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The Effectiveness of Using Lego Mindstorms Robotics Activities to Influence Self-regulated Learning in a University Introductory Computer Programming Course.

Description: The research described in this dissertation examines the possible link between self-regulated learning and LEGO Mindstorms robotics activities in teaching concepts in an introductory university computer programming course. The areas of student motivation, learning strategies, and mastery of course objectives are investigated. In all three cases analysis failed to reveal any statistically significant differences between the traditional control group and the experimental LEGO Mindstorms group as measured by the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire and course exams. Possible reasons for the lack of positive results include technical problems and limitations of the LEGO Mindstorms systems, limited number and availability of robots outside of class, limited amount of time during the semester for the robotics activities, and a possible difference in effectiveness based on gender. Responses to student follow-up questions, however, suggest that at least some of the students really enjoyed the LEGO activities. As with any teaching tool or activity, there are numerous ways in which LEGO Mindstorms can be incorporated into learning. This study explores whether or not LEGO Mindstorms are an effective tool for teaching introductory computer programming at the university level and how these systems can best be utilized.
Date: May 2008
Creator: McWhorter, William Isaac

Identification of Remote Leadership Patterns in Academic and Public Libraries

Description: Seminal works on leadership, including those in librarianship define a traditional model of interaction between leaders and followers without reference to the information technology-driven environment. In addition, remote leadership indicates a different model from the traditional model, one that is focused on the interaction of leaders and their staff through digital technology. Although leaders still use face-to-face interaction, due to varied work schedules or job responsibilities, they also recognize the need to lead employees remotely. Leadership studies in library literature have not addressed how library leaders use information technology to lead employees remotely, nor have these studies addressed remote leadership and remote employees, except for some articles on telecommuting. As a result, this research was conducted to address this gap, providing an exploratory foundation of emergent patterns of remote leadership with its associated leadership dimensions rooted in personality traits, behaviors, and skills. Quantitative and qualitative data were obtained from a small sample size of academic and public-library leaders in the United States who participated in a Web-based survey designed specifically for this study, limiting generalizations. Factor analysis was the principal methodology used to obtain findings. Its composite factor scores were also used in the t-test and chi-square analyses. This study identifies some emergent patterns of remote leadership in the library and information-science field, exploring whether library leaders use information technology to be effective remote leaders in a technology-driven environment, and whether existing leadership attributes could be identified as part of the remote-leadership model. Because this study's findings indicated that library leaders are not quite the traditional leader but are not fully integrated into remote leadership, it becomes apparent that they would function with a blend of both face-to-face and electronic interactions, due to the nature of library work. Additionally, this research revealed underlying issues and challenges faced by library leaders ...
Date: August 2008
Creator: Venetis, Mary Jo

Negotiation, communication, and decision strategies used by hostage/crisis negotiators.

Description: By conducting this theory-based empirical study, gathering data from working negotiators in the US and Canada, I have determined what primary dynamic activities, communication skills, and negotiation tools are used by hostage/crisis negotiators. Negotiators implement their negotiation and decision strategies differently depending on whether the situations they deal with are instrumental or expressive. I have determined which elements of negotiations and factors affecting negotiations differ while handling instrumental and expressive hostage situations. I found that the collected data did not reveal any significant relationship between handling instrumental/expressive hostage situations differently and belief in the elements of Brenda Dervin's and Shannon-Weaver's theories. I have also determined that the belief in the elements of the Dervin's and Shannon-Weaver's theories is workable and practical for negotiators to use. Based on the above findings, the model suggested by this research adds the elements and directives of Dervin's and Shannon-Weaver's models to the common approach used by the negotiators. This revised model suggests that the negotiators pay attention to the dynamics of the interactions presented between the two parties: the negotiators themselves and hostage takers. The revised model also recommends that the negotiators focus on not only the hostage takers behavioral characteristics, psychological conditions, and criminal history but also on the meaning of the sent message and the interaction itself as performed between the two parties. This perspective enables the negotiators to look at the negotiation process as information and communication process. We are not ignoring the fact that hostage negotiation is a format of extreme information management. By looking at such an extreme case, we can add to our understanding of Dervin's and Shannon-Weaver's perspectives in order to see the hostage negotiation process from a wider perspective. The revised model is not an alternative approach to the common approach most negotiators use. Instead, the ...
Date: May 2008
Creator: Hancerli, Suleyman

Networked generation youth's information seeking process: An examination of cognitive, affective and physical behaviors and problem solving techniques.

Description: This study investigated the information seeking process of the networked generation youth. Specifically, I examined the cognitive, affective, and physical information seeking behaviors and problem solving techniques adolescent student users of the networked environment utilize to solve information needs. Grounded in the theoretical context of the information seeking process in the networked environment, the research extended the user-centered approach to modeling the information seeking process of networked generation youth. A mixed model research design was used to address the research questions. Phase 1 used an online questionnaire to solicit information from 125 students in Grades 7-12 regarding their understanding and use of networked environments, information seeking skills, and problem solving techniques. Phase 2 observed 12 students, two from each grade level, to gain an understanding into the information seeking process of networked generation youth. Participants completed information seeking scenarios of varying levels of complexity. As the participants completed the scenario, they engaged in talk-aloud verbal protocol to describe and explain their behaviors and techniques as they advanced through their information seeking process. Semi-structured interviews were conducted which provided an opportunity for the participants to clarify their information seeking experience. A profile of students' networked environment knowledge and use in relationship to their information seeking process was created. Findings suggested that knowledge and experience influence networked generation youth's information seeking process in the networked environment. A subset of students were found to be experienced information seekers who applied various cognitive, affective, and physical information seeking behaviors and behavioral actions that guide them through their information seeking process. The study presented a preliminary model of the networked generation youth's information seeking process. The model provides a detailed map to networked generation youth's information seeking and problem solving. I bring to light experienced users successful behaviors, as well as areas where all students ...
Date: May 2008
Creator: Peterson, Janet Walker

Toward an Ideal Library: A Synthesis of Wilson's Library and Information Policy and Gilbert's Performance Matrix

Description: Inquiry about ideal library was sought by interdisciplinary approach from human competence derived from performance engineering by Gilbert (1978), and the library information policy by Wilson (1977). With Wilson's insights into the field of library and information science (LIS), this work demonstrated the synthesis of Wilson and Gilbert: engineering as common ground. One of the central concerns in LIS, utilization of knowledge, is re-conceptualized as Gilbert's view of performance, which reflected at different vantage points. Four leisurely theorems are introduced for his view of performance engineering, which produce human competence. The performance matrix is the application tool that represents Gilbert's theorems of performance engineering. It is used to clarify vantage points about the library, and constructed a model of the performance engineering system of ideal library. Based upon the model, two applications were made. One is to apply the performance matrix to the existing academic library. Another is to apply the performance matrix for building a special collection. These two applications show that the performance matrix is capable to analyze existing performance system as well as designing and building a performance system.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Koremura, Yuka