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- 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.
- Interim Evaluation of the UNT/Dallas Public Schools Leadership Development Program: A Working Model
- The purpose of this study was to determine if, after one year of operation, the UNT/Dallas Public Schools Leadership Development Program was progressing in accordance with the goals set out for the program. Questionnaires administered to 26 interns and 10 mentor principals and follow-up focus group interview sessions provided answers to the study's five research questions that explored the following: selection process; how interns' involvement in campus-based decision-making had changed; how mentor principals' perceptions toward interns had changed; and how administrative interns' perceptions of themselves and educational administration had changed. Findings from this study revealed the selection process provided the Dallas Public Schools an opportunity to select teacher-leaders from the district and to include a representative number of minority and women candidates for participation in the program. An area of weakness was seven interns with low GRE scores were admitted through an appeals process at the university. Another weakness revealed the majority of interns had been assigned more duties and responsibilities at the schools, but only 4 of 26 interns were being allowed to participate in any campus-based decision-making processes that could have an impact on school improvements. The study found the role of the mentor principal to be the most important factor in determining the satisfaction and success of the interns in the program. The embedded internship proved to be a disadvantage for the interns and principals, as the majority reported not having enough time to spend on administrative activities. Interns reported growth in personal and professional maturity and gained knowledge about the world of educational leadership. All 26 interns expressed the desire to become administrators in Dallas Public Schools upon completion of the program. Further research should include comparison studies between graduates of restructured programs and graduates of traditional programs to determine if there is a difference in school improvements and student achievement based upon the nature of the training of the school leader.
- An Investigation into Motivations of Instructors Teaching Business and Technical Internet-Based Courses at Two-Year Colleges
- This research was conducted to determine why two-year community college instructors teach over the Internet. By understanding why these instructors teach over the Internet, colleges can recruit more instructors to teach using the Web thus allowing colleges to offer more Internet courses. They can also use the information to keep the instructors who are currently teaching over the Internet satisfied, and motivate them to continue to teach. To gather this information, a questionnaire was created and evaluated for reliability and validity during a pilot study. It was then sent to those instructors who taught over the Internet, and had their e-mails available on their campus Website. A 30.5% response rate (N=100) was achieved. The survey was divided into two sections, a demographics section and a Likert scale dealing with motivation. The Likert scale had six choices ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree and 31 statements. The demographic data were reported and summarized. The Likert items were examined using factor analysis techniques, and a number of components were discovered. Eight components, made up of the 31 variables from the Likert scale were found using the factor analysis. The eight components in order are labeled: Technical and Computer Challenges, School Promotion, Student Preferences, Personal Benefits, Receiving Computerized Assistance, Growth and Knowledge, Textbook Company Assistance, and Pay.
- An Investigation of Selected Factors Affecting Automotive Service Excellence Test Outcome and Job Placement Rate
- Under investigation in this study was the effect of ASE certification of automotive technician training programs and other selected factors on ASE test outcome and job placement rate. This research ponders whether the time and money invested in certifying technician training programs is returning desired improvements in this automobile manufacturer's dealer service staff. The study focussed on technicians employed at Chrysler dealerships around the United States. The 2 samples totalling 387 males between the ages of 22 and 30 were drawn from 1,007 graduates of automotive technician training programs. Technicians that completed a formal training program beyond the high school level certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) were compared to others whose training was not certified by ASE. Comparisons were made on the basis of ASE Automobile Technician Test scores and on the length of time from training program completion to employment. This research sought to identify the significance of association between three main predictors - the status of training program ASE certification, work experience and year of training program completion - and the most desirable levels of ASE test outcome (at or above 90% on the ASE test) and job placement rate (immediately following completion of training). The logistic regression procedure in SAS was used to analyze categorical data in testing the statistical hypotheses. Resulting odds ratios provided indications of significant associations between ASE program certification, technician experience and year of program completion and each of the dependent variables, ASE test outcome and job placement rate. The findings indicated that ASE automotive training program certification status was a significant predictor of ASE test outcome and of job placement rate. Recommendations for further study suggest a look at how technician skill levels affect implementation of the Clean Air Act or dependency on foreign sources of fuel, how training program certification impacts desirable results in industries other than automotive, and how realignment of resources might enhance the performance of training programs already certified.
- Knowledge management in virtual organizations: A study of a best practices knowledge transfer model.
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Knowledge management is a major concern for organizations today, and in spite of investments in technology, knowledge transfer remains problematic. This study sought to determine whether a relationship exists among participant group demographics (experience), implementation of an integrated knowledge transfer system (best practices model), knowledge transfer barriers, and knowledge transfer project (Web-based training) outcome in a virtual organization. The participant organization was a network of individuals and groups who practice patient advocacy in the research and treatment of cancer. These advocates volunteer in various capacities and are not collocated nor do they report to any single organizational entity. Volunteer participants were randomly assigned to a treatment or control condition. The treatment participants received a training supplement based upon a best practices knowledge transfer model. All participants reviewed a Web-based communications training module scheduled for deployment by the participant organization. Upon completion of the training program, participants were instructed to practice specific techniques from the program. At the end of this period, participants completed an online survey that measured demographics, perceived barriers to the knowledge transfer, and project outcome. Knowledge transfer barriers were defined as knowledge, source, recipient, and organizational context characteristics that inhibit the expected transfer. Project outcome was a composite score of items measuring completion time, budget, and satisfaction of the user. Multiple regression identified two significant predictor variables, source (the training program and implementation) and experience (amount of time spent in advocacy practice). Additional analyses found knowledge (causal ambiguity and unproven knowledge) and the experimental treatment condition to show a strong relationship with the explained variance of the dependent variable, knowledge transfer project outcome. Results suggest that an online training implementation is a valid tool for certain specific transfer design characteristics. Experience was a negative predictor of outcome, suggesting that participant-specific level of training material may produce improved outcome. Furthermore, knowledge in the form of evidence that the material is useful as well as explanation of the cause and effect linkage is a factor in a more successful transfer. Finally, the application of a knowledge transfer system designed around organization-specific variables shows promise as a factor in enhanced knowledge transfer in Web-based training in virtual organizations. Further research is suggested to provide additional insight into the predictive value of these variables.
- Leadership preferences of a Generation Y cohort: A mixed methods study.
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Presently there are four generational cohorts in the workplace. Born from 1977 to 1997, the youngest cohort group, referred to as Generation Y (or Gen Y) in this study, has 81 million members, of whom over 29 million are already in the workplace. The importance of leader-subordinate relationships in the workplace has been confirmed; in recognizing this, leaders must identify and adapt to the changing era-shaped needs of employees, who cannot fully participate in organizational life if their most urgent needs are not being met. Because Gen Y employees are only now entering the workforce, little is actually known about the workplace needs of this cohort group. This study attempted to determine leadership needs of a Gen Y cohort as a means to enhance workplace relationships in the 21st century organization. A sequential, mixed methods study was employed to explore leadership preferences of a Gen Y cohort. Initially, focus group interviews were used to generate leadership themes. Based on these themes, an instrument was designed, and Gen Y business students from three higher education institutions were surveyed. Confirmatory factor analysis using LISREL software was used to test the themes. The driving force behind this research design was to build a foundation of understanding through inductive research (qualitative) and to test and enrich the foundation through deductive means (quantitative).
- Learning Style and Preferred Mode of Delivery of Adult Learners in Web-Based, Classroom, and Blended Training
- The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between adult learners' preferred learning style and preference for delivery mode. The subjects (n=61) were technical and billing support call center employees from an Internet company in Dallas, Texas. The participants were randomly assigned to one of six groups and given Kolb's Learning Style Inventory to assess their preference for learning style. They received training on three modules of “Influencing Others Positively,” with each module delivered via one of three methods (web-based, classroom, and blended). Participants were also administered two surveys. The first survey collected demographic information and asked which method that they expected they would prefer. The second survey was administered after the course and asked them to rank their preferences for delivery method. It was hypothesized that learning style would be significantly associated with preference for delivery method. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and a chi-square test of independence for the variables learning style and preferred mode of delivery. Although the chi-square test of independence did not produce statistical significance, some interesting trends were identified in the data. Specifically, a majority of the participants preferred a blended approach to training delivery (a combination of self-paced web-based training and classroom group exercises). No Divergers preferred classroom training and no Accommodators preferred web-based training. Additionally, a logistic regression analysis indicated that Assimilators were six times more likely than Divergers to prefer a blended approach to training (p=.10). Further studies should utilize other learning style theories, explore different types of learning outcomes and delivery methods, and include a larger sample from different organizations. Training needs assessments should include learning style inventories as part of the audience analysis prior to training development.
- Levels of resourcefulness and motivation as they relate to sales force success: An examination of correlates using the hope theory.
- This study sought to determine whether a relationship existed between individual salesperson's levels of goal-directed cognition and motivation and their professional success as determined by the percentage of sales goals achieved. Salespersons represented two companies with national sales forces: one from the financial services industry and one from the apparel manufacturing industry. Both groups of salespeople were responsible for complex selling tasks. The skill sets for these professionals included high levels of communication skills, extensive product knowledge, and competitive market knowledge. Survey research, both paper and pencil and online, was conducted using the Hope Scale developed by C. R. Snyder and associates (1991). Hope is defined as a two-dimensional construct of goal-directed thinking: resourcefulness, thoughtful planning to overcome obstacles to goals, and motivation, cognition to sustain momentum toward goal achievement. Theoretically, upon assessing salespersons' Hope scores, organizations would be better prepared to assist those with low Hope Scale Scores (HSS) in one of the two areas. Those with low resourcefulness scores could be trained in cognitive techniques to overcome obstacles to goal achievement. Those with low motivational scores would be identified for further analysis, from a developmental perspective, to better determine what personally initiates and sustains motivation to attain their goals (Snyder, 1991). This study affirmed two of three parts of the hope theory with regard to salespeople. High Hope scores showed significant correlations with high goal achievement, as did one of the subset scores, motivation. The resourcefulness subset score did not correlate significantly with high goal achievement, and also produced low reliability scores.
- An online academic support model for students enrolled in internet-based classes
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This doctoral dissertation describes a research study that examined the effectiveness of an experimental Supplemental Instruction (SI) program that utilized computer-mediated communication (CMC) rather than traditional SI review sessions. During the Spring 1999 semester, six sections of an introductory computer course were offered via the Internet by a suburban community college district in Texas. Using Campbell and Stanley's Nonequivalent Control Group model, the online SI program was randomly assigned to four of the course sections with the two remaining sections serving as the control group. The students hired to lead the online review sessions participated in the traditional SI training programs at their colleges, and received training conducted by the researcher related to their roles as online discussion moderators. Following recommendations from Congos and Schoeps, the internal validity of the groups was confirmed by conducting independent t-tests comparing the students' cumulative credit hours, grade point averages, college entrance test scores, and first exam scores. The study's four null hypotheses were tested using multiple linear regression equations with alpha levels set at .01. Results indicated that the SI participants earned better course grades even though they had acquired fewer academic credits and had, on average, scored lower on their first course exams. Both the control group and the non-SI participants had average course grades of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. The students who participated in at least one SI session had an average final course grade of 2.5, exceeding their previous grade point average of 2.15. Participation in one SI session using CMC was linked to a one-fourth letter grade improvement in students' final course grades. Although not statistically significant, on the average, SI participants had slightly better course retention, marginally increased course satisfaction, and fewer student-initiated contacts with their instructors.
- Perceived barriers to faculty participation in distance education at a 4-year university.
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The purpose of this study was to identify perceived barriers to faculty participation in distance education courses in a 4-year university. The literature review was divided into four general areas, each of which may act as a barrier to faculty participation; training, administrators, rewards/compensation, and faculty characteristics/demographics. The research population consisted of 570 faculty and 59 administrators from the eight UNT schools/colleges. Dr. Kristin Betts developed the survey instrument in 1998 for similar research conducted at the George Washington University. Analysis of the collected data revealed that there was no statistically significant relationship found between faculty characteristics and faculty participation in distance education. Faculty participants and administrators disagreed on which factors, from a list of 34 items, had motivated faculty to participate in distance education. Nonparticipants and administrators disagreed on which of the factors, if not available, would be barriers to faculty participation in distance education. Participants and nonparticipants disagreed regarding the level to which selected rewards and compensations had motivated faculty to participate, and the lack of which would inhibit faculty participation in distance education. Finally, 71% of the participants had participated or planned to participate in distance education training compared to only 33% of the nonparticipants. It is obvious that administrators and faculty do not place the same level of importance on motivational or inhibiting factors that may affect faculty participation in distance education. These results indicate that additional research should be accomplished to determine the basis for the disagreement among the three groups.
- Perceptions of 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.
- 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.
- Prediction of Achievement Scores for Adult Learners Using the Productivity Environmental Preference Survey (PEPS): an Exploratory Study
- This study attempted to determine, given an individual's learning environment preference as determined by Alone/Peer Oriented scale of the Productivity Environmental Preference Survey (PEPS), if achievement scores could be predicted when given either an individual or a peer-group teaching environment. Participants were graduate students (n = 18) enrolled in a graduate course.
- 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.
- Prediction of High School Dropouts and Teen-Aged Parents from Student Permanent Records
- Research has reported that a predictive link exists between socio-economic risk factors and high school dropouts, including teen-aged parents. Educators have little control over socio-economic risk factors. However, school records and classroom performance data can point to in-school risk factors. The purpose of this study was to help all students by using the in-school data to pinpoint the indicators that predict potential student achievement difficulties in specific areas of curricula. This study was an anteriospective longitudinal study of the 1995 graduating class of a suburban school district composed of approximately 920 seniors. The sample consisted of 344 graduates, 114 dropouts, and 42 teenaged parents. Backward stepwise logistic regression analysis was the statistical method used for model building. An analysis was done by gender at the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th grades from the permanent records of sample students. The study found that significant predictors exist at each grade level and are different for each group, grade level, and gender with some predictors in common: language arts and attendance. The most consistent male dropout predictors were found to be absenteeism, grades in language arts, spelling, and achievement test scores in language arts. The most consistent female dropout predictors were found to be absenteeism, elementary retention, course failures, and achievement test scores in language arts. Achievement test scores in language arts were found to be the most important in-school predictors for teen-aged parents. The predictors for teenaged parents followed the same pattern as female dropouts and graduates until the 8th grade where achievement test scores in vocabulary, math, and total battery became important predictors. Teen-aged parents were found to be a sub-population of dropouts or graduates. Teen-aged parents dropped out or graduated from school based on the early predictors of dropouts or graduates, not based on parenting or single status.
- Psychometric development of the adaptive leadership competency profile
- This study documented the psychometric development of the Adaptive Leadership Competency Profile (ALCP). The ALCP was derived from a qualitative database from the National Science Foundation project (NSF 9422368) and the academic body of literature. Test items were operationalized, and subject matter experts validated 11 macro-leadership competencies and 65 items. Rasch rating scale measurement models were applied to answer the following questions: (a) How well do the respective items of the ALCP fit the Rasch rating scale measurement model for the 11 scales of the ACLP? (b) How well do the person's abilities fit the Rasch rating scale measurement model, using the 11 scales of the ALCP? (c) What are the item separation and reliability coefficients for the 11 ALCP scales? (d) What are the person separation and reliability coefficients for the 11 ALCP scales? This study also sought to discern whether the ALCP could predict leader effectiveness as measured by the likelihood ratio index and frequency of correct predictions indices. The WINSTEPS and LIMDEP programs were used to obtain Rasch calibrations and probit estimates, respectively. The ALCP profiles the frequency and intensity of leadership behavior. Composite measures were calculated and used to predict leadership effectiveness. Results from this study validated 10 competencies and 55 items.
- Reactions and learning as predictors of job performance in a United States Air Force technical training program
- This study is based on Kirkpatrick's (1996) four level evaluation model. The study assessed the correlation between and among three levels of data that resulted from evaluation processes used in the U.S. Air Force technical training. The three levels of evaluation included trainee reaction (Level 1), test scores (Level 2), and job performance (Level 3). Level 1 data was obtained from the results of a 20 item survey that employed a 5-point Likert scale rating. Written test scores were used for Level 2 data. The Level 3 data was collected from supervisors of new graduates using a 5-point Likert scale survey. The study was conducted on an existing database of Air Force technical training graduates. The subjects were trainees that graduated since the process of collecting and storing Levels 1 and 2 data in computerized database began. All subjects for this study graduated between March 1997 and January 1999. A total of 188 graduates from five Air Force specialties were included. Thirty-four cases were from a single course in the aircrew protection specialty area; 12 were from a single course in the munitions and weapons specialty area; and 142 were from three separate courses in the manned aerospace maintenance specialty area. Pearson product moment correlation coefficients were computed to determine the correlation coefficients between Levels 1 and 2; Level 1 and 3; Level 2 and 3 for each subject course. Multiple linear regression was used to determine the relationship between the composite of Levels 1 and 2 and Level 3. There were significant correlation coefficients between Levels 1 and 2 and Levels 2 and 3 for only one of the five courses. The linear regression analysis revealed no significant correlation using the composite of Levels 1 and 2 as a predictor of Level 3.
- Regional airline qualifications: A study in the marketability of higher education graduates.
- The recent emergence and growth of the regional airlines in the United States has placed a strain on the supply of pilots that are needed for staffing scheduled flights. This present pilot shortage is presenting challenges for 2-year colleges and 4-year universities with aviation programs to produce more pilot graduates in less time to meet the staffing demands made by the regional airlines. With this shortage, the pressing issues of how to train and hire qualified pilots to fly technologically advanced regional airline jet aircraft have forced the industry to demand more aviation skills from a shrinking market of aviation pilot candidates. Colleges and universities with aviation programs have been forced to compete with outside private aviation schools on a larger scale in the training of collegiate students for airline employment opportunities. The primary purpose of this study was to expose any inadequacies in the higher-education aviation curricula and to propose changes needed to better qualify aviation students in the hiring process at regional air carriers. This study concentrated on the principle that higher education is necessary for advancing a pilot's aptitudes and abilities to perform the highly technical tasks of a professional pilot in a regional airline environment. The avenues of obtaining aviation experience along with flight certificates and ratings in an academic environment from 2-year colleges and 4-year universities with aviation programs is examined, along with qualifying these schools with the criteria regional airlines expects from new pilots hired. A survey was used to poll the pilots from two regional airlines that were based in Texas. By analyzing the responses from the returned surveys, the quality of training that existed in higher education aviation programs was revealed. The study confirmed the value of advising a path of higher education for students embarking on an aviation career as a pilot for a regional airline. The study concluded that 2-year colleges and 4-year universities with aviation programs are meeting the present demands made by the regional airlines.
- The Relationship Between Career and Technical Education and Texas Assessment of Academic Skills and Other Academic Excellence Indicators
- This study examined the relationship between Career and Technical Education (CATE) and the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS), the measure of school and learner success in Texas. CATE, an established program, traditionally encourages student achievement and perpetuates best educational practices. AEIS data was collected by the Texas Education Agency. In addition, a survey was used to measure CATE effectiveness and the relationship between effectiveness and AEIS performance. Two-factor mixed repeated measures ANOVAs were used to observe group differences over time. CATE and non-CATE exit level TAAS scores for reading and math at the district level were analyzed for 2000, 2001, and 2002. CATE students had higher group means but there was not statistical significance indicating that CATE students performed as well as non-CATE. Two-factor mixed repeated measures ANOVAs were also used for analysis of differences at the district level for attendance, dropout rates, and graduation rates. There were higher group means for attendance for CATE students and there was also statistical significance indicating that CATE students attended more often then non-CATE students. There was a lower group means for dropout rate and there was also statistical significance between groups over time. This was an inverse relationship indicating that CATE students dropped out less often then non-CATE students at a statistically significant level. The graduation rate analysis showed a higher group mean for CATE students but not statistical significance. CATE students graduated at the same rate as the non-CATE group. Pearson's r was used to correlate the relationship of the effectiveness of CATE programs with AEIS results. There was no statistical significance for reading and math TAAS exit-level tests with CATE effectiveness scores. Again there was no statistical significant relationship between CATE effectiveness and attendance and graduation. However there was statistical significance between CATE program effectiveness and dropout correlation for 2001.
- Relationship Between Flow Experience, Flow Dimensions, And The Equivalence Of Challenges And Skills In The Web-Based Training Environment
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This study applied components of Csikszentmhalyis flow theory to the Web-based Training (WBT) environment. Specifically considered were how the equivalence of a learners perceived challenges and skills for an activity can effectively predict the emergence of flow in the WBT environment. Also considered was the ability of flow dimensions defined in flow theory to predict and model the occurrence of flow during WBT activities. Over a period of about one hour, students (n=43) from a southwestern US university engaged in WBT learning activities pertaining to on-line coursework or self-study. A special Web-based software installed on the students computers sporadically reminded them to complete a series of on-line questionnaires which collected data on their flow experience, learning activities, and flow dimensions. The data collection method employed by this study is effectively an electronic, Web-enabled version of, and functionally equivalent to, the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) used in other flow studies. This study employed questionnaires used in prior flow studies to collect data regarding respondents flow experiences and flow dimensions, and developed an on-line instrument to collect data on students learning experiences based on instructional events found in computer-based lessons from Gagné. Significant findings (p<.05) from this study suggest that, in the WBT environment studied, as the relative level of challenge and skill of a learning activity increases, so does the level of flow experienced by the individual. This study also found that flow dimensions are good predictors of flow experience. The results of this study should have important implications for WBT users and instructional designers. Since flow is a positive experience that most individuals wish to repeat, understanding how to facilitate the occurrence of flow, from both the WBT users and instructional designers perspective, is likely to be beneficial to the rapidly emerging field of WBT.
- The relationship between the reasons for participation in continuing professional education and the leader effectiveness of first-line supervisors.
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This research examined the reasons for participation in continuing professional education (CPE) and the predictive relationship of those motivational reasons to the perceived leadership effectiveness of first-line supervisors. For this study, 105 first-line supervisors were surveyed from four electric utility companies. Input was also collected from each supervisor's subordinate employees. Using the five motivational reasons for participation, collected via the Participation Reasons Scale and the effectiveness score collected using the Leader Behavior Analysis II®, regression techniques were used to asses the data. The five participation reasons of the PRS were regressed individually against the effectiveness scores to determine the extent to which leader effectiveness could be predicted by the participation reasons. In each case, the null hypothesis failed to be rejected. Regression of the five PRS reasons collectively on leader effectiveness also failed to reject the null, producing a p value of .800 and an R2 value of .023. An "all possible subsets" regression was conducted to determine whether a smaller subset of the five predictor variables might improve the predictive value of the participation reasons. No subset improved the predictive value. This study concludes that motivation to participate in CPE does not predict leader effectiveness. Thus, training organizations do not need to attempt to determine leader effectiveness based on underlying reasons individuals are motivated to participate, but rather should focus on the more traditional aspects of determining effectiveness most often associated with rigorous training evaluation processes. This study focused on the job role of first-line supervisor. Future research could be performed using: (a) populations of individuals from other traditional job roles including front-line employees (both unionized and non-unionized), mid-level managers, and executives; (b) leaders with and without prior training in situational leadership; and (c) effectiveness measure over time (i.e., a time-series method).
- The Relationship Between Time-on-Task in Computer-Aided Instruction and the Progress of Developmental Reading Students at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College
- This research sought to determine what relationship exists between time-on-task in computer-aided instruction (CAI) using Destinations courseware and progress in reading ability of developmental reading students as indicated by the reading portion of the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) test. Time-on-task is the time during which a student actively works on Destinations activities, as recorded by the software management system. TASP, an exam required of all students in Texas public colleges, assesses reading, math, and writing skills. The population was made up of 482 students who took the TASP exam before and after CAI and who used Destinations CAI for remediation of reading skills. Null hypotheses were explored using Pearson correlation and linear multiple regression. The findings for the null hypotheses were the following: Ho1 - Correlation and linear regression correlation showed that time-on-task in Destinations CAI had no significant effect on the TASP scores of the population studied. Ho2 - Correlation and linear regression correlation showed that females made significantly better gains on the TASP test from CAI than males. Ho3 - Correlation and linear regression correlation showed that low-achiever students made no better gains on the TASP test from time-on-task in CAI than high-achiever students. Difference between the two group's gains was not statistically significant. Ho4 - The regression equations predicted the gain in TASP reading scores for less than 1% of the population studied. Only the regression equations for male students and female students separately were statistically significant. The researcher recommends replication of this study each semester to determine the effectiveness of CAI. Regular and systematic evaluation using pretest and posttest data will provide benchmarks so that the value of changes in instructional methods can be measured. This method of research can help to clarify questions that should be answered through other research methods.
- The relationship between training in learning style adaptation and successful completion of entry-level community college classes.
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The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between training in learning style adaptation and successful completion of community college courses. The rationale for conducting this study was based on the need for students to learn how to adapt their learning style in order to more effectively learn in any situation. It is also important that community colleges implement strategies that assist in student retention. The learning styles of entry-level community college students were measured using Kolb's Learning Style Inventory Version 3. Students enrolled in entry-level college courses at a small North Texas community college were studied. The Chi-square Test of Independence with a 2 x 2 design was employed. Findings indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in the relationship between students receiving training in learning styles adaptation and successful completion of entry-level college courses, and that students who attended a learning styles training session and those who did not attend a learning styles training session had an equal chance of succeeding in entry-level community college courses. Findings also indicated that students with Accommodating and Assimilating learning styles are less likely to successfully complete an entry-level college course than are students with Diverging or Converging learning styles, yet students with Diverging and Converging learning styles might withdraw from a course rather than risk being unsuccessful. Finally, findings indicated that students who are dissatisfied with the college course and with the instructor of the college course withdraw from college courses.
- A Student Environment Model: a Measure of Institutional Effectiveness
- In a rapidly changing environment of growing competition for limited resources and ever increasing operational costs, institutions of higher education must focus on all aspects of the organizational functions to insure institutional effectiveness and the maximization of student success. This study will use a Student Environment Model (SEM) to assess students' perception of their college environment outside of the formal classroom at a unique two year technical college. The information obtained is used by the administration of Texas State Technical College Waco (TSTCW) to make appropriate adjustments in programs, services, or policies when the student data indicates that change or improvement is needed. While the SEM provides an indication of the students' "image" of the college environment, it can also provide indicators of areas which need improvement or require change. Applying the SEM information to decision making, problem solving, and planning will allow the institution and its people to move toward higher productivity and continuous quality improvement.
- Student preferences in screen design factors for Internet delivered college courses.
- Colleges and universities throughout the world are offering many of their courses via the Internet. Some institutions offer entire degrees online. This has ushered in a renewed interest in the debate on the effectiveness of non-traditional course delivery method. Numerous educational research studies have been conducted in an attempt to quantify that effectiveness. In any form of experimental research, control of variables is paramount. The rich multimedia capabilities of the World Wide Web give educators a wide variety of delivery media. However, with the exception of advice from artisans on design factors of the media, little research has been conducted with regard to the aesthetics of Web page design as viewed by the student. This study was conducted in an effort to establish student preferences with regard to two factors of Web page design as they might be used on those Web pages, background color and typeface used for text. In addition, it contains an analysis of whether or not there is an interaction between the two factors. Use of the results of this study should prove beneficial to both educators and educational researchers in their future endeavors.
- The Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) Test Scores as Predictors of Academic Success of First-Year Clarendon College Students
- The problem in this study was to determine the relationship between the scores on the three parts (reading, writing, and mathematics) of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test (TAAS) and the academic success of first-year students at Clarendon College, Clarendon, Texas. High school grade-point average and gender were also included in the study. The purpose of the study was to develop an equation to predict first-year college grade-point average at Clarendon College . The predictor variables were the three parts of the TAAS Test (reading, writing, and mathematics) , high school grade-point average, and gender. The equation was developed through multiple correlation/multiple regression multivariate procedures. All statistical analyses were calculated through sub-programs of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The study was limited to using only 1992/1993 Texas high school graduates who had entered Clarendon College in the fall semesters of 1992 and 1993 directly following high school graduation. A search of Clarendon College records produced 115 students from these groups who fully met all standards defined for the study. Two predictor equations were developed. One developed through a simple regression command included all five predictor variables. The second equation was produced through a stepwise procedure. This equation included only high school grade-point average and the mathematics score from the TAAS Test. The variables TAAS reading, TAAS writing, and gender were not found to be significant when used in conjunction with the other predictor variables. The strength of each predictor variable was evaluated using students from the freshman class of 1994-95 at Clarendon College. Each of these students met the same basic standards used to establish the prediction equations. The two prediction equations were found to be equal in predictive strength. There was less than one percent difference in the variance accounted for between the two equations. Neither equation showed itself to be all powerful in terms of variance accounted for. Each did, however, predict first-year college grade point average to within two standard errors 93 percent of the time. Recommendations were made that further studies be conducted to find the ideal predictor equation for Clarendon College. Specific recommendations included bringing a more diverse mix of predictor variables into the study. A recommendation was also made to include more of the student body (out-of-state, part-time, etc.) in future studies.
- Using regression analysis to investigate relationships of ASVAB selector composites to end-of-course grades for students in aircraft maintenance training programs in the Air Force
- Aircraft maintenance training programs in the Air Force have evolved from an almost exclusively mechanical orientation to one that is largely electronic. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) with its four selector composites (Mechanical, Administration, General, and Electronic) has been in use for over 20 years. The mechanical (M) composite score is used to identify those who will be trained in aircraft maintenance.
- Visual Cueing: Investigating the Effects of Text Annotation on Student Retention Rates
- This Study examines the grades of students using study skill methods and those who do not. The experiment consists of giving the treatment group the opportunity to use well- known study techniques. The Control group could only read the material. Both groups were given ten minutes to read a pre-selected text. The text consisted of an 1,807 word lesson on the, "Technical Training Management System." Each group was given five minutes to take a twenty item quiz. Fifty-five students in the control group were limited to only reading the material. Fifty-six students in the treatment group could choose between highlighting, note-taking, and underlining. The results of the test scores were compared using a t - test for dependent samples. One week later, the same students in each group were re-tested, using the same quiz they had taken earlier. Students had five minutes to review study material. Study material for the treatment group included the same material they had annotated earlier. The Results from each group wascompared. Efforts were made to avoid potential flaws in previous studies, thereby producing more viable results. Results of this study indicate there is no significant difference between the grades of students who use the aforementioned forms of text annotation and those who do not.
- Workplace Violence Prevention Training: An Analysis of Employees' Attitudes
- The purpose of this study was to determine employees' attitudes and perceptions toward the effectiveness of workplace violence prevention training within a U.S. Government service agency with 50 offices located in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Chapter 1 presents an overview of the phenomenon of workplace violence, the movement toward prevention programs and policies and the implementation of prescreening processes during hiring and violence prevention training. Chapter 2 contains a thorough review of pertinent literature related to violence prevention training and the impact of occupational violence on organizations. This topic was worthy of research in an effort to make a significant contribution to training literature involving organizational effectiveness due to the limited amount of research literature covering the area of corporate violence prevention training and its effect on modifying attitudes and behaviors of its customers. The primary methodology involved the assessment of 1000 employees concerning their attitudes and perceptions toward the effectiveness of workplace violence prevention training. The research population were administered a 62 item online assessment with responses being measured, assessed, and compared. Significant differences were found calling for the rejection of the three study hypotheses. Chapter 4 described the findings of the population surveyed and recommendations were identified in Chapter 5.