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

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

Children's Color Association for Digital Image Retrieval.

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

An Empirical Investigation of Critical Factors that Influence Data Warehouse Implementation Success in Higher Educational Institutions

Description: Data warehousing (DW) in the last decade has become the technology of choice for building data management infrastructures to provide organizations the decision-making capabilities needed to effectively carry out its activities. Despite its phenomenal growth and importance to organizations the rate of DW implementation success has been less than stellar. Many DW implementation projects fail due to technical or organizational reasons. There has been limited research on organizational factors and their role in DW implementations. It is important to understand the role and impact of both technical but organizational factors in DW implementations and their relative importance to implementation performance. A research model was developed to test the significance of technical and organizational factors in the three phases of implementation with DW implementation performance. The independent variables were technical (data, technology, and expertise) and organizational (management, goals, users, organization). The dependent variable was performance (content, accuracy, format, ease of use, and timeliness). The data collection method was a Web based survey of DW implementers and DW users sampled (26) from a population of 108 identified DW implementations. Regression was used as the multivariate statistical technique to analyze the data. The results show that organization factors are significantly related to performance. Also, that some variables in the post-implementation phase have a significant relationship with performance. Based on the results of the tests the model was revised to reflect the relative impact of technical and organizational factors on DW performance. Results suggest that in some cases organizational factors have a significant relationship with DW implementation performance. The implications and interpretation of these results provide researchers and practitioners' insights and a new perspective in the area of DW implementations.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Mukherjee, Debasish

An Evaluation of the Effect of Learning Styles and Computer Competency on Students' Satisfaction on Web-Based Distance Learning Environments

Description: This study investigates the correlation between students' learning styles, computer competency and student satisfaction in Web-based distance learning. Three hundred and one graduate students participated in the current study during the Summer and Fall semesters of 2002 at the University of North Texas. Participants took the courses 100% online and came to the campus only once for software training. Computer competency and student satisfaction were measured using the Computer Skill and Use Assessment and the Student Satisfaction Survey questionnaires. Kolb's Learning Style Inventory measured students' learning styles. The study concludes that there is a significant difference among the different learning styles with respect to student satisfaction level when the subjects differ with regard to computer competency. For accommodating amd diverging styles, a higher level of computer competency results in a higher level of student satisfaction. But for converging and assimilating styles, a higher level of computer competency suggests a lower level of student satisfaction. A significant correlation was found between computer competency and student satisfaction level within Web-based courses for accommodating styles and no significant results were found in the other learning styles.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Du, Yunfei

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

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

Information systems assessment: development of a comprehensive framework and contingency theory to assess the effectiveness of the information systems function.

Description: The purpose of this research is to develop a comprehensive, IS assessment framework using existing IS assessment theory as a base and incorporating suggestions from other disciplines. To validate the framework and to begin the investigation of current IS assessment practice, a survey instrument was developed. A small group of subject matter experts evaluated and improved the instrument. The instrument was further evaluated using a small sample of IS representatives. Results of this research include a reexamination of the IS function measurement problem using new frameworks of analyses yielding (a) guidance for the IS manager or executive on which IS measures might best fit their organization, (b) a further verification of the important measures most widely used by IS executives, (c) a comprehensive, theoretically-derived, IS assessment framework, and by (d) the enhancement of IS assessment theory by incorporating ideas from actual practice. The body of knowledge gains a comprehensive, IS assessment framework that can be further tested for usefulness and applicability. Future research is recommended to substantiate and improve on these findings. Chapter 2 is a complete survey of prior research, subdivided by relevant literature divisions, such as organizational effectiveness, quality management, and IS assessment. Chapter 3 includes development of and support for the research questions, IS assessment framework, and the research model. Chapter 4 describes how the research was conducted. It includes a brief justification for the research approach, a description of how the framework was evaluated, a description of how the survey instrument was developed and evaluated, a description of the participants and how they were selected, a synopsis of the data collection procedures, a brief description of follow-up procedures, and a summary. Chapter 5 presents the results of the research. Chapter 6 is a summary and conclusion of the research. Finally, included in the appendices are definitions ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Myers, Barry L.

Knowledge synthesis in the biomedical literature: Nordihydroguaiaretic acid and breast cancer.

Description: This dissertation refines knowledge synthesis from publicly accessible databases, based on the model of D.R. Swanson. Knowledge synthesis endeavors bring together two or more non-interactive literatures to create combinatorial research data on a specific topic. In this endeavor the biomedical literature was searched on the anti-neoplastic agent nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) for its potential role as a functional food in the chemoprevention of breast cancer. Bibliometric cocitation was utilized to identify complementary but non-interactive literatures in the disciplines of biomedicine and dietary science. The continuing specialization and fragmentation of the cancer literature degenerates the potential usefulness of cross-disciplinary research and information. As the biomedical sciences become more specialized the potential increases for isolation of discoveries and for failures to connect science to the needs of the people. Within the information science discipline several techniques are available to bridge the isolation between discoveries recorded in different sets of literatures. Electronic database searching with combinatorial keyword entries, syllogistic modeling and bibliometric author cocitation analysis are the principle techniques applied in this endeavor. The research questions are addressed to the absence or presence of human in vivo research on breast cancer with the potentially chemopreventative functional food NDGA. Utilizing a syllogistic model the literatures of functional foods, nordihydroguaiaretic acid and breast cancer were searched with designated combinatorial keywords. The documents retrieved were subjected to author cocitation analysis to demonstrate disjointness or connectivity of the two complementary literatures. The results demonstrated a possible preventative relationship between breast cancer in women and nordihydroguaiaretic acid, a phytochemical antioxidant and potential functional food. The results of this study are consistent with D.R. Swanson's pioneering work in knowledge synthesis. Swanson's methods can be used to identify non-interactive, disjoint literatures. Continuing support for his techniques has been demonstrated.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Sneed, Wanda A.

Measuring the accuracy of four attributes of sound for conveying changes in a large data set.

Description: Human auditory perception is suited to receiving and interpreting information from the environment but this knowledge has not been used extensively in designing computer-based information exploration tools. It is not known which aspects of sound are useful for accurately conveying information in an auditory display. An auditory display was created using PD, a graphical programming language used primarily to manipulate digital sound. The interface for the auditory display was a blank window. When the cursor is moved around in this window, the sound generated would changed based on the underlying data value at any given point. An experiment was conducted to determine which attribute of sound most accurately represents data values in an auditory display. The four attributes of sound tested were frequency-sine waveform, frequency-sawtooth waveform, loudness and tempo. 24 subjects were given the task of finding the highest data point using sound alone using each of the four sound treatments. Three dependent variables were measured: distance accuracy, numeric accuracy, and time on task. Repeated measures ANOVA procedures conducted on these variables did not rise to the level of statistical significance (α=.05). None of the sound treatments was more accurate than the other as representing the underlying data values. 52% of the trials were accurate within 50 pixels of the highest data point (target). An interesting finding was the tendency for the frequency-sin waveform to be used in the least accurate trial attempts (38%). Loudness, on the other hand, accounted for very few (12.5%) of the least accurate trial attempts. In completing the experimental task, four different search techniques were employed by the subjects: perimeter, parallel sweep, sector, and quadrant. The perimeter technique was the most commonly used.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Holmes, Jason

Perceived value of journals for academic prestige, general reading and classroom use: A study of journals in educational and instructional technology.

Description: Conducting research, evaluating research, and publishing scholarly works all play an extremely prominent role for university faculty members. Tenure and promotion decisions are greatly influenced by the perceived value of publications as viewed by members of faculty evaluation committees. Faculty members seeking tenure may be limited to publishing in a limited group of journals perceived to be valuable by members of an academic committee. This study attempted to determine the value of various kinds of periodicals (journals, magazines, and e-journals), based on three principal criteria, as perceived by professionals (university faculty, K-12 practitioners, and corporate trainers) in the educational/instructional technology (E/IT) field. The criteria for journal evaluation were Academic Prestige, General Reading, and Classroom Use. The perceived value of journals based on each criterion was compared to determine any significant differences. Members of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) were asked to rate 30 journals in the E/IT field using the three criteria. Statistically significant differences were found among ratings in 63% of the journals. The statistical analyses indicated that differences in the perceived value of journals among E/IT professionals across the three criteria (Academic Prestige, General Reading, and Classroom Use) were statistically significant. It is also noted that refereed journals were rated higher than nonrefereed journals for the Academic Prestige criterion. Survey respondents indicated that individual journals were not valued for the same reasons. This finding implies that the formation of any equitable measure for determining the value of faculty members' journal article publications would be best if based on definable criteria determined by colleagues. Lists of valued journals for each area of faculty assessment would provide standards of excellence both inside and outside the E/IT field for those who serve on tenure and promotion committees in educational institutions.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Bray, Kaye Evitt

The physiology of collaboration: An investigation of library-museum-university partnerships.

Description: Collaboration appears to be a magical solution for many problems when there is scarcity of resources, lack of knowledge or skills, and/or environmental threats. However, there is little knowledge about the nature of collaboration. A holistic conceptual framework was developed for the collaborative process, and the conceptualization process used systems thinking approach. The author has selectively chosen conceptualizations and/or research by a limited subset of scholars whose ideas appeared to be the most relevant and useful to explore the type of collaboration studied here. In other words, the selection of the literature was based on an eclectic selection. Multiple cases were used in this research to understand the factors that are components of collaborative effort among non-profit organizations and the relationships among those factors. This study also investigated the stages of collaborative process. Data were collected from 54 participants who were partners in collaborate projects funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Among these 54 participants, 50 answered the online questionnaire and 38 received the telephone interviews. The data collected was analyzed using cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling, internal consistency reliability, and descriptive statistics. The component factors of collaboration were grouped by the following seven concepts: trustworthiness, competence, dependency, misunderstanding and/or conflict, complexity, commitment and mechanism of coordination. This study showed twelve relationships among these factors. For instance, different points of view and partners' capacity to maintain inter-organizational relationships were found to be opposite concepts. In addition, the findings in this study indicate that 84% of participants reported the presence of the five pre-defined stages: execution, networking, definition, relationship, and common evaluation.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Morales Arroyo, Miguel Angel

Testing a model of the relationships among organizational performance, IT-business alignment and IT governance.

Description: Information Technology (IT) is often viewed as a resource that is capable of enhancing organizational performance. However, it is difficult for organizations to measure the actual contribution of IT investments. Despite an abundance of literature, there is an insufficiency of generally applicable frameworks and instruments to help organizations definitively assess the relationship among organizational performance, IT-business alignment, and IT governance. Previous studies have emphasized IT-business alignment as an important enabler of organizational effectiveness; however, the direct and indirect effects of IT governance have not been incorporated into these studies. The purpose of this study was (1) to propose a new model that defines the relationships among IT governance, IT-business alignment, and organizational performance, (2) to develop and validate measures for the IT governance and IT-business alignment constructs, and (3) to test this IT Governance-Alignment-Performance or "IT GAP" model. This study made some novel contributions to the understanding of the factors affecting organizational performance. The quest for IT-business alignment in the MIS literature has been based on the presumption that IT contributes directly to organizational performance. However, this study found that although IT-business alignment does contribute to organizational performance, IT governance is an important antecedent of both IT-business alignment and organizational performance. The major contributions of this work are the development and validation of uni-dimensional scales for both IT-business alignment and IT governance, and the confirmation of the validity of the IT GAP model to explain the hypothesized relationships among the three constructs. Future studies may improve upon this research by using different organizations settings, industries, and stakeholders. This study indicates that in order for organizations to improve the value, contribution, and alignment of IT investments they first need to improve the ways in which they govern their IT activities and the processes and mechanisms by which IT decisions are made.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Sanchez Ortiz, Aurora