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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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
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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.
- 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.
- 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
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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.
- 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.
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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.
- 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.
- Prediction of community college students' success in developmental math with traditional classroom, computer-based on-campus and computer-based at a distance instruction using locus of control, math anxiety and learning style
- The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between individual student differences and academic success in three pedagogical methods (traditional classroom, computer-aided instruction (CAI) in an on-campus setting, and CAI in a distance education setting) for developmental mathematics classes at the community college level. Locus of control, math anxiety and learning style were the individual differences examined. Final grade, final exam score and persistence were the indicators of success. The literature review focused on developmental mathematics, pedagogical techniques and variables contributing to academic performance. Two parallel research populations consisted of 135 Beginning Algebra students and 113 Intermediate Algebra students. The Rotter I-E Locus of Control Scale, the Abbreviated Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale, the 4MAT Learning Type Measure, and an instrument to gather demographic data were used. It was the conclusion of this study that the instructional methods were not equal with respect to achievement. In Beginning Algebra, the CAI students received significantly higher final grades than did the traditionally taught students. In Intermediate Algebra traditional students scored significantly higher on the final exam than did the CBI students. There were more students persisting than expected in traditionally taught Beginning Algebra and no significant difference in attrition in Intermediate Algebra. There was no significant prediction of achievement in Beginning Algebra. For Intermediate Algebra math anxiety was a significant predictor for final exam percentage and locus of control was a significant predictor for final grade percentage. Only the instructional method contributed significantly to the prediction of attrition. While these findings are statistically significant, they account for only a small part of student success. However, the results had implications for the future. In particular, further study should be given to the question of whether CAI, and its associated expenses, is prudent for developmental mathematics instruction.
- Psychometric development of the adaptive leadership competency profile
- This study documented the psychometric development of the Adaptive Leadership Competency Profile (ALCP). The ALCP was derived from a qualitative database from the National Science Foundation project (NSF 9422368) and the academic body of literature. Test items were operationalized, and subject matter experts validated 11 macro-leadership competencies and 65 items. Rasch rating scale measurement models were applied to answer the following questions: (a) How well do the respective items of the ALCP fit the Rasch rating scale measurement model for the 11 scales of the ACLP? (b) How well do the person's abilities fit the Rasch rating scale measurement model, using the 11 scales of the ALCP? (c) What are the item separation and reliability coefficients for the 11 ALCP scales? (d) What are the person separation and reliability coefficients for the 11 ALCP scales? This study also sought to discern whether the ALCP could predict leader effectiveness as measured by the likelihood ratio index and frequency of correct predictions indices. The WINSTEPS and LIMDEP programs were used to obtain Rasch calibrations and probit estimates, respectively. The ALCP profiles the frequency and intensity of leadership behavior. Composite measures were calculated and used to predict leadership effectiveness. Results from this study validated 10 competencies and 55 items.
- A qualitative analysis of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia interfering with academic and social success, and the exacerbators and diminishers of those symptoms.
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that public schools provide appropriate school programs and transition services for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD), and the law specifically names schizophrenia as a disability for which services are to be provided. To date, little, if any, research has been conducted on schizophrenia in the field of special education. New antipsychotic medications for schizophrenia are controlling the positive symptoms of hallucinations, illusions, and the severest of delusions, thus enabling these students to remain in school. However, many interfering negative symptoms remain (e.g., loss of goals, loss of former interests, cognitive regression). The purpose of this qualitative research study was to identify the negative symptoms of schizophrenia that interfere with a student's academic and social success, primarily within a school setting, but also as they affect functioning within the family and the student's transition into the community. In addition, specific factors that act as exacerbators or diminishers of these symptoms were identified through this study. Research participants included 5 students who developed schizophrenia from the ages of 12 to 22, their parents, and their teachers. They were interviewed using a semi-structured approach resulting in over 30 hours of taped interview data. Data were then analyzed for commonalities, patterns, and data triangulation among the participants. Significant similarities among interfering symptoms and factors that exacerbate and diminish symptoms were identified among the participants, resulting in study findings of potential use for future researchers and professionals in the fields of special and general education, counseling, and psychology. The study results include lists of symptoms, exacerbators, and diminishers, and explanations of the significant findings. Findings from this study provide information necessary for the development of effective interventions in academic remediation, social skill training, counseling, and transition planning for this special education population. Knowledge of symptoms interfering with school success and factors that exacerbate or diminish the interfering symptoms is necessary for school professionals to conduct manifestation determinations, and functional behavioral analyses (FBA), and to create individualized education plans (IEP), and individualized transition plans (ITP).
- A Qualitative Research Study of How Extended Field Experience Prepares Special Education Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- A well-prepared and qualified special education teacher is crucial to the performance of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). The prominent educators and federal government encourage the use of extended field experiences in preparing qualified special education teachers. The study examined the strengths and weaknesses of extended field experience in terms of the perceptions of the prospective teachers and teachers of students with EBD. Both individual interviews and a focus group were used to collect data. The results revealed that extended field experience benefits prospective teachers in showing the reality of the teachers' world, self-motivation assessment, and professional development. However, there were some improvements that could be made, including more placement selections and more practical knowledge.
- Reading and Math Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- Helping youths acquire educational skills is one of the most effective approaches to the prevention of delinquency and reduction of recidivism. Access to a high-quality education is particularly important for the growing number of youth committed to juvenile corrections, especially for those who have been diagnosed with a disability. Research has shown a tremendous gap about the academic outcomes of incarcerated juveniles with emotional disabilities. Thus, the focus of this study was to examine the academic outcomes in reading and math for youth with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) released from Texas Youth Commission (TYC) programs between September 2003 and September 2004. The study examined if the rate of academic growth in reading and math as indicated by pre- and post-test scores on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE), are different for youth with E/B as compared to youth with other disabilities and youth without disabilities who were adjudicated in TYC programs.
- The Relationship Between Career and Technical Education and Texas Assessment of Academic Skills and Other Academic Excellence Indicators
- This study examined the relationship between Career and Technical Education (CATE) and the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS), the measure of school and learner success in Texas. CATE, an established program, traditionally encourages student achievement and perpetuates best educational practices. AEIS data was collected by the Texas Education Agency. In addition, a survey was used to measure CATE effectiveness and the relationship between effectiveness and AEIS performance. Two-factor mixed repeated measures ANOVAs were used to observe group differences over time. CATE and non-CATE exit level TAAS scores for reading and math at the district level were analyzed for 2000, 2001, and 2002. CATE students had higher group means but there was not statistical significance indicating that CATE students performed as well as non-CATE. Two-factor mixed repeated measures ANOVAs were also used for analysis of differences at the district level for attendance, dropout rates, and graduation rates. There were higher group means for attendance for CATE students and there was also statistical significance indicating that CATE students attended more often then non-CATE students. There was a lower group means for dropout rate and there was also statistical significance between groups over time. This was an inverse relationship indicating that CATE students dropped out less often then non-CATE students at a statistically significant level. The graduation rate analysis showed a higher group mean for CATE students but not statistical significance. CATE students graduated at the same rate as the non-CATE group. Pearson's r was used to correlate the relationship of the effectiveness of CATE programs with AEIS results. There was no statistical significance for reading and math TAAS exit-level tests with CATE effectiveness scores. Again there was no statistical significant relationship between CATE effectiveness and attendance and graduation. However there was statistical significance between CATE program effectiveness and dropout correlation for 2001.
- The relationship between the reasons for participation in continuing professional education and the leader effectiveness of first-line supervisors.
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This research examined the reasons for participation in continuing professional education (CPE) and the predictive relationship of those motivational reasons to the perceived leadership effectiveness of first-line supervisors. For this study, 105 first-line supervisors were surveyed from four electric utility companies. Input was also collected from each supervisor's subordinate employees. Using the five motivational reasons for participation, collected via the Participation Reasons Scale and the effectiveness score collected using the Leader Behavior Analysis II®, regression techniques were used to asses the data. The five participation reasons of the PRS were regressed individually against the effectiveness scores to determine the extent to which leader effectiveness could be predicted by the participation reasons. In each case, the null hypothesis failed to be rejected. Regression of the five PRS reasons collectively on leader effectiveness also failed to reject the null, producing a p value of .800 and an R2 value of .023. An "all possible subsets" regression was conducted to determine whether a smaller subset of the five predictor variables might improve the predictive value of the participation reasons. No subset improved the predictive value. This study concludes that motivation to participate in CPE does not predict leader effectiveness. Thus, training organizations do not need to attempt to determine leader effectiveness based on underlying reasons individuals are motivated to participate, but rather should focus on the more traditional aspects of determining effectiveness most often associated with rigorous training evaluation processes. This study focused on the job role of first-line supervisor. Future research could be performed using: (a) populations of individuals from other traditional job roles including front-line employees (both unionized and non-unionized), mid-level managers, and executives; (b) leaders with and without prior training in situational leadership; and (c) effectiveness measure over time (i.e., a time-series method).
- The relationship between time-on-task in computer-aided instruction and the progress of developmental reading students at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College
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This research sought to determine what relationship exists between time-on-task in computer-aided instruction (CAI) using Destinations courseware and progress in reading ability of developmental reading students as indicated by the reading portion of the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) test. Time-on-task is the time during which a student actively works on Destinations activities, as recorded by the software management system. TASP, an exam required of all students in Texas public colleges, assesses reading, math, and writing skills. The population was made up of 482 students who took the TASP exam before and after CAI and who used Destinations CAI for remediation of reading skills. Null hypotheses were explored using Pearson correlation and linear multiple regression. The findings for the null hypotheses were the following: Ho1 - Correlation and linear regression correlation showed that time-on-task in Destinations CAI had no significant effect on the TASP scores of the population studied. Ho2 - Correlation and linear regression correlation showed that females made significantly better gains on the TASP test from CAI than males. Ho3 - Correlation and linear regression correlation showed that low-achiever students made no better gains on the TASP test from time-on-task in CAI than high-achiever students. Difference between the two group's gains was not statistically significant. Ho4 - The regression equations predicted the gain in TASP reading scores for less than 1% of the population studied. Only the regression equations for male students and female students separately were statistically significant. The researcher recommends replication of this study each semester to determine the effectiveness of CAI. Regular and systematic evaluation using pretest and posttest data will provide benchmarks so that the value of changes in instructional methods can be measured. This method of research can help to clarify questions that should be answered through other research methods.
- The relationship between training in learning style adaptation and successful completion of entry-level community college classes.
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The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between training in learning style adaptation and successful completion of community college courses. The rationale for conducting this study was based on the need for students to learn how to adapt their learning style in order to more effectively learn in any situation. It is also important that community colleges implement strategies that assist in student retention. The learning styles of entry-level community college students were measured using Kolb's Learning Style Inventory Version 3. Students enrolled in entry-level college courses at a small North Texas community college were studied. The Chi-square Test of Independence with a 2 x 2 design was employed. Findings indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in the relationship between students receiving training in learning styles adaptation and successful completion of entry-level college courses, and that students who attended a learning styles training session and those who did not attend a learning styles training session had an equal chance of succeeding in entry-level community college courses. Findings also indicated that students with Accommodating and Assimilating learning styles are less likely to successfully complete an entry-level college course than are students with Diverging or Converging learning styles, yet students with Diverging and Converging learning styles might withdraw from a course rather than risk being unsuccessful. Finally, findings indicated that students who are dissatisfied with the college course and with the instructor of the college course withdraw from college courses.
- The relationship of the learning styles of high school teachers and computer use in the classroom.
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This study sought to determine if the dominant learning styles of high school teachers is related to the amount of time computers are used in the classroom by students. It also examined the types of software used by those teachers, and their levels of technology adoption. Subjects (N=177) were from high schools in a large urban school district. Instrumentation included the Gregorc Style Delineator, a modified version of the Snapshot Survey and the Stages of Adoption of Technology. An ANOVA showed no statistical significance between teachers with different dominant learning styles in the numbers of minutes per week that computers were utilized in their classrooms with students. A chi square test showed no statistical significance in the types of software used in the classrooms of teachers with different dominant learning styles. A chi square test showed no statistical significance in the Stages of Technology Adoption of teachers with different dominant learning styles.
- Social Skills Intervention for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders Aged Six through Twelve Years: A Combination of a Literature-Based Curriculum and Telecommunications
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Researchers have noted that by providing formal and informal social skills training (SST), the school can become a potential optimal setting that fosters the development of social competence in students with behavioral problems. Indeed, learning to get along with people is one of the most important skills that we can teach students. In order to maximize its effectiveness, SST must be motivating and personally relevant enough for students to want to use the skills. In addition, it must provide opportunities for learned skills to be practiced under varying conditions and in as close to natural situations as possible in order to enhance the transfer of training. The purpose of the study was to investigate the social competence of students aged from six to twelve, diagnosed with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) in a public self-contained school setting, and to increase the students' social competence by using a literature-based method that employs multiage grouping, impersonation, and telecommunications. By providing intensive, literature-based training in a multiage classroom, the SST gave students opportunities to practice skills in a natural, real-life environment and, therefore, increased the likelihood of generalizing these skills in other settings. The employment of impersonation and telecommunications also enhanced students' acquisition of social skills and their interests to learn.
- State and local level implementation of schoolwide positive behavior support: An examination of the Texas Behavior Support Initiative (TBSI).
- This study examined the current status of schoolwide positive behavior support efforts in Texas. The study specifically (a) examined the impact of statewide positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) training on the rates of discipline records, in-school ¬suspensions, out-¬of¬-school suspensions, disciplinary alternative education placements, and expulsions of public schools in Texas; (b) investigated the overall effectiveness of schoolwide positive behavior support; and (c) determined the differences between rates of discipline records, in-school ¬suspensions, out-¬of¬-school suspensions, disciplinary alternative education placements, and expulsions in schools participating in the Texas Behavior Support Initiative (TBSI): Schoolwide PBS Project when compared with matching schools who did not participate in the project. This study demonstrated that schools can significantly reduce problem behavior in their schools when implementing PBIS with fidelity. Creating effective systems of PBIS required training, coaching, and on¬site technical assistance by trained and experienced PBIS facilitators.
- Students' criteria for course selection: Towards a metadata standard for distributed higher education
- By 2007, one half of higher education students are expected to enroll in distributed learning courses. Higher education institutions need to attract students searching the Internet for courses and need to provide students with enough information to select courses. Internet resource discovery tools are readily available, however, users have difficulty selecting relevant resources. In part this is due to the lack of a standard for representation of Internet resources. An emerging solution is metadata. In the educational domain, the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) has specified a Learning Object Metadata (LOM) standard. This exploratory study (a) determined criteria students think are important for selecting higher education courses, (b) discovered relationships between these criteria and students' demographic characteristics, educational status, and Internet experience, and (c) evaluated these criteria vis-à-vis the IEEE LTSC LOM standard. Web-based questionnaires (N=209) measured (a) the criteria students think are important in the selection of higher education courses and (b) three factors that might influence students' selections. Respondents were principally female (66%), employed full time (57%), and located in the U.S. (89%). The chi square goodness-of-fit test determined 40 criteria students think are important and exploratory factor analysis determined five common factors among the top 21 criteria, three evaluative factors and two descriptive. Results indicated evaluation criteria are very important in course selection. Spearman correlation coefficients and chi-square tests of independence determined the relationships between the importance of selection criteria and demographic characteristics, educational status, and Internet experience. Four profiles emerged representing groups of students with unique concerns. Side by side analysis determined if the IEEE LTSC LOM standard included the criteria of importance to students. The IEEE LOM by itself is not enough to meet students course selection needs. Recommendations include development of a metadata standard for course evaluation and accommodation of group differences in information retrieval systems.
- A study of the relationship between work experience and occupational work ethic characteristics of baccalaureate nursing students.
- The primary purpose of this study was to test the theory of experiential learning by measuring to what extent work experience predicts the work ethic characteristics of students in baccalaureate nursing programs at three regional universities in Texas, including Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Tarleton State University in Stephenville, and West Texas A&M University in Canyon. Work experience is the amount full-time or part-time on-the-job experience. Work ethic attributes are referred to as considerate, ambitious, dependable, and cooperative. Results generated in this study failed to reject the null hypotheses, which means that work experience, does not provide evidence of the ability to predict the development of work ethic characteristics in baccalaureate nursing students who participated in this research study. Knowledge generated in this study provided alternative directions for future research with respect to the relationship between work experiences and work ethic characteristics in nursing students. Such research may be useful to nursing educators and trainers in the design and delivery phases of the educational process for nurses.
- The supply and demand of physician assistants in the United States: A trend analysis.
- The supply of non-physician clinicians (NPCs), such as physician assistant (PAs), could significantly influence demand requirements in medical workforce projections. This study predicts supply of and demand for PAs from 2006 to 2020. The PA supply model utilized the number of certified PAs, the educational capacity (at 10% and 25% expansion) with assumed attrition rates, and retirement assumptions. Gross domestic product (GDP) chained in 2000 dollar and US population were utilized in a transfer function trend analyses with the number of PAs as the dependent variable for the PA demand model. Historical analyses revealed strong correlations between GDP and US population with the number of PAs. The number of currently certified PAs represents approximately 75% of the projected demand. At 10% growth, the supply and demand equilibrium for PAs will be reached in 2012. A 25% increase in new entrants causes equilibrium to be met one year earlier. Robust application trends in PA education enrollment (2.2 applicants per seat for PAs is the same as for allopathic medical school applicants) support predicted increases. However, other implications for the PA educational institutions include recruitment and retention of qualified faculty, clinical site maintenance and diversity of matriculates. Further research on factors affecting the supply and demand for PAs is needed in the areas of retirement age rates, gender, and lifestyle influences. Specialization trends and visit intensity levels are potential variables.
- Technology adoption and integration levels: A comparison study between technology-minded general educators and technology-minded deaf educators.
- The purpose of this study was to determine whether working in the field of deaf education, as opposed to general education, results in a higher level of technology integration. A secondary goal was to determine if deaf educators who are deaf integrate technology at a higher level than their hearing counterparts. The instrument chosen for this study was the LoTi Technology Use Profile, a tool used to explore the role of technology in the classroom. A total of 92 participates were included in the study of which 48 were regular educators and 44 were deaf educators. The participants were selected from a population pool whereby teachers were presumably pre-disposed to using technology based upon their attendance at a technology training session in the form of a conference or a class. Deaf educators as a whole did not perform as well as general educators on the LoTi scales. Given the fact that the technology-minded general educators who comprised the sample population of this study scored exceptionally high on the LoTi scales, further research is needed to ensure comparability between the two groups. The findings of the current study do suggest, though, that deaf educators who are deaf have the potential to integrate technology to a greater degree than deaf educators who are hearing. Thus, a primary recommendation is to conduct a national LoTi survey of typical, rather than technology-minded, deaf educators as a comparison to the 2004 national survey of typical general educators.
- Technology-mediated distance education used to prepare special education personnel.
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This study examined how technology-mediated distance education is used in special education courses in teacher preparation programs. The data are based on a 30-item survey administered to members of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, who identified themselves as serving in an instructional capacity within institutions of higher education. Technology-mediated instruction was characterized in terms course delivery methods and program attributes. An analysis of instructional design processes revealed that most instructors are largely autonomous and do not rely on a team-based approach. Most make use of course-design and management software. Training is linked to course strategy and evaluation, while experience is associated with implementation. Respondents emphasized communication and student feedback. While both users and non-users of distance education technology foresaw the increased use for course delivery in the future, a notable percentage (13%) of current users indicated a desire to discontinue use.
- The use of journaling as a means of reflection for greater technology implementation among teachers.
- The purpose of this multiple case-study was to determine whether the use of reflective journals during graduate coursework impacts the level of technology implementation in instructional settings for experienced teachers. This study examined the relationships between: (1) levels of reflection demonstrated in journal responses, (2) the level of technology implementation, and (3) teachers' attitudes about technology implementation. The coding scheme used to determine levels of reflection in the journals was based on the framework of Leung and Kember. The LoTi questionnaire, developed in 1995 by Chris Moersch, was used to determine the levels of perceived technology implementation. The goal of this study was to provide information that may be utilized to plan more effective technology staff development. By providing insights on how to evaluate written work consistently for reflective thinking and on teachers' perceptions of technology implementation, university programs and school districts can develop better strategies for technology professional development. The findings suggest that teachers who demonstrated the characteristics of high levels of reflection also demonstrated characteristics of higher levels of technology implementation. Four of the five cases demonstrated a relationship among their scores on the Level of Reflection, Level of Technology Implementation (Loti), and Current Instructional Practice (CIP) measures. This study adds to the research regarding evaluation of reflection, the use of journals for reflection, and the impact of this strategy on technology implementation. The results of this qualitative study illustrate the process of using the theoretical framework of Lueng and Kember to evaluate the levels of reflection in written journal responses during professional development programs. The findings suggest that the use of reflective journals, in the context of the action research process during technology training, has a positive impact on technology implementation for practicing teachers.