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 Department: Department of Technology and Cognition
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5793/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5795/
Enhanced learning performance in the middle school classroom through increased student motivation, by the use of educational software and question-based gaming technology.
The purpose of this research was to determine if the introduction of a competitive and collaborative computer-based gaming software system into middle school classrooms would result in improved attendance and grades, and motivate students to have a greater interest in their studies. This study was conducted over a 6 week period, with attendance and performance data being collected from 284 students. Two quantitative surveys were used to measure course interest and motivation: (a) the Course Interest Survey (CIS), and (b) the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS). Participation in these surveys consisted of 84 students taking the CIS and 40 students taking the IMMS. The results indicated that the experimental group showed statistically better scores than the comparison group in attendance and performance. Students participating in the experimental group had significantly lower mean ranks of absenteeism compared to students in the comparison group. Results also revealed significant differences on grades. Students that were in the experimental group had significantly higher grades compared to students that were in the comparison group. Results of the CIS suggest that a statistically significant difference does not exist on Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction between the experimental and comparison groups. Results of the means and standard deviations for the IMMS Motivation Scores fell somewhere between Moderately true and Mostly true. This research study suggests that student's attendance and performance can be improved when quiz based gaming software that is both collaborative and competitive is used regularly in the classroom. However, for student's that participated in the gaming software, their interest in studying the subject doesn't appear to be significantly different from students that did not participate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5613/
The Relationship of the Learning Styles of High School Teachers and Computer Use in the Classroom
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5580/
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5535/
Well-Being of Gifted Students Following Participation in an Early-College-Entrance Program
The concepts of well-being and life satisfaction are explored in this study of the experiences and psychological traits of highly-gifted students who have been radically accelerated into an early-college-entrance program. The study was conducted after participation in the early-college-entrance program. The primary focus of the study is on personal well-being and life satisfaction including the variables of subjective well-being, efficacy, and the dispositional traits of cheerfulness, seriousness, and bad mood. These variables are gathered as the initial phase of a longitudinal study of the early-college entrants' personal and professional experiences, their life satisfaction, and dispositions. The subjects for this study were participants in the Texas Academy of Math and Science (TAMS). TAMS is a state run early-college-entrance program at the University of North Texas in Denton. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5505/
Measuring the Perceived Transfer of Learning and Training for a Customer Service Training Program Delivered by Line Managers to Call Center Employees in a Fortune 200 Financial Services Company
The purpose of this study was to explore what effect manager involvement in the delivery of training has on employee learning (transfer of learning) and on student behavior after training (transfer of training). Study participants were randomly assigned to the experimental and control groups and a customer service training program was delivered with and without manager involvement. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected immediately after training using a retrospective pretest-then/posttest-now instrument developed to measure the participants' perceived transfer of learning. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected approximately 4 weeks after training also using a retrospective pretest-then/posttest-now instrument developed to measure the participants' perceived transfer of training. Quality assurance data generated by the organization for the first full month after the training program was completed were collected to measure the actual transfer of training. A 13-item version of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MC-C) was included with the perceived transfer of training survey to measure the potential for self-perception bias with the perceived transfer of learning and the perceived transfer of training data. ANOVA results for the perceived transfer of learning and perceived transfer of training data indicated that there were no statistically significant differences between the experimental and control groups. ANOVA results for the actual transfer of training data mirrored the results found for the perceived transfer of training. The possibility of self-perception bias in using the retrospective pretest-then/posttest-now instruments was recognized as a study concern with MC-C data indicating a much higher level of social desirability with the sample population than with reported non-forensic norms. A slight positive influence on the transfer of learning and on the transfer of training was found when a participant's direct manager was involved in the delivery of training. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5401/
A comparison of written composition assessment using standard format versus alternate format among college-bound students with learning disabilities and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
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The purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy of using a computer word processing program in the assessment of written expression with college-bound individuals who had been diagnosed with a learning disability (LD) and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Fifty-six (35 eleventh and 21 twelfth) graders, attending a private college-preparatory school for students with LD and/or ADHD, were administered the Spontaneous Writing composite of the Test of Written Expression - Third Edition (TOWL-3). The TOWL-3 has equivalent forms, Form A and Form B. One form was administered in accordance with the test manual, using paper and pencil (standard format). The other form (i.e., alternate format) was administered with word processing access. Paired samples tests (repeated measure) and bivariate correlation designs were computed to explore the relationships between measures. Results of the study revealed significant increases (p<.01) in the subtest and composite scores when participants were administered the test in the alternate format. Other components of the research study did not reveal strong meaningful relationships when cognitive ability, graphomotor speed, and keyboarding rate were compared with the standard and/or alternative formats of the writing composite. A high rate of comorbity was exhibited with the majority of participants (75%) having two or more LD and/or ADHD diagnoses. On an informal questionnaire, the participants endorsed a strong preference for the use of word processors in the majority of their written academic tasks. The study concludes that for students who are accustomed to producing written work on a word processor, restriction from this writing tool can adversely affect the results of their product, leaving a false impression, underestimating their writing skills, ability, creativity, and subject knowledge. In addition, having access to a word processor during high stakes testing is paramount. Inaccurate results can affect future opportunities, such as admission to postsecondary educational settings. In summary, future and more extensive studies are needed to continue to increase the understanding of assessment, diagnosis, instruction, and assistive technology (AT) options for individuals with written language disorders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5405/
Current practices in working with special education paraeducators.
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With so many paraeducators working in special education, it is important for teachers, administrators, and researchers to know how paraeducators are being utilized, supervised, and managed in order to create the most effective programs for students with special needs. Research is needed regarding current practices in supervising paraeducators. The purposes of this study were to (a) delineate the current practices being utilized by special education teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) who supervise paraeducators that work with students with EBD in the general education classroom and (b) determine how effective the supervised paraeducators perceive those practices to be. Current practices were revealed by answering the following questions: (1) According to special education teachers and paraeducators, what procedures and practices are being utilized to supervise paraeducators who work in the general education environment with students with EBD? (2) In what ways do teachers and paraeducators see these supervision practices as being effective? (3) What is the relationship between actual supervision practices and accepted best practices? There were 60 participants in all, 30 professional teachers and 30 paraeducators. All 60 participants completed a survey; of these 60, 5 teachers and 5 paraeducators were individually interviewed Findings from the study indicate that actual supervision practices of teachers do not represent the best practices found in the literature. The study found that each of the seven executive functions of supervision (orientation, planning, scheduling, delegating, training/coaching, monitoring/feedback, and managing the workplace) need additional attention from school districts in order to maximize paraeducator effectiveness. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5421/
The Effects of Team Dynamics Training on Conceptual Data Modeling Task Performance
Database modeling is a complex conceptual topic often taught through the use of project-based teams. One of the problems with the use of project-based teams in university courses is the determination of whether this is the most effective use of instructor and student time involvement and effort level. Therefore, this study investigated the impact of providing team dynamics training prior to the commencement of short-duration project-based team conceptual data modeling projects on individual data modeling task performance (DMTP) outcomes and team cohesiveness. The literature review encompassed conceptual data design modeling, the use of a project-based team approach, team dynamics and cohesion, self-efficacy, gender, and diversity. The research population consisted of 75 university students at a North American University (Canadian) pursuing a business program requiring an information systems course in which database design components are taught. Analysis of the collected data revealed that there was a statistically significant inverse relationship found between the provision of team dynamics training and individual DMTP. However, no statistically significant relationship was found between team dynamics training and team cohesion. Therefore, this study calls into question the value of team dynamics training on learning outcomes in the case of very short duration project-based teams involved in conceptual data modeling tasks. Additional research in this area would need to clarify what about this particular experiment might have contributed to these results. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5448/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5469/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5478/
A model of best practice: Leadership development programs in the nuclear industry.
This study looked at leadership development at top performing nuclear plants in the United States. The examination of leadership development as actually practiced in the nuclear energy industry lead to the development of a best practice model. The nuclear industry is self-regulated through the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (INPO). INPO has been evaluating nuclear plants over the past 15 years. Recently they have identified supervisor performance as a key factor in poor plant performance. INPO created a model for leadership development called Growing Industry Leaders. The nuclear industry has identified its aging workforce and subsequent loss of leadership as an emerging issue facing the nuclear industry in the next five to ten years. This initiative was aimed at both the supervisor shortfalls identified through plant evaluations and the state of the workforce within the nuclear industry. This research evaluated the elements of this model and compared them to a model of best practice. This research answered the following questions: What elements of leadership development should be included in leadership development programs? What would a model of best practice in leadership development look like? Data was collected from nine out of 103 top performing plants. Development activities were categorized by a seven member panel of experts. These categories were then validated using three rounds of a Delphi process to reach consensus. This became the basis for the best practice model for leadership development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5307/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5352/
Bias and Precision of the Squared Canonical Correlation Coefficient under Nonnormal Data Conditions
This dissertation: (a) investigated the degree to which the squared canonical correlation coefficient is biased in multivariate nonnormal distributions and (b) identified formulae that adjust the squared canonical correlation coefficient (Rc2) such that it most closely approximates the true population effect under normal and nonnormal data conditions. Five conditions were manipulated in a fully-crossed design to determine the degree of bias associated with Rc2: distribution shape, variable sets, sample size to variable ratios, and within- and between-set correlations. Very few of the condition combinations produced acceptable amounts of bias in Rc2, but those that did were all found with first function results. The sample size to variable ratio (n:v)was determined to have the greatest impact on the bias associated with the Rc2 for the first, second, and third functions. The variable set condition also affected the accuracy of Rc2, but for the second and third functions only. The kurtosis levels of the marginal distributions (b2), and the between- and within-set correlations demonstrated little or no impact on the bias associated with Rc2. Therefore, it is recommended that researchers use n:v ratios of at least 10:1 in canonical analyses, although greater n:v ratios have the potential to produce even less bias. Furthermore,because it was determined that b2 did not impact the accuracy of Rc2, one can be somewhat confident that, with marginal distributions possessing homogenous kurtosis levels ranging anywhere from -1 to 8, Rc2 will likely be as accurate as that resulting from a normal distribution. Because the majority of Rc2 estimates were extremely biased, it is recommended that all Rc2 effects, regardless of which function from which they result, be adjusted using an appropriate adjustment formula. If no rationale exists for the use of another formula, the Rozeboom-2 would likely be a safe choice given that it produced the greatest number of unbiased Rc2 estimates for the greatest number of condition combinations in this study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5361/
Cross-Cultural Validation of the Will, Skill, Tool Model of Technology Integration
The teacher professional development component of the will, skill, tool model of technology integration was tested for predictive validity in the cross-cultural context of data from Texas, USA, and data from Mexico City, Mexico. Structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis, path analysis, and multiple regression analysis, were statistical procedures employed. The analyses yielded positive results for the model's validity and reliability. The resulting model was found to be a reliable tool to evaluate technology integration among elementary and middle school teachers in Texas and in Mexico City. For the purposes of this study, the teacher professional development component of the will, skill, tool model of technology integration is referred to as the will, skill, tool model of technology integration (WiSTTI). This was one of the seven alternative models tested for goodness of fit across a total of 7 data samples. The structural equation modeling approach proved to be a good technique to find the best fit model in a cross-cultural environment. Latent variables and a set of parameters to judge the validity and reliability of each model were set for testing and retesting in an iterative process. Eventually a "new" modified version of the WiSSTI model was found to fit the data for all samples studied from both countries. From a theoretical perspective, the variation of the WiSTTI model found to be the best fit to the data indicates that increased teacher willingness to integrate technology brings about increased skill, and increased skill leads to more advanced technology integration, if access to technology is available for instruction. Results derived from the model with respect to the evaluation of technology integration for teachers from Texas and Mexico City suggest a differential effect by country, with the Texas teachers (representing USA) currently more advanced in technology integration than their colleagues from Mexico. No large effect was found for educational level, with elementary school teachers and middle school teachers at approximately equivalent levels of technology integration in both countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5256/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5265/
The effects of ARCS-based confidence strategies on learner confidence and performance in distance education.
The purpose of this research was to manipulate the component of confidence found in Keller's ARCS model to enhance the confidence and performance of undergraduate students enrolled in an online course at a Texas university using SAM 2003 software delivery. This study also tested whether the aforementioned confidence tactics had any unintentional effect on the remaining attention, relevance, and satisfaction subscales of the ARCS model as well as on learners' overall motivation for the class and the instructional materials. This study was conducted over a 5.5-week period with an initial sample of 81 total students. Two quantitative surveys were used to measure confidence and motivation: (a) the Course Interest Survey (CIS), and (b) the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS). The results indicated that the treatment group showed statistically greater gains than the control group in terms of learner confidence on the CIS but not the IMMS. In terms of performance, the treatment group outperformed the control group on all of the individual posttest measures and on the overall aggregate mean performance score. The results showed no statistically significant difference on the attention subsection of the ARCS model. However, statistically significant differences were noted for the relevance and satisfaction subscales of the model. There was also a statistically significant difference in overall learner motivation as measured on both surveys. This research study suggests the feasibility of improving overall learner motivation and performance through external conditions such as systematically applied confidence tactics. The research further supports claims about the effectiveness of the ARCS model as a viable tool for enhancing online learner motivation and performance. What was unclear in this study was whether individual subsections of the ARCS model, such as confidence, can be independently manipulated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5268/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5279/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5294/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5296/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4920/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4946/
The effects of a career education program on the career choices of fifth-grade students.
The career development of students, demonstrated by students' career interest, is important for a more effective career education program. This study focused on the career choices of fifth grade students through the use of a career interest inventory before and after the use of a career education program. The design was experimental, and the purpose was to determine if there were differences in the career interest of fifth grade students who participated in a career education program compared with the career interest of fifth grade students who did not participate in a career education program. The COPS-PIC Picture Inventory of Careers (COPS-PIC) was used as a pretest and posttest for fifth grade students to determine baseline career interests. The COPS-PIC career inventory results were incorporated into the career education program and served as a career planning guide for incorporating students' input into career choices and exploration of those choices for a better understanding of the process of finding out who they want to be and what type of careers exists. The experimental group was provided instruction and career exploration opportunities for 4 weeks. The control group was not provided career education instruction and career exploration opportunities. This study suggests that fifth grade students who participated in a career education program were able to make more concentrated career choices at higher levels of interest after participating in the career education program. Additional studies that include the use of career interest inventories and a career education program are needed before extensive generalizations can be made. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4978/
Distance Education in the Preparation of Special Education Personnel: An Examination of Videoconferencing and Web-based Instruction
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This study examined the effectiveness of employing videoconferencing and Web-based instruction in the preparation of special education personnel. Due to the acute shortage of special education personnel, it was anticipated that the use of videoconferencing and online instruction would provide a convenient way for students to attend class without having to travel to the actual location of the educational site. Further, it was believed that this initiative would result in higher student enrollment in special education teacher certification programs, consequently leading to an increase of personnel in the field. Moreover, the increase in personnel would enhance the ability of educational institutions to address the dismal academic, social, and behavioral outcomes of students with disabilities. Information for the study was collected from surveys that investigated how students perceived the use of videoconferencing and web-based instruction in the preparation of special education personnel. Ninety-four graduate students responded to the videoconferencing surveys while 88 responded to the Web-based instruction surveys. Six respondents were randomly selected to participate in face-to-face interviews designed to investigate the effectiveness of both approaches. Findings indicated that videoconferencing and Web-based instruction are convenient ways for students to attend class although videoconferencing sites may not be conveniently located to all learners. Furthermore, the effectiveness of these media depends on several factors: the instructor, the course structure, the learners' learning styles, the quality and quantity of interaction between learners and the instructor, and whether technological problems interfere with the learning process. The study determined that the more structured and organized the course, the more significant the learning outcomes. Also, the maturity level of the students lends itself to accountability toward achieving the desired learning goals. Technological problems and the lack of user-friendly technology lower the effectiveness of videoconferencing and Web-based instruction. Further research will be valuable in improving theories and approaches currently used in the application of videoconferencing and Web-based instruction in the preparation of special education personnel. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4818/
Descriptive Analysis of Comments Obtained during the Process of Regulating the Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004
This study examined the comments submitted by the public to the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Office of Special Education Programs, in response to the 2004 amended IDEA, prior to the development and publication of proposed regulations under 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 300 and 303 to implement programs under IDEA. Specifically, this study analyzed the types of individuals (e.g., parents, advocates, administrators, lawyers, support staff personnel) and interest groups along with the number of submissions, types of comments made, and specific provisions in the legislation that received the most comments during the period open to the public prior to the publication of the proposed regulations. In addition, an exploration of the existence of differences in comments submitted by states and regions was analyzed in terms of types of individuals, interest groups, types of comments, and specific provision of the 2004 amended IDEA. Content analysis approach utilizing qualitative data collection and analysis procedures was used for this study. The sample consisted of 2,199 comments submitted to the USDE via the U.S. Postal system, e-mail, and verbal testimony transcripts obtained during one of the public meetings held throughout the United States during the 60 day period open for commenting. The findings of this study revealed a large number of a particular type of respondent types, the majority of the comments were neutral in nature, and the largest percentage of comments received were directed at one particular section of the Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4826/
Examination of Web-based teaching strategies at the University of North Texas.
This study examined the degree to which University of North Texas (UNT) instructors involved in Web-based instruction are implementing teaching strategies as identified in Chickering and Gamson's (1987) model, seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. In addition, the study examined training received by instructors in developing and delivering a Web-based course and the relationships between their training and reported use of the teaching strategies in the seven principles. The study also examined the relationship between the number of Web-based courses taught and the use of the teaching strategies. Seventy-two surveys were distributed, with a return rate of 90.3%. Results of the first three research questions were as follows: (a) Self-taught (49%) and UNT Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) (31%) were the most frequently used types of training in preparation for teaching a Web-based course, whereas peer taught (17%) and conferences/workshops (3%) were the least used; (b) the average number of Web-based courses taught by the instructors was M = 8.26; and (c) the most frequently used principles were "Gives prompt feedback" and "Communicates high expectations." UNT CDL assists faculty with the development and delivery of online courses, offering a series of training courses to better prepare faculty to use Web-CT. The relationship between the training received and the instructors' reported use of the teaching strategies was examined using correlations and a MANOVA analysis. The correlations resulted in both positive and negative relationships between the four types of training and three of the principles. The MANOVA procedure found significant differences between self taught instructors and instructors that received most of their training through the CDL in relation to the principle "Respects diverse talents and ways of learning." The final research question examined the relationship between the number of courses taught and instructors' reported use of the teaching strategies, revealing that a positive correlation existed between the number of courses taught and four of the seven principles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4840/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4866/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4875/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4887/
The effect of an electronic evaluation questionnaire format on the return rate from field supervisors.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the usefulness of electronic-based questionnaires as a tool to gather data from field supervisors in the medical profession at various military bases. The study compared the response effects of an electronic evaluation questionnaire with the traditional method of paper-based questionnaires in gathering Level 3 data. The number of returns affects the amount of information available to the course personnel in creating a viable program that ensures the success of service members entering the occupational field and, ultimately, affecting the number of service members who remain beyond their first enlistment. The return rate and amount of missing data were tracked. Supervisors of graduates of a medical program who had observed service members for a minimum of 4-months were participants in the study. The z-test for comparing two proportions was used to determine significance of the study at the .05 level. Findings indicate that there was a significant difference in return rates and the amount of missing data when using the electronic format. Based on this study, the electronic-based questionnaire as a data-gathering tool provided a higher number of returns in a quicker time frame with fewer missing data in the technical training environment. Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise note digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4727/
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4735/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4740/
Assessing Allied Health and Nursing Post-Secondary Career and Technical Education Teacher Attitudes and Beliefs About Reading
This study examined allied health and nursing career and technical education (CTE) teacher beliefs and attitudes about reading. Since beliefs and attitudes influence the way teachers teach, it is important to understand what those beliefs and attitudes are, especially in relationship to reading in subject matter classrooms. One hundred twelve individuals responded to a written survey concerning their attitudes and beliefs about reading. A four-factor solution was achieved with a principal components factor analysis. A significant number of variables were associated with the factor labeled Reading Apathy, which appears to be indicative of the condition known as aliteracy among faculty who participated in the study. Professional development activities grounded in novice-to-expert theory are suggested as a way of overcoming the phenomenon. Recommendations for future research involve a more detailed study to further characterize the condition of aliteracy and its impact on student learning. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4757/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4758/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4759/
Workplace Violence Prevention Training: An Analysis of Employees' Attitudes
The purpose of this study was to determine employees' attitudes and perceptions toward the effectiveness of workplace violence prevention training within a U.S. Government service agency with 50 offices located in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Chapter 1 presents an overview of the phenomenon of workplace violence, the movement toward prevention programs and policies and the implementation of prescreening processes during hiring and violence prevention training. Chapter 2 contains a thorough review of pertinent literature related to violence prevention training and the impact of occupational violence on organizations. This topic was worthy of research in an effort to make a significant contribution to training literature involving organizational effectiveness due to the limited amount of research literature covering the area of corporate violence prevention training and its effect on modifying attitudes and behaviors of its customers. The primary methodology involved the assessment of 1000 employees concerning their attitudes and perceptions toward the effectiveness of workplace violence prevention training. The research population were administered a 62 item online assessment with responses being measured, assessed, and compared. Significant differences were found calling for the rejection of the three study hypotheses. Chapter 4 described the findings of the population surveyed and recommendations were identified in Chapter 5. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4798/
A comparison of traditional and IRT factor analysis.
This study investigated the item parameter recovery of two methods of factor analysis. The methods researched were a traditional factor analysis of tetrachoric correlation coefficients and an IRT approach to factor analysis which utilizes marginal maximum likelihood estimation using an EM algorithm (MMLE-EM). Dichotomous item response data was generated under the 2-parameter normal ogive model (2PNOM) using PARDSIM software. Examinee abilities were sampled from both the standard normal and uniform distributions. True item discrimination, a, was normal with a mean of .75 and a standard deviation of .10. True b, item difficulty, was specified as uniform [-2, 2]. The two distributions of abilities were completely crossed with three test lengths (n= 30, 60, and 100) and three sample sizes (N = 50, 500, and 1000). Each of the 18 conditions was replicated 5 times, resulting in 90 datasets. PRELIS software was used to conduct a traditional factor analysis on the tetrachoric correlations. The IRT approach to factor analysis was conducted using BILOG 3 software. Parameter recovery was evaluated in terms of root mean square error, average signed bias, and Pearson correlations between estimated and true item parameters. ANOVAs were conducted to identify systematic differences in error indices. Based on many of the indices, it appears the IRT approach to factor analysis recovers item parameters better than the traditional approach studied. Future research should compare other methods of factor analysis to MMLE-EM under various non-normal distributions of abilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4695/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4709/
A comparison of trainee and supervisor perceptions of transfer climate in a union-based training program.
A supportive work climate is critical for successful transfer of learning. Influences in the work environment affect the trainee's ability to apply new skills to the job. The supervisor can be a significant figure in the trainee's perception of a supportive transfer climate. Little is known of the effect of supervisor participation in the training on transfer climate. The purpose of this study was to identify differences in trainee and supervisor self-perceptions of the factors affecting transfer climate. Additionally, this study examined the effects of supervisor participation in the training program on perceptions of transfer climate. The participants in this study were trainees in a union-sponsored instructor training program and their supervisors. The study found perception gaps between the overall perception of transfer climate and supervisor support. The level of supervisor participation in the training program was not to be a factor in the differences between the trainee and supervisor perceptions. No statistically significant difference exists in the perception of other transfer climate factors: supervisor sanctions, peer support, resistance/openness to change, and feedback/performance coaching. In addition, the study found that supervisor participation in the training made little difference in the perceptions of transfer climate by supervisors and trainees. Studies comparing trainee and supervisor perceptions of transfer climate and the effect of supervisor participation in the training on these perceptions are needed from other organizations before extensive generalizations can be made. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4711/
An assessment of technology learning styles, skills, and perceptions among teachers of grades pre-kindergarten through four.
This study investigated whether a relationship exists between learning style and the self-reported technology-related needs, beliefs, stages of adoption, software expertise, and technology competencies of teachers in a large suburban school district. The Gregorc Style Delineator was used to identify dominant learning style, and the Snapshot Survey was used to measure technology-related needs, beliefs, stages of adoption, and software expertise. Technology competencies were measured using the Technology in Education Competency Survey. Data collected from 499 participants was included in data analysis. The study was conducted at each of the 12 elementary schools of a large suburban district in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The findings suggest that there is a significant relationship between learning style and the technology-related needs, stages of adoption, software expertise, and competencies of teachers. The relationship between learning style and technology-related needs was significant at the p < .01 level. The relationships between learning style and technology-related stages of adoption, software expertise, and technology competencies were significant at the p < .05 level. Members of the abstract sequential [AS] learning style group reported having significantly fewer needs and significantly higher stages of adoption, software expertise, and competency than members of one or more of the other learning style groups. More research is recommended to determine whether these findings could be utilized to improve teacher staff development in the area of technology. Possible applications may include mentoring programs and the customization of training models to more closely match learning style profiles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4715/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4544/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4552/
A deconstruction and qualitative analysis of the consumption of traditional entertainment media by elementary-aged children diagnosed with emotional disorders.
This qualitative study examined whether a connection exists between children with emotional disorders consumption of traditional entertainment media and their subsequent vegative/anti-social classroom behavior. Research participants included six first-grade children diagnosed with an emotional disorder and their teacher. They were interviewed using a semi-structured approach. The students were observed in the natural setting of their classroom for a total of twenty-four hours, over a four-day period. Transcripts and classroom observations were analyzed, looking for connections between behavior and consumption of traditional entertainment media. Findings from this study concluded that these students used traditional entertainment media as a method of temporally escaping from the environment of their respective households. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4594/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4466/
Enhancing skill maintenance through relapse prevention strategies: a comparison of two models.
In a quasi-experimental field study, two posttraining interventions composed of relapse prevention (RP) strategies were compared and tested for the effects on participant transfer outcomes. Participant retention of training content, skill maintenance, use of relapse prevention strategies, and self-efficacy served as the dependent variables. Self-efficacy was also tested as a mediator between the experimental treatment levels and both participant skill maintenance and participant use of RP strategies. Participants (n = 39) included managers, directors, and supervisors from various departments within a multi-national telecommunications organization located in a large southern city. After participating in a four-hour leadership development training, two of the three groups participated in a 30-40 minute training where they received one of two RP interventions. One intervention included the steps of (1) identifying potential obstacles to positive training transfer, (2) predicting the first lapse to pretraining behavior, and (3) applying relevant coping strategies to thwart a lapse. The alternative RP intervention included the same steps in addition to a goal setting step. Descriminant descriptive analysis was used to test for group differences across the response variables and to identify on which variables the groups differed. Three separate regression equations were used to test for the mediating relationship of self-efficacy between the RP treatment levels and participant skill maintenance and participant use of RP strategies. Results indicated minimal, but non-statistically significant results between treatment levels and each of the response variables. Self-efficacy was not found to mediate the relationship between RP treatment level and participant skill maintenance or participant use of RP strategies, but did function as a strong predictor of both variables. Suggestions for future research include using additional motivational and efficacy variables to better explore group differences and including efficacy-inducing methods both in training design and as part of a transfer intervention to enhance training transfer. Further, specific suggestions concerning conceptual and psychometric refinement of the RP construct are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4510/
Analysis of Perceptional Differences Among Department Chairs, Faculty, and Instructors Toward the Barrier to Using Multiple Teaching Strategies in Two-Year Technical and Community College Electronics Courses
The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze perceptional differences among department chairs, faculty, and instructors toward the barrier to using multiple teaching strategies in two-year technical and community college electronics courses. The literature review focused on defining multiple teaching strategies and identifying and discussing four major perceived barriers to implementing them in the electronics classroom: student, resources, classroom environmental, and teacher training/teaching technology. The targeted population consisted of 150 out of 231 electronics teaching technical and community college department chairs, faculty, and instructors throughout the state of Texas. In actuality, the targeted population's breakdown consisted of 36 full-time electronics teaching department chairs, 96 full-time electronics teaching faculty and instructors, and 18 part-time electronics teaching faculty and instructors who were actively involved in the delivery of instruction in their respective schools. Analysis of the data revealed that: (1) there are no significant differences among the perceptions of department chair people, faculty, and instructors toward the four perceived barriers to implementing multiple teaching strategies in a post-secondary electronics program; and (2) there are no significant differences in the perceptions electronics faculty members categorized by years teaching experience toward each of the four perceived barrier categories to implementing multiple teaching strategies in a post-secondary electronics program. However, further research is needed to substantiate what other barriers exist that may have an impact upon utilizing multiple teaching strategies in two-year technical and community college electronics courses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4509/
Analysis of leadership perceptions using multirater feedback.
Performance improvement intervention begins with assessment. How that assessment is interpreted can mean the difference between success and failure. Previous research of 360-degree feedback instruments has tried to reconcile the differences between multiple rater groups. Rather than searching for agreement, this research proposes to understand the meaning of the differences using multirater feedback. Individuals determine ratings based upon their own perspective and building upon the understanding of rater perspective may result in improved assessments. Data from an existing data set was processed using a second-order CFA in structural equation modeling. Covariance between the second-order factors and rater groups determined the difference in how each rater group perceived the leader. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4533/
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4422/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4426/
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