studies suggested a need for greater attention to language disorders in a multi- and interdisciplinary assessment. This study investigated the prevalence of the dual occurrence of EBD and speech/language disorders in Grades 2 through 6 in Texas schools in light of the known research. Relationships in ethnicity and socioeconomic status were examined using chi-square test of independence. Aggregate data were obtained from the database of the Texas Pupil Information Management System and from survey questionnaire responses provided by speech therapists in selected districts. The literature review focused on the impact of language in the development of appropriate personal interactions and communication skills, especially those relevant to pragmatic language factors and the implications of language competency in successful personal living and career roles and supported the importance of language as an important contributor to a person's life success and the correlation of EBD disabilities and speech/language disorders. Social skills instruction, the relationship of language, especially pragmatics, and social competencies for this population are included. The results revealed a relationship between ethnicity and speech/language disorders among the students identified with EBD. In considering the population of students identified as EBD and language disordered, a significant relationship was found between ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Recommendations include suggestions for future research, assessment procedures, classroom interventions, and data collection methods.
- An online academic support model for students enrolled in internet-based classes
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This doctoral dissertation describes a research study that examined the effectiveness of an experimental Supplemental Instruction (SI) program that utilized computer-mediated communication (CMC) rather than traditional SI review sessions. During the Spring 1999 semester, six sections of an introductory computer course were offered via the Internet by a suburban community college district in Texas. Using Campbell and Stanley's Nonequivalent Control Group model, the online SI program was randomly assigned to four of the course sections with the two remaining sections serving as the control group. The students hired to lead the online review sessions participated in the traditional SI training programs at their colleges, and received training conducted by the researcher related to their roles as online discussion moderators. Following recommendations from Congos and Schoeps, the internal validity of the groups was confirmed by conducting independent t-tests comparing the students' cumulative credit hours, grade point averages, college entrance test scores, and first exam scores. The study's four null hypotheses were tested using multiple linear regression equations with alpha levels set at .01. Results indicated that the SI participants earned better course grades even though they had acquired fewer academic credits and had, on average, scored lower on their first course exams. Both the control group and the non-SI participants had average course grades of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. The students who participated in at least one SI session had an average final course grade of 2.5, exceeding their previous grade point average of 2.15. Participation in one SI session using CMC was linked to a one-fourth letter grade improvement in students' final course grades. Although not statistically significant, on the average, SI participants had slightly better course retention, marginally increased course satisfaction, and fewer student-initiated contacts with their instructors.
- An examination of factors related to the cognitive and affective empathy levels of adjudicated youth
- With the advent of increased juvenile delinquency in our nation, the need for prevention and rehabilitation is paramount. Juvenile delinquent acts are becoming more serious and violent with offenders perpetrating at younger ages. Analysis suggests an increase in juvenile crime in the near future (Stone, 2000). Pinpointing the cause of delinquency is an arduous task because of the many contributing factors (e.g., impulsivity, aggression, low intellect, poor family attachment, drug, and alcohol abuse). By changing the emotional deficits found in beginning delinquency, the likelihood of developing delinquent behavior may be impeded. Research indicates that adolescents who commit crimes are lacking in empathy (e.g., Aleksic, 1975; Cohen & Strayer, 1996; Ellis, 1982; Gibbs, 1987; Marcus & Gray, 1998), thus, promoting empathy may be an avenue for prevention and rehabilitation. This study examined the levels of empathy of adjudicated youth in four juvenile correctional facilities in Texas. Using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), empathy levels of 170 youth were examined. Youth in the study demonstrated low levels of empathy. The study found that empathy levels of adjudicated youth were differentiated by incarcerating facility, IQ, type of offense, disability status, and phase level of a re-socialization training program. Age was not found to be a significant factor for differentiating empathy levels. Youth demonstrated similiar empathy levels at three of the four incarcerating facilities. However, empathy scores were still below average. IQ ranges were differentiated by the IRI, and found to be lower than normed scores. Type of committing offense was discriminated and found to indicate low empathy levels. Youth without an identified disability scored lower than subjects with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) and youth with learning disabilities (LD). This may reflect the pattern of underidentification of juveniles in correctional facilities (Nelson, Rutherford, & Wolford, 1987). Phases of Re-socialization is an instructional therapuetic program with an empathy component used at the Texas Youth Commission correctional facilities. Data from the study indicated that youth at higher phase levels demonstrated increased empathy. Much of the data are inconsistent, thus establishing the need for further research. A deeper understanding of the impact of each factor (e.g., incarcerating facility, age, IQ, type of offense, disability status, phase) may be accomplished by further research. However, data from this study is consistent with previous research (e.g., Daberman, 1999; Ellis, 1982; Gibbs, 1987; Lee & Prentice, 1988), indicating a link between juvenile delinquents and empathic deficits.
- Comparison of Computer Testing versus Traditional Paper and Pencil Testing
- This study evaluated 227 students attending 12 classes of the Apprentice Medical Services Specialist Resident Course. Six classes containing a total of 109 students took the Block One Tests in the traditional paper and pencil form. Another six classes containing a total of 118 students took the same Block One Tests on computers. A confidence level of .99 and level of significance of .01 was established. An independent samples t-test was conducted on the sample. Additionally, a one-way analysis of variance was performed between the classes administered the Block One Tests on computers. Several other frequencies and comparisons of Block One Test scores and other variables were accomplished. The variables examined included test versions, shifts, student age, student source, and education levels. The study found no significant difference between test administration modes. This study concluded that computer-administering tests identical to those typically administered in the traditional paper and pencil manner had no significant effect on achievement. It is important to note, however, that the conclusion may only be valid if the computer-administered test contains exactly the same test items, in the same order and format, with the same layout, structure, and choices as the traditional paper and pencil test. In other words, unless the tests are identical in every possible way except the actual test administration mode this conclusion may not be applicable.
- Students' criteria for course selection: Towards a metadata standard for distributed higher education
- By 2007, one half of higher education students are expected to enroll in distributed learning courses. Higher education institutions need to attract students searching the Internet for courses and need to provide students with enough information to select courses. Internet resource discovery tools are readily available, however, users have difficulty selecting relevant resources. In part this is due to the lack of a standard for representation of Internet resources. An emerging solution is metadata. In the educational domain, the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) has specified a Learning Object Metadata (LOM) standard. This exploratory study (a) determined criteria students think are important for selecting higher education courses, (b) discovered relationships between these criteria and students' demographic characteristics, educational status, and Internet experience, and (c) evaluated these criteria vis-à-vis the IEEE LTSC LOM standard. Web-based questionnaires (N=209) measured (a) the criteria students think are important in the selection of higher education courses and (b) three factors that might influence students' selections. Respondents were principally female (66%), employed full time (57%), and located in the U.S. (89%). The chi square goodness-of-fit test determined 40 criteria students think are important and exploratory factor analysis determined five common factors among the top 21 criteria, three evaluative factors and two descriptive. Results indicated evaluation criteria are very important in course selection. Spearman correlation coefficients and chi-square tests of independence determined the relationships between the importance of selection criteria and demographic characteristics, educational status, and Internet experience. Four profiles emerged representing groups of students with unique concerns. Side by side analysis determined if the IEEE LTSC LOM standard included the criteria of importance to students. The IEEE LOM by itself is not enough to meet students course selection needs. Recommendations include development of a metadata standard for course evaluation and accommodation of group differences in information retrieval systems.
- An inquiry into the factors influencing the development of the field of Behavior Disorders: A qualitative approach
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This dissertation has explored the origins of the field of Behavioral Disorders via a qualitative approach. In order to collect data, interviews were conducted with respondents who were selected via purposeful sampling. All respondents have had a significant impact on the field of special education as evidenced by scholarship and leadership throughout their careers. Data analysis of the interview transcriptions was accomplished through the utilization of computer software. The data indicated six areas/topics that were seen among respondents as being significant to the development of the field of Behavioral Disorders.
- Psychometric development of the adaptive leadership competency profile
- This study documented the psychometric development of the Adaptive Leadership Competency Profile (ALCP). The ALCP was derived from a qualitative database from the National Science Foundation project (NSF 9422368) and the academic body of literature. Test items were operationalized, and subject matter experts validated 11 macro-leadership competencies and 65 items. Rasch rating scale measurement models were applied to answer the following questions: (a) How well do the respective items of the ALCP fit the Rasch rating scale measurement model for the 11 scales of the ACLP? (b) How well do the person's abilities fit the Rasch rating scale measurement model, using the 11 scales of the ALCP? (c) What are the item separation and reliability coefficients for the 11 ALCP scales? (d) What are the person separation and reliability coefficients for the 11 ALCP scales? This study also sought to discern whether the ALCP could predict leader effectiveness as measured by the likelihood ratio index and frequency of correct predictions indices. The WINSTEPS and LIMDEP programs were used to obtain Rasch calibrations and probit estimates, respectively. The ALCP profiles the frequency and intensity of leadership behavior. Composite measures were calculated and used to predict leadership effectiveness. Results from this study validated 10 competencies and 55 items.
- The Effect of Psychological Type, Economic Status, and Minority
- The purpose of this study was to determine if psychological type, economic status, and minority classification had an effect on the pass/fail rates of vocational nursing students. The rationale for conducting this study was based on the need for the institution to maintain program viability and successfully retain students. The personality types of vocational nursing students were measured using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Measures of economic status and minority classification were obtained through subject self-report. Students enrolled in a vocational nursing program at a small North Texas community college were studied. The Chi-square Test of Independence with a 2 x 2 design was employed. Findings indicated that there was a statistically significant relationship between the pass/fail rates of thinkers versus feelers in the vocational nursing classroom. Findings did not indicate a statistically significant relationship between the pass/fail rates of extraverts versus introverts; sensers versus intuitives; or judgers versus perceivers in the vocational nursing classroom. Findings also suggested that there were no significant relationships between the pass/fail rates of individuals with poverty versus non-poverty economic statuses, nor between individuals with minority versus non-minority classifications. Based on this study, vocational nursing students psychologically typed as thinkers, may have lower passing rates in the vocational nursing classroom setting.
- Equivalency of paper-pencil tests and computer-administered tests.
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Are computer-administered versions of a multiple choice paper-pencil test equivalent? This study determined whether there were any significant differences between taking a traditional pencil-paper test and taking the same test using a computer. The literature has shown that there are intervening variables that have caused differences when not controlled. To prove equivalency between test modes, scores have to have similar means, dispersions, and shapes; the ranked-order of the scores must also be similar. Four tests were given over the course of a 16-week semester. The sample was divided, half taking paper-pencil tests and half taking the same test administered by a computer. The mode of administration was switched with each test administration. The analysis showed that, when the intervening variables were controlled, the two modes of administration were equivalent. The analysis used a 2x4 ANOVA, which showed no difference between test modes, but showed that each test administration was significantly different. The Levene statistic was used to test whether dispersions were equivalent and confidence intervals were established to test the kurtosis and skewness statistics. Finally, each of the test scores were transformed into their Normal Curve Equivalents so that Pearson's coefficient could be used to determine the equivalency of the ranked-orders.
- The Effects of Web-Based Learning Versus Traditional Instructor-Based Learning on Student Knowledge and Satisfaction Based on Student Learning Styles
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The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of Web-based learning (WBL) versus those of traditional instructor-based learning (IBL) on student knowledge and satisfaction based on student learning styles. Other goals were to determine if WBL is more effective for those with a particular learning style. The study examined a sample of undergraduate students who were enrolled in the college algebra offered as both oncampus instructor-based (traditional) and Web-based at the university of North Texas (UNT). A total of 36 Web-based students and 58 instructor-based students participated in this study. This study utilized a posttest-only intact group. The Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI) measured the learning styles of students. This study used learning methods (Web-based learning (WBL), instructor-based learning (IBL)), and learning styles (Diverger, Converger, Assimilator, and Accommodator) as independent variables. Student knowledge and student satisfaction was measured at the end of the course as independent variables. Based upon the results of the LSI, post-learning exam, and satisfaction a series of two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA 4x2) techniques and independent variable tests was used for each of the dependent variables, knowledge and satisfaction, based on a student's learning styles. The results revealed that students' learning styles were statistically significant for knowledge when learning on the Web versus instructor-led. In addition, the learning style was important factor for Web-based learning. The results indicated students with Assimilator and Converger as learning styles received better result with the Web-based learning method. Furthermore, this study found there is significant difference in student satisfaction based on learning on the Web versus instructor-led. The outcome of the study could be of particular interest in educational institutions; especially those that want to transfer some of their traditional courses onto the Web. The finding also has implications for training organizations as they seek efficient and effective ways to satisfy their training needs.
- Effect of Individualized Curricular Accommodations, Incorporating Student Interest and the Impact on the Motivation and Occurrence/ Nonoccurrence of Disruptive Behavior Displayed By Students with Emotional/behavioral Disorders.
- As a result of the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997, schools must now consider positive behavioral interventions and strategies to address problem behavior of students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (E/BD). Given the poor behavioral, academic, and social outcomes for these students, there is a compelling need to identify effective, proactive interventions. Current literature has well established the ineffectiveness of traditional, punitive, and consequence-laden strategies to deal with behaviors. Research has shown the manipulation of antecedent stimuli, in the form of curricular adaptations, can provide a positive, proactive means of managing behavior. Specifically, curriculum modifications, based on student interest, are proposed as a positive, proactive strategy used to manipulate antecedent stimuli to improve the behavior of students with E/BD. The purpose of this study was to investigate the manipulation of antecedent stimuli through the implementation of individualized, curricular adaptations, based on student interest, to reduce the problem behavior of students exhibiting disruptive behaviors. A second purpose was to explore the effect of those adaptations on the behavior motivation of students with E/BD. In this study, curriculum modifications based on student interest were used to reduce disruptive behavior, increase desirable behavior, and effect change in the motivation for problem behavior among four elementary school boys with E/BD. Use of an ABAB reversal design, including interval data collection, and the use of a behavior rating scale and a motivation assessment scale were used to establish baseline data and determine effectiveness of the intervention. Results indicate that each student demonstrated a reduction in disruptive behavior, an increase in desirable behavior, and changes in motivation for behavior.
- Establishing the utility of a classroom effectiveness index as a teacher accountability system.
- How to identify effective teachers who improve student achievement despite diverse student populations and school contexts is an ongoing discussion in public education. The need to show communities and parents how well teachers and schools improve student learning has led districts and states to seek a fair, equitable and valid measure of student growth using student achievement. This study investigated a two stage hierarchical model for estimating teacher effect on student achievement. This measure was entitled a Classroom Effectiveness Index (CEI). Consistency of this model over time, outlier influences in individual CEIs, variance among CEIs across four years, and correlations of second stage student residuals with first stage student residuals were analyzed. The statistical analysis used four years of student residual data from a state-mandated mathematics assessment (n=7086) and a state-mandated reading assessment (n=7572) aggregated by teacher. The study identified the following results. Four years of district grand slopes and grand intercepts were analyzed to show consistent results over time. Repeated measures analyses of grand slopes and intercepts in mathematics were statistically significant at the .01 level. Repeated measures analyses of grand slopes and intercepts in reading were not statistically significant. The analyses indicated consistent results over time for reading but not for mathematics. Data were analyzed to assess outlier effects. Nineteen statistically significant outliers in 15,378 student residuals were identified. However, the impact on individual teachers was extreme in eight of the 19 cases. Further study is indicated. Subsets of teachers in the same assignment at the same school for four consecutive years and for three consecutive years indicated CEIs were stable over time. There were no statistically significant differences in either mathematics or reading. Correlations between Level One student residuals and HLM residuals were statistically significant in reading and in mathematics. This implied that the second stage of the model was consistent for all students. Much is still unknown concerning teacher effect on student achievement, especially when confined to teacher activity within one school year. However, results indicate the utility of using statistical modeling of student achievement within the context of teacher accountability.
- 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.
- Ability Estimation Under Different Item Parameterization and Scoring Models
- A Monte Carlo simulation study investigated the effect of scoring format, item parameterization, threshold configuration, and prior ability distribution on the accuracy of ability estimation given various IRT models. Item response data on 30 items from 1,000 examinees was simulated using known item parameters and ability estimates. The item response data sets were submitted to seven dichotomous or polytomous IRT models with different item parameterization to estimate examinee ability. The accuracy of the ability estimation for a given IRT model was assessed by the recovery rate and the root mean square errors. The results indicated that polytomous models produced more accurate ability estimates than the dichotomous models, under all combinations of research conditions, as indicated by higher recovery rates and lower root mean square errors. For the item parameterization models, the one-parameter model out-performed the two-parameter and three-parameter models under all research conditions. Among the polytomous models, the partial credit model had more accurate ability estimation than the other three polytomous models. The nominal categories model performed better than the general partial credit model and the multiple-choice model with the multiple-choice model the least accurate. The results further indicated that certain prior ability distributions had an effect on the accuracy of ability estimation; however, no clear order of accuracy among the four prior distribution groups was identified due to an interaction between prior ability distribution and threshold configuration. The recovery rate was lower when the test items had categories with unequal threshold distances, were close at one end of the ability/difficulty continuum, and were administered to a sample of examinees whose population ability distribution was skewed to the same end of the ability continuum.
- An evaluation of job satisfaction among salespersons in a small department store using four psychological measures.
- The purpose of this study was to examine the potential of three independent psychological scales (Rotter's Locus of Control, Karasek's Job Content Questionnaire [non-injury job stress], and Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale) to predict job satisfaction, as measured by Brayfield and Rothe's Index of Job Satisfaction, among salespersons in a small independent department store in Wichita Falls, Texas. An 82-item survey which examined the dynamics of a salesperson's work life was administered to 20 individuals who were full-time employees of the department store. Demographic data were also gathered although these factors were not entered into the regression analysis. A multiple regression procedure examined the responses of the 20 employees who participated in the study. The R-squared coefficient indicates that 41 percent of the variance in Job Satisfaction was explained by the three predictor measures. A major proportion of this unexplained variance may be in variables outside the scope of this study, e.g., salaries, vacation time, benefits, bonuses, or commissions. Results suggest that the independent variables measured by the Locus of Control Scale and the Job Content Questionnaire in combination were the best predictors of job satisfaction with a significance level of .01. The single best predictor was the Job Content Questionnaire, significant at .03. The three instruments (Locus of Control, Self-Esteem, and Job Content Questionnaire) which comprised the independent variables, reached a significance level of .03 in their prediction of job satisfaction (Brayfield-Rothe Index of Job Satisfaction). Study results indicate that a majority of the employees in the sample population were satisfied with their jobs and with the leadership style manifested by the store manager. In addition, job security was believed to be satisfactory. Inasmuch as there is a void in the literature regarding personal characteristics of salespersons as variables that interact with job satisfaction, comparisons of the findings of this research with other studies that have explored the intricacies of job satisfaction among salespersons who work in small, independent department stores cannot be made. Further research on the predictability of job satisfaction among salespersons in small, independent retail operations such as the department store investigated in this study would be useful not only to managerial staff in decision making and personnel management but would promote greater understanding of the personal characteristics of salespersons as human investment capital which has the potential to create the effective competitive edge required for survival in the new economy.
- An examination of computer anxiety related to achievement on paper-and-pencil and computer-based aircraft maintenance knowledge testing of United States Air Force technical training students.
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether varying levels of computer anxiety have an effect on computer-based testing of United States Air Force technical training students. The first chapter presents an overview of computer-based testing, defines key terms, and identifies questions addressed in the research. The rationale for conducting this study was that little research had been done in this area. The second chapter contains a review of the pertinent literature related to computer-based testing, computer anxiety, test reliability, validity, and gender differences in computer use. Due to the lack understanding concerning any effects of computer anxiety on computer-based testing, this has been a worthwhile topic to explore, and it makes a significant contribution to the training field. The third chapter describes the qualitative research methodology used to conduct the study. The primary methodology was an analysis of variance comparison for groups of individuals who displayed high or low computer anxiety to their respective mean computer-based or paper-based aircraft maintenance knowledge testing scores. The research population consisted of United States Air Force aircraft maintenance craftsmen students attending training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The fourth chapter details the findings of the study. The findings indicate that there was no significant difference between the groups of students rated with high computer anxiety and low computer anxiety while testing with computers. Additionally, no significant differences were detected while testing alternative hypotheses covering differences between groups of students rated with high computer anxiety and low computer anxiety testing by traditional paper-and pencil methods. Finally, a reference section identifying the literature used in the preparation of this dissertation is also included.
- The Effect of Professional Development Training for Secondary Mathematics Teachers Concerning Nontraditional Employment Roles for Females
- This quasi-experimental study, utilizing quantitative and qualitative descriptive methods, examined the sex-egalitarian attitudes of secondary mathematics teachers from the Ft. Worth Independent School District. A video tape, Women in the Workplace, was used as a training intervention to test the effectiveness of professional development training in altering the mathematics teachers' sex-egalitarian attitudes towards female employment. Information on the video presented seven jobs that provide opportunities for female students in the science, engineering, and technology fields that are considered nontraditional jobs for females. Subjects completed 19 Employment Role domain questions on the King and King (1993) Sex-Role Egalitarianism Scale. A one-way ANOVA was applied to the data to test for a significant difference in the means of the control group, who did not see the video, and the experimental group that viewed the video. Findings concluded that there was no significant difference in the sex equalitarian mean scores of the control group and the experimental group. The research indicated that it takes an intensive and prolonged training period to produce a significant change in people's attitudes. This study supports the research on length of training needed to change sex egalitarian attitudes of classroom teachers. There were data collected on four demographic areas that included gender, age, ethnicity, and years of teaching experience. A two-way ANOVA was applied to four demographic variables to test for interaction and main effect. A significant difference was found between the sex-egalitarian attitudes of male and female mathematics teachers' responses. There were no significant differences found in the sex egalitarian attitudes of secondary mathematics teachers when categorized by levels of age, ethnicity, and years of teaching experience. The information in this study should interest and benefit teachers, parents, students, administrators, and industry leaders.
- Assessing the Efficacy of Learning Communities at Four North Texas Community Colleges.
- This observational study involving intact groups and convenient sampling examined learning communities at four North Texas Community Colleges. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a significant difference in cathectic learning climate, inimical ambiance, academic rigor, affiliation and structure among students in learning communities and freestanding classes. Learning communities are gaining nationwide popularity as instruments of reform in Higher Education. Recent studies have discussed the benefits of learning communities to student, faculty and institutions. As learning communities are gaining popularity, especially at the community college level, there is a need to determine if the learning communities are significantly different than freestanding classes. The College Classroom Environment Scales, developed by Winston, Vahala, Nichols, Gillis, Wintrow, and Rome (1989), was used as the survey instrument for this study. Using SPSS 10.1, a multivariate analysis of variance, (Hotelling's T2) was performed on five dependent variables: cathectic learning climate (CLC), inimical ambiance (IA), academic rigor (AR), affiliation (AF), and structure (ST), which yielded a significant difference. The independent variable was learning community compared to freestanding classes (group). Follow-up independent t tests were also conducted to evaluate the differences in the means between the two groups and to explore which dependent variables contributed to the multivariate difference, which resulted in significant differences in inimical ambiance, affiliation and structure. The researcher concludes that learning communities make a difference for some learners, but not necessarily all and that more research needs to be conducted to find the answers to the questions concerning the efficacy and sustainability of learning communities in higher education.
- Learning Style and Preferred Mode of Delivery of Adult Learners in Web-Based, Classroom, and Blended Training
- The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between adult learners' preferred learning style and preference for delivery mode. The subjects (n=61) were technical and billing support call center employees from an Internet company in Dallas, Texas. The participants were randomly assigned to one of six groups and given Kolb's Learning Style Inventory to assess their preference for learning style. They received training on three modules of “Influencing Others Positively,” with each module delivered via one of three methods (web-based, classroom, and blended). Participants were also administered two surveys. The first survey collected demographic information and asked which method that they expected they would prefer. The second survey was administered after the course and asked them to rank their preferences for delivery method. It was hypothesized that learning style would be significantly associated with preference for delivery method. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and a chi-square test of independence for the variables learning style and preferred mode of delivery. Although the chi-square test of independence did not produce statistical significance, some interesting trends were identified in the data. Specifically, a majority of the participants preferred a blended approach to training delivery (a combination of self-paced web-based training and classroom group exercises). No Divergers preferred classroom training and no Accommodators preferred web-based training. Additionally, a logistic regression analysis indicated that Assimilators were six times more likely than Divergers to prefer a blended approach to training (p=.10). Further studies should utilize other learning style theories, explore different types of learning outcomes and delivery methods, and include a larger sample from different organizations. Training needs assessments should include learning style inventories as part of the audience analysis prior to training development.
- Levels of resourcefulness and motivation as they relate to sales force success: An examination of correlates using the hope theory.
- This study sought to determine whether a relationship existed between individual salesperson's levels of goal-directed cognition and motivation and their professional success as determined by the percentage of sales goals achieved. Salespersons represented two companies with national sales forces: one from the financial services industry and one from the apparel manufacturing industry. Both groups of salespeople were responsible for complex selling tasks. The skill sets for these professionals included high levels of communication skills, extensive product knowledge, and competitive market knowledge. Survey research, both paper and pencil and online, was conducted using the Hope Scale developed by C. R. Snyder and associates (1991). Hope is defined as a two-dimensional construct of goal-directed thinking: resourcefulness, thoughtful planning to overcome obstacles to goals, and motivation, cognition to sustain momentum toward goal achievement. Theoretically, upon assessing salespersons' Hope scores, organizations would be better prepared to assist those with low Hope Scale Scores (HSS) in one of the two areas. Those with low resourcefulness scores could be trained in cognitive techniques to overcome obstacles to goal achievement. Those with low motivational scores would be identified for further analysis, from a developmental perspective, to better determine what personally initiates and sustains motivation to attain their goals (Snyder, 1991). This study affirmed two of three parts of the hope theory with regard to salespeople. High Hope scores showed significant correlations with high goal achievement, as did one of the subset scores, motivation. The resourcefulness subset score did not correlate significantly with high goal achievement, and also produced low reliability scores.
- Perceptions of Preservice Educators, Inservice Educators, and Professional Development Personnel Regarding Effective Methods for Learning Technology Integration Skills
- This study examined educators' preferences for learning technology integration skills in order to provide the education community with justifiable data concerning the need for educator training alternatives. A survey was distributed to compare preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel's perceived effectiveness of eight training methods (N=759). The four research questions examined were: Do differences exist among preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel in the perceived effectiveness of different methods for learning technology integration skills? (2) Do differences exist among preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel in the perceived effectiveness of different methods for learning technology integration skills when categorized by age? (3) Do differences exist among preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel in the perceived effectiveness of different methods for learning technology integration skills when categorized by total hours of instruction? (4) Do differences exist among preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel in the perceived effectiveness of different methods for learning technology integration skills when categorized by locus of control? All groups were measured for similarities and differences in preferences on credit classes, workshops, open computer labs, technology personnel support, peer support, online help, printed documentation, and trial and error. In addition, those training preferences were cross-referenced with age, training hours, and the locus of control personality factor. MANOVAs and post-hoc analyses were performed for each major research question as well as trends in the data were examined. This study indicated that the most effective training methods were technical support, peer support, and credit courses. The least effective training methods were online help, printed documentation, workshops, and computer labs. Age, amount of training hours, and locus of control score did not provide as much information as did educator type when predicting training preference. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that educator training programs be revamped to include the methods that the educators themselves have affirmed as effective for learning technology integration skills. This assures that teachers are prepared to integrate technology into the curriculum and students are prepared for a technological society.
- An Investigation into Motivations of Instructors Teaching Business and Technical Internet-Based Courses at Two-Year Colleges
- This research was conducted to determine why two-year community college instructors teach over the Internet. By understanding why these instructors teach over the Internet, colleges can recruit more instructors to teach using the Web thus allowing colleges to offer more Internet courses. They can also use the information to keep the instructors who are currently teaching over the Internet satisfied, and motivate them to continue to teach. To gather this information, a questionnaire was created and evaluated for reliability and validity during a pilot study. It was then sent to those instructors who taught over the Internet, and had their e-mails available on their campus Website. A 30.5% response rate (N=100) was achieved. The survey was divided into two sections, a demographics section and a Likert scale dealing with motivation. The Likert scale had six choices ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree and 31 statements. The demographic data were reported and summarized. The Likert items were examined using factor analysis techniques, and a number of components were discovered. Eight components, made up of the 31 variables from the Likert scale were found using the factor analysis. The eight components in order are labeled: Technical and Computer Challenges, School Promotion, Student Preferences, Personal Benefits, Receiving Computerized Assistance, Growth and Knowledge, Textbook Company Assistance, and Pay.
- The relationship between training in learning style adaptation and successful completion of entry-level community college classes.
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The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between training in learning style adaptation and successful completion of community college courses. The rationale for conducting this study was based on the need for students to learn how to adapt their learning style in order to more effectively learn in any situation. It is also important that community colleges implement strategies that assist in student retention. The learning styles of entry-level community college students were measured using Kolb's Learning Style Inventory Version 3. Students enrolled in entry-level college courses at a small North Texas community college were studied. The Chi-square Test of Independence with a 2 x 2 design was employed. Findings indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in the relationship between students receiving training in learning styles adaptation and successful completion of entry-level college courses, and that students who attended a learning styles training session and those who did not attend a learning styles training session had an equal chance of succeeding in entry-level community college courses. Findings also indicated that students with Accommodating and Assimilating learning styles are less likely to successfully complete an entry-level college course than are students with Diverging or Converging learning styles, yet students with Diverging and Converging learning styles might withdraw from a course rather than risk being unsuccessful. Finally, findings indicated that students who are dissatisfied with the college course and with the instructor of the college course withdraw from college courses.
- An Analysis of the Characteristics of Female Juvenile Offenders as Predictors of Resocialization or Recidivism.
- Because there has been a paucity of research on the educational needs of females with academic, behavioral, and emotional problems involved with the juvenile justice system, this study has been an attempt to classify and compare specific characteristics of this population. In particular, it examined their demographics, disability prevalence rates, along with academic, behavioral, and emotional functioning levels, in order to further understand their relationship to the resocialization or recidivism of the different groups of female juveniles incarcerated in the state of Texas, and contribute to the research for further developing successful prevention and intervention programs. Various demographic factors of the female juveniles in this study were examined: (a) offender type, (b) county of commitment, (c) race/ethnicity, (d) age at first referral, and (e) English language proficiency. Prevalence rates of special education disabilities were determined. Academic functioning was measured by (a) IQ; (b) last school grade completed; (c) Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) reading gain score; and (d) TABE math gain score. Behavioral functioning was indicated through (a) offense history, (b) documented behavior incidents, and (c) total risk score. Emotional functioning included DSM-IV diagnoses and treatment needs. Due to the design of the research being a descriptive exploration, the findings produced this compilation of attributes. The population of study typically reached an education level of 8th grade or less before becoming incarcerated. Their IQ is usually in the range of 80 to 90 points, with their reading and math achievement levels lagging about five years behind those of their age group. Their gains in reading and math are usually two to three levels per year. The female juveniles averaged 10 documented behavior incidents during their periods of incarceration. Their Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores at intake showed they had moderate mental health symptoms and/or moderate difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning. For this study population, there were almost twice as many recidivists as first-time offenders, and the findings showed that their characteristics, even those of different disability groups, were much more alike than different.
- Applying Cognitive Load Theory to the Design of Online Learning.
- The purpose of the study was to investigate the application of cognitive load theory to the design of online instruction. Students in three different courses (N = 146) were measured on both learning performance and perceptions of mental effort to see if there were any statistically significant differences. The study utilized a quasi-experimental posttest-only control group design contrasting modified and unmodified instructional lessons. Both groups were given a posttest to measure knowledge gained from the lesson (cognitive domain of learning) and perceptions of mental effort involved. Independent samples t-tests were used to compare the mean performance scores of the treatment groups (i.e. the sections using redesigned materials) versus the control groups for all three courses. Cohen's d was also computed to determine effect size. Mental effort scores were similarly compared for each group on the overall cognitive load score, for a total of six data points in the study. Of the four hypotheses examined, three (H1, H2, H4) found no statistically significant difference between the experimental and control groups. Negative significance was found between the experimental and control group on the effect of modality (H3). On measures of cognitive load, no statistically significant differences were found.
- Perceptions of importance of diagnostic competencies among educational diagnosticians.
- This research was two-fold in its purpose: the first purpose being to assess the perceived relevance of the current state competency standards adopted in Texas by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) as they apply to the work of the educational diagnostician and the second being to examine the diagnostician's perceived ability of training institutions to prepare professionals for the field of special education evaluation. This study examined the perceptions of educational diagnosticians (N = 432) through the use of a survey instrument. Specifically the survey instrument was designed to assess diagnosticians' perceptions of importance of the SBEC competencies to special education evaluation in general, and to their practice in particular; the frequency with which they use the competencies; and their degree of training to meet the demands of the competencies through their preparatory program. Results indicate variability with regard to the perceived importance of the competencies and the degree of preparation to meet the demands of the competencies in practice.
- Female adolescents identified with emotional disturbance and adjudicated female adolescents: A comparison of self-concepts.
- This study addresses the academic, social, and self-image self-concepts of females ages 13-17 who are labeled emotionally and behaviorally disordered by their public school systems and are in residential treatment, and females ages 13-17 who are adjudicated, or labeled “juvenile offenders” and are involved with the juvenile justice system. The purpose of this study is to examine and compare the self-concepts of these populations of adolescent females. Research questions focus on whether or not there is a difference in the confidence scores of self-image, academic, and social self-concepts, the importance scores of self-image, academic, and social self-concepts, and the confidence composite and outcome composite scores among female adolescents according to whether or not the female is adjudicated. Results show no statistically significant differences on seven of the eight measures. On the eighth measure, a statistically significant difference was found, with the non-offenders having a higher Outcome Confidence Composite score than the offenders.
- Faculty training and professional development programs designed to impact Web-based instruction in higher education: A faculty perspective.
- Web-based instruction has fast become a common component of higher education. Although such instruction began as a supplemental form of interaction, it has now become a basic aspect of many college courses and degree programs. If teacher and student are not in the same place at the same time, it becomes necessary to introduce a communications medium that will not only deliver information but also provide a channel of interaction between them. This study focused on faculty training and development programs designed to impact Web-based instruction in higher education at the five largest state-funded universities in Texas within a college of education. The instrument used in this study was developed by the research to collect data relating to faculty perception of training and development opportunities available to them at their institutions, perceptions of administrative support, and technical support. The objective was to determine if there was a relationship between these items listed above and faculty members' levels of confidence and perceptions of effectiveness when teach Web-based courses. The population consisted on 151 faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, the University of North Texas, and Texas Tech University. This research study suggests that full-time tenure track faculty members at the five largest state-funded universities in Texas perceive that the amount of formal training they have received increases their ability to teach Web-based courses effectively and that the amount of formal training received also increases their perceived level of confidence when teaching Web-based courses. The researcher discovered similar results when faculty members were asked about their perceived level of institutional commitment and current initiatives for teaching Web-based courses.
- The supply and demand of physician assistants in the United States: A trend analysis.
- The supply of non-physician clinicians (NPCs), such as physician assistant (PAs), could significantly influence demand requirements in medical workforce projections. This study predicts supply of and demand for PAs from 2006 to 2020. The PA supply model utilized the number of certified PAs, the educational capacity (at 10% and 25% expansion) with assumed attrition rates, and retirement assumptions. Gross domestic product (GDP) chained in 2000 dollar and US population were utilized in a transfer function trend analyses with the number of PAs as the dependent variable for the PA demand model. Historical analyses revealed strong correlations between GDP and US population with the number of PAs. The number of currently certified PAs represents approximately 75% of the projected demand. At 10% growth, the supply and demand equilibrium for PAs will be reached in 2012. A 25% increase in new entrants causes equilibrium to be met one year earlier. Robust application trends in PA education enrollment (2.2 applicants per seat for PAs is the same as for allopathic medical school applicants) support predicted increases. However, other implications for the PA educational institutions include recruitment and retention of qualified faculty, clinical site maintenance and diversity of matriculates. Further research on factors affecting the supply and demand for PAs is needed in the areas of retirement age rates, gender, and lifestyle influences. Specialization trends and visit intensity levels are potential variables.
- One-to-one technology and mathematics achievement for eighth grade girls and boys in the state of Maine.
- This study analyzed the eighth grade mathematics portion of the spring 2004 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) achievement test and the survey questions that were also administered. The analysis was on a school-wide level (n = 182). The two survey questions used were: “Which statement best describes the use of calculators in your mathematics classes?” and "Which statement best describes how you use your laptop in mathematics class: getting data from the Web, finding mathematics problems online, creating graphs?" Correlational analysis, partial correlation, and regression were used to determine if there was any association between calculator usage, laptop usage, and mathematics achievement for girls and for boys in the first state-wide group of students to have one-to-one laptops in Maine. Calculator usage was found to be positively associated with mathematics achievement for both girls (partial correlation coefficient of .189 (p = .011)) and for boys (partial correlation coefficient of .193 (p = .010)) even after controlling for school size and socio-economic status. Though no significant association between laptop usage and mathematics achievement for either girls or boys was found, this may be more a reflection on the survey question being a weak measure than the usage of laptops. In a post-hoc analysis of findings, schools were rank ordered based on the average mathematics achievement score regardless of gender; the top 25% (n = 45) and the lower 25% (n = 45) of the schools were evaluated. In the top 25%, there was no statistically significant difference between school-wide girls' and boys' mathematics achievement scores. However, in the lower 25% of the schools, there was a statistically significant difference (p = .01) between the school-wide average of girls' and boys' mathematics achievement scores, with the girls' score being 1.49 points higher (p = .01, d = .447) than the boys'. Recommendations for refinement of MEA survey questions as well as future studies are provided.
- Comparison of Evangelical Christian Children's God-Concepts and Logical Thinking Ability.
- God-concepts of 24 third to sixth grade evangelical Christian children were compared with the children‘s logical thinking abilities in a mixed-method study. Measurements included the Children‘s Interview and the Group Assessment of Logical Thinking (GALT). God-concepts among the children were Biblical, comforter, communicates, creator, empowering, protector, provider, purposeful, human characteristics, lives in heaven, male, counselor, God is Jesus, all-knowing, loving, perfect, powerful, real, and parental. The majority of concrete thinkers conceptualized God as a gracious guide. The majority of transitional thinkers viewed God also as a gracious guide as well as a distant divinity. Implications were given for religious educators to develop a model for age-appropriate instruction and curriculum and to equip parents to promote spiritual development with children at home.
- State and local level implementation of schoolwide positive behavior support: An examination of the Texas Behavior Support Initiative (TBSI).
- This study examined the current status of schoolwide positive behavior support efforts in Texas. The study specifically (a) examined the impact of statewide positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) training on the rates of discipline records, in-school ¬suspensions, out-¬of¬-school suspensions, disciplinary alternative education placements, and expulsions of public schools in Texas; (b) investigated the overall effectiveness of schoolwide positive behavior support; and (c) determined the differences between rates of discipline records, in-school ¬suspensions, out-¬of¬-school suspensions, disciplinary alternative education placements, and expulsions in schools participating in the Texas Behavior Support Initiative (TBSI): Schoolwide PBS Project when compared with matching schools who did not participate in the project. This study demonstrated that schools can significantly reduce problem behavior in their schools when implementing PBIS with fidelity. Creating effective systems of PBIS required training, coaching, and on¬site technical assistance by trained and experienced PBIS facilitators.
- The historical significance of professional contributions of a leader in the field of emotional and behavioral disorders in special education: A qualitative case study of Richard J. Whelan.
- Historical documentation of the impact of PL 88-164 on the field of emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) and the development and implementation of teacher-training programs for children and youth identified as E/BD is limited. This study was designed to document the historical significance and professional contributions of Dr. Richard J. Whelan, Professor Emeritus, University of Kansas and his work in the development of teacher preparation training programs in the field of E/BD in institutions of higher education (IHE). The second purpose of this study was to document the legislative and program initiatives that have impacted the services, education, teaching, and research initiatives in the field of E/BD as interpreted by Dr. Whelan. The final purpose of this study was to examine the views of Dr. Whelan regarding the need for future developments in the field of E/BD. Legislative and policy efforts continue to change the climate in which children are educated. The field of special education relies on the efficacy of the training programs in IHE to provide appropriate teaching and research efforts in a manner that is consistent with the current needs of students with E/BD, their families, and the schools in which they seek to be educated. As this study revealed, understanding the history of the field, the foundational framework from which research and evidence-based practices have emerged, is paramount to forward movement in the field and necessary to the measurement of effective interventions and strategies in support of the students, their families, and those who choose this field as their lifework. It is the foundation from which educational theory is developed, researched, revised, and reflected.
- Use of Phillips's five level training evaluation and ROI framework in the U.S. nonprofit sector.
- This study examined training evaluation practices in U.S. nonprofit sector organizations. It offered a framework for evaluating employee training in the nonprofit sector and suggested solutions to overcome the barriers to evaluation. A mail survey was sent to 879 individuals who were members of, or had expressed an interest in, the American Society for Training and Development. The membership list consisted of individuals who indicated association/nonprofit or interfaith as an area of interest. Data from the survey show that training in the nonprofit sector is evaluated primarily at Level 1 (reaction) and Level 2 (learning). It also shows decreasing use from Level 3 (application) through Level 5 (ROI). Reaction questionnaires are the primary method for collecting Level 1 data. Facilitator assessment and self-assessment were listed as the primary method for evaluating Level 2. A significant mean rank difference was found between Level 2 (learning) and the existence of an evaluation policy. Spearman rho correlation revealed a statistically significant relationship between Level 4 (results) and the reasons training programs are offered. The Kruskal-Wallis H test revealed a statistically significant mean rank difference between "academic preparation" of managers with Level 3 evaluation. The Mann-Whitney U test was used post hoc and revealed that master's degree had a higher mean rank compared to bachelor's degree and doctorate. The Mann-Whitney U test revealed that there were statistically significant mean rank differences on Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 5 evaluation use with the barriers "little perceived value to the organization," "lack of training or experience using this form of evaluation," and "not required by the organization." Research findings are consistent with previous research conducted in the public sector, business and industry, healthcare, and finance. Nonprofit sector organizations evaluate primarily at Level 1 and Level 2. The existence of a written policy increases the use of Level 2 evaluation. Training evaluation is also an important part of the training process in nonprofit organizations. Selecting programs to evaluate at Level 5 is reserved for courses which are linked to organizational outcomes and have the interest of top management.
- An investigation of the use of instructional simulations in the classroom as a methodology for promoting transfer, engagement and motivation.
- Innovative educators seek technologies to facilitate or enhance the learning experience while taking nothing away from the message of instruction. Simulations have been shown to meet this requirement. While simulations cannot replace the teacher or the message of instruction, they can provide a deeper and more cognitively engaging learning experience. Classroom use of simulations has been ongoing since the 1960's. However, substantive research on their efficacy remains limited. What research has been conducted indicates that simulations possess great potential as aids to instruction. The author of this dissertation pursued this question focusing on whether simulations contribute to instruction by facilitating transfer, improved motivation and increased engagement. This dissertation documents a study in which instructional simulations were used in undergraduate science courses to promote engagement, transfer and knowledge-seeking behavior. The study took place at Midwestern State University (MSU), a public university located in north-central Texas with a student population of approximately 5,500. The study ran during the fall 2006 and spring 2007 terms. Samples consisted of students enrolled in GNSC 1104 Life / Earth Science during the fall term and GNSC 1204 Physical Science during the spring term. Both courses were offered through the Department of Science and Mathematics at MSU. Both courses were taught by the same professor and are part of the core curriculum for undergraduates in the West College of Education at MSU. GNSC 1104 and GNSC 1204 yielded samples of n = 68 and n = 78 respectively. A simulation focusing on earthquakes was incorporated into the curriculum in GNSC 1104 while a simulation which presented concepts from wave propagation was included in GNSC 1204. Statistical results from this study were mixed. Nevertheless, studies of this type are warranted to gain a more complete understanding of how students are impacted by their interactions with simulations as well as the role simulations can play in the curriculum.
- Adult Learner Satisfaction with Web-Based Non-Credit Workforce Training.
- Web-based training has become a billion dollar industry in the United States. Electronically aided learning is viewed by many companies as a cost-effective way to deliver the up-to-date, up-gradable job-related training that the industry is demanding. This study sought to examine the relationship between learners’ satisfaction with online training as it relates to learner readiness, online features, and course relevance. The population for this study was adults seeking non-credit workforce training, specifically library professionals who were involved in web-based training through the Lifelong Education @ Desktop (LE@D) program at the University of North Texas, Denton. Online methods of training are used most extensively in the area of mandatory or compliance training, in which 35 % of training is conducted mostly or completely online. The total potential library population using LE@D product to date is approximately 4,000 unique enrollments nationwide. Participants were selected from a complete list of unique LE@D users over a 90-day period. A survey instrument was sent via e-mail to 514 enrollees who had completed a recent LE@D online training course. In total, 254 participants responded to the survey. Bivariate analysis of the variables using the Pearson product-moment correlation was used to determine the occurrence and strength of a relationship between each of the three independent variables and the dependent variable in order to test the three research hypotheses. A regression model was used to explain how significantly the three independent variables, that is, online features, learner readiness, and course relevance, would have an impact on learner satisfaction. Results suggest that learner awareness of issues surrounding online features, learner readiness, and course relevance have a statistically significant impact on the overall satisfaction of the Web-based training event. As companies continue to adopt eLearning as a training investment, attention should be given to the end-users experiences. Employee responses to Web-based training are important because employee satisfaction is an indicator that a company’s training investment will result in positive outcomes.
- Comparing outcome measures derived from four research designs incorporating the retrospective pretest.
- Over the last 5 decades, the retrospective pretest has been used in behavioral science research to battle key threats to the internal validity of posttest-only control-group and pretest-posttest only designs. The purpose of this study was to compare outcome measures resulting from four research design implementations incorporating the retrospective pretest: (a) pre-post-then, (b) pre-post/then, (c) post-then, and (d) post/then. The study analyzed the interaction effect of pretest sensitization and post-intervention survey order on two subjective measures: (a) a control measure not related to the intervention and (b) an experimental measure consistent with the intervention. Validity of subjective measurement outcomes were assessed by correlating resulting to objective performance measurement outcomes. A Situational Leadership® II (SLII) training workshop served as the intervention. The Work Involvement Scale of the self version of the Survey of Management Practices Survey served as the subjective control measure. The Clarification of Goals and Objectives Scale of the self version of the Survey of Management Practices Survey served as the subjective experimental measure. The Effectiveness Scale of the self version of the Leader Behavior Analysis II® served as the objective performance measure. This study detected differences in measurement outcomes from SLII participant responses to an experimental and a control measure. In the case of the experimental measure, differences were found in the magnitude and direction of the validity coefficients. In the case of the control measure, differences were found in the magnitude of the treatment effect between groups. These differences indicate that, for this study, the pre-post-then design produced the most valid results for the experimental measure. For the control measure in this study, the pre-post/then design produced the most valid results. Across both measures, the post/then design produced the least valid results.
- Intent to quit perceptions of nursing assistants working in Oklahoma state veterans administration-owned and administered nursing homes.
- The purpose of this study was to examine a select set of organizational variables and determine their relationship to nursing assistants' intentions to quit in state-owned veterans' long-term care facilities located across the United States. America's long-term care industry (e.g., nursing homes, assisted living facilities) is a multibillion dollar industry. Because the U.S. government is projecting a 250% increase in the elderly population, staffing these nursing homes and related facilities is a critical concern. A vitally important but often overlooked factor of the long-term care industry is employee turnover. Of the staff in long-term care facilities, the nursing assistant (NA) position is particularly susceptible to turnover. Approximately 80% of NAs who enter the workforce leave within the 1st year and many leave within the first 3 months of employment. Some facilities report that they are unable to accept new residents because of a lack of qualified NAs. While many studies have researched this issue, staff turnover in long-term care facilities remains a serious and widespread problem. This study provides a foundation for future research related to the perceptions of intentions to quit of nursing assistants (NAs) working in state-owned veterans long-term care facilities by providing primary data regarding NAs intentions to quit. Results of this study indicate that NA intentions to quit might be reduced provided that pay and rewards are increased, workplace violence is addressed, and better access to patient care plans is provided. This research is useful to state-owned and operated long-term care facilities by giving them additional insights into nursing assistants' intentions to quit perhaps resulting in lower rates of turnover. It is suggested that future research be performed using populations of individuals from other segments of the long-term care industry, mainly, for-profit institutional care nursing homes, and federally owned veterans long-term care facilities.
- Visual Cueing: Investigating the Effects of Text Annotation on Student Retention Rates
- This Study examines the grades of students using study skill methods and those who do not. The experiment consists of giving the treatment group the opportunity to use well- known study techniques. The Control group could only read the material. Both groups were given ten minutes to read a pre-selected text. The text consisted of an 1,807 word lesson on the, "Technical Training Management System." Each group was given five minutes to take a twenty item quiz. Fifty-five students in the control group were limited to only reading the material. Fifty-six students in the treatment group could choose between highlighting, note-taking, and underlining. The results of the test scores were compared using a t - test for dependent samples. One week later, the same students in each group were re-tested, using the same quiz they had taken earlier. Students had five minutes to review study material. Study material for the treatment group included the same material they had annotated earlier. The Results from each group wascompared. Efforts were made to avoid potential flaws in previous studies, thereby producing more viable results. Results of this study indicate there is no significant difference between the grades of students who use the aforementioned forms of text annotation and those who do not.
- Participant's perceptions of online staff development and learning tools.
- This study analyzed participants in an online professional development and certification program can to see if they could predict the learning value of individual distance education tools. The Texas Center for Educational Technology (TCET) funded by the Texas Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF) designed the Technology Applications Certification Program (TACP). In the TACP, students are offered four graduate level classes which, when combined, meet the standards for the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) Technology Applications certification. The four courses that comprise the TACP are Computers in Education, Introduction to the Internet, Multimedia in Technology Applications, and Introduction to Video Technologies. The first course started in January 2002 with approximately 706 participants in 40 cohorts across the state of Texas. The TACP combines two different worlds of technology training. Half of the coursework was completed through asynchronous content and discussions, while the remaining classes were hands-on classes in local district computer labs. These face-to-face meetings enabled learners to get hands-on training with direct assistance. Between the online and face-to-face segments, a variety of learning tools were introduced to the participants. Participants were surveyed through the online Snapshot Survey in January and again in September.
- Perceived barriers to faculty participation in distance education at a 4-year university.
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The purpose of this study was to identify perceived barriers to faculty participation in distance education courses in a 4-year university. The literature review was divided into four general areas, each of which may act as a barrier to faculty participation; training, administrators, rewards/compensation, and faculty characteristics/demographics. The research population consisted of 570 faculty and 59 administrators from the eight UNT schools/colleges. Dr. Kristin Betts developed the survey instrument in 1998 for similar research conducted at the George Washington University. Analysis of the collected data revealed that there was no statistically significant relationship found between faculty characteristics and faculty participation in distance education. Faculty participants and administrators disagreed on which factors, from a list of 34 items, had motivated faculty to participate in distance education. Nonparticipants and administrators disagreed on which of the factors, if not available, would be barriers to faculty participation in distance education. Participants and nonparticipants disagreed regarding the level to which selected rewards and compensations had motivated faculty to participate, and the lack of which would inhibit faculty participation in distance education. Finally, 71% of the participants had participated or planned to participate in distance education training compared to only 33% of the nonparticipants. It is obvious that administrators and faculty do not place the same level of importance on motivational or inhibiting factors that may affect faculty participation in distance education. These results indicate that additional research should be accomplished to determine the basis for the disagreement among the three groups.
- The impact of technical barriers on the effectiveness of professional development as related to a distance education system-based course: A case study in the Web World Wonders environmental science learning community.
- This study reports and discusses the impact of technical barriers on the effectiveness of professional development as related to a distance education system based course: a case study of the web world wonders environmental science learning community in Florida. The project involved 4th through 12th grade public school teachers learning how to use GPS readers, digital cameras, and Arc View software for the purpose of utilizing a Website that enabled remote Internet camera access in Florida State Parks. Under the supervision of Florida State University and the Florida Department of Education those teachers received professional development in techniques for developing lesson plans utilizing the equipment and software as stated above. Using the Concept Based Adoption Model, a description of the teacher's demographics, Levels of Use and Stages of Concern with relation to gender, age, teaching experience, and technological experience was examined. Technical barriers were identified and an explanation of how they were overcome in the process of receiving the professional development is reported.
- A qualitative analysis of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia interfering with academic and social success, and the exacerbators and diminishers of those symptoms.
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that public schools provide appropriate school programs and transition services for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD), and the law specifically names schizophrenia as a disability for which services are to be provided. To date, little, if any, research has been conducted on schizophrenia in the field of special education. New antipsychotic medications for schizophrenia are controlling the positive symptoms of hallucinations, illusions, and the severest of delusions, thus enabling these students to remain in school. However, many interfering negative symptoms remain (e.g., loss of goals, loss of former interests, cognitive regression). The purpose of this qualitative research study was to identify the negative symptoms of schizophrenia that interfere with a student's academic and social success, primarily within a school setting, but also as they affect functioning within the family and the student's transition into the community. In addition, specific factors that act as exacerbators or diminishers of these symptoms were identified through this study. Research participants included 5 students who developed schizophrenia from the ages of 12 to 22, their parents, and their teachers. They were interviewed using a semi-structured approach resulting in over 30 hours of taped interview data. Data were then analyzed for commonalities, patterns, and data triangulation among the participants. Significant similarities among interfering symptoms and factors that exacerbate and diminish symptoms were identified among the participants, resulting in study findings of potential use for future researchers and professionals in the fields of special and general education, counseling, and psychology. The study results include lists of symptoms, exacerbators, and diminishers, and explanations of the significant findings. Findings from this study provide information necessary for the development of effective interventions in academic remediation, social skill training, counseling, and transition planning for this special education population. Knowledge of symptoms interfering with school success and factors that exacerbate or diminish the interfering symptoms is necessary for school professionals to conduct manifestation determinations, and functional behavioral analyses (FBA), and to create individualized education plans (IEP), and individualized transition plans (ITP).
- Analysis of Leadership Perceptions Using Multirater Feedback.
- Performance improvement intervention begins with assessment. How that assessment is interpreted can mean the difference between success and failure. Previous research of 360-degree feedback instruments has tried to reconcile the differences between multiple rater groups. Rather than searching for agreement, this research proposes to understand the meaning of the differences using multirater feedback. Individuals determine ratings based upon their own perspective and building upon the understanding of rater perspective may result in improved assessments. Data from an existing data set was processed using a second-order CFA in structural equation modeling. Covariance between the second-order factors and rater groups determined the difference in how each rater group perceived the leader.
- Analysis of Perceptional Differences Among Department Chairs, Faculty, and Instructors Toward the Barrier to Using Multiple Teaching Strategies in Two-Year Technical and Community College Electronics Courses
- The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze perceptional differences among department chairs, faculty, and instructors toward the barrier to using multiple teaching strategies in two-year technical and community college electronics courses. The literature review focused on defining multiple teaching strategies and identifying and discussing four major perceived barriers to implementing them in the electronics classroom: student, resources, classroom environmental, and teacher training/teaching technology. The targeted population consisted of 150 out of 231 electronics teaching technical and community college department chairs, faculty, and instructors throughout the state of Texas. In actuality, the targeted population's breakdown consisted of 36 full-time electronics teaching department chairs, 96 full-time electronics teaching faculty and instructors, and 18 part-time electronics teaching faculty and instructors who were actively involved in the delivery of instruction in their respective schools. Analysis of the data revealed that: (1) there are no significant differences among the perceptions of department chair people, faculty, and instructors toward the four perceived barriers to implementing multiple teaching strategies in a post-secondary electronics program; and (2) there are no significant differences in the perceptions electronics faculty members categorized by years teaching experience toward each of the four perceived barrier categories to implementing multiple teaching strategies in a post-secondary electronics program. However, further research is needed to substantiate what other barriers exist that may have an impact upon utilizing multiple teaching strategies in two-year technical and community college electronics courses.
- Enhancing skill maintenance through relapse prevention strategies: a comparison of two models.
- In a quasi-experimental field study, two posttraining interventions composed of relapse prevention (RP) strategies were compared and tested for the effects on participant transfer outcomes. Participant retention of training content, skill maintenance, use of relapse prevention strategies, and self-efficacy served as the dependent variables. Self-efficacy was also tested as a mediator between the experimental treatment levels and both participant skill maintenance and participant use of RP strategies. Participants (n = 39) included managers, directors, and supervisors from various departments within a multi-national telecommunications organization located in a large southern city. After participating in a four-hour leadership development training, two of the three groups participated in a 30-40 minute training where they received one of two RP interventions. One intervention included the steps of (1) identifying potential obstacles to positive training transfer, (2) predicting the first lapse to pretraining behavior, and (3) applying relevant coping strategies to thwart a lapse. The alternative RP intervention included the same steps in addition to a goal setting step. Descriminant descriptive analysis was used to test for group differences across the response variables and to identify on which variables the groups differed. Three separate regression equations were used to test for the mediating relationship of self-efficacy between the RP treatment levels and participant skill maintenance and participant use of RP strategies. Results indicated minimal, but non-statistically significant results between treatment levels and each of the response variables. Self-efficacy was not found to mediate the relationship between RP treatment level and participant skill maintenance or participant use of RP strategies, but did function as a strong predictor of both variables. Suggestions for future research include using additional motivational and efficacy variables to better explore group differences and including efficacy-inducing methods both in training design and as part of a transfer intervention to enhance training transfer. Further, specific suggestions concerning conceptual and psychometric refinement of the RP construct are discussed.
- Social Skills Intervention for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders Aged Six through Twelve Years: A Combination of a Literature-Based Curriculum and Telecommunications
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Researchers have noted that by providing formal and informal social skills training (SST), the school can become a potential optimal setting that fosters the development of social competence in students with behavioral problems. Indeed, learning to get along with people is one of the most important skills that we can teach students. In order to maximize its effectiveness, SST must be motivating and personally relevant enough for students to want to use the skills. In addition, it must provide opportunities for learned skills to be practiced under varying conditions and in as close to natural situations as possible in order to enhance the transfer of training. The purpose of the study was to investigate the social competence of students aged from six to twelve, diagnosed with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) in a public self-contained school setting, and to increase the students' social competence by using a literature-based method that employs multiage grouping, impersonation, and telecommunications. By providing intensive, literature-based training in a multiage classroom, the SST gave students opportunities to practice skills in a natural, real-life environment and, therefore, increased the likelihood of generalizing these skills in other settings. The employment of impersonation and telecommunications also enhanced students' acquisition of social skills and their interests to learn.