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- Enhanced learning performance in the middle school classroom through increased student motivation, by the use of educational software and question-based gaming technology.
- The purpose of this research was to determine if the introduction of a competitive and collaborative computer-based gaming software system into middle school classrooms would result in improved attendance and grades, and motivate students to have a greater interest in their studies. This study was conducted over a 6 week period, with attendance and performance data being collected from 284 students. Two quantitative surveys were used to measure course interest and motivation: (a) the Course Interest Survey (CIS), and (b) the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS). Participation in these surveys consisted of 84 students taking the CIS and 40 students taking the IMMS. The results indicated that the experimental group showed statistically better scores than the comparison group in attendance and performance. Students participating in the experimental group had significantly lower mean ranks of absenteeism compared to students in the comparison group. Results also revealed significant differences on grades. Students that were in the experimental group had significantly higher grades compared to students that were in the comparison group. Results of the CIS suggest that a statistically significant difference does not exist on Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction between the experimental and comparison groups. Results of the means and standard deviations for the IMMS Motivation Scores fell somewhere between Moderately true and Mostly true. This research study suggests that student's attendance and performance can be improved when quiz based gaming software that is both collaborative and competitive is used regularly in the classroom. However, for student's that participated in the gaming software, their interest in studying the subject doesn't appear to be significantly different from students that did not participate.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Examination of Web-based teaching strategies at the University of North Texas.
- This study examined the degree to which University of North Texas (UNT) instructors involved in Web-based instruction are implementing teaching strategies as identified in Chickering and Gamson's (1987) model, seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. In addition, the study examined training received by instructors in developing and delivering a Web-based course and the relationships between their training and reported use of the teaching strategies in the seven principles. The study also examined the relationship between the number of Web-based courses taught and the use of the teaching strategies. Seventy-two surveys were distributed, with a return rate of 90.3%. Results of the first three research questions were as follows: (a) Self-taught (49%) and UNT Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) (31%) were the most frequently used types of training in preparation for teaching a Web-based course, whereas peer taught (17%) and conferences/workshops (3%) were the least used; (b) the average number of Web-based courses taught by the instructors was M = 8.26; and (c) the most frequently used principles were "Gives prompt feedback" and "Communicates high expectations." UNT CDL assists faculty with the development and delivery of online courses, offering a series of training courses to better prepare faculty to use Web-CT. The relationship between the training received and the instructors' reported use of the teaching strategies was examined using correlations and a MANOVA analysis. The correlations resulted in both positive and negative relationships between the four types of training and three of the principles. The MANOVA procedure found significant differences between self taught instructors and instructors that received most of their training through the CDL in relation to the principle "Respects diverse talents and ways of learning." The final research question examined the relationship between the number of courses taught and instructors' reported use of the teaching strategies, revealing that a positive correlation existed between the number of courses taught and four of the seven principles.
- An Experimental Investigation on the Effects of Learning Style and Presentation Methods on Knowledge Acquisition in a University Classroom Environment
- The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of four learning styles (accommodator, assimilator, converger, and diverger) and two different presentation methods (traditional and computer-based) on knowledge acquisition in a university classroom.
- Exploring the relationship between continuing professional education and job satisfaction for information technology professionals in higher education.
- The study had four main hypotheses that examined the relationships between job satisfaction and the reasons for attending continuing professional education (CPE). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between training and job satisfaction with the objective of adding to the body of knowledge related to both job satisfaction and training and development. Participation Reasons Scale was used to measure the reasons for attending CPE activities, and the Job in General Scale and Job Descriptive Index was used to measure job satisfaction. The surveys were administered over the Internet to information technology professionals working in higher education. The participants were contacted by email with a message explaining the purpose of the research and a Web link that took the participants directly to the survey. After collecting the data, it was exported into SPSS and analyzed using Spearman Rho and Mann Whitney U statistics and a simple structure exploratory factor to determine any underlying structures between the job satisfaction and CPE.
- Factors Affecting Discrete-Time Survival Analysis Parameter Estimation and Model Fit Statistics
- Discrete-time survival analysis as an educational research technique has focused on analysing and interpretating parameter estimates. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of certain data characteristics on the hazard estimates and goodness of fit statistics. Fifty-four simulated data sets were crossed with four conditions in a 2 (time period) by 3 (distribution of Y = 1) by 3 (distribution of Y = 0) by 3 (sample size) design.
- 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.
- 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.
- First-term Air Force medical service corps officers: Relationship between MBTI® and initial occupational placement to predict job satisfaction.
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether a relationship exists between the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) of first-term Air Force medical service corps (MSC) officers and their initial occupational placement matches (OCUPLACE MATCH), and, if so, whether this could it predict job satisfaction. The population consisted of 116 first-term Air Force MSC officers already assigned and working at their initial occupational placement. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS®) computer software program was used for the statistical computation. Several techniques were used, including, frequency distribution, the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, and regression analyses, among others. Results showed a statistical significant correlation between the MBTI type of the first-term MSC officer matches and their initial occupational placement (OCUPLACE MATCH, r = .440, p < .01). Furthermore, results of a regression analysis showed no statistical significance for predication on job satisfaction (r = 492, F = .887, p < .05). Based on this study, the Air Force Personnel Center can match first-term MSC officers' personality type to an initial occupation placement; however, based on the second part of the hypothesis, prediction of job satisfaction may not be yield on less other aspects of the group are considered such as time in service, source of recruitment, initial occupation's location, etc.
- Hiring preferences of employers of entry-level biomedical equipment technicians in Texas.
- This study examined the signaling strength, or marketing power, of the most common qualifications of entry-level biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) in Texas, based on stated hiring preferences of BMET managers, using order ranking of fictitious resumes. This study also sought to determine whether certification status, education background, military training background as a BMET, or type of employer [hospital or ISO] of the hiring manager had an effect on hiring preference for applicant qualifications of associate degree, military training as a BMET, or certified biomedical equipment technician (CBET) certification candidacy. Participants were asked to rank 16 fictitious resumes representing the most common qualifications of entry-level BMETs and to fill out a background questionnaire regarding their education, military, certification, and employer. The number of times each resume ranked in first place was tabulated and inter-rater reliability was calculated. Resumes with qualifications of associate degree versus military training as a BMET were compared at three levels of work experience. A chi-square test for independence was conducted for the comparisons to determine whether work experience influenced preference. Chi-square tests were also conducted for comparisons of associate degree with candidacy for CBET certification versus associate degree and military training with CBET candidacy versus military training. No statistically significant results were found for the chi-square tests, indicating that work experience did not significantly influence participant preferences for the compared qualifications. BMET hiring managers indicated a preference for combinations of qualifications rather than any single qualification. Correlations in hiring managers' educational background, certification status, military training as a BMET, type of employer, and preference for applicant qualifications were examined. Statistically significant correlations were found between participants' preference for associate degree or military training and level of education, military training background, and type of employer. Statistically significant correlations were also found between participants' preference of military training with CBET candidacy over military training alone and military training as a BMET background as well as certification background.
- 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.
- Impact of Locus of Control and Incentives on Team Performance and Job Satisfaction
- With the growing use of teams in organizations and schools there is a need to better understand the individual differences of employees that might potentially increase performance and improve attitudes. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of locus of control, which was the individual difference of interest in this study, and incentives on team performance and job satisfaction.
- 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.
- Impact of Training on the Information Technology Attitudes of University Faculty
- The purpose of this study was to determine whether training had an impact on the information technology attitudes of university faculty. The study was twofold. First, it sought to determine whether training changed attitudes toward information technology among faculty at a small, liberal arts university. Secondly, a group of faculty at a similar university was used to compare the differences in attitudes toward information technology among faculty who had received training and those who had not. The research population consisted of 218 faculty from these two universities. The literature review focused on obstacles to information technology use by faculty, instruments currently available for measuring faculty attitude, methods used in training faculty to use information technology, and integration of information technology by faculty.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- An Investigation of Factors Affecting Test Equating in Latent Trait Theory
- The study investigated five factors which can affect the equating of scores from two tests onto a common score scale. The five factors studied were: (a) distribution type (i.e., normal versus uniform); (b) standard deviation of itemdifficulties (i.e., .68, .95, .99); (c) test length or number of test items (i.e., 50,100, 200); (d) number of common items (i.e., 10,20,30); and (e) sample size (i.e., 100, 300, 500). The significant two-way interaction effects were for common item length and test length, standard deviation of item difficulties and distribution type, and standard deviation of item difficulties and sample size.
- An investigation of prior learning assessment processes in Texas public universities offering nontraditional baccalaureate degrees.
- Undergraduate enrollment in colleges and universities has grown and changed drastically over the past 2 decades, with a significant portion of this growth coming from the increased number of nontraditional students who have made the decision to make their way onto college and university campuses to pursue a college degree. Due to these changes, many institutions of higher education have had to rethink the way they have historically operated. In an attempt to better meet the needs and demands of adult nontraditional students, colleges and universities have reviewed their existing programs and instituted programs that allow for the awarding of academic credit for prior learning. For those institutions of higher education involved in the prior learning assessment (PLA) process and interested in providing a quality program, an increased emphasis and focus should be on the importance of determining what a learning activity is, and more importantly, what constitutes college-level learning. This study focused on the identification and profiling of prior learning assessment (PLA) processes in Texas public universities offering nontraditional baccalaureate degree programs, the identification of commonalties among such programs, and the determination of program quality based on established standards. The instrument utilized in this study was designed on Urban Whitaker's 10 Standards of Good Practice. The population consisted of those public institutions of higher education in Texas that offer the Texas CIP code 30.9999.40 - Applied Arts and Sciences - baccalaureate degree. A within-stage mixed-model methodology was used. Open-ended questions were used to strengthen the data obtained from the quantitative portion. This research study suggests that, although there are similarities with regards to the types of PLA processes used in the awarding of PLA credit, many of the organizations could benefit from an evaluation of their current policies, procedures, and/or common practices related to the process of awarding credit via prior learning assessment as they relate to overall quality.
- An Investigation of the Impact of Technology Expenditures on Student Achievement in Texas Districts
- The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between money spent on technology hardware, software, and training on district-wide achievement as measured by Texas standardized achievement tests, the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), and the American College Test (ACT). A series of studies were carried out to develop a model of the relationship between Texas district TAKS, TAAS, ACT, and SAT scores for all subjects and district expenditures on technology hardware, technology software, and technology training. The findings of this study showed that although the mixture of uneven distribution of training, incentives, and equipment in these Texas districts clouds the issue of effective integration as it does for all districts (Anderson & Becker, 1998), and the mean level of per pupil technology expenditure for participating districts is of an amount ($192 per student) deemed unlikely to have substantial impact on student outcomes (Anderson & Becker, 1998), there are strong positive links between levels of expenditure and student achievement on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills and the American College Test that indicate that establishing guidelines for levels of expenditure, schedules of acquisition of materials and equipment, and timeframes for training and implementation may be vital to the success of technology integration in these districts and potentially for all districts in the nation. More study into effective funding levels, schedules of acquisition of materials and equipment, and timeframes of implementation is necessary to create truly successful programs of technology integration in school districts.
- 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.
- Jobs for America's Graduates: A school-to-career program.
- The purpose of this study was to examine a school-to-career program created and operated by a non-profit organization called Jobs for America's Graduates, Inc. (JAG). During the school year 2003-2004, they provided this service to 12,205 students in 426 schools and 21 states. Data was collected to measure the following: (a) were they successful in helping students graduate from high school, find a career, enter postsecondary education or the military; (b) how many of the youth were still employed 12 months after graduation; and (c) did school demographic and socioeconomic factors affect JAG's performance. JAG is a 25 year old organization that works with at-risk youth to help them graduate from high school and move into gainful employment, further education or the military. They provide students with nine months of in school instruction, mentoring, career connections and 12 months of follow-up service. Data was collected by job specialists through job placement reports and 12 month follow-up reports. School demographic and socioeconomic information was collected via the Internet. This study discovered that JAG students are graduating from high school at levels well above the national rates, attaining 90% graduation rather than the average of 68% (Swanson, 2004a). A year after graduation the data revealed similar good news: 25% were enrolled in college, 5% in the military and 55% were working full time. Another interesting revelation showed that neither high school socioeconomic or demographic factor affected the high school graduation rate for JAG participants, which is contrary to most current research.
- Knowledge management in virtual organizations: A study of a best practices knowledge transfer model.
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Knowledge management is a major concern for organizations today, and in spite of investments in technology, knowledge transfer remains problematic. This study sought to determine whether a relationship exists among participant group demographics (experience), implementation of an integrated knowledge transfer system (best practices model), knowledge transfer barriers, and knowledge transfer project (Web-based training) outcome in a virtual organization. The participant organization was a network of individuals and groups who practice patient advocacy in the research and treatment of cancer. These advocates volunteer in various capacities and are not collocated nor do they report to any single organizational entity. Volunteer participants were randomly assigned to a treatment or control condition. The treatment participants received a training supplement based upon a best practices knowledge transfer model. All participants reviewed a Web-based communications training module scheduled for deployment by the participant organization. Upon completion of the training program, participants were instructed to practice specific techniques from the program. At the end of this period, participants completed an online survey that measured demographics, perceived barriers to the knowledge transfer, and project outcome. Knowledge transfer barriers were defined as knowledge, source, recipient, and organizational context characteristics that inhibit the expected transfer. Project outcome was a composite score of items measuring completion time, budget, and satisfaction of the user. Multiple regression identified two significant predictor variables, source (the training program and implementation) and experience (amount of time spent in advocacy practice). Additional analyses found knowledge (causal ambiguity and unproven knowledge) and the experimental treatment condition to show a strong relationship with the explained variance of the dependent variable, knowledge transfer project outcome. Results suggest that an online training implementation is a valid tool for certain specific transfer design characteristics. Experience was a negative predictor of outcome, suggesting that participant-specific level of training material may produce improved outcome. Furthermore, knowledge in the form of evidence that the material is useful as well as explanation of the cause and effect linkage is a factor in a more successful transfer. Finally, the application of a knowledge transfer system designed around organization-specific variables shows promise as a factor in enhanced knowledge transfer in Web-based training in virtual organizations. Further research is suggested to provide additional insight into the predictive value of these variables.
- Leadership preferences of a Generation Y cohort: A mixed methods study.
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Presently there are four generational cohorts in the workplace. Born from 1977 to 1997, the youngest cohort group, referred to as Generation Y (or Gen Y) in this study, has 81 million members, of whom over 29 million are already in the workplace. The importance of leader-subordinate relationships in the workplace has been confirmed; in recognizing this, leaders must identify and adapt to the changing era-shaped needs of employees, who cannot fully participate in organizational life if their most urgent needs are not being met. Because Gen Y employees are only now entering the workforce, little is actually known about the workplace needs of this cohort group. This study attempted to determine leadership needs of a Gen Y cohort as a means to enhance workplace relationships in the 21st century organization. A sequential, mixed methods study was employed to explore leadership preferences of a Gen Y cohort. Initially, focus group interviews were used to generate leadership themes. Based on these themes, an instrument was designed, and Gen Y business students from three higher education institutions were surveyed. Confirmatory factor analysis using LISREL software was used to test the themes. The driving force behind this research design was to build a foundation of understanding through inductive research (qualitative) and to test and enrich the foundation through deductive means (quantitative).
- 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.
- A Longitudinal Study of Graduation, Retention, and School Dropout for Students in Regular and Special Education
- This study examined differences in retention, graduation, and dropout between students in grades 9-12 in special education and regular education in the state of Texas for school years 1992-93 through 1995-96. The purpose was to gather information regarding the possible adverse effects of increased academic standards and mandatory testing on students with disabilities. The results indicate that when compared to students in regular education, students with disabilities are significantly more likely to be retained and are not experiencing the same decline in dropout rates as regular students. There is no indication that students with disabilities have been adversely affected by school reform but the size of the school district may play a significant role in whether or not students with disabilities dropout of school.
- Measurement and Utility of Functional Behavioral Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans in Classrooms for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- This research study examined how education service providers conduct functional behavioral assessments and utilize behavior intervention plans to address the social and emotional needs of students with challenging behaviors. The data are based on a 20-item survey administered to educators who identified themselves as working with students diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders. The results and implications of the survey are discussed and evaluated to the review of literature conducted prior to the study. Recommendations for future research are also explored.
- Measurement Disturbance Effects on Rasch Fit Statistics and the Logit Residual Index
- The effects of random guessing as a measurement disturbance on Rasch fit statistics (unweighted total, weighted total, and unweighted ability between) and the Logit Residual Index (LRI) were examined through simulated data sets of varying sample sizes, test lengths, and distribution types. Three test lengths (25, 50, and 100), three sample sizes (25, 50, and 100), two item difficulty distributions (normal and uniform), and three levels of guessing (no guessing (0%), 25%, and 50%) were used in the simulations, resulting in 54 experimental conditions. The mean logit person ability for each experiment was +1. Each experimental condition was simulated once in an effort to approximate what could happen on the single administration of a four option per item multiple choice test to a group of relatively high ability persons. Previous research has shown that varying item and person parameters have no effect on Rasch fit statistics. Consequently, these parameters were used in the present study to establish realistic test conditions, but were not interpreted as effect factors in determining the results of this study.
- Measuring the Perceived Transfer of Learning and Training for a Customer Service Training Program Delivered by Line Managers to Call Center Employees in a Fortune 200 Financial Services Company
- The purpose of this study was to explore what effect manager involvement in the delivery of training has on employee learning (transfer of learning) and on student behavior after training (transfer of training). Study participants were randomly assigned to the experimental and control groups and a customer service training program was delivered with and without manager involvement. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected immediately after training using a retrospective pretest-then/posttest-now instrument developed to measure the participants' perceived transfer of learning. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected approximately 4 weeks after training also using a retrospective pretest-then/posttest-now instrument developed to measure the participants' perceived transfer of training. Quality assurance data generated by the organization for the first full month after the training program was completed were collected to measure the actual transfer of training. A 13-item version of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MC-C) was included with the perceived transfer of training survey to measure the potential for self-perception bias with the perceived transfer of learning and the perceived transfer of training data. ANOVA results for the perceived transfer of learning and perceived transfer of training data indicated that there were no statistically significant differences between the experimental and control groups. ANOVA results for the actual transfer of training data mirrored the results found for the perceived transfer of training. The possibility of self-perception bias in using the retrospective pretest-then/posttest-now instruments was recognized as a study concern with MC-C data indicating a much higher level of social desirability with the sample population than with reported non-forensic norms. A slight positive influence on the transfer of learning and on the transfer of training was found when a participant's direct manager was involved in the delivery of training.
- Mentoring in Family Firms : A Reflective Analysis of Senior Executives' Perceptions
- This study is a reflective analysis of the perceptions of senior executives in family businesses that relate to their personal experiences of having been mentored. The study presents an overview of the topic of mentoring, defines key terms, and identifies questions addressed in the research. The rationale for this study rested on two facts. First, mentoring in non-family businesses constitutes the majority of the literature. That literature supports the importance of mentoring. Secondly, mentoring in family businesses has not been researched.
- Meta-Analysis of Reading Interventions for Students with Learning and Emotional Disabilities
- Developing effective literacy skill has become an increasingly critical skill in today's information age. Students with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) routinely lack these skills and are not being taught how to read effectively. The field of special education needs more comprehensive and specific information about how to most effectively teach reading skills to students with E/BD. When reading interventions are conducted using student with E/BD, the interventions are generally drawn from the LD field. The assumption is that the reading interventions that have worked with students with LD will work equally well with the E/BD population. This study performed a meta-analysis to examine whether reading interventions are equally effective on the E/BD and LD populations. In addition, it will examine whether the instruction mode (e. g., peer, self, or teacher directed), gender, or grade group affects the success of the intervention. The meta-analysis found that the reading interventions for both disability groups had high effect sizes. In addition, neither disability group, teaching method, gender, nor grades were predictive of the variance in the effect size. These results indicate that reading programs that have been designed for students with LD are also effective for students with E/BD and furthermore, reading programs can improve the academic achievement of students with behavioral disorders. Recommendations for teacher training and future research are given based on these results.
- A model of best practice: Leadership development programs in the nuclear industry.
- This study looked at leadership development at top performing nuclear plants in the United States. The examination of leadership development as actually practiced in the nuclear energy industry lead to the development of a best practice model. The nuclear industry is self-regulated through the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (INPO). INPO has been evaluating nuclear plants over the past 15 years. Recently they have identified supervisor performance as a key factor in poor plant performance. INPO created a model for leadership development called Growing Industry Leaders. The nuclear industry has identified its aging workforce and subsequent loss of leadership as an emerging issue facing the nuclear industry in the next five to ten years. This initiative was aimed at both the supervisor shortfalls identified through plant evaluations and the state of the workforce within the nuclear industry. This research evaluated the elements of this model and compared them to a model of best practice. This research answered the following questions: What elements of leadership development should be included in leadership development programs? What would a model of best practice in leadership development look like? Data was collected from nine out of 103 top performing plants. Development activities were categorized by a seven member panel of experts. These categories were then validated using three rounds of a Delphi process to reach consensus. This became the basis for the best practice model for leadership development.
- Nontraditional students in community colleges and the model of college outcomes for adults.
- The purpose of this study was to examine three components of Donaldson and Graham's (1999) model of college outcomes for adults: (a) Prior Experience & Personal Biographies, (b) the Connecting Classroom, and (c) Life-World Environment, and to assess their application to traditional and nontraditional students in community colleges in both technical and nontechnical courses. The study sample was comprised of 311 community college students enrolled in technical and nontechnical courses during fall 2005. A survey instrument was developed based on the three model components through a review of the literature. Demographic data collected were utilized to classify students into a technical or nontechnical grouping as well as four classifications of traditionalism: (a) traditional, (b) minimally nontraditional, (c) moderately nontraditional, and (d) highly traditional. This study found that nontraditional students vary from traditional students in regards to the three model constructs. A post hoc descriptive discriminate analysis determined that the Life-World Environment component contributed the most to group differences with the minimally nontraditional group scoring the highest on this construct.
- 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.
- 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.
- Parental Understanding and Satisfaction with Special Education Services in the State of Texas
- Parental participation in educational issues is relevant in assisting parents in understanding and becoming satisfied with their child's educational experience. Parental involvement is not only an ethical issue for teachers, but mandates have been established for special educators through various public laws. When involving parents in their children's education, it is relevant to consider various factors associated with students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Parental satisfaction plays an important role in many cultures in obtaining parental involvement in decision-making meetings. If parents experience negative interactions, parental participation can be diminished. In other cultures, the satisfaction level raises parental trust in allowing school staff to make the appropriate choices for their children. Family values and beliefs among the various cultures should be a consideration when encouraging parents to participate in their child's educational process. Several barriers exist when involving different cultural groups; therefore, it is essential for educators to become aware of these barriers and learn strategies to overcome them. This study addresses parental understanding and satisfaction among ethnic group and throughout various disability groups by evaluating parental responses from a statewide survey and three focus groups.
- Parental Understanding of Discipline Issues, Functional Behavioral Assessment, and Behavior Intervention Plans: Using a State-wide Survey to Examine Parents' Reports Related to Discipline
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandated that each child who qualifies for special education must have an individualized education program (IEP). Disciplinary issues and procedures under IDEA have been a source of concern among parents, schools, and advocates from disability groups. At issue are fundamental concerns about the protection of rights for students with disabilities, which must be balanced with the ability of school personnel to maintain safe school environments that benefits all students. This research examined the four survey questions related to discipline from a state-wide survey conducted by Education Service Center (ESC) Region 9 through a comparison of selected disability categories as they compare to the responses received from parents of students with the disability category of emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD). In addition, the research examined the open-ended questions from surveys to determine the types of concerns reported by parents. Data accrued from a focus group of parents receiving special education services are also reported. Parents of students identified as having an E/BD rated their understanding of the school's discipline policy lower than parents of students from other eligibility categories. Almost 67% of parents of students identified as having E/BD stated that they knew that their child might be eligible for alternative discipline procedures. Parents of students identified as E/BD reported at a much higher percentage that they were aware that services must be continued if the child was removed from the instructional setting for discipline problems. In a focus group discussion, a majority of the parent's (67%) responded that they felt like they understood the school's discipline policies. When given a chance to respond through an open-ended questionnaire, parents addressed a variety of problems, such as children being continually suspended for behaviors related to their disability or the behavior intervention plan not being implemented.
- 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.
- Perceived Barriers to the Implementation of Site Based Management
- The purpose of this study was to identify perceived barriers to the implementation of site-based management for administrators in the Region XII Service Center area in Texas.
- 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.
- Perceptions of parents of students with autism towards the IEP meeting.
- The purpose of the study was to investigate how parents of students with autism perceived individualized education program (IEP) meetings. I determined factors that contributed to the belief held by parents that their children were or were not being properly served by IEP meetings. Parental relationships with educators, IEP meeting experiences, IEP outcomes, and treatment by educators were revealed through participant input. Parents were asked to share their experiences of previous IEP meetings. Additionally, parents provided input regarding practices that school districts could take to improve IEP meetings, and actions that parents could take to serve as better advocates for their children. Research findings indicated that parents did not perceive themselves as being treated as equals during IEP meetings. Parents believed that their input was not valued or welcomed by educators. Not having an equal voice toward their child's education prevented parents from positively influencing outcomes in their child's IEP meetings in terms of obtaining quality services and building positive relations with educators. Parents further revealed that educators failed to implement proper IEP protocol. According to parents, student objectives agreed upon in IEP meetings were often not always fully implemented for students receiving special education services. Research findings concluded that parents new to the IEP process often experienced difficulty understanding special education law, and were unaware of services that school districts should provide for their children.Suggestions for improving IEP meetings include: educators valuing parents as equal partners during IEP meetings, educators properly adhering to IEP objectives set forth in IEP meetings, and both educators and parents taking measures to becoming more knowledgeable of special education law and the IEP process.
- 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.
- Predicting Workers' Compensation Claims and On-the-Job Injuries Using Four Psychological Measures
- This study assessed the predictive validity of four independent factors (Rotter Locus of Control Scale, Safety Locus of Control, Organizational Attribution Style Questionnaire, and Rosenburg Self-Esteem Scale) in the establishment of a measure of safety consciousness in predicting on-the-job injuries and the filing of workers' compensation claims. A 125-item questionnaire was designed and administered to assess participants' disposition on each of the four psychological dimensions, demographic data and on-the-job injury information.