UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse

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Examining the Engagement of Transfer Students in Texas Universities

Description: The success of transfer students plays a critical role in improving the baccalaureate attainment rates of undergraduates attending 4-year higher education institutions in Texas; however, current indicators suggest transfer students have lower persistence and graduation rates relative to students who begin and complete their college education at one university (i.e., non-transfer students). Additionally, the research literature indicates a link between degree completion and engagement; however, transfer students are reported to be less engaged and less likely to persist than their counterparts. This quantitative study compared the engagement experiences of 2-year transfers, 4-year transfers, swirl transfer, and non-transfers by using National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) 2008 data to determine if there are any differences among these groups, and if these differences persist after controlling for individual and institutional covariates. the sample consisted of 2,000 seniors attending 4-year higher education institutions in Texas. the engagement scores of each group were compared using a multivariate analysis (MANOVA). This study found non-transfers were more engaged than each type of transfer student on Student-Faculty Interaction and Supportive Campus Environment factors; moreover, these differences generally persisted after controlling for residence, enrollment status, and institutional control (i.e., public vs. private).The data indicated no difference among the three transfer sub-groups for any of the engagement variables, which suggests their engagement experiences were similar. This research suggests that efforts to increase the participation and success rates of Texans, particularly those described as transfers, may be informed by how students perceive their engagement experiences; consequently, institutions may consider modifying and implementing policies that promote student participation in educationally purposeful activities leading to persistence and graduation.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Fernander, Keith A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Beauty of Nature As a Foundation for Environmental Ethics: China and the West

Description: My dissertation aims at constructing an environmental ethics theory based on environmental aesthetics in order to advocate and promote environmentally sustainable practices, policies, and lifestyles. I attempt to construct an integrated environmental aesthetics in order to inspire people’s feelings of love towards nature and motivate them to protect it. In order to achieve this goal, I first examine the philosophical understanding and aesthetic appreciation of nature from philosophical traditions of China, which have an impact on the general public’s attitude towards nature. in chapter one of my dissertation, I point out that nature is viewed as an organic system which is always in a self-generating process of production and reproduction of life. the metaphysical foundation for this perspective of nature is ch’i. Therefore the aesthetic appreciation of nature in China is also the aesthetic appreciation of ch’i. with regard to the concept of ch’i, I focus on the following three questions: (1) what are the objective and aesthetic features of ch’i? (2) How do the Chinese appreciate aesthetic features of ch’i? (3) Why the objective features of ch’i are regarded as the objects of aesthetic appreciation? I argue that the Chinese appreciate the aesthetic features of ch’i by using intellectual intuition and that empathy is the reason why the objective features of ch’i are considered to be aesthetic features. in Chapter 2, I explain in detail the two aesthetic categories for aesthetic appreciation of nature in two major philosophical schools in China: emptiness and creativity. in Chapter 3, I examine the philosophical foundations for aesthetic appreciation of nature in the West. I first investigate the influence of traditional Western philosophy on the perceptions of nature. I argue that traditional Western philosophical thinking doesn’t support aesthetic appreciation of nature. I point out that aesthetic appreciation of nature started from eighteenth century ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Gao, Shan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Filial Therapy and the Family: Examining the Impact of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (Cprt) on Family Functioning

Description: Research has indicated that filial therapy, an approach in which parents conduct play sessions with their young children, has strong effects on the participating parents and children. As a result, some have speculated that filial therapy improves the family system; however, minimal research exists to support this claim. Using a single-case, time-series design, I examined the impact of child parent relationship therapy (CPRT), a filial therapy approach, on the functioning of 8 diverse families (two-parent, biological children = 4; two-parent, adopted children = 3; single-parent, biological children = 1). 15 parents and 17 children (male = 15, female = 17) participated in the study. All but 1 parent was Caucasian. The children were more ethnically diverse (Caucasian = 5, Hispanic/Caucasian = 5, Hispanic = 3, Asian = 2). Parents’ ages ranged from 29 to 49 and children’s from 2 to 13. Results from simulation modeling analyses (SMA) indicated that 6 of 7 families experienced a statistically significant improvement in their targeted areas of family functioning, and the average effect size was moderate. Results from self-reported measures indicated that 7 families experienced notable improvements in family satisfaction, 4 in cohesion, 3 in communication, and 1 in flexibility. Data from an observational measure rated by independent assessors also indicated improvements pre- to post-intervention: 5 families in flexibility, 4 families in cohesion, and 4 families in communication. All families reported improved functioning in post-intervention interviews. The results support that the benefits of filial therapy may indeed extend to the family system.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Cornett, Nicholas A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Understanding the Owner’s Manual: the United States Constitution Examined Through the Lens of Technical Communication

Description: This dissertation explores the collaborative process and use of language that went into the creating the United States Constitution in 1787. From a technical communication perspective, the collaborative process explored did not develop any new theories on collaboration, but instead, allows scholars to track the emergence of a well-documented America collaborative process from the early period of the developing American nation on a document that has remained in use for over 235 years. in addition to examining this collaborative process, the author also discusses the use of passive voice and negative language in the first article of the Constitution.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Elerson, Crystal
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Organic-Progressive Principle in the Political Thought and Internationalism of Woodrow Wilson

Description: This is an investigation of the intellectual roots of the political thought and internationalism of Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eightieth president of the United States. Exposed to the influence of Darwin, Wilson believed that politics had to be redefined as an evolutionary process. the older mechanical understanding of politics was to be replaced with an organic understanding of political development. This allowed Wilson to synthesize a concept of politics that included elements from the Christian tradition; the English Historical School, particularly Edmund Burke; and German idealism, including G.W.F. Hegel. However, because he placed a heavy emphasis on Burke and Hegel, Wilson moved away from a natural rights based theory of politics and more towards a politics based on relativism and a transhistorical notion of rights. Wilson had important theoretical reserves about Hegel, as a result, Wilson modified Hegel’s philosophy. This modification took the form of Wilson’s organic-progressive principle. This would greatly affect Wilson’s ideas about how nations formed, developed, and related to one another. This study focuses on Wilson’s concept of spirit, his theory of history, and his idea of political leadership. the organic-progressive principle is key to understanding Wilson’s attempts to reform on both the domestic and international levels.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Flanagan, John Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Exploratory Study of Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of the Amob/vll Program for Participants in North Central Texas

Description: This study assessed falls efficacy and confidence-related changes among participants attending the a Matters of Balance/Volunteer Lay Leader (AMOB/VLL) falls prevention program for older adults, based on their residential location. Data were examined from 431 older Texans enrolled in AMOB/VLL during a two-year period, and assessed at baseline and post-intervention. Results indicate that participants significantly increased falls efficacy, reduced activity interference due to their health, and decreased the number of days limited from usual activity. Regression models show that participants, despite entering the program with lower reported health status, reported greater rates of positive change for falls efficacy and health interference compared with their baseline pre-intervention counterparts. Overall program attendance and attendance at major sessions showed the greatest influence. Findings contribute to the understanding of cognitive restructuring and strengthening variations with falls prevention program outcomes.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Ewing, Charles W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effect of Age on Likelihood to Test for Hiv

Description: HIV/AIDS can affect individuals of any age. Efforts to educate those considered to be most at-risk, based on the age at which the most individuals are infected, are ongoing and public. Less work and mainstream education outreach, however, is being directed at an older population, who can be more likely to contract HIV, is more susceptible to the effects of HIV, and more likely to develop AIDS, than younger persons. Guided by the Health Belief Model theory, research was conducted to determine what, if any, relationship existed between age of an individual and the possibility that an HIV test will be sought. Factors of gender, education, ethnicity and marital status were included in analyses. the research indicated that as age increased, likelihood for getting an HIV test decreased. Overall, most individuals had not been tested for HIV. the implications of an aged and aging population with HIV include a need for coordinated service delivery, increased education and outreach.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Dreyer, Katherine
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analyzing Visitors’ Discourse, Attitudes, Perceptions, and Knowledge Acquisition in an Art Museum Tour After Using a 3D Virtual Environment

Description: The main purpose of this mixed methods research was to explore and analyze visitors’ overall experience while they attended a museum exhibition, and examine how this experience was affected by previously using a virtual 3dimensional representation of the museum itself. The research measured knowledge acquisition in a virtual museum, and compared this knowledge acquired between a virtual museum versus a real one, employing a series of questionnaires, unobtrusive observations, surveys, personal and group interviews related to the exhibition and the artist. A group of twenty-seven undergraduate students in their first semester at the College of Architecture and Design of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico participated in the research, and were divided in two groups, one of which used a 3D virtual representation previous to the museum visit. Results show that participants who experienced the virtual museum concurred that using it was a positive experience that prepared them to go to the real museum because they knew already what they were going to find. Most of the participants who experienced the virtual museum exhibited an increased activity during their museum visit, either agreeing, being more participative, concurring and showing acceptance, asking questions, or even giving their opinion and analysis, disagreeing with the guide and showing passive rejection. Also participants from this group showed an increase on their correct answers to the knowledge acquisition questionnaires, going from 27% answers responded correctly in the pre-test, to 67% of correct answers after the virtual museum usage. The research attempted to show that experiencing a virtual museum can be similar to the experience in physical museum visits, not only engaging participants to go to the museum, but sometimes even offering a more functional way to deliver content. Results of this research evidence that using a virtual museum creates a positive impact in ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: D’ Alba, Adriana
Partner: UNT Libraries

Absorptive Capacity: An Empirical Examination of the Phenomenon and Relationships with Firm Capabilities

Description: The field of strategic management addresses challenges that firms encounter in an attempt to remain competitive. The ability to explain variation in firm success through examination of knowledge flows has become a prominent focus of research in the strategic management literature. Specifically, researchers have sought to further examine how firms convert knowledge, a phenomenon conceptualized as absorptive capacity. Absorptive capacity is the firm’s ability to acquire, assimilate, transform, and exploit knowledge. Few studies have captured the richness and multi-dimensionality of absorptive capacity, and it remains to be understood how the dimensions of the phenomenon convert knowledge. Furthermore, how absorptive capacity influences the firm remains to be understood. To address these research gaps, this dissertation seeks to (1) determine how absorptive capacity converts knowledge, and (2) determine how absorptive capacity influences firm capabilities. The research questions are investigated using structural modeling techniques to analyze data collected from software-industry firms. The findings offer contributions to the absorptive capacity and capability literatures. For example, absorptive capacity is hypothesized to consist of complex relationships among its internal dimensions. However, findings of this study suggest the relationships among the dimensions are linear in nature. This finding is in line with the theoretical foundations of and early literature on absorptive capacity but contrary to recent conceptualizations, which suggests relationships among the dimensions are more closely related to the theoretical origins of absorptive capacity. Additionally, to examine how absorptive capacity influences the firm, a capability-based perspective is used to hypothesize the influence of absorptive capacity on firm capabilities. Findings suggest absorptive capacity positively influences each dimension of firm capabilities (e.g., operational, customer, and innovation capabilities); thus, absorptive capacity influences the firm by altering firm capabilities. Given the richness of the findings, numerous fields are likely to benefit from this investigation. Through an examination of absorptive capacity and ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Daspit, Josh
Partner: UNT Libraries

Social Vulnerability and Faith in Disasters: an Investigation Into the Role of Religion in New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina

Description: Disasters are an ever increasing phenomena in our society, resulting in many people being adversely affected. the social vulnerability paradigm explores the social, economic and political factors which contribute to certain populations being disproportionately affected by disasters. However, the paradigm has not yet begun to investigate the cultural or religious ideologies which may affect a population's behavior in disaster. This study is an exploratory investigation into whether religious ideologies may impact a person's decision to prepare, or not, in the event of a disaster. Specifically, it seeks to investigate whether a person who holds a belief that natural disasters are under God's control will prepare for the hazard? the study undertaken five years after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans show that religious ideology is closely linked with one's capacity to prepare for the hazard which is closely tied in with social structure. It may appear that a person's 'fatalistic' attitude is tied to economic inability to prepare for a hazard. This does not mean that they will not prepare but that preparation may include prayer as their initial attempt to mitigate.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Herring, Alison M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Proposed Therapeutic Art to Diminish Agitation in Elder Care

Description: This research study examines the decreased agitation level utilizing nonpharmacological therapeutic interventions in dementia patients, age 65 and older. The study examined the following question: Will a therapeutic art program diminish agitated behaviors in persons diagnosed with dementia, aged 65 and older? In this quasi-experimental research design, the sample consisted of 19 participants in 3 groups, selected using these criteria: must be receiving services from a long term care facility, be diagnosed with dementia, display agitated behaviors, and be age 65 and older. This research measures the reduction of agitated behaviors in demented patients with the use of a therapeutic art program. The therapeutic art group pretest, midtest and posttest means were separated into Factor 1: aggressive behavior, Factor 2: physically nonaggressive behaviors, and Factor 3: verbally aggressive behavior. A multivariate analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted on the data for Factor 1, Factor 2, and Factor 3. The ANCOVA was not statistically significant for Factor 1. The ANCOVA indicated statistically significant findings when using a one tailed test for Factor 2 and Factor 3. The ANCOVA indicated statistically significant findings using a two tailed test for overall agitation. These findings inform professionals about the efficacy of therapeutic art programs on patients with levels of agitation and dementia. A therapeutic art program may contribute to a better quality of life for persons with dementia. Recommendations are included for use with dementia patients, therapeutic programs and long term care.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Curington, Bonnie Dearen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Relationships of Approaches to Studying, Metacognition, and Intellectual Development of General Chemistry Students

Description: This study investigated approaches to studying, intellectual developments, and metacognitive skills of general chemistry students enrolled for the spring 2011 semester at a single campus of a multi-campus community college. the three instruments used were the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST), the Learning Environment Preferences (LEP), and the Executive Process Questionnaire (EPQ). the subjects were 138 students enrolled in either general chemistry 1 or 2. the results revealed that the preferred approach to study was the strategic approach. the intellectual development of the students was predominantly Perry’s position 2 (dualist) in transition to position 3 (multiplicity). Correlation statistics revealed that deep approach to studying is related to effective employment of metacognitive skills. Students with a deep approach to studying were likely to utilize effective metacognitive skills. Students with a surface approach to studying used no metacognitive skills or ineffective metacognitive skills. Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted to ascertain which of the three variables, namely approaches to studying, ability to metacognate, or level of intellectual development, was the most salient in predicting the success of general chemistry students. No single variable was found to predict students’ success in general chemistry classes; however, a surface approach to studying predisposes general chemistry students to fail. the implication of this study is that students’ study approaches, intellectual developments, and metacognitive skills are requisite information to enable instructional remediation early in the semester.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Egenti, Henrietta N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Metamodeling-based Fast Optimization of Nanoscale Ams-socs

Description: Modern consumer electronic systems are mostly based on analog and digital circuits and are designed as analog/mixed-signal systems on chip (AMS-SoCs). the integration of analog and digital circuits on the same die makes the system cost effective. in AMS-SoCs, analog and mixed-signal portions have not traditionally received much attention due to their complexity. As the fabrication technology advances, the simulation times for AMS-SoC circuits become more complex and take significant amounts of time. the time allocated for the circuit design and optimization creates a need to reduce the simulation time. the time constraints placed on designers are imposed by the ever-shortening time to market and non-recurrent cost of the chip. This dissertation proposes the use of a novel method, called metamodeling, and intelligent optimization algorithms to reduce the design time. Metamodel-based ultra-fast design flows are proposed and investigated. Metamodel creation is a one time process and relies on fast sampling through accurate parasitic-aware simulations. One of the targets of this dissertation is to minimize the sample size while retaining the accuracy of the model. in order to achieve this goal, different statistical sampling techniques are explored and applied to various AMS-SoC circuits. Also, different metamodel functions are explored for their accuracy and application to AMS-SoCs. Several different optimization algorithms are compared for global optimization accuracy and convergence. Three different AMS circuits, ring oscillator, inductor-capacitor voltage-controlled oscillator (LC-VCO) and phase locked loop (PLL) that are present in many AMS-SoC are used in this study for design flow application. Metamodels created in this dissertation provide accuracy with an error of less than 2% from the physical layout simulations. After optimal sampling investigation, metamodel functions and optimization algorithms are ranked in terms of speed and accuracy. Experimental results show that the proposed design flow provides roughly 5,000x speedup over conventional design flows. Thus, ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Garitselov, Oleg
Partner: UNT Libraries

GPS CaPPture: a System for GPS Trajectory Collection, Processing, and Destination Prediction

Description: In the United States, smartphone ownership surpassed 69.5 million in February 2011 with a large portion of those users (20%) downloading applications (apps) that enhance the usability of a device by adding additional functionality. a large percentage of apps are written specifically to utilize the geographical position of a mobile device. One of the prime factors in developing location prediction models is the use of historical data to train such a model. with larger sets of training data, prediction algorithms become more accurate; however, the use of historical data can quickly become a downfall if the GPS stream is not collected or processed correctly. Inaccurate or incomplete or even improperly interpreted historical data can lead to the inability to develop accurately performing prediction algorithms. As GPS chipsets become the standard in the ever increasing number of mobile devices, the opportunity for the collection of GPS data increases remarkably. the goal of this study is to build a comprehensive system that addresses the following challenges: (1) collection of GPS data streams in a manner such that the data is highly usable and has a reduction in errors; (2) processing and reduction of the collected data in order to prepare it and make it highly usable for the creation of prediction algorithms; (3) creation of prediction/labeling algorithms at such a level that they are viable for commercial use. This study identifies the key research problems toward building the CaPPture (collection, processing, prediction) system.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Griffin, Terry W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Priming, Culture, and Context on Perception of Facial Emotion, Self-representation and Thought: Brazil and the United States

Description: Individualist and collectivist cultural approaches describe the relationship between an individual and his or her social surroundings. the current study had a two-fold purpose. the first was to investigate whether Brazilians, like other collective peoples, displayed more group self-representations, categorized items more relationally and paid more attention to context than Americans. the second purpose of this study was to investigate if counter-cultural primes played a role in activating either collective or individual selves. Both American (n = 100) and Brazilian (n = 101) participants were assigned either to a no-prime condition or a counter-cultural prime condition and then were asked to rate emotion cartoons, categorize items, complete the Twenty Statement Test (TST), and choose a representative object. As expected, unprimed Brazilian participants displayed more collectivist patterns on emotional (F[1,196] = 10.1, p = .001, ?²= .049; F[1,196] = 7.9, p = .006, ?²= .038; F[1,196] = 9.0, p = .005, ?²= .044) and cognitive (F[1, 196] = 6.0, p < .01, ?² = .03) tasks than Americans. However, Brazilians offered more individualist self-representations (F[1, 195] = 24.0, p < .001, ?² = .11) than American participants. Priming only had a marginal effect on item categorization (F[1,194] = 3.9, p = .051, ?² = .02). Understanding such cultural differences is necessary in the development of clinicians’ multicultural competence. Therefore, these findings, along with the strengths and limitations of this study and suggestions for future research, are discussed.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Hoersting, Raquel Carvalho
Partner: UNT Libraries

Relent: a Composition for Alto Saxophone, Double Bass, Two Percussion, and Interactive Electronics

Description: relent is a sacred work within the genre of interactive electronic music. the 20-minute composition is a multi-movement piece for four instrumentalists (saxophone, double bass, and two percussion) and computer that is inspired by the gospel message. relent is specifically about the gospel message that Christ died for man’s sins, rose from the dead, and through faith in him man can be reconciled to God. This project was an experiment in creating a work with a programmatic extramusical structure. in preparation for writing a piece based on Christian programmatic content, this paper presents an overview of research conducted on the intersection between art and Christianity referencing authors such as Harold Best, Nikolai Berdyaev, Hans Rookmaaker, Calvin Seerveld, Daniel Seidell, A. W. Tozer, Steve Turner, and Cornelius Van Til. This work was an experiment in trying to make very direct and specific musical ties to the narrative of the Gospel. Another highly experimental aspect of relent was in the way interactive electronics were used. Each acoustic instrument in the work has its own input and module within the Max patch, extending each acoustic instrument rather than adding an electronic accompaniment component. Additionally, non-traditional notation, both codified and real-time computer generated, improvisation, theatrical instructions, and a completely computer generated movement makes relent a piece that challenges and pushes the boundaries of current interactive electronic music.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Johansen, Benjamin David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Web Content Authorship: Academic Librarians in Web Content Management

Description: An increasing number of libraries and information centers are using content management (CM) applications to develop, redesign, and maintain their websites. the purpose of this research was to provide understanding of attitudes of academic librarians about how their utilization of CM technology influences the information services they provide at the academic library’s website and to examine their perceptions of how using CM affects the creation of the web content. This research applied a qualitative research design (electronic survey and in-depth semi-structured interviews of academic subject librarians) with elements of a quantitative approach. the study discussed the concept of web authorship and supplied fundamentals for future theoretical research about authorship in web content development at academic libraries. the study provided an overview of CM at academic libraries and explored characteristics of dynamic content and semantic web applications at their websites. It discussed librarians’ opinions about issues of migration to the new content management system (CMS), factors affecting its efficient employment, and roles of librarians in web content management. Results of this study will serve to future research on management behavior of academic librarians authoring web content with the help of CM. the findings about the difficulties observed in the use of CMS and solutions, influence of training and learning, importance of cooperation and communication, adjustment of the CMS to the users’ needs, qualifications and skills needed in application of CM, distribution of responsibilities in the use of CMS, features of the CMS, and requirements to its functionality will have implications for academic and other libraries applying CM.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Vassilieva, Elena
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of the Intent to Fully Utilize Electronic Personal Health Records in the Context of Privacy and Trust

Description: Government initiatives called for electronic health records for each individual healthcare consumer by 2014. the purpose of the initiatives is to provide for the common exchange of clinical information between healthcare consumers, healthcare providers, third-party payers and public healthcare officials.This exchange of healthcare information will impact the healthcare industry and enable more effective and efficient application of healthcare so that there may be a decrease in medical errors, increase in access to quality of care tools, and enhancement of decision making abilities by healthcare consumers, healthcare providers and government health agencies. an electronic personal health record (ePHR) created, managed and accessed by healthcare consumers may be the answer to fulfilling the national initiative. However, since healthcare consumers potentially are in control of their own ePHR, the healthcare consumer’s concern for privacy may be a barrier for the effective implementation of a nationwide network of ePHR. a technology acceptance model, an information boundary theory model and a trust model were integrated to analyze usage intentions of healthcare consumers of ePHR. Results indicate that healthcare consumers feel there is a perceived usefulness of ePHR; however they may not see ePHR as easy to use. Results also indicate that the perceived usefulness of utilizing ePHR does not overcome the low perceived ease of use to the extent that healthcare consumers intend to utilize ePHR. in addition, healthcare consumers may not understand the different components of usage: access, management, sharing and facilitating third-party ePHR. Also, demographics, computer self-efficacy, personal innovativeness, healthcare need and healthcare literacy impact a healthcare consumer’s privacy concerns and trusting intentions in the context of ePHR and intent to utilize ePHR. Finally, this research indicates that healthcare consumers may need a better understanding of the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) regulations of ePHR as well as ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Richards, Rhonda J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Tasks in the Internet Health Information Searching of Chinese Graduate Students

Description: The purpose of the study was to examine the relationships between types of health information tasks and the Internet information search processes of Chinese graduate students at the University of North Texas. the participants' Internet information search processes were examined by looking at the source used to start the search, language selection, use of online translation tools, and time spent. in a computer classroom, 45 Chinese graduate students searched the Internet and completed three health information search tasks: factual task, interpretative task, and exploratory task. Data of the Chinese graduate students’ health information search processes were gathered from Web browser history files, answer sheets, and questionnaires. Parametric and non-parametric statistical analyses were conducted to test the relationships between the types of tasks and variables identified in the search process. Results showed that task types only had a statistically significant impact on the time spent. for the three tasks, the majority of Chinese graduate students used search engines as major sources for the search starting point, utilized English as the primary language, and did not use online translation tools. the participants also reported difficulties in locating relevant answers and recommended ways to be assisted in the future when searching the Internet for health information. the study provided an understanding of Chinese graduate students' health information seeking behavior with an aim to enrich health information user studies. the results of this study contribute to the areas of academic library services, multilingual health information system design, and task-based health information searching.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Pan, Xuequn
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

The Affect of Mobile Performance Support Devices on Anxiety and Self-Efficacy of Hospital Float Staff

Description: Floating describes the act of staff moving from one unit to another based on the needs of the patients in a hospital. Many staff who float to different units express negative feelings, including anxiety and lack in self-efficacy. However, floating is both an economical and efficient method to use staff across the hospital, especially with current staffing shortages in the United States. This study investigated how the use of mobile performance support devices may help reduce anxiety and increase self-efficacy for those staff who float to different units. with access to multiple resources available on the mobile device, Bandura's social learning theory and self-efficacy concept set the framework through modeling, observing, and imitating others in order to reproduce certain behaviors and tasks and believe in one's capability to perform. a quantitative study incorporating the retrospective pretest-posttest design was conducted using the population of float staff, including both nurses and respiratory therapists, from Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Both the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and General Self-Efficacy Scale, along with a basic demographic tool, were used to explore anxiety and self-efficacy in relation to the usage of mobile performance support devices. Findings can be used to impact the negative feelings of staff towards the idea of floating.
Date: May 2012
Creator: McKee, Megan Riley
Partner: UNT Libraries

Repression, Civic Engagement, Internet Use, and Dissident Collective Action: the Interaction Between Motives and Resources

Description: This dissertation investigates three questions: First, what conditions make dissident collective action such as protest, revolt, rebellion, or civil war more likely to happen in a country? Second, what conditions make citizens more likely to join in dissident collective action? Third, does Internet use play a role in dissident collective action, and if so, why? I argue that motives and resources are necessary rather than sufficient conditions for dissident collective action. I develop an analytical framework integrating motives and resources. Specifically, I theorize that state repression is an important motive, and that civil society is critical in providing resources. Four statistical analyses are conducted to test the hypotheses. Using aggregate level data on countries over time, I find that civil war is more likely to occur in countries where both state repression and civil society are strong. Moreover, the effect of civil society on civil war onset increases as the repression level rises. at the individual level using 2008 Latin American Public Opinion Project surveys from 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries, I find individuals more likely to join in protest when they experience both more repression and greater civic engagement. Moreover, civic engagement’s effect on protest participation increases as people experience more repression. I further find that Internet use constitutes a kind of civic engagement and has effects similar to voluntary group involvement. the effect of Internet use on protest participation decreases as a person’s civic engagement increases. Finally, an individual is more likely to join in protest when experiencing more repression and using the Internet more frequently. Moreover, the effect of Internet use on protest participation increases as a person experiences more repression.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Wu, Jun-deh
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Collective Pedagogy Utilized By the Trombone Instructors at the Rotterdam Conservatory of the Netherlands

Description: The Collective Pedagogy Utilized by the Trombone Instructors at the Rotterdam Conservatory of the Netherlands offers a comprehensive study of the collaboration between the various instructors of the trombone studio within the Rotterdam Conservatory and their pedagogical approach to curriculum, lesson structure, grading process, student body, and social environment. the Rotterdam Conservatory has produced some of the finest trombonists in the global music community. Alumni from the conservatory consistently win positions in professional ensembles, succeed in national and international competitions, and are often featured artists at international music festivals. the success of their alumni warrants closer scrutiny of the pedagogical approach utilized by the faculty of the conservatory.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Wallace, Noel James
Partner: UNT Libraries

Personalities and Pipelines: Exploring the Role of Personality in Student Self-selection Into Stem Majors

Description: Despite all the national efforts to increase STEM enrollment in the United States, the gap between the U.S. and other developed countries in terms of STEM graduates has widened over the last 20 years. Researchers have studied factors such as gender, race, high school GPA, and the student’s socioeconomic status for their impact on STEM enrollment. This study offers another possible explanation of why students might choose, or not choose, to enroll in STEM majors by examining the relationship between personality and STEM enrollment. the sample included 2,745 respondents to the 2008 Cooperative Institutional Research Program freshman survey at a large research university in the southwestern United States. Factor analysis was used to create four personality scales, based on John Holland’s theory of personality types, with items selected from the survey. Logistic regression was utilized to answer three research questions: Are students classified as a strong investigative personality type more likely to enroll in STEM majors than students classified as a weak investigative personality type? Are there differences in their likelihood to enroll in STEM majors among students of investigative-social, investigative-artistic, and investigative-enterprising personality types? What effect does personality have on students’ self-selection into a biological versus a physical STEM major? Results suggested that students with a combined investigative and social personality were more likely to enroll in STEM majors whereas students with a combined investigative and artistic personality were less likely to do so. Additionally, STEM students with an enterprising personality were more likely to choose a biological STEM major than a physical STEM major. These results should benefit educators and policy makers who seek to strengthen the pipeline into STEM fields.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Simpson, Patricia
Partner: UNT Libraries