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- The Effect of Time on Training Retention Rates of United States Air Force Loadmaster Apprentice Students
- The purpose of this study was to determine if extended periods of time out of the training environment has an effect on the retention of training. The rationale for conducting this study was based on the fact that little research has been done in this area. The findings of the study indicated that extensive periods of time out of training do significantly influence the amount of training retained fromone loadmaster course to the other. Additionally, there was a significant relationship between the number of days out of training and the posttest scores. The optimum training break between courses appears to be between 10 and 20 days. Training retention is apparently affected by time.
- The Effectiveness of Speech Recognition as a User Interface for Computer-Based Training
- Some researchers are saying that natural language is probably one of the most promising interfaces for use in the long term for simplicity of learning. If this is true, then it follows that speech recognition would be ideal as the interface for computer-based training (CBT). While many speech recognition applications are being used as a means for a computer interface, these are usually confined to controlling the computer or causing the computer to control other devices. The user input or interface has been the recipient of a strong effort to improve the quality of the communication between man and machine and is proposed to be a dominant factor in determining user productivity, performance, and satisfaction. However, other researchers note that full natural interfaces with computers are still a long way from being the state-of-the art with technology. The focus of this study was to determine if the technology of speech recognition is an effective interface for an academic lesson presented via CBT. How does one determine if learning has been affected and how is this measured? Previous research has attempted quantify a learning effect when using a variety of interfaces. This dissertation summarizes previous studies using other interfaces and those using speech recognition. It attempted to apply a framework used to measure learning effectiveness in some of these studies to quantify the measurement of learning when speech recognition is used as the sole interface. The focus of the study was on cognitive processing which affects short-term memory and in-turn, the effect on original learning (OL). The methods and procedures applied in an experimental study were presented.
- The Effects of a Brain-based Learning Strategy, Mind Mapping, on Achievement of Adults in a Training Environment with Considerations to Learning Styles and Brain Hemisphericity
- This study examined the effectiveness of Mind Mapping (a diagram of the structure of ideas in an associative manner, using graphics, color and key words) as a note-taking device in a training course in a large, high-tech corporation, as compared to traditional note-taking. The population for this study consisted of personnel employed by a major high-tech firm, that had voluntarily registered for a Mind Mapping training class. The effect of Mind Mapping was measured by the pre-test and post-test of the control and experimental groups.
- The Effects of a Career Education Program on the Career Choices of Fifth-grade Students.
- The career development of students, demonstrated by students' career interest, is important for a more effective career education program. This study focused on the career choices of fifth grade students through the use of a career interest inventory before and after the use of a career education program. The design was experimental, and the purpose was to determine if there were differences in the career interest of fifth grade students who participated in a career education program compared with the career interest of fifth grade students who did not participate in a career education program. The COPS-PIC Picture Inventory of Careers (COPS-PIC) was used as a pretest and posttest for fifth grade students to determine baseline career interests. The COPS-PIC career inventory results were incorporated into the career education program and served as a career planning guide for incorporating students' input into career choices and exploration of those choices for a better understanding of the process of finding out who they want to be and what type of careers exists. The experimental group was provided instruction and career exploration opportunities for 4 weeks. The control group was not provided career education instruction and career exploration opportunities. This study suggests that fifth grade students who participated in a career education program were able to make more concentrated career choices at higher levels of interest after participating in the career education program. Additional studies that include the use of career interest inventories and a career education program are needed before extensive generalizations can be made.
- 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.
- The Effects of ARCS-based Confidence Strategies on Learner Confidence and Performance in Distance Education.
- The purpose of this research was to manipulate the component of confidence found in Keller's ARCS model to enhance the confidence and performance of undergraduate students enrolled in an online course at a Texas university using SAM 2003 software delivery. This study also tested whether the aforementioned confidence tactics had any unintentional effect on the remaining attention, relevance, and satisfaction subscales of the ARCS model as well as on learners' overall motivation for the class and the instructional materials. This study was conducted over a 5.5-week period with an initial sample of 81 total students. Two quantitative surveys were used to measure confidence and motivation: (a) the Course Interest Survey (CIS), and (b) the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS). The results indicated that the treatment group showed statistically greater gains than the control group in terms of learner confidence on the CIS but not the IMMS. In terms of performance, the treatment group outperformed the control group on all of the individual posttest measures and on the overall aggregate mean performance score. The results showed no statistically significant difference on the attention subsection of the ARCS model. However, statistically significant differences were noted for the relevance and satisfaction subscales of the model. There was also a statistically significant difference in overall learner motivation as measured on both surveys. This research study suggests the feasibility of improving overall learner motivation and performance through external conditions such as systematically applied confidence tactics. The research further supports claims about the effectiveness of the ARCS model as a viable tool for enhancing online learner motivation and performance. What was unclear in this study was whether individual subsections of the ARCS model, such as confidence, can be independently manipulated.
- The Effects of Career Group Counseling on the Self-Concept of At-Risk High School Students as Measured by the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale
- The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of career group counseling in raising the self-concept of at-risk high school students. The following subgroups were represented in the sample: male and female students, white and non-white ethnic groups, and students from sophomore, junior, and senior classifications. Two groups of students in the Lewisville Independent School District meeting the criteria for at-risk as defined by House Bill 1010 were administered a pretest and posttest using the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. The experimental group was from the Lewisville Learning Center. The control group was students enrolled in the Coordinated Vocational Academic Education (CVAE) classes at Lewisville High School. A treatment sample of 25 students received career group counseling. A nontreatment sample of 25 students did not receive any group counseling. The t-test for independent samples was used to analyze the data. The pretests for the experimental and control groups showed no significant difference at the .05 level. The treatment sample received 30 hours of group counseling in the Fall semester of 1994. At the end of 30 hours of counseling a posttest was administered to the treatment sample and to the control sample. The t-test for independent samples was used to analyze the data. While career group counseling appeared to impact the students in the experimental group, the limitations of sample size and population may have effected the results. The treatment was significant at the .05 level and the null hypothesis was rejected. The findings showed that career group counseling was not an effective tool for increasing positive self-concept. It is concluded that self-concept was not effectively enhanced through group interaction conducted by the school system in this study. Further research is recommended.
- The Effects of Team Dynamics Training on Conceptual Data Modeling Task Performance
- Database modeling is a complex conceptual topic often taught through the use of project-based teams. One of the problems with the use of project-based teams in university courses is the determination of whether this is the most effective use of instructor and student time involvement and effort level. Therefore, this study investigated the impact of providing team dynamics training prior to the commencement of short-duration project-based team conceptual data modeling projects on individual data modeling task performance (DMTP) outcomes and team cohesiveness. The literature review encompassed conceptual data design modeling, the use of a project-based team approach, team dynamics and cohesion, self-efficacy, gender, and diversity. The research population consisted of 75 university students at a North American University (Canadian) pursuing a business program requiring an information systems course in which database design components are taught. Analysis of the collected data revealed that there was a statistically significant inverse relationship found between the provision of team dynamics training and individual DMTP. However, no statistically significant relationship was found between team dynamics training and team cohesion. Therefore, this study calls into question the value of team dynamics training on learning outcomes in the case of very short duration project-based teams involved in conceptual data modeling tasks. Additional research in this area would need to clarify what about this particular experiment might have contributed to these results.
- 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.
- 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 Empirical Comparison of Random Number Generators: Period, Structure, Correlation, Density, and Efficiency
- Random number generators (RNGs) are widely used in conducting Monte Carlo simulation studies, which are important in the field of statistics for comparing power, mean differences, or distribution shapes between statistical approaches. Statistical results, however, may differ when different random number generators are used. Often older methods have been blindly used with no understanding of their limitations. Many random functions supplied with computers today have been found to be comparatively unsatisfactory. In this study, five multiplicative linear congruential generators (MLCGs) were chosen which are provided in the following statistical packages: RANDU (IBM), RNUN (IMSL), RANUNI (SAS), UNIFORM(SPSS), and RANDOM (BMDP). Using a personal computer (PC), an empirical investigation was performed using five criteria: period length before repeating random numbers, distribution shape, correlation between adjacent numbers, density of distributions and normal approach of random number generator (RNG) in a normal function. All RNG FORTRAN programs were rewritten into Pascal which is more efficient language for the PC. Sets of random numbers were generated using different starting values. A good RNG should have the following properties: a long enough period; a well-structured pattern in distribution; independence between random number sequences; random and uniform distribution; and a good normal approach in the normal distribution. Findings in this study suggested that the above five criteria need to be examined when conducting a simulation study with large enough sample sizes and various starting values because the RNG selected can affect the statistical results. Furthermore, a study for purposes of indicating reproducibility and validity should indicate the source of the RNG, the type of RNG used, evaluation results of the RNG, and any pertinent information related to the computer used in the study. Recommendations for future research are suggested in the area of other RNGs and methods not used in this study, such as additive, combined, mixed and shifted RNGs.
- Endogenous Constructivist Implications for Methodology : Focus on Young Children with Developmental Delay in the Social and Emotional Domains
- The Ecologically-Based Activity Plan (EBAP) is proposed as a method to create a transition between special education and general education. It serves as a tool to help classroom teachers assess the environment of the class and as a method for embedding instruction within the naturally occurring context of the endogenous constructivist classroom. In this study the EBAP was used to reduce aggressive behavior and increase prosocial behavior among five children who displayed developmental delays in the social and emotional domains.
- 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.
- A Factor Analytic Study of Competencies Needed by Entry-level Automotive Technicians
- This study centered on competencies needed by entry-level automotive technicians. Many students in automotive technician programs immediately seek employment upon program completion. This study is one step toward identifying areas in the automotive technician curriculum that need the most training emphasis.
- 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.
- A Follow-Up Study of the Subsequent Educational Placement and Categorical Classification of Preschool Early Childhood Special Education Students in Selected Rural and Urban Settings
- Proponents of special education early childhood interventions programs have promoted the assumptions that these programs: (a) will have a positive effect on the long-term outcomes of preschool children with disabilities; (b) will result in some children no longer requiring special education services throughout their elementary school years; and (c) will facilitate the need for fewer services for those students who do remain in special education programs throughout their education. The purpose of this follow-up study is to identify and describe the placement decisions and the changes of exceptionality classification for children identified as special education early childhood students over the course of six follow-up years. This study (a) identifies 108 children from rural and urban school settings who were enrolled in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) programs in 1990-91, (b) documents their categorical label and educational placement six years later, and (c) then determines the differences in the number of hours rural and urban students receive special education and/or related services in 1996-97.
- The Generalization of the Logistic Discriminant Function Analysis and Mantel Score Test Procedures to Detection of Differential Testlet Functioning
- Two procedures for detection of differential item functioning (DIF) for polytomous items were generalized to detection of differential testlet functioning (DTLF). The methods compared were the logistic discriminant function analysis procedure for uniform and non-uniform DTLF (LDFA-U and LDFA-N), and the Mantel score test procedure. Further analysis included comparison of results of DTLF analysis using the Mantel procedure with DIF analysis of individual testlet items using the Mantel-Haenszel (MH) procedure. Over 600 chi-squares were analyzed and compared for rejection of null hypotheses. Samples of 500, 1,000, and 2,000 were drawn by gender subgroups from the NELS:88 data set, which contains demographic and test data from over 25,000 eighth graders. Three types of testlets (totalling 29) from the NELS:88 test were analyzed for DTLF. The first type, the common passage testlet, followed the conventional testlet definition: items grouped together by a common reading passage, figure, or graph. The other two types were based upon common content and common process. as outlined in the NELS test specification.
- 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.
- Identification of the Competencies Needed by Secondary & Post Secondary Career Counselors to Initiate and Maintain Articulation of Secondary & Post Secondary Comprehensive Career Development Programs and Services
- This study researched effect of selected demographic variables on the self-perceived competencies of career counselors at secondary and post secondary institutions in Texas. Demographic variables were years of service, educational level, type of institution, age of counselor, size of institution, and percentage of vocational enrollment. One hundred career counselors, fifty secondary and fifty post secondary career counselors were mailed copies of the Professional Needs Assessment and a Demographic questionnaire.
- 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.
- Inclusion of Children and Youth with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders into the General Education Classroom Setting: Survey of General Education Classroom Teachers' Beliefs Regarding Expected Knowledge/Skills
- This study identified the expected knowledge/skills needed for working with children and youth with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) in general education classroom settings, as identified by general educators.
- 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.
- Investigating the Selected Validity of Authentic Assessment in Written Language for Students With and Without Learning Disabilities
- This research study was designed to investigate whether authentic assessment in written language is a valid assessment tool for students with and without learning disabilities. Teacher judgements were used to evaluate students' authentic writing assessments gathered from the classroom. Students' report card grades, authentic writing assessments, and two standardized writing assessments, the Test of Written Language- Revised and Written Language Assessment, were correlated to provide evidence of the validity of authentic assessment practices in written language.
- 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 School Administrator Personality Type and Gender to Leader Effectiveness, Flexibility, and Years of Experience
- The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between four selected personality categories as measured by Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) and gender to leader effectiveness and flexibility as measured by Leader Behavior Analysis II Self-A® (LBAII Self-A) and years of experience in school administration. A review of literature traced leadership to the Situational Leadership II model utilized in this study. The model was based on selecting the appropriate leadership style for the individual situation and development level of followers. MBTI® measured sixteen combinations of four personality types which included Extravert® or Introvert, Sensing or iNtuitive®, Thinking or Feeling, and Judging or Perceiving. Four types were selected for this study (ISTJ, ESTJ, INTP, and ESFJ). The LBAII Self-A® instrument measured leader effectiveness and flexibility. The sample was 80 Texas school administrators in eleven school districts. Statistics utilized to test the hypotheses included Hotelling's T2, Multiple Analysis of Variance, Analysis of Variance, and Multiple Regression. Independent variables were gender and personality type. Dependent variables were leader effectiveness, flexibility, and years of experience in school administration. Findings reported a significant difference in leader effectiveness scores of the ESTJ personality type. Additionally, Judging/Perceiving was a significant predictor of years of experience of school administrators. In conclusion, a significant difference was found in leader effectiveness scores which showed that ESTJ personality types had higher scores. Another significant finding was Judging/ Perceiving as a predictor of years of administrative experience. As years of experience increased, Judging (preference for order) increased as a personality variable rather than Perceiving (preference for spontaneity). It was recommended that MBTI® and LBAII® be administered to school administrators as part of pre-service leadership training and for ongoing staff development. These instruments can be utilized as tools to help administrators understand personality type and effective leadership practices.
- An Investigation of Selected Factors Affecting Automotive Service Excellence Test Outcome and Job Placement Rate
- Under investigation in this study was the effect of ASE certification of automotive technician training programs and other selected factors on ASE test outcome and job placement rate. This research ponders whether the time and money invested in certifying technician training programs is returning desired improvements in this automobile manufacturer's dealer service staff. The study focussed on technicians employed at Chrysler dealerships around the United States. The 2 samples totalling 387 males between the ages of 22 and 30 were drawn from 1,007 graduates of automotive technician training programs. Technicians that completed a formal training program beyond the high school level certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) were compared to others whose training was not certified by ASE. Comparisons were made on the basis of ASE Automobile Technician Test scores and on the length of time from training program completion to employment. This research sought to identify the significance of association between three main predictors - the status of training program ASE certification, work experience and year of training program completion - and the most desirable levels of ASE test outcome (at or above 90% on the ASE test) and job placement rate (immediately following completion of training). The logistic regression procedure in SAS was used to analyze categorical data in testing the statistical hypotheses. Resulting odds ratios provided indications of significant associations between ASE program certification, technician experience and year of program completion and each of the dependent variables, ASE test outcome and job placement rate. The findings indicated that ASE automotive training program certification status was a significant predictor of ASE test outcome and of job placement rate. Recommendations for further study suggest a look at how technician skill levels affect implementation of the Clean Air Act or dependency on foreign sources of fuel, how training program certification impacts desirable results in industries other than automotive, and how realignment of resources might enhance the performance of training programs already certified.
- 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.