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Mentoring in Family Firms : A Reflective Analysis of Senior Executives' Perceptions

Description: This study is a reflective analysis of the perceptions of senior executives in family businesses that relate to their personal experiences of having been mentored. The study presents an overview of the topic of mentoring, defines key terms, and identifies questions addressed in the research. The rationale for this study rested on two facts. First, mentoring in non-family businesses constitutes the majority of the literature. That literature supports the importance of mentoring. Secondly, mentoring in family businesses has not been researched.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Boyd, John Hillyer

An Investigation into Motivations of Instructors Teaching Business and Technical Internet-Based Courses at Two-Year Colleges

Description: This research was conducted to determine why two-year community college instructors teach over the Internet. By understanding why these instructors teach over the Internet, colleges can recruit more instructors to teach using the Web thus allowing colleges to offer more Internet courses. They can also use the information to keep the instructors who are currently teaching over the Internet satisfied, and motivate them to continue to teach. To gather this information, a questionnaire was created and evaluated for reliability and validity during a pilot study. It was then sent to those instructors who taught over the Internet, and had their e-mails available on their campus Website. A 30.5% response rate (N=100) was achieved. The survey was divided into two sections, a demographics section and a Likert scale dealing with motivation. The Likert scale had six choices ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree and 31 statements. The demographic data were reported and summarized. The Likert items were examined using factor analysis techniques, and a number of components were discovered. Eight components, made up of the 31 variables from the Likert scale were found using the factor analysis. The eight components in order are labeled: Technical and Computer Challenges, School Promotion, Student Preferences, Personal Benefits, Receiving Computerized Assistance, Growth and Knowledge, Textbook Company Assistance, and Pay.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Swartwout, Nansi. A.

Levels of resourcefulness and motivation as they relate to sales force success: An examination of correlates using the hope theory.

Description: This study sought to determine whether a relationship existed between individual salesperson's levels of goal-directed cognition and motivation and their professional success as determined by the percentage of sales goals achieved. Salespersons represented two companies with national sales forces: one from the financial services industry and one from the apparel manufacturing industry. Both groups of salespeople were responsible for complex selling tasks. The skill sets for these professionals included high levels of communication skills, extensive product knowledge, and competitive market knowledge. Survey research, both paper and pencil and online, was conducted using the Hope Scale developed by C. R. Snyder and associates (1991). Hope is defined as a two-dimensional construct of goal-directed thinking: resourcefulness, thoughtful planning to overcome obstacles to goals, and motivation, cognition to sustain momentum toward goal achievement. Theoretically, upon assessing salespersons' Hope scores, organizations would be better prepared to assist those with low Hope Scale Scores (HSS) in one of the two areas. Those with low resourcefulness scores could be trained in cognitive techniques to overcome obstacles to goal achievement. Those with low motivational scores would be identified for further analysis, from a developmental perspective, to better determine what personally initiates and sustains motivation to attain their goals (Snyder, 1991). This study affirmed two of three parts of the hope theory with regard to salespeople. High Hope scores showed significant correlations with high goal achievement, as did one of the subset scores, motivation. The resourcefulness subset score did not correlate significantly with high goal achievement, and also produced low reliability scores.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Pool, Patricia W.

Perceptions of Preservice Educators, Inservice Educators, and Professional Development Personnel Regarding Effective Methods for Learning Technology Integration Skills

Description: This study examined educators' preferences for learning technology integration skills in order to provide the education community with justifiable data concerning the need for educator training alternatives. A survey was distributed to compare preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel's perceived effectiveness of eight training methods (N=759). The four research questions examined were: Do differences exist among preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel in the perceived effectiveness of different methods for learning technology integration skills? (2) Do differences exist among preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel in the perceived effectiveness of different methods for learning technology integration skills when categorized by age? (3) Do differences exist among preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel in the perceived effectiveness of different methods for learning technology integration skills when categorized by total hours of instruction? (4) Do differences exist among preservice educators, inservice educators, and professional development personnel in the perceived effectiveness of different methods for learning technology integration skills when categorized by locus of control? All groups were measured for similarities and differences in preferences on credit classes, workshops, open computer labs, technology personnel support, peer support, online help, printed documentation, and trial and error. In addition, those training preferences were cross-referenced with age, training hours, and the locus of control personality factor. MANOVAs and post-hoc analyses were performed for each major research question as well as trends in the data were examined. This study indicated that the most effective training methods were technical support, peer support, and credit courses. The least effective training methods were online help, printed documentation, workshops, and computer labs. Age, amount of training hours, and locus of control score did not provide as much information as did educator type when predicting training preference. Based on the findings of this study, ...
Date: December 2002
Creator: Robinson, Linda Marie McDonald

Participant's perceptions of online staff development and learning tools.

Description: This study analyzed participants in an online professional development and certification program can to see if they could predict the learning value of individual distance education tools. The Texas Center for Educational Technology (TCET) funded by the Texas Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF) designed the Technology Applications Certification Program (TACP). In the TACP, students are offered four graduate level classes which, when combined, meet the standards for the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) Technology Applications certification. The four courses that comprise the TACP are Computers in Education, Introduction to the Internet, Multimedia in Technology Applications, and Introduction to Video Technologies. The first course started in January 2002 with approximately 706 participants in 40 cohorts across the state of Texas. The TACP combines two different worlds of technology training. Half of the coursework was completed through asynchronous content and discussions, while the remaining classes were hands-on classes in local district computer labs. These face-to-face meetings enabled learners to get hands-on training with direct assistance. Between the online and face-to-face segments, a variety of learning tools were introduced to the participants. Participants were surveyed through the online Snapshot Survey in January and again in September.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Smolka, Jennifer

Learning Style and Preferred Mode of Delivery of Adult Learners in Web-Based, Classroom, and Blended Training

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between adult learners' preferred learning style and preference for delivery mode. The subjects (n=61) were technical and billing support call center employees from an Internet company in Dallas, Texas. The participants were randomly assigned to one of six groups and given Kolb's Learning Style Inventory to assess their preference for learning style. They received training on three modules of “Influencing Others Positively,” with each module delivered via one of three methods (web-based, classroom, and blended). Participants were also administered two surveys. The first survey collected demographic information and asked which method that they expected they would prefer. The second survey was administered after the course and asked them to rank their preferences for delivery method. It was hypothesized that learning style would be significantly associated with preference for delivery method. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and a chi-square test of independence for the variables learning style and preferred mode of delivery. Although the chi-square test of independence did not produce statistical significance, some interesting trends were identified in the data. Specifically, a majority of the participants preferred a blended approach to training delivery (a combination of self-paced web-based training and classroom group exercises). No Divergers preferred classroom training and no Accommodators preferred web-based training. Additionally, a logistic regression analysis indicated that Assimilators were six times more likely than Divergers to prefer a blended approach to training (p=.10). Further studies should utilize other learning style theories, explore different types of learning outcomes and delivery methods, and include a larger sample from different organizations. Training needs assessments should include learning style inventories as part of the audience analysis prior to training development.
Date: August 2002
Creator: McFeely, David

An evaluation of job satisfaction among salespersons in a small department store using four psychological measures.

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the potential of three independent psychological scales (Rotter's Locus of Control, Karasek's Job Content Questionnaire [non-injury job stress], and Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale) to predict job satisfaction, as measured by Brayfield and Rothe's Index of Job Satisfaction, among salespersons in a small independent department store in Wichita Falls, Texas. An 82-item survey which examined the dynamics of a salesperson's work life was administered to 20 individuals who were full-time employees of the department store. Demographic data were also gathered although these factors were not entered into the regression analysis. A multiple regression procedure examined the responses of the 20 employees who participated in the study. The R-squared coefficient indicates that 41 percent of the variance in Job Satisfaction was explained by the three predictor measures. A major proportion of this unexplained variance may be in variables outside the scope of this study, e.g., salaries, vacation time, benefits, bonuses, or commissions. Results suggest that the independent variables measured by the Locus of Control Scale and the Job Content Questionnaire in combination were the best predictors of job satisfaction with a significance level of .01. The single best predictor was the Job Content Questionnaire, significant at .03. The three instruments (Locus of Control, Self-Esteem, and Job Content Questionnaire) which comprised the independent variables, reached a significance level of .03 in their prediction of job satisfaction (Brayfield-Rothe Index of Job Satisfaction). Study results indicate that a majority of the employees in the sample population were satisfied with their jobs and with the leadership style manifested by the store manager. In addition, job security was believed to be satisfactory. Inasmuch as there is a void in the literature regarding personal characteristics of salespersons as variables that interact with job satisfaction, comparisons of the findings of this research ...
Date: May 2002
Creator: Webb, Ruth Sherrill

Impact of Locus of Control and Incentives on Team Performance and Job Satisfaction

Description: With the growing use of teams in organizations and schools there is a need to better understand the individual differences of employees that might potentially increase performance and improve attitudes. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of locus of control, which was the individual difference of interest in this study, and incentives on team performance and job satisfaction.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Cooper, Betty A.

An Analysis of How Interest Groups Influence the Policy-making Process for the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act of 1997

Description: This study examined the policy letters and verbal testimony transcripts submitted by interest groups to the United States Department of Education (USDE) in response to the proposed regulations pertaining to the implementation of the 1997 reauthorization of P. L. 105-17, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Specifically, this study analyzed the emerging themes in the area of discipline. Responses were received from the following interest groups: (a) school administrators, (b) parents, (c) teachers, (d) state educational agencies (SEAs), (e) national educational organizations, and (f) members of the United States Congress. In addition to analyzing the emerging themes, the study compared these themes to ones found in the current literature and court cases.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Price, Laura Black

Endogenous Constructivist Implications for Methodology : Focus on Young Children with Developmental Delay in the Social and Emotional Domains

Description: The Ecologically-Based Activity Plan (EBAP) is proposed as a method to create a transition between special education and general education. It serves as a tool to help classroom teachers assess the environment of the class and as a method for embedding instruction within the naturally occurring context of the endogenous constructivist classroom. In this study the EBAP was used to reduce aggressive behavior and increase prosocial behavior among five children who displayed developmental delays in the social and emotional domains.
Date: December 1998
Creator: McCrary, Donna E. (Donna Evelyn)

Equivalency of paper-pencil tests and computer-administered tests.

Description: Are computer-administered versions of a multiple choice paper-pencil test equivalent? This study determined whether there were any significant differences between taking a traditional pencil-paper test and taking the same test using a computer. The literature has shown that there are intervening variables that have caused differences when not controlled. To prove equivalency between test modes, scores have to have similar means, dispersions, and shapes; the ranked-order of the scores must also be similar. Four tests were given over the course of a 16-week semester. The sample was divided, half taking paper-pencil tests and half taking the same test administered by a computer. The mode of administration was switched with each test administration. The analysis showed that, when the intervening variables were controlled, the two modes of administration were equivalent. The analysis used a 2x4 ANOVA, which showed no difference between test modes, but showed that each test administration was significantly different. The Levene statistic was used to test whether dispersions were equivalent and confidence intervals were established to test the kurtosis and skewness statistics. Finally, each of the test scores were transformed into their Normal Curve Equivalents so that Pearson's coefficient could be used to determine the equivalency of the ranked-orders.
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Date: May 2001
Creator: Whitworth, Clifford K.

Predicting Workers' Compensation Claims and On-the-Job Injuries Using Four Psychological Measures

Description: This study assessed the predictive validity of four independent factors (Rotter Locus of Control Scale, Safety Locus of Control, Organizational Attribution Style Questionnaire, and Rosenburg Self-Esteem Scale) in the establishment of a measure of safety consciousness in predicting on-the-job injuries and the filing of workers' compensation claims. A 125-item questionnaire was designed and administered to assess participants' disposition on each of the four psychological dimensions, demographic data and on-the-job injury information.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Fore, Todd A.

An Investigation of Factors Affecting Test Equating in Latent Trait Theory

Description: The study investigated five factors which can affect the equating of scores from two tests onto a common score scale. The five factors studied were: (a) distribution type (i.e., normal versus uniform); (b) standard deviation of itemdifficulties (i.e., .68, .95, .99); (c) test length or number of test items (i.e., 50,100, 200); (d) number of common items (i.e., 10,20,30); and (e) sample size (i.e., 100, 300, 500). The significant two-way interaction effects were for common item length and test length, standard deviation of item difficulties and distribution type, and standard deviation of item difficulties and sample size.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Suanthong, Surintorn

Measurement Disturbance Effects on Rasch Fit Statistics and the Logit Residual Index

Description: The effects of random guessing as a measurement disturbance on Rasch fit statistics (unweighted total, weighted total, and unweighted ability between) and the Logit Residual Index (LRI) were examined through simulated data sets of varying sample sizes, test lengths, and distribution types. Three test lengths (25, 50, and 100), three sample sizes (25, 50, and 100), two item difficulty distributions (normal and uniform), and three levels of guessing (no guessing (0%), 25%, and 50%) were used in the simulations, resulting in 54 experimental conditions. The mean logit person ability for each experiment was +1. Each experimental condition was simulated once in an effort to approximate what could happen on the single administration of a four option per item multiple choice test to a group of relatively high ability persons. Previous research has shown that varying item and person parameters have no effect on Rasch fit statistics. Consequently, these parameters were used in the present study to establish realistic test conditions, but were not interpreted as effect factors in determining the results of this study.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Mount, Robert E. (Robert Earl)

A Longitudinal Study of Graduation, Retention, and School Dropout for Students in Regular and Special Education

Description: This study examined differences in retention, graduation, and dropout between students in grades 9-12 in special education and regular education in the state of Texas for school years 1992-93 through 1995-96. The purpose was to gather information regarding the possible adverse effects of increased academic standards and mandatory testing on students with disabilities. The results indicate that when compared to students in regular education, students with disabilities are significantly more likely to be retained and are not experiencing the same decline in dropout rates as regular students. There is no indication that students with disabilities have been adversely affected by school reform but the size of the school district may play a significant role in whether or not students with disabilities dropout of school.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Smith, Karen S., 1948-

Factors Affecting Discrete-Time Survival Analysis Parameter Estimation and Model Fit Statistics

Description: Discrete-time survival analysis as an educational research technique has focused on analysing and interpretating parameter estimates. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of certain data characteristics on the hazard estimates and goodness of fit statistics. Fifty-four simulated data sets were crossed with four conditions in a 2 (time period) by 3 (distribution of Y = 1) by 3 (distribution of Y = 0) by 3 (sample size) design.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Denson, Kathleen

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

Enhanced learning performance in the middle school classroom through increased student motivation, by the use of educational software and question-based gaming technology.

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine if the introduction of a competitive and collaborative computer-based gaming software system into middle school classrooms would result in improved attendance and grades, and motivate students to have a greater interest in their studies. This study was conducted over a 6 week period, with attendance and performance data being collected from 284 students. Two quantitative surveys were used to measure course interest and motivation: (a) the Course Interest Survey (CIS), and (b) the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS). Participation in these surveys consisted of 84 students taking the CIS and 40 students taking the IMMS. The results indicated that the experimental group showed statistically better scores than the comparison group in attendance and performance. Students participating in the experimental group had significantly lower mean ranks of absenteeism compared to students in the comparison group. Results also revealed significant differences on grades. Students that were in the experimental group had significantly higher grades compared to students that were in the comparison group. Results of the CIS suggest that a statistically significant difference does not exist on Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction between the experimental and comparison groups. Results of the means and standard deviations for the IMMS Motivation Scores fell somewhere between Moderately true and Mostly true. This research study suggests that student's attendance and performance can be improved when quiz based gaming software that is both collaborative and competitive is used regularly in the classroom. However, for student's that participated in the gaming software, their interest in studying the subject doesn't appear to be significantly different from students that did not participate.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Dorr, David L.

A qualitative analysis of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia interfering with academic and social success, and the exacerbators and diminishers of those symptoms.

Description: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that public schools provide appropriate school programs and transition services for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD), and the law specifically names schizophrenia as a disability for which services are to be provided. To date, little, if any, research has been conducted on schizophrenia in the field of special education. New antipsychotic medications for schizophrenia are controlling the positive symptoms of hallucinations, illusions, and the severest of delusions, thus enabling these students to remain in school. However, many interfering negative symptoms remain (e.g., loss of goals, loss of former interests, cognitive regression). The purpose of this qualitative research study was to identify the negative symptoms of schizophrenia that interfere with a student's academic and social success, primarily within a school setting, but also as they affect functioning within the family and the student's transition into the community. In addition, specific factors that act as exacerbators or diminishers of these symptoms were identified through this study. Research participants included 5 students who developed schizophrenia from the ages of 12 to 22, their parents, and their teachers. They were interviewed using a semi-structured approach resulting in over 30 hours of taped interview data. Data were then analyzed for commonalities, patterns, and data triangulation among the participants. Significant similarities among interfering symptoms and factors that exacerbate and diminish symptoms were identified among the participants, resulting in study findings of potential use for future researchers and professionals in the fields of special and general education, counseling, and psychology. The study results include lists of symptoms, exacerbators, and diminishers, and explanations of the significant findings. Findings from this study provide information necessary for the development of effective interventions in academic remediation, social skill training, counseling, and transition planning for this special education population. Knowledge of symptoms ...
Date: December 2003
Creator: Flint, Paula J.

The impact of technical barriers on the effectiveness of professional development as related to a distance education system-based course: A case study in the Web World Wonders environmental science learning community.

Description: This study reports and discusses the impact of technical barriers on the effectiveness of professional development as related to a distance education system based course: a case study of the web world wonders environmental science learning community in Florida. The project involved 4th through 12th grade public school teachers learning how to use GPS readers, digital cameras, and Arc View software for the purpose of utilizing a Website that enabled remote Internet camera access in Florida State Parks. Under the supervision of Florida State University and the Florida Department of Education those teachers received professional development in techniques for developing lesson plans utilizing the equipment and software as stated above. Using the Concept Based Adoption Model, a description of the teacher's demographics, Levels of Use and Stages of Concern with relation to gender, age, teaching experience, and technological experience was examined. Technical barriers were identified and an explanation of how they were overcome in the process of receiving the professional development is reported.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Dawson, John L.

An inquiry into the factors influencing the development of the field of Behavior Disorders: A qualitative approach

Description: This dissertation has explored the origins of the field of Behavioral Disorders via a qualitative approach. In order to collect data, interviews were conducted with respondents who were selected via purposeful sampling. All respondents have had a significant impact on the field of special education as evidenced by scholarship and leadership throughout their careers. Data analysis of the interview transcriptions was accomplished through the utilization of computer software. The data indicated six areas/topics that were seen among respondents as being significant to the development of the field of Behavioral Disorders.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Menendez, Anthony L.

One-to-one technology and mathematics achievement for eighth grade girls and boys in the state of Maine.

Description: This study analyzed the eighth grade mathematics portion of the spring 2004 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) achievement test and the survey questions that were also administered. The analysis was on a school-wide level (n = 182). The two survey questions used were: “Which statement best describes the use of calculators in your mathematics classes?” and "Which statement best describes how you use your laptop in mathematics class: getting data from the Web, finding mathematics problems online, creating graphs?" Correlational analysis, partial correlation, and regression were used to determine if there was any association between calculator usage, laptop usage, and mathematics achievement for girls and for boys in the first state-wide group of students to have one-to-one laptops in Maine. Calculator usage was found to be positively associated with mathematics achievement for both girls (partial correlation coefficient of .189 (p = .011)) and for boys (partial correlation coefficient of .193 (p = .010)) even after controlling for school size and socio-economic status. Though no significant association between laptop usage and mathematics achievement for either girls or boys was found, this may be more a reflection on the survey question being a weak measure than the usage of laptops. In a post-hoc analysis of findings, schools were rank ordered based on the average mathematics achievement score regardless of gender; the top 25% (n = 45) and the lower 25% (n = 45) of the schools were evaluated. In the top 25%, there was no statistically significant difference between school-wide girls' and boys' mathematics achievement scores. However, in the lower 25% of the schools, there was a statistically significant difference (p = .01) between the school-wide average of girls' and boys' mathematics achievement scores, with the girls' score being 1.49 points higher (p = .01, d = .447) than the boys'. Recommendations for ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Overall, Theresa Lynne