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 Degree Level: Doctoral
SEM Predicting Success of Student Global Software Development Teams
The extensive use of global teams to develop software has prompted researchers to investigate various factors that can enhance a team’s performance. While a significant body of research exists on global software teams, previous research has not fully explored the interrelationships and collective impact of various factors on team performance. This study explored a model that added the characteristics of a team’s culture, ability, communication frequencies, response rates, and linguistic categories to a central framework of team performance. Data was collected from two student software development projects that occurred between teams located in the United States, Panama, and Turkey. The data was obtained through online surveys and recorded postings of team activities that occurred throughout the global software development projects. Partial least squares path modeling (PLS-PM) was chosen as the analytic technique to test the model and identify the most influential factors. Individual factors associated with response rates and linguistic characteristics proved to significantly affect a team’s activity related to grade on the project, group cohesion, and the number of messages received and sent. Moreover, an examination of possible latent homogeneous segments in the model supported the existence of differences among groups based on leadership style. Teams with assigned leaders tended to have stronger relationships between linguistic characteristics and team performance factors, while teams with emergent leaders had stronger. Relationships between response rates and team performance factors. The contributions in this dissertation are three fold. 1) Novel analysis techniques using PLS-PM and clustering, 2) Use of new, quantifiable variables in analyzing team activity, 3) Identification of plausible causal indicators for team performance and analysis of the same.
A Comparative Analysis of State Funds on Student Achievement of Economically Disadvantaged Elementary Schools in Independent School Districts and Charter Schools in the State of Texas
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the instructional outcomes in the independent school districts and charter schools in relation to the expenditure of public funds for instruction and total operating expenditures from the general fund. The study considered Texas elementary charter schools and independent school districts, whose school populations were identified as having greater than or equal to 50% of economically disadvantaged students, according to the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS). The study made use of multiple regression and was an ex post facto cross-sectional analysis utilizing production function theory. The study’s outcomes reported the difference in student achievement between elementary schools in independent public school districts and charter schools were small to negligible for math and reading achievement. The study also reported, there is no statistically significant difference in per pupil expenditure of public funds between elementary schools in independent public school districts and charter schools. Furthermore, there is no statistically significant relationship between student achievement and per pupil expenditure of public funds on elementary schools in independent public school districts and charter schools.
Factorial Validity and Measurement Envariance of the Test of Performance Strategies, Sport Anxiety Scale, and the Golf Performance Survey Across Age Groups
The purpose of this study was to examine the factorial validity and measurement equivalence of the Test of Performance Strategies (TOPS; Thomas, Murphy, & Hardy, 1999); the Sport Anxiety Scale (SAS; Smith, Smoll, & Schultz, 1990); and the Golf Performance Survey (GPS; Thomas & Over, 1994) across age groups in a representative sample of amateur golfers. Based on archival data, participants comprising this study were 649 younger adult (n = 237) and older adult (n = 412) amateur golfers who played in the Dupont World Amateur Golf Championship in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The participants completed a set of questionnaires including psychological skills and strategies (e.g., self-talk, goal setting, imagery, etc.) used during competition, sport-specific competitive trait anxiety, and psychomotor skills and involvement in golf. Results demonstrated that the original factor structure of the TOPS competition subscale, the SAS, and the GPS, did not adequately fit the data among this sample of younger and older adult amateur golfers. Further exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses established evidence of factorial validity with the TOPS competition subscale, SAS, and the GPS with both younger and older adult amateur golfers. Configural, metric, scalar, and strict measurement invariance were identified in relation to the TOPS competition subscale, SAS, and the GPS across age cross-group comparisons. In general, the analyses demonstrated support that the TOPS competition subscale, SAS, and the GPS can be utilized with confidence with older adult amateur golfers, as well as conducting group comparisons with younger adult amateur golfers. The findings from this study have several future research directions and practical implications for structuring effective interventions with older adult amateur athletes.
Levanten La Mano Si Me Entienden: Receptive Bilinguals’ Linguistic and Cultural Perceptions in Secondary Spanish Classes
Receptive bilinguals have been in a dilemma of knowing just enough Spanish to write and aurally comprehend the curriculum at the beginning-intermediate levels of a Spanish language course. This dichotomy in classrooms with mixed-ability learners has created a need to reconsider placement and pedagogical structures tailored for these students in foreign language courses. Thus, this descriptive study examined the perceptions of receptive bilinguals, drawn from two secondary Spanish courses regarding receptive bilinguals’ language use, personal Spanish language abilities and confidence, personal beliefs about the language, and contentment with the course. For this study, 31 participants were selected from two public high schools in a suburb of a large metropolitan area in north Texas. Two surveys, a listening assessment and an online questionnaire, were administered at the end of the academic year. The Likert questionnaire items were analyzed using SPSS software, while open-ended questions were coded for recurrent themes. Analyses revealed four major findings. First, with regard to influence on language use, participants’ grandparents created the most interaction with the Spanish language when compared with the other family groups. In addition, Spanish influence through television, literature, radio, and music contributed to students’ early childhood Spanish learning. Second, as to language preference, although participants perceived English to be the language with which they were most at ease, they were also confident in their Spanish conversational abilities. Third, with respect to perceptions of language abilities, Spanish 2Pre-AP students noticed an increased ability in listening, speaking, and writing the language. In both courses, students’ receptive ability was one of the highest abilities. Receptive bilinguals reflected a sense of pride and passion for the language. They desired to improve their language through their own self-motivation as a way to connect with family. Fourth, and finally, in reporting on course contentment, participants expressed overall contentment with the course, irrespective of the particular course in which they were enrolled; however, some did not agree that all curricular structures were to their benefit. Results indicate a need to place students with receptive bilingual skills in courses designed to meet their specific linguistic characteristics.
First Movement of the Beethoven Third Piano Concerto: An Argument for the Alkan Cadenza
The goal of this dissertation is not only to introduce the unique cadenza by Alkan but also to offer an argument from the performer’s point of view, for why Alkan’s cadenza should be considered when there exists a cadenza by Beethoven himself, not to mention those by a number of other composers, both contemporaries of Beethoven and later. Information in reference to the brief history of the cadenza and the pianoforte in the time of Mozart and Beethoven is presented in Chapter 2. A brief bibliography about Alkan is presented in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 describes not only the cadenza in the era of Alkan, but also a comparison which is presented between Beethoven and Alkan's cadenzas. Examples of the keyboard range, dynamic contrast, use of pedal and alternating notes or octaves, and creative quote are presented in Chapter 4. In conclusion, the revival of Alkan's cadenza is mentioned, and the author's hope to promote the Alkan's cadenza is presented in Chapter 5.
Information Seeking Behaviors in a Population of Assistive Mobility Device Users
The author explores the current state of information exchange and access in the procurement process for mobility assistive equipment. While the idealized model is of a linear process starting with a need and ending with the purchase, in practice the procedures for acquiring a device such as a wheelchair or electric scooter can be a time consuming task that involves client, family, medical care specialists, vendors, manufacturers, insurance companies and possibly alternate sources of funding. This study utilized Participatory Action Research (PAR) to collect both qualitative and quantitative data about information sources such as the Internet, the medical community, and vendors. The findings of this study suggest that in spite of the presence of the Internet, overall primary sources are similar to the traditional model and that for most there is no one source that could be easily accessed for information. A brief examination is made of the “Information landscape” utilized in the process and a brief discussion of two relatively unmentioned information sources: expos and the wheelchair sports community.
Refining the Definition and Detection of Response Styles: An Initial Examination of Defensiveness and Feigning on the Personality Inventory for DSM-5
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM 5) presents an alternate model for personality disorders, blending categorical and dimensional assessment into a hybrid diagnostic procedure. Released concurrently, the Personality Inventory for DSM 5 (PID 5) measures the five domains and 25 facets that comprise the trait components of this hybrid model. However, the PID 5 currently lacks validity indicators to capture intentionally distorted responding. The current study investigated the susceptibility of the PID 5 to defensiveness and feigning among a large sample of undergraduate students. First, a detailed desirability analysis (N = 465) was conducted of the PID 5 items and response options. Responses from the study were used to create three desirability based validity scales. Next, in a between-subjects simulation design (N = 128), the effects of faking were explored at domain and facet levels. As a result, two symptom based validity scales were created. In a separate validation sample (N = 134), the five newly created validity scales were compared with the Paulhus Deception Scales for capturing both defensiveness and feigning. All five scales were evaluated for ruling out faking (i.e., identifying likely genuine respondents) and ruling in either defensiveness or feigning. In most areas, the symptom based scales were more successful than the desirability based scales, though all scales had difficulty identifying defensiveness. These initial results offer fertile ground for additional testing and development of PID 5 validity scales.
Enacting Community Through the Arts
This study is concerned with the roles and relationships between artists-in-residence, community audiences, and program coordinators/art educators as they engage together in community arts programs. This study takes place at Project Row Houses (PRH), a community arts organization located in Houston, Texas and focuses on the artist-in-residence program, which commissions a group of national and international artists for a 6-month period to create art installations in relation to the community and its African-American heritage. This ethnographic case study is based on the activities and events surrounding the 2008 PRH exhibition, Round 29, Thunderbolt Special: The Great Electric Show and Dance, after Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins and employed qualitative data gathering methods of participant-observation, conducting semi-structured, open-ended, in-depth interviews, and through document collection, and contextual information. Observations were recorded through field notes, photographs, and video. Interviews were conducted with 3 artists-in-residence, 3 community audience members, and 3 program coordinators or staff members involved with the program, regarding their experiences at the site and experiences with each other. My analysis presents the roles of artist, community audience, and program coordinator/art educator through three sections on cultural work. Within these sections I discuss topics related to the power of voice, situatedness, and creativity, as it relates to the artists and community audiences. For the role of program coordinator/art educator, I focus more closely on her role in the process of mediation. Topics of power, social dynamics, identity, and representation are also framed within these discussions.
Improving Processing Efficiency for Forensic DNA Samples
The goal of this project was to reduce processing time for forensic DNA testing without incurring significant added costs and/or the need for new instrumentation, while still generating high quality profiles. This was accomplished by: 1) extraction normalization using the ChargeSwitch® Forensic DNA Purification Kit such that a small range of DNA concentrations was consistently obtained, eliminating the need for sample quantification and dilution; 2) developing fast PCR protocols for STR primer sets using shorter amplification methods, low volume reactions and non-fast thermal cyclers; and 3) developing a quicker 3130xl Genetic Analyzer detection method using an alternative polymer/array length combination. Extraction normalization was achieved through a reduction in bead quantity, thereby forcing an increase in bead binding efficiency. Four products (AmpliTaq Gold® Fast PCR Master Mix, KAPA2G™ Fast Multiplex PCR Kit, SpeedSTAR™ HS DNA Polymerase and Type-it Microsatellite PCR Kit) were evaluated for low volume (3μl) fast PCR on a 384-well Veriti® thermal cycler with the Identifiler primer set. KAPA2G™ was selected for 3μl fast PCR protocols using PowerPlex 16 HS and Identifiler Plus primer sets (42-51min), as well as 5μl and 6μl Identifiler fast reactions on a 9700 thermal cycler (51-60min). Alternative detection (POP-6™/22cm) achieved 24-28min run times, but with decreased resolution as compared to traditional POP-4®/36cm detection for alleles >200bp; however, 1bp resolution was still obtainable for alleles <300bp. These modifications resulted in robust databasing processes with up to a 37% reduction in processing time for buccal swabs and Buccal DNA Collectors™ using the three primer sets evaluated (3μl fast PCR reactions) and generated high quality STR profiles with ≥90% pass rates.
A Predictive Model of Adolescent Persistence in Counseling
Adolescence is a developmental period characterized by profound social and emotional changes. Counseling can serve as a protective factor for decreasing the long-term negative emotional effects. Despite this fact, counselors continue to struggle with high rates of attrition among adolescent clients. When examining trends of client persistence in counseling across the lifespan, researchers found a relationship between the presence of internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Additionally, they found that high levels of familial stress predicted premature termination from counseling. The purpose of the current study was to create a predictive model of adolescent persistence in counseling. I examined both personal and environmental characteristics of adolescents who sought counseling services (N = 72) from an on-campus university counseling clinic that serves as a training facility for master’s and doctoral students at an accredited counselor education program in the southwestern United States. Participants were predominantly White (67.6%, n = 50), with a mean age of 14.23 (SD = 1.65). Nearly 60% (n = 44) of the clients were female, and 37.8% were male (n = 28). Beyond descriptive variables, eight predictor variables were examined: adolescent involvement in their intake, time spent on the wait list, four domains of parental stress, and parent perceptions of adolescent internalizing and externalizing behaviors. A multiple linear regression was conducted to understand how much of the variance in the number of counseling sessions attended by adolescent clients was explained by the predictor variables. The regression analysis was statistically significant (p = .008) and accounted for 29.1% (R2adj = .192) of the variance in sessions attended. Of the variables examined, externalizing behaviors (42.82%) accounted for the most variance in sessions attended, followed by whether the adolescent was involved in the intake (29.16%), internalizing behaviors (12.96%), and parent-focused stress (10.30%). An examination of the two strongest predictors in correlation to the number of sessions attended revealed a negative relationship with externalizing behaviors and a positive relationship with involvement in the intake, suggesting that adolescents who present with externalizing behaviors and who are not involved in their intake are likely to attend fewer counseling sessions. To understand the differences among adolescents who prematurely terminate from counseling and those who persist in counseling, I conducted a series of univariate and multivariate analyses. Comparing the means of the predictor variables revealed no significant differences between any of the predictor variables examined, although internalizing and externalizing behavior scores fell within the borderline clinical range for adolescents who persisted in counseling. Finally, a predictive discriminant analysis to assess to what degree identified variables predicted premature termination from or persistence in counseling yielded a 75% hit rate. Given this knowledge, counselors may be able to pro-actively identify adolescents who are at risk of prematurely terminating from counseling and implement retention strategies.
Transfer From a UTeach Replication Site to the Classroom: A Study of First and Second Year Instructional Practices
Concerns based adoption model (CBAM) instruments were used to examine instructional practices of six graduates from a highly stylized, inquiry-based secondary math and science preparation program. Teachers were in the first or second years of teaching mathematics in six different secondary settings, ranging from poverty to wealthy schools. CBAM assumptions were tested. The primary assumption about concerns was that new teachers’ highest concerns would be within the self and task dimensions. According to Hall and Hord, it was assumed that the levels of use are typically in the orientation and preparation stages as a new teacher begins to implement an innovation, in the case of this study, inquiry-based instruction. All three instruments of the CBAM model were used for data collection and included: the Survey of Concerns Questionnaire, Innovation Components Configuration Map, and Levels of Use matrix. Teachers were observed, interviewed, and surveyed, three times each, across a five-month period. The findings from this study showed that the teachers had similar concerns and levels of use, which supported the assumptions outlined by the CBAM principles. Across the six teachers, the self and task concerns were high, aligning with the assumptions. However, unrelated and impact dimensions were noted, in opposition to the assumption. Likewise, assumptions of the levels of use were upheld in the orientation and preparation levels of use noted in the observations. Some mechanical levels of use were observed for a few of the teachers, an anomaly to the assumption.
Synthesis and Characterization of Ion Beam Assisted Silver Nanosystems in Silicon Based Materials for Enhanced Photocurrent Collection Efficiency
In recent years a great deal of interest has been focused on the synthesis of transitional metal (e.g. Ag, Cu, Fe, Au) nanosystems at the surface to sub-surface regions of Si and SiO2 matrices for fundamental understanding of their structures as well as for development of technological applications with enhanced electronic and optical properties. The applications of the metal nanoparticle or nanocluster (NC) systems range from plasmonics, photovoltaic devices, medical, and biosensors. In all of these applications; the size, shape and distribution of the metallic NCs in the silicon matrix play a key role. Low energy ion implantation followed by thermal annealing (in vacuum or gas environment) is one of the most suitable methods for synthesis of NCs at near surfaces to buried layers below the surfaces of the substrates. This technique can provide control over depth and concentration of the implanted ions in the host matrix. The implanted low energy metal ions initially amorphizes the Si substrates while being distributed at a shallow depth near the substrate surface. When subject to thermal annealing, the implanted ions agglomerate to form clusters of different sizes at different depths depending upon the fluence. However, for the heavier ions implanted with high fluences (~1×1016 - 1×1017 atoms/cm2), there lies challenges for accurately predicting the distribution of the implanted ions due to sputtering of the surface as well as redistribution of the implants within the host matrix. In this dissertation, we report the investigation of the saturation of the concentration of the implanted ion species in the depth profiles with low energies (< 80 keV) metal ions (Ag and Au) in Si (100), while studying the dynamic changes during the ion implantation. Multiple low energies (30-80 keV) Ag ions with different fluences were sequentially implanted into commercially available Si wafers in order to facilitate the formation of Ag NCs with a wide ion distributions range. The light absorption profile according to different sizes of NCs at the near-surface layers in Si were investigated. We have investigated the formation of Ag NCs in the Si matrix as a function of implantation and thermal annealing parameters. The absorbance of light is increased in Ag implanted Si with a significant increase in the current collection in I-V (current-voltage) photo switching measurements. The experimental photovoltaic cells fabricated with the Ag implanted Si samples were optically characterized under AM (air mass) 1.5 solar radiation conditions (~1.0 kW/m2). An enhancement in the charge collection were measured in the annealed samples, where prominent Ag NCs were formed in the Si matrix compared to the as-implanted samples with the amorphous layer. The characterization techniques such as Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy, XPS-depth profiling, transmission electron microscopy, optical absorption, and I-V (current-voltage) photo switching measurements were employed to understand the underlying science in the observed properties. The results of these investigations are discussed in this research.
A Structural and Psychometric Evaluation of a Situational Judgment Test: The Workplace Skills Survey
Some basic but desirable employability skills are antecedents of job performance. The Workplace Skills Survey (WSS) is a 48-item situational judgment test (SJT) used to assess non-technical workplace skills for both entry-level and experienced workers. Unfortunately, the psychometric evidence for use of its scores is far from adequate. The purpose of current study was two-fold: (a) to examine the proposed structure of WSS scores using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and (b) to explore the WSS item functioning and performance using item response theory (IRT). A sample of 1,018 Jamaican unattached youth completed the WSS instrument as part of a longitudinal study on the efficacy of a youth development program in Jamaica. Three CFA models were tested for the construct validity of WSS scores. Parameter estimations of item difficulty, item discrimination, and examinee’s proficiency estimations were obtained with item response theory (IRT) and plotted in item characteristics curves (ICCs) and item information curves (IICs). Results showed that the WSS performed quite well as a whole and provided precise measurement especially for respondents at latent trait levels of -0.5 and +1.5. However, some modifications of some items were recommended. CFA analyses showed supportive evidence of the one-factor construct model, while the six-factor model and higher-order model were not achieved. Several directions for future research are suggested.
Interaction of Plasmons and Excitons for Low-Dimension Semiconductors
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The effects of surface plasmon for InGaN/GaN multi-quantum wells and ZnO nanoparticles optical linear and nonlinear emission efficiency had been experimentally studied. Due to the critical design for InGaN MQWs with inverted hexagonal pits based on GaN, both contribution of surface plasmon effect and image charge effect at resonant and off resonant frequencies were experimentally and theoretically investigated. With off- resonant condition, the InGaN MQWs emission significantly enhanced by metal nanoparticles. This enhancement was caused by the image charge effect, due to the accumulation of carriers to NPs region. When InGaN emission resonated with metal particles SP modes, surface Plasmon effect dominated the emission process. We also studied the surface plasmon effect for ZnO nanoparticles nonlinear optical processes, SHG and TPE. Defect level emission had more contribution at high incident intensity. Emissions are different for pumping deep into the bulk and near surface. A new assumption to increase the TPE efficiency was studied. We thought by using Au nanorods localized surface plasmon mode to couple the ZnO virtual state, the virtual state’s life time would be longer and experimentally lead the emission enhancement. We studied the TPE phenomena at high and near band gap energy. Both emission intensity and decay time results support our assumption. Theoretically, the carriers dynamic mechanism need further studies.
The Relationship of Peer Leadership Employment to Academic Outcomes in Texas Institutions of Higher Education
The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship of participation and involvement in an undergraduate student success program to academic success and persistence among students in three programs sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB): the G-Force Collegiate Work-Study Mentorship Program, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) for Higher Education (AHE) program, and the THECB work-study program. The sample was identified using data from the THECB during the 2009-2013 academic years. Compared to THECB work-study students, significantly more AHE and G-Force students persisted toward graduation while engaged in the program (p < .001). ANOVA indicated that AHE students had a higher average GPA compared to G-Force and THECB work-study students, controlled for gender, race/ethnicity, pre-program GPA, and length of time in the position. Regression analyses found no statistically significant relationship between program associations and persistence towards graduation or GPA. Results suggest that although participation in a peer leadership programs such as AHE and G-Force encourage greater academic achievement and persistence, there is no direct relation to the achievement of these outcome variables. Implications of the study suggest the need for a deeper analysis into elements of peer leadership programs that contribute to student success, an expanded analysis of outcomes across a wider range of demographic variables, and an exploration of peer leadership programs across campuses for comparison of persistence and GPA outcomes.
The Influence of Family and Cultural Values on the Career Development of Asian Americans
Factors influencing the career development of Asian Americans have included family influences, including parental expectations and parent-young adult relationship, and adherence to Asian cultural values. Variables such as interests and values have been shown to be important factors in the career-related decisions of western, European American culture individuals, although interests have been found to be less important for Asian Americans. Research suggests that parental expectations and adherence to traditional Asian values have more influence on career development among this population. Sandhu found in 2011 that parental expectations are highly linked with career choice of a specific Asian subgroup. The current study examined the relationship between parental expectations, acculturation, career values, adherence to Asian cultural values, the parent-young adult relationship, and career choice in the Asian American population. The values gap between the parents’ and young adults’ cultural values as well as the gap’s effects on the parent-child relationship were assessed. A sample of 173 self-identified Asian Americans aged 18 to 25 were recruited from across the US to complete an Internet survey consisting of demographic questions, career choice questions, a measure of acculturation, an assessment of career-related values, an assessment of adherence to Asian cultural values, and an assessment of the parent-young adult relationship. Results from hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that the prestige of parents’ career expectations was a significant predictor of the prestige of young adults’ expected career choices. Although other family and process variables were not found to be significant predictors of young adults’ career choices, interesting correlations were noted among many of these variables.
Criterion Validity of Common Career Interest Inventories: Relative Efficacy with High School Seniors.
Professional school counselors frequently use career interest inventories as part of a comprehensive guidance program to help students create a post-secondary school plan. The present study evaluates the validity of three commonly used interest inventories, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Self-Directed Search, and Strong Interest Inventory on field of study choice for graduating high school seniors (N = 616) from a large, suburban high school in Texas. Students identified their intended postsecondary field of study category, were randomly assigned using stratification to three groups, and each group completed a different inventory. Group membership was evaluated to establish covariate balance on a wide variety of indicators. Data from each group was evaluated to determine the extent to which the inventory predicted the chosen field of study, as well as Other and Undeclared categories using logistic regression models. None of the inventory models suggest that the inventory accurately predicts Other or Undeclared outcomes. For students selecting intended postsecondary fields of study, the Self Directed Search predicts such outcomes better than other measures. Professional school and career counselors should consider the SDS in addition to narrative counseling strategies to add greater precision with career decision making among clients and students.
A Construct Validity Analysis of the Work Perceptions Profile Data
As work environments become more complex and demanding, organizations are becoming more interested in measuring the impact of their human resource development programs and initiatives. With this increased attention on data and measurement, human resource professionals have been encouraged to utilize data collection and data analysis techniques to make more objective and rationale human capital decisions and to verify business impact. As a result, the human resource profession has seen a significant increase in the use of surveys to measure anything from training effectiveness to the efficacy of recruitment procedures. The increase in the use of survey instruments requires that more focused attention is placed on the reliability and validity of data from any instrument used to make important human resource and business decisions. One instrument that is currently being used to measure career plateaus and job fit is the Work Perceptions Profile. The purpose of this research study was to conduct a construct validity analysis of the Work Perceptions Profile data and to determine the factor structure of data from its items. The data in this analysis supported a two-factor model structure with the first factor measuring Work Characteristics and a second factor measuring Performance. The results of this analysis will be helpful in exploring further how employees perceive their work place, their careers and their relationships with others within the organization.
Co-Creating Value in Video Games: The Impact of Gender Identity and Motivations on Video Game Engagement and Purchase Intentions
When games were first developed for in-home use, they were primarily targeted almost exclusively at children and males. However, today’s marketplace manifests a more diverse population plays Internet-enabled games that can be played virtually anywhere. The average gamer is now 30 years old. Many gamers, obviously, are much older. Yet more strikingly, and more germane to this study’s purpose, 47% of the U.S. gamer population is female, as compared to 40% in 2010. Despite these trends the gaming industry remains a male-dominated culture. The marketer’s job is to facilitate game engagement and to motivate gamers to play. The notion of “engagement” is not new in business. The term was developed in the last decade. Many studies were devoted to understand, explain, and define the term. It suggests that within interactive, dynamic business environments, consumer engagement (CE) represents a strategic position that companies can use to enhance their sales growth, competitive advantage, and profitability. Moreover, there are three levels of engagement in any experiential consumption (i.e., playing video game): presence, flow, and psychological absorption. The findings of this study affirm that consumer engagement, including presence, flow and psychological absorption are explanatory factors that impact gamer’s purchase intentions. Our results show that consumers experience different mental engagement in an interactive environment (i.e., playing video games) compared to passive environments (i.e., visiting a website). These findings change our understanding of consumers’ engagement and flow state. We also found that male and female gamers experience different engagement level. However, we did not find a significant result that masculinity and femininity traits impact gamers’ engagement or intention. We argue that macroeconomic factors results in sales fluctuation may have resulted in reject in this hypothesis. Thus, marketers shed a light into the consumer’s interactive environment and flow states in that environments. Consumers not only determine the value in using a product as Vargo and Lusch suggested, but they also create that value. Also, consumer experience is an ongoing process that does not have a specific point to start, making the value creation a temporally accumulative process that includes past, present, and future experience. Therefore, the value created by consumers is not created while physically interacting with a device to play, but it may include imagined and indirect interaction with the product. Therefore, consumers (i.e., gamers) need to maintain a balance between presence and psychological absorption (i.e., flow) to get the best experience in play video gaming. Empirical evidence suggest that consumers’ flow state engagement is the most important variable in determining their ensuing purchase intention for video games, regardless of game genre.
Exploring the College Pathways of Asian American Community College Students and the Model Minority Myth
Contrary to the model minority myth that portrays Asian Americans as academic all-stars over-represented in elite four-year institutions, half of all Asian American college students do in fact attend community colleges, and many experience myriad challenges. This exploratory study investigated the community college pathways of Asian American community college students, the role of family and culture in shaping expectations for higher education, and participants’ perceptions of the model minority myth and the degree to which this myth influenced their college experiences. Institutional practices and policies, or lack thereof, that support the success of this highly diverse population were also studied. Purposeful sampling was used to gather a sample of 28 students, who self-identified as Asian American and attended one of the three largest community college districts located in North Texas. The sample included 16 males and 12 females, whose ages ranged from 18 to 49 years old, with a mean age of 24. Data collection involved a demographic questionnaire and semi-structured individual interviews. The participants represented 13 different ethnicities, and nine were members of more than one ethnic or racial group. Ten participants were foreign-born citizens, and all of the participants had at least one foreign-born parent. Qualitative data provided description rich information that shed light on the expectations, experiences, and views of Asian American community college students, a virtually unstudied population. Consistent with current literature on Asian American college students, the findings suggest many Asian American community college students struggle with tremendous cultural and familial pressures for succeeding academically, and many described their experiences with racial microaggressions related to model minority stereotypes that they perceived their peers and instructors to have held. Recommendations for policy and practice designed to improve educational outcomes for Asian American community college students are addressed.
The Devil and the Details: Negotiating Virtuosity, Agency, and Authenticity in Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Kathinkas Gesang als Luzifers Requiem for Solo Flute
Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Kathinkas Gesang als Luzifers Requiem presents mental, physical, and musical challenges that go beyond the usual expectations of an instrumentalist, extending and redefining the traditional idea of virtuosity. Using firsthand performance experience, score and recording study, and flutist interviews, this document explores the effects of some of these heightened demands and argues that the particular performance situation presented by Kathinkas Gesang brings up critical questions about the performer’s role, the nature of performance and of the musical work, and the existence of an authoritatively “authentic” interpretation. Employing an expanded definition of virtuosity that includes interpretation and encompasses both choices and actions, the document discusses the extensions of virtuosity into two main areas: first, memory; and second, staging and movement, covering both practical suggestions and larger implications. Finally, it examines how the performer’s negotiation of these challenges relates to questions about authenticity and agency. Performance is defined here as a creative and collaborative act, not attempting to duplicate previous performances or recordings, but rather to give the best realization of the piece possible in the given circumstances, according to the individual’s interpretation of the score’s directions. There is no single “authentic” interpretation, but rather a rich multiplicity of possibilities, and the performer’s creative agency and personal authenticity are necessary for the full realization of the work.
Convenience to the Cataloger or Convenience to the User? An Exploratory Study of Catalogers’ Judgment
This mixed-method study explored cataloger’s judgment through the presence of text as entered by catalogers for the 11 electronic resource items during the National Libraries test for Resource Description and Access (RDA). Although the literature discusses cataloger’s judgment and suggests that cataloging practice based on new cataloging code RDA will more heavily rely on cataloger’s judgment, the topic of cataloger’s judgment in RDA cataloging was not formally studied. The purpose of this study was to study the differences and similarities in the MARC records created as a part of the RDA National Test and to determine if the theory of bounded rationality could explain cataloger’s judgment based on the constructs of cognitive and temporal limits. This goal was addressed through a content analysis of the MARC records and various statistical tests (Pearson’s Chi-square, Fisher’s Exact, and Cramer’s V). Analysis of 217 MARC records was performed on seven elements of the bibliographic record. This study found that there were both similarities and differences among the various groups of participants, and there are indications that both support and refute the assertion that catalogers make decisions based on the constructs of time and cognitive ability. Future research is needed to be able to determine if bounded rationality is able to explain cataloger’s judgment; however, there are indicators that both support and refute this assertion. The findings from this research have implications for the cataloging community through the provision of training opportunities for catalogers, evaluating workflows, ensuring the proper indexing of bibliographic records for discovery, and recommended edits to RDA.
A Study of Firm Location to Examine Disclosures and Governance Using a Dual Approach: Quantitative Analysis Based upon the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and Qualitative Analysis of the Annual Report’s Management Discussion and Analysis
The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the effect of U.S. firms’ geographic location, whether urban or rural, on their corporate disclosure and governance practices. An “urban” firm is one that is headquartered in a large metropolitan area; whereas, a “rural” firm is one that is headquartered some distance from any metropolitan area. Specifically, the study examines whether there are different stock market reactions to urban and rural firms around key event dates relative to the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) on July 30, 2002. Also, the readability and linguistic style in the Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) section of public company’s annual reports (Form 10-K) to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are investigated to determine whether urban and rural firms communicate information differently to investors.
Exploring the Relationships Between Faculty Beliefs and Technology Preferences
All too often faculty are asked to implement technology into their teaching without the knowledge necessary to use the technology effectively. Due to the evolution of technology in everyday settings, students have come to expect to be engaged through technological means. This often creates undue stress on faculty members. The purpose of this study is to investigate technology integration by exploring the relationships between a faculty member’s technology preferences and educational beliefs. Through a mixed method, this study attempts to address the question of why faculty use the types of technology they do. More importantly, this study investigates if a faculty member’s educational beliefs have any influence on the technology they choose to use. Thirty-two medical, clinical, and healthcare faculty members participated in the study. They responded to a Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) survey and a Technology Preferences survey with open-ended questions. Data analysis revealed multiple statistically significant findings between different beliefs and different types of technology. The results indicated that personal epistemic beliefs influence the types of technology faculty use. The technology choices faculty make are largely related to tools they are comfortable with and ones they believe effectively fit their teaching materials. The study also found statistically significant differences between age, gender, and reported technology use. It is suggested faculty development programs should consider faculty members’ educational beliefs and personal preferences when supporting faculty with their uses of technologies.
Funds of Knowledge and Early Literacy: A Case Study
When teachers are charged with educating students that are racially, culturally, or economically different from them, they may have little information on the culture and type of family involvement of their students. This lack of information contributes to perceptions of working-class families as socially disorganized and intellectually deficient. However, research embodying the theoretical framework funds of knowledge (FoK) attempts to counter deficient models through its assertion that all families possess extensive bodies of knowledge that have developed through social, historical, political, and economic contexts. The primary purpose of this study was to carefully examine Hispanic parents’ support of young children’s early literacy development in the home. The knowledge gleaned from an initial study of home support, by spending time in the home of a Hispanic family provided an avenue for action research in the classroom. A second purpose was to determine if the introduction of FoK ways of learning, when applied in the classroom, had an effect on early literacy skills. In addition, I maintained a journal that chronicled my experiences and led to an autoethnographic study of myself as a transforming white, female, prekindergarten teacher. The results indicated that the family possessed extensive FoK developed through historical, cultural, educational, and social experiences. Results further indicate that introduction of these familial FoK improved the oral language skills of prekindergarten students thus enhancing their early literacy development. Autoethnographic results indicate a personal progression toward not only understanding, but becoming an advocate, for the Hispanic population.
Investigation of Strategies for Improving STR Typing of Degraded and Low Copy DNA from Human Skeletal Remains and Bloodstains
Forensic STR analysis is limited by the quality and quantity of DNA. Significant damage or alteration to the molecular structure of DNA by depurination, crosslinking, base modification, and strand breakage can impact typing success. Two methods that could potentially improve STR typing of challenged samples were explored: an in vitro DNA repair assay (PreCR™ Repair Mix) and whole genome amplification. Results with the repair assay showed trends of improved performance of STR profiling of bleach-damaged DNA. However, the repair assay did not improve DNA profiles from environmentally-damaged bloodstains or bone, and in some cases resulted in lower RFU values for STR alleles. The extensive spectrum of DNA damage and myriad combinations of lesions that can be present in forensic samples appears to pose a challenge for the in vitro PreCR™ assay. The data suggest that the use of PreCR™ in casework should be considered with caution due to the assay’s varied results. As an alternative to repair, whole genome amplification (WGA) was pursued. The DOP-PCR method was selected for WGA because of initial primer design and greater efficacy for amplifying degraded samples. Several modifications of the original DOP-PCR primer were evaluated. These modifications allowed for an overall more robust amplification of damaged DNA from both contemporary and historical skeletal remains compared with that obtained by standard DNA typing and a previously described DOP-PCR method. These new DOP-PCR primers show promise for WGA of degraded DNA.
“The Scherzo for Trombone Quartet” by John La Montaine: A Performer’s Edition
In 1939, during his studies at the Eastman School of Music, John La Montaine (1920-2013) composed a Scherzo for four trombones. The Scherzo was revised more than 60 years later, becoming the third movement of a three-movement trombone quartet completed in 2001. Interestingly, the same Scherzo subsequently appeared in two of his later works: first the final movement of his Piano Concerto No. 4 Op. 59 (1989) and 12 years later as the final movement of a three-movement Trombone Quartet. The thesis presents a detailed account of the compositional history of the Scherzo, its connection to the first two movements, and a performance edition of the Scherzo based on my collaboration with the composer between for five years from 2003 to 2007.
Heart Rate Variability as an Indicator of Stress and Resilience in HIV+ Adults: An Analysis of a Stigma Related Stress Induction
Learning of a positive diagnosis of HIV may be one of the most challenging and stressful events in life. The memory of this event is emotionally laden, and even years later evokes an emotional response. Similarly, many people living with HIV (PLH) have memories of the first time they were treated differently because of their diagnosis. While research frequently examines the subjective of stress, few studies have examined biological markers of stress in people living with HIV. Heart Rate Variability offers a non-invasive measure of stress. Beyond serving as a biological marker for stress, changes in HRV are also associated with emotional functioning. Research demonstrates decreased HRV levels in patients with Depression, Anxiety, and PTSD. We conducted a repeated measures MANOVA to examine effects of stress induction on HRV in individuals with high and low levels of HIV-related stigma. We found that the high stigma group was significantly different from the low stigma group in regard to changes in participants’ HRV, Wilks’ λ = .50, F (1, 51) = 11.63, p < .001. A hierarchical linear regression examined the relationship between HRV and other measures of stress (Heart Rate and Blood Pressure). We found that systolic blood pressure and heart rate in the stress condition were predictive of HRV (adjusted R2=.29, F (5,46) =4.07, p<.01). Results of our study support the use of HRV as a measure of stress in HIV-positive adults. Additionally, the results of our study demonstrate significant relationships between stigma, social support and stress in HIV-positive adults.
Assessing Terrorist Cyber Threats: Engineering a Functional Construct
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Terrorist organizations and individuals make use of the Internet for supportive activities such as communication, recruiting, financing, training, and planning operations. However, little is known about the level of computer-based (“cyber”) threat such terrorist organizations and individuals pose. One step in facilitating the examination and assessment of the level of cyber threat posed by terrorist organizations and individuals is development of an assessment tool or methodology. This tool would guide intelligence collection efforts and would support and facilitate comparative assessment of the cyber threat posed by terrorist organizations and individuals through the provision of a consistent method of assessment across time, amongst organizations and individuals, and between analysts. This study leveraged the professional experience of experts to engineer a new functional construct – a structured analytical technique designed to assess the cyber threat posed by terrorist entities and individuals. The resultant instrument was a novel structured analytical construct that uses defined indicators of a terrorist organization/individual’s intent to carry out cyber attacks, and their capability to actually do so as measures of an organization/individual’s overall level of cyber threat.
Employee Engagement: The Impact of Spiritual, Mental, Emotional and Physical Elements on the Relationship between Employee Engagement and Behavioral Outcomes
Data were collected by an external company for a healthcare service firm interested in learning the job-related attitudes of their employees. Thus, archival data from 1,287 employees were collected for a different purpose. The survey consisted of 117 questions covering a broad range of constructs. Consequently, the items were used to derive effective measures of employee engagement and behavioral outcomes, as well as the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical dimensions. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis procedures were used to create scales reflecting these four factors. Interestingly, six scales emerged, logically linking to and further specifying the initial dimensions. These were Organizational Linkage, Manager Relationship, Job Fit, Job Clarity, Work Pressure, and Meaningful Work. To test the hypotheses, six separate regression equations were calculated, which statistically supported modification by each of the dimensions. However, statistical significance of the interactions resulted from having a large sample, given the actual association was too small to be meaningful (e.g., a contribution of 0.6% of the variance). As each of the dimensions had a main effect on the behavioral measure during hypothesis testing, exploratory regression equations were calculated to further understand the interrelationships. Of most interest was finding that in the presence of Engagement, the main effects of only Organizational Linkage and Job Fit reached significance. However, when Engagement was not included, four of the six dimensions made a significant contribution to Behavioral Outcomes. Overall, there was support for previous conceptualizations. From the scientist-practitioner perspective, the six factors identified in this study may be more useful than the four initially proposed. The distinctions give practitioners additional information to use in interventions to improve employee behavior and retention.
Electromagnetically Modulated Sonic Structures
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Phononic crystals are structures composed of periodically arranged scatterers in a background medium that affect the transmission of elastic waves. They have garnered much interest in recent years for their macro-scale properties that can be modulated by the micro-scale components. The elastic properties of the composite materials, the contrast in the elastic properties of the composite materials, and the material arrangement all directly affect how an elastic wave will behave as it propagates through the sonic structure. The behavior of an elastic wave in a periodic structure is revealed in its transmission bandstructure, and modification of any the elastic parameters will result in tuning of the band structure. In this dissertation, a phononic crystal with properties that can be modulated using electromagnetic radiation, and more specifically, radio-frequency (RF) light will be presented.
Not All Truth Commissions Are Alike: Understanding Their Limitations and Impact
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This dissertation project develops a theoretical understanding of how truth commissions achieve legitimacy and thus contribute to peace and stability in the aftermath of major traumatic events (e.g. civil war, mass killings, regime changes). I identify three components of truth commission legitimacy---authority, fairness, and transparency---that facilitate beneficial outcomes for societies emerging from a period of severe human rights repression or civil war. I theorize and test how institutions with these legitimacy characteristics contribute to an increase in respect for human rights and decrease political violence in transitioning societies, thus contributing to peace and stability. In order to test the hypothesized relationships, I create a truth commission characteristic dataset that provides greater detail than existing datasets. This project is a contribution to our understanding of the relationships between human rights, institutions, conflict, and international law. It provides one explanation for the inconsistent findings of extant work concerning the impact of transitional justice, generally and truth commissions, specifically. I provide evidence that there are identifiable "best practices" that truth commissions should consider adopting. This information can assist states, intergovernmental organizations, and nongovernmental organizations alike in making difficult decisions regarding the transitional justice process, which is expensive and time consuming further necessitating an understanding of what practices are most crucial for achieving peace and stability.
Using Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicators to Predict High School Student Performance in an Educational Video Game
Educational video games have proven a useful tool for educators, offering experiential pedagogy in a variety of fields. Predicting the success of a video game in engaging students and motivating them to work with relevant material is problematic. One approach was attempted through administering the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator to 42 high school students and observing subsequent voluntary performance on a popular mathematics video game throughout one semester. Game dynamics matching certain personality elements of the students generally correlated between learning preferences in the classroom and in the online gaming environment. Students who enjoyed group dynamics in classroom settings likewise indicated enthusiasm for the group dynamics in game play. Those students preferring structured learning environments may prefer less open ended virtual learning gaming environments. Since the game incorporated multiple choice questions and rewarded correct choices made quickly, those students with personality styles in which questions are carefully considered before answering suffered in points scored compared to those used to making fast intuitive choices in exam settings. Additional studies, including those with larger populations and different types of video games, are needed for more definite conclusions.
Alternative Certification Teaching Programs in Texas: A Historical Analysis
Before 1984, nearly 975 of teachers entered the teaching profession after graduating from a traditional university-based program. However, beginning in the mid-1980s, alternative routes leading to teacher certification began to emerge in the United States. As of 2010, nearly one-third of all new teachers graduated from an alternative preparation program. As alternative certification (AC) routes approach 30 years since establishment, programs continue to evolve and increase in enrollment. This study focused on the changes that have come about in the maturation of alternative certification programs in Texas since legislation was passed in 1985. The purpose of the study was to delineate the evolution of AC programs using a historical approach, the study used both primary and secondary resources as research tools and employed the use of eight interviews and the literature review for the collection of data. The prediction of future teacher shortages, the need for diversity in the profession the political view to privatize education, and economic recessions were all motivating factors for establishing alternative teacher programs. In the beginning, graduation from AC programs were perceived as not authentic teachers and not as prepared for teaching as graduates from traditional programs. AC programs have become a legitimate and viable option for educator preparation programs as they offer greater flexibility, staff/instructor diversity, and multiple approaches to instruction. This data suggests that AC programs in Texas have emerged as a real and sustainable option to traditional certification programs leading to certification and licensure.
Video Analytics with Spatio-Temporal Characteristics of Activities
As video capturing devices become more ubiquitous from surveillance cameras to smart phones, the demand of automated video analysis is increasing as never before. One obstacle in this process is to efficiently locate where a human operator’s attention should be, and another is to determine the specific types of activities or actions without ambiguity. It is the special interest of this dissertation to locate spatial and temporal regions of interest in videos and to develop a better action representation for video-based activity analysis. This dissertation follows the scheme of “locating then recognizing” activities of interest in videos, i.e., locations of potentially interesting activities are estimated before performing in-depth analysis. Theoretical properties of regions of interest in videos are first exploited, based on which a unifying framework is proposed to locate both spatial and temporal regions of interest with the same settings of parameters. The approach estimates the distribution of motion based on 3D structure tensors, and locates regions of interest according to persistent occurrences of low probability. Two contributions are further made to better represent the actions. The first is to construct a unifying model of spatio-temporal relationships between reusable mid-level actions which bridge low-level pixels and high-level activities. Dense trajectories are clustered to construct mid-level actionlets, and the temporal relationships between actionlets are modeled as Action Graphs based on Allen interval predicates. The second is an effort for a novel and efficient representation of action graphs based on a sparse coding framework. Action graphs are first represented using Laplacian matrices and then decomposed as a linear combination of primitive dictionary items following sparse coding scheme. The optimization is eventually formulated and solved as a determinant maximization problem, and 1-nearest neighbor is used for action classification. The experiments have shown better results than existing approaches for regions-of-interest detection and action recognition.
First-Semester General Chemistry Curriculum Comparison of Student Success on ACS Examination Questions Grouped by Topic Following an Atoms First or Traditional Instructional Approach.
This study uses the ACS first-term general chemistry exam to determine if one curriculum approach is more effective in increasing student success than the other based on their performance on the ACS exam. Two chemistry curriculum approaches were evaluated in this study; the traditional curriculum (TC) and the Atoms First (AF) approach. The sample population was first-semester general chemistry students at Collin College in Frisco, TX. An independent sample t-test was used to determine if there were differences in overall performance between the two curriculum approaches on two different versions of the ACS exam. The results from this study show that AF approach may be a better alternative to the TC approach as they performed statistically significantly better on the 2005 exam version. Factor analysis was used to determine if there were differences between the two curriculum approaches by topic on the ACS exam. Eight different topics were chosen based on topics listed on the ACS Examinations Institute Website. The AF students performed better at a statistically significant level than the TC students on the topics of descriptive chemistry and periodicity, molecular structure, and stoichiometry. Item response theory was used to determine the chemistry content misconceptions held by the students taught under both curriculum approaches. It was determined that for both curriculum groups the same misconceptions as determined by the Zcrit values persisted.
The Modern Trombone in the African American Church: Shout Bands and the African American Preacher in the United House of Prayer
The United House of Prayer was established by Marcelino Manuel da Graça (1881-1960), who is also known as Charles Manuel “Sweet Daddy” Grace, or “Daddy” Grace. He founded and developed the use of the shout bands which are charismatic gospel trombone ensembles within this church. This study explores the importance of shout bands and examines them from multiple perspectives focusing in particular on worship practices. Additionally, it examines rhythmic elements as the most important characteristic of music performed by these unique ensembles, rhythms that reflect the preacher’s personal timing and inflections that the trombones then imitate. The approach used here supports a deeper understanding of the United House of Prayer and of the trombone in church services of this denomination. Indeed, it ultimately establishes the trombone’s role in the United House of Prayer.
Modern Forms of an Ancient Art: A Selection of Contemporary Fanfares for Multiple Trumpets Demonstrating Evolutionary Processes in the Fanfare Form
The pieces discussed throughout this dissertation provide evidence of the evolution of the fanfare and the ability of the fanfare, as a form, to accept modern compositional techniques. While Britten’s Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury maintains the harmonic series, it does so by choice rather than by the necessity in earlier music played by the baroque trumpet. Stravinsky’s Fanfare from Agon applies set theory, modal harmonies, and open chords to blend modern techniques with medieval sounds. Satie’s Sonnerie makes use of counterpoint and a rather unusual, new characteristic for fanfares, soft dynamics. Ginastera’s Fanfare for Four Trumpets in C utilizes atonality and jazz harmonies while Stravinsky’s Fanfare for a New Theatre strictly coheres to twelve-tone serialism. McTee’s Fanfare for Trumpets applies half-step dissonance and ostinato patterns while Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman demonstrates a multi-section work with chromaticism and tritones. By applying modern compositional techniques to an older, abstract form, composers have maintained the original aesthetic while allowing for fanfares to be used as concert music. This document adds to the limited body of scholarly writing on modern fanfares.
Down and Out: A Novel
A creative dissertation consisting of two parts: a novel and a critical preface. The critical preface, titled “Novel without Falsehood” deals directly with David Shields’s Reality Hunger, touching on issues of reality as it pertains to truth, writing, fiction, and contemporary culture. The novel is entitled Down and Out and follows the fortunes of a small town in Arkansas before, during, and after its sole source of employment ceases to exist.
Investigating Teachers’ Backgrounds and Instructional Practices to Improve Mathematics Teacher Training Programs
In recent years, considerable concern has arisen over cross-national student’s math achievement. A number of studies focusing on eighth grade student’s math achievement have been published. However, the most important role we should consider is not only students, but also teachers. A good teaching training program could help teachers improve their teaching expertise and student’s math achievement. Moreover, most studies only focused on explained predictions of the effect between potential factors. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to implement a hierarchical linear model and cluster analysis techniques to re-examine the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011 among eighth grade students in the United States (U.S.), South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. These techniques were applied to provide a teacher characteristics and student math achievement model and identify a new institutional typology based on the pattern of teacher characteristic types and countries. Based on these patterns and model, this study presented the findings, as well as suggestions for improving educational policies and teaching training program in, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and the U.S.
Highly Efficient Single Frequency Blue Laser Generation by Second Harmonic Generation of Infrared Lasers Using Quasi Phase Matching in Periodically Poled Ferroelectric Crystals
Performance and reliability of solid state laser diodes in the IR region exceeds those in the visible and UV part of the light spectrum. Single frequency visible and UV laser diodes with higher than 500 mW power are not available commercially. However we successfully stabilized a multi-longitudinal mode IR laser to 860 mW single frequency. This means high efficiency harmonic generation using this laser can produce visible and UV laser light not available otherwise. In this study we examined three major leading nonlinear crystals: PPMgO:SLN, PPKTP and PPMgO:SLT to generate blue light by second harmonic generation. We achieved record high net conversion efficiencies 81.3% using PPMgO:SLT (~500 mW out), and 81.1% using PPKTP (~700 mW out). In both these cases an external resonance buildup cavity was used. We also studied a less complicated single pass waveguide configuration (guided waist size of ~ 5 um compared to ~60 um) to generate blue. With PPMgO:SLN we obtained net 40.4% and using PPKT net 6.8% (110mW and 10.1 mW respectively).
The State of the Field of Critical Information Literacy in Higher Education
The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the state of critical information literacy (CIL) in higher education as it is enacted and understood by academic librarians. This qualitative study investigated the institutional support, nonsupport, and barriers to CIL programs and the effectiveness of experiential critical pedagogy for information literacy (IL) learning as taught and studied by 19 CIL specialists. Purposeful sampling was used to gather a sample of 17 academic librarians and two professors of library and information science who had previously worked as academic librarians. The sample included 11 females and eight males; 18 participants were Caucasian and one was African American. Data were collected through 40-60 minute semi-structured interviews and a brief demographic survey. Experiential education served as the broad theoretical framework for this study, which stems from the tradition of critical theory. This study was guided by the work of two major experiential learning theorists and theories: Paulo Freire and critical pedagogy and Jack Mezirow and transformative learning. Mezirow and Freire focused their work on adult education and grounded their approaches in critical theory and focused on power relationships, reflection, and the emancipatory potential of education. The findings were framed through a lens of Freire’s conception of critical pedagogy because it was the major theoretical framework that most of the study participants used to guide their work. Findings suggest that academic librarians who teach CIL do not learn about it in their MLS programs. They tend to use three major critical teaching methods, including student-centered approaches, discussion and dialogue, and problem-posing methods. Participants tended to struggle more with using critical methods than with incorporating critical content. Slightly more than half regularly used critical methods in their teaching, but all participants incorporated critical content, including critical source evaluation and subject headings and language used in information production and dissemination. The findings also suggest that CIL specialists are likely to believe that CIL is best taught within the broader context of academic disciplines and that strong relationships with faculty are crucial for successfully implementing information literacy programs of any kind, including CIL programs. Most participants felt supported by their library administrators and at least minimally by college or university administrators, even though they thought administrators did not have a clear idea of what they do in the classroom. The professional identity and culture of librarians and librarianship played a large role in whether and how librarians were drawn to CIL and in their ability to practice it. The results of this study will allow librarians and educators to make more informed decisions about how to design, teach, and implement programs and will benefit library science scholars and policy makers in terms of knowing how it is being taught and supported at the institutional level.
The (Mis)representation of the Middle East and Its People in K-8 Social Studies Textbooks: A Postcolonial Analysis
Critical examinations of cultural groups and the ways in which they are presented in schools are missing from current elementary and middle school curricula. Issues of this nature often fall under the umbrella of “multicultural education” or “cultural pedagogy,” but this rhetoric is dismissive in nature. Constructing the non-Western child as “culturally deprived,” “culturally disadvantaged,” or “at-risk” perpetuates an “us/colonizer” versus “them/colonized” mentality. The purpose of this study was to examine critically how the Middle East and its people are represented in U.S. social studies textbooks. Through the use of qualitative content analysis, 10 elementary and middle school social studies books from Florida, Texas, and Virginia were analyzed. Drawing largely from the postcolonial Orientalist work of Edward Said (1978/2003), this study unveiled the ways in which American public schools other children, specifically children of Middle Eastern or Arab descent. Othering occurs anytime an institution in power constructs a certain reality for a marginalized group of people.
Polyphonic Harmony in Three of Ferruccio Busoni’s Orchestral Elegies
This dissertation focuses on three of Busoni’s late orchestral works known as “orchestral elegies”: Berceuse élégiaque (Elegie no. 1, 1909), Gesang vom Reigen der Geister (Elegie no. 4, 1915), and Sarabande (Elegie no. 5, 1918-19). The study seeks to provide a better understanding of Busoni’s late style as a crucial bridge from late nineteenth-century chromaticism in the works of Liszt, Wagner, and others to the post-tonal languages of the twentieth century. At the heart of this study lies a particular concept that forms the basis of many characteristic features of Busoni’s late style, namely the concept of polyphonic harmony, or harmony as a cumulative result of independent melodic lines. This concept is also related to a technique of orchestration in which the collective harmony is sounded in such a way that the individual voices are distinct. In the highly personal tonal language of Busoni’s late works, passages often consist of a web of motives weaved throughout the voices at the surface level of the music. Linear analysis provides a means of unravelling the dense fabric of voices and illustrating the underlying harmonic progressions, which most often consist of parallel, primarily semitonal, progressions of tertian sonorities. Chapter 1 provides a backdrop for this study, including a brief summary of Busoni’s ideas on the aesthetics of music and a summary of his influence and development as a composer. Chapter 2 addresses the concept of polyphonic harmony in more detail, some theoretical ideas related to it, and characteristics of Busoni’s late style that reflect this concept. Chapter 3 is dedicated to analytical methodology, addressing concepts which emerge from various linear approaches to the analysis of some twentieth-century music. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 are each dedicated to a specific work, the purpose being to illuminate through linear analysis compositional characteristics and techniques related to the concept of polyphonic harmony, including the flexibility between the melodic and harmonic realms, chord misalignment, overlap, and superposition.
A Descriptive Analysis of the Critical Thinking Model in Texas Elementary Education
Contributions from elementary education to the practice and reality of critical thinking are rare, largely because attempts in basic education to elucidate a concept of critical thinking have a hard time breaking through the elusiveness and indeterminacy that characterize the history and reality of the concept. This situation is due to, and a consequence of, the difficulty of delimiting critical thinking from related fields, such as metacognition, higher-order-thinking, problem solving, informal logic, reasoning skills, and decision making, to name a few. Texas school authorities designed and put into practice a battery of tools to evaluate critical thinking through the assessment programs TAKS and STAAR, without taking a position regarding the indeterminacy problems of the content of critical thinking. The purpose of this study was to reconstruct the pieces of the critical thinking model imparted to Texas elementary school children since 1999 and continues today. The findings indicate that the critical thinking model implemented in Texas elementary schools is a particular version of a skills-only approach of critical thinking that follows the classical logical paradigm, consisting of two sets of complementary skills. This model acquaints students with the components and structure of five types of arguments while it fails to substantiate the logic of argument support that demonstrates how reasons support claims and the strength of support. The application of an adequacy conditions rubric showed the strengths of the model at the argumentation analysis level, yet it showed clear signs of incompleteness and inconsistencies at the argument structure level that distort its purpose and function.
Music Criticism in the New York Times and the New York Tribune, 1851-1876
This doctoral dissertation discusses music criticism in the New York Times and the New York Tribune from 1851-1876.
The Automatic Compensating Euphonium As the Ideal Choice for Performing Music Composed Originally for Ophicleide
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Comparative Analysis of the Musical Distortion in Kaikhosru Sorabji’s and Vladimir Horowitz’s Piano Paraphrases Based on Bizet’s Opera Carmen
This study focuses on a comparative analysis of two piano paraphrases, Pastiche on Habanera from ‘Carmen’ by Kaikhosru Sorabji and Variations on a Theme from Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ by Vladimir Horowitz. These compositions idiomatically distort the original material in a manner that was not explored up to the moment of their respective conception. They expose each composer’s free compositional approach, reflecting musical freedom rooted in the originality of their musical thinking. The aesthetic uniqueness of these two compositions strongly stimulates and justifies academic interest to explore their technical construction, musical differences, and artistic significance. This study proposes to undertake a comparative study of these two compositions, analyzing (1) aspects of the musical character, which are linked with embellishment, or rearrangement of original material, and (2) differences in performance approach based on recorded examples and critical observations by others of the performances of these works by Sorabji and Horowitz.
Characterization of Ionic Liquid Solvents Using a Temperature Independent, Ion-specific Abraham Parameter Model
Experimental data for the logarithm of the gas-to-ionic liquid partition coefficient (log K) have been compiled from the published literature for over 40 ionic liquids over a wide temperature range. Temperature independent correlations based on the Gibbs free energy equation utilizing known Abraham solvation model parameters have been derived for the prediction of log K for 12 ionic liquids to within a standard deviation of 0.114 log units over a temperature range of over 60 K. Temperature independent log K correlations have also been derived from correlations of molar enthalpies of solvation and molar entropies of solvation, each within standard deviations of 4.044 kJ mol-1 and 5.338 J mol-1 K-1, respectively. In addition, molar enthalpies of solvation and molar entropies of solvation can be predicted from the Abraham coefficients in the temperature independent log K correlations to within similar standard deviations. Temperature independent, ion specific coefficients have been determined for 26 cations and 15 anions for the prediction of log K over a temperature range of at least 60 K to within a standard deviation of 0.159 log units.
Charles Wuorinen’s Flute Variations Ii: an Analysis and Performance Guide
Charles Wuorinen’s contributions to contemporary music are significant. He has produced more than 260 compositions in a wide array of genres including pieces for orchestra, opera, ballet, chamber ensemble, and soloists. This document serves as an analysis and performance guide for Charles Wuorinen’s work for solo flute, Flute Variations II. Issues of analysis include serial techniques, time-point nesting, and pitch centricity and provide insight into the compositional style of the composer. As this work exhibits techniques borrowed from traditional shakuhachi performance, this document provides a brief history of the shakuhachi and an overview of the shakuhachi techniques utilized in Flute Variations II. The performance guide provides a pedagogical narrative to aid in the synthesis of conceptual ideas with contemporary techniques.