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 Department: Department of Technology and Cognition
The Effect of Giving Class Time for Reading on the Reading Achievement of Fourth Graders and the Effect of Using a Computer-Based Reading Management Program on the Reading Achievement of Fifth Graders
This study investigated the problem that educators have throughout the state of Texas. The problem educators have is that reading scores continue to fall short of state expectations. This study investigated the effectiveness of 90 minutes of class time given for reading to students who use the Electronic Bookshelf Program and the effectiveness of the Electronic Bookshelf Program, which is being sold to school districts throughout the nation. The literature review focused on the effectiveness of independent reading on reading achievement, and the effectiveness of using computer-based reading programs to increase reading achievement.
Perceived Barriers to the Implementation of Site Based Management
The purpose of this study was to identify perceived barriers to the implementation of site-based management for administrators in the Region XII Service Center area in Texas.
Impact of Training on the Information Technology Attitudes of University Faculty
The purpose of this study was to determine whether training had an impact on the information technology attitudes of university faculty. The study was twofold. First, it sought to determine whether training changed attitudes toward information technology among faculty at a small, liberal arts university. Secondly, a group of faculty at a similar university was used to compare the differences in attitudes toward information technology among faculty who had received training and those who had not. The research population consisted of 218 faculty from these two universities. The literature review focused on obstacles to information technology use by faculty, instruments currently available for measuring faculty attitude, methods used in training faculty to use information technology, and integration of information technology by faculty.
The Effect of Study Skills Training Intervention on United States Air Force Aeromedical Apprentices
The study examined the effects of a study skills training intervention course on U.S. Air Force Aeromedical Apprentices with five main purposes. The first was to examine the relationship between study skills training and the number of times students required academic interventions outside of normal class time. The second purpose was to examine the relationship between study skills training and end of course averages. The third was to determine the relationship between study skills training and the amount of additional instruction, measured in time, students required. The fourth purpose examined the relationship between study skills training and graduation rates. The final purpose was to recommend areas for further research.
The Effects of a Brain-based Learning Strategy, Mind Mapping, on Achievement of Adults in a Training Environment with Considerations to Learning Styles and Brain Hemisphericity
This study examined the effectiveness of Mind Mapping (a diagram of the structure of ideas in an associative manner, using graphics, color and key words) as a note-taking device in a training course in a large, high-tech corporation, as compared to traditional note-taking. The population for this study consisted of personnel employed by a major high-tech firm, that had voluntarily registered for a Mind Mapping training class. The effect of Mind Mapping was measured by the pre-test and post-test of the control and experimental groups.
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.
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.
Establishing the utility of a classroom effectiveness index as a teacher accountability system.
How to identify effective teachers who improve student achievement despite diverse student populations and school contexts is an ongoing discussion in public education. The need to show communities and parents how well teachers and schools improve student learning has led districts and states to seek a fair, equitable and valid measure of student growth using student achievement. This study investigated a two stage hierarchical model for estimating teacher effect on student achievement. This measure was entitled a Classroom Effectiveness Index (CEI). Consistency of this model over time, outlier influences in individual CEIs, variance among CEIs across four years, and correlations of second stage student residuals with first stage student residuals were analyzed. The statistical analysis used four years of student residual data from a state-mandated mathematics assessment (n=7086) and a state-mandated reading assessment (n=7572) aggregated by teacher. The study identified the following results. Four years of district grand slopes and grand intercepts were analyzed to show consistent results over time. Repeated measures analyses of grand slopes and intercepts in mathematics were statistically significant at the .01 level. Repeated measures analyses of grand slopes and intercepts in reading were not statistically significant. The analyses indicated consistent results over time for reading but not for mathematics. Data were analyzed to assess outlier effects. Nineteen statistically significant outliers in 15,378 student residuals were identified. However, the impact on individual teachers was extreme in eight of the 19 cases. Further study is indicated. Subsets of teachers in the same assignment at the same school for four consecutive years and for three consecutive years indicated CEIs were stable over time. There were no statistically significant differences in either mathematics or reading. Correlations between Level One student residuals and HLM residuals were statistically significant in reading and in mathematics. This implied that the second stage of the model was consistent for all students. Much is still unknown concerning teacher effect on student achievement, especially when confined to teacher activity within one school year. However, results indicate the utility of using statistical modeling of student achievement within the context of teacher accountability.
Ability Estimation Under Different Item Parameterization and Scoring Models
A Monte Carlo simulation study investigated the effect of scoring format, item parameterization, threshold configuration, and prior ability distribution on the accuracy of ability estimation given various IRT models. Item response data on 30 items from 1,000 examinees was simulated using known item parameters and ability estimates. The item response data sets were submitted to seven dichotomous or polytomous IRT models with different item parameterization to estimate examinee ability. The accuracy of the ability estimation for a given IRT model was assessed by the recovery rate and the root mean square errors. The results indicated that polytomous models produced more accurate ability estimates than the dichotomous models, under all combinations of research conditions, as indicated by higher recovery rates and lower root mean square errors. For the item parameterization models, the one-parameter model out-performed the two-parameter and three-parameter models under all research conditions. Among the polytomous models, the partial credit model had more accurate ability estimation than the other three polytomous models. The nominal categories model performed better than the general partial credit model and the multiple-choice model with the multiple-choice model the least accurate. The results further indicated that certain prior ability distributions had an effect on the accuracy of ability estimation; however, no clear order of accuracy among the four prior distribution groups was identified due to an interaction between prior ability distribution and threshold configuration. The recovery rate was lower when the test items had categories with unequal threshold distances, were close at one end of the ability/difficulty continuum, and were administered to a sample of examinees whose population ability distribution was skewed to the same end of the ability continuum.
The relationship between training in learning style adaptation and successful completion of entry-level community college classes.
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The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between training in learning style adaptation and successful completion of community college courses. The rationale for conducting this study was based on the need for students to learn how to adapt their learning style in order to more effectively learn in any situation. It is also important that community colleges implement strategies that assist in student retention. The learning styles of entry-level community college students were measured using Kolb's Learning Style Inventory Version 3. Students enrolled in entry-level college courses at a small North Texas community college were studied. The Chi-square Test of Independence with a 2 x 2 design was employed. Findings indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in the relationship between students receiving training in learning styles adaptation and successful completion of entry-level college courses, and that students who attended a learning styles training session and those who did not attend a learning styles training session had an equal chance of succeeding in entry-level community college courses. Findings also indicated that students with Accommodating and Assimilating learning styles are less likely to successfully complete an entry-level college course than are students with Diverging or Converging learning styles, yet students with Diverging and Converging learning styles might withdraw from a course rather than risk being unsuccessful. Finally, findings indicated that students who are dissatisfied with the college course and with the instructor of the college course withdraw from college courses.
The Awareness and Perception of Distance Education by the Leadership in the Texas State Technical College System
The purpose of this study was to determine whether there were differences in the levels of awareness and perception concerning distance education among the leadership at the seven campuses of the Texas State Technical College (TSTC) System.
The Effect of Time on Training Retention Rates of United States Air Force Loadmaster Apprentice Students
The purpose of this study was to determine if extended periods of time out of the training environment has an effect on the retention of training. The rationale for conducting this study was based on the fact that little research has been done in this area. The findings of the study indicated that extensive periods of time out of training do significantly influence the amount of training retained fromone loadmaster course to the other. Additionally, there was a significant relationship between the number of days out of training and the posttest scores. The optimum training break between courses appears to be between 10 and 20 days. Training retention is apparently affected by time.
Mentoring in Family Firms : A Reflective Analysis of Senior Executives' Perceptions
This study is a reflective analysis of the perceptions of senior executives in family businesses that relate to their personal experiences of having been mentored. The study presents an overview of the topic of mentoring, defines key terms, and identifies questions addressed in the research. The rationale for this study rested on two facts. First, mentoring in non-family businesses constitutes the majority of the literature. That literature supports the importance of mentoring. Secondly, mentoring in family businesses has not been researched.
An Investigation into Motivations of Instructors Teaching Business and Technical Internet-Based Courses at Two-Year Colleges
This research was conducted to determine why two-year community college instructors teach over the Internet. By understanding why these instructors teach over the Internet, colleges can recruit more instructors to teach using the Web thus allowing colleges to offer more Internet courses. They can also use the information to keep the instructors who are currently teaching over the Internet satisfied, and motivate them to continue to teach. To gather this information, a questionnaire was created and evaluated for reliability and validity during a pilot study. It was then sent to those instructors who taught over the Internet, and had their e-mails available on their campus Website. A 30.5% response rate (N=100) was achieved. The survey was divided into two sections, a demographics section and a Likert scale dealing with motivation. The Likert scale had six choices ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree and 31 statements. The demographic data were reported and summarized. The Likert items were examined using factor analysis techniques, and a number of components were discovered. Eight components, made up of the 31 variables from the Likert scale were found using the factor analysis. The eight components in order are labeled: Technical and Computer Challenges, School Promotion, Student Preferences, Personal Benefits, Receiving Computerized Assistance, Growth and Knowledge, Textbook Company Assistance, and Pay.
Levels of resourcefulness and motivation as they relate to sales force success: An examination of correlates using the hope theory.
This study sought to determine whether a relationship existed between individual salesperson's levels of goal-directed cognition and motivation and their professional success as determined by the percentage of sales goals achieved. Salespersons represented two companies with national sales forces: one from the financial services industry and one from the apparel manufacturing industry. Both groups of salespeople were responsible for complex selling tasks. The skill sets for these professionals included high levels of communication skills, extensive product knowledge, and competitive market knowledge. Survey research, both paper and pencil and online, was conducted using the Hope Scale developed by C. R. Snyder and associates (1991). Hope is defined as a two-dimensional construct of goal-directed thinking: resourcefulness, thoughtful planning to overcome obstacles to goals, and motivation, cognition to sustain momentum toward goal achievement. Theoretically, upon assessing salespersons' Hope scores, organizations would be better prepared to assist those with low Hope Scale Scores (HSS) in one of the two areas. Those with low resourcefulness scores could be trained in cognitive techniques to overcome obstacles to goal achievement. Those with low motivational scores would be identified for further analysis, from a developmental perspective, to better determine what personally initiates and sustains motivation to attain their goals (Snyder, 1991). This study affirmed two of three parts of the hope theory with regard to salespeople. High Hope scores showed significant correlations with high goal achievement, as did one of the subset scores, motivation. The resourcefulness subset score did not correlate significantly with high goal achievement, and also produced low reliability scores.
Perceptions of Preservice Educators, Inservice Educators, and Professional Development Personnel Regarding Effective Methods for Learning Technology Integration Skills
This study examined educators' preferences for learning technology integration skills in order to provide the education community with justifiable data concerning the need for educator training alternatives. A survey was distributed to compare preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel's perceived effectiveness of eight training methods (N=759). The four research questions examined were: Do differences exist among preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel in the perceived effectiveness of different methods for learning technology integration skills? (2) Do differences exist among preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel in the perceived effectiveness of different methods for learning technology integration skills when categorized by age? (3) Do differences exist among preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel in the perceived effectiveness of different methods for learning technology integration skills when categorized by total hours of instruction? (4) Do differences exist among preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel in the perceived effectiveness of different methods for learning technology integration skills when categorized by locus of control? All groups were measured for similarities and differences in preferences on credit classes, workshops, open computer labs, technology personnel support, peer support, online help, printed documentation, and trial and error. In addition, those training preferences were cross-referenced with age, training hours, and the locus of control personality factor. MANOVAs and post-hoc analyses were performed for each major research question as well as trends in the data were examined. This study indicated that the most effective training methods were technical support, peer support, and credit courses. The least effective training methods were online help, printed documentation, workshops, and computer labs. Age, amount of training hours, and locus of control score did not provide as much information as did educator type when predicting training preference. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that educator training programs be revamped to include the methods that the educators themselves have affirmed as effective for learning technology integration skills. This assures that teachers are prepared to integrate technology into the curriculum and students are prepared for a technological society.
Participant's perceptions of online staff development and learning tools.
This study analyzed participants in an online professional development and certification program can to see if they could predict the learning value of individual distance education tools. The Texas Center for Educational Technology (TCET) funded by the Texas Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF) designed the Technology Applications Certification Program (TACP). In the TACP, students are offered four graduate level classes which, when combined, meet the standards for the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) Technology Applications certification. The four courses that comprise the TACP are Computers in Education, Introduction to the Internet, Multimedia in Technology Applications, and Introduction to Video Technologies. The first course started in January 2002 with approximately 706 participants in 40 cohorts across the state of Texas. The TACP combines two different worlds of technology training. Half of the coursework was completed through asynchronous content and discussions, while the remaining classes were hands-on classes in local district computer labs. These face-to-face meetings enabled learners to get hands-on training with direct assistance. Between the online and face-to-face segments, a variety of learning tools were introduced to the participants. Participants were surveyed through the online Snapshot Survey in January and again in September.
Learning Style and Preferred Mode of Delivery of Adult Learners in Web-Based, Classroom, and Blended Training
The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between adult learners' preferred learning style and preference for delivery mode. The subjects (n=61) were technical and billing support call center employees from an Internet company in Dallas, Texas. The participants were randomly assigned to one of six groups and given Kolb's Learning Style Inventory to assess their preference for learning style. They received training on three modules of “Influencing Others Positively,” with each module delivered via one of three methods (web-based, classroom, and blended). Participants were also administered two surveys. The first survey collected demographic information and asked which method that they expected they would prefer. The second survey was administered after the course and asked them to rank their preferences for delivery method. It was hypothesized that learning style would be significantly associated with preference for delivery method. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and a chi-square test of independence for the variables learning style and preferred mode of delivery. Although the chi-square test of independence did not produce statistical significance, some interesting trends were identified in the data. Specifically, a majority of the participants preferred a blended approach to training delivery (a combination of self-paced web-based training and classroom group exercises). No Divergers preferred classroom training and no Accommodators preferred web-based training. Additionally, a logistic regression analysis indicated that Assimilators were six times more likely than Divergers to prefer a blended approach to training (p=.10). Further studies should utilize other learning style theories, explore different types of learning outcomes and delivery methods, and include a larger sample from different organizations. Training needs assessments should include learning style inventories as part of the audience analysis prior to training development.
An evaluation of job satisfaction among salespersons in a small department store using four psychological measures.
The purpose of this study was to examine the potential of three independent psychological scales (Rotter's Locus of Control, Karasek's Job Content Questionnaire [non-injury job stress], and Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale) to predict job satisfaction, as measured by Brayfield and Rothe's Index of Job Satisfaction, among salespersons in a small independent department store in Wichita Falls, Texas. An 82-item survey which examined the dynamics of a salesperson's work life was administered to 20 individuals who were full-time employees of the department store. Demographic data were also gathered although these factors were not entered into the regression analysis. A multiple regression procedure examined the responses of the 20 employees who participated in the study. The R-squared coefficient indicates that 41 percent of the variance in Job Satisfaction was explained by the three predictor measures. A major proportion of this unexplained variance may be in variables outside the scope of this study, e.g., salaries, vacation time, benefits, bonuses, or commissions. Results suggest that the independent variables measured by the Locus of Control Scale and the Job Content Questionnaire in combination were the best predictors of job satisfaction with a significance level of .01. The single best predictor was the Job Content Questionnaire, significant at .03. The three instruments (Locus of Control, Self-Esteem, and Job Content Questionnaire) which comprised the independent variables, reached a significance level of .03 in their prediction of job satisfaction (Brayfield-Rothe Index of Job Satisfaction). Study results indicate that a majority of the employees in the sample population were satisfied with their jobs and with the leadership style manifested by the store manager. In addition, job security was believed to be satisfactory. Inasmuch as there is a void in the literature regarding personal characteristics of salespersons as variables that interact with job satisfaction, comparisons of the findings of this research with other studies that have explored the intricacies of job satisfaction among salespersons who work in small, independent department stores cannot be made. Further research on the predictability of job satisfaction among salespersons in small, independent retail operations such as the department store investigated in this study would be useful not only to managerial staff in decision making and personnel management but would promote greater understanding of the personal characteristics of salespersons as human investment capital which has the potential to create the effective competitive edge required for survival in the new economy.
Behavior Management Techniques Used by Teachers of Emotionally/behaviorally Disordered Students in Various Educational Settings
The purpose of this study was to delineate the differences between the types of behavioral management techniques used by teachers of students with emotional/behavioral disorders.
Impact of Locus of Control and Incentives on Team Performance and Job Satisfaction
With the growing use of teams in organizations and schools there is a need to better understand the individual differences of employees that might potentially increase performance and improve attitudes. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of locus of control, which was the individual difference of interest in this study, and incentives on team performance and job satisfaction.
An Analysis of How Interest Groups Influence the Policy-making Process for the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act of 1997
This study examined the policy letters and verbal testimony transcripts submitted by interest groups to the United States Department of Education (USDE) in response to the proposed regulations pertaining to the implementation of the 1997 reauthorization of P. L. 105-17, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Specifically, this study analyzed the emerging themes in the area of discipline. Responses were received from the following interest groups: (a) school administrators, (b) parents, (c) teachers, (d) state educational agencies (SEAs), (e) national educational organizations, and (f) members of the United States Congress. In addition to analyzing the emerging themes, the study compared these themes to ones found in the current literature and court cases.
An Experimental Investigation on the Effects of Learning Style and Presentation Methods on Knowledge Acquisition in a University Classroom Environment
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of four learning styles (accommodator, assimilator, converger, and diverger) and two different presentation methods (traditional and computer-based) on knowledge acquisition in a university classroom.
Endogenous Constructivist Implications for Methodology : Focus on Young Children with Developmental Delay in the Social and Emotional Domains
The Ecologically-Based Activity Plan (EBAP) is proposed as a method to create a transition between special education and general education. It serves as a tool to help classroom teachers assess the environment of the class and as a method for embedding instruction within the naturally occurring context of the endogenous constructivist classroom. In this study the EBAP was used to reduce aggressive behavior and increase prosocial behavior among five children who displayed developmental delays in the social and emotional domains.
Equivalency of paper-pencil tests and computer-administered tests.
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Are computer-administered versions of a multiple choice paper-pencil test equivalent? This study determined whether there were any significant differences between taking a traditional pencil-paper test and taking the same test using a computer. The literature has shown that there are intervening variables that have caused differences when not controlled. To prove equivalency between test modes, scores have to have similar means, dispersions, and shapes; the ranked-order of the scores must also be similar. Four tests were given over the course of a 16-week semester. The sample was divided, half taking paper-pencil tests and half taking the same test administered by a computer. The mode of administration was switched with each test administration. The analysis showed that, when the intervening variables were controlled, the two modes of administration were equivalent. The analysis used a 2x4 ANOVA, which showed no difference between test modes, but showed that each test administration was significantly different. The Levene statistic was used to test whether dispersions were equivalent and confidence intervals were established to test the kurtosis and skewness statistics. Finally, each of the test scores were transformed into their Normal Curve Equivalents so that Pearson's coefficient could be used to determine the equivalency of the ranked-orders.
Predicting Workers' Compensation Claims and On-the-Job Injuries Using Four Psychological Measures
This study assessed the predictive validity of four independent factors (Rotter Locus of Control Scale, Safety Locus of Control, Organizational Attribution Style Questionnaire, and Rosenburg Self-Esteem Scale) in the establishment of a measure of safety consciousness in predicting on-the-job injuries and the filing of workers' compensation claims. A 125-item questionnaire was designed and administered to assess participants' disposition on each of the four psychological dimensions, demographic data and on-the-job injury information.
An Investigation of Factors Affecting Test Equating in Latent Trait Theory
The study investigated five factors which can affect the equating of scores from two tests onto a common score scale. The five factors studied were: (a) distribution type (i.e., normal versus uniform); (b) standard deviation of itemdifficulties (i.e., .68, .95, .99); (c) test length or number of test items (i.e., 50,100, 200); (d) number of common items (i.e., 10,20,30); and (e) sample size (i.e., 100, 300, 500). The significant two-way interaction effects were for common item length and test length, standard deviation of item difficulties and distribution type, and standard deviation of item difficulties and sample size.
Measurement Disturbance Effects on Rasch Fit Statistics and the Logit Residual Index
The effects of random guessing as a measurement disturbance on Rasch fit statistics (unweighted total, weighted total, and unweighted ability between) and the Logit Residual Index (LRI) were examined through simulated data sets of varying sample sizes, test lengths, and distribution types. Three test lengths (25, 50, and 100), three sample sizes (25, 50, and 100), two item difficulty distributions (normal and uniform), and three levels of guessing (no guessing (0%), 25%, and 50%) were used in the simulations, resulting in 54 experimental conditions. The mean logit person ability for each experiment was +1. Each experimental condition was simulated once in an effort to approximate what could happen on the single administration of a four option per item multiple choice test to a group of relatively high ability persons. Previous research has shown that varying item and person parameters have no effect on Rasch fit statistics. Consequently, these parameters were used in the present study to establish realistic test conditions, but were not interpreted as effect factors in determining the results of this study.
A Longitudinal Study of Graduation, Retention, and School Dropout for Students in Regular and Special Education
This study examined differences in retention, graduation, and dropout between students in grades 9-12 in special education and regular education in the state of Texas for school years 1992-93 through 1995-96. The purpose was to gather information regarding the possible adverse effects of increased academic standards and mandatory testing on students with disabilities. The results indicate that when compared to students in regular education, students with disabilities are significantly more likely to be retained and are not experiencing the same decline in dropout rates as regular students. There is no indication that students with disabilities have been adversely affected by school reform but the size of the school district may play a significant role in whether or not students with disabilities dropout of school.
Factors Affecting Discrete-Time Survival Analysis Parameter Estimation and Model Fit Statistics
Discrete-time survival analysis as an educational research technique has focused on analysing and interpretating parameter estimates. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of certain data characteristics on the hazard estimates and goodness of fit statistics. Fifty-four simulated data sets were crossed with four conditions in a 2 (time period) by 3 (distribution of Y = 1) by 3 (distribution of Y = 0) by 3 (sample size) design.
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.
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.
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).
The impact of technical barriers on the effectiveness of professional development as related to a distance education system-based course: A case study in the Web World Wonders environmental science learning community.
This study reports and discusses the impact of technical barriers on the effectiveness of professional development as related to a distance education system based course: a case study of the web world wonders environmental science learning community in Florida. The project involved 4th through 12th grade public school teachers learning how to use GPS readers, digital cameras, and Arc View software for the purpose of utilizing a Website that enabled remote Internet camera access in Florida State Parks. Under the supervision of Florida State University and the Florida Department of Education those teachers received professional development in techniques for developing lesson plans utilizing the equipment and software as stated above. Using the Concept Based Adoption Model, a description of the teacher's demographics, Levels of Use and Stages of Concern with relation to gender, age, teaching experience, and technological experience was examined. Technical barriers were identified and an explanation of how they were overcome in the process of receiving the professional development is reported.
An inquiry into the factors influencing the development of the field of Behavior Disorders: A qualitative approach
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This dissertation has explored the origins of the field of Behavioral Disorders via a qualitative approach. In order to collect data, interviews were conducted with respondents who were selected via purposeful sampling. All respondents have had a significant impact on the field of special education as evidenced by scholarship and leadership throughout their careers. Data analysis of the interview transcriptions was accomplished through the utilization of computer software. The data indicated six areas/topics that were seen among respondents as being significant to the development of the field of Behavioral Disorders.
Prediction of community college students' success in developmental math with traditional classroom, computer-based on-campus and computer-based at a distance instruction using locus of control, math anxiety and learning style
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between individual student differences and academic success in three pedagogical methods (traditional classroom, computer-aided instruction (CAI) in an on-campus setting, and CAI in a distance education setting) for developmental mathematics classes at the community college level. Locus of control, math anxiety and learning style were the individual differences examined. Final grade, final exam score and persistence were the indicators of success. The literature review focused on developmental mathematics, pedagogical techniques and variables contributing to academic performance. Two parallel research populations consisted of 135 Beginning Algebra students and 113 Intermediate Algebra students. The Rotter I-E Locus of Control Scale, the Abbreviated Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale, the 4MAT Learning Type Measure, and an instrument to gather demographic data were used. It was the conclusion of this study that the instructional methods were not equal with respect to achievement. In Beginning Algebra, the CAI students received significantly higher final grades than did the traditionally taught students. In Intermediate Algebra traditional students scored significantly higher on the final exam than did the CBI students. There were more students persisting than expected in traditionally taught Beginning Algebra and no significant difference in attrition in Intermediate Algebra. There was no significant prediction of achievement in Beginning Algebra. For Intermediate Algebra math anxiety was a significant predictor for final exam percentage and locus of control was a significant predictor for final grade percentage. Only the instructional method contributed significantly to the prediction of attrition. While these findings are statistically significant, they account for only a small part of student success. However, the results had implications for the future. In particular, further study should be given to the question of whether CAI, and its associated expenses, is prudent for developmental mathematics instruction.
One-to-one technology and mathematics achievement for eighth grade girls and boys in the state of Maine.
This study analyzed the eighth grade mathematics portion of the spring 2004 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) achievement test and the survey questions that were also administered. The analysis was on a school-wide level (n = 182). The two survey questions used were: “Which statement best describes the use of calculators in your mathematics classes?” and "Which statement best describes how you use your laptop in mathematics class: getting data from the Web, finding mathematics problems online, creating graphs?" Correlational analysis, partial correlation, and regression were used to determine if there was any association between calculator usage, laptop usage, and mathematics achievement for girls and for boys in the first state-wide group of students to have one-to-one laptops in Maine. Calculator usage was found to be positively associated with mathematics achievement for both girls (partial correlation coefficient of .189 (p = .011)) and for boys (partial correlation coefficient of .193 (p = .010)) even after controlling for school size and socio-economic status. Though no significant association between laptop usage and mathematics achievement for either girls or boys was found, this may be more a reflection on the survey question being a weak measure than the usage of laptops. In a post-hoc analysis of findings, schools were rank ordered based on the average mathematics achievement score regardless of gender; the top 25% (n = 45) and the lower 25% (n = 45) of the schools were evaluated. In the top 25%, there was no statistically significant difference between school-wide girls' and boys' mathematics achievement scores. However, in the lower 25% of the schools, there was a statistically significant difference (p = .01) between the school-wide average of girls' and boys' mathematics achievement scores, with the girls' score being 1.49 points higher (p = .01, d = .447) than the boys'. Recommendations for refinement of MEA survey questions as well as future studies are provided.
State and local level implementation of schoolwide positive behavior support: An examination of the Texas Behavior Support Initiative (TBSI).
This study examined the current status of schoolwide positive behavior support efforts in Texas. The study specifically (a) examined the impact of statewide positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) training on the rates of discipline records, in-school ¬suspensions, out-¬of¬-school suspensions, disciplinary alternative education placements, and expulsions of public schools in Texas; (b) investigated the overall effectiveness of schoolwide positive behavior support; and (c) determined the differences between rates of discipline records, in-school ¬suspensions, out-¬of¬-school suspensions, disciplinary alternative education placements, and expulsions in schools participating in the Texas Behavior Support Initiative (TBSI): Schoolwide PBS Project when compared with matching schools who did not participate in the project. This study demonstrated that schools can significantly reduce problem behavior in their schools when implementing PBIS with fidelity. Creating effective systems of PBIS required training, coaching, and on¬site technical assistance by trained and experienced PBIS facilitators.
The supply and demand of physician assistants in the United States: A trend analysis.
The supply of non-physician clinicians (NPCs), such as physician assistant (PAs), could significantly influence demand requirements in medical workforce projections. This study predicts supply of and demand for PAs from 2006 to 2020. The PA supply model utilized the number of certified PAs, the educational capacity (at 10% and 25% expansion) with assumed attrition rates, and retirement assumptions. Gross domestic product (GDP) chained in 2000 dollar and US population were utilized in a transfer function trend analyses with the number of PAs as the dependent variable for the PA demand model. Historical analyses revealed strong correlations between GDP and US population with the number of PAs. The number of currently certified PAs represents approximately 75% of the projected demand. At 10% growth, the supply and demand equilibrium for PAs will be reached in 2012. A 25% increase in new entrants causes equilibrium to be met one year earlier. Robust application trends in PA education enrollment (2.2 applicants per seat for PAs is the same as for allopathic medical school applicants) support predicted increases. However, other implications for the PA educational institutions include recruitment and retention of qualified faculty, clinical site maintenance and diversity of matriculates. Further research on factors affecting the supply and demand for PAs is needed in the areas of retirement age rates, gender, and lifestyle influences. Specialization trends and visit intensity levels are potential variables.
Faculty training and professional development programs designed to impact Web-based instruction in higher education: A faculty perspective.
Web-based instruction has fast become a common component of higher education. Although such instruction began as a supplemental form of interaction, it has now become a basic aspect of many college courses and degree programs. If teacher and student are not in the same place at the same time, it becomes necessary to introduce a communications medium that will not only deliver information but also provide a channel of interaction between them. This study focused on faculty training and development programs designed to impact Web-based instruction in higher education at the five largest state-funded universities in Texas within a college of education. The instrument used in this study was developed by the research to collect data relating to faculty perception of training and development opportunities available to them at their institutions, perceptions of administrative support, and technical support. The objective was to determine if there was a relationship between these items listed above and faculty members' levels of confidence and perceptions of effectiveness when teach Web-based courses. The population consisted on 151 faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, the University of North Texas, and Texas Tech University. This research study suggests that full-time tenure track faculty members at the five largest state-funded universities in Texas perceive that the amount of formal training they have received increases their ability to teach Web-based courses effectively and that the amount of formal training received also increases their perceived level of confidence when teaching Web-based courses. The researcher discovered similar results when faculty members were asked about their perceived level of institutional commitment and current initiatives for teaching Web-based courses.
Female adolescents identified with emotional disturbance and adjudicated female adolescents: A comparison of self-concepts.
This study addresses the academic, social, and self-image self-concepts of females ages 13-17 who are labeled emotionally and behaviorally disordered by their public school systems and are in residential treatment, and females ages 13-17 who are adjudicated, or labeled “juvenile offenders” and are involved with the juvenile justice system. The purpose of this study is to examine and compare the self-concepts of these populations of adolescent females. Research questions focus on whether or not there is a difference in the confidence scores of self-image, academic, and social self-concepts, the importance scores of self-image, academic, and social self-concepts, and the confidence composite and outcome composite scores among female adolescents according to whether or not the female is adjudicated. Results show no statistically significant differences on seven of the eight measures. On the eighth measure, a statistically significant difference was found, with the non-offenders having a higher Outcome Confidence Composite score than the offenders.
Perceptions of importance of diagnostic competencies among educational diagnosticians.
This research was two-fold in its purpose: the first purpose being to assess the perceived relevance of the current state competency standards adopted in Texas by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) as they apply to the work of the educational diagnostician and the second being to examine the diagnostician's perceived ability of training institutions to prepare professionals for the field of special education evaluation. This study examined the perceptions of educational diagnosticians (N = 432) through the use of a survey instrument. Specifically the survey instrument was designed to assess diagnosticians' perceptions of importance of the SBEC competencies to special education evaluation in general, and to their practice in particular; the frequency with which they use the competencies; and their degree of training to meet the demands of the competencies through their preparatory program. Results indicate variability with regard to the perceived importance of the competencies and the degree of preparation to meet the demands of the competencies in practice.
The historical significance of professional contributions of a leader in the field of emotional and behavioral disorders in special education: A qualitative case study of Richard J. Whelan.
Historical documentation of the impact of PL 88-164 on the field of emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) and the development and implementation of teacher-training programs for children and youth identified as E/BD is limited. This study was designed to document the historical significance and professional contributions of Dr. Richard J. Whelan, Professor Emeritus, University of Kansas and his work in the development of teacher preparation training programs in the field of E/BD in institutions of higher education (IHE). The second purpose of this study was to document the legislative and program initiatives that have impacted the services, education, teaching, and research initiatives in the field of E/BD as interpreted by Dr. Whelan. The final purpose of this study was to examine the views of Dr. Whelan regarding the need for future developments in the field of E/BD. Legislative and policy efforts continue to change the climate in which children are educated. The field of special education relies on the efficacy of the training programs in IHE to provide appropriate teaching and research efforts in a manner that is consistent with the current needs of students with E/BD, their families, and the schools in which they seek to be educated. As this study revealed, understanding the history of the field, the foundational framework from which research and evidence-based practices have emerged, is paramount to forward movement in the field and necessary to the measurement of effective interventions and strategies in support of the students, their families, and those who choose this field as their lifework. It is the foundation from which educational theory is developed, researched, revised, and reflected.
The Relationship Between Time-on-Task in Computer-Aided Instruction and the Progress of Developmental Reading Students at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College
This research sought to determine what relationship exists between time-on-task in computer-aided instruction (CAI) using Destinations courseware and progress in reading ability of developmental reading students as indicated by the reading portion of the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) test. Time-on-task is the time during which a student actively works on Destinations activities, as recorded by the software management system. TASP, an exam required of all students in Texas public colleges, assesses reading, math, and writing skills. The population was made up of 482 students who took the TASP exam before and after CAI and who used Destinations CAI for remediation of reading skills. Null hypotheses were explored using Pearson correlation and linear multiple regression. The findings for the null hypotheses were the following: Ho1 - Correlation and linear regression correlation showed that time-on-task in Destinations CAI had no significant effect on the TASP scores of the population studied. Ho2 - Correlation and linear regression correlation showed that females made significantly better gains on the TASP test from CAI than males. Ho3 - Correlation and linear regression correlation showed that low-achiever students made no better gains on the TASP test from time-on-task in CAI than high-achiever students. Difference between the two group's gains was not statistically significant. Ho4 - The regression equations predicted the gain in TASP reading scores for less than 1% of the population studied. Only the regression equations for male students and female students separately were statistically significant. The researcher recommends replication of this study each semester to determine the effectiveness of CAI. Regular and systematic evaluation using pretest and posttest data will provide benchmarks so that the value of changes in instructional methods can be measured. This method of research can help to clarify questions that should be answered through other research methods.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.