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Blogging and Tweens: Communication Portal to Reading Selection and Engagement

Description: The ethnographic study utilized the research techniques of observations, content analysis, and semi-structured interviews with tween participants (i.e., 9 through 13 year-old youth) during an 8-week literary blog project. Twenty-six participants created individual blog pages within a member-only classroom blog site that allowed for online communication between members. the blog project incorporated social networking applications with which youth frequently engage. the research questions ensured data regarding what facets participants found appealing and motivating during the project was collected. the questions allowed for determining if participants utilized peer blogs for reading material selection or repurposed the blogs to discuss other topics. Components of self-determination theory and engagement theory underlay the project design and aided in identifying motivational aspects of the data. Frequency tables outlined the identified patterns and structures of participants’ online activity. Participants found the ability to change the colors of their blog backgrounds and to design their individual blogs and the giving and receiving of feedback to be the two most appealing features of the project. Participants chose books from peer suggestions in the online world but also selected materials from recommendations they received in face-to-face interactions with their peers, their teacher, and the school librarian. Little evidence of repurposing the blog for social topics was observed. Participants engaged in discussions predominantly based around the books they were currently reading or had read. Implications for incorporating social networking applications within the classroom environment are discussed.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Sharber, Shelli K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Web Content Authorship: Academic Librarians in Web Content Management

Description: An increasing number of libraries and information centers are using content management (CM) applications to develop, redesign, and maintain their websites. the purpose of this research was to provide understanding of attitudes of academic librarians about how their utilization of CM technology influences the information services they provide at the academic library’s website and to examine their perceptions of how using CM affects the creation of the web content. This research applied a qualitative research design (electronic survey and in-depth semi-structured interviews of academic subject librarians) with elements of a quantitative approach. the study discussed the concept of web authorship and supplied fundamentals for future theoretical research about authorship in web content development at academic libraries. the study provided an overview of CM at academic libraries and explored characteristics of dynamic content and semantic web applications at their websites. It discussed librarians’ opinions about issues of migration to the new content management system (CMS), factors affecting its efficient employment, and roles of librarians in web content management. Results of this study will serve to future research on management behavior of academic librarians authoring web content with the help of CM. the findings about the difficulties observed in the use of CMS and solutions, influence of training and learning, importance of cooperation and communication, adjustment of the CMS to the users’ needs, qualifications and skills needed in application of CM, distribution of responsibilities in the use of CMS, features of the CMS, and requirements to its functionality will have implications for academic and other libraries applying CM.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Vassilieva, Elena
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating and Blending Multimedia Mobile Applications into Technical Training

Description: This study in the aerospace ground equipment (AGE) apprentice course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, examined the use of mobile digital devices to determine which device leveraged the best results and was most compatible with military technical training requirements. The sample consisted of 160 students who attended the course between January and June, 2010. Three devices loaded with course materials were issued to the students, who used the devices in the classroom and were encouraged to use the devices to enhance their study time after class. Quantitative data were obtained by comparing block test scores to determine if any device produced a significant change in student learning. Qualitative data were collected from surveys administered to instructors and students to measure which device instructors and students found easiest to understand and use, and student satisfaction with the device. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed a statistically significant difference (p < .05) in the block test mean scores between groups using mobile devices and the students in the control group that had no device. Post hoc comparisons on each block showed that there was a statistically significant difference between students using the smartphone and students using the other devices, but no statistically significant difference in the block test mean scores between students using the iPod and the netbook. The netbook leveraged the best results, both in block test scores and student satisfaction. The greatest reported disadvantage of the smartphone and the iPod Touch was the small screen size.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Moore, Billy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Information-Seeking Behavior of Digital Evidence Examiners

Description: The current research sought to gain in-depth insights into the information-seeking behavior of Turkish National Police digital evidence examiners (DEEs); to explore the information sources that DEEs use and the factors affecting their decisions about source selection. Factors that affect information source selection and use by DEEs are: accreditation, workload, type of information, time, cost, availability, reliability/scientific importance, up-to-date data, prior experience with the source, relevance, interactivity and importance. The Internet was the information source most commonly used by participants during the examination stage; other sources included forums, experts, colleagues, forensic tools/kits and books. During the analysis stage, the most frequently mentioned information source was the investigation file, containing information about the elements of the crime; other sources included: personal experience, experts, detectives, the Internet, clients, professional training, the prosecutor, evidence submission forms, in-lab manuals, forums and colleagues. During the report-writing stage, most DEEs used in-lab manuals and report templates as information sources, but previously written reports, editing software, and colleagues were also used to obtain information about the format, style and language of reports as legal documents.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Yildirim, Idris
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modeling Student Perception of Web 2.0 Technologies Adoption in Kuwait

Description: The primary focus of this dissertation was to explore students' perceptions of adopting Web 2.0 applications at the School of Basic Education (SBE) in Kuwait. Although Web 2.0 applications are becoming more popular among the digital generation, there is still no evidence of students' perceptions of adopting the innovation of Web 2.0 technologies in Kuwait. The problem this study addresses is that the current status of Web 2.0 technologies usage by academic students has remained educationally unknown in Kuwait. Therefore, there was a need to investigate the extent to which academic students in SBE are aware of and their usage of Web 2.0 technologies, as well as the factors and obstacles that affect using these technologies. Rogers' diffusion of innovation theory (DoI) is employed in this study to specify the factors that influence student perceptions of adopting Web 2.0 applications as learning tools. Data used in this dissertation was gathered via a survey instrument from 350 students at the SBE and was statistically analyzed to find out the answers of the research questions. This study identified the low rate of Web 2.0 awareness and adoption by the students. Descriptive statistical analysis, such as mean scores and standard deviation, were used to analyze and conclude the findings. In the rates of awareness and adoption of Web 2.0, this study also identified no statistically significant differences between the groups of all the demographic variables except the academic field. The statistically significant differences were identified between the academic variables before and after recoding the academic fields into 5 groups. A t-test and one-way ANOVA were used to determine the statistical significance. Several factors were examined in the study to identify their influence on the rate of adoption. The factors included the rate of awareness, Rogers' attributes of innovations, and the obstacles to adopt ...
Date: May 2011
Creator: Alajmi, Mohammad
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rapid E-Learning Simulation Training and User Response

Description: A new trend in e-learning development is to have subject matter experts use rapid development tools to create training simulations. This type of training is called rapid e-learning simulation training. Though companies are using rapid development tools to create training quickly and cost effectively, there is little empirical research to indicate whether training created in this manner meets the needs of learners. The purpose of this study was to compare user responses to rapid e-learning simulation training to user responses receiving instructor-led training. The target population for this study was employees of a medium size private company in North America. Employees were divided into two groups and either received instructor-led training (comparison group) or received rapid e-learning simulation training (experimental group). The instrument used to measure user response was an adaptation of the technology acceptance model. Three variables were measured: training satisfaction, perceived ease of use, and perceived usefulness. Though no statistical significance was found between the two groups for training satisfaction and perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use was found to be statistically significant. Overall results fail to demonstrate the superiority of rapid e-learning simulation training over instructor-led training; however, this study indicates that rapid e-learning simulation training may be a viable substitute for classroom instruction based on user response.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Rackler, Angeline
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparing the Readability of Text Displays on Paper, E-Book Readers, and Small Screen Devices

Description: Science fiction has long promised the digitalization of books. Characters in films and television routinely check their palm-sized (or smaller) electronic displays for fast-scrolling information. However, this very technology, increasingly prevalent in today's world, has not been embraced universally. While the convenience of pocket-sized information pieces has the techno-savvy entranced, the general public still greets the advent of the e-book with a curious reluctance. This lack of enthusiasm seems strange in the face of the many advantages offered by the new medium - vastly superior storage capacity, searchability, portability, lower cost, and instantaneous access. This dissertation addresses the need for research examining the reading comprehension and the role emotional response plays in the perceived performance on e-document formats as compared to traditional paper format. This study compares the relative reading comprehension on three formats (Kindle, iTouch, and paper) and examines the relationship of subject's emotional response and relative technology exposure as factors that affect how the subject perceives they have performed on those formats. This study demonstrates that, for basic reading comprehension, the medium does not matter. Furthermore, it shows that, the more uncomfortable a person is with technology and expertise in the requested task (in this case, reading), the more they cling to the belief that they will do better on traditional (paper) media - regardless of how well they actually do.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Baker, Rebecca Dawn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Tasks on Information-Seeking Behavior in a Police Work Environment in the Context of Criminal Intelligence

Description: Although dominant effects of tasks on individuals' information-seeking behavior is accepted by many scholars, a limited number of studies has been conducted to reveal the nature of the relationship between tasks and information-seeking behavior. In their studies, some earlier researchers categorized tasks according to their complexity while others did the same according to the specifications of tasks. Two of the groundbreaking researchers in this area are Katriina Byström and Kalervo Järvelin who contributed to the understanding of the relationship between task complexity and information-seeking behavior. However, their findings also need empirical support for theory growth. In response to this need, this study attempts to test Byström and Järvelin's findings through a research using different research methods and applied in a police work environment. Other than providing empirical support for theory growth, this research is also expected to contribute to the understudied area of police information-seeking behavior. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected from the participants who came from traffic, homicide, and anti-terrorism divisions of Ankara, Eskisehir, and Kirikkale Police Departments in Turkey. The participants identified terrorism cases as the most complex cases to solve, followed by homicide and traffic accident cases. Differences in the information-seeking behavior of three groups of police officers were examined through qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Oneway ANOVA technique and post hoc comparisons were used to analyze the quantitative data. In addition to shedding light on information-seeking behavior of police officers investigating related cases in Turkey, the results provided support for Byström and Järvelin's findings. For instance, the officers investigating more complex tasks used significantly more information sources than the others, while the use of external information sources was significantly higher in more complex cases.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Tatil, Serkan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Information Seeking Behavior of Crime Scene Investigators in the Turkish National Police

Description: This exploratory research is the first one among occupational information seeking behavior studies that focuses on information seeking behaviors of the crime scene investigators. The data used in this dissertation were gathered via a self-administrated survey instrument from 29 cities in Turkey. Findings obtained from the data analyses show that there is a strongly positive relationship between the experience of the crime scene investigators and the use of personal knowledge and experience as a primary information source (experience is operationalized with age, service years in policing, and service years in crime scene investigation units). The findings also suggest that increasing of the level of education is negatively related to relying on immediate colleagues as an information source among the crime scene investigators. These findings are consistent with related literature and theory. The data analysis shows that crime scene investigators work in cities with higher population rates have more complaint scores than those who work in cities with lower population rates across Turkey. The findings from the data analysis may suggest valuable implications to defeat the barriers between crime scene investigators and information sources. The researcher drew a proposed theoretical framework of an information behavior concept in the context of crime scene investigation that may help those who are interested in the phenomenon and its applications to other contexts.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Demircioglu, Mehmet
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

An Examination of the Adoption of Preservation Metadata in Cultural Heritage Institutions: An Exploratory Study Using Diffusion of Innovations Theory

Description: Digital preservation is a significant challenge for cultural heritage institutions and other repositories of digital information resources. Recognizing the critical role of metadata in any successful digital preservation strategy, the Preservation Metadata Implementation Strategies (PREMIS) has been extremely influential on providing a "core" set of preservation metadata elements that support the digital preservation process. However, there is no evidence, in the form of previous research, as to what factors explain and predict the level of adoption of PREMIS. This research focused on identifying factors that affect the adoption of PREMIS in cultural heritage institutions. This study employed a web-based survey to collect data from 123 participants in 20 country as well as a semi-structured, follow-up telephone interview with a smaller sample of the survey respondents. Roger's diffusion of innovation theory was used as a theoretical framework. The main constructs considered for the study were relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, observability, and institution readiness. The study yielded both qualitative and quantitative data, and analysis showed that all six factors influence the adoption of PREMIS in varying degrees. Results of a regression analysis of adoption level on the six factors showed a statistically significant relationship. The R2 value for the model was .528, which means that 52.8% of the variance in PREMIS adoption was explained by a combination of the six factors. Considering the complexity of issue, this study has important implications for future research on preservation metadata and provides recommendations for researchers and stakeholders engaged in metadata standards development efforts.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Alemneh, Daniel Gelaw
Partner: UNT Libraries

Image manipulation and user-supplied index terms.

Description: This study investigates the relationships between the use of a zoom tool, the terms they supply to describe the image, and the type of image being viewed. Participants were assigned to two groups, one with access to the tool and one without, and were asked to supply terms to describe forty images, divided into four categories: landscape, portrait, news, and cityscape. The terms provided by participants were categorized according to models proposed in earlier image studies. Findings of the study suggest that there was not a significant difference in the number of terms supplied in relation to access to the tool, but a large variety in use of the tool was demonstrated by the participants. The study shows that there are differences in the level of meaning of the terms supplied in some of the models. The type of image being viewed was related to the number of zooms and relationships between the type of image and the number of terms supplied as well as their level of meaning in the various models from previous studies exist. The results of this study provide further insight into how people think about images and how the manipulation of those images may affect the terms they assign to describe images. The inclusion of these tools in search and retrieval scenarios may affect the outcome of the process and the more collection managers know about how people interact with images will improve their ability to provide access to the growing amount of pictorial information.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Schultz, Leah
Partner: UNT Libraries

Self-Perceived Information Seeking Skills and Self-Esteem in Adolescents by Race and Gender

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the correlation between self-perceived information seeking skills and self-esteem in adolescents and, further, to determine whether this correlation varied according to race and gender. Tenth-grade students from three public high schools in a Midwestern city were given two instruments. Self-perceived information seeking skills were measured using a modified version of the Information Skills Checklist from High Plains Regional Technology in Education Consortium's Profiler website. Self-esteem was measured by the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale, which is designed for students 12 years of age and over. The scale has six separate measures of self-esteem: physical, moral-ethical self, personal self, family self, social self and academic self. These six measures are used to determine overall level of self-esteem. The results showed a statistically significant correlation between self-perceived information seeking skills and at least one facet of self-esteem for all groups measured, with one exception. African American males were the only adolescents to show no correlation between scores from these two instruments. It is hoped that this research will ultimately be used to develop policies regarding the development of information seeking skills in disenfranchised groups.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Simpson-Scott, Lynne
Partner: UNT Libraries