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University of North Texas President's Annual Report, 2008

Description: Annual report for the University of North Texas (UNT) includes an overview of research, programs of study, and accomplishments of university departments as well as statistical breakdowns of enrollment, fiscal expenditures, and other operational information.
Date: 2009
Creator: University of North Texas. Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing.
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

Using Diffusion of Innovations to Explore Digital Gaming in Undergraduate Library Instruction

Description: Digital games and simulations are receiving considerable notice within the Library and Information Science (LIS) community. This study adds to the depth of knowledge in this area by providing research on the likelihood a hypothetical digital game delivery method for library instruction achieves sufficient adoption to justify its development. Furthermore, this knowledge will assist decision making processes for individuals debating the current or potential role of digital gaming at their institutions. In this mixed methods study, over 300 undergraduates were surveyed about their technology preferences, including digital gaming, for delivery of two forms of academic library instruction. The two forms of library instruction were (a) providing users with spatial information on physical library layout, and (b) educating users on information literacy topics and skills. Observational data was collected during the survey sessions, occurring at face-to-face library instruction sessions. Self-selected survey participants were also interviewed to further probe their survey responses. Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations was the theoretical foundation to this research. The primary innovation of study was the digital game delivery method. Detailed analysis of the survey-based data set included three nonparametric scaling methods: 1) rank-sum scaling; 2) circular triad analysis; and 3) multidimensional preference mapping. Content analysis of the observations and semi-structured interviews also occurred. Major outcomes were 1) the digital game delivery method achieved mediocre preference across both questions; 2) the audiovisual delivery method received the highest overall preference ranking; and 3) overall preference for the audio-only delivery method was remarkably low. The most important theme across the observational data was the participants' waning attention during the face-to-face library instruction sessions. The most important outcome from the semi-structured interviews was interviewees' stated appreciation for useful technologies. Over 95% of participants were so-called digital natives, that is, born post-1980. Rogers' assertion that age plays a minor role in predicting ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Robertson, Michael James
Partner: UNT Libraries

Instructor immediacy and presence in the online learning environment: An investigation of relationships with student affective learning, cognition, and motivation.

Description: Bivariate correlation was used to examine possible relationships between instructor immediacy and instructor presence, and a statistically significant correlation was found. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to determine whether the linear combination of instructor immediacy and presence caused significant variance in student affective learning, cognition, and motivation. For all three of the latter dependent variables, the linear combination of instructor immediacy and presence was found to cause statistically significant variance. However, although the overall regression models were significant in all three tests, instructor immediacy was not found to be a significant individual predictor for causing variance in affective learning, cognition, or motivation, whereas instructor presence was found to be a significant individual predictor of all three. Finally, factorial ANOVA revealed that, for perceptions of instructor immediacy, only classification and course type were found to explain significant variance, with undergraduate students in asynchronous courses reporting significantly lower instructor immediacy. For perceptions of instructor presence, graduate students tended to rate their instructors as having higher presence than did undergraduate students, and students in synchronous courses tended to rate their instructors as having higher presence than did students in asynchronous courses.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Baker, Credence
Partner: UNT Libraries

Informed Consent in Obstetric Anesthesia: The Effect of the Amount, Timing and Modality of Information on Patient Satisfaction

Description: Using mainly quantitative methods of evaluation, as well as patient comment assessment, this study evaluated whether changing the current informed consent process for labor epidural analgesia to a longer, more informational process resulted in a more satisfied patient. Satisfaction with the labor epidural informed consent process was evaluated using a questionnaire that was mailed and also available online. Half of the patient population was given a written labor epidural risk/benefit document at their 36-week obstetric check up. All patients received the standard informed consent. Survey responses were evaluated based on three independent variables dealing with the modality, timing, amount of informed consent information and one dependent variable, whether the patient's expectations of the epidural were met, which is equated with satisfaction. Patients in this study clearly indicated that they want detailed risk/benefit information on epidural analgesia earlier in their pregnancy. A meaningfully larger percentage of patients who received the written risk/benefit document were satisfied with the epidural process as compared to those who did not receive the document.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Hicks, Michelle, B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

Enhancement of spatial ability in girls in a single-sex environment through spatial experience and the impact on information seeking.

Description: The test scores of spatial ability for women lag behind those of men in many spatial tests. On the Mental Rotations Test (MRT), a significant gender gap has existed for over 20 years and continues to exist. High spatial ability has been linked to efficiencies in typical computing tasks including Web and database searching, text editing, and computer programming. The relationships between the components of visuospatial ability and performance are complex. However, research strongly indicates that a connection exists, and further research is necessary to determine the interactions between the variables of environment, genetics, and spatial training. Spatial experience can enhance spatial skills. However, to what extent spatial skills can be enhanced in female adolescents through a spatial curriculum to reduce the gap in scores has not been fully researched, nor has the impact of spatial skill on information seeking. This research project investigated spatial skill in adolescent females by examining (1) the extent to which the intervention of teaching a spatial curriculum in a single-sex setting could improve mental rotation test scores, and (2) the impact of spatial skills on an information seeking task in a single-sex setting. The extent to which a spatial visualization curriculum can improve MRT scores from a pretest to a posttest for girls was the first factor examined using a spatial visualization curriculum. The information seeking task used 4 tasks from a doctoral study and utilized the scholarly journal database JSTORĀ® (JSTOR, Ann Arbor, MI, www.jstor.org).
Date: December 2008
Creator: Swarlis, Linda L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The representation of national political freedom on web interface design: A comparison of government-based and business-oriented websites.

Description: The purpose of this study is to explore the representation of national political freedom on web interface design by using power distance, one of the culture dimensions identified by Geert Hofstede, as a measurement. This study also aims to determine if there are any differences between government-based websites and business-oriented websites in representing national political freedom. A pilot study was conducted to validate ten power distance indicators identified from previous research on cultural dimensions with the intent of establishing a measurement for determining a country's national political freedom on web content and interface design. The result showed that six out of ten proposed indicators are valid power distance indicators. The seventh indicator, symmetric layout, demonstrated that its Web representation correlates with national political freedom level. Consequently, the principal research applied these seven indicators in coding 312 websites selected from 39 countries and analyzed national political freedom represented on these websites with content analysis method. The result of two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that large differences exist in web interface design, which in turn reflects the aforementioned national political freedom. The research showed that the mean effect of freedom level between free-country group, partly-free-country group and not-free-country group was statistically significant (p = .003). So was the mean effect of website type between government-based and business-oriented websites (p = .000). Furthermore, the interaction between the freedom level and website type was also significant (p = .041). Therefore, we conclude that web interface design represents a country's political freedom and government-based websites embody more of a nation's authority and supremacy than business-oriented websites do. It is expected that this study furthers our exploration in culture dimensions on web interface design and advances our knowledge in sociological and cultural studies of the web.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Li, Rowena Liu-ping
Partner: UNT Libraries

Relationships between perceptions of personal ownership of laptop computers and attitudes toward school.

Description: The feeling of ownership is a topic of research that has not been addressed as a component in the integration of technology in the K-12 classroom. The effectiveness of this abstract concept in relationship to digital computing is important in the evaluation of one-to-one initiatives in education. This paper reports findings of a research study conducted using a new ownership survey instrument I developed, the Laptop Usage Inventory (LUI). Also administered during the study was the Student Attitude Survey given in a pretest/posttest design. The instruments were administered to seventh and eighth grade students in a north Texas middle school in the 2007-2008 school year. The methodology used to evaluate the Laptop Usage Inventory consisted of Cronbach's alpha and various scaling methods. LUI scale scores were correlated with the results of the Student Attitude Survey to compare students' attitudes toward school before and after using a laptop computer for the school year. Implications for laptop initiatives and for the classroom are discussed and a future research agenda is presented.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Brogdon, Sherri Gorham
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating e-Training for public library staff: A quasi-experimental investigation.

Description: A comparative evaluation framework of instructional interventions for implementation of online training for public library staff would enable a better understanding of how to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and efficacy of training in certain training environments. This dissertation describes a quasi-experimental study of a two-week, asynchronous online training course that was provided at four levels of instructional intervention to public library staff in the United States. The course content addressed the complex issues of difficult patron policy development and situational coping techniques. The objective of the study was to develop and demonstrate a theoretically grounded, evidence-based impact evaluation framework. The framework was used to assess the relative impact of an online course for public librarians at four levels of instructional intervention. The researcher investigated the relationships between the type of e-Training instructional interventions and the short- and long-term impacts on participants' knowledge, self-efficacy, and workplace performance. The study used a longitudinal, quasi-experimental design that included a pretest, posttest and three-month delayed posttest with follow-up survey. 194 participants completed all three phases of the study. The evaluation tools measured course content related knowledge and self-efficacy at all three phases (pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest) and assessed workplace application of training at 3-month follow-up. The results of this study contributed to evaluation theory and learning theory literature applied to the online learning environment and informed public library staff online training practices and evaluation methodologies.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Dalston, Teresa
Partner: UNT Libraries

The transformative library: A narrative inquiry into the outcomes of information use.

Description: This qualitative study uses narrative analysis to explore the outcomes of information seeking and use among public library users. Twelve women between the ages of 51 and 72, all residents of Fayetteville, Arkansas who self-identified as regular library users, were interviewed to gather their life stories and their experiences using the public library. The participants in this study used information to enable learning and, often, a change in their affective state. The participants used the new information they encountered constructively, to engage with the knowledge and experience they possessed; this use of information always involved reflection, dialogue, or both. The outcomes from these actions are the creation of new knowledge, a change in the participants' meaning schemes, and/or an affective change. In addition, the narratives strongly suggest that information seeking and use by adults in public libraries can sometimes facilitate or, on its own, precipitate a perspective transformation and the adoption of new meanings. Overall, the findings support Mezirow's theory of transformative learning as a model for understanding information use and outcomes among users of the public library. The major implications of this study are two-fold. One, it introduces to information science Mezirow's theory of transformative learning which could provide greater understanding of how adults use information, and the outcomes that arise from this use. Two, it provides library professionals with information about the library in the lives of their users and concrete information about how libraries can enable transformative learning.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Kenney, Brian
Partner: UNT Libraries