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Testing the Psychometric Properties of the Online Student Connectedness Survey

Description: The Online Student Connectedness Survey (OSCS) was introduced to the academic community in 2012 as an instrument designed to measure feelings of connectedness between students participating in online degree and certification programs. The purpose of this study was to examine data from the instrument for initial evidence of validity and reliability and to establish a nomological network between the OSCS and similar instruments utilized in the field. The study utilized sequential exploratory factor analysis- confirmatory factor analysis (EFA-CFA) and correlational analysis to assess results of the data. Students enrolled in online courses at higher education institutions located in the United States served as the sample for this study. Three instruments were used during the study. The OSCS was administered first so that the factor structure could be examined for factor validity. Once confirmed, the Classroom Community Scale (CCS) and the Community of Inquiry Scale (COI) served as the instruments to examine nomological validity through correlational analysis of data.This study provided evidence of factor validity and reliability for data from the OSCS. After the initial EFA-CFA, the four-factor structure held, and 16 of the 25 original items remained for nomological testing. Statistically significant correlations were demonstrated between factors contained in the OSCS, CCS, and COI, providing further evidence of construct validity. These results indicate that for the sample used in this study, the OSCS provides data that are valid and reliable for assessing feelings of connection between participants in online courses at institutions of higher learning.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Zimmerman, Tekeisha
Partner: UNT Libraries

A model of best practice: Leadership development programs in the nuclear industry.

Description: This study looked at leadership development at top performing nuclear plants in the United States. The examination of leadership development as actually practiced in the nuclear energy industry lead to the development of a best practice model. The nuclear industry is self-regulated through the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (INPO). INPO has been evaluating nuclear plants over the past 15 years. Recently they have identified supervisor performance as a key factor in poor plant performance. INPO created a model for leadership development called Growing Industry Leaders. The nuclear industry has identified its aging workforce and subsequent loss of leadership as an emerging issue facing the nuclear industry in the next five to ten years. This initiative was aimed at both the supervisor shortfalls identified through plant evaluations and the state of the workforce within the nuclear industry. This research evaluated the elements of this model and compared them to a model of best practice. This research answered the following questions: What elements of leadership development should be included in leadership development programs? What would a model of best practice in leadership development look like? Data was collected from nine out of 103 top performing plants. Development activities were categorized by a seven member panel of experts. These categories were then validated using three rounds of a Delphi process to reach consensus. This became the basis for the best practice model for leadership development.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Thatcher, Gregory W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Influence of pre and post testing on return on investment calculations in training and development.

Description: When expenses become an issue, training is often one of the first budget items to be cut. There have been a number of evaluation studies about rates of return from training interventions. Most results are based on interviewing participants about the value of the intervention and its effect on their productivity. This often results in quadruple digit return on investment indications. Decision makers who control the budget often view these kinds of results with skepticism. This study proposes a methodology to evaluate training interventions without asking participants their opinions. The process involves measuring learning through a series of pre-tests and post-tests and determining if scores on pre-tests can be used as predictors of future return on investment results. The study evaluates a series of return on investment scores using analysis of variance to determine the relationship between pre-tests and final return on investment results for each participant. Data is also collected and evaluated to determine if the financial results of the organization during the period of the training intervention could be correlated to the results of the training intervention. The results of the study suggest that the proposed methodology can be used to predict future return on investment from training interventions based on the use of pre-tests. These rates of return can be used as a method of selecting between competing training intervention proposals. It is a process that is easily understood by the key decision makers who control the allocation of financial resources. More importantly, it is a process that can maximize the value of each dollar spent on training.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Hiraoka, Calvin H.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The relationship between the reasons for participation in continuing professional education and the leader effectiveness of first-line supervisors.

Description: This research examined the reasons for participation in continuing professional education (CPE) and the predictive relationship of those motivational reasons to the perceived leadership effectiveness of first-line supervisors. For this study, 105 first-line supervisors were surveyed from four electric utility companies. Input was also collected from each supervisor's subordinate employees. Using the five motivational reasons for participation, collected via the Participation Reasons Scale and the effectiveness score collected using the Leader Behavior Analysis IIĀ®, regression techniques were used to asses the data. The five participation reasons of the PRS were regressed individually against the effectiveness scores to determine the extent to which leader effectiveness could be predicted by the participation reasons. In each case, the null hypothesis failed to be rejected. Regression of the five PRS reasons collectively on leader effectiveness also failed to reject the null, producing a p value of .800 and an R2 value of .023. An "all possible subsets" regression was conducted to determine whether a smaller subset of the five predictor variables might improve the predictive value of the participation reasons. No subset improved the predictive value. This study concludes that motivation to participate in CPE does not predict leader effectiveness. Thus, training organizations do not need to attempt to determine leader effectiveness based on underlying reasons individuals are motivated to participate, but rather should focus on the more traditional aspects of determining effectiveness most often associated with rigorous training evaluation processes. This study focused on the job role of first-line supervisor. Future research could be performed using: (a) populations of individuals from other traditional job roles including front-line employees (both unionized and non-unionized), mid-level managers, and executives; (b) leaders with and without prior training in situational leadership; and (c) effectiveness measure over time (i.e., a time-series method).
Access: This item is restricted to the UNT Community Members at a UNT Libraries Location.
Date: December 2003
Creator: McCamey, Randy B.
Partner: UNT Libraries