A Monte Carlo simulation study investigated the effect of scoring format, item parameterization, threshold configuration, and prior ability distribution on the accuracy of ability estimation given various IRT models. Item response data on 30 items from 1,000 examinees was simulated using known item parameters and ability estimates. The item response data sets were submitted to seven dichotomous or polytomous IRT models with different item parameterization to estimate examinee ability. The accuracy of the ability estimation for a given IRT model was assessed by the recovery rate and the root mean square errors. The results indicated that polytomous models produced more accurate ability estimates than the dichotomous models, under all combinations of research conditions, as indicated by higher recovery rates and lower root mean square errors. For the item parameterization models, the one-parameter model out-performed the two-parameter and three-parameter models under all research conditions. Among the polytomous models, the partial credit model had more accurate ability estimation than the other three polytomous models. The nominal categories model performed better than the general partial credit model and the multiple-choice model with the multiple-choice model the least accurate. The results further indicated that certain prior ability distributions had an effect on the accuracy of ability estimation; however, no clear order of accuracy among the four prior distribution groups was identified due to an interaction between prior ability distribution and threshold configuration. The recovery rate was lower when the test items had categories with unequal threshold distances, were close at one end of the ability/difficulty continuum, and were administered to a sample of examinees whose population ability distribution was skewed to the same end of the ability continuum.
Web-based training has become a billion dollar industry in the United States. Electronically aided learning is viewed by many companies as a cost-effective way to deliver the up-to-date, up-gradable job-related training that the industry is demanding. This study sought to examine the relationship between learners’ satisfaction with online training as it relates to learner readiness, online features, and course relevance. The population for this study was adults seeking non-credit workforce training, specifically library professionals who were involved in web-based training through the Lifelong Education @ Desktop (LE@D) program at the University of North Texas, Denton. Online methods of training are used most extensively in the area of mandatory or compliance training, in which 35 % of training is conducted mostly or completely online. The total potential library population using LE@D product to date is approximately 4,000 unique enrollments nationwide. Participants were selected from a complete list of unique LE@D users over a 90-day period. A survey instrument was sent via e-mail to 514 enrollees who had completed a recent LE@D online training course. In total, 254 participants responded to the survey. Bivariate analysis of the variables using the Pearson product-moment correlation was used to determine the occurrence and strength of a relationship between each of the three independent variables and the dependent variable in order to test the three research hypotheses. A regression model was used to explain how significantly the three independent variables, that is, online features, learner readiness, and course relevance, would have an impact on learner satisfaction. Results suggest that learner awareness of issues surrounding online features, learner readiness, and course relevance have a statistically significant impact on the overall satisfaction of the Web-based training event. As companies continue to adopt eLearning as a training investment, attention should be given to the end-users experiences. Employee responses to ...
This study examined the policy letters and verbal testimony transcripts submitted by interest groups to the United States Department of Education (USDE) in response to the proposed regulations pertaining to the implementation of the 1997 reauthorization of P. L. 105-17, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Specifically, this study analyzed the emerging themes in the area of discipline. Responses were received from the following interest groups: (a) school administrators, (b) parents, (c) teachers, (d) state educational agencies (SEAs), (e) national educational organizations, and (f) members of the United States Congress. In addition to analyzing the emerging themes, the study compared these themes to ones found in the current literature and court cases.
Performance improvement intervention begins with assessment. How that assessment is interpreted can mean the difference between success and failure. Previous research of 360-degree feedback instruments has tried to reconcile the differences between multiple rater groups. Rather than searching for agreement, this research proposes to understand the meaning of the differences using multirater feedback. Individuals determine ratings based upon their own perspective and building upon the understanding of rater perspective may result in improved assessments. Data from an existing data set was processed using a second-order CFA in structural equation modeling. Covariance between the second-order factors and rater groups determined the difference in how each rater group perceived the leader.
The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze perceptional differences among department chairs, faculty, and instructors toward the barrier to using multiple teaching strategies in two-year technical and community college electronics courses. The literature review focused on defining multiple teaching strategies and identifying and discussing four major perceived barriers to implementing them in the electronics classroom: student, resources, classroom environmental, and teacher training/teaching technology. The targeted population consisted of 150 out of 231 electronics teaching technical and community college department chairs, faculty, and instructors throughout the state of Texas. In actuality, the targeted population's breakdown consisted of 36 full-time electronics teaching department chairs, 96 full-time electronics teaching faculty and instructors, and 18 part-time electronics teaching faculty and instructors who were actively involved in the delivery of instruction in their respective schools. Analysis of the data revealed that: (1) there are no significant differences among the perceptions of department chair people, faculty, and instructors toward the four perceived barriers to implementing multiple teaching strategies in a post-secondary electronics program; and (2) there are no significant differences in the perceptions electronics faculty members categorized by years teaching experience toward each of the four perceived barrier categories to implementing multiple teaching strategies in a post-secondary electronics program. However, further research is needed to substantiate what other barriers exist that may have an impact upon utilizing multiple teaching strategies in two-year technical and community college electronics courses.
Because there has been a paucity of research on the educational needs of females with academic, behavioral, and emotional problems involved with the juvenile justice system, this study has been an attempt to classify and compare specific characteristics of this population. In particular, it examined their demographics, disability prevalence rates, along with academic, behavioral, and emotional functioning levels, in order to further understand their relationship to the resocialization or recidivism of the different groups of female juveniles incarcerated in the state of Texas, and contribute to the research for further developing successful prevention and intervention programs. Various demographic factors of the female juveniles in this study were examined: (a) offender type, (b) county of commitment, (c) race/ethnicity, (d) age at first referral, and (e) English language proficiency. Prevalence rates of special education disabilities were determined. Academic functioning was measured by (a) IQ; (b) last school grade completed; (c) Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) reading gain score; and (d) TABE math gain score. Behavioral functioning was indicated through (a) offense history, (b) documented behavior incidents, and (c) total risk score. Emotional functioning included DSM-IV diagnoses and treatment needs. Due to the design of the research being a descriptive exploration, the findings produced this compilation of attributes. The population of study typically reached an education level of 8th grade or less before becoming incarcerated. Their IQ is usually in the range of 80 to 90 points, with their reading and math achievement levels lagging about five years behind those of their age group. Their gains in reading and math are usually two to three levels per year. The female juveniles averaged 10 documented behavior incidents during their periods of incarceration. Their Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores at intake showed they had moderate mental health symptoms and/or moderate difficulty in social, ...
The purpose of the study was to investigate the application of cognitive load theory to the design of online instruction. Students in three different courses (N = 146) were measured on both learning performance and perceptions of mental effort to see if there were any statistically significant differences. The study utilized a quasi-experimental posttest-only control group design contrasting modified and unmodified instructional lessons. Both groups were given a posttest to measure knowledge gained from the lesson (cognitive domain of learning) and perceptions of mental effort involved. Independent samples t-tests were used to compare the mean performance scores of the treatment groups (i.e. the sections using redesigned materials) versus the control groups for all three courses. Cohen's d was also computed to determine effect size. Mental effort scores were similarly compared for each group on the overall cognitive load score, for a total of six data points in the study. Of the four hypotheses examined, three (H1, H2, H4) found no statistically significant difference between the experimental and control groups. Negative significance was found between the experimental and control group on the effect of modality (H3). On measures of cognitive load, no statistically significant differences were found.
This study examined allied health and nursing career and technical education (CTE) teacher beliefs and attitudes about reading. Since beliefs and attitudes influence the way teachers teach, it is important to understand what those beliefs and attitudes are, especially in relationship to reading in subject matter classrooms. One hundred twelve individuals responded to a written survey concerning their attitudes and beliefs about reading. A four-factor solution was achieved with a principal components factor analysis. A significant number of variables were associated with the factor labeled Reading Apathy, which appears to be indicative of the condition known as aliteracy among faculty who participated in the study. Professional development activities grounded in novice-to-expert theory are suggested as a way of overcoming the phenomenon. Recommendations for future research involve a more detailed study to further characterize the condition of aliteracy and its impact on student learning.
This observational study involving intact groups and convenient sampling examined learning communities at four North Texas Community Colleges. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a significant difference in cathectic learning climate, inimical ambiance, academic rigor, affiliation and structure among students in learning communities and freestanding classes. Learning communities are gaining nationwide popularity as instruments of reform in Higher Education. Recent studies have discussed the benefits of learning communities to student, faculty and institutions. As learning communities are gaining popularity, especially at the community college level, there is a need to determine if the learning communities are significantly different than freestanding classes. The College Classroom Environment Scales, developed by Winston, Vahala, Nichols, Gillis, Wintrow, and Rome (1989), was used as the survey instrument for this study. Using SPSS 10.1, a multivariate analysis of variance, (Hotelling's T2) was performed on five dependent variables: cathectic learning climate (CLC), inimical ambiance (IA), academic rigor (AR), affiliation (AF), and structure (ST), which yielded a significant difference. The independent variable was learning community compared to freestanding classes (group). Follow-up independent t tests were also conducted to evaluate the differences in the means between the two groups and to explore which dependent variables contributed to the multivariate difference, which resulted in significant differences in inimical ambiance, affiliation and structure. The researcher concludes that learning communities make a difference for some learners, but not necessarily all and that more research needs to be conducted to find the answers to the questions concerning the efficacy and sustainability of learning communities in higher education.
This study investigated whether a relationship exists between learning style and the self-reported technology-related needs, beliefs, stages of adoption, software expertise, and technology competencies of teachers in a large suburban school district. The Gregorc Style Delineator was used to identify dominant learning style, and the Snapshot Survey was used to measure technology-related needs, beliefs, stages of adoption, and software expertise. Technology competencies were measured using the Technology in Education Competency Survey. Data collected from 499 participants was included in data analysis. The study was conducted at each of the 12 elementary schools of a large suburban district in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The findings suggest that there is a significant relationship between learning style and the technology-related needs, stages of adoption, software expertise, and competencies of teachers. The relationship between learning style and technology-related needs was significant at the p < .01 level. The relationships between learning style and technology-related stages of adoption, software expertise, and technology competencies were significant at the p < .05 level. Members of the abstract sequential [AS] learning style group reported having significantly fewer needs and significantly higher stages of adoption, software expertise, and competency than members of one or more of the other learning style groups. More research is recommended to determine whether these findings could be utilized to improve teacher staff development in the area of technology. Possible applications may include mentoring programs and the customization of training models to more closely match learning style profiles.
The need for a high-quality workforce to meet increased competition in the world economy has increased the need for competent vocational administrators in public 2-year postsecondary institutions. Researchers have agreed that vocational education is in a state of metamorphosis and must change to meet its challenges in the coming century. At the same time, more women are seeking and obtaining vocational administrative positions. Several studies have been done to identify the competencies needed by vocational administrators to perform their duties, but there has been little research on the actual ability to perform the administrative tasks identified by these studies. Two main purposes of this study are: (a) to determine the perceived level of administrative competencies possessed by women administrators in vocational education at the community college level in Texas; (b) to determine the adequacy of the preservice training received by these administrators to perform their administrative functions. Of the 175 women administrators randomly selected to participate in the study, 71% completed the Administrator Task Inventory. In addition to the descriptive statistics, two multiple regression analyses were tested. First, principal component analysis was used to reduce the number of dependent variables from 11 to 2, after which two multiple regression analyses were used to test the relationship between the two component scores identified as management-skills factors and educational-skills factors and the four independent variables of level of education, number of years of teaching vocational subject, number of years of vocational administrative experience, and level of vocational professional organization involvement. The results indicate that the women administrators possess the competencies needed to perform their tasks, but one fourth of the administrators need better preservice and/or inservice training on at least 7 of 11 competency categories studied. The results also show that a negative relationship exists between the number of years of teaching ...
The purpose of this study was to determine whether there were differences in the levels of awareness and perception concerning distance education among the leadership at the seven campuses of the Texas State Technical College (TSTC) System.
This dissertation: (a) investigated the degree to which the squared canonical correlation coefficient is biased in multivariate nonnormal distributions and (b) identified formulae that adjust the squared canonical correlation coefficient (Rc2) such that it most closely approximates the true population effect under normal and nonnormal data conditions. Five conditions were manipulated in a fully-crossed design to determine the degree of bias associated with Rc2: distribution shape, variable sets, sample size to variable ratios, and within- and between-set correlations. Very few of the condition combinations produced acceptable amounts of bias in Rc2, but those that did were all found with first function results. The sample size to variable ratio (n:v)was determined to have the greatest impact on the bias associated with the Rc2 for the first, second, and third functions. The variable set condition also affected the accuracy of Rc2, but for the second and third functions only. The kurtosis levels of the marginal distributions (b2), and the between- and within-set correlations demonstrated little or no impact on the bias associated with Rc2. Therefore, it is recommended that researchers use n:v ratios of at least 10:1 in canonical analyses, although greater n:v ratios have the potential to produce even less bias. Furthermore,because it was determined that b2 did not impact the accuracy of Rc2, one can be somewhat confident that, with marginal distributions possessing homogenous kurtosis levels ranging anywhere from -1 to 8, Rc2 will likely be as accurate as that resulting from a normal distribution. Because the majority of Rc2 estimates were extremely biased, it is recommended that all Rc2 effects, regardless of which function from which they result, be adjusted using an appropriate adjustment formula. If no rationale exists for the use of another formula, the Rozeboom-2 would likely be a safe choice given that it produced the greatest ...
Over the last 5 decades, the retrospective pretest has been used in behavioral science research to battle key threats to the internal validity of posttest-only control-group and pretest-posttest only designs. The purpose of this study was to compare outcome measures resulting from four research design implementations incorporating the retrospective pretest: (a) pre-post-then, (b) pre-post/then, (c) post-then, and (d) post/then. The study analyzed the interaction effect of pretest sensitization and post-intervention survey order on two subjective measures: (a) a control measure not related to the intervention and (b) an experimental measure consistent with the intervention. Validity of subjective measurement outcomes were assessed by correlating resulting to objective performance measurement outcomes. A Situational Leadership® II (SLII) training workshop served as the intervention. The Work Involvement Scale of the self version of the Survey of Management Practices Survey served as the subjective control measure. The Clarification of Goals and Objectives Scale of the self version of the Survey of Management Practices Survey served as the subjective experimental measure. The Effectiveness Scale of the self version of the Leader Behavior Analysis II® served as the objective performance measure. This study detected differences in measurement outcomes from SLII participant responses to an experimental and a control measure. In the case of the experimental measure, differences were found in the magnitude and direction of the validity coefficients. In the case of the control measure, differences were found in the magnitude of the treatment effect between groups. These differences indicate that, for this study, the pre-post-then design produced the most valid results for the experimental measure. For the control measure in this study, the pre-post/then design produced the most valid results. Across both measures, the post/then design produced the least valid results.
This study investigated whether a computer-administered mathematics test can provide equivalent results for normal and mathematically disabled students while retaining similar psychometric characteristics of an equivalent paper and pencil version of the test. The overall purpose of the study was twofold. First, the viability of using computer administered assessment with elementary school children was examined. Second, by investigating items on the computer administered mathematics test for potential bias between normally achieving and mathematically disabled populations, it was possible to determine whether certain mathematical concepts consistently distinguish between the two ability groups.
This study evaluated 227 students attending 12 classes of the Apprentice Medical Services Specialist Resident Course. Six classes containing a total of 109 students took the Block One Tests in the traditional paper and pencil form. Another six classes containing a total of 118 students took the same Block One Tests on computers. A confidence level of .99 and level of significance of .01 was established. An independent samples t-test was conducted on the sample. Additionally, a one-way analysis of variance was performed between the classes administered the Block One Tests on computers. Several other frequencies and comparisons of Block One Test scores and other variables were accomplished. The variables examined included test versions, shifts, student age, student source, and education levels. The study found no significant difference between test administration modes. This study concluded that computer-administering tests identical to those typically administered in the traditional paper and pencil manner had no significant effect on achievement. It is important to note, however, that the conclusion may only be valid if the computer-administered test contains exactly the same test items, in the same order and format, with the same layout, structure, and choices as the traditional paper and pencil test. In other words, unless the tests are identical in every possible way except the actual test administration mode this conclusion may not be applicable.
God-concepts of 24 third to sixth grade evangelical Christian children were compared with the children‘s logical thinking abilities in a mixed-method study. Measurements included the Children‘s Interview and the Group Assessment of Logical Thinking (GALT). God-concepts among the children were Biblical, comforter, communicates, creator, empowering, protector, provider, purposeful, human characteristics, lives in heaven, male, counselor, God is Jesus, all-knowing, loving, perfect, powerful, real, and parental. The majority of concrete thinkers conceptualized God as a gracious guide. The majority of transitional thinkers viewed God also as a gracious guide as well as a distant divinity. Implications were given for religious educators to develop a model for age-appropriate instruction and curriculum and to equip parents to promote spiritual development with children at home.
This study had a two-fold purpose. The first purpose was to compare the rankings of a set of knowledge/skills statements as reported by teachers of students with emotional behavioral disorders and teachers in juvenile correctional special education settings. A survey instrument designed to measure the importance, proficiency, and frequency of use of clusters of knowledge/skills statements was administered to 123 teachers in juvenile correctional special education settings in state institutions. Mann Whitney U analyses were calculated to compare the mean rankings of the two groups of teachers. The findings indicated that teachers in juvenile correctional special education settings and teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders were very similar as to which knowledge/skills clusters were important to their job performance, which clusters they were most proficient at using, and which clusters they utilized most frequently. The second purpose was to compare the teachers in juvenile correctional special education settings and to determine whether their mean rankings of the knowledge/skills clusters varied when analyzed by differing categories of age, type of certification held, years of teaching experience, and level of the teachers' education. Analysis of variance revealed no significant difference in the mean rankings in any of the comparison groups. Therefore teacher age, level of education, type of certification held, or years of teaching experience yielded no significant differences on the mean rankings of the knowledge/skills clusters.
In the present study, parameter estimates, standard errors and chi-square statistics were compared using normal and elliptical estimation methods given three research conditions: population data contamination (10%, 20%, and 30%), sample size (100, 400, and 1000), and kurtosis (kappa =1,10, 20).
Researchers who make predictions from educational data are interested in choosing the best regression model possible. Many criteria have been devised for choosing a full or restricted model, and also for selecting the best subset from an all-possible-subsets regression. The relative practical usefulness of three of the criteria used in selecting a regression model was compared in this study: (a) Mallows' C_p, (b) Amemiya's prediction criterion, and (c) Hagerty and Srinivasan's method involving predictive power. Target correlation matrices with 10,000 cases were simulated so that the matrices had varying degrees of effect sizes. The amount of power for each matrix was calculated after one or two predictors was dropped from the full regression model, for sample sizes ranging from n = 25 to n = 150. Also, the null case, when one predictor was uncorrelated with the other predictors, was considered. In addition, comparisons for regression models selected using C_p and prediction criterion were performed using data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988.
This study investigated the item parameter recovery of two methods of factor analysis. The methods researched were a traditional factor analysis of tetrachoric correlation coefficients and an IRT approach to factor analysis which utilizes marginal maximum likelihood estimation using an EM algorithm (MMLE-EM). Dichotomous item response data was generated under the 2-parameter normal ogive model (2PNOM) using PARDSIM software. Examinee abilities were sampled from both the standard normal and uniform distributions. True item discrimination, a, was normal with a mean of .75 and a standard deviation of .10. True b, item difficulty, was specified as uniform [-2, 2]. The two distributions of abilities were completely crossed with three test lengths (n= 30, 60, and 100) and three sample sizes (N = 50, 500, and 1000). Each of the 18 conditions was replicated 5 times, resulting in 90 datasets. PRELIS software was used to conduct a traditional factor analysis on the tetrachoric correlations. The IRT approach to factor analysis was conducted using BILOG 3 software. Parameter recovery was evaluated in terms of root mean square error, average signed bias, and Pearson correlations between estimated and true item parameters. ANOVAs were conducted to identify systematic differences in error indices. Based on many of the indices, it appears the IRT approach to factor analysis recovers item parameters better than the traditional approach studied. Future research should compare other methods of factor analysis to MMLE-EM under various non-normal distributions of abilities.
A supportive work climate is critical for successful transfer of learning. Influences in the work environment affect the trainee's ability to apply new skills to the job. The supervisor can be a significant figure in the trainee's perception of a supportive transfer climate. Little is known of the effect of supervisor participation in the training on transfer climate. The purpose of this study was to identify differences in trainee and supervisor self-perceptions of the factors affecting transfer climate. Additionally, this study examined the effects of supervisor participation in the training program on perceptions of transfer climate. The participants in this study were trainees in a union-sponsored instructor training program and their supervisors. The study found perception gaps between the overall perception of transfer climate and supervisor support. The level of supervisor participation in the training program was not to be a factor in the differences between the trainee and supervisor perceptions. No statistically significant difference exists in the perception of other transfer climate factors: supervisor sanctions, peer support, resistance/openness to change, and feedback/performance coaching. In addition, the study found that supervisor participation in the training made little difference in the perceptions of transfer climate by supervisors and trainees. Studies comparing trainee and supervisor perceptions of transfer climate and the effect of supervisor participation in the training on these perceptions are needed from other organizations before extensive generalizations can be made.
Differential item functioning (DIF) detection rates were examined for the logistic regression and analysis of variance (ANOVA) DIF detection methods. The methods were applied to simulated data sets of varying test length (20, 40, and 60 items) and sample size (200, 400, and 600 examinees) for both equal and unequal underlying ability between groups as well as for both fixed and varying item discrimination parameters. Each test contained 5% uniform DIF items, 5% non-uniform DIF items, and 5% combination DIF (simultaneous uniform and non-uniform DIF) items. The factors were completely crossed, and each experiment was replicated 100 times. For both methods and all DIF types, a test length of 20 was sufficient for satisfactory DIF detection. The detection rate increased significantly with sample size for each method. With the ANOVA DIF method and uniform DIF, there was a difference in detection rates between discrimination parameter types, which favored varying discrimination and decreased with increased sample size. The detection rate of non-uniform DIF using the ANOVA DIF method was higher with fixed discrimination parameters than with varying discrimination parameters when relative underlying ability was unequal. In the combination DIF case, there was a three-way interaction among the experimental factors discrimination type, relative ability, and sample size for both detection methods. The error rate for the ANOVA DIF detection method decreased as test length increased and increased as sample size increased. For both methods, the error rate was slightly higher with varying discrimination parameters than with fixed. For logistic regression, the error rate increased with sample size when relative underlying ability was unequal between groups. The logistic regression method detected uniform and non-uniform DIF at a higher rate than the ANOVA DIF method. Because the type of DIF present in real data is rarely known, the logistic regression method is recommended for ...
The purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy of using a computer word processing program in the assessment of written expression with college-bound individuals who had been diagnosed with a learning disability (LD) and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Fifty-six (35 eleventh and 21 twelfth) graders, attending a private college-preparatory school for students with LD and/or ADHD, were administered the Spontaneous Writing composite of the Test of Written Expression - Third Edition (TOWL-3). The TOWL-3 has equivalent forms, Form A and Form B. One form was administered in accordance with the test manual, using paper and pencil (standard format). The other form (i.e., alternate format) was administered with word processing access. Paired samples tests (repeated measure) and bivariate correlation designs were computed to explore the relationships between measures. Results of the study revealed significant increases (p<.01) in the subtest and composite scores when participants were administered the test in the alternate format. Other components of the research study did not reveal strong meaningful relationships when cognitive ability, graphomotor speed, and keyboarding rate were compared with the standard and/or alternative formats of the writing composite. A high rate of comorbity was exhibited with the majority of participants (75%) having two or more LD and/or ADHD diagnoses. On an informal questionnaire, the participants endorsed a strong preference for the use of word processors in the majority of their written academic tasks. The study concludes that for students who are accustomed to producing written work on a word processor, restriction from this writing tool can adversely affect the results of their product, leaving a false impression, underestimating their writing skills, ability, creativity, and subject knowledge. In addition, having access to a word processor during high stakes testing is paramount. Inaccurate results can affect future opportunities, such as admission to postsecondary educational settings. In ...
This study examined the correlation between two commercially available behavior rating scales. The two scales used were the Behavior Dimensions Rating Scale (BDRS) and the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC). Students from a special education behavior management class (primarily students with emotional disabilities) were rated on the two scales and students from a general education behavior management class (primarily students with conduct problems without disabilities) were rated on the two scales.
The teacher professional development component of the will, skill, tool model of technology integration was tested for predictive validity in the cross-cultural context of data from Texas, USA, and data from Mexico City, Mexico. Structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis, path analysis, and multiple regression analysis, were statistical procedures employed. The analyses yielded positive results for the model's validity and reliability. The resulting model was found to be a reliable tool to evaluate technology integration among elementary and middle school teachers in Texas and in Mexico City. For the purposes of this study, the teacher professional development component of the will, skill, tool model of technology integration is referred to as the will, skill, tool model of technology integration (WiSTTI). This was one of the seven alternative models tested for goodness of fit across a total of 7 data samples. The structural equation modeling approach proved to be a good technique to find the best fit model in a cross-cultural environment. Latent variables and a set of parameters to judge the validity and reliability of each model were set for testing and retesting in an iterative process. Eventually a "new" modified version of the WiSSTI model was found to fit the data for all samples studied from both countries. From a theoretical perspective, the variation of the WiSTTI model found to be the best fit to the data indicates that increased teacher willingness to integrate technology brings about increased skill, and increased skill leads to more advanced technology integration, if access to technology is available for instruction. Results derived from the model with respect to the evaluation of technology integration for teachers from Texas and Mexico City suggest a differential effect by country, with the Texas teachers (representing USA) currently more advanced in technology integration than their colleagues from Mexico. No ...
With so many paraeducators working in special education, it is important for teachers, administrators, and researchers to know how paraeducators are being utilized, supervised, and managed in order to create the most effective programs for students with special needs. Research is needed regarding current practices in supervising paraeducators. The purposes of this study were to (a) delineate the current practices being utilized by special education teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) who supervise paraeducators that work with students with EBD in the general education classroom and (b) determine how effective the supervised paraeducators perceive those practices to be. Current practices were revealed by answering the following questions: (1) According to special education teachers and paraeducators, what procedures and practices are being utilized to supervise paraeducators who work in the general education environment with students with EBD? (2) In what ways do teachers and paraeducators see these supervision practices as being effective? (3) What is the relationship between actual supervision practices and accepted best practices? There were 60 participants in all, 30 professional teachers and 30 paraeducators. All 60 participants completed a survey; of these 60, 5 teachers and 5 paraeducators were individually interviewed Findings from the study indicate that actual supervision practices of teachers do not represent the best practices found in the literature. The study found that each of the seven executive functions of supervision (orientation, planning, scheduling, delegating, training/coaching, monitoring/feedback, and managing the workplace) need additional attention from school districts in order to maximize paraeducator effectiveness.
This qualitative study examined whether a connection exists between children with emotional disorders consumption of traditional entertainment media and their subsequent vegative/anti-social classroom behavior. Research participants included six first-grade children diagnosed with an emotional disorder and their teacher. They were interviewed using a semi-structured approach. The students were observed in the natural setting of their classroom for a total of twenty-four hours, over a four-day period. Transcripts and classroom observations were analyzed, looking for connections between behavior and consumption of traditional entertainment media. Findings from this study concluded that these students used traditional entertainment media as a method of temporally escaping from the environment of their respective households.
This study examined the comments submitted by the public to the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Office of Special Education Programs, in response to the 2004 amended IDEA, prior to the development and publication of proposed regulations under 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 300 and 303 to implement programs under IDEA. Specifically, this study analyzed the types of individuals (e.g., parents, advocates, administrators, lawyers, support staff personnel) and interest groups along with the number of submissions, types of comments made, and specific provisions in the legislation that received the most comments during the period open to the public prior to the publication of the proposed regulations. In addition, an exploration of the existence of differences in comments submitted by states and regions was analyzed in terms of types of individuals, interest groups, types of comments, and specific provision of the 2004 amended IDEA. Content analysis approach utilizing qualitative data collection and analysis procedures was used for this study. The sample consisted of 2,199 comments submitted to the USDE via the U.S. Postal system, e-mail, and verbal testimony transcripts obtained during one of the public meetings held throughout the United States during the 60 day period open for commenting. The findings of this study revealed a large number of a particular type of respondent types, the majority of the comments were neutral in nature, and the largest percentage of comments received were directed at one particular section of the Act.
There is currently no effective tool available to quickly and economically measure a change in landmass in the setting of biomedical professionals and environmental specialists. The purpose of this study is to structure and demonstrate a statistical change-detection method using remotely sensed data that can detect the presence of an infectious land borne disease. Data sources included the Texas Department of Health database, which provided the types of infectious land borne diseases and indicated the geographical area to study. Methods of data collection included the gathering of images produced by digital orthophoto quadrangle and aerial videography and Landsat. Also, a method was developed to identify statistically the severity of changes of the landmass over a three-year period. Data analysis included using a unique statistical detection procedure to measure the severity of change in landmass when a disease was not present and when the disease was present. The statistical detection method was applied to two different remotely sensed platform types and again to two like remotely sensed platform types. The results indicated that when the statistical change detection method was used for two different types of remote sensing mediums (i.e.-digital orthophoto quadrangle and aerial videography), the results were negative due to skewed and unreliable data. However, when two like remote sensing mediums were used (i.e.- videography to videography and Landsat to Landsat) the results were positive and the data were reliable.
This study examined the effectiveness of employing videoconferencing and Web-based instruction in the preparation of special education personnel. Due to the acute shortage of special education personnel, it was anticipated that the use of videoconferencing and online instruction would provide a convenient way for students to attend class without having to travel to the actual location of the educational site. Further, it was believed that this initiative would result in higher student enrollment in special education teacher certification programs, consequently leading to an increase of personnel in the field. Moreover, the increase in personnel would enhance the ability of educational institutions to address the dismal academic, social, and behavioral outcomes of students with disabilities. Information for the study was collected from surveys that investigated how students perceived the use of videoconferencing and web-based instruction in the preparation of special education personnel. Ninety-four graduate students responded to the videoconferencing surveys while 88 responded to the Web-based instruction surveys. Six respondents were randomly selected to participate in face-to-face interviews designed to investigate the effectiveness of both approaches. Findings indicated that videoconferencing and Web-based instruction are convenient ways for students to attend class although videoconferencing sites may not be conveniently located to all learners. Furthermore, the effectiveness of these media depends on several factors: the instructor, the course structure, the learners' learning styles, the quality and quantity of interaction between learners and the instructor, and whether technological problems interfere with the learning process. The study determined that the more structured and organized the course, the more significant the learning outcomes. Also, the maturity level of the students lends itself to accountability toward achieving the desired learning goals. Technological problems and the lack of user-friendly technology lower the effectiveness of videoconferencing and Web-based instruction. Further research will be valuable in improving theories and approaches ...
The purpose of this study was to examine the usefulness of electronic-based questionnaires as a tool to gather data from field supervisors in the medical profession at various military bases. The study compared the response effects of an electronic evaluation questionnaire with the traditional method of paper-based questionnaires in gathering Level 3 data. The number of returns affects the amount of information available to the course personnel in creating a viable program that ensures the success of service members entering the occupational field and, ultimately, affecting the number of service members who remain beyond their first enlistment. The return rate and amount of missing data were tracked. Supervisors of graduates of a medical program who had observed service members for a minimum of 4-months were participants in the study. The z-test for comparing two proportions was used to determine significance of the study at the .05 level. Findings indicate that there was a significant difference in return rates and the amount of missing data when using the electronic format. Based on this study, the electronic-based questionnaire as a data-gathering tool provided a higher number of returns in a quicker time frame with fewer missing data in the technical training environment. Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise note
This study investigated the problem that educators have throughout the state of Texas. The problem educators have is that reading scores continue to fall short of state expectations. This study investigated the effectiveness of 90 minutes of class time given for reading to students who use the Electronic Bookshelf Program and the effectiveness of the Electronic Bookshelf Program, which is being sold to school districts throughout the nation. The literature review focused on the effectiveness of independent reading on reading achievement, and the effectiveness of using computer-based reading programs to increase reading achievement.
As a result of the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997, schools must now consider positive behavioral interventions and strategies to address problem behavior of students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (E/BD). Given the poor behavioral, academic, and social outcomes for these students, there is a compelling need to identify effective, proactive interventions. Current literature has well established the ineffectiveness of traditional, punitive, and consequence-laden strategies to deal with behaviors. Research has shown the manipulation of antecedent stimuli, in the form of curricular adaptations, can provide a positive, proactive means of managing behavior. Specifically, curriculum modifications, based on student interest, are proposed as a positive, proactive strategy used to manipulate antecedent stimuli to improve the behavior of students with E/BD. The purpose of this study was to investigate the manipulation of antecedent stimuli through the implementation of individualized, curricular adaptations, based on student interest, to reduce the problem behavior of students exhibiting disruptive behaviors. A second purpose was to explore the effect of those adaptations on the behavior motivation of students with E/BD. In this study, curriculum modifications based on student interest were used to reduce disruptive behavior, increase desirable behavior, and effect change in the motivation for problem behavior among four elementary school boys with E/BD. Use of an ABAB reversal design, including interval data collection, and the use of a behavior rating scale and a motivation assessment scale were used to establish baseline data and determine effectiveness of the intervention. Results indicate that each student demonstrated a reduction in disruptive behavior, an increase in desirable behavior, and changes in motivation for behavior.
This quasi-experimental study, utilizing quantitative and qualitative descriptive methods, examined the sex-egalitarian attitudes of secondary mathematics teachers from the Ft. Worth Independent School District. A video tape, Women in the Workplace, was used as a training intervention to test the effectiveness of professional development training in altering the mathematics teachers' sex-egalitarian attitudes towards female employment. Information on the video presented seven jobs that provide opportunities for female students in the science, engineering, and technology fields that are considered nontraditional jobs for females. Subjects completed 19 Employment Role domain questions on the King and King (1993) Sex-Role Egalitarianism Scale. A one-way ANOVA was applied to the data to test for a significant difference in the means of the control group, who did not see the video, and the experimental group that viewed the video. Findings concluded that there was no significant difference in the sex equalitarian mean scores of the control group and the experimental group. The research indicated that it takes an intensive and prolonged training period to produce a significant change in people's attitudes. This study supports the research on length of training needed to change sex egalitarian attitudes of classroom teachers. There were data collected on four demographic areas that included gender, age, ethnicity, and years of teaching experience. A two-way ANOVA was applied to four demographic variables to test for interaction and main effect. A significant difference was found between the sex-egalitarian attitudes of male and female mathematics teachers' responses. There were no significant differences found in the sex egalitarian attitudes of secondary mathematics teachers when categorized by levels of age, ethnicity, and years of teaching experience. The information in this study should interest and benefit teachers, parents, students, administrators, and industry leaders.
The purpose of this study was to determine if psychological type, economic status, and minority classification had an effect on the pass/fail rates of vocational nursing students. The rationale for conducting this study was based on the need for the institution to maintain program viability and successfully retain students. The personality types of vocational nursing students were measured using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Measures of economic status and minority classification were obtained through subject self-report. Students enrolled in a vocational nursing program at a small North Texas community college were studied. The Chi-square Test of Independence with a 2 x 2 design was employed. Findings indicated that there was a statistically significant relationship between the pass/fail rates of thinkers versus feelers in the vocational nursing classroom. Findings did not indicate a statistically significant relationship between the pass/fail rates of extraverts versus introverts; sensers versus intuitives; or judgers versus perceivers in the vocational nursing classroom. Findings also suggested that there were no significant relationships between the pass/fail rates of individuals with poverty versus non-poverty economic statuses, nor between individuals with minority versus non-minority classifications. Based on this study, vocational nursing students psychologically typed as thinkers, may have lower passing rates in the vocational nursing classroom setting.
There are several conditions for applying equal weights as an alternative to least squares weights. Psychometric parallelism, one of the conditions, has been suggested as a necessary and sufficient condition for equal-weights aggregation. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of psychometric parallelism among predictors on the efficiency of equal weights and least squares weights. Target correlation matrices with 10,000 cases were simulated so that the matrices had varying degrees of psychometric parallelism. Five hundred samples with six ratios of observation to predictor = 5/1, 10/1, 20/1, 30/1, 40/1, and 50/1 were drawn from each population. The efficiency is interpreted as the accuracy and the predictive power estimated by the weighting methods. The accuracy is defined by the deviation between the population R² and the sample R² . The predictive power is referred to as the population cross-validated R² and the population mean square error of prediction. The findings indicate there is no statistically significant relationship between the level of psychometric parallelism and the accuracy of least squares weights. In contrast, the correlation between the level of psychometric parallelism and the accuracy of equal weights is significantly negative. Under different conditions, the minimum p value of χ² for testing psychometric parallelism among predictors is also different in order to prove equal weights more powerful than least squares weights. The higher the number of predictors is, the higher the minimum p value. The higher the ratio of observation to predictor is, the higher the minimum p value. The higher the magnitude of intercorrelations among predictors is, the lower the minimum p value. This study demonstrates that the most frequently used levels of significance, 0.05 and 0.01, are no longer the only p values for testing the null hypotheses of psychometric parallelism among predictors when replacing least squares weights ...
The study examined the effects of a study skills training intervention course on U.S. Air Force Aeromedical Apprentices with five main purposes. The first was to examine the relationship between study skills training and the number of times students required academic interventions outside of normal class time. The second purpose was to examine the relationship between study skills training and end of course averages. The third was to determine the relationship between study skills training and the amount of additional instruction, measured in time, students required. The fourth purpose examined the relationship between study skills training and graduation rates. The final purpose was to recommend areas for further research.
This study examined the effects of test anxiety reduction strategies on U.S. Air Force allied health care students and had a fourfold purpose. The first was to estimate the extent of student test anxiety in allied health care students. The second was to determine the predictors of student test anxiety. The third was to determine if the Student Learning Center provides an effective method of reducing test anxiety in the subjects. The final purpose was to recommend areas for future research.
The purpose of this study was to determine if extended periods of time out of the training environment has an effect on the retention of training. The rationale for conducting this study was based on the fact that little research has been done in this area. The findings of the study indicated that extensive periods of time out of training do significantly influence the amount of training retained fromone loadmaster course to the other. Additionally, there was a significant relationship between the number of days out of training and the posttest scores. The optimum training break between courses appears to be between 10 and 20 days. Training retention is apparently affected by time.
Some researchers are saying that natural language is probably one of the most promising interfaces for use in the long term for simplicity of learning. If this is true, then it follows that speech recognition would be ideal as the interface for computer-based training (CBT). While many speech recognition applications are being used as a means for a computer interface, these are usually confined to controlling the computer or causing the computer to control other devices. The user input or interface has been the recipient of a strong effort to improve the quality of the communication between man and machine and is proposed to be a dominant factor in determining user productivity, performance, and satisfaction. However, other researchers note that full natural interfaces with computers are still a long way from being the state-of-the art with technology. The focus of this study was to determine if the technology of speech recognition is an effective interface for an academic lesson presented via CBT. How does one determine if learning has been affected and how is this measured? Previous research has attempted quantify a learning effect when using a variety of interfaces. This dissertation summarizes previous studies using other interfaces and those using speech recognition. It attempted to apply a framework used to measure learning effectiveness in some of these studies to quantify the measurement of learning when speech recognition is used as the sole interface. The focus of the study was on cognitive processing which affects short-term memory and in-turn, the effect on original learning (OL). The methods and procedures applied in an experimental study were presented.
This study examined the effectiveness of Mind Mapping (a diagram of the structure of ideas in an associative manner, using graphics, color and key words) as a note-taking device in a training course in a large, high-tech corporation, as compared to traditional note-taking. The population for this study consisted of personnel employed by a major high-tech firm, that had voluntarily registered for a Mind Mapping training class. The effect of Mind Mapping was measured by the pre-test and post-test of the control and experimental groups.
The career development of students, demonstrated by students' career interest, is important for a more effective career education program. This study focused on the career choices of fifth grade students through the use of a career interest inventory before and after the use of a career education program. The design was experimental, and the purpose was to determine if there were differences in the career interest of fifth grade students who participated in a career education program compared with the career interest of fifth grade students who did not participate in a career education program. The COPS-PIC Picture Inventory of Careers (COPS-PIC) was used as a pretest and posttest for fifth grade students to determine baseline career interests. The COPS-PIC career inventory results were incorporated into the career education program and served as a career planning guide for incorporating students' input into career choices and exploration of those choices for a better understanding of the process of finding out who they want to be and what type of careers exists. The experimental group was provided instruction and career exploration opportunities for 4 weeks. The control group was not provided career education instruction and career exploration opportunities. This study suggests that fifth grade students who participated in a career education program were able to make more concentrated career choices at higher levels of interest after participating in the career education program. Additional studies that include the use of career interest inventories and a career education program are needed before extensive generalizations can be made.
This investigation was conducted in response to the need for effective diversity awareness programs to help employers create intergenerational-friendly work environments. An experimental pre- and post-test control group randomized block design was employed to answer two research questions about the effects of a simulation game on knowledge and attitudes about age-related changes in learning and work behaviors of older workers. Participants were assessed immediately prior to and following the treatment, followed by a third assessment 60 days later. Necessary measures were taken to control for threats to the study's internal validity. An applicant pool comprised of human resource management and development practitioners and senior undergraduate students enrolled in human resource management courses yielded a sample of 65 participants. Chapter one introduces the study. Chapter two provides a review and summary of relevant literature on ageism in the workplace, training older workers, and simulation games. Chapter three describes the procedures and methods used to answer the research questions. Chapter four presents the results of all analytic procedures related to the investigation. Chapter five provides the conclusions and recommendations based on the findings of this investigation. In this investigation, the treatment group did not score significantly higher on their knowledge of age-related changes in learning and work behaviors of older workers than the control group following treatment. The attitudinal change experienced by the treatment group did not differ significantly from the attitudinal change experienced by the control group. Recommendations for further research include the following: (a) the disordinal interactive effect of the control group's performance on the knowledge measure during the 60-day interval between post assessments warrants further investigation, (b) the statistically significant change in attitude that occurred within each group during the 60-day interval following treatment warrants further investigation, and (c) more reliable instruments need to be developed for measuring the ...
The purpose of this research was to manipulate the component of confidence found in Keller's ARCS model to enhance the confidence and performance of undergraduate students enrolled in an online course at a Texas university using SAM 2003 software delivery. This study also tested whether the aforementioned confidence tactics had any unintentional effect on the remaining attention, relevance, and satisfaction subscales of the ARCS model as well as on learners' overall motivation for the class and the instructional materials. This study was conducted over a 5.5-week period with an initial sample of 81 total students. Two quantitative surveys were used to measure confidence and motivation: (a) the Course Interest Survey (CIS), and (b) the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS). The results indicated that the treatment group showed statistically greater gains than the control group in terms of learner confidence on the CIS but not the IMMS. In terms of performance, the treatment group outperformed the control group on all of the individual posttest measures and on the overall aggregate mean performance score. The results showed no statistically significant difference on the attention subsection of the ARCS model. However, statistically significant differences were noted for the relevance and satisfaction subscales of the model. There was also a statistically significant difference in overall learner motivation as measured on both surveys. This research study suggests the feasibility of improving overall learner motivation and performance through external conditions such as systematically applied confidence tactics. The research further supports claims about the effectiveness of the ARCS model as a viable tool for enhancing online learner motivation and performance. What was unclear in this study was whether individual subsections of the ARCS model, such as confidence, can be independently manipulated.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of career group counseling in raising the self-concept of at-risk high school students. The following subgroups were represented in the sample: male and female students, white and non-white ethnic groups, and students from sophomore, junior, and senior classifications. Two groups of students in the Lewisville Independent School District meeting the criteria for at-risk as defined by House Bill 1010 were administered a pretest and posttest using the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. The experimental group was from the Lewisville Learning Center. The control group was students enrolled in the Coordinated Vocational Academic Education (CVAE) classes at Lewisville High School. A treatment sample of 25 students received career group counseling. A nontreatment sample of 25 students did not receive any group counseling. The t-test for independent samples was used to analyze the data. The pretests for the experimental and control groups showed no significant difference at the .05 level. The treatment sample received 30 hours of group counseling in the Fall semester of 1994. At the end of 30 hours of counseling a posttest was administered to the treatment sample and to the control sample. The t-test for independent samples was used to analyze the data. While career group counseling appeared to impact the students in the experimental group, the limitations of sample size and population may have effected the results. The treatment was significant at the .05 level and the null hypothesis was rejected. The findings showed that career group counseling was not an effective tool for increasing positive self-concept. It is concluded that self-concept was not effectively enhanced through group interaction conducted by the school system in this study. Further research is recommended.
Database modeling is a complex conceptual topic often taught through the use of project-based teams. One of the problems with the use of project-based teams in university courses is the determination of whether this is the most effective use of instructor and student time involvement and effort level. Therefore, this study investigated the impact of providing team dynamics training prior to the commencement of short-duration project-based team conceptual data modeling projects on individual data modeling task performance (DMTP) outcomes and team cohesiveness. The literature review encompassed conceptual data design modeling, the use of a project-based team approach, team dynamics and cohesion, self-efficacy, gender, and diversity. The research population consisted of 75 university students at a North American University (Canadian) pursuing a business program requiring an information systems course in which database design components are taught. Analysis of the collected data revealed that there was a statistically significant inverse relationship found between the provision of team dynamics training and individual DMTP. However, no statistically significant relationship was found between team dynamics training and team cohesion. Therefore, this study calls into question the value of team dynamics training on learning outcomes in the case of very short duration project-based teams involved in conceptual data modeling tasks. Additional research in this area would need to clarify what about this particular experiment might have contributed to these results.
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of Web-based learning (WBL) versus those of traditional instructor-based learning (IBL) on student knowledge and satisfaction based on student learning styles. Other goals were to determine if WBL is more effective for those with a particular learning style. The study examined a sample of undergraduate students who were enrolled in the college algebra offered as both oncampus instructor-based (traditional) and Web-based at the university of North Texas (UNT). A total of 36 Web-based students and 58 instructor-based students participated in this study. This study utilized a posttest-only intact group. The Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI) measured the learning styles of students. This study used learning methods (Web-based learning (WBL), instructor-based learning (IBL)), and learning styles (Diverger, Converger, Assimilator, and Accommodator) as independent variables. Student knowledge and student satisfaction was measured at the end of the course as independent variables. Based upon the results of the LSI, post-learning exam, and satisfaction a series of two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA 4x2) techniques and independent variable tests was used for each of the dependent variables, knowledge and satisfaction, based on a student's learning styles. The results revealed that students' learning styles were statistically significant for knowledge when learning on the Web versus instructor-led. In addition, the learning style was important factor for Web-based learning. The results indicated students with Assimilator and Converger as learning styles received better result with the Web-based learning method. Furthermore, this study found there is significant difference in student satisfaction based on learning on the Web versus instructor-led. The outcome of the study could be of particular interest in educational institutions; especially those that want to transfer some of their traditional courses onto the Web. The finding also has implications for training organizations as they seek efficient and effective ...
The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of the comorbidity of emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD) and speech/language disorders among those students identified as under The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act criteria as emotionally disturbed and speech impaired. The literature reviewed included clinical and school settings that examined a cooccurrence of language disorders in the EBD population. Other research reported a lack of routine involvement of speech/language therapists in the assessment of the EBD population. Implications from clinical studies suggested a need for greater attention to language disorders in a multi- and interdisciplinary assessment. This study investigated the prevalence of the dual occurrence of EBD and speech/language disorders in Grades 2 through 6 in Texas schools in light of the known research. Relationships in ethnicity and socioeconomic status were examined using chi-square test of independence. Aggregate data were obtained from the database of the Texas Pupil Information Management System and from survey questionnaire responses provided by speech therapists in selected districts. The literature review focused on the impact of language in the development of appropriate personal interactions and communication skills, especially those relevant to pragmatic language factors and the implications of language competency in successful personal living and career roles and supported the importance of language as an important contributor to a person's life success and the correlation of EBD disabilities and speech/language disorders. Social skills instruction, the relationship of language, especially pragmatics, and social competencies for this population are included. The results revealed a relationship between ethnicity and speech/language disorders among the students identified with EBD. In considering the population of students identified as EBD and language disordered, a significant relationship was found between ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Recommendations include suggestions for future research, assessment procedures, classroom interventions, and data collection methods.
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