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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

The Adoption and Use of Electronic Information Resources by a Non-Traditional User Group: Automotive Service Technicians.

Description: The growing complexity of machines has led to a concomitant increase in the amount and complexity of the information needed by those charged with servicing them. This, in turn, has led to a need for more robust methods for storing and distributing information and for a workforce more sophisticated in its use of information resources. As a result, the service trades have "professionalized," adopting more rigorous academic standards and developing ongoing certification programs. The current paper deals with the acceptance of advanced electronic information technology by skilled service personnel, specifically, automotive service technicians. The theoretical basis of the study is Davis' technology acceptance model. The purpose of the study is to determine the effects of three external factors on the operation of the model: age, work experience, and education/certification level. The research design is in two parts, beginning with an onsite observation and interviews to establish the environment. During the second part of the research process a survey was administered to a sample of automotive service technicians. Results indicated significant inverse relationships between age and acceptance and between experience and acceptance. A significant positive relationship was shown between education, particularly certification, and acceptance.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Almquist, Arne J.

Affordances of External Representations in Instructional Design: The Effect of Narrative and Imagery in Learning.

Description: Consisting of both theoretical and empirical inquires, this study examines the primary functions of narrative and the relationship between narrative and mental imagery. The study proposes a new framework to interpret semiotic resources. Combining this with the linguistic functional theory of Halliday (1978), a functional method to empirically investigate semiotic representations was also developed. In the empirical inquiry, the study developed a latent construct method to empirically test the effects of narrative in a real learning situation. This study is the first to investigate the functional relationship between narrative and mental imagery, and among the first to suggest a theory and empirically investigate representations of a multimodal nature. The study is also among the first to use latent constructs to investigate the learning experience in a real educational setting. Data were collected from 190 library professionals who enrolled in three sections (two in narrative and one in plain text) of an online course administered through Vista 4.0 and who completed the course and responded to several instruments. Essay data (n = 82 x 2) were analyzed using content analysis based on the narrative analysis framework developed. Quantitative data analysis methods include univariate data analysis, factor analysis, and structural equation modeling that tests the proposed model and verifies the relationships between the latent variables. Overall, the findings support the hypotheses about the functional effects of narrative identified, and narrative is found to provide a favorable and positive learning context which is tested by the proposed model of learning experience measured by several latent constructs (X2 = 31.67, df = 47, p = .9577, RMSEA = .00, SRMR = .047, NNFI = 1.05, CFI = 1.00, and GFI = .94). The results indicate that participants who enrolled in the narrative sections of the course gained higher creative scores and showed better results ...
Date: December 2008
Creator: Wu, Yan

Analyzing Learner Characteristics, Undergraduate Experience and Individual Teamwork Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Toward Identifying Themes to Promote Higher Workforce Readiness

Description: With the world amidst globalization and economic flux affecting business, industry, and communities the need to work together becomes increasingly important. Higher education serves an important role in developing the individual teaming capabilities of the workforce. This environment is the time and place - opportunity for student personnel to develop these capabilities. This multiple case study utilized the analysis phase (learner, setting and job) of an instructional design model to analyze learner characteristics, the higher education environment/undergraduate experience, and the job/skills associated with individual teamwork knowledge, skills, and abilities of students from a senior cohort of the TRiO - SSS Project at a public student-centered research institution. The results yielded themes to promote the development of target populations individual teamwork KSAs which should increase their readiness to meet the teaming demands of today's employers. With an engaging undergraduate experience, inclusive of interaction with faculty members and collaborative learning with their peers, structured opportunities to practice individual teamwork KSAs in a work setting or internship, these underrepresented students may be an asset that is needed to meet the global workforce needs and fill civic capacities in their home communities.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Frederick, Consuelo V.

Are Online Catalogs for Children Giving Them What They Need? Children's Cognitive Development and Information Seeking and Their Impact on Design

Description: Research shows children in an online environment often search by browsing, which relies heavily on recognition and content knowledge, so catalog systems for children must use effective symbols or pictorial representations, which correspond with children's own cognitive schema and level of recognition knowledge. This study was designed to look at the success of young children (ages 5 to 8) in searching 3 online public library catalogs designed for them, and it focused specifically on the pictorial representations and text descriptors used in the systems' browsing hierarchy. The research sought answer whether young children (ages 5 to 8) are really poor searchers because of cognitive development and lack of technology skills or if system design is the major reason for poor search results; i.e., Do current children's online catalog designs function in a manner that is compatible with information seeking by children? Although these results can not be generalized, this study indicates that there was a disconnect between the cognitive abilities of young users and catalog design. The study looked at search success on the 3 catalogs in relation to the catalog characteristics and individual user characteristics and makes 3 significant contributions to the field of library and information science. The first contribution is the modification of an existing model posed by Cooper and O'Connor and modified by Abbas (2002). The second significant contribution is the proposal of a new model, Creel's second best choice (SBC) model, that addresses the cognitive gap and design flaws that impact the choices participants made. The third significant contribution is that this study addresses and fills a gap in the literature.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Creel, Stacy

Assessing Perceived Credibility of Web Sites in a Terrorism Context: The PFLP, Tamil Tigers, Hamas, and Hezbollah

Description: The purpose of the study was to contribute to the overall understanding of terrorist organizations' use of the Internet and to increase researchers' knowledge of Web site effectiveness. The methodological approach was evaluation of the perceived credibility of Web sites based on existing criteria derived from information users. The Web sites of four terrorist organizations were assessed: two secular nationalist groups, the People's Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers); and two religious nationalist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah. The findings of this analysis showed differences in perceived credibility factors among terrorist organizations' Web sites and positive levels of perceived credibility for the Web sites. These findings indicate the potential for positive impressions of the organizations' Web sites by information users, which would help empower the organizations with the capacity to reach their objectives. By using Web sites, these groups can effectively increase their support base through disseminating information, improving recruiting, and attracting monetary contributions, and can establish themselves as legitimate components of society.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Spinks, Brandon Todd

Assessment of a Library Learning Theory by Measuring Library Skills of Students Completing an Online Library Instruction Tutorial

Description: This study is designed to reveal whether students acquire the domains and levels of library skills discussed in a learning library skills theory after participating in an online library instruction tutorial. The acquisition of the library skills is demonstrated through a review of the scores on online tutorial quizzes, responses to a library skills questionnaire, and bibliographies of course research papers. Additional areas to be studied are the characteristics of the participants enrolled in traditional and online courses at a community college and the possible influence of these characteristics on the demonstrated learning of library skills. Multiple measurement methods, identified through assessment of library instruction literature, are used to verify the effectiveness of the library skills theory and to strengthen the validity and reliability of the study results.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Watson, Dana L.

A Change Agent in the Use of Continuing Online Distance Learning Technology

Description: Managers of public libraries have been presented with a new set of challenges in the day-to-day operations of public libraries. These include their ability to serve as change agents as they manage the use of continuing online distance learning (CODL) for staff. This online tool may provide staff opportunities for on-the-job learning, yet for managers and managerial staff little is known about how the tool impacts their role in light of the changes. This research investigates the perceptions of 103 Northeast Texas Library System managers and managerial staff about their role as a change agent in the use of CODL using an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to determine the outcome. Administrators from urban, suburban, and rural public libraries were surveyed using a General Training Climate Scale to explore three constructs: extent of the manager role, manager role, and use of CODL. Data analysis was performed using exploratory and confirmatory analysis to support the theoretical model. An altered model was tested and confirmed through model fit indices.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Lawson, Cheryl L.

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

The Cluster Hypothesis: A Visual/Statistical Analysis

Description: By allowing judgments based on a small number of exemplar documents to be applied to a larger number of unexamined documents, clustered presentation of search results represents an intuitively attractive possibility for reducing the cognitive resource demands on human users of information retrieval systems. However, clustered presentation of search results is sensible only to the extent that naturally occurring similarity relationships among documents correspond to topically coherent clusters. The Cluster Hypothesis posits just such a systematic relationship between document similarity and topical relevance. To date, experimental validation of the Cluster Hypothesis has proved problematic, with collection-specific results both supporting and failing to support this fundamental theoretical postulate. The present study consists of two computational information visualization experiments, representing a two-tiered test of the Cluster Hypothesis under adverse conditions. Both experiments rely on multidimensionally scaled representations of interdocument similarity matrices. Experiment 1 is a term-reduction condition, in which descriptive titles are extracted from Associated Press news stories drawn from the TREC information retrieval test collection. The clustering behavior of these titles is compared to the behavior of the corresponding full text via statistical analysis of the visual characteristics of a two-dimensional similarity map. Experiment 2 is a dimensionality reduction condition, in which inter-item similarity coefficients for full text documents are scaled into a single dimension and then rendered as a two-dimensional visualization; the clustering behavior of relevant documents within these unidimensionally scaled representations is examined via visual and statistical methods. Taken as a whole, results of both experiments lend strong though not unqualified support to the Cluster Hypothesis. In Experiment 1, semantically meaningful 6.6-word document surrogates systematically conform to the predictions of the Cluster Hypothesis. In Experiment 2, the majority of the unidimensionally scaled datasets exhibit a marked nonuniformity of distribution of relevant documents, further supporting the Cluster Hypothesis. Results of ...
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Date: May 2000
Creator: Sullivan, Terry

Cognitive Playfulness, Innovativeness, and Belief of Essentialness: Characteristics of Educators who have the Ability to Make Enduring Changes in the Integration of Technology into the Classroom Environment.

Description: Research on the adoption of innovation is largely limited to factors affecting immediate change with few studies focusing on enduring or lasting change. The purpose of the study was to examine the personality characteristics of cognitive playfulness, innovativeness, and essentialness beliefs in educators who were able to make an enduring change in pedagogy based on the use of technology in the curriculum within their assigned classroom settings. The study utilized teachers from 33 school districts and one private school in Texas who were first-year participants in the Intel® Teach to the Future program. The research design focused on how cognitive playfulness, innovativeness, and essentialness beliefs relate to a sustained high level of information technology use in the classroom. The research questions were: 1) Are individuals who are highly playful more likely to continue to demonstrate an ability to integrate technology use in the classroom at a high level than those who are less playful? 2) Are individuals who are highly innovative more likely to continue to demonstrate an ability to integrate technology use in the classroom at a high level than those who are less innovative? 3) Are individuals who believe information technology use is critical and indispensable to their teaching more likely to continue to demonstrate an ability to integrate technology use in the classroom at a high level than those who believe it is supplemental and not essential? The findings of the current study indicated that playfulness, innovativeness, and essentialness scores as defined by the scales used were significantly correlated to an individual's sustained ability to use technology at a high level. Playfulness was related to the educator's level of innovativeness, as well. Also, educators who believed the use of technology was critical and indispensable to their instruction were more likely to be able to demonstrate a sustained ...
Date: August 2004
Creator: Dunn, Lemoyne Luette Scott

A Common Representation Format for Multimedia Documents

Description: Multimedia documents are composed of multiple file format combinations, such as image and text, image and sound, or image, text and sound. The type of multimedia document determines the form of analysis for knowledge architecture design and retrieval methods. Over the last few decades, theories of text analysis have been proposed and applied effectively. In recent years, theories of image and sound analysis have been proposed to work with text retrieval systems and progressed quickly due in part to rapid progress in computer processing speed. Retrieval of multimedia documents formerly was divided into the categories of image and text, and image and sound. While standard retrieval process begins from text only, methods are developing that allow the retrieval process to be accomplished simultaneously using text and image. Although image processing for feature extraction and text processing for term extractions are well understood, there are no prior methods that can combine these two features into a single data structure. This dissertation will introduce a common representation format for multimedia documents (CRFMD) composed of both images and text. For image and text analysis, two techniques are used: the Lorenz Information Measurement and the Word Code. A new process named Jeong's Transform is demonstrated for extraction of text and image features, combining the two previous measurements to form a single data structure. Finally, this single data measurements to form a single data structure. Finally, this single data structure is analyzed by using multi-dimensional scaling. This allows multimedia objects to be represented on a two-dimensional graph as vectors. The distance between vectors represents the magnitude of the difference between multimedia documents. This study shows that image classification on a given test set is dramatically improved when text features are encoded together with image features. This effect appears to hold true even when the available ...
Date: December 2002
Creator: Jeong, Ki Tai

A Comparative Analysis of Style of User Interface Look and Feel in a Synchronous Computer Supported Cooperative Work Environment

Description: The purpose of this study is to determine whether the style of a user interface (i.e., its look and feel) has an effect on the usability of a synchronous computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) environment for delivering Internet-based collaborative content. The problem motivating this study is that people who are located in different places need to be able to communicate with one another. One way to do this is by using complex computer tools that allow users to share information, documents, programs, etc. As an increasing number of business organizations require workers to use these types of complex communication tools, it is important to determine how users regard these types of tools and whether they are perceived to be useful. If a tool, or interface, is not perceived to be useful then it is often not used, or used ineffectively. As organizations strive to improve communication with and among users by providing more Internet-based collaborative environments, the users' experience in this form of delivery may be tied to a style of user interface look and feel that could negatively affect their overall acceptance and satisfaction of the collaborative environment. The significance of this study is that it applies the technology acceptance model (TAM) as a tool for evaluating style of user interface look and feel in a collaborative environment, and attempts to predict which factors of that model, perceived ease of use and/or perceived usefulness, could lead to better acceptance of collaborative tools within an organization.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Livingston, Alan

A Comparison of Communication Motives of On-Site and Off-Site Students in Videoconference-Based Courses

Description: The objective of this investigation is to determine whether student site location in an instructional videoconference is related to students' motives for communicating with their instructor. The study is based, in part, on the work of Martin et al. who identify five separate student-teacher communication motives. These motives, or dimensions, are termed relational, functional, excuse, participation, and sycophancy, and are measured by a 30-item questionnaire. Several communication-related theories were used to predict differences between on-site and off-site students, Media richness theory was used, foundationally, to explain differences between mediated and face-to-face communication and other theories such as uncertainty reduction theory were used in conjunction with media richness theory to predict specific differences.Two hundred eighty-one completed questionnaires were obtained from Education and Library and Information Science students in 17 separate course-sections employing interactive video at the University of North Texas during the Spring and Summer semesters of the 2001/2002 school year. This study concludes that off-site students in an instructional videoconference are more likely than their on-site peers to report being motivated to communicate with their instructor for participation reasons. If off-site students are more motivated than on-site students to communicate as a means to participate, then it may be important for instructors to watch for actual differences in participation levels, and instructors may need to be well versed in pedagogical methods that attempt to increase participation, The study also suggests that current teaching methods being employed in interactive video environments may be adequate with regard to functional, excuse-making, relational and sycophantic communication.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Massingill, K.B.

A Complex Systems Model for Understanding the Causes of Corruption: Case Study - Turkey

Description: It is attempted with this dissertation to draw an explanatory interdisciplinary framework to clarify the causes of systemic corruption. Following an intense review of political sciences, economics, and sociology literatures on the issue, a complex systems theoretical model is constructed. A political system consists of five main components: Society, interest aggregators, legislative, executive and private sector, and the human actors in these domains. It is hypothesized that when the legitimacy level of the system is low and morality of the systemic actors is flawed, selected political, social and economic incentives and opportunities that may exist within the structure of the systemic components might -individually or as a group- trigger corrupt transactions between the actors of the system. If left untouched, corruption might spread through the system by repetition and social learning eventually becoming the source of corruption itself. By eroding the already weak legitimacy and morality, it may increase the risk of corruption even further. This theoretical explanation is used to study causes of systemic corruption in the Turkish political system. Under the guidance of the complex systems theory, initial systemic conditions, -legacy of the predecessor of Turkey Ottoman Empire-, is evaluated first, and then political, social and economic factors that are presumed to be breeding corruption in contemporary Turkey is investigated. In this section, special focus is given on the formation and operation of amoral social networks and their contribution to the entrenchment of corruption within the system. Based upon the findings of the case study, the theoretical model that is informed by the literature is reformed: Thirty five system and actor level variables are identified to be related with systemic corruption and nature of the causality between them and corruption is explained. Although results of this study can not be academically generalized for obvious reasons; the analytical framework ...
Date: August 2005
Creator: Yasar, Muhammet Murat

Computer Support Interactions: Verifying a Process Model of Problem Trajectory in an Information Technology Support Environment.

Description: Observations in the information technology (IT) support environment and generalizations from the literature regarding problem resolution behavior indicate that computer support staff seldom store reusable solution information effectively for IT problems. A comprehensive model of the processes encompassing problem arrival and assessment, expertise selection, problem resolution, and solution recording has not been available to facilitate research in this domain. This investigation employed the findings from a qualitative pilot study of IT support staff information behaviors to develop and explicate a detailed model of problem trajectory. Based on a model from clinical studies, this model encompassed a trajectory scheme that included the communication media, characteristics of the problem, decision points in the problem resolution process, and knowledge creation in the form of solution storage. The research design included the administration of an extensive scenario-based online survey to a purposive sample of IT support staff at a medium-sized state-supported university, with additional respondents from online communities of IT support managers and call-tracking software developers. The investigator analyzed 109 completed surveys and conducted email interviews of a stratified nonrandom sample of survey respondents to evaluate the suitability of the model. The investigation employed mixed methods including descriptive statistics, effects size analysis, and content analysis to interpret the results and verify the sufficiency of the problem trajectory model. The study found that expertise selection relied on the factors of credibility, responsibility, and responsiveness. Respondents referred severe new problems for resolution and recorded formal solutions more often than other types of problems, whereas they retained moderate recurring problems for resolution and seldom recorded those solutions. Work experience above and below the 5-year mark affected decisions to retain, refer, or defer problems, as well as solution storage and broadcasting behaviors. The veracity of the problem trajectory model was verified and it was found to be an ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Strauss, Christopher Eric

A Conceptual Map for Understanding the Terrorist Recruitment Process: Observation and Analysis of Turkish Hezbollah Terrorist Organizations.

Description: Terrorism is a historical problem; however, it becomes one of the biggest problems in 21st century. September 11 and the following Madrid, Istanbul and London attacks showed that it is the most significant problem threatening world peace and security. Governments have started to deal with terrorism by improving security measurements and making new investments to stop terrorism. Most of the governments' and scholars' focus is on immediate threats and causes of terrorism, instead of looking at long-term solutions such as root causes and underlying reasons of terrorism, and the recruitment style of terrorist organizations If terrorist recruitment does not stop, then it is safe to say terrorist activities cannot be stopped. This study focused on the recruitment process by observing two different terrorist organizations, DHKP/C and Turkish Hezbollah. The researcher brings 13 years of field experience and first-person data gathered from inside the terrorist organizations. The research questions of this study were: (i) How can an individual be prevented from joining or carrying out terrorist activities?; (ii) What factors are correlated with joining a terrorist organization?; (iii) What are the recruitment processes of the DHKP/C, PKK, and Turkish Hezbollah?; (iv) Is there any common process of being a member of these three terrorist organizations?; and (v) What are the similarities and differences these terrorist organizations? As a result of this analysis, a terrorist recruitment process map was created. With the help of this map, social organizations such as family and schools may be able to identify ways to prevent individuals from joining terrorist organizations. Also, this map will also be helpful for government organizations such as counterterrorism and intelligence to achieve the same goal.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Teymur, Samih

Constraints on Adoption of Innovations: Internet Availability in the Developing World.

Description: In a world that is increasingly united in time and distance, I examine why the world is increasingly divided socially, economically, and digitally. Using data for 35 variables from 93 countries, I separate the countries into groups of 31 each by gross domestic product per capita. These groups of developed, lesser developed and least developed countries are used in comparative analysis. Through a review of relevant literature and tests of bivariate correlation, I select eight key variables that are significantly related to information communication technology development and to human development. For this research, adoption of the Internet in the developing world is the innovation of particular interest. Thus, for comparative purposes, I chose Internet Users per 1000 persons per country and the Human Development Index as the dependent variables upon which the independent variables are regressed. Although small in numbers among the least developed countries, I find Internet Users as the most powerful influence on human development for the poorest countries. The research focuses on key obstacles as well as variables of opportunity for Internet usage in developing countries. The greatest obstacles are in fact related to Internet availability and the cost/need ratio for infrastructure expansion. However, innovations for expanded Internet usage in developing countries are expected to show positive results for increased Internet usage, as well as for greater human development and human capital. In addition to the diffusion of innovations in terms of the Internet, the diffusion of cultures through migration is also discussed in terms of the effect on social capital and the drain on human capital from developing countries.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Stedman, Joseph B.

Coyote Ugly Librarian: A Participant Observer Examination of Lnowledge Construction in Reality TV.

Description: Reality TV is the most popular genre of television programming today. The number of reality television shows has grown exponentially over the last fifteen years since the premier of The Real World in 1992. Although reality TV uses styles similar to those used in documentary film, the “reality” of the shows is questioned by critics and viewers alike. The current study focuses on the “reality” that is presented to viewers and how that “reality” is created and may differ from what the participants of the shows experience. I appeared on two reality shows, Faking It and That's Clever, and learned a great deal as a participant observer. Within the study, I outline my experience and demonstrate how editing changed the reality I experienced into what was presented to the viewers. O'Connor's (1996) representation context web serves as a model for the realities created through reality television. People derive various benefits from watching reality TV. Besides the obvious entertainment value of reality TV, viewers also gather information via this type of programming. Viewers want to see real people on television reacting to unusual circumstances without the use of scripts. By surveying reality TV show viewers and participants, this study gives insight into how real the viewers believe the shows are and how authentic they actually are. If these shows are presented as reality, viewers are probably taking what they see as historical fact. The results of the study indicate more must be done so that the “reality” of reality TV does not misinform viewers.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Holmes, Haley K.

Creating a Criterion-Based Information Agent Through Data Mining for Automated Identification of Scholarly Research on the World Wide Web

Description: This dissertation creates an information agent that correctly identifies Web pages containing scholarly research approximately 96% of the time. It does this by analyzing the Web page with a set of criteria, and then uses a classification tree to arrive at a decision. The criteria were gathered from the literature on selecting print and electronic materials for academic libraries. A Delphi study was done with an international panel of librarians to expand and refine the criteria until a list of 41 operationalizable criteria was agreed upon. A Perl program was then designed to analyze a Web page and determine a numerical value for each criterion. A large collection of Web pages was gathered comprising 5,000 pages that contain the full work of scholarly research and 5,000 random pages, representative of user searches, which do not contain scholarly research. Datasets were built by running the Perl program on these Web pages. The datasets were split into model building and testing sets. Data mining was then used to create different classification models. Four techniques were used: logistic regression, nonparametric discriminant analysis, classification trees, and neural networks. The models were created with the model datasets and then tested against the test dataset. Precision and recall were used to judge the effectiveness of each model. In addition, a set of pages that were difficult to classify because of their similarity to scholarly research was gathered and classified with the models. The classification tree created the most effective classification model, with a precision ratio of 96% and a recall ratio of 95.6%. However, logistic regression created a model that was able to correctly classify more of the problematic pages. This agent can be used to create a database of scholarly research published on the Web. In addition, the technique can be used to create a ...
Date: May 2000
Creator: Nicholson, Scott

CT3 as an Index of Knowledge Domain Structure: Distributions for Order Analysis and Information Hierarchies

Description: The problem with which this study is concerned is articulating all possible CT3 and KR21 reliability measures for every case of a 5x5 binary matrix (32,996,500 possible matrices). The study has three purposes. The first purpose is to calculate CT3 for every matrix and compare the results to the proposed optimum range of .3 to .5. The second purpose is to compare the results from the calculation of KR21 and CT3 reliability measures. The third purpose is to calculate CT3 and KR21 on every strand of a class test whose item set has been reduced using the difficulty strata identified by Order Analysis. The study was conducted by writing a computer program to articulate all possible 5 x 5 matrices. The program also calculated CT3 and KR21 reliability measures for each matrix. The nonparametric technique of Order Analysis was applied to two sections of test items to stratify the items into difficulty levels. The difficulty levels were used to reduce the item set from 22 to 9 items. All possible strands or chains of these items were identified so that both reliability measures (CT3 and KR21) could be calculated. One major finding of this study indicates that .3 to .5 is a desirable range for CT3 (cumulative p=.86 to p=.98) if cumulative frequencies are measured. A second major finding is that the KR21 reliability measure produced an invalid result more than half the time. The last major finding is that CT3, rescaled to range between 0 and 1, supports De Vellis' guidelines for reliability measures. The major conclusion is that CT3 is a better measure of reliability since it considers both inter- and intra-item variances.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Swartz Horn, Rebecca

Detecting the Presence of Disease by Unifying Two Methods of Remote Sensing.

Description: 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.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Reames, Steve

Diffusion across the digital divide: Assessing use of the Connecticut Digital Library (ICONN) in K-12 schools in Connecticut.

Description: State digital libraries are manifestations of the diffusion of technology that has provided both access to and delivery of digital content. Whether the content is being accessed and used equitably in K-12 schools has not been assessed. Determining patterns of the diffusion of use across socioeconomic groups in K-12 schools may help measure the success of existing efforts to provide equitable access and use of digital content, and help guide policies and implementation to more effectively address remaining disparities. This study examined use of the Connecticut Digital Library (ICONN) in K-12 schools in Connecticut by determining annual patterns of use per school/district over a four-year period, using transaction log search statistics. The data were analyzed in the paradigm that Rogers (2003) describes as the first and second dimensions of the consequences of an innovation - the overall growth and the equality of the diffusion to individuals within an intended audience --- in this case, students in K-12 schools. Data were compared by school district and the established socioeconomic District Reference Groups (DRGs) defined by the Connecticut State Board of Education. At the time of this study, ICONN used aggregate data (total searches) for K-12 schools, but did not have relevant data on diffusion within the public schools in Connecticut related to district or DRGs.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Bogel, Gayle

Discovering a Descriptive Taxonomy of Attributes of Exemplary School Library Websites

Description: This descriptive study examines effective online school library practice. A Delphi panel selected a sample of 10 exemplary sites and helped to create two research tools--taxonomies designed to analyze the features and characteristics of school library Websites. Using the expert-identified sites as a sample, a content analysis was conducted to systematically identify site features and characteristics. Anne Clyde's longitudinal content analysis of school library Websites was used as a baseline to examine trends in practice; in addition, the national guidelines document, Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning, was examined to explore ways in which the traditional mission and roles of school library programs are currently translated online. Results indicated great variation in depth and coverage even among Websites considered exemplary. Sites in the sample are growing more interactive and student-centered, using blogs as supplemental communication strategies. Nevertheless, even these exemplary sites were slow to adopt the advances in technology to meet the learning needs and interests of young adult users. Ideally the study's findings will contribute to understanding of state-of-the-art and will serve to identify trends, as well as serving as a guide to practitioners in planning, developing, and maintaining school library Websites.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Valenza, Joyce Kasman