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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Assessing the efficacy of learning communities at four north Texas community colleges.
- This observational study involving intact groups and convenient sampling examined learning communities at four North Texas Community Colleges. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a significant difference in cathectic learning climate, inimical ambiance, academic rigor, affiliation and structure among students in learning communities and freestanding classes. Learning communities are gaining nationwide popularity as instruments of reform in Higher Education. Recent studies have discussed the benefits of learning communities to student, faculty and institutions. As learning communities are gaining popularity, especially at the community college level, there is a need to determine if the learning communities are significantly different than freestanding classes. The College Classroom Environment Scales, developed by Winston, Vahala, Nichols, Gillis, Wintrow, and Rome (1989), was used as the survey instrument for this study. Using SPSS 10.1, a multivariate analysis of variance, (Hotelling's T2) was performed on five dependent variables: cathectic learning climate (CLC), inimical ambiance (IA), academic rigor (AR), affiliation (AF), and structure (ST), which yielded a significant difference. The independent variable was learning community compared to freestanding classes (group). Follow-up independent t tests were also conducted to evaluate the differences in the means between the two groups and to explore which dependent variables contributed to the multivariate difference, which resulted in significant differences in inimical ambiance, affiliation and structure. The researcher concludes that learning communities make a difference for some learners, but not necessarily all and that more research needs to be conducted to find the answers to the questions concerning the efficacy and sustainability of learning communities in higher education.
- 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.
- 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.
- Applying cognitive load theory to the design of online learning.
- The purpose of the study was to investigate the application of cognitive load theory to the design of online instruction. Students in three different courses (N = 146) were measured on both learning performance and perceptions of mental effort to see if there were any statistically significant differences. The study utilized a quasi-experimental posttest-only control group design contrasting modified and unmodified instructional lessons. Both groups were given a posttest to measure knowledge gained from the lesson (cognitive domain of learning) and perceptions of mental effort involved. Independent samples t-tests were used to compare the mean performance scores of the treatment groups (i.e. the sections using redesigned materials) versus the control groups for all three courses. Cohen's d was also computed to determine effect size. Mental effort scores were similarly compared for each group on the overall cognitive load score, for a total of six data points in the study. Of the four hypotheses examined, three (H1, H2, H4) found no statistically significant difference between the experimental and control groups. Negative significance was found between the experimental and control group on the effect of modality (H3). On measures of cognitive load, no statistically significant differences were found.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- An examination of factors related to the cognitive and affective empathy levels of adjudicated youth
- With the advent of increased juvenile delinquency in our nation, the need for prevention and rehabilitation is paramount. Juvenile delinquent acts are becoming more serious and violent with offenders perpetrating at younger ages. Analysis suggests an increase in juvenile crime in the near future (Stone, 2000). Pinpointing the cause of delinquency is an arduous task because of the many contributing factors (e.g., impulsivity, aggression, low intellect, poor family attachment, drug, and alcohol abuse). By changing the emotional deficits found in beginning delinquency, the likelihood of developing delinquent behavior may be impeded. Research indicates that adolescents who commit crimes are lacking in empathy (e.g., Aleksic, 1975; Cohen & Strayer, 1996; Ellis, 1982; Gibbs, 1987; Marcus & Gray, 1998), thus, promoting empathy may be an avenue for prevention and rehabilitation. This study examined the levels of empathy of adjudicated youth in four juvenile correctional facilities in Texas. Using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), empathy levels of 170 youth were examined. Youth in the study demonstrated low levels of empathy. The study found that empathy levels of adjudicated youth were differentiated by incarcerating facility, IQ, type of offense, disability status, and phase level of a re-socialization training program. Age was not found to be a significant factor for differentiating empathy levels. Youth demonstrated similiar empathy levels at three of the four incarcerating facilities. However, empathy scores were still below average. IQ ranges were differentiated by the IRI, and found to be lower than normed scores. Type of committing offense was discriminated and found to indicate low empathy levels. Youth without an identified disability scored lower than subjects with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) and youth with learning disabilities (LD). This may reflect the pattern of underidentification of juveniles in correctional facilities (Nelson, Rutherford, & Wolford, 1987). Phases of Re-socialization is an instructional therapuetic program with an empathy component used at the Texas Youth Commission correctional facilities. Data from the study indicated that youth at higher phase levels demonstrated increased empathy. Much of the data are inconsistent, thus establishing the need for further research. A deeper understanding of the impact of each factor (e.g., incarcerating facility, age, IQ, type of offense, disability status, phase) may be accomplished by further research. However, data from this study is consistent with previous research (e.g., Daberman, 1999; Ellis, 1982; Gibbs, 1987; Lee & Prentice, 1988), indicating a link between juvenile delinquents and empathic deficits.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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 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.
- An analysis of the characteristics of female juvenile offenders as predictors of resocialization or recidivism.
- Because there has been a paucity of research on the educational needs of females with academic, behavioral, and emotional problems involved with the juvenile justice system, this study has been an attempt to classify and compare specific characteristics of this population. In particular, it examined their demographics, disability prevalence rates, along with academic, behavioral, and emotional functioning levels, in order to further understand their relationship to the resocialization or recidivism of the different groups of female juveniles incarcerated in the state of Texas, and contribute to the research for further developing successful prevention and intervention programs. Various demographic factors of the female juveniles in this study were examined: (a) offender type, (b) county of commitment, (c) race/ethnicity, (d) age at first referral, and (e) English language proficiency. Prevalence rates of special education disabilities were determined. Academic functioning was measured by (a) IQ; (b) last school grade completed; (c) Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) reading gain score; and (d) TABE math gain score. Behavioral functioning was indicated through (a) offense history, (b) documented behavior incidents, and (c) total risk score. Emotional functioning included DSM-IV diagnoses and treatment needs. Due to the design of the research being a descriptive exploration, the findings produced this compilation of attributes. The population of study typically reached an education level of 8th grade or less before becoming incarcerated. Their IQ is usually in the range of 80 to 90 points, with their reading and math achievement levels lagging about five years behind those of their age group. Their gains in reading and math are usually two to three levels per year. The female juveniles averaged 10 documented behavior incidents during their periods of incarceration. Their Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores at intake showed they had moderate mental health symptoms and/or moderate difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning. For this study population, there were almost twice as many recidivists as first-time offenders, and the findings showed that their characteristics, even those of different disability groups, were much more alike than different.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Emotional/behavioral disturbance and speech/language disorders: Prevalence of the dual diagnoses in a school-age population
- The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of the comorbidity of emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD) and speech/language disorders among those students identified as under The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act criteria as emotionally disturbed and speech impaired. The literature reviewed included clinical and school settings that examined a cooccurrence of language disorders in the EBD population. Other research reported a lack of routine involvement of speech/language therapists in the assessment of the EBD population. Implications from clinical studies suggested a need for greater attention to language disorders in a multi- and interdisciplinary assessment. This study investigated the prevalence of the dual occurrence of EBD and speech/language disorders in Grades 2 through 6 in Texas schools in light of the known research. Relationships in ethnicity and socioeconomic status were examined using chi-square test of independence. Aggregate data were obtained from the database of the Texas Pupil Information Management System and from survey questionnaire responses provided by speech therapists in selected districts. The literature review focused on the impact of language in the development of appropriate personal interactions and communication skills, especially those relevant to pragmatic language factors and the implications of language competency in successful personal living and career roles and supported the importance of language as an important contributor to a person's life success and the correlation of EBD disabilities and speech/language disorders. Social skills instruction, the relationship of language, especially pragmatics, and social competencies for this population are included. The results revealed a relationship between ethnicity and speech/language disorders among the students identified with EBD. In considering the population of students identified as EBD and language disordered, a significant relationship was found between ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Recommendations include suggestions for future research, assessment procedures, classroom interventions, and data collection methods.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- An investigation of the use of instructional simulations in the classroom as a methodology for promoting transfer, engagement and motivation.
- Innovative educators seek technologies to facilitate or enhance the learning experience while taking nothing away from the message of instruction. Simulations have been shown to meet this requirement. While simulations cannot replace the teacher or the message of instruction, they can provide a deeper and more cognitively engaging learning experience. Classroom use of simulations has been ongoing since the 1960's. However, substantive research on their efficacy remains limited. What research has been conducted indicates that simulations possess great potential as aids to instruction. The author of this dissertation pursued this question focusing on whether simulations contribute to instruction by facilitating transfer, improved motivation and increased engagement. This dissertation documents a study in which instructional simulations were used in undergraduate science courses to promote engagement, transfer and knowledge-seeking behavior. The study took place at Midwestern State University (MSU), a public university located in north-central Texas with a student population of approximately 5,500. The study ran during the fall 2006 and spring 2007 terms. Samples consisted of students enrolled in GNSC 1104 Life / Earth Science during the fall term and GNSC 1204 Physical Science during the spring term. Both courses were offered through the Department of Science and Mathematics at MSU. Both courses were taught by the same professor and are part of the core curriculum for undergraduates in the West College of Education at MSU. GNSC 1104 and GNSC 1204 yielded samples of n = 68 and n = 78 respectively. A simulation focusing on earthquakes was incorporated into the curriculum in GNSC 1104 while a simulation which presented concepts from wave propagation was included in GNSC 1204. Statistical results from this study were mixed. Nevertheless, studies of this type are warranted to gain a more complete understanding of how students are impacted by their interactions with simulations as well as the role simulations can play in the curriculum.
- Perceived barriers to faculty participation in distance education at a 4-year university.
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The purpose of this study was to identify perceived barriers to faculty participation in distance education courses in a 4-year university. The literature review was divided into four general areas, each of which may act as a barrier to faculty participation; training, administrators, rewards/compensation, and faculty characteristics/demographics. The research population consisted of 570 faculty and 59 administrators from the eight UNT schools/colleges. Dr. Kristin Betts developed the survey instrument in 1998 for similar research conducted at the George Washington University. Analysis of the collected data revealed that there was no statistically significant relationship found between faculty characteristics and faculty participation in distance education. Faculty participants and administrators disagreed on which factors, from a list of 34 items, had motivated faculty to participate in distance education. Nonparticipants and administrators disagreed on which of the factors, if not available, would be barriers to faculty participation in distance education. Participants and nonparticipants disagreed regarding the level to which selected rewards and compensations had motivated faculty to participate, and the lack of which would inhibit faculty participation in distance education. Finally, 71% of the participants had participated or planned to participate in distance education training compared to only 33% of the nonparticipants. It is obvious that administrators and faculty do not place the same level of importance on motivational or inhibiting factors that may affect faculty participation in distance education. These results indicate that additional research should be accomplished to determine the basis for the disagreement among the three groups.
- 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.
- The Effects of Web-Based Learning Versus Traditional Instructor-Based Learning on Student Knowledge and Satisfaction Based on Student Learning Styles
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The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of Web-based learning (WBL) versus those of traditional instructor-based learning (IBL) on student knowledge and satisfaction based on student learning styles. Other goals were to determine if WBL is more effective for those with a particular learning style. The study examined a sample of undergraduate students who were enrolled in the college algebra offered as both oncampus instructor-based (traditional) and Web-based at the university of North Texas (UNT). A total of 36 Web-based students and 58 instructor-based students participated in this study. This study utilized a posttest-only intact group. The Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI) measured the learning styles of students. This study used learning methods (Web-based learning (WBL), instructor-based learning (IBL)), and learning styles (Diverger, Converger, Assimilator, and Accommodator) as independent variables. Student knowledge and student satisfaction was measured at the end of the course as independent variables. Based upon the results of the LSI, post-learning exam, and satisfaction a series of two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA 4x2) techniques and independent variable tests was used for each of the dependent variables, knowledge and satisfaction, based on a student's learning styles. The results revealed that students' learning styles were statistically significant for knowledge when learning on the Web versus instructor-led. In addition, the learning style was important factor for Web-based learning. The results indicated students with Assimilator and Converger as learning styles received better result with the Web-based learning method. Furthermore, this study found there is significant difference in student satisfaction based on learning on the Web versus instructor-led. The outcome of the study could be of particular interest in educational institutions; especially those that want to transfer some of their traditional courses onto the Web. The finding also has implications for training organizations as they seek efficient and effective ways to satisfy their training needs.
- The effect of psychological type, economic status, and minority
- The purpose of this study was to determine if psychological type, economic status, and minority classification had an effect on the pass/fail rates of vocational nursing students. The rationale for conducting this study was based on the need for the institution to maintain program viability and successfully retain students. The personality types of vocational nursing students were measured using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Measures of economic status and minority classification were obtained through subject self-report. Students enrolled in a vocational nursing program 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 a statistically significant relationship between the pass/fail rates of thinkers versus feelers in the vocational nursing classroom. Findings did not indicate a statistically significant relationship between the pass/fail rates of extraverts versus introverts; sensers versus intuitives; or judgers versus perceivers in the vocational nursing classroom. Findings also suggested that there were no significant relationships between the pass/fail rates of individuals with poverty versus non-poverty economic statuses, nor between individuals with minority versus non-minority classifications. Based on this study, vocational nursing students psychologically typed as thinkers, may have lower passing rates in the vocational nursing classroom setting.
- Comparison of Computer Testing versus Traditional Paper and Pencil Testing
- This study evaluated 227 students attending 12 classes of the Apprentice Medical Services Specialist Resident Course. Six classes containing a total of 109 students took the Block One Tests in the traditional paper and pencil form. Another six classes containing a total of 118 students took the same Block One Tests on computers. A confidence level of .99 and level of significance of .01 was established. An independent samples t-test was conducted on the sample. Additionally, a one-way analysis of variance was performed between the classes administered the Block One Tests on computers. Several other frequencies and comparisons of Block One Test scores and other variables were accomplished. The variables examined included test versions, shifts, student age, student source, and education levels. The study found no significant difference between test administration modes. This study concluded that computer-administering tests identical to those typically administered in the traditional paper and pencil manner had no significant effect on achievement. It is important to note, however, that the conclusion may only be valid if the computer-administered test contains exactly the same test items, in the same order and format, with the same layout, structure, and choices as the traditional paper and pencil test. In other words, unless the tests are identical in every possible way except the actual test administration mode this conclusion may not be applicable.
- An examination of computer anxiety related to achievement on paper-and-pencil and computer-based aircraft maintenance knowledge testing of United States Air Force technical training students.
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether varying levels of computer anxiety have an effect on computer-based testing of United States Air Force technical training students. The first chapter presents an overview of computer-based testing, defines key terms, and identifies questions addressed in the research. The rationale for conducting this study was that little research had been done in this area. The second chapter contains a review of the pertinent literature related to computer-based testing, computer anxiety, test reliability, validity, and gender differences in computer use. Due to the lack understanding concerning any effects of computer anxiety on computer-based testing, this has been a worthwhile topic to explore, and it makes a significant contribution to the training field. The third chapter describes the qualitative research methodology used to conduct the study. The primary methodology was an analysis of variance comparison for groups of individuals who displayed high or low computer anxiety to their respective mean computer-based or paper-based aircraft maintenance knowledge testing scores. The research population consisted of United States Air Force aircraft maintenance craftsmen students attending training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The fourth chapter details the findings of the study. The findings indicate that there was no significant difference between the groups of students rated with high computer anxiety and low computer anxiety while testing with computers. Additionally, no significant differences were detected while testing alternative hypotheses covering differences between groups of students rated with high computer anxiety and low computer anxiety testing by traditional paper-and pencil methods. Finally, a reference section identifying the literature used in the preparation of this dissertation is also included.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.