UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED
Note: All results matching your query require you to be a member of the UNT Community (you must be on campus or login with university credentials for access).

District Leadership Supporting PLC Implementation in a Rapid Growth District

Description: A growing body of work has emerged regarding the responsibilities required of district leaders in establishing plans that initiate and create conditions for sustainability of continuous improvement achieved through a systemic reform structure such as professional learning communities. However, limited research exists in respect to sustaining cultures of continuous improvement in rapid growth districts. Rapid growth districts can be described as school systems, which construct and open multiple campuses annually. The underlying premise of this study considered how humans interact with one another within a rapidly changing professional organization. Change theory, professional capital, organizational learning theory, and system reform emerge as the conceptual framework in this study of district support of professional learning communities. Data collection for this qualitative descriptive case study included interviewing six K-12 principals, administering the PLCA-DS survey to 247 K-12 staff members, and document review. Recognition of the importance of the PLC framework, building capacity, development of collaborative culture, and issues resulting from constant change due to rapid growth were the four themes generated by the participants to support continuous improvement in a rapid growth district. The four themes combined with the components of the conceptual framework outline how district leaders in a rapidly changing environment cultivate a process leading to system-wide improvement.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Tinsley, Laurie Huffman
Partner: UNT Libraries

Drought: Construction of a Social Problem

Description: Drought is a complex subject that has varied definitions and perspectives. Although drought has historically been characterized as an environmental problem from both the meteorological and agricultural communities, it is not considered a sociological disaster despite its severe societal impacts. Utilizing the framework developed by Spector and Kitsuse (2011) and Stallings (1995), this research examines the process through which drought is defined as a social problem. An analysis of the data revealed drought was well covered in Africa, India, China, Australia, and New Zealand, yet very little coverage focused on the United States. There were less than 10 articles discussing drought and drought impacts in the United States. The workshops/meetings examined also were lacking in the attention to drought, although their overall theme was focused on hazards and resilience. Six sessions in over 16 years of meetings/workshops focused on the topic of drought, and one session was focused on the condition in Canada. The interviews uncovered five thematic areas demonstrating drought understanding and awareness: Use of outreach to get the message out; agricultures familiarity with drought; the role of drought in media; the variability of what drought is; and water conservation. Drought's claims-makers who are dedicated to providing outreach and education to impacted communities. Drought is often overlooked due to its slow onset and evolving development makes it difficult to determine when to engage in recovery efforts. Drought defined as a social problem also expands theoretical conversations regarding what events or issues should be included within the sociological disaster list of topics.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Parham, Antoinette D
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Duality of the Hitler Youth: Ideological Indoctrination and Premilitary Education

Description: This thesis examines the National Socialists' ultimate designs for Germany's youth, conveniently organized within the Hitlerjugend. Prevailing scholarship portrays the Hitler Youth as a place for ideological indoctrination and activities akin to the modern Boy Scouts. Furthermore, it often implies that the Hitler Youth was paramilitary but always lacks support for this claim. These claims are not incorrect, but in regard to the paramilitary nature of the organization, they do not delve nearly deeply enough. The National Socialists ultimately desired to consolidate their control over the nation and to prepare the nation for a future war. Therefore, they needed to simultaneously indoctrinate German youth, securing the future existence of National Socialism but also ensuring that German youth carry out their orders and defend Germany, and train the youth in premilitary skills, deliberately attempting to increase the quality of the Wehrmacht and furnish it with a massive, trained reserve in case of war. This paper relies on published training manuals, translated propaganda, memoirs of former Hitler Youth members and secondary literature to examine the form and extent of the ideological indoctrination and premilitary training--which included the general Hitler Youth, special Hitler Youth subdivisions, military preparedness camps akin to boot camp, and elaborate war games which tested the youths' military knowledge. This thesis clearly demonstrates that the National Socialists desired to train the youth in skills that assisted them later in the Wehrmacht and reveals the process implemented by the National Socialists to instill these abilities in Germany's impressionable youth.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Miller, Aaron Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effect of Makerspace Professional Development Activities on Elementary and Middle School Educator Perceptions of Integrating Technologies with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

Description: This study investigated a Makerspace professional development program, the Makers' Guild, provided to teachers within north Texas over the course of a semester. The research employed a constructionist approach delivered via 2D and 3D technologies during STEM instructional activities within a creative space. Participants reported statistically significant increases in self-reported competence in technology integration, confidence levels toward integrating World Wide Web, Emerging Technologies for Student Learning, Teacher Professional Development, and attitudes toward math, technology, science, and STEM careers.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Miller, Jennifer R
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Feedback Timing when Teaching a New Task to Children with Autism

Description: The purpose of this experiment was to investigate Tosti's proposal about the timing of feedback. The study examined whether it is better to correct immediately after the error occurs or whether it is better to wait until immediately before the next opportunity to respond. In addition, it aimed to determine whether corrections delivered at different times produced different learner affects. Four children with autism were taught to label two sets of pictures under the two different conditions. Results showed that the timing of the feedback yields similar results in regards to number of correct responses and total trial count. However, in regards to time spent in teaching and learner affect, correcting errors before the next opportunity to respond showed to be the more efficient procedure and produced more favorable affect.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cochrane, Angela
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Student-Perceived Instructor Demotivating Behaviors on Doctoral Students' Information Seeking Behaviors

Description: In their studies on student motivation in th4e 1990s, Gorham & Christophel and Christophel & Gorham found that students perceived their own demotivation to be caused by instructor behaviors. While there are studies that explore the topic of student demotivation and other studies that illustrate the great influence instructors have on student information seeking behaviors, research focusing on the connection between these two concepts is almost nonexistent. Using Gorham & Christophel's concept of instructor-owned student demotivation, this mixed-methods study sought to identify which instructor behaviors doctoral computer science and information science students found demotivating and to what extent their perceptions of these demotivating instructor behaviors influenced their information seeking behaviors in a face-to-face classroom. Demographic and student-perceived demotivating instructor behavior surveys along with semi-structured interviews and follow-up questions were used to collect data. The surveys will be analyzed using descriptive statistics in Excel, and the semi-structured interviews and follow up questions were analyzed using content analysis and Colaizzi's method of phenomenological enquiry in NVivo. The findings showed that instructor demotivating behaviors not only influence student information seeking behaviors in the classroom, but they also can lead to lasting effects on the student. In addition, the participants have expectations of instructor behaviors, which come from their own experiences. These expectations also influence the level of demotivation they feel in a face-to-face classroom.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cantu, Brenda Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ethiopian Coffee Stories: Applied Research with Sidama Coffee Farmers Combining Visual and Ethnographic Methods

Description: The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the value of visual research methods to applied anthropology in the context of exploratory research with farmers in Ethiopia. The three methods of photo-elicitation, participatory photography, and ethnographic film, enrich and expand ethnographic methods to support the client's objective of supporting farmers. The applied project constructs a narrative from the local perspective to help consumers learn more about farmers' lives. The research focuses on specific farmers, and their experiences with direct fair trade and coffee farming. The client sees the application of research produced by ethnographic and visual methods as a good direction not only for his company, but the Fair Trade Industry as a whole.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Suter, Paula Jean
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluation of Agreement among Respondents to Anecdotal Assessments and Correspondence between Anecdotal and Experimental Analysis Outcomes

Description: Study 1 evaluated agreement among five respondents using the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST), the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF). Respondents provided ratings for 20 target behaviors exhibited by 10 individuals. At least 4/5 raters agreed on the primary maintaining variable in 80% of cases with the FAST, 70% of cases with the MAS, and 55% of cases with the QABF. Study 2 evaluated correspondence between results of anecdotal assessments and experimental functional analysis for 10 target behaviors selected from Study 1. Correspondence between the experimental functional analyses was 60% with the FAST and the MAS, 50% with the QABF.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Frusha, Caroline J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Evaluation of Correspondence between Preference and Performance under a Progressive Ration Schedule with College Students

Description: Preference assessments are used in clinical settings to identify stimuli with reinforcing potential. The progressive-ratio schedule has shown to be useful in clinical assessments in identifying stimuli with stronger reinforcer efficacy that corresponds to formalized assessments.The current study utilized a progressive-ratio schedule to compare videos of high and low preference assessed by verbal reports of preference with college students. Results indicated breakpoints were higher for high preferred videos than low preferred videos for three out of five participants, but preference was not indicative of performance.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Johnson, Jamarious
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Evaluation of Interactive Computer Training to Teach Discrete Trial and Naturalistic Instruction to Novice Therapists

Description: Effective and efficient training strategies are needed to provide training to novel therapists whom provide early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services to young children with autism. We evaluated the effects of interactive computer-based training (ICT) on novice therapists' implementation of two, common EIBI instructional techniques: discrete-trial instruction (DTI) and naturalistic instruction. Results demonstrated that ICT improved trainees' instructional fidelity during role-plays with a confederate for DTI instruction and also with a child with autism for both DTI and naturalistic instruction. As a result, the requirement for supervisor feedback on performance was minimized. In addition, results suggest that child language improved as a result of improved therapist performance.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Nielsen, Olivia
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Evaluation of the Effects of Effort on Resistance to Change

Description: Behavioral momentum theory (BMT) has become a prominent method of studying the effects of reinforcement on operant behavior. BMT represents a departure from the Skinnerian tradition in that it identifies the strength of responding with its resistance to change. Like in many other operant research paradigms, however, responses are considered to be momentary phenomena and so little attention has been paid to non-rate dimensions of responding. The current study takes up the question of whether or not the degree of effort defining a discriminated operant class has any meaningful effect on its resistance to change. Using a force transducer, rats responded on a two-component multiple VI 60-s VI 60-s schedule where each component was correlated with a different force requirement. Resistance to change was tested through prefeeding and extinction. Proportional declines in response rate were equal across components during all disruption tests. Differentiated response classes remained intact throughout. The negative result suggests several future research directions.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Foss, Erica K
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evolving Curricular Models in Culinary Arts: An Instrumental Case Study of a Technical Field

Description: The purpose of this research study was to examine how chefs and other individuals in the food industry understood the field of culinary arts. This study used an instrumental case study with purposeful sampling of multiple cases. Through a series of open-ended interviews using snowball-sampling strategy that concluded with 45 participants sharing their experiences in culinary education and employment, several themes emerged across all of the interviews: (1) Disempowerment of those who have been successful in the culinary arts; (2) Conflict in the field; and, (3) Needs of employers not being met. Following the analysis of the data, two research questions were inductively formed: (1) How do the participants' understandings vary based upon the three models (apprenticeship, associate degree, and baccalaureate degree) of culinary education? (2) How do these themes vary depending upon the three models of culinary education? What resulted was thick description of the impact of the three models of formal chef education has had on the field of culinary arts, followed by the potential in the development of the baccalaureate degree model as it represented an opportunity for field redefinition in culinary arts. This study produced a set of data revealing that current culinary education has become one that has bred disempowerment, continued conflict in the field of culinary arts, and left needs unfullfilled related to technical skills required for successful employment. The shift from the time-consuming and expensive model of apprenticeship to the development of the associate degree has necessitated a reconsideration of culinary education. What has been offered in this research is the potential for a transformation facilitated within a baccalaureate degree that could intertwine both technical skills and academic knowledge.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cossio, Allison
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploratory User Research for a Website that Provides Resources for Educators of American Indian Students in Higher Education

Description: Several studies have indicated that American Indian students in the United States higher education system confront unique challenges that derive from a legacy of colonialism and assimilationist policies (Huff 1997). Several scholars, American Indian and non-Native alike, have explored the effects of this history upon students in higher education (Brayboy 2004; Guillory and Wolverton 2008; Waterman and Lindley 2013). Very few, however, have explored the role of the educators of American Indian students, and most of the literature focuses on K-12 educational settings (McCarty and Lee 2014; Yong and Hoffman 2014). This thesis examines exploratory user research conducted to generate a foundational understanding of educators of American Indian students in higher education. Utilizing methods from design anthropology and user experience, semi-structured interviews and think-aloud sessions were conducted, almost exclusively virtually, for 17 participants. This research was conducted for a client, Fire & Associates, as part of the applied thesis process. Findings revealed a complex web of needs for educators of American Indian students in higher education related to teaching diverse students, the use of media and technology in the classroom, and the process of networking among other educators. The research culminated in content and design implications for the Fire & Associates website as well as suggestions for further research based on best practices in the field of user experience.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Roth, Heather S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring Ahope Client Satisfaction and Attitudes

Description: I led a participatory action research (PAR) project with the staff and homeless clients of Ahope Day Center in Asheville, North Carolina, which was meant to evaluate client satisfaction with services and attitudes about certain issues. Project is led by an inquiry group consisting of members of Ahope staff and Ahope clients. The project is a co-designed, co-implemented, and co-interpreted mixed-method evaluation of Ahope's services, client attitudes about education and the environment, client adaptive strategies, optimism levels, and a mapping of client daily routines. The data was collected through participant observation, document analysis, surveys, a listing activity, and informal interviews. Documents were coded using grounded theory and themes emerged related to the value of the intangibles of security, community, and ‘being seen' at Ahope while some suggestions were also made. Findings included client attitudes indicating the importance of the environment and education to clients, high optimism levels among clients, and a number of suggestions for the improvement of Ahope's services.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Johnston, Josiah Ramsay
Partner: UNT Libraries

Framework to Evaluate Entropy Based Data Fusion Methods in Supply Chain Management

Description: This dissertation explores data fusion methodology to deduce an overall inference from the data gathered from multiple heterogeneous sources. Typically, if there existed a data source in which the data were reliable and unbiased, then data fusion would not be necessary. Data fusion methodology combines data form multiple diverse sources so that the desired information - such as the population mean - is improved despite redundancies, inaccuracies, biases, and inflated variability in the data. Examples of data fusion include estimating average demand from similar sources, and integrating fatality counts from different media sources after a catastrophe. The approach in this study combines "inputs" from distinct sources so that the information is "fused." Another way of describing this process is "data integration." Important assumptions are 1. Several sources provide "inputs" for information used to estimate parameters of a probability distribution. 2. Since distributions for the data from the sources are heterogeneous, some sources are less reliable. 3. Distortions, bias, censorship, and systematic errors may be more prominent in data from certain sources. 4. The sample size of sources data, number of "inputs," may be very small. Examples of information from multiple sources are abundant: traffic information from sensors at intersections, multiple economic indicators from various sources, demand data for product using similar retail stores as sources, polling data from various sources, and disaster count of fatalities from different media sources after a catastrophic event. This dissertation seeks to address a gap in the operations literature by addressing three research questions regarding entropy base data fusion (EBDF) approaches to estimation. Three separate, but unifying, essays address the research questions for this dissertation. Essay 1 provides an overview of supporting literature for the research questions. A numerical analysis of airline maximum wait time data illustrates the underlying issues involved in EBDF methods. This ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Tran, Huong Thi
Partner: UNT Libraries

Giving Voice to Multiple Sclerosis: A Patient and Provider Investigation

Description: With the advent of the telephonic and technological healthcare revolution, pharmaceutical corporations seek to improve patient compliance and quality of life by contracting with services providers. As an employee of one such provider, working for more than three years on a medication for the neurologically degenerative disease, multiple sclerosis, this investigation utilizes a mixed methodological approach. In order to improve and diversify the clinical services provided to patients, I was contracted as a consultant. I interviewed phone and PRN nurses, developed and released a PRN survey, and interviewed patients living in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. The combined experiences and expertise of the three groups who participated would serve to inform and develop new programs and services for patients with differing disease states. The research resulted in a re-imagining of the social networking theory of health, as well as the works of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, to serve the evolving tele-health and technologically based healthcare workplace.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cutler, Alexander
Partner: UNT Libraries

High Driver Turnover among Large Long-Haul Motor Carriers: Causes and Consequences

Description: My thesis provides evidence supporting a theory asserting that the high level of competition that exists between motor carriers operating within long-haul trucking is the most significant factor contributing to the continuously high driver turnover rates affecting the entire logistics industry. I explore how long-haul truck drivers internalize the conflict between their identity and the aggressively competitive environment within which they work. Social science authors, industry reports, and truck driver feedback from my own ethnographic study are analyzed for contexts in order to explore the current operating definition of success for motor carriers in both monetary and human terms.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Ferrell, Christopher Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries

A History of Overcoming: Nietzsche on the Moral Antecedents and Successors of Modern Liberalism

Description: This work aims to understand human moral psychology under modern liberalism by analyzing the mature work of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. I seek to understand and evaluate Nietzsche's claim that liberalism, rather than being an overturning of slave morality, is an extension of the slave morality present in both Judaism and Christianity. To ground Nietzsche's critique of liberalism theoretically, I begin by analyzing his "master" and "slave" concepts. With these concepts clarified, I then apply them to Nietzsche's history by following his path from Judaism to liberalism and beyond--to his "last man" and Übermensch. I find that Nietzsche views history as a series of overcomings wherein a given mode of power maintenance runs counter to the means by which power was initially attained. Liberalism, as the precursor and herald of the "last man," threatens the end of overcoming and therefore compromises the future of human valuation and meaning.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Gill, Rodney W
Partner: UNT Libraries

Human-Animal Relational Theory: A Constructivist-Grounded Theory Investigation

Description: Constructs of human-animal relational theory (HART) were investigated to determine how those constructs manifested in animal-assisted therapy in counseling (AAT-C) from the perspectives of 6 participants (2 counselors, females, ages 28 and 32, both non-Hispanic and White; 2 clients, male and female, ages 55 and 23, respectively, both non-Hispanic and White; and, 2 therapy animals, canines, Labrador retriever and spaniel mix, ages 4 and 5, respectively). Using constructivist-grounded theory, a research team analyzed qualitative data from observations, interviews, and field notes. From the iterative process of multiphasic coding and constant comparison, these findings emerged: (a) consistency between Chandler's (in press) constructs and participants' experiences of AAT-C, (b) more meaningful therapeutic impacts for clients from client-initiated human-animal relational processes (HARPs) than counselor-initiated HARPs, (c) development of rich definitions and descriptions of Chandler's constructs, and (d) descriptions of interactive experiences of AAT-C and client resistance in the context of HART. Clinicians and educators in the field of AAT can apply the processes, practices, and principles from this study in their work to enhance positive therapeutic impacts for clients. As Chandler's constructs were supported in this study, AAT authors and researchers can solve a glaring problem of inconsistent terminology in the AAT literature by using those constructs in future studies and publications as operationalized nomenclature for standardized AAT interventions.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Otting, Tiffany L
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Psychotherapeutic Reiki on Anxiety and Mindfulness: A Single-Case Design

Description: Reiki healing is one of several complementary and integrative therapies becoming increasingly prevalent in mental health counseling. It has been identified in the medical field for its usefulness in treating anxiety, depression, distress, and pain but has rarely been studied for its counseling impact on client wellness. I conducted single-case research to explore psychotherapeutic Reiki's (PR's) influence on adult clients' anxiety symptoms and perceived sense of mindfulness and provided analysis of data collected from two assessments administered weekly: the Adult Manifest Anxiety Scale-Adult and the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale. Three of the four participants demonstrated significant improvement in both anxiety and mindfulness over the course of the PR intervention. The study revealed potential therapeutic benefits for integrating PR with conventional talk therapy. Included in discussion of study results are clinical implications and importance, suggestions for future research, and limitations.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Webster, Lindsay
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact on Achievement from Student and Parent Attitudes towards Using Smartphones in School

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine what type of correlations existed between student and parent attitudes towards using smartphones in school and the resulting impact on achievement, specifically for low-achieving students. Participants in the study were third-grade students and their parents from a primary school in Singapore. The study employed a quantitative analysis to understand the correlations among the different participant groups. The instruments used were Likert-based surveys, along with scores from mid-year and end-of-year achievement exams in English and science. The three most relevant major findings showed that (a) low-achieving students show a positive attitude toward completing science activities, which correlates with an increase in science achievement; (b) the parents of low-achieving students appear to provide their children with autonomy in using their smartphones, which correlates with an increase in science achievement; and (c) having a smartphone and using the smartphone to complete school work is important to low-achieving students and their parents.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Gordesky, Joshua
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving the Long-term Performance of PVC Compositions

Description: PVC are extensively applied in many fields, such as cables, pipes, vehicles, shoes, toys and infusion bags. Generally, plasticizers are blended with PVC to improve the ability of process in industrial production; however, the toxic plasticizers will gradually migrate to the surface of products and such a leakage results in brittleness of plasticized PVC and environmental pollution. In other words, humans are frequently exposed to the potential risks. According to previous researches, cross-linked PVC was proved that it was able to hinder the migration of plasticizer. Thus, in this research, we selected some commercially used cross-linking agents and employed six different tests based on mechanical, tribological and microscopy analysis in order to seek the best solution against plasticizer migration. Thus, we expected to develop a cross-linked flexible PVC which performed improved long-term performance and extended lifetime.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Yang, Yu Chia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Increasing Number of Toys: A Case Study of Response Generalization across Novel Toys

Description: Children diagnosed with autism are often described as having limited or restricted activities that serve as reinforcers as compared to neurotypical peers. Many theories suggest that one of the many ways children develop is through participation in play. This results in children coming into contact with new environmental stimuli. The procedures used to enhance play skills for children diagnosed with autism typically involve training novel responses with novel stimuli (e.g., toys). This is often done using naturalistic procedures. Because multiple procedures are used, it is unclear what procedure or combination of procedures causes the increases in play repertoires. This study investigated an important component of the treatment package know as reciprocal imitation training. Specifically, the study examined whether increased opportunities, contingent imitation without the requirement to imitate, or contingent imitation with the requirement to imitate would increase the number of toys a child diagnosed with autism would play with. The results showed dramatic increases in the number of toys the child independently chose to play with and an increase in the spontaneous use of different response topographies across novel stimuli only when the student was required to imitate a model. The results are discussed in terms of mediated generalization, the use of common responses, stimulus class formation and stimulus class expansion.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Chaudhry, Mohsana
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Population on Wrongful Convictions

Description: With criminal cases continuing to be exonerated across the United States, research must be done on the subject to advance current practices to reduce its occurrence in the future. This study combines county population data with the National Registry of Exonerations to analyze the contributing factors to wrongful convictions and the possible effect of population on their frequency. The objective of this study was to identify specific policy changes based on the five contributing factors to wrongful convictions that could be applied to population specific areas. The results yielded multiple patterns that are discussed thoroughly. These findings allowed the introduction of policy changes and proposals for future research.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Whittington, Kari
Partner: UNT Libraries