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Ability Estimation Under Different Item Parameterization and Scoring Models

Description: 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.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Si, Ching-Fung B.

Adult Learner Satisfaction with Web-Based Non-Credit Workforce Training.

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2007
Creator: Morgan, Pamela Cope

Analysis of Leadership Perceptions Using Multirater Feedback.

Description: 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.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Bradley, Thomas P.

Analysis of 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

Description: 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.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Hutyra, Jerry Emil

An Analysis of the Characteristics of Female Juvenile Offenders as Predictors of Resocialization or Recidivism.

Description: 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, ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Aiello, Jan Elizabeth

Applying Cognitive Load Theory to the Design of Online Learning.

Description: 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.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Burkes, Kate M. Erland

Assessing Allied Health and Nursing Post-Secondary Career and Technical Education Teacher Attitudes and Beliefs About Reading

Description: 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.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Moore, Bridgit R.

Assessing the Efficacy of Learning Communities at Four North Texas Community Colleges.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Dodd, Patricia M.

An Assessment of Technology Learning Styles, Skills, and Perceptions Among Teachers of Grades Pre-Kindergarten Through Four.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Brubaker, Douglas D.

Bias and Precision of the Squared Canonical Correlation Coefficient under Nonnormal Data Conditions

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2006
Creator: Leach, Lesley Ann Freeny

Comparing outcome measures derived from four research designs incorporating the retrospective pretest.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Nimon, Kim F.

Comparison of Computer Testing versus Traditional Paper and Pencil Testing

Description: 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.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Millsap, Claudette M.

Comparison of Evangelical Christian Children's God-Concepts and Logical Thinking Ability.

Description: 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.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Penick, Starrla

A comparison of traditional and IRT factor analysis.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Kay, Cheryl Ann

A Comparison of Trainee and Supervisor Perceptions of Transfer Climate in a Union-Based Training Program.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Dodson, Gayle J.

A Comparison of Written Composition Assessment Using Standard Format Versus Alternate Format Among College-Bound Students with Learning Disabilities and/or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Description: 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 ...
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Morris, Mary Ann

Cross-Cultural Validation of the Will, Skill, Tool Model of Technology Integration

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2006
Creator: Morales Velázquez, Cesáreo

Current Practices in Working With Special Education Paraeducators.

Description: 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.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Asel, Crystal S.

A Deconstruction and Qualitative Analysis of the Consumption of Traditional Entertainment Media by Elementary-Aged Children Diagnosed with Emotional Disorders.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Lowdermilk, John Lloyd

Descriptive Analysis of Comments Obtained during the Process of Regulating the Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004

Description: 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.
Date: August 2005
Creator: York, Lorie Ann

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

Distance Education in the Preparation of Special Education Personnel: An Examination of Videoconferencing and Web-based Instruction

Description: 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 ...
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Bore, Julia Chelagat

The Effect of an Electronic Evaluation Questionnaire Format on the Return Rate From Field Supervisors.

Description: 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
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Date: May 2005
Creator: Pineau, Deborah M.

Effect of Individualized Curricular Accommodations, Incorporating Student Interest and the Impact on the Motivation and Occurrence/ Nonoccurrence of Disruptive Behavior Displayed By Students with Emotional/behavioral Disorders.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Teaff, Teresa L.