Search Results

Digitally Curious: A Qualitative Case Study of Students’ Demonstrations of Curiosity in a Technology-Rich Learning Environment

Description: Curiosity is an important construct for educators as it is connected with knowledge and higher-order thinking, goal-oriented behavior, motivation, and persistence. It is also negatively correlated with boredom and anxiety. While research documents this strong connection between learning and curiosity, no studies existed exploring curiosity in a technology-rich learning environment. The purpose of this study is to identify and examine whether students demonstrate curiosity in a sixth grade mathematics classroom with technology-integrated learning and if so, how and why. Technology-rich work was designed for students and included in the study to examine students’ demonstrations of curiosity while learning mathematical procedural knowledge, conceptual knowledge and problem solving knowledge. A case study methodology was used with 13 students purposefully selected from a Title I sixth grade class to participate. Data were collected from interviews using a semi-structured interview protocol and triangulated with observations and students’ reflective writings. Interviews were transcribed and coded. A total of 60 codes and four categories were identified. Three themes emerged: 1) digital play; 2) welcome and unwelcome scaffolds; and 3) action is power; power follows ideas. These themes identified ways in which students demonstrated curiosity in the sixth grade mathematics classroom and thus can inform educators.
Date: August 2011
Creator: McLeod, Julie Kiser
Partner: UNT Libraries

Student reflections as artifacts of self-regulatory behaviors for learning: A tale of two courses.

Description: The rapid growth of online and blended learning environments in both higher education and K-12, along with the development of innovative game based, narrative driven, problem-based learning (PBL) systems known as Alternate Reality Games (AltRG), has led to the need to understand student’s abilities to self-regulate their learning behaviors and practices in these novel environments. This study examines student reflections and e-mails related to self-regulatory practices for learning across two different course designs for an Internet-based course in computer applications. Both designs leverage PBL but apply different levels of abstraction related to content and the need to self-regulate. The study looked specifically at how students communicated about learning across these environments, what student communications indicated about student readiness for university online learning and how instructional design and methods of instruction shaped student expressions of learning and self-regulation. The research design follows an ethnographic and case study approach as two designs and four sections are examined. Data was collected from student blog posts, email messages and semi-structured interviews. Atlas.TI was used to code the data using constant comparative analysis. A sequential analysis was applied using an a priori structure for self-regulation and post hoc analysis for emergent codes that resulted in the following categories: distraction, group experience, motivation, emotion, prior experiences, and time. Results indicated qualitative differences between the two designs related to student communications for learning and self-regulation. Findings were reported for both the a priori and post hoc analysis. Additionally, two major findings are reported as emerging themes. These are presented and discussed as The Expectation Gap and Different Designs, Different Outcomes.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Bigenho, Christopher William
Partner: UNT Libraries

Self-regulated Learning Characteristics of Successful Versus Unsuccessful Online Learners in Thailand

Description: The purpose of this study was to identify the existing level of self-regulated learning (SRL) among Thai online learners, to examine the relationship between SRL and academic achievement based on a) course completion and b) course grades, and to investigate differences in SRL as they correlate to demographic factors. A mixed-methods research design with modified MSLQ online surveys and semi-structured interviews was used during the process of data collection. One hundred eighty-eight of the 580 online learners enrolled in the certificate programs of the Thailand Cyber University Project responded to the surveys; 7 of these also participated in the interview process. The findings indicated that Thai online learners reported high levels of SRL characteristics. Independent sample t-test results revealed that successful learners were higher in SRL learning strategies than those who did not succeed the course. Results from multiple regression analyses indicated that critical thinking and time/study environmental management were significant predictors of academic course grade with a small effect size (R2 = .113). Comparison of mean differences revealed that some SRL characteristics were different among demographic subgroups determined by factors including gender, age range, marital status, and Internet use; female reported a significantly higher level of task value than male; younger learners had a significantly higher level of test anxiety than older learners; married learners reported a significantly higher level of self-efficacy and task value than single learners; online learners who had more Internet experience reported a significantly higher level of self-efficacy, metacognitive self-regulation, and time/study environmental management than those who had less Internet experience. In addition, the qualitative findings confirmed that participants reported the use of learning strategies in four categories, with a high number of references to metacognitive self-regulation and elaboration, and a low number of references to critical thinking and time/study environmental management. Furthermore, the qualitative ...
Date: May 2013
Creator: Samruayruen, Buncha
Partner: UNT Libraries

Face-to-face Versus Online Gender Roles: the Effect of Psychological Identity on the Characteristics and Circumstances of Online Disinhibition

Description: Human behaviors and social norms are transferred to the Internet in complex and divergent ways. The term online disinhibition has been coined to describe situations when Internet users seem to behave more openly and unrestrained online, often acting in ways they would not dare to act in the face-to-face world. According to Suler, there is a need for future research to "focus on which people, under what circumstances, are more predisposed to the various elements of online disinhibition." With this in mind, this descriptive study sought to determine whether or not people are more true to their authentic psychological identities (i.e., genders) during online interaction or create completely new identities because of the more permissive social norms created by cyberspace. Through video recorded face-to-face discussions, reflective online discussions, open-ended online surveys, and semi-structured interviews, qualitative data was collected for analysis. The results and findings demonstrated that some personality traits are magnified during online interaction, but individuals ultimately stay true to their established gender roles.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Greene, Amy L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Web Information Behaviors of Users Interacting with a Metadata Navigator

Description: The web information behaviors of users as they interacted with a metadata navigator, the Personal Information (PI) Agent, and reflected upon their interaction experiences were studied. The process included studying the complete iterative (repeated) cycle of information needs, information seeking, and information use of users interacting with an internet-based prototype metadata PI Agent tool. Detlor’s theory of web information behaviors of organizational users was utilized as a theoretical foundation for studying human-information interactions via the PI Agent tool. The qualitative research design allowed for the use of triangulation within the context of a one-group pretest-posttest design. Triangulation occurred in three phases: (a) observe, (b) collect, and (c) reflect. Observations were made as participants solved three problem situations. Participants’ computer log and print screen data were collected, and follow-up interviews were conducted once all posttest sessions ended to enable users to reflect on their experiences. The three triangulation phases ensured saturation of data and greater depth regarding the participants’ information behaviors. Content analysis occurred via exploratory pattern analysis using the posttest Problem Steps Recorder (PSR) log data and on the six interviewees’ follow-up interview data. Users engaged in iterative cycles of information needs, information seeking, and information use to resolve the presented problem situations. The participants utilized the PI Agent tool iteratively to eliminate their knowledge gaps regarding the presented problem situations. This study was the first to use PSR log data for capturing evidence of the iterative search process as defined by Detlor. The implications for best practices were inspired by participant feedback, and recommendations for further study are made.
Date: December 2013
Creator: McMillan, Tyson DeShaun
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Use of a Real Life Simulated Problem Based Learning Activity in a Corporate Environment

Description: This narrative study examines using a real life simulated problem base learning activity during education of clinical staff, which is expected to design and develop clinically correct electronic charting systems. Expertise in healthcare does not readily transcend to the realm of manipulating software to collect patient data that is pertinent to the care of patients. To gain the expertise, troubleshooting abilities and knowledge required to maintain their clinical system, each participant in this study has gone through the RLSPBL activity. Education in the corporate world must be effective and efficient while providing a good return on the educational investment. Corporate education must use material contextually similar to a workplace, and the techniques for education must provide both near and far transfer of the material. Ten individuals (eight clinical, two non-clinical) who work across the United States were interviewed; their reflections on their career as a clinical interface designer are told here. The participants varied in their age, educational background, and current work responsibility and computer experience. Their insights revealed four major themes which summarize their stories: problem-based learning, collaboration, hands-on activities and the use of a real-life simulated problem-based learning activity.The clinical environment requires patient safety as a paramount parameter in building a clinical charting system. Up to the moment information along with trending capabilities is critical to a clinician caring for a patient. Adhering to best practices and maintaining an efficient data entry system must seamlessly blend technology into the clinician's practice. An understanding of the education of individuals who have created such charting systems is presented here in hopes that what these participants have found to be significant can be shared with others in similar situations.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Laurent, Mark A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Influence of Alice 3: Reducing the Hurdles to Success in a Cs1 Programming Course

Description: Learning the syntax, semantics, and concepts behind software engineering can be a challenging task for many individuals. This paper examines the Alice 3 software, a three-dimensional visual environment for teaching programming concepts, to determine if it is an effective tool for improving student achievement, raising self-efficacy, and engaging students. This study compares the similarities and differences between a Fundamentals of Programming course with and without Alice integrated into the curriculum. Both the treatment and control Groups are using the same Java materials, assignments, and exams. The treatment group also completes Alice activities for each programming concept throughout the course; as well as two Alice assignments.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Daly, Tebring
Partner: UNT Libraries

Impact of Video Presentation Features on Instructional Achievement and Intrinsic Motivation in Secondary School Learners

Description: This study analyzed instructional achievement and intrinsic motivation among 21st century secondary students utilizing a video lecture incorporating both student reaction cutaway images and immediate content interaction within the lecture. Respondents (n = 155) were from multiple classes and grade levels at a suburban Texas high school. Four groups of students viewed the identical lecture with differing video and content interaction treatments. Students responded to a pretest/posttest survey to assess academic achievement in addition to an intrinsic motivation instrument to assess student interest. Group one (the control group) viewed the 12 minute lecture without enhancement. A second group viewed the identical lecture with student reaction shots inserted in the video. Another group viewed the lecture with content question intervention inserted into the video. The final group saw the lecture with the student reaction shots and content question intervention combined in the video. A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to compare results from a 14 item pretest/posttest. Combined, the groups showed no significance (p = .069) indicating no associations were identified by the experiment. Although no association was identified, this may be a reflection of the generic nature of the video lecture and the lack of association with the experiment and actual classroom content within their courses. Students also completed the Intrinsic Motivation Instrument which was analyzed using a MANOVA. Although no significant findings were present in either group viewing the student reaction or the content question interaction treatments individually, the group viewing the combined treatment showed significance in three scales: Interest/Enjoyment (p = .007), Perceived Competence (p = .027) and Effort/Importance (p = .035) Recommendations for refinement of the current experiment as well as future studies are provided.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Bland, Ronald B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Are They Ready? a Multi-case Study of Traditional and Innovative Texas Teacher’s Perceptions of 21St Century Skills in Teaching and Learning

Description: The 21st century is now in the second decade and the need for 21st century skills is discussed at all levels of education as necessary for student success in the future. Federal, state, and districts are addressing this need and have written technology plans to address 21st century skills needed. the purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to the knowledge of 21st century educational technology. the data includes seven recorded interviews from two separate research projects covering two models of education as teachers discuss teaching, learning, and technology. the data studied determines how educational technology perceived in the school environments has been integrated into the classrooms. the initial scripting of video interviews from two research projects began the analysis of data. Particular themes emerged in response to questions established by the two separate research projects focused on classroom, school, and district environmental arrangements that examined; teaching responsibilities and practices; student learning opportunities; and how technology is woven throughout instruction. Further exploration of themes stemmed from analysis conducted with the qualitative software program, NVivo 9. the themes discussed in this paper relate to instructor perceptions of teaching, learning, classroom procedures, and the role technology plays in each. Also noted are the factors beyond the teacher’s responsibility and set rules that include the school environment, district expectations, and supported teaching strategies for the schools. the teachers expressed their view that technology is an important support for learning and that they used technology to accomplish many of the tasks related to supporting teaching and learning. As perceived by the teachers, a major component that surfaced as a result of the analysis was children’s technology use was most drastically influenced by the expectations of the instructional leader to develop and the need to foster 21st century learning strategies such as critical thinking skills, ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Royal, Joy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring the Impact on Self-regulated Learning: a Comparative Analysis of Learner Experiences Using Problem-based Learning, Game Play, and Computer-based Instruction

Description: The ability to transfer what you know to new and different contexts is a sign of successful learning. While students often graduate from college with the required number of courses many lack the skills necessary to apply appropriate strategies to solve problems in different contexts, to reason, and think critically. More than a decade ago the Boyer Report (1995) pointed to this fact as a sign that Universities were falling short in adequately supporting their undergraduate populations. As a result, it is not uncommon to see educational institutions introducing new courses and programs geared towards helping students learn better. This study explores learner experiences and the impact on self-regulated learning within a distributed learning setting when motivated by problem-based learning, game play, and computer-based instruction. In this study the instructional design of the course introduced undergraduate students to authentic learning experiences in which students engaged in collaborative problem solving and learning activities framed within the narrative of an alternate reality game. Fifteen self-regulated learning constructs were examined. The comparison group engaged with problem solving tasks and computer-based instruction. Additionally, the study used the theory Learning and Teaching as Communicative Action and its four communicative actions as a lens to understand the full range of student interactions and how they constructed knowledge. The research design employed computer-mediated discourse analysis to examine qualitative data. Data was triangulated through constant-comparative coding of student communication in the form of web logs, emails, student assignments, and semi-structured interviews. Review and consensus building was embedded in the process of identifying emerging codes and categories, and used to support emergent inferences before the final themes were identified and mutually agreed upon. Finally, to evaluate the outcome of the instructional design, pre and posttest measures were used among groups using a two-sample t-test. Statistical significance was used to ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Najmi, Anjum A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Adolescent Task Management: Multitasking and Social Media in the Student Search Process

Description: This study examines adolescent students at an American international school and observes student use of social networking programs as well as physical actions in the search process. The study specifically observed multitasking behavior and organizational skills among students, as well as linkages made through social networking sites. Student observations, student interviews, analysis of Facebook entries, and a survey on multitasking yielded rich data. Students appear to be far more organized than previously suggested in the literature, and in this study, the organization proved to be largely self-taught. Students used their social networks to build a kind of group expertise that compensated for their youthful naivety. Students exhibited self-control within the search to the degree that they could focus on what they wanted to find, and they used heuristics—mental shortcuts—to achieve what they needed. Searches also suggest creativity in that students were flexible in their search methods and used a number of tools to gather information. Students could balance the needs of the academic or imposed search with their own online lives, meaning that they made compensations for social media and media multitasking when it was deemed necessary.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Kurtenbach, John
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring the Effectiveness of Curriculum Provided Through Transmedia Books for Increasing Students’ Knowledge and Interest in Science

Description: Transmedia books are new and emerging technologies which are beginning to be used in current classrooms. Transmedia books are a traditional printed book that uses multiple media though the use of Quick Response (QR) codes and augmented reality (AR) triggers to access web-based technology. Using the transmedia book Skills That Engage Me students in kindergarten through second grade engage in curriculum designed to introduce science skills and careers. Using the modified Draw-a-Scientist Test (mDAST), observations and interviews, researchers analyzed pre and post data to describe changes students have about science and scientists. Future study may include the development and validation of a new instrument, Draw a Science Student, and examining the mDAST checklist with the intention of updating the parameters of what is considered positive and negative in relationship with work a scientist conducts.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Ponners, Pamela Jones
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparison of Learning Performance Between Students Who Do and Students Who Do Not Use Mobile Technology-based Activities

Description: This study examined if using mobile technology-based activities would increase student performance in biological science courses. The study compared two groups of students in lectures and labs. Each group had about 20 students. The mobile group had mobile technology-based activities and the non-mobile group received conventional instruction. The mobile group used links to the website, or a QR Code to access the activities. The non-mobile group had handouts and worksheets over the same content. The research methodology for this study was mixed method. The study was a quasi-experimental design that used instruction method as the independent variable between two groups. The study used formative and summative assessment to compare the performance of the mobile group and non-mobile group in lecture and lab. The student in the mobile group had statistically significantly higher lab exam scores than students in the non-mobile group. Additionally, Students were surveyed about their performance expectancy and effort expectancy using mobile technology for learning, and they were asked about their self-management of learning. Analysis indicated that both groups had similar performance and effort expectancy using mobile technology for learning, but the two groups differed on self-management of learning responses to the survey. Focus groups from the mobile group and the non-mobile group were interviewed about issues related to benefits and challenges encountered learning with mobile technology-based activities.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Stowe Jr., William A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring the Relationships Between Faculty Beliefs and Technology Preferences

Description: All too often faculty are asked to implement technology into their teaching without the knowledge necessary to use the technology effectively. Due to the evolution of technology in everyday settings, students have come to expect to be engaged through technological means. This often creates undue stress on faculty members. The purpose of this study is to investigate technology integration by exploring the relationships between a faculty member’s technology preferences and educational beliefs. Through a mixed method, this study attempts to address the question of why faculty use the types of technology they do. More importantly, this study investigates if a faculty member’s educational beliefs have any influence on the technology they choose to use. Thirty-two medical, clinical, and healthcare faculty members participated in the study. They responded to a Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) survey and a Technology Preferences survey with open-ended questions. Data analysis revealed multiple statistically significant findings between different beliefs and different types of technology. The results indicated that personal epistemic beliefs influence the types of technology faculty use. The technology choices faculty make are largely related to tools they are comfortable with and ones they believe effectively fit their teaching materials. The study also found statistically significant differences between age, gender, and reported technology use. It is suggested faculty development programs should consider faculty members’ educational beliefs and personal preferences when supporting faculty with their uses of technologies.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Faulkner, Christopher G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Factors influencing parental attitudes toward digital game-based learning.

Description: The purpose of this non-positivistic mixed-methods study is to examine parental attitudes towards the use of computer and video games in their child’s classroom and to investigate how the sociocultural contexts in which parents live affect those attitudes. The research was conducted using a mixed-methods triangulation design, including both quantitative and qualitative techniques. First, the study tried to identify which groups of parents were better positioned to accept and support digital game-based learning and which groups were less likely to have a positive attitude toward integrating digital games into the classroom. This study tried to determine if socioeconomic status, age, education level, and/or cultural background could serve as a predictor of parental attitudes toward digital game-based learning. Second, the study tried to recognize how social and cultural contexts in which parents live affect their attitudes toward digital games in the classroom. Many researchers agree that parents play an important role in students’ and eventually, educators’ attitudes toward gaming. It has been argued that if parents accept a certain non-traditional (digital) learning tool, then their children would most likely have a similar attitude toward it. Parents might be the support system that educators need in order to ensure that students are able to see the educational value of video games and are willing to think critically and draw connections between what they learn in a gaming environment and core subject areas.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Piller, Yulia
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship of Motivated Strategies for Learning, Mental Toughness, and Grit to Developmental Math Student Success in an Adaptive Learning Technology Environment

Description: The importance of the study is grounded in the need to increase the success rates at community colleges, which is critical for meeting national goals for college attainment and promoting upward social mobility. The majority of community college students arrive unprepared for college-level math and are placed into developmental math. A drive to increase math performance has focused on course redesigns incorporating adaptive learning technologies. While adept at adapting subject matter to students' individual needs, there remains the need to understand the role of student metacognition in the learning process. The purpose of this study is to investigate the association between specific learner attributes and academic success in developmental math for students who are acquiring their skills through an adaptive learning technology environment. The Motivated Strategies of Learning Questionnaire, GRIT, and Mental Toughness Questionnaires were used to uncover relationships and differences between measured traits, student success, and demographic items such as age, gender, race, amount of time spent in paid work, and previous credits. Survey results were analyzed using a correlation research design and demonstrated significant relationships between time and gender, topics mastered and race, time and Motivated Strategies for Learning, time and self-regulation, and grade and emotional control. The study makes recommendations about how to best develop and leverage adaptive learning technologies in the future.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Vanderheiden Guney, Stacey Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Implications of Social Media: Secondary Teachers' use of Social Media for Personal, Professional, and Instructional Purposes

Description: Social media has the potential to be a critical force in creating connected educators. The collaborative nature of social media encourages personal connection, professional enrichment, and learning through co-creation of meaning. Secondary teachers are in a place that would permit them to harness these affordances, not only in their personal and professional environments, but also in their classrooms. This qualitative phenomenographic study aimed to uncover how secondary teachers used social media for personal, professional, and instructional purposes. Further, this study sought to understand secondary teachers' attitudes and beliefs toward social media. Their current state of social media use was also of interest, as were the types of relations secondary teachers had with social media. To better understand the stories and experiences realized by these educators, ten secondary teachers were engaged using a semi-structured interview process. These teachers presented with varying backgrounds, education, and teaching focus. The interviews provided a textual representation of their social media stories. Interview transcripts were transposed into thick rich accounts describing their experiences, thoughts, ideas, and how they understood social media in their personal, professional, and instructional lives. It was found that the current state of social media use by secondary teachers was primarily limited to personal and professional purposes. Teachers used it to connect with family and friends. They used it to connect with like-minded educators and personal learning networks to locate teaching resources. Many expressed that they could see a benefit of students interacting and learning from others through social media. In the end, however, they did not use social media for instructional purposes. The majority voiced concerns about student privacy, a feeling of not being able to control what students were doing on social media, a lack of training for themselves and students, possible inappropriate behavior, and the inability to access social media ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Quintanilla, Brenda U
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Faculty Members' Readiness for E-learning in the College of Basic Education in Kuwait

Description: E-learning exposes students and instructors to different learning models such as constructivism rather than the traditional learning. E-learning as a part of today's technology has proven that it is appropriate for most students' mentalities and is a mind tool which promotes different learning models, such as problem solving strategy, collaborative learning, and critical thinking. The Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) in Kuwait consists of more than 10 academic colleges with a total number of 120 faculty members. The College of Basic Education (CBE) is one of them. The implementation of e-learning at the College of Basic Education requires that all the learning community members, instructors and students, understand that an e-learning course is like a learning community with the privilege of sharing knowledge, opinions, experiences related to class subject, and productive outcomes that are beneficial to this learning community. This study indentified the statistically significant differences in demographic characteristics of e-learning adopters and non-adopters among faculty members at CBE, examining faculty members' attitudes and skills toward e-learning readiness. The study will explore perceived barriers that face e-learning at CBE. Applying the Rogers diffusion of innovation theory, the influence of 4 factors was examined regarding faculty readiness for e-learning at CBE. Chi-square techniques, t-tests, and factor analysis were conducted to analyze the data and answer research questions. Statistically significant differences were identified among e-learning adopters and non-adopters regarding age difference and department discipline, both technical and non-technical.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Alajmi, Mohammed
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Federal Judiciary and Establishment Clause Jurisprudence: Application of the Lemon Test since Mitchell v. Helms

Description: The issue of religion and its place in society has been a topic of controversy and debate since long before the creation of our constitutional republic. The relationship between religion and government has witnessed some of its most intense conflicts when the governmental entity in question involves public education. As our country moved into the 20th century, legal challenges in the field of public education began to emerge calling into question the constitutionality of various policies and practices at both the state and local levels. This dissertation examined the legal methodology that was initially developed and then subsequently modified as the judicial branch has interpreted how the Establishment Clause delineates the relationship between religion and public education. Because the United States Supreme Court has not overturned its decision in Lemon v. Kurtzman, the tri-partite test it established still remains the law of the land. Subsequent decisions by the Court leading up to their ruling in Mitchell v. Helms, however, have continued to modify the judiciary's approach toward the use of the Lemon test in Establishment Clause jurisprudence. This research analyzed the decisions of the various federal courts subsequent to the ruling issued in Mitchell to discern both the present position of the federal judiciary as it relates to the continued validity of Lemon and theorizes how the future course of any Establishment Clause legal challenges may ultimately be resolved by the federal courts. The analysis suggested that, while the Supreme Court has avoided Lemon's three-part test as the standard for evaluating Establishment Clause claims, the lower courts continue to place a strong emphasis on the importance of the test established in Lemon as the basis for how they render their decisions with issues that involve public education. This data indicated that Lemon continues to be an important tool for determining ...
Date: May 2011
Creator: Sanders, Russell Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

Factors Related to the Selection of Information Sources: A Study of Ramkhamhaeng University Regional Campuses Graduate Students

Description: This study assessed students’ satisfaction with Ramkhamhaeng University regional library services (RURLs) and the perceived quality of information retrieved from other information sources. In particular, this study investigated factors relating to regional students’ selection of information sources to meet their information needs. The researcher applied the principle of least effort and Simon’s satisficing theory for this study. The former principle governs and predicts the selection of these students’ perceived source accessibility, whereas the latter theory explains the selection and use of the information retrieved without considering whether the information is optimal. This study employed a web-based survey to collect data from 188 respondents. The researcher found that convenience and ease of use were the top two variables relating to respondent’s selection of information sources and use. The Internet had the highest mean for convenience. Results of testing a multiple linear regression model of all four RURCs showed that these four independent variables (convenience, ease of use, availability, and familiarity) were able to explain 69% of the total variance in the frequency of use of information sources. Convenience and ease of use were able to increase respondents’ perceived source accessibility and explain the variance of the frequency of use of sources more than availability and familiarity. These findings imply that respondents’ selection of information sources at the RURCs were governed by the principle of least effort. Libraries could consider the idea of one-stop services in the design of the Web portal, making it user friendly and convenient to access. Ideally, students could have one card to check out materials from any library in the resources sharing network.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Angchun, Peemasak
Partner: UNT Libraries

Predictive Relationships among Learner Characteristics, Academic Involvement, and Doctoral Education Outcomes

Description: The literature identifies multiple factors pertinent to learner characteristics and learning experiences that may promote doctoral education outcomes, and yet little quantitative research has examined relationships between those factors deemed important in the effectiveness of doctoral education. This study sought to examine predictive relationships among doctoral students’ learner characteristics, their involvement in mentorship and intellectual community, and doctoral education outcomes. Using Astin’s theory of involvement and the literature on signature pedagogies in doctoral education as conceptual guides, a survey instrument was constructed for the purpose of measuring variables identified as relevant to the effective formation of scholars. Central to the conceptualization of this study was academic involvement as represented by mentorship and intellectual community. The instrument was validated in a two-stage pilot testing process and administered to doctoral candidates at three public Texas higher education institutions. Of the 217 participants, the majority were female, White (Non-Hispanic), US citizens, and were pursuing education doctorates. Data were analyzed using multivariate statistical analyses. Reliability and validity estimates indicated psychometric integrity of the 20 observed variables measured to represent the constructs of mentorship and intellectual community. Results indicated that doctoral students’ learner characteristics were not notably predictive of doctoral students’ degree of involvement in mentorship and intellectual community (p < .05, R2 = .23). Doctoral students’ degree of academic involvement was strongly predictive of outcomes (p < .001, R2 = .58), particularly student satisfaction with the doctoral education experience and self-efficacy in conducting various forms of scholarly work. Of this effect, more tangible outcomes such as scholarly productivity and degree progress were not meaningfully related to academic involvement. Regardless of the frequency of academic involvement, students perceived faculty mentorship and intellectual community as very important. The predictive value and perceived importance of faculty mentorship and intellectual community highlight the critical role faculty and peer ...
Date: December 2011
Creator: Anderson, Baaska
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Experimental Study on Situated and Dynamic Learning Assessment (SDLA) Environment

Description: The current supplementary web based English learning in Taiwan provides online learning resources and gives assessments at the end of each lesson to evaluate learners' online learning results. Based on the testing results, instructors may adjust their in-class instructional method to focus on the students' weaknesses. For the average classroom size of 40 students with one instructor, it is extremely difficult to provide individual learning content for each learner's needs because each student has his or her own weaknesses. This study conducted the situated environment with Vygotsky's dynamic assessment theory to test learner's learning achievements and satisfactions as compared to the current web learning environment. The study finds that when both groups of Taiwanese students used Internet based learning, those that utilized the situated and dynamic learning assessment environment showed a statistically significant higher achievement score than those using only the current online learning environment (p < .01). In addition, learners in the SDLA environment had statistically significant higher satisfaction scores than those in the current web learning environment.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Lee, Zeng-Han
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Adoption of Open Source Software in Uganda: a Pragmatist Approach to the Formation of a National Information Policy for a New Technology

Description: This exploratory research examined an information policy formation process for the adoption of open source software (OSS) in Uganda. Grounded in a pragmatist tradition, this theoretical and empirical study pursued a qualitative research approach with a triangulation of theoretical concepts, data collection, and analysis techniques in an iterative and interactive process. The design provided a powerful context to develop and conduct field activities in Kampala with a purposeful sample of 22 participants, 20 in interviews and 5 in a focus group discussion. The research design enhanced consistency in the evidence from the data, increased robustness in the results, and confidence in the findings. The results highlighted a vibrant ICT sector in Uganda, underlined the multiple stakeholders and their competing interests in the policy, revealed a lack of consensus between the government and OSS promoters on the meaning of OSS, and illuminated the benefits in the OSS model over proprietary software. The stakeholders' conflicting perceptions appear to be too far apart to allow meaningful progress and are derailing the policy. Unless their conflicting perceptions are resolved, the OSS policy will continue stagnating. The study fills critical information gaps in Uganda’s policy formation processes, provides timely and relevant information to holistically understand a complex policy formation stage to enable stakeholders to resolve their impasse and enact a law to embrace OSS. It breaks ground in information policy research in framing policy formation processes for new ICTs, such as OSS, as ideologically-oriented. The findings offer ideas to scholars and African countries to draw applicable lessons.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Muwanguzi, Samuel
Partner: UNT Libraries