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Information Structures in Notated Music: Statistical Explorations of Composers' Performance Marks in Solo Piano Scores

Description: Written notation has a long history in many musical traditions and has been particularly important in the composition and performance of Western art music. This study adopted the conceptual view that a musical score consists of two coordinated but separate communication channels: the musical text and a collection of composer-selected performance marks that serve as an interpretive gloss on that text. Structurally, these channels are defined by largely disjoint vocabularies of symbols and words. While the sound structures represented by musical texts are well studied in music theory and analysis, the stylistic patterns of performance marks and how they acquire contextual meaning in performance is an area with fewer theoretical foundations. This quantitative research explored the possibility that composers exhibit recurring patterns in their use of performance marks. Seventeen solo piano sonatas written between 1798 and 1913 by five major composers were analyzed from modern editions by tokenizing and tabulating the types and usage frequencies of their individual performance marks without regard to the associated musical texts. Using analytic methods common in information science, the results demonstrated persistent statistical similarities among the works of each composer and differences among the work groups of different composers. Although based on a small sample, the results still offered statistical support for the existence of recurring stylistic patterns in composers' use of performance marks across their works.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Buchanan, J. Paul
Partner: UNT Libraries

Poststructuralist Critical Rhetorical Analysis as a Problem Analysis Tool: A Case Study of Information Impact in Denton’s Hydraulic Fracturing Debate

Description: Energy and the natural environment are central concerns among stakeholders across the globe. Decisions on this scale often require interaction among a myriad of institutions and individuals who navigate a complex variety of challenges. In Denton, Texas in 2014, voters were asked to make such a decision when tasked with a referendum to determine whether the city would continue to allow hydraulic fracturing activity within its borders. For social scientists, this situation requires further analysis in an effort to better understand how and why individuals make the decisions they do. One possible approach for exploring this process is a method of poststructuralist critical rhetorical analysis, which is concerned with how individuals’ identities change through interaction with institutions. This study reflects upon the texts themselves through a poststructuralist critical rhetorical analysis of images employed by those in favor of and those against Denton’s ban on hydraulic fracturing in an attempt to identify images that alter the grid of intelligibility for the audience. The paper includes deliberation about the relative merits, subsequent disadvantages, and possible questions for further study as they relate to the theoretical implications of critical rhetorical analysis as information science. Ultimately, the study identifies poststructuralist critical rhetorical analysis as a method for solving information science problems in a way that considers closely the way identity is shaped through engagement with institutions.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Sykes, Jason
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conversational Use of Photographic Images on Facebook: Modeling Visual Thinking on Social Media

Description: Modeling the "thick description" of photographs began at the intersection of personal and institutional descriptions. Comparing institutional descriptions of particular photos that were also used in personal online conversations was the initial phase. Analyzing conversations that started with a photographic image from the collection of the Library of Congress (LC) or the collection of the Manchester Historic Association (MHA) provided insights into how cultural heritage institutions could enrich the description of photographs by using informal descriptions such as those applied by Facebook users. Taking photos of family members, friends, places, and interesting objects is something people do often in their daily lives. Some photographic images are stored, and some are shared with others in gatherings, occasions, and holidays. Face-to-face conversations about remembering some of the details of photographs and the event they record are themselves rarely recorded. Digital cameras make it easy to share personal photos in Web conversations and to duplicate old photos and share them on the Internet. The World Wide Web even makes it simple to insert images from cultural heritage institutions in order to enhance conversations. Images have been used as tokens within conversations along with the sharing of information and background knowledge about them. The recorded knowledge from conversations using photographic images on Social Media (SM) has resulted in a repository of rich descriptions of photographs that often include information of a type that does not result from standard archival practices. Closed group conversations on Facebook among members of a community of interest/practice often involve the use of photographs to start conversations, convey details, and initiate story-telling about objets, events, and people. Modeling of the conversational use of photographic images on SM developed from the exploratory analyses of the historical photographic images of the Manchester, NH group on Facebook. The model was influenced by the ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Albannai, Talal N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Customers' Attitudes toward Mobile Banking Applications in Saudi Arabia

Description: Mobile banking services have changed the design and delivery of financial services and the whole banking sector. Financial service companies employ mobile banking applications as new alternative channels to increase customers' convenience and to reduce costs and maintain profitability. The primary focus of this study was to explore the Saudi bank customers' perceptions about the adoption of mobile banking applications and to test the relationships between the factors that influence mobile banking adoption as independent variables and the action to adopt them as the dependent variable. Saudi customers' perceptions were tested based on the extended versions of IDT, TAM and other diffusion of innovation theories and frameworks to generate a model of constructs that can be used to study the use and the adoption of mobile technology by users. Koenig-Lewis, Palmer, & Moll's (2010) model was used to test its constructs of (1) perceived usefulness, (2) perceived ease of use, (3) perceived compatibility, (4) perceived credibility, (5) perceived trust, (6) perceived risk, and (7) perceived cost, and these were the independent variables in current study. This study revealed a high level of adoption that 82.7% of Saudis had adopted mobile banking applications. Also, the findings of this study identified a statistically significant relationship between all of demographic differences: gender, education level, monthly income, and profession and mobile banking services among adopters and non-adopters. Seven attributes relating to the adoption of mobile banking applications were evaluated in this study to assess which variables affected Saudi banks customers in their adoption of mobile banking services. The findings indicated that the attributes that significantly affected the adoption of mobile banking applications among Saudis were perceived trust, perceived cost, and perceived risk. These three predictors, as a result, explained more than 60% of variance in intention to adopt mobile banking technology in Saudi Arabia. ...
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Alshara, Mohammed Ali
Partner: UNT Libraries

Understanding the Information Seeking of Pre-Kindergarten Students: An Ethnographic Exploration of Their Seeking Behaviors in a Preschool Setting

Description: Although there has been research conducted in the area of information seeking behavior in children, the research focusing on young children, more specifically on pre-kindergarten students, is almost nonexistent. Children at this age are in the preoperational developmental stage. They tend to display curiosity about the world around them, and use other people as a means to gain the information they are seeking. Due to the insistence from President Obama to implement pre-kindergarten programs for all low and middle class children, the need to understand the cognitive, emotional, and physical needs of these children is becoming increasingly imperative. To researchers, the actions displayed by these young children on a daily basis remain vital in determining the methods by which they are categorized, studies, and even taught. This study employed Deci and Ryan's self-determination theory (SDT), Dervin's sense-making theory, Kuhlthau''s information search process model (ISP), and Shenton and Dixon's microcosmic model of information seeking via people to lay the theoretical foundational framework. This ethnographic study aimed to fill the age gap found in information seeking literature. By observing young children in the school setting, I gained insight into how these children seek information. The resulting information collected via field observations and semi-structured interviews were coded based on Shenton and Dixon's model of information seeking via people. The findings, in Chapter 5, revealed emerging codes and trends in the information seeking behaviors of pre-kindergarten students.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Stewart, Sarah Nykole
Partner: UNT Libraries

From the Outside In: A Multivariate Correlational Analysis of Effectiveness in Communities of Practice

Description: Online communities of practice (CoPs) provide social spaces for people to connect, learn, and engage with one another around shared interests and passions. CoPs are innovatively employed within industry and education for their inherent knowledge management characteristics and as a means of improving professional practice. Measuring the success of a CoP is a challenge researchers are examining through various strategies. Recent literature supports measuring community effectiveness through the perceptions of its members; however, evaluating a community by means of member perception introduces complicating factors from outside the community. In order to gain insight into the importance of external factors, this quantitative study examined the influence of factors in the professional lives of educators on their perceptions of their CoP experience. Through an empirical examination of CoPs employed to connect educators and advance their professional learning, canonical correlation analysis was used to examine correlations between factors believed to be influential on the experiences of community members.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Bomar, Shannon Hulbert
Partner: UNT Libraries

Journalist as Information Provider: Examining the One-Voice Model of a Corporate Sports Account

Description: While journalists were once viewed as gatekeepers, dispensing news and information via one-way communication channels, their role as information provider has evolved. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the social networking site Twitter, where information seekers have unprecedented access to information providers. The two-way communication that these information seekers have come to expect can be challenging for organizations such as ESPN who have multiple Twitter accounts and millions of followers. By designating one team of people as responsible for the organization's largest Twitter account, SportsCenter, ESPN has sought to establish manageable methods of interacting with this account's followers, while furthering the goals of the organization and providing sports news around the clock. This study provides a better understanding of the group responsible for ESPN's SportsCenter Twitter account: the motivation and strategies behind the group's Twitter use as well as the dynamics of this network, such as information flow and collaboration. Relying on the Information Seeking and Communication Model, this study also provides a better understanding of information exchanges with those outside the network, specifically a selection of the account's Twitter followers. Additionally, the role of journalist as information provider and certain themes that emerged from the content of the tweets are discussed. The research employed social network analysis and exploratory, descriptive case study methods. The results of this study contribute to social network and information theory as well as to journalistic and information science practice.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Norris, Tiffany D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Costly Ignorance: The Denial of Relevance by Job Seekers: A Case Study in Saudi Arabia

Description: Job centers aid businesses seeking qualified employees and assist job seekers to select and contact employment and training services. Job seekers are also offered the opportunity to assess their skills, abilities, qualifications, and readiness. Furthermore, job centers ensure that job seekers are complying with requirements that they must meet to benefit from job assistance programs such as unemployment insurance. Yet, claimants often procrastinate and/or suspend their job search efforts even though such actions can make them lose their free time and entitlements, and more importantly they may lose the opportunity to take advantage of free information, services, training, and financial assistance for getting a job to which they have already made a claim. The current work looks to Chatman's "small worlds" work, Johnson's comprehensive model of information seeking, and Wilson's "costly ignorance" construct for contributions to understanding such behavior. Identification of a particular trait or set of traits of job seekers during periods of unemployment will inform a new Job Seeking Activities Model (JSAM). This study purposely examines job seeker information behavior and the factors which influence job seekers' behavior, in particular, family tangible support as a social norm effect. A mixed method, using questionnaires for job hunting completers and non-completers and interviews for experts, was employed for data collection. Quantitative data analysis was conducted to provide the Cronbach α coefficient, Pearson's product moment correlation, an independent-sample t-test, effect size, and binary Logit regression. The qualitative data generated from the interview transcript for each section of the themes and subthemes were color coded. Finally, simultaneous triangulation was carried out to confirm or contradict the results from each method. The findings show that social norms, particularly uncontrolled social support provided by their families, are more likely to make job seekers ignore the relevant information about jobs available to them in favor ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Alahmad, Badr Suleman
Partner: UNT Libraries

Building an Understanding of International Service Learning in Librarianship

Description: From the very beginning, library education has been a mixture of theory and practice. Dewey required apprenticeships to be part of the first library school at the University of Chicago as a method to indoctrinate new professional. Today, acculturation is incorporated into the professional education through a large variety of experiential learning techniques, including internships, practicum, field work, and service learning projects, all of which are designed to develop some level of professional skills within an information organization. But, what is done for understanding library culture? It is said that one cannot truly recognize the extent of one's own cultural assumptions, until they have experienced another. This study followed a group of LIS graduate students that took that next step – going to Russia. By employing a critical hermeneutic methodology, this study sought to understand what value students gain by from working on an assessment project in an international school library. Using a horizon analysis, the researcher established the worldview of participants prior to their departure, analyzed their experience through post-experience interviews, and constructed an understanding of value. Among other concepts, the researcher looked specifically to see whether "library cultural competency", understanding library culture in global context, was developed through working on a service learning project within an international school library. This dissertation provides feedback for the program leaders and ideas for future research.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Walczyk, Christine
Partner: UNT Libraries

Enhancing User Search Experience in Digital Libraries with Rotated Latent Semantic Indexing

Description: This study investigates a semi-automatic method for creation of topical labels representing the topical concepts in information objects. The method is called rotated latent semantic indexing (rLSI). rLSI has found application in text mining but has not been used for topical labels generation in digital libraries (DLs). The present study proposes a theoretical model and an evaluation framework which are based on the LSA theory of meaning and investigates rLSI in a DL environment. The proposed evaluation framework for rLSI topical labels is focused on human-information search behavior and satisfaction measures. The experimental systems that utilize those topical labels were built for the purposes of evaluating user satisfaction with the search process. A new instrument was developed for this study and the experiment showed high reliability of the measurement scales and confirmed the construct validity. Data was collected through the information search tasks performed by 122 participants using two experimental systems. A quantitative method of analysis, partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM), was used to test a set of research hypotheses and to answer research questions. The results showed a not significant, indirect effect of topical label type on both guidance and satisfaction. The conclusion of the study is that topical labels generated using rLSI provide the same levels of alignment, guidance, and satisfaction with the search process as topical labels created by the professional indexers using best practices.
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Date: August 2015
Creator: Polyakov, Serhiy
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Examination of the Role of Corporate Governance Structure in the Implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems: an International Perspective

Description: Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are regarded as among the most innovative information technology products developed over the past two decades. Thus, they have become the backbone of management information systems in the organizations that have implemented them. The difficulties associated with their high failure rate, however, have been the subject of extensive studies. To expand on this knowledge, this study has two research objectives: to examine the relationship between corporate governance structures and implementation results and to investigate whether implementation outcomes vary by country. This study focuses on the project steering committee’s involvement, internal auditors’ participation, and the change management plan implementation. The results demonstrate that steering committee involvement is a primary factor that influenced the success of ERP implementation; and that institutional factors in country of deployment are important determinants of ERP project outcome.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Obitade, Oluseyi Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Tie Strength in the Diffusion of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Information among Yoga Practitioners

Description: The National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has highlighted a need for research to better understand the usage of complementary and alternative medicine practices. The purpose of this study was to investigate the flow of complementary and alternative medicine information among yoga practitioners. The study consisted of 51 yoga practitioners from 7 yoga studio locations. This mixed-methods study used interviews, surveys, and field notes to collect data. Content and social network analyses provided supporting evidence for Rogers' diffusion of innovations theory and Granovetter's strength of weak ties theory. Key findings included a preference for face-to-face communications, students having both strong and weak relationship ties to directors and instructors, and yoga being the top recommended practice. The study suggested that yoga practitioners related to complementary and alternative medicine information through the lens of their friends and relatives, sought information from trusted sources, and used this information to determine which practices were right for them to pursue.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Weaver, Margaret Louise
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Acceptance and Use of Cloud Computing Services by Small and Medium Enterprises in Lagos, Nigeria

Description: This study explored the acceptance of cloud computing (CC) services by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Lagos, Nigeria, which has been missing from CC services literature. It aimed to understand the motivations for adoption, the uses of the services, and the benefits they derive from it. The uses and gratification theory was applied as the theoretic framework for this endeavor. An online survey with close-ended and open-ended questions was distributed to 1200 randomly selected participants through email. In total, 392 valid responses were collected and analyzed using descriptive statistics and categories. The results found that SMEs in Lagos, Nigeria had a low level of awareness and appreciation of CC services. The adoption rate was also low. Unlike their counterparts in other regions, SMEs primary concerns were service downtime, stable power supply, and better internet access. The study found that SMEs were not taking full advantage of the capabilities of CC services. Some sections, however, were doing better than others, such as the information and communications sub-sector. This study suggested that targeted interventions should be conducted to raise the awareness of CC services in SMEs, and to improve their efficient and effective use of CC services. The uses and gratification theory was appropriate for guiding this study to understand the acceptance and use of CC services by SMEs in Lagos, Nigeria.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Azogu, Olajumoke O
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modeling Cognitive Authority Relationships

Description: Information-seeking behavior is a mixture of activities and attitudes, oftentimes motivated by an individual's need to make a decision. One underlying element of this mixture is cognitive authority - which sources (e.g., individuals, institutions, texts, etc.) can be trusted to fulfil the information needs? In order to gain insight into the dynamics of cognitive authority selection behavior which is an information seeking behavior, this study explored primary source text data (316 text records) that reflected selection in the mundaneness of life (advice column submissions and responses). Linguistic analysis was performed on the data using the Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC2015) software package. Pearson correlation and 1-sample T tests revealed the same 45 statistically significant relationships (SSRs) in the word usage behavior of all subgroups. As a result of the study, the gap in research formed from the lack of quantitative models of cognitive authority relationships was addressed via the development of the Wordprint Classification System which was used to generate a cognitive authority relationship model in the form of a cognitive authority intra-segment wordprint. The findings and implications of this study may provide a contribution to the body of work in the area of information literacy and information seeker behavior by revealing factors that information scientists can address to help meet information seekers' needs. Additionally, the Wordprint Classification System may be used in such disciplines as psychology, marketing, and forensic linguistics to create to create models of various relationships or individuals through the use of written or spoken word usage patterns.
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Johnson, Barbara Denise
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rated M for Monkey: An Ethnographic Study of Parental Information Behavior when Assessing Video Game Content for their Children

Description: Following the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association (2011), which struck down the state of California’s appeal to restrict the sale of games deemed to have “deviant violence” to those 18 or older and the court’s recommendation that parents use the ESRB Ratings System instead, this ethnographic study sought to better understand what parents thought of laws on video games and how they used the recommended ratings system. A total of 30 interviews using semi-structured open-ended questions were conducted and analyzed to reveal what parents thought of laws on video games, how they used the ESRB Ratings System to assess video game content, and what other methods they used for video game content assessment in addition to the ratings system. This research utilized Dervin and Nilan’s (1986) sense-making methodology as a way to learn how parents bridged their knowledge gap when it came to learning about video game content and how they made sense of the knowledge gained to determine the content appropriateness for their children. Analyses of the collected data provided the foundation for a model on the effects of the parent-child relationship on parental information behavior.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Harrelson, Diana Dawn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Readiness of Indonesian Academic Libraries for Open Access and Open Access Repositories Implementation: a Study on Indonesian Open Access Repositories Registered in OpenDOAR

Description: Scholarly and scientific communication has a long history, while the Open Access (OA) movement began to take part in this communication with the emergence of Internet in the late 1960s and the web that emerged in mid-1990s. OA is beneficial for sharing knowledge because the OA movement demands scholarly literature freely available on the internet and it is free of most licensing restriction copyright. OA will close the barrier of access to knowledge. The OA movement in Indonesia may be considered slow. So far, only 33 academic libraries have registered their repositories with OpenDOAR, which is still small compared to the total number of HE institutions in Indonesia. Those 33 OARs vary in the stages of development. Some have already had large size of contents, while others are still developing. Using Weiner’s theory of organizational readiness for change, this mixed method investigates the readiness of academic librarians for Open Access Repository implementation. The results show that academic librarians in Indonesia are somewhat familiar with OA and OAR. However, their understanding of OA is still limited to the technical nature of it. They also know the benefits of OA in relation to scholarly communication and are ready to implement OAR, but the implementation was mostly based on the goal of achieving a specific rank in the world-class university ranking and Webometrics. They implemented Open Access Repositories with limited technological infrastructure, skills, and limited knowledge of OA.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Priyanto, Ida F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Student-Perceived Instructor Demotivating Behaviors on Doctoral Students' Information Seeking Behaviors

Description: In their studies on student motivation in th4e 1990s, Gorham & Christophel and Christophel & Gorham found that students perceived their own demotivation to be caused by instructor behaviors. While there are studies that explore the topic of student demotivation and other studies that illustrate the great influence instructors have on student information seeking behaviors, research focusing on the connection between these two concepts is almost nonexistent. Using Gorham & Christophel's concept of instructor-owned student demotivation, this mixed-methods study sought to identify which instructor behaviors doctoral computer science and information science students found demotivating and to what extent their perceptions of these demotivating instructor behaviors influenced their information seeking behaviors in a face-to-face classroom. Demographic and student-perceived demotivating instructor behavior surveys along with semi-structured interviews and follow-up questions were used to collect data. The surveys will be analyzed using descriptive statistics in Excel, and the semi-structured interviews and follow up questions were analyzed using content analysis and Colaizzi's method of phenomenological enquiry in NVivo. The findings showed that instructor demotivating behaviors not only influence student information seeking behaviors in the classroom, but they also can lead to lasting effects on the student. In addition, the participants have expectations of instructor behaviors, which come from their own experiences. These expectations also influence the level of demotivation they feel in a face-to-face classroom.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cantu, Brenda Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Information Behavior of Individual Investors in Saudi Arabia

Description: Information plays a significant role in the success of investment strategies. Within a non-advisory context, individual investors elect to build and manage their investment portfolios to avoid the cost of hiring professional advisors. To cope with markets’ uncertainty, individual investors should acquire, understand, and use only relevant information, but that task can be affected by many factors, such as domain knowledge, cognitive and emotional biases, information overload, sources’ credibility, communication channels’ accuracy, and economic costs. Despite an increased interest in examining the financial performance of individual investors in Saudi Arabia, there has been no empirical research of the information behavior of individual investors, or the behavioral biases affecting the investment decision making process in the Saudi stock market (SSM). The purpose of this study was to examine this information behavior within a non-advisory contextualization of their investment decision-making process through the use of an online questionnaire instrument using close-ended questions. The significant intervening variables identified in this study influence the individual investors’ information behavior across many stages of the decision making process. While controlling for gender, education, and income, the optimal information behavior of individual investors in the SSM showed that the Experience factor had the greatest negative effect on the Information Seeking Behavior of individual investors. This was followed by Risk Tolerance, Financial Self-Efficacy, Emotional Biases, Education Level, Formal Information Access, Regret Aversion Bias, and Subjective Financial Knowledge. The Information Acquisition and Information Searching Behavior was influenced by the Acquisition Skepticism, Regret Aversion Bias, Formal Information Access, Overconfidence, and Information Seeking Behavior. Furthermore, the findings indicate that Formal Information Sources have a statistically significant positive effect on the Information Seeking Behavior, and on the Information Acquisition and Information Searching of individual investors in Saudi Arabia. Finally, the Socioeconomic Status (SES) of individual investors in Saudi Arabia was significantly influenced ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Elwani, Nabil
Partner: UNT Libraries

Information Use Environment of Religious Professionals: a Case Study of the Everyday Life Information Seeking Behavior of Catholic Clergy in Northern Nigeria

Description: This study explores the everyday life information seeking (ELIS) behavior of Catholic clergy in Northern Nigeria and describes their information use environment (IUE). It employed a mixed-method case study using survey and episodic interview techniques of data collection. The ELIS of Savolainen, the IUE of Taylor and the small world of Chatman were theoretical frameworks that guided this study. Findings showed that the IUE of these Catholic clergy is shaped by four elements: (1) geographical location and culture, (2) the celibate clergy, (3) their information needs, and (4) the information sources used to resolve these needs. Three types of information needs were identified: essential needs, circumstantial needs and intermittent needs. There was a high interrelatedness between the effects of culture and celibacy on the information seeking of these clergy. They are not likely to cross boundaries of their world to seek particularly essential information about their ministry or private lives. The findings of this study align with Chatman’s proposition that members who live in the round will not cross the boundaries of their world to seek information. The study found problems with access and availability of information, which included lack of familiarity with electronic/online library databases among the clergy, and the lack of archives and documentation of records and historical materials. It recommended the development of an archiving and documentation plan that digitizes paper documents for electronic management, including policies on data curation for the Catholic religious institutions in Nigeria.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Dankasa, Jacob
Partner: UNT Libraries

Public School Educators' Use of Computer-Mediated Communication

Description: This study examined the uses of computer-mediated communication (CMC) by educators in selected public schools. It used Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation Theory as the underpinnings of the study. CMC refers to any exchange of information that involves the use of computers for communication between individuals or individuals and a machine. This study was an exploration of difficulties users confront, what services they access, and the tasks they accomplish when using CMC. It investigated the factors that affect the use of CMC. The sample population was drawn from registered users on TENET, the Texas Education Network as of December 1997. The educators were described with frequency and percentages analyzing the demographic data. For the research, eight indices were selected to test how strongly these user and environmental attributes were associated with the use of CMC. These variables were (1) education, (2) position, (3) place of employment, (4) geographic location, (5) district size, (6) organization vitality, (7) adopter resources, and (8) instrumentality Two dependent variables were used to test for usage: (1) depth or frequency of CMC usage and amount of time spent online and (2) breadth or variety of Internet utilities used. Additionally, the users' perception of network benefits was measured. Network benefits were correlated with social interaction and perception of CMC to investigate what tasks educators were accomplishing with CMC. Correlations, SEQ CHAPTER h r 1 crosstabulations, and ANOVAs were used to analysis the data for testing the four hypotheses. The major findings of the study, based on the hypotheses tested, were that the socioeconomic variables of education and position influenced the use of CMC. A significant finding is that teachers used e-mail and for Internet resources less frequently than those in other positions. An interesting finding was that frequency of use was more significant for usage than amount of ...
Date: December 2000
Creator: Urias-Barker, Zelina
Partner: UNT Libraries

Identifying At-Risk Students: An Assessment Instrument for Distributed Learning Courses in Higher Education

Description: The current period of rapid technological change, particularly in the area of mediated communication, has combined with new philosophies of education and market forces to bring upheaval to the realm of higher education. Technical capabilities exceed our knowledge of whether expenditures on hardware and software lead to corresponding gains in student learning. Educators do not yet possess sophisticated assessments of what we may be gaining or losing as we widen the scope of distributed learning. The purpose of this study was not to draw sweeping conclusions with respect to the costs or benefits of technology in education. The researcher focused on a single issue involved in educational quality: assessing the ability of a student to complete a course. Previous research in this area indicates that attrition rates are often higher in distributed learning environments. Educators and students may benefit from a reliable instrument to identify those students who may encounter difficulty in these learning situations. This study is aligned with research focused on the individual engaged in seeking information, assisted or hindered by the capabilities of the computer information systems that create and provide access to information. Specifically, the study focused on the indicators of completion for students enrolled in video conferencing and Web-based courses. In the final version, the Distributed Learning Survey encompassed thirteen indicators of completion. The results of this study of 396 students indicated that the Distributed Learning Survey represented a reliable and valid instrument for identifying at-risk students in video conferencing and Web-based courses where the student population is similar to the study participants. Educational level, GPA, credit hours taken in the semester, study environment, motivation, computer confidence, and the number of previous distributed learning courses accounted for most of the predictive power in the discriminant function based on student scores from the survey.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Osborn, Viola
Partner: UNT Libraries

Creating a Criterion-Based Information Agent Through Data Mining for Automated Identification of Scholarly Research on the World Wide Web

Description: This dissertation creates an information agent that correctly identifies Web pages containing scholarly research approximately 96% of the time. It does this by analyzing the Web page with a set of criteria, and then uses a classification tree to arrive at a decision. The criteria were gathered from the literature on selecting print and electronic materials for academic libraries. A Delphi study was done with an international panel of librarians to expand and refine the criteria until a list of 41 operationalizable criteria was agreed upon. A Perl program was then designed to analyze a Web page and determine a numerical value for each criterion. A large collection of Web pages was gathered comprising 5,000 pages that contain the full work of scholarly research and 5,000 random pages, representative of user searches, which do not contain scholarly research. Datasets were built by running the Perl program on these Web pages. The datasets were split into model building and testing sets. Data mining was then used to create different classification models. Four techniques were used: logistic regression, nonparametric discriminant analysis, classification trees, and neural networks. The models were created with the model datasets and then tested against the test dataset. Precision and recall were used to judge the effectiveness of each model. In addition, a set of pages that were difficult to classify because of their similarity to scholarly research was gathered and classified with the models. The classification tree created the most effective classification model, with a precision ratio of 96% and a recall ratio of 95.6%. However, logistic regression created a model that was able to correctly classify more of the problematic pages. This agent can be used to create a database of scholarly research published on the Web. In addition, the technique can be used to create a ...
Date: May 2000
Creator: Nicholson, Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

Students' Criteria for Course Selection: Towards a Metadata Standard for Distributed Higher Education

Description: By 2007, one half of higher education students are expected to enroll in distributed learning courses. Higher education institutions need to attract students searching the Internet for courses and need to provide students with enough information to select courses. Internet resource discovery tools are readily available, however, users have difficulty selecting relevant resources. In part this is due to the lack of a standard for representation of Internet resources. An emerging solution is metadata. In the educational domain, the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) has specified a Learning Object Metadata (LOM) standard. This exploratory study (a) determined criteria students think are important for selecting higher education courses, (b) discovered relationships between these criteria and students' demographic characteristics, educational status, and Internet experience, and (c) evaluated these criteria vis-à-vis the IEEE LTSC LOM standard. Web-based questionnaires (N=209) measured (a) the criteria students think are important in the selection of higher education courses and (b) three factors that might influence students' selections. Respondents were principally female (66%), employed full time (57%), and located in the U.S. (89%). The chi square goodness-of-fit test determined 40 criteria students think are important and exploratory factor analysis determined five common factors among the top 21 criteria, three evaluative factors and two descriptive. Results indicated evaluation criteria are very important in course selection. Spearman correlation coefficients and chi-square tests of independence determined the relationships between the importance of selection criteria and demographic characteristics, educational status, and Internet experience. Four profiles emerged representing groups of students with unique concerns. Side by side analysis determined if the IEEE LTSC LOM standard included the criteria of importance to students. The IEEE LOM by itself is not enough to meet students course selection needs. Recommendations include development of a metadata standard for course evaluation and accommodation of group differences in ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Murray, Kathleen R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Ability of an Instrument to Measure Quality of Library Service and Library Success

Description: This study consisted of an examination of how service quality should be measured within libraries and how library service quality relates to library success. A modified version of the SERVQUAL instrument was evaluated to determine how effectively it measures library service quality. Instruments designed to measure information center success and information system success were evaluated to determine how effectively they measure library success and how they relate to SERVQUAL. A model of library success was developed to examine how library service quality relates to other variables associated with library success. Responses from 385 end users at two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers libraries were obtained through a mail survey. Results indicate that library service quality is best measured with a performance-based version of SERVQUAL, and that measuring importance may be as critical as measuring expectations for management purposes. Results also indicate that library service quality is an important factor in library success and that library success is best measured with a combination of SERVQUAL and library success instruments. The findings have implications for the development of new instruments to more effectively measure library service quality and library success as well as for the development of new models of library service quality and library success.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Landrum, Hollis T.
Partner: UNT Libraries