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The Effects of Feedback Timing when Teaching a New Task to Children with Autism

Description: The purpose of this experiment was to investigate Tosti's proposal about the timing of feedback. The study examined whether it is better to correct immediately after the error occurs or whether it is better to wait until immediately before the next opportunity to respond. In addition, it aimed to determine whether corrections delivered at different times produced different learner affects. Four children with autism were taught to label two sets of pictures under the two different conditions. Results showed that the timing of the feedback yields similar results in regards to number of correct responses and total trial count. However, in regards to time spent in teaching and learner affect, correcting errors before the next opportunity to respond showed to be the more efficient procedure and produced more favorable affect.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cochrane, Angela

Instructional Coaching in a Small District: A Mixed Methods Study of Teachers' Concerns

Description: This study utilized a convergent parallel mixed methods design to study teachers' concerns during implementation of instructional coaching for math in a rural PK-12 district in north Texas over a three-year time period. Five campuses were included in the study: one high school (grades 9-12), one middle school (grades 6-8), and three elementary campuses (pre-kindergarten through grade 5). In a school district of 3,400 students and 241 teachers, fifty-two math teachers were surveyed and interviewed for their perceptions and concerns during implementation of instructional math coaching in order to assist central office administration in knowing how to support teachers through the change process. Data included the Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ) at three points during the study period analyzed through nonparametric statistical analysis. No statistically significant differences were found to exist between campuses. However, a statistically significant difference was found when campuses were grouped by elementary and secondary campuses. Open-Ended Statements of Concern and focus group interview data by campus served as qualitative data to triangulate concerns and to measure situational evidence of rurality influence on teachers' concerns. Convergence of qualitative and quantitative findings indicate concerns clustered in unconcerned, informational, and personal stages. Evidence of rural contextual influences point to limited resources and dense staff relationships in rural schools. This data aids the district under study in supporting teachers through the process of change as an instructional coaching program for math is implemented systemically.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Mayfield, Melissa J

"Refugees" and Others

Description: Refugees, a novel in progress, begins in the collective first-person with a group of people who live on the same residential street of middle-class homes in an east coast American city and are experiencing the most exquisitely vivid aurora borealis to appear in recorded history. But they quickly learn that this gorgeous wonder is a harbinger of civilization's demise and possibly the end of all life on the planet, because the solar storms causing the sky's fantastic nightly coloring is also slowly stripping away the atmosphere and leeching oxygen into space. This "we" narrative switches to third person, moving between two characters—Julie and Amira—as the narrative moves forward. The first chapter covers the first few months of this apocalyptic crisis, and Julie and Amira are central as they are forced decide if they still have the strength and the will to even attempt survival in these new and brutal circumstances. The second chapter, also told in third person, picks up seventeen years in the future with Aya, Amira's daughter who was six during the initial atmospheric disaster. A small group survived in an underwater refuge, recently discovered the atmosphere above had healed over time, and sent an excursion group, including Aya, to evaluate the changing environment. This chapter reveals the history and particular struggles of these characters living in this complex society, both residual and nascent. The third chapter returns to the group of neighbors—including Julie and Amira—seventeen years prior, immediately following the catastrophic event as their story continues to unfold. This chapter opens, like the first chapter, in the "we" voice, tracing the movement of the group south in a search for help and a desperate, though orderly, effort toward survival. This next phase of their journey introduces fresh conflicts and new characters and points to approaching challenges and ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Campbell, Erin

Exploratory User Research for a Website that Provides Resources for Educators of American Indian Students in Higher Education

Description: Several studies have indicated that American Indian students in the United States higher education system confront unique challenges that derive from a legacy of colonialism and assimilationist policies (Huff 1997). Several scholars, American Indian and non-Native alike, have explored the effects of this history upon students in higher education (Brayboy 2004; Guillory and Wolverton 2008; Waterman and Lindley 2013). Very few, however, have explored the role of the educators of American Indian students, and most of the literature focuses on K-12 educational settings (McCarty and Lee 2014; Yong and Hoffman 2014). This thesis examines exploratory user research conducted to generate a foundational understanding of educators of American Indian students in higher education. Utilizing methods from design anthropology and user experience, semi-structured interviews and think-aloud sessions were conducted, almost exclusively virtually, for 17 participants. This research was conducted for a client, Fire & Associates, as part of the applied thesis process. Findings revealed a complex web of needs for educators of American Indian students in higher education related to teaching diverse students, the use of media and technology in the classroom, and the process of networking among other educators. The research culminated in content and design implications for the Fire & Associates website as well as suggestions for further research based on best practices in the field of user experience.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Roth, Heather S.

Using Relational Responding to Examine the Acquisition of Mindfulness and Meditation Material: An Analogue Study

Description: Mindfulness meditation is a growing area of interest for both mental health professionals and the general public alike. Beneficial outcomes are associated with these practices, although the variety of measurement techniques makes research difficult to interpret. Definitions of these constructs are varied, and anecdotal accounts point to the idea that many people hold misconceptions about mindfulness and meditation, even when meanings are made clear. Still, no formal research has been published on misconceptions of mindfulness – or, if they exist, how such misinformation affects acquisition of related skills. Furthermore, mindfulness has been incorporated into therapeutic modalities without much consideration for context, including the client's learning history. The current analogue study examined how the presentation of mindfulness meditations (i.e., inaccurate rationale/meditation and accurate rationale/meditation) affects an individual's practice. Specifically, self-reported mindfulness and meditation skills, mood questionnaires, a matching-to-sample task, and qualitative measurements were used to assess acquisition. Although primary hypotheses did not yield significant findings, results from both preliminary and exploratory analyses demonstrate significant findings with regard to teaching, learning, and measurement related to mindfulness meditation. The results, future directions, and limitations are discussed.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Lester, Ethan G

Adolescents' Social Networking Use and Its Relationship to Attachment and Mental Health

Description: Adolescents spend much of their time using the internet and electronic media. Since its inception, the use of online social networking (OSN) sites by adolescents continues to grow. With the proliferation of OSN, it is critical to examine how this activity affects psychological development, but better measurement tools are needed. As researchers struggle to keep up with this rapidly growing field, many gaps remain in the literature investigating the interrelations between adolescent's OSN use and mental health outcomes. Research examining the relationship between OSN and mental health outcomes, specifically depression and anxiety, has produced mixed results suggesting that other factors influence this association. A large research literature documents associations between attachment and mental health. Given that attachment also affects interpersonal communication, several studies have investigated links between attachment and OSN use in adult and college populations. Results indicated that even though attachment to father was independently related to anxiety and depression symptoms, it was not a significant moderator for mental health and OSN. Attachment to mother was a significant moderator for anxiety and depression and several OSN subscales. Based on this information, a greater focus on youth's interpersonal connection and social skills both online and offline may be beneficial when treating adolescents experiencing anxiety or depression.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Woolford, Brittany

The Story of Pathfinders [Family Pathfinders]: Investigating the Impact, Experiences, and Context of Re-Entry Mentoring

Description: The United States has the largest population of imprisoned persons in the world. The vast majority of these individuals eventually leave prison and re-enter society, facing a number of challenges in the process. Those who are unable to successfully re-enter society run the risk of recidivating back into the prison system. Mentoring has the potential to promote successful re-entry and help offenders to get their lives back on track. Pathfinders of Tarrant County is a unique organization. Its historical position as one of the foremost "welfare to work" programs gives it unique insight into the economic struggles of at-risk individuals and families, and its existing relationships with mentors and other community organizations gives it a rich pool of resources to draw from. By helping to connect participants with community resources, Pathfinders removes quite a bit of the complexity from seeking help at a time when vulnerable people need it most. This thesis presents an overview of how Pathfinders conducts mentoring and its unique brand of social service advocacy, including the unique and not-so unique challenges that a re-entry population may have to offer.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Hanich, Kristen Marie

Drought: Construction of a Social Problem

Description: Drought is a complex subject that has varied definitions and perspectives. Although drought has historically been characterized as an environmental problem from both the meteorological and agricultural communities, it is not considered a sociological disaster despite its severe societal impacts. Utilizing the framework developed by Spector and Kitsuse (2011) and Stallings (1995), this research examines the process through which drought is defined as a social problem. An analysis of the data revealed drought was well covered in Africa, India, China, Australia, and New Zealand, yet very little coverage focused on the United States. There were less than 10 articles discussing drought and drought impacts in the United States. The workshops/meetings examined also were lacking in the attention to drought, although their overall theme was focused on hazards and resilience. Six sessions in over 16 years of meetings/workshops focused on the topic of drought, and one session was focused on the condition in Canada. The interviews uncovered five thematic areas demonstrating drought understanding and awareness: Use of outreach to get the message out; agricultures familiarity with drought; the role of drought in media; the variability of what drought is; and water conservation. Drought's claims-makers who are dedicated to providing outreach and education to impacted communities. Drought is often overlooked due to its slow onset and evolving development makes it difficult to determine when to engage in recovery efforts. Drought defined as a social problem also expands theoretical conversations regarding what events or issues should be included within the sociological disaster list of topics.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Parham, Antoinette D

Increasing Number of Toys: A Case Study of Response Generalization across Novel Toys

Description: Children diagnosed with autism are often described as having limited or restricted activities that serve as reinforcers as compared to neurotypical peers. Many theories suggest that one of the many ways children develop is through participation in play. This results in children coming into contact with new environmental stimuli. The procedures used to enhance play skills for children diagnosed with autism typically involve training novel responses with novel stimuli (e.g., toys). This is often done using naturalistic procedures. Because multiple procedures are used, it is unclear what procedure or combination of procedures causes the increases in play repertoires. This study investigated an important component of the treatment package know as reciprocal imitation training. Specifically, the study examined whether increased opportunities, contingent imitation without the requirement to imitate, or contingent imitation with the requirement to imitate would increase the number of toys a child diagnosed with autism would play with. The results showed dramatic increases in the number of toys the child independently chose to play with and an increase in the spontaneous use of different response topographies across novel stimuli only when the student was required to imitate a model. The results are discussed in terms of mediated generalization, the use of common responses, stimulus class formation and stimulus class expansion.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Chaudhry, Mohsana

Characterization of Aprotic Solutes and Solvents using Abraham Model Correlations

Description: Experimental data were obtained for the computation of mole fraction solubilities of three dichloronitrobenzenes in organic solvents at 25oC, and solubility ratios were obtained from this data. Abraham model equations were developed for solutes in tributyl phosphate that describe experimental values to within 0.15 log units, and correlations were made to describe solute partitioning in systems that contain either "wet" or "dry" tributyl phosphate. Abraham model correlations have also been developed for solute transfer into anhydrous diisopropyl ether, and these correlations fit in well with those for other ethers. Abraham correlations for the solvation of enthalpy have been derived from experimental and literature data for mesitylene, p-xylene, chlorobenzene, and 1,2-dichlorobenzene at 298.15 K. In addition, the enthalpy contribution of hydrogen bonding between these solutes and acidic solvents were predicted by these correlations and were in agreement with an established method. Residual plots corresponding to Abraham models developed in all of these studies were analyzed for trends in error between experimental and calculated values.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Brumfield, Michela Lynne

Commissioning Music for Trombone and Percussion: A Collaboration Between Composer and Performer with an Accompanying Survey of Trombone and Percussion Repertoire

Description: The repertoire for trombone and percussion has grown in popularity since the later 1980s. There are currently more than 110 pieces written for the ensemble. This project follows the commissioning and collaboration of Dr. Blake Tyson, Professor of Percussion at the University of Central Arkansas and well known percussion composer, in the creation of a new piece for trombone and percussion. The project also created a survey of works for trombone and percussion duet that includes 32 works. The survey includes details such as specific percussion instrumentation range, tessitura, grade level, publisher, and a description of each piece.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cook, Justin Hastings

STEM Professional Volunteers in K-12 Competition Programs: Educator Practices and Impact on Pedagogy

Description: This mixed methods dissertation study explored how secondary school educators in specific K-12 competition programs recruited and deployed STEM professional volunteers. The study explored which practices were viewed as most important, and how practices related to constructivist pedagogy, all from the viewpoint of educators. The non-positivist approach sought new knowledge without pursuing generalized results. Review of the literature uncovered extensive anecdotal information about current practices, and suggested that large investments are made in engaging volunteers. One National Science Foundation-sponsored study was identified, and its recommendations for a sustained research agenda were advanced. Three study phases were performed, one to explore practices and operationalize definitions, a second to rate practice's importance and their relation to pedagogy, and a third to seek explanations. Educators preferred recruiting local, meaning recruiting parents and former students, versus from industry or other employers. Most educators preferred volunteers with mentoring skills, and placing them in direct contact with students, versus deploying volunteers to help with behind-the-scenes tasks supporting the educator. Relationships were identified between the highest-rated practices and constructivism in programs. In STEM professional volunteers, educators see affordances, in the same way a classroom tool opens affordances. A model is proposed which shows educators considering practicality, pedagogy, knowledge and skills, and rapport when accessing the affordances opened by STEM professional volunteers. Benefits are maximized when programs align with strong industry clusters in the community.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Zintgraff, Alfred Clifton

The Museum is the Object: An Action Research Study in How Critical Theory Curriculum Influences Student Understanding of an Art Museum

Description: The purpose of this action research study was to determine how a critical theory curriculum implemented in a college-level art appreciation course impacted student understanding of an encyclopedic art museum. A critical theory-based curriculum unit was designed and implemented, and students were given assignments to assess their learning. The most significant assignment centered on a self-guided student visit to the art museum in which students made detailed observations of the museum spaces and responded to articles critiquing museum practices. These documents, together with class discussions and my personal observations, were analyzed and described in this research study. The data revealed that students had a high level of regard for and interest in art museums, were capable of understanding how history and context influences museum practices, detected multiple instances of bias in art museum galleries, and self-reported high levels of cognition and empowerment based on their experiences. The data suggested that, in college students, both art appreciation instructors and museum educators have an ideal audience in which to facilitate sustained, higher-level, critical theory-based museum learning experiences.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Elizondo, Kristina Kay

Adult Learning: Evaluation of Preferences for Technology and Learning Sources for Workplace Learning

Description: The purpose of this research was to provide an initial investigation of the preferences for both technology and learning sources that are available today in the modern workplace at a large financial institution with a national presence in the USA. In addition to the preferences of the participants, the research includes insights about the culture of the learning organization by using the Dimension of Learning Organization Questionnaire (DLOQ) and two preference surveys. The research methods used in this study are categorized as mixed methods and include both quantitative and qualitative methods. This study is nonpositivist and descriptive. It is based on a triangulation design method which is comprised of analysis from data obtained from the DLOQ and preference surveys, as well as semi-structured interviews with several survey participants. The results of the studies provide the foundational information for an extended quantitative analysis.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Kaiser, Robert Cresswell

Framework to Evaluate Entropy Based Data Fusion Methods in Supply Chain Management

Description: This dissertation explores data fusion methodology to deduce an overall inference from the data gathered from multiple heterogeneous sources. Typically, if there existed a data source in which the data were reliable and unbiased, then data fusion would not be necessary. Data fusion methodology combines data form multiple diverse sources so that the desired information - such as the population mean - is improved despite redundancies, inaccuracies, biases, and inflated variability in the data. Examples of data fusion include estimating average demand from similar sources, and integrating fatality counts from different media sources after a catastrophe. The approach in this study combines "inputs" from distinct sources so that the information is "fused." Another way of describing this process is "data integration." Important assumptions are 1. Several sources provide "inputs" for information used to estimate parameters of a probability distribution. 2. Since distributions for the data from the sources are heterogeneous, some sources are less reliable. 3. Distortions, bias, censorship, and systematic errors may be more prominent in data from certain sources. 4. The sample size of sources data, number of "inputs," may be very small. Examples of information from multiple sources are abundant: traffic information from sensors at intersections, multiple economic indicators from various sources, demand data for product using similar retail stores as sources, polling data from various sources, and disaster count of fatalities from different media sources after a catastrophic event. This dissertation seeks to address a gap in the operations literature by addressing three research questions regarding entropy base data fusion (EBDF) approaches to estimation. Three separate, but unifying, essays address the research questions for this dissertation. Essay 1 provides an overview of supporting literature for the research questions. A numerical analysis of airline maximum wait time data illustrates the underlying issues involved in EBDF methods. This ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Tran, Huong Thi

Simulink Based Modeling of a Multi Global Navigation Satellite System

Description: The objective of this thesis is to design a model for a multi global navigation satellite system using Simulink. It explains a design procedure which includes the models for transmitter and receiver for two different navigation systems. To overcome the problem, where less number of satellites are visible to determine location degrades the performance of any positioning system significantly, this research has done to make use of multi GNSS satellite signals in one navigation receiver.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Mukka, Nagaraju

Musical Ekphrasis in the Poetry of Nicolás Guillén, Federico García Lorca, and Langston Hughes

Description: Musical ekphrasis was occurring in the twentieth century in different centers around the world, Cuba: Andalusia, Spain; and Harlem, New York, simultaneously. The writers at the heart of this movement used poetry about music as a means to celebrate the cultures of the marginalized people in their lands, los negros, los gitanos, and African-Americans. The purpose of this study is to define musical ekphrasis and identify it in the works of Nicolás Guillén, Federico García Lorca, and Langston Hughes. Also explored are the common characteristics in ekphrastic poetry by the three poets and the common themes found in their ekphrastic poetry, as well as common influences. Each author is considered in the context of his surroundings and his respective culture, and how that influenced his musical tastes as well as his writing style.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Divett, Andrew Brennan

Associations between Collaborative Learning and Personality/Cognitive Style among Online Community College Students

Description: This research study investigated associations between online community college students' personal characteristics and experiences in online courses (n = 123). Specifically, students' personalities and cognitive styles were examined alongside the perceived quality and outcomes of collaboration. Negative correlations were found between the conscientiousness personality style and both the quality of collaboration (p = .09) and the outcome of collaboration (p = .05). This finding indicates that conscientious students who, according to the literature tend to have higher academic achievement than other students, perceive negative experiences in online collaborative environments. Conversely, a positive correlation was discovered between the extraversion personality type and the perceived outcomes of collaboration (p = .01). Thus, students with a strongly extraverted personality tend to perceive that they benefits from collaborative learning. Approximately 11% of the variance in the collaborative experience was explained by the combined personal characteristics. The reported frequency of collaboration was positively correlated with both the quality (p < .01) and the outcomes of collaboration (p < .01). While not generalizable, these results suggest that not all students perceive benefits from online collaborative learning. It may be worthwhile to teach students traits associated with the extraversion type like flexibility which is important for collaborative learning. Also, teaching students to adopt traits associated with conscientiousness that improve academic achievement like self-regulation may help improve perceptions of collaborative experiences.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Sheffield, Anneliese

Assessing the Older Diabetic Population in the US: A Descriptive Look at This Population from 2001-2010 Focusing upon Education and Clinical Behaviors

Description: The focus of this research study was to gain needed information on the older adult population in the United States who have diabetes. The research method was quantitative retrospective study of American diabetes obtained from the National Health Interview Survey database from 2001 through 2010. The study results confirmed more than one-third of the U.S. diabetics are aged 65 and older. More than 75% of the older diabetic population report clinical limitations or comorbidities. Based on surrogate markers of education, it appears the older diabetic cohort did receive more preventative care visits than did the older nondiabetic population; however, the difference was not robust. I found a slight negative trend between age and emergency room visits in the older diabetic population; in addition, there was a negative association between age and smoking in this population. There continues to be a need for scientific research in this population. Greater numbers need education and more clinical trials specific to the older diabetic should be encouraged.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Parker, Patti Annette

An Evaluation of the Effects of Effort on Resistance to Change

Description: Behavioral momentum theory (BMT) has become a prominent method of studying the effects of reinforcement on operant behavior. BMT represents a departure from the Skinnerian tradition in that it identifies the strength of responding with its resistance to change. Like in many other operant research paradigms, however, responses are considered to be momentary phenomena and so little attention has been paid to non-rate dimensions of responding. The current study takes up the question of whether or not the degree of effort defining a discriminated operant class has any meaningful effect on its resistance to change. Using a force transducer, rats responded on a two-component multiple VI 60-s VI 60-s schedule where each component was correlated with a different force requirement. Resistance to change was tested through prefeeding and extinction. Proportional declines in response rate were equal across components during all disruption tests. Differentiated response classes remained intact throughout. The negative result suggests several future research directions.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Foss, Erica K

Defect Behaviors in Zinc Oxide and Zinc Titanates Ceramics from First Principles Computer Simulations

Description: ZnO and ZnO-TiO2 ceramics have intriguing electronic and mechanical properties and find applications in many fields. Many of these properties and applications rely on the understanding of defects and defect processes in these oxides as these defects control the electronic, catalytic and mechanical behaviors. The goal of this dissertation is to systematically study the defects and defects behaviors in Wurtzite ZnO and Ilmenite ZnTiO3 by using first principles calculations and classical simulations employing empirical potentials. Firstly, the behavior of intrinsic and extrinsic point defects in ZnO and ZnTiO3 ceramics were investigated. Secondly, the effect of different surface absorbents and surface defects on the workfunction of ZnO were studied using DFT calculations. The results show that increasing the surface coverage of hydrocarbons decreased the workfunction. Lastly, the stacking fault behaviors on ilmenite ZnTiO3 were investigated by calculating the Generalized Stacking Fault (GSF) energies using density functional theory based first principles calculations and classical calculations employing effective partial charge inter-atomic potentials. The gamma-surfaces of two low energy surfaces, (110) and (104), of ZnTiO3 were fully mapped and, together with other analysis such as ideal shear stress calculations.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Sun, Wei

A Multidimensional Polymetric Analysis of Excerpts from the Wind Band Music of Dan Welcher and Yo Gotō

Description: Polymetric writing is an integral technique in contemporary compositional practice. Dan Welcher and Yo Goto are principal employers of this practice in the wind band medium. Their methods endure even the results of modern scholarship showing limited human perception of polyrhythmic events. This dissertation provides a comprehensive metric analysis of excerpts from the music of Welcher and Goto. Five examples are explored from major band works of each of the two composers. The analytical process in the study utilizes the metrical concept set forth by Maury Yeston, so that a comparison can be made between the rhythmic components of the competing meters. The results of the study show that both Welcher and Goto, in all ten excerpts, create polymetric sections containing elements that surpass the aural limits proposed by modern scholarship. Additionally, through identification of the misaligned metric layers causing each polymeter, pedagogical considerations are offered to aid performance of each identified excerpt.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Robinson, David

An Evaluation of Correspondence between Preference and Performance under a Progressive Ration Schedule with College Students

Description: Preference assessments are used in clinical settings to identify stimuli with reinforcing potential. The progressive-ratio schedule has shown to be useful in clinical assessments in identifying stimuli with stronger reinforcer efficacy that corresponds to formalized assessments.The current study utilized a progressive-ratio schedule to compare videos of high and low preference assessed by verbal reports of preference with college students. Results indicated breakpoints were higher for high preferred videos than low preferred videos for three out of five participants, but preference was not indicative of performance.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Johnson, Jamarious

Ethiopian Coffee Stories: Applied Research with Sidama Coffee Farmers Combining Visual and Ethnographic Methods

Description: The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the value of visual research methods to applied anthropology in the context of exploratory research with farmers in Ethiopia. The three methods of photo-elicitation, participatory photography, and ethnographic film, enrich and expand ethnographic methods to support the client's objective of supporting farmers. The applied project constructs a narrative from the local perspective to help consumers learn more about farmers' lives. The research focuses on specific farmers, and their experiences with direct fair trade and coffee farming. The client sees the application of research produced by ethnographic and visual methods as a good direction not only for his company, but the Fair Trade Industry as a whole.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Suter, Paula Jean