UNT Theses and Dissertations - 121 Matching Results

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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

Functional Ontology Construction: A Pragmatic Approach to Addressing Problems Concerning the Individual and the Informing Environment

Description: Functional ontology construction (FOC) is an approach for modeling the relationships between a user and the informing environment by means of analysis of the user's behavior and the elements of the environment that have behavioral function. The FOC approach is an application of behavior analytic techniques and concepts to problems within information science. The FOC approach is both an alternative and a compliment to the cognitive viewpoint commonly found in models of behavior in information science. The basis for the synthesis of behavior analysis and information science is a shared tradition of pragmatism between the fields. The application of behavior analytic concepts brings with it the notion of selection by consequence. Selection is examined on the biological, behavioral, and cultural levels. Two perspicuous examples of the application of the FOC modeling approach are included. The first example looks at the document functioning as a reinforcer in a human operant experimental setting. The second example is an examination of the verbal behavior of expert film analyst, Raymond Bellour, the structure of a film he analyzed, and the elements of the film's structure that had behavioral function for Bellour. The FOC approach is examined within the ontological space of information science.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Anderson, Richard L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving Recall of Browsing Sets in Image Retrieval from a Semiotics Perspective

Description: The purpose of dissertation is to utilize connotative messages for enhancing image retrieval and browsing. By adopting semiotics as a theoretical tool, this study explores problems of image retrieval and proposes an image retrieval model. The semiotics approach conceptually demonstrates that: 1) a fundamental reason for the dissonance between retrieved images and user needs is representation of connotative messages, and 2) the image retrieval model which makes use of denotative index terms is able to facilitate users to browse connotatively related images effectively even when the users' needs are potentially expressed in the form of denotative query. Two experiments are performed for verifying the semiotic-based image retrieval model and evaluating the effectiveness of the model. As data sources, 5,199 records are collected from Artefacts Canada: Humanities by Canadian Heritage Information Network, and the candidate terms of connotation and denotation are extracted from Art & Architecture Thesaurus. The first experiment, by applying term association measures, verifies that the connotative messages of an image can be derived from denotative messages of the image. The second experiment reveals that the association thesaurus which is constructed based on the associations between connotation and denotation facilitates assigning connotative terms to image documents. In addition, the result of relevant judgments presents that the association thesaurus improves the relative recall of retrieved image documents as well as the relative recall of browsing sets. This study concludes that the association thesaurus indicating associations between connotation and denotation is able to improve the accessibility of the connotative messages. The results of the study are hoped to contribute to the conceptual knowledge of image retrieval by providing understandings of connotative messages within an image and to the practical design of image retrieval system by proposing an association thesaurus which can supplement the limitations of the current content-based image retrieval systems ...
Date: May 2006
Creator: Yoon, JungWon
Partner: UNT Libraries

Intangible Qualities of Rare Books: Toward a Decision-Making Framework for Preservation Management in Rare Book Collections, Based Upon the Concept of the Book as Object

Description: For rare book collections, a considerable challenge is involved in evaluating collection materials in terms of their inherent value, which includes the textual and intangible information the materials provide for the collection's users. Preservation management in rare book collections is a complex and costly process. As digitization and other technological advances in surrogate technology have provided new forms representation, new dilemmas in weighing the rare book's inherently valuable characteristics against the possibly lesser financial costs of surrogates have arisen. No model has been in wide use to guide preservation management decisions. An initial iteration of such a model is developed, based on a Delphi-like iterative questioning of a group of experts in the field of rare books. The results are used to synthesize a preservation management framework for rare book collections, and a small-scale test of the framework has been completed through two independent analyses of five rare books in a functioning collection. Utilizing a standardized template for making preservation decisions offers a variety of benefits. Preservation decisions may include prioritizing action upon the authentic objects, or developing and maintaining surrogates in lieu of retaining costly original collection materials. The framework constructed in this study provides a method for reducing the subjectivity of preservation decision-making and facilitating the development of a standard of practice for preservation management within rare book collections.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Sheehan, Jennifer Karr
Partner: UNT Libraries

News photography image retrieval practices: Locus of control in two contexts.

Description: This is the first known study to explore the image retrieval preferences of news photographers and news photo editors in work contexts. Survey participants (n=102) provided opinions regarding 11 photograph searching methods. The quantitative survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, while content analysis was used to evaluate the qualitative survey data. In addition, news photographers and news photo editors (n=11) participated in interviews. Data from the interviews were analyzed with phenomenography. The survey data demonstrated that most participants prefer searching by events taking place in the photograph, objects that exist in the photograph, photographer-provided keywords, and relevant metadata, such as the date the picture was taken. They also prefer browsing. Respondents had mixed opinions about searching by emotions elicited in a photograph, as well as the environmental conditions represented in a photograph. Participants' lowest-rated methods included color and light, lines and shapes, and depth, shadow, or perspective. They also expressed little interest in technical information about a photograph, such as shutter speed and aperture. Interview participants' opinions about the search methods reflected the survey respondents' views. They discussed other aspects of news photography as well, including the stories told by the pictures, technical concerns about digital photography, and digital archiving and preservation issues. These stated preferences for keyword searching, browsing, and photographer-provided keywords illustrate a desire for a strong internal locus of control in digital photograph archives. Such methods allow users more control over access to their photographs, while the methods deemed less favorable by survey participants offer less control. Participants believe they can best find their photographs if they can control how they index and search for them. Therefore, it would be useful to design online photograph archives that allow users to control representation and access. Future research possibilities include determining the preferences of other image retrieval system ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Neal, Diane Rasmussen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Implications of the inclusion of document retrieval systems as actors in a social network.

Description: Traditionally, social network analysis (SNA) techniques enable the examination of relationships and the flow of information within networks of human members or groups of humans. This study extended traditional social network analysis to include a nonhuman group member, specifically a document retrieval system. The importance of document retrieval systems as information sources, the changes in business environments that necessitates the use of information and communication technologies, and the attempts to make computer systems more life-like, provide the reasons for considering the information system as a group member. The review of literature for this study does not encompass a single body of knowledge. Instead, several areas combined to inform this study, including social informatics for its consideration of the intersection of people and information technology, network theory and social network analysis, organizations and information, organizational culture, and finally, storytelling in organizations as a means of transferring information. The methodology included distribution of surveys to two small businesses that used the same document retrieval system, followed by semi-structured interviews of selected group members, which allowed elaboration on the survey findings. The group members rated each other and the system on four interaction criteria relating to four social networks of interest, including awareness, access, information flow, and problem solving. Traditional measures of social networks, specifically density, degree, reciprocity, transitivity, distance, degree centrality, and closeness centrality provided insight into the positioning of the nonhuman member within the social group. The human members of the group were able to respond to the survey that included the system but were not ready to consider the system as being equivalent to other human members. SNA measures positioned the system as an average member of the group, not a star, but not isolated either. Examination of the surveys or the interviews in isolation would not have given a ...
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Macpherson, Janet Robertson
Partner: UNT Libraries

Knowledge management in times of change: Tacit and explicit knowledge transfers.

Description: This study proposed a look at the importance and challenges of knowledge management in times of great change. In order to understand the information phenomena of interest, impacts on knowledge workers and knowledge documents in times of great organizational change, the study is positioned in a major consolidation of state agencies in Texas. It pays special attention to how the changes were perceived by the knowledge workers by interviewing those that were impacted by the changes resulting from the reorganization. The overall goal is to assess knowledge management in times of great organizational change by analyzing the impact of consolidation on knowledge management in Texas's Health and Human Services agencies. The overarching research question is what happened to the knowledge management structure during this time of great change? The first research question was what was the knowledge worker environment during the time of change? The second research question was what was the knowledge management environment of the agencies during the time of change? The last research question was did consolidation of the HHS agencies diminish the ability to transition from tacit to explicit knowledge? Additionally, the study investigates how the bill that mandated the consolidation was covered in the local media as well as the actual budget and employee loss impact of the consolidation in order to better understand the impacts on knowledge workers and knowledge documents as a result of major organizational restructuring. The findings have both theoretical and practical implications for information science, knowledge management and project management.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Hall, Heather Leigh
Partner: UNT Libraries

A multi-dimensional entropy model of jazz improvisation for music information retrieval.

Description: Jazz improvisation provides a case context for examining information in music; entropy provides a means for representing music for retrieval. Entropy measures are shown to distinguish between different improvisations on the same theme, thus demonstrating their potential for representing jazz information for analysis and retrieval. The calculated entropy measures are calibrated against human representation by means of a case study of an advanced jazz improvisation course, in which synonyms for "entropy" are frequently used by the instructor. The data sets are examined for insights in music information retrieval, music information behavior, and music representation.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Simon, Scott J.
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

Global response to cyberterrorism and cybercrime: A matrix for international cooperation and vulnerability assessment.

Description: Cyberterrorism and cybercrime present new challenges for law enforcement and policy makers. Due to its transnational nature, a real and sound response to such a threat requires international cooperation involving participation of all concerned parties in the international community. However, vulnerability emerges from increased reliance on technology, lack of legal measures, and lack of cooperation at the national and international level represents real obstacle toward effective response to these threats. In sum, lack of global consensus in terms of responding to cyberterrorism and cybercrime is the general problem. Terrorists and cyber criminals will exploit vulnerabilities, including technical, legal, political, and cultural. Such a broad range of vulnerabilities can be dealt with by comprehensive cooperation which requires efforts both at the national and international level. "Vulnerability-Comprehensive Cooperation-Freedom Scale" or "Ozeren Scale" identified variables that constructed the scale based on the expert opinions. Also, the study presented typology of cyberterrorism, which involves three general classifications of cyberterrorism; Disruptive and destructive information attacks, Facilitation of technology to support the ideology, and Communication, Fund raising, Recruitment, Propaganda (C-F-R-P). Such a typology is expected to help those who are in a position of decision-making and investigating activities as well as academicians in the area of terrorism. The matrix for international cooperation and vulnerability assessment is expected to be used as a model for global response to cyberterrorism and cybercrime.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Ozeren, Suleyman
Partner: UNT Libraries

Makeshift Information Constructions: Information Flow and Undercover Police

Description: This dissertation presents the social virtual interface (SVI) model, which was born out of a need to develop a viable model of the complex interactions, information flow and information seeking behaviors among undercover officers. The SVI model was created from a combination of various philosophies and models in the literature of information seeking, communication and philosophy. The questions this research paper answers are as follows: 1. Can we make use of models and concepts familiar to or drawn from Information Science to construct a model of undercover police work that effectively represents the large number of entities and relationships? and 2. Will undercover police officers recognize this model as realistic? This study used a descriptive qualitative research method to examine the research questions. An online survey and hard copy survey were distributed to police officers who had worked in an undercover capacity. In addition groups of officers were interviewed about their opinion of the SVI model. The data gathered was analyzed and the model was validated by the results of the survey and interviews.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Aksakal, Baris
Partner: UNT Libraries

Terrorism as a social information entity: A model for early intervention.

Description: This dissertation studies different social aspects of terrorists and terrorist organizations in an effort to better deal with terrorism, especially in the long run. The researcher, who also worked as a Police Captain at Turkish National Police Anti-Terrorism Department, seeks solutions to today's global problem by studying both literature and a Delphi examination of a survey of 1070 imprisoned terrorists. The research questions include questions such as "What are the reasons behind terrorism?", "Why does terrorism occur?", "What ideologies provide the framework for terrorist violence?, "Why do some individuals become terrorists and others do not?" and "Under what conditions will terrorists end their violence?" The results of the study presents the complexity of the terrorism problem as a social experience and impossibility of a single solution or remedy for the global problem of terrorism. The researcher through his examination of the findings of the data, presented that terrorism is a social phenomenon with criminal consequences that needs to be dealt by means of two dimensional approaches. The first is the social dimension of terrorism and the second is the criminal dimension of terrorism. Based on this, the researcher constructed a conceptual model which addresses both of these dimensions under the titles of long-term solutions and short-term solutions. The long-term solutions deal with the social aspects of terrorism under the title of Proactive Approach to Terrorism and the short-term solutions deal with the criminal aspects of terrorism under the title of The Immediate Fight against Terrorism. The researcher constructed this model because there seems to be a tendency of not asking the question of "Why does terrorism occur?" Instead, the focus is usually on dealing with the consequences of terrorism and future terrorist threats. While it is essential that the governments need to provide the finest security measures for their societies, ...
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Yayla, Ahmet
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

The Impact of Predisposition Towards Group Work on Intention to Use a CSCW System

Description: Groupware packages are increasingly being used to support content delivery, class discussion, student to student and student to faculty interactions and group work on projects. This research focused on groupware packages that are used to support students who are located in different places, but who are assigned group projects as part of their coursework requirements. In many cases, students are being asked to use unfamiliar technologies that are very different from those that support personal productivity. For example, computer-assisted cooperative work (CSCW) technology is different from other more traditional, stand-alone software applications because it requires the user to interact with the computer as well as other users. However, familiarity with the technology is not the only requirement for successful completion of a group assigned project. For a group to be successful, it must also have a desire to work together on the project. If this pre-requisite is not present within the group, then the technology will only create additional communication and coordination barriers. How much of an impact does each of these factors have on the acceptance of CSCW technology? The significance of this study is threefold. First, this research contributed to how a user's predisposition toward group work affects their acceptance of CSCW technology. Second, it helped identify ways to overcome some of the obstacles associated with group work and the use of CSCW technology in an academic online environment. Finally, it helped identify early adopters of CSCW software and how these users can form the critical mass required to diffuse the technology. This dissertation reports the impact of predisposition toward group work and prior computer experience on the intention to use synchronous CSCW. It was found that predisposition toward group work was not only positively associated to perceived usefulness; it was also related to intention to use. It ...
Date: May 2005
Creator: Reyna, Josephine
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perceived features and similarity of images: An investigation into their relationships and a test of Tversky's contrast model.

Description: The creation, storage, manipulation, and transmission of images have become less costly and more efficient. Consequently, the numbers of images and their users are growing rapidly. This poses challenges to those who organize and provide access to them. One of these challenges is similarity matching. Most current content-based image retrieval (CBIR) systems which can extract only low-level visual features such as color, shape, and texture, use similarity measures based on geometric models of similarity. However, most human similarity judgment data violate the metric axioms of these models. Tversky's (1977) contrast model, which defines similarity as a feature contrast task and equates the degree of similarity of two stimuli to a linear combination of their common and distinctive features, explains human similarity judgments much better than the geometric models. This study tested the contrast model as a conceptual framework to investigate the nature of the relationships between features and similarity of images as perceived by human judges. Data were collected from 150 participants who performed two tasks: an image description and a similarity judgment task. Qualitative methods (content analysis) and quantitative (correlational) methods were used to seek answers to four research questions related to the relationships between common and distinctive features and similarity judgments of images as well as measures of their common and distinctive features. Structural equation modeling, correlation analysis, and regression analysis confirmed the relationships between perceived features and similarity of objects hypothesized by Tversky (1977). Tversky's (1977) contrast model based upon a combination of two methods for measuring common and distinctive features, and two methods for measuring similarity produced statistically significant structural coefficients between the independent latent variables (common and distinctive features) and the dependent latent variable (similarity). This model fit the data well for a sample of 30 (435 pairs of) images and 150 participants (χ2 =16.97, ...
Date: May 2005
Creator: Rorissa, Abebe
Partner: UNT Libraries

Privacy Concerns and Personality Traits Influencing Online Behavior: A Structural Model

Description: The concept of privacy has proven difficult to analyze because of its subjective nature and susceptibility to psychological and contextual influences. This study challenges the concept of privacy as a valid construct for addressing individuals' concerns regarding online disclosure of personal information, based on the premise that underlying behavioral traits offer a more reliable and temporally stable measure of privacy-oriented behavior than do snapshots of environmentally induced emotional states typically measured by opinion polls. This study investigated the relationship of personality characteristics associated with individuals' general privacy-related behavior to their online privacy behaviors and concerns. Two latent constructs, Functional Privacy Orientation and Online Privacy Orientation, were formulated. Functional Privacy Orientation is defined as a general measure of individuals' perception of control over their privacy. It was measured using the factors General Disclosiveness, Locus of Control, Generalized Trust, Risk Orientation, and Risk Propensity as indicator variables. Online Privacy Orientation is defined as a measure of individuals' perception of control over their privacy in an online environment. It was measured using the factors Willingness to Disclose Online, Level of Privacy Concern, Information Management Privacy Concerns, and Reported Online Disclosure as indicator variables. A survey questionnaire that included two new instruments to measure online disclosure and a willingness to disclose online was used to collect data from a sample of 274 adults. Indicator variables for each of the latent constructs, Functional Privacy Orientation and Online Privacy Orientation, were evaluated using corrected item-total correlations, factor analysis, and coefficient alpha. The measurement models and relationship between Functional Privacy Orientation and Online Privacy Orientation were assessed using exploratory factor analysis and structural equation modeling respectively. The structural model supported the hypothesis that Functional Privacy Orientation significantly influences Online Privacy Orientation. Theoretical, methodological, and practical implications and suggestions for analysis of privacy concerns and behavior are presented.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Grams, Brian C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Quality Management in Museum Information Systems: A Case Study of ISO 9001-2000 as an Evaluative Technique

Description: Museums are service-oriented information systems that provide access to information bearing materials contained in the museum's collections. Within museum environments, the primary vehicle for quality assurance and public accountability is the accreditation process of the American Association of Museums (AAM). Norbert Wiener founded the field of cybernetics, employing concepts of information feedback as a mechanism for system modification and control. W. Edwards Deming applied Wiener's principles to management theory, initiating the wave of change in manufacturing industries from production-driven to quality-driven systems. Today, the principles are embodied in the ISO 9000 International Standards for quality management systems (QMS), a globally-recognized set of standards, widely employed as a vehicle of quality management in manufacturing and service industries. The International Organization for Standardization defined a process for QMS registration against ISO 9001 that is similar in purpose to accreditation. This study's goals were to determine the degree of correspondence between elements of ISO 9001 and quality-related activities within museum environments, and to ascertain the relevance of ISO 9001-2000 as a technique of museum evaluation, parallel to accreditation. A content analysis compared museum activities to requirements specified in the ISO 9001-2000 International Standard. The study examined museum environment surrogates which consisted of (a) web sites of nine museum studies programs in the United States and (b) web sites of two museum professional associations, the AAM and the International Council of Museums (ICOM). Data items consisted of terms and phrases from the web sites and the associated context of each item. Affinity grouping of the data produced high degrees of correspondence to the categories and functional subcategories of ISO 9001. Many quality-related activities were found at the operational levels of museum environments, although not integrated as a QMS. If activities were unified as a QMS, the ISO 9001 Standard has potential for application as ...
Date: May 2005
Creator: Karr, Fred H.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Information Needs of Art Museum Visitors: Real and Virtual

Description: Museums and libraries are considered large repositories of human knowledge and human culture. They have similar missions and goals in distributing accumulated knowledge to society. Current digitization projects allow both, museums and libraries to reach a broader audience, share their resources with a variety of users. While studies of information seeking behavior, retrieval systems and metadata in library science have a long history; such research studies in museum environments are at their early experimental stage. There are few studies concerning information seeking behavior and needs of virtual museum visitors, especially with the use of images in the museums' collections available on the Web. The current study identifies preferences of a variety of user groups about the information specifics on current exhibits, museum collections metadata information, and the use of multimedia. The study of information seeking behavior of users groups of museum digital collections or cultural collections allows examination and analysis of users' information needs, and the organization of cultural information, including descriptive metadata and the quantity of information that may be required. In addition, the study delineates information needs that different categories of users may have in common: teachers in high schools, students in colleges and universities, museum professionals, art historians and researchers, and the general public. This research also compares informational and educational needs of real visitors with the needs of virtual visitors. Educational needs of real visitors are based on various studies conducted and summarized by Falk and Dierking (2000), and an evaluation of the art museum websites previously conducted to support the current study.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Kravchyna, Victoria
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

The Effect of Information Literacy Instruction on Library Anxiety Among International Students

Description: This study explored what effect information literacy instruction (ILI) may have on both a generalized anxiety state and library anxiety specifically. The population studied was international students using resources in a community college. Library anxiety among international students begins with certain barriers that cause anxiety (i.e., language/communication barriers, adjusting to a new education/library system and general cultural adjustments). Library Anxiety is common among college students and is characterized by feelings of negative emotions including, ruminations, tension, fear and mental disorganization (Jiao & Onwuegbuzie, 1999a). This often occurs when a student contemplates conducting research in a library and is due to any number of perceived inabilities about using the library. In order for students to become successful in their information seeking behavior this anxiety needs to be reduced. The study used two groups of international students enrolled in the English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) program taking credit courses. Each student completed Bostick's Library Anxiety Scale (LAS) and Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) to assess anxiety level before and after treatment. Subjects were given a research assignment that required them to use library resources. Treatment: Group 1 (experimental group) attended several library instruction classes (the instruction used Kuhltau's information search process model). Group 2 (control group) was in the library working on assignment but did not receive any formal library instruction. After the treatment the researcher and ESOL program instructor(s) measured the level of anxiety between groups. ANCOVA was used to analyze Hypotheses 1 and 2, which compared pretest and posttest for each group. Research assignment grades were used to analyze Hypothesis 3 comparing outcomes among the two groups. The results of the analysis ascertained that ILI was associated with reducing state and library anxiety among international students when given an assignment using library resources.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Battle, Joel C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Mythic Perspective of Commodification on the World Wide Web

Description: Capitalism's success, according to Karl Marx, is based on continued development of new markets and products. As globalization shrinks the world marketplace, corporations are forced to seek both new customers and products to sell. Commodification is the process of transforming objects, ideas and even people into merchandise. The recent growth of the World Wide Web has caught the attention of the corporate world, and they are attempting to convert a free-share-based medium into a profit-based outlet. To be successful, they must change Web users' perception about the nature of the Web itself. This study asks the question: Is there mythic evidence of commodification on the World Wide Web? It examines how the World Wide Web is presented to readers of three national publications-Wired, Newsweek, and Business Week-from 1993 to 2000. It uses Barthes' two-tiered model of myths to examine the descriptors used to modify and describe the World Wide Web. The descriptors were clustered into 11 general categories, including connectivity, social, being, scene, consumption, revolution, tool, value, biology, arena, and other. Wired articles did not demonstrate a trend in categorical change from 1993 to 2000; the category of choice shifted back and forth between Revolution, Connectivity, Scene, and Being. Newsweek articles demonstrated an obvious directional shift. Connectivity is the dominant myth from 1994 to 1998, when the revolution category dominates. Similarly, Business Week follows the prevailing myth of connectivity from 1994 to 1997. From 1998 on, the competition-related categories of revolution and arena lead all categories. The study finds evidence of commodification on the World Wide Web, based on the trend in categories in Newsweek and Business Week that move from a foundational myth that presents a perception of cooperation in 1994 to one of competition in 1998 and later. The study recommends further in-depth research of the target publications, ...
Date: May 2004
Creator: Robinson, Glendal Paul
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Observational Investigation of On-Duty Critical Care Nurses' Information Behavior in a Nonteaching Community Hospital

Description: Critical care nurses work in an environment rich in informative interactions. Although there have been post hoc self-report survey studies of nurses' information seeking, there have been no observational studies of the patterns and content of their on-duty information behavior. This study used participant observation and in-context interviews to describe 50 hours of the observable information behavior of a representative sample of critical care nurses in a 20-bed critical care hospital unit. The researcher used open, in vivo, and axial coding to develop a grounded theory model of their consistent pattern of multimedia interactions. The resulting Nurse's Patient-Chart Cycle describes nurses' activities during the shift as centering on a regular alternation with the patient and the patient's chart (various record systems), clearly bounded with nursing "report" interactions at the beginning and the end of the shift. The nurses' demeanor markedly changed between interactions with the chart and interactions with the patient. Other informative interactions were observed with other health care workers and the patient's family, friends and visitors. The nurses' information seeking was centered on the patient. They mostly sought information from people, the patient record and other digital systems. They acted on or passed on most of the information they found. Some information they recorded for their personal use during the shift. The researcher observed the nurses using mostly patient specific information, but they also used some social and logistic information. They occasionally sought knowledge based information. Barriers to information acquisition included illegible handwriting, difficult navigation of online systems, equipment failure, unavailable people, social protocols and mistakes caused by multi-tasking people working with multiple complex systems. No formal use was observed of standardized nursing diagnoses, nursing interventions, or nursing outcomes taxonomies. While the nurses expressed respect for evidence-based practice, there clearly was no time or opportunity for reading research ...
Date: May 2004
Creator: McKnight, Michelynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Wayfinding tools in public library buildings: A multiple case study.

Description: Wayfinding is the process of using one or more tools to move from one location to another in order to accomplish a task or to achieve a goal. This qualitative study explores the process of wayfinding as it applies to locating information in a public library. A group of volunteers were asked to find a selection of items in three types of libraries-traditional, contemporary, and modern. The retrieval process was timed and the reactions of the volunteers were recorded, documented, and analyzed. The impact of various wayfinding tools-architecture, layout, color, signage, computer support, collection organization-on the retrieval process was also identified. The study revealed that many of the wayfinding tools currently available in libraries do not facilitate item retrieval. Inconsistencies, ambiguities, obstructions, disparities, and operational deficiencies all contributed to end-user frustration and retrieval failure. The study suggests that failing to address these issues may prompt library patrons-end users who are increasingly interested in finding information with minimal expenditures of time and effort-may turn to other information-retrieval strategies and abandon a system that they find confusing and frustrating.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Beecher, Ann B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The gathering and use of information by fifth grade students with access to Palm® handhelds.

Description: Handheld computers may hold the possibility for a one-to-one computer: student ratio. The impact of the use of Palm® (Palm, Inc.) handhelds on information acquisition and use by 5th grade students in a North Texas school during a class research project was investigated. Five research questions were examined using observation, interviews, surveys, and document analysis. Are there differences in information gathering and use with the Palm between gifted, dyslexic, and regular learners? What relevance criteria do students use to evaluate a web site to determine whether to download the site to the Palm and afterwards whether to use the downloaded site's information in the report? How do the Palms affect the writing process? Do the animations and concept maps produced on the Palm demonstrate understanding of the intended concepts? Are there significant differences in results (i.e., final products grade) between Palm users and non-Palm users? Three groups of learners in the class, gifted, dyslexic, and regular learners, participated in the study. The regular and dyslexic students reported using Web sites that had not been downloaded to the Palm. Students reported several factors used to decide whether to download Web sites, but the predominant deciding factor was the amount of information. The students used a combination of writing on paper and the Palm in the preparation of the report. Many students flipped between two programs, FreeWrite and Fling-It, finding information and then writing the facts into the report. The peer review process was more difficult with the Palm. Most students had more grammatical errors in this research report than in previous research projects. By creating animated drawings on the Palm handheld, the students demonstrated their understanding of the invention though sometimes the media or the student's drawing skills limited the quality of the final product. Creating the animations was motivational and ...
Date: December 2003
Creator: Peet, Martha Stuart Williamson
Partner: UNT Libraries