UNT Theses and Dissertations - 191 Matching Results

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Accessing Information on the World Wide Web: Predicting Usage Based on Involvement

Description: Advice for Web designers often includes an admonition to use short, scannable, bullet-pointed text, reflecting the common belief that browsing the Web most often involves scanning rather than reading. Literature from several disciplines focuses on the myriad combinations of factors related to online reading but studies of the users' interests and motivations appear to offer a more promising avenue for understanding how users utilize information on Web pages. This study utilized the modified Personal Involvement Inventory (PII), a ten-item instrument used primarily in the marketing and advertising fields, to measure interest and motivation toward a topic presented on the Web. Two sites were constructed from Reader's Digest Association, Inc. online articles and a program written to track students' use of the site. Behavior was measured by the initial choice of short versus longer versions of the main page, the number of pages visited and the amount of time spent on the site. Data were gathered from students at a small, private university in the southwest part of the United States to answer six hypotheses which posited that subjects with higher involvement in a topic presented on the Web and a more positive attitude toward the Web would tend to select the longer text version, visit more pages, and spend more time on the site. While attitude toward the Web did not correlate significantly with any of the behavioral factors, the level of involvement was associated with the use of the sites in two of three hypotheses, but only partially in the manner hypothesized. Increased involvement with a Web topic did correlate with the choice of a longer, more detailed initial Web page, but was inversely related to the number of pages viewed so that the higher the involvement, the fewer pages visited. An additional indicator of usage, the average amount ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Langford, James David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Adolescent Task Management: Multitasking and Social Media in the Student Search Process

Description: This study examines adolescent students at an American international school and observes student use of social networking programs as well as physical actions in the search process. The study specifically observed multitasking behavior and organizational skills among students, as well as linkages made through social networking sites. Student observations, student interviews, analysis of Facebook entries, and a survey on multitasking yielded rich data. Students appear to be far more organized than previously suggested in the literature, and in this study, the organization proved to be largely self-taught. Students used their social networks to build a kind of group expertise that compensated for their youthful naivety. Students exhibited self-control within the search to the degree that they could focus on what they wanted to find, and they used heuristics—mental shortcuts—to achieve what they needed. Searches also suggest creativity in that students were flexible in their search methods and used a number of tools to gather information. Students could balance the needs of the academic or imposed search with their own online lives, meaning that they made compensations for social media and media multitasking when it was deemed necessary.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Kurtenbach, John
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Adoption and Use of Electronic Information Resources by a Non-Traditional User Group: Automotive Service Technicians.

Description: The growing complexity of machines has led to a concomitant increase in the amount and complexity of the information needed by those charged with servicing them. This, in turn, has led to a need for more robust methods for storing and distributing information and for a workforce more sophisticated in its use of information resources. As a result, the service trades have "professionalized," adopting more rigorous academic standards and developing ongoing certification programs. The current paper deals with the acceptance of advanced electronic information technology by skilled service personnel, specifically, automotive service technicians. The theoretical basis of the study is Davis' technology acceptance model. The purpose of the study is to determine the effects of three external factors on the operation of the model: age, work experience, and education/certification level. The research design is in two parts, beginning with an onsite observation and interviews to establish the environment. During the second part of the research process a survey was administered to a sample of automotive service technicians. Results indicated significant inverse relationships between age and acceptance and between experience and acceptance. A significant positive relationship was shown between education, particularly certification, and acceptance.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Almquist, Arne J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Adoption of Open Source Software in Uganda: a Pragmatist Approach to the Formation of a National Information Policy for a New Technology

Description: This exploratory research examined an information policy formation process for the adoption of open source software (OSS) in Uganda. Grounded in a pragmatist tradition, this theoretical and empirical study pursued a qualitative research approach with a triangulation of theoretical concepts, data collection, and analysis techniques in an iterative and interactive process. The design provided a powerful context to develop and conduct field activities in Kampala with a purposeful sample of 22 participants, 20 in interviews and 5 in a focus group discussion. The research design enhanced consistency in the evidence from the data, increased robustness in the results, and confidence in the findings. The results highlighted a vibrant ICT sector in Uganda, underlined the multiple stakeholders and their competing interests in the policy, revealed a lack of consensus between the government and OSS promoters on the meaning of OSS, and illuminated the benefits in the OSS model over proprietary software. The stakeholders' conflicting perceptions appear to be too far apart to allow meaningful progress and are derailing the policy. Unless their conflicting perceptions are resolved, the OSS policy will continue stagnating. The study fills critical information gaps in Uganda’s policy formation processes, provides timely and relevant information to holistically understand a complex policy formation stage to enable stakeholders to resolve their impasse and enact a law to embrace OSS. It breaks ground in information policy research in framing policy formation processes for new ICTs, such as OSS, as ideologically-oriented. The findings offer ideas to scholars and African countries to draw applicable lessons.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Muwanguzi, Samuel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Affordances of External Representations in Instructional Design: The Effect of Narrative and Imagery in Learning.

Description: Consisting of both theoretical and empirical inquires, this study examines the primary functions of narrative and the relationship between narrative and mental imagery. The study proposes a new framework to interpret semiotic resources. Combining this with the linguistic functional theory of Halliday (1978), a functional method to empirically investigate semiotic representations was also developed. In the empirical inquiry, the study developed a latent construct method to empirically test the effects of narrative in a real learning situation. This study is the first to investigate the functional relationship between narrative and mental imagery, and among the first to suggest a theory and empirically investigate representations of a multimodal nature. The study is also among the first to use latent constructs to investigate the learning experience in a real educational setting. Data were collected from 190 library professionals who enrolled in three sections (two in narrative and one in plain text) of an online course administered through Vista 4.0 and who completed the course and responded to several instruments. Essay data (n = 82 x 2) were analyzed using content analysis based on the narrative analysis framework developed. Quantitative data analysis methods include univariate data analysis, factor analysis, and structural equation modeling that tests the proposed model and verifies the relationships between the latent variables. Overall, the findings support the hypotheses about the functional effects of narrative identified, and narrative is found to provide a favorable and positive learning context which is tested by the proposed model of learning experience measured by several latent constructs (X2 = 31.67, df = 47, p = .9577, RMSEA = .00, SRMR = .047, NNFI = 1.05, CFI = 1.00, and GFI = .94). The results indicate that participants who enrolled in the narrative sections of the course gained higher creative scores and showed better results ...
Date: December 2008
Creator: Wu, Yan
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Ability of an Instrument to Measure Quality of Library Service and Library Success

Description: This study consisted of an examination of how service quality should be measured within libraries and how library service quality relates to library success. A modified version of the SERVQUAL instrument was evaluated to determine how effectively it measures library service quality. Instruments designed to measure information center success and information system success were evaluated to determine how effectively they measure library success and how they relate to SERVQUAL. A model of library success was developed to examine how library service quality relates to other variables associated with library success. Responses from 385 end users at two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers libraries were obtained through a mail survey. Results indicate that library service quality is best measured with a performance-based version of SERVQUAL, and that measuring importance may be as critical as measuring expectations for management purposes. Results also indicate that library service quality is an important factor in library success and that library success is best measured with a combination of SERVQUAL and library success instruments. The findings have implications for the development of new instruments to more effectively measure library service quality and library success as well as for the development of new models of library service quality and library success.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Landrum, Hollis T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analyzing Learner Characteristics, Undergraduate Experience and Individual Teamwork Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Toward Identifying Themes to Promote Higher Workforce Readiness

Description: With the world amidst globalization and economic flux affecting business, industry, and communities the need to work together becomes increasingly important. Higher education serves an important role in developing the individual teaming capabilities of the workforce. This environment is the time and place - opportunity for student personnel to develop these capabilities. This multiple case study utilized the analysis phase (learner, setting and job) of an instructional design model to analyze learner characteristics, the higher education environment/undergraduate experience, and the job/skills associated with individual teamwork knowledge, skills, and abilities of students from a senior cohort of the TRiO - SSS Project at a public student-centered research institution. The results yielded themes to promote the development of target populations individual teamwork KSAs which should increase their readiness to meet the teaming demands of today's employers. With an engaging undergraduate experience, inclusive of interaction with faculty members and collaborative learning with their peers, structured opportunities to practice individual teamwork KSAs in a work setting or internship, these underrepresented students may be an asset that is needed to meet the global workforce needs and fill civic capacities in their home communities.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Frederick, Consuelo V.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Applicability of SERVPERF in Judging Service Quality for Biomedical Information Professionals

Description: The applicability of SERVPERF as a tool for judging the quality of services used by biomedical information professionals was tested using standard statistical procedures. Data was gathered nationally via a combination of electronic and non-electronic forms, from Area Health Education Center (AHEC) information professionals and the results consolidated to provide information for the study. It was determined that SERVPERF was applicable in making judgements about service quality for AHEC information professionals. Their perceptions about service quality tended to have a greater influence than did their level of actual satisfaction on whether or not they planned to use a particular service in the future. There is currently no validated tool available to ascertain the quality of services offered to these valuable members of the rural health care team. This dissertation proposes to provide such a tool, and to serve as a guide or template for other professionals seeking a means to judge service quality in their own disciplines.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Jenkins, Sharon D. (Sharon Dezel)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Are Online Catalogs for Children Giving Them What They Need? Children's Cognitive Development and Information Seeking and Their Impact on Design

Description: Research shows children in an online environment often search by browsing, which relies heavily on recognition and content knowledge, so catalog systems for children must use effective symbols or pictorial representations, which correspond with children's own cognitive schema and level of recognition knowledge. This study was designed to look at the success of young children (ages 5 to 8) in searching 3 online public library catalogs designed for them, and it focused specifically on the pictorial representations and text descriptors used in the systems' browsing hierarchy. The research sought answer whether young children (ages 5 to 8) are really poor searchers because of cognitive development and lack of technology skills or if system design is the major reason for poor search results; i.e., Do current children's online catalog designs function in a manner that is compatible with information seeking by children? Although these results can not be generalized, this study indicates that there was a disconnect between the cognitive abilities of young users and catalog design. The study looked at search success on the 3 catalogs in relation to the catalog characteristics and individual user characteristics and makes 3 significant contributions to the field of library and information science. The first contribution is the modification of an existing model posed by Cooper and O'Connor and modified by Abbas (2002). The second significant contribution is the proposal of a new model, Creel's second best choice (SBC) model, that addresses the cognitive gap and design flaws that impact the choices participants made. The third significant contribution is that this study addresses and fills a gap in the literature.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Creel, Stacy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessing Perceived Credibility of Web Sites in a Terrorism Context: The PFLP, Tamil Tigers, Hamas, and Hezbollah

Description: The purpose of the study was to contribute to the overall understanding of terrorist organizations' use of the Internet and to increase researchers' knowledge of Web site effectiveness. The methodological approach was evaluation of the perceived credibility of Web sites based on existing criteria derived from information users. The Web sites of four terrorist organizations were assessed: two secular nationalist groups, the People's Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers); and two religious nationalist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah. The findings of this analysis showed differences in perceived credibility factors among terrorist organizations' Web sites and positive levels of perceived credibility for the Web sites. These findings indicate the potential for positive impressions of the organizations' Web sites by information users, which would help empower the organizations with the capacity to reach their objectives. By using Web sites, these groups can effectively increase their support base through disseminating information, improving recruiting, and attracting monetary contributions, and can establish themselves as legitimate components of society.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Spinks, Brandon Todd
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessment of a Library Learning Theory by Measuring Library Skills of Students Completing an Online Library Instruction Tutorial

Description: This study is designed to reveal whether students acquire the domains and levels of library skills discussed in a learning library skills theory after participating in an online library instruction tutorial. The acquisition of the library skills is demonstrated through a review of the scores on online tutorial quizzes, responses to a library skills questionnaire, and bibliographies of course research papers. Additional areas to be studied are the characteristics of the participants enrolled in traditional and online courses at a community college and the possible influence of these characteristics on the demonstrated learning of library skills. Multiple measurement methods, identified through assessment of library instruction literature, are used to verify the effectiveness of the library skills theory and to strengthen the validity and reliability of the study results.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Watson, Dana L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Automatic Language Identification for Metadata Records: Measuring the Effectiveness of Various Approaches

Description: Automatic language identification has been applied to short texts such as queries in information retrieval, but it has not yet been applied to metadata records. Applying this technology to metadata records, particularly their title elements, would enable creators of metadata records to obtain a value for the language element, which is often left blank due to a lack of linguistic expertise. It would also enable the addition of the language value to existing metadata records that currently lack a language value. Titles lend themselves to the problem of language identification mainly due to their shortness, a factor which increases the difficulty of accurately identifying a language. This study implemented four proven approaches to language identification as well as one open-source approach on a collection of multilingual titles of books and movies. Of the five approaches considered, a reduced N-gram frequency profile and distance measure approach outperformed all others, accurately identifying over 83% of all titles in the collection. Future plans are to offer this technology to curators of digital collections for use.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Knudson, Ryan Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries

Blogging and Tweens: Communication Portal to Reading Selection and Engagement

Description: The ethnographic study utilized the research techniques of observations, content analysis, and semi-structured interviews with tween participants (i.e., 9 through 13 year-old youth) during an 8-week literary blog project. Twenty-six participants created individual blog pages within a member-only classroom blog site that allowed for online communication between members. the blog project incorporated social networking applications with which youth frequently engage. the research questions ensured data regarding what facets participants found appealing and motivating during the project was collected. the questions allowed for determining if participants utilized peer blogs for reading material selection or repurposed the blogs to discuss other topics. Components of self-determination theory and engagement theory underlay the project design and aided in identifying motivational aspects of the data. Frequency tables outlined the identified patterns and structures of participants’ online activity. Participants found the ability to change the colors of their blog backgrounds and to design their individual blogs and the giving and receiving of feedback to be the two most appealing features of the project. Participants chose books from peer suggestions in the online world but also selected materials from recommendations they received in face-to-face interactions with their peers, their teacher, and the school librarian. Little evidence of repurposing the blog for social topics was observed. Participants engaged in discussions predominantly based around the books they were currently reading or had read. Implications for incorporating social networking applications within the classroom environment are discussed.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Sharber, Shelli K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bridging the Theory-to-practice Gap: a Multivariate Correlational Study Exploring the Effects of a Graduate Online Learning Environment As a Community of Practice Framework

Description: In this multivariate correlational study, the researcher examined the course culture of an online graduate course whose environment exhibited characteristics of a Community of practice (CoP). An online survey captured data used to explore the relationships among variables shown to describe a CoP in field environments and among student perceptions of their experience in the course culture. A canonical correlation analysis (CCA) and commonality analysis (CA) were conducted using five predictor variables and three criterion variables to evaluate the degree and direction of the relationships. The CCA revealed that the full model was significant, explaining approximately 74% of the variance among the two synthetic variates. Impact, faculty leadership, and connection were the largest contributors to the predictor variate. The criterion variate was primarily explained by value and perceived CoP, with exposure to the profession providing a smaller contribution. The CA confirmed these findings. Results from this study indicate that a CoP could be fostered in an online graduate course. The overall significance of the model indicates teachers can nurture an environment wherein graduate students will take the initiative to work with others to create and acquire knowledge that creates a sense of professional connection with each other and with the profession overall. The results of this study suggest further empirical research in implementing and assessing CoPs in online graduate courses is warranted.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Bone, Tonda Jenean
Partner: UNT Libraries

Building an Understanding of International Service Learning in Librarianship

Description: From the very beginning, library education has been a mixture of theory and practice. Dewey required apprenticeships to be part of the first library school at the University of Chicago as a method to indoctrinate new professional. Today, acculturation is incorporated into the professional education through a large variety of experiential learning techniques, including internships, practicum, field work, and service learning projects, all of which are designed to develop some level of professional skills within an information organization. But, what is done for understanding library culture? It is said that one cannot truly recognize the extent of one's own cultural assumptions, until they have experienced another. This study followed a group of LIS graduate students that took that next step – going to Russia. By employing a critical hermeneutic methodology, this study sought to understand what value students gain by from working on an assessment project in an international school library. Using a horizon analysis, the researcher established the worldview of participants prior to their departure, analyzed their experience through post-experience interviews, and constructed an understanding of value. Among other concepts, the researcher looked specifically to see whether "library cultural competency", understanding library culture in global context, was developed through working on a service learning project within an international school library. This dissertation provides feedback for the program leaders and ideas for future research.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Walczyk, Christine
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Change Agent in the Use of Continuing Online Distance Learning Technology

Description: Managers of public libraries have been presented with a new set of challenges in the day-to-day operations of public libraries. These include their ability to serve as change agents as they manage the use of continuing online distance learning (CODL) for staff. This online tool may provide staff opportunities for on-the-job learning, yet for managers and managerial staff little is known about how the tool impacts their role in light of the changes. This research investigates the perceptions of 103 Northeast Texas Library System managers and managerial staff about their role as a change agent in the use of CODL using an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to determine the outcome. Administrators from urban, suburban, and rural public libraries were surveyed using a General Training Climate Scale to explore three constructs: extent of the manager role, manager role, and use of CODL. Data analysis was performed using exploratory and confirmatory analysis to support the theoretical model. An altered model was tested and confirmed through model fit indices.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Lawson, Cheryl L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Children's Color Association for Digital Image Retrieval.

Description: In the field of information sciences, attention has been focused on developing mature information retrieval systems that abstract information automatically from the contents of information resources, such as books, images and films. As a subset of information retrieval research, content-based image retrieval systems automatically abstract elementary information from images in terms of colors, shapes, and texture. Color is the most commonly used in similarity measurement for content-based image retrieval systems. Human-computer interface design and image retrieval methods benefit from studies based on the understanding of their potential users. Today's children are exposed to digital technology at a very young age, and they will be the major technology users in five to ten years. This study focuses on children's color perception and color association with a controlled set of digital images. The method of survey research was used to gather data for this exploratory study about children's color association from a children's population, third to sixth graders. An online questionnaire with fifteen images was used to collect quantitative data of children's color selections. Face-to-face interviews investigated the rationale and factors affecting the color choices and children's interpretation of the images. The findings in this study indicate that the color children associated with in the images was the one that took the most space or the biggest part of an image. Another powerful factor in color selection was the vividness or saturation of the color. Colors that stood out the most generally attracted the greatest attention. Preferences of color, character, or subject matter in an image also strongly affected children's color association with images. One of the most unexpected findings was that children would choose a color to replace a color in an image. In general, children saw more things than what were actually represented in the images. However, the children's interpretation ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Chang, Yun-Ke
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cognitive Playfulness, Innovativeness, and Belief of Essentialness: Characteristics of Educators who have the Ability to Make Enduring Changes in the Integration of Technology into the Classroom Environment.

Description: Research on the adoption of innovation is largely limited to factors affecting immediate change with few studies focusing on enduring or lasting change. The purpose of the study was to examine the personality characteristics of cognitive playfulness, innovativeness, and essentialness beliefs in educators who were able to make an enduring change in pedagogy based on the use of technology in the curriculum within their assigned classroom settings. The study utilized teachers from 33 school districts and one private school in Texas who were first-year participants in the Intel® Teach to the Future program. The research design focused on how cognitive playfulness, innovativeness, and essentialness beliefs relate to a sustained high level of information technology use in the classroom. The research questions were: 1) Are individuals who are highly playful more likely to continue to demonstrate an ability to integrate technology use in the classroom at a high level than those who are less playful? 2) Are individuals who are highly innovative more likely to continue to demonstrate an ability to integrate technology use in the classroom at a high level than those who are less innovative? 3) Are individuals who believe information technology use is critical and indispensable to their teaching more likely to continue to demonstrate an ability to integrate technology use in the classroom at a high level than those who believe it is supplemental and not essential? The findings of the current study indicated that playfulness, innovativeness, and essentialness scores as defined by the scales used were significantly correlated to an individual's sustained ability to use technology at a high level. Playfulness was related to the educator's level of innovativeness, as well. Also, educators who believed the use of technology was critical and indispensable to their instruction were more likely to be able to demonstrate a sustained ...
Date: August 2004
Creator: Dunn, Lemoyne Luette Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Common Representation Format for Multimedia Documents

Description: Multimedia documents are composed of multiple file format combinations, such as image and text, image and sound, or image, text and sound. The type of multimedia document determines the form of analysis for knowledge architecture design and retrieval methods. Over the last few decades, theories of text analysis have been proposed and applied effectively. In recent years, theories of image and sound analysis have been proposed to work with text retrieval systems and progressed quickly due in part to rapid progress in computer processing speed. Retrieval of multimedia documents formerly was divided into the categories of image and text, and image and sound. While standard retrieval process begins from text only, methods are developing that allow the retrieval process to be accomplished simultaneously using text and image. Although image processing for feature extraction and text processing for term extractions are well understood, there are no prior methods that can combine these two features into a single data structure. This dissertation will introduce a common representation format for multimedia documents (CRFMD) composed of both images and text. For image and text analysis, two techniques are used: the Lorenz Information Measurement and the Word Code. A new process named Jeong's Transform is demonstrated for extraction of text and image features, combining the two previous measurements to form a single data structure. Finally, this single data measurements to form a single data structure. Finally, this single data structure is analyzed by using multi-dimensional scaling. This allows multimedia objects to be represented on a two-dimensional graph as vectors. The distance between vectors represents the magnitude of the difference between multimedia documents. This study shows that image classification on a given test set is dramatically improved when text features are encoded together with image features. This effect appears to hold true even when the available ...
Date: December 2002
Creator: Jeong, Ki Tai
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparative Analysis of Style of User Interface Look and Feel in a Synchronous Computer Supported Cooperative Work Environment

Description: The purpose of this study is to determine whether the style of a user interface (i.e., its look and feel) has an effect on the usability of a synchronous computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) environment for delivering Internet-based collaborative content. The problem motivating this study is that people who are located in different places need to be able to communicate with one another. One way to do this is by using complex computer tools that allow users to share information, documents, programs, etc. As an increasing number of business organizations require workers to use these types of complex communication tools, it is important to determine how users regard these types of tools and whether they are perceived to be useful. If a tool, or interface, is not perceived to be useful then it is often not used, or used ineffectively. As organizations strive to improve communication with and among users by providing more Internet-based collaborative environments, the users' experience in this form of delivery may be tied to a style of user interface look and feel that could negatively affect their overall acceptance and satisfaction of the collaborative environment. The significance of this study is that it applies the technology acceptance model (TAM) as a tool for evaluating style of user interface look and feel in a collaborative environment, and attempts to predict which factors of that model, perceived ease of use and/or perceived usefulness, could lead to better acceptance of collaborative tools within an organization.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Livingston, Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparing the Readability of Text Displays on Paper, E-Book Readers, and Small Screen Devices

Description: Science fiction has long promised the digitalization of books. Characters in films and television routinely check their palm-sized (or smaller) electronic displays for fast-scrolling information. However, this very technology, increasingly prevalent in today's world, has not been embraced universally. While the convenience of pocket-sized information pieces has the techno-savvy entranced, the general public still greets the advent of the e-book with a curious reluctance. This lack of enthusiasm seems strange in the face of the many advantages offered by the new medium - vastly superior storage capacity, searchability, portability, lower cost, and instantaneous access. This dissertation addresses the need for research examining the reading comprehension and the role emotional response plays in the perceived performance on e-document formats as compared to traditional paper format. This study compares the relative reading comprehension on three formats (Kindle, iTouch, and paper) and examines the relationship of subject's emotional response and relative technology exposure as factors that affect how the subject perceives they have performed on those formats. This study demonstrates that, for basic reading comprehension, the medium does not matter. Furthermore, it shows that, the more uncomfortable a person is with technology and expertise in the requested task (in this case, reading), the more they cling to the belief that they will do better on traditional (paper) media - regardless of how well they actually do.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Baker, Rebecca Dawn
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of Communication Motives of On-Site and Off-Site Students in Videoconference-Based Courses

Description: The objective of this investigation is to determine whether student site location in an instructional videoconference is related to students' motives for communicating with their instructor. The study is based, in part, on the work of Martin et al. who identify five separate student-teacher communication motives. These motives, or dimensions, are termed relational, functional, excuse, participation, and sycophancy, and are measured by a 30-item questionnaire. Several communication-related theories were used to predict differences between on-site and off-site students, Media richness theory was used, foundationally, to explain differences between mediated and face-to-face communication and other theories such as uncertainty reduction theory were used in conjunction with media richness theory to predict specific differences.Two hundred eighty-one completed questionnaires were obtained from Education and Library and Information Science students in 17 separate course-sections employing interactive video at the University of North Texas during the Spring and Summer semesters of the 2001/2002 school year. This study concludes that off-site students in an instructional videoconference are more likely than their on-site peers to report being motivated to communicate with their instructor for participation reasons. If off-site students are more motivated than on-site students to communicate as a means to participate, then it may be important for instructors to watch for actual differences in participation levels, and instructors may need to be well versed in pedagogical methods that attempt to increase participation, The study also suggests that current teaching methods being employed in interactive video environments may be adequate with regard to functional, excuse-making, relational and sycophantic communication.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Massingill, K.B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Complex Systems Model for Understanding the Causes of Corruption: Case Study - Turkey

Description: It is attempted with this dissertation to draw an explanatory interdisciplinary framework to clarify the causes of systemic corruption. Following an intense review of political sciences, economics, and sociology literatures on the issue, a complex systems theoretical model is constructed. A political system consists of five main components: Society, interest aggregators, legislative, executive and private sector, and the human actors in these domains. It is hypothesized that when the legitimacy level of the system is low and morality of the systemic actors is flawed, selected political, social and economic incentives and opportunities that may exist within the structure of the systemic components might -individually or as a group- trigger corrupt transactions between the actors of the system. If left untouched, corruption might spread through the system by repetition and social learning eventually becoming the source of corruption itself. By eroding the already weak legitimacy and morality, it may increase the risk of corruption even further. This theoretical explanation is used to study causes of systemic corruption in the Turkish political system. Under the guidance of the complex systems theory, initial systemic conditions, -legacy of the predecessor of Turkey Ottoman Empire-, is evaluated first, and then political, social and economic factors that are presumed to be breeding corruption in contemporary Turkey is investigated. In this section, special focus is given on the formation and operation of amoral social networks and their contribution to the entrenchment of corruption within the system. Based upon the findings of the case study, the theoretical model that is informed by the literature is reformed: Thirty five system and actor level variables are identified to be related with systemic corruption and nature of the causality between them and corruption is explained. Although results of this study can not be academically generalized for obvious reasons; the analytical framework ...
Date: August 2005
Creator: Yasar, Muhammet Murat
Partner: UNT Libraries

Computer Support Interactions: Verifying a Process Model of Problem Trajectory in an Information Technology Support Environment.

Description: Observations in the information technology (IT) support environment and generalizations from the literature regarding problem resolution behavior indicate that computer support staff seldom store reusable solution information effectively for IT problems. A comprehensive model of the processes encompassing problem arrival and assessment, expertise selection, problem resolution, and solution recording has not been available to facilitate research in this domain. This investigation employed the findings from a qualitative pilot study of IT support staff information behaviors to develop and explicate a detailed model of problem trajectory. Based on a model from clinical studies, this model encompassed a trajectory scheme that included the communication media, characteristics of the problem, decision points in the problem resolution process, and knowledge creation in the form of solution storage. The research design included the administration of an extensive scenario-based online survey to a purposive sample of IT support staff at a medium-sized state-supported university, with additional respondents from online communities of IT support managers and call-tracking software developers. The investigator analyzed 109 completed surveys and conducted email interviews of a stratified nonrandom sample of survey respondents to evaluate the suitability of the model. The investigation employed mixed methods including descriptive statistics, effects size analysis, and content analysis to interpret the results and verify the sufficiency of the problem trajectory model. The study found that expertise selection relied on the factors of credibility, responsibility, and responsiveness. Respondents referred severe new problems for resolution and recorded formal solutions more often than other types of problems, whereas they retained moderate recurring problems for resolution and seldom recorded those solutions. Work experience above and below the 5-year mark affected decisions to retain, refer, or defer problems, as well as solution storage and broadcasting behaviors. The veracity of the problem trajectory model was verified and it was found to be an ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Strauss, Christopher Eric
Partner: UNT Libraries