Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 243

An Exploratory Study of Reliability of Ranking vs. Rating in Peer Assessment

Fifty years of research has found great potential for peer assessment as a pedagogical approach. With peer assessment, not only do students receive more copious assessments; they also learn to become assessors. In recent decades, more educational peer assessments have been facilitated by online systems. Those online systems are designed differently to suit different class settings and student groups, but they basically fall into two categories: rating-based and ranking-based. The rating-based systems ask assessors to rate the artifacts one by one following some review rubrics. The ranking-based systems allow assessors to review a set of artifacts and give a rank for each of them. Though there are different systems and a large number of users of each category, there is no comprehensive comparison on which design leads to higher reliability. In this paper, we designed algorithms to evaluate assessors' reliabilities based on their rating/ranking against the global ranks of the artifacts they have reviewed. These algorithms are suitable for data from both rating-based and ranking-based peer assessment systems. The experiments were done based on more than 15,000 peer assessments from multiple peer assessment systems. We found that the assessors in ranking-based peer assessments are at least 10% more reliable than the assessors in rating-based peer assessments. Further analysis also demonstrated that the assessors in ranking-based assessments tend to assess the more differentiable artifacts correctly, but there is no such pattern for rating-based assessors.

Student and Group Activity Level Assessment in the ELARS Recommender System

This paper presents an original approach to student and group activity level assessment that relies on certainty factors theory. Activity level is used to represent quantity and continuity of student’s contributions in individual and collaborative e‑learning activities (e‑tivities) and is calculated to assist teachers in assessing quantitative aspects of student's achievements. Calculated activity levels are also used to raise awareness and provide recommendations during the learning process. The proposed approach was implemented within the educational recommender system ELARS and validated using data obtained from e‑tivity realized during a blended learning course. The results showed that the proposed approach can be used to estimate activity level in the context of e-tivities realized using Web 2.0 tools as well as to facilitate the assessment of quantitative aspect of students’ participation in e‑tivities.

Life Cycle Datasets for the Ornamental Stone Sector

The environmental impact related to ornamental stones (such as marbles and granites) is largely debated. Starting from the industrial revolution, continuous improvements of machineries led to a higher exploitation of this natural resource and to a more international interaction between markets. As a consequence, the environmental impact of the extraction and processing of stones has increased. Nevertheless, if compared with other building materials, ornamental stones are generally more durable, natural, and recyclable. From the scientific point of view, studies on stone life cycle sustainability have been carried out, but these are often partial or not very significant because of the high percentage of approximations and assumptions in calculations. This is due to the lack, in life cycle databases (e.g. Ecoinvent, Thinkstep, and ELCD), of datasets about the specific technologies employed in the stone production chain. For example, databases do not contain information about diamond wires, chains or explosives, materials commonly used in quarries and transformation plants. The project presented in this paper aims to populate the life cycle databases with specific data of specific stone processes. To this goal, the methodology follows the standardized approach of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), according to the requirements of UNI 14040-14044 and to the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook guidelines of the European Commission. The study analyses the processes of the entire production chain (from-cradle-to-gate system boundaries), including the extraction of benches, the cutting of blocks into slabs/tiles and the surface finishing. Primary data have been collected in Italian quarries and transformation plants which use technologies representative of the current state-of-the-art. Since the technologies vary according to the hardness of the stone, the case studies comprehend both soft stones (marbles) and hard stones (gneiss). In particular, data about energy, materials and emissions were collected in marble basins of Carrara and in Beola and Serizzo basins located in the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola. Data were then elaborated through an appropriate software to build a life cycle model. The model was realized setting free parameters that allow an easy adaptation to specific productions. Through this model, the study aims to boost the direct participation of stone companies and encourage the use of LCA tool to assess and improve the stone sector environmental sustainability. At the same time, the realization of accurate Life Cycle Inventory data aims at making available, to researchers and stone experts, ILCD compliant datasets of the most significant processes and technologies related to the ornamental stone sector.

Predictors of Social Participation of Children with Cerebral Palsy in Primary Schools in Czech Republic

Cerebral palsy is primarily reflected in the disorder of the development of movement and posture, which may be accompanied by sensory disturbances, disturbances of perception, cognition and communication, behavioural disorders and epilepsy. According to current inclusive attitudes towards people with disabilities implies that full social participation of children with cerebral palsy means inclusion in all activities in family, peer, school and leisure environments in the same scope and to the same extent as is the case with the children of proper development and without physical difficulties. Due to the fact that it has been established that the quality of children's participation in primary school is directly related to their social inclusion in future life, the aim of the paper is to identify predictors of social participation, respectively, and in particular, factors that could to improve the quality of social participation of children with cerebral palsy, in the primary school environment in Czech Republic. The study includes children with cerebral palsy (n = 75) in the Czech Republic, aged between six and 12 years who attend mainstream or special primary schools to the sixth grade. The main instrument used was the first and third part of the School function assessment questionnaire. It will also take into account the type of damage assessed according to a scale the Gross motor function classification system, five–level classification system for cerebral palsy. The research results will provide detailed insight into the degree of social participation of children with cerebral palsy and the factors that would be a potential cause of their levels of participation, in regular and special primary schools, in different socioeconomic environments in Czech Republic.

Deterioration Assessment Models for Water Pipelines

The aging and deterioration of water pipelines in cities worldwide result in more frequent water main breaks, water service disruptions, and flooding damage. Therefore, there is an urgent need for undertaking proper maintenance procedures to avoid breaks and disastrous failures. However, due to budget limitations, the maintenance of water pipeline networks needs to be prioritized through efficient deterioration assessment models. Previous studies focused on the development of structural or physical deterioration assessment models, which require expensive inspection data. But, this paper aims at developing deterioration assessment models for water pipelines using statistical techniques. Several deterioration models were developed based on pipeline size, material type, and soil type using linear regression analysis. The categorical nature of some variables affecting pipeline deterioration was considered through developing several categorical models. The developed models were validated with an average validity percentage greater than 95%. Moreover, sensitivity analysis was carried out against different classifications and it displayed higher importance of age of pipes compared to other factors. The developed models will be helpful for the water municipalities and asset managers to assess the condition of their pipes and prioritize them for maintenance and inspection purposes.

A Study of Structural Damage Detection for Spacecraft In-Orbit Based on Acoustic Sensor Array

With the increasing of human space activities, the number of space debris has increased dramatically, and the possibility that spacecrafts on orbit are impacted by space debris is growing. A method is of the vital significance to real-time detect and assess spacecraft damage, determine of gas leak accurately, guarantee the life safety of the astronaut effectively. In this paper, acoustic sensor array is used to detect the acoustic signal which emits from the damage of the spacecraft on orbit. Then, we apply the time difference of arrival and beam forming algorithm to locate the damage and leakage. Finally, the extent of the spacecraft damage is evaluated according to the nonlinear ultrasonic method. The result shows that this method can detect the debris impact and the structural damage, locate the damage position, and identify the damage degree effectively. This method can meet the needs of structural damage detection for the spacecraft in-orbit.

Municipal Solid Waste Management Using Life Cycle Assessment Approach: Case Study of Maku City, Iran

This paper aims to determine the best environmental and economic scenario for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management of the Maku city by using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach. The functional elements of this study are collection, transportation, and disposal of MSW in Maku city. Waste composition and density, as two key parameters of MSW, have been determined by field sampling, and then, the other important specifications of MSW like chemical formula, thermal energy and water content were calculated. These data beside other information related to collection and disposal facilities are used as a reliable source of data to assess the environmental impacts of different waste management options, including landfills, composting, recycling and energy recovery. The environmental impact of MSW management options has been investigated in 15 different scenarios by Integrated Waste Management (IWM) software. The photochemical smog, greenhouse gases, acid gases, toxic emissions, and energy consumption of each scenario are measured. Then, the environmental indices of each scenario are specified by weighting these parameters. Economic costs of scenarios have been also compared with each other based on literature. As final result, since the organic materials make more than 80% of the waste, compost can be a suitable method. Although the major part of the remaining 20% of waste can be recycled, due to the high cost of necessary equipment, the landfill option has been suggested. Therefore, the scenario with 80% composting and 20% landfilling is selected as superior environmental and economic scenario. This study shows that, to select a scenario with practical applications, simultaneously environmental and economic aspects of different scenarios must be considered.

Human Health Risk Assessment from Metals Present in a Soil Contaminated by Crude Oil

The main sources of soil pollution due to petroleum contaminants are industrial processes involve crude oil. Soil polluted with crude oil is toxic for plants, animals, and humans. Human exposure to the contaminated soil occurs through different exposure pathways: Soil ingestion, diet, inhalation, and dermal contact. The present study research is focused on soil contamination with heavy metals as a consequence of soil pollution with petroleum products. Human exposure pathways considered are: Accidentally ingestion of contaminated soil and dermal contact. The purpose of the paper is to identify the human health risk (carcinogenic risk) from soil contaminated with heavy metals. The human exposure and risk were evaluated for five contaminants of concern of the eleven which were identified in soil. Two soil samples were collected from a bioremediation platform from Muntenia Region of Romania. The soil deposited on the bioremediation platform was contaminated through extraction and oil processing. For the research work, two average soil samples from two different plots were analyzed: The first one was slightly contaminated with petroleum products (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) in soil was 1420 mg/kgd.w.), while the second one was highly contaminated (TPH in soil was 24306 mg/kgd.w.). In order to evaluate risks posed by heavy metals due soil pollution with petroleum products, five metals known as carcinogenic were investigated: Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), ChromiumVI (CrVI), Nickel (Ni), and Lead (Pb). Results of the chemical analysis performed on samples collected from the contaminated soil evidence soil contamination with heavy metals as following: As in Site 1 = 6.96 mg/kgd.w; As in Site 2 = 11.62 mg/kgd.w, Cd in Site 1 = 0.9 mg/kgd.w; Cd in Site 2 = 1 mg/kgd.w; CrVI was 0.1 mg/kgd.w for both sites; Ni in Site 1 = 37.00 mg/kgd.w; Ni in Site 2 = 42.46 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 1 = 34.67 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 2 = 120.44 mg/kgd.w. The concentrations for these metals exceed the normal values established in the Romanian regulation, but are smaller than the alert level for a less sensitive use of soil (industrial). Although, the concentrations do not exceed the thresholds, the next step was to assess the human health risk posed by soil contamination with these heavy metals. Results for risk were compared with the acceptable one (10-6, according to World Human Organization). As, expected, the highest risk was identified for the soil with a higher degree of contamination: Individual Risk (IR) was 1.11×10-5 compared with 8.61×10-6. 

Relation between Organizational Climate and Personnel Performance Assessment in a Tourist Service Company

This investigation aims at analyzing and determining the relation between two very important variables in the human resource management: The organizational climate and the performance assessment. This study aims at contributing with knowledge in the search of the relation between the mentioned variables because the literature still does not provide solid evidence to this respect and the cases revised are incipient to reach conclusions enabling a typology about this relation.To this regard, a correlational and cross-sectional perspective was adopted in which quantitative and qualitative techniques were chosen with the total of the workers of the tourist service company PTS Peru. In order to measure the organizational climate, the OCQ (Organization Climate Questionnaire) from was used; it has 50 items and measures 9 dimensions of the Organizational Climate. Also, to assess performance, a questionnaire with 21 items and 6 dimensions was designed. As a means of assessment, a focus group was prepared and was applied to a worker in every area of the company. Additionally, interviews to human resources experts were conducted. The results of the investigation show a clear relation between the organizational climate and the personnel performance assessment as well as a relation between the nine dimensions of the organizational climate and the work performance in general and with some of its dimensions.

The Potential of ‘Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency for Cities’ in Developing Country: Evidence of Myanmar

The growing cities of the developing country are characterized by rapid growth and poor infrastructure management inviting and accelerating relative environmental problems. Even though the movements of the sustainability had already been developed around the world, it is still increasing in the developing countries to plant sustainable practices. Aligned with the sustainable development actions, many sustainable assessment tools are also developed to rate and evaluate the sustainability performances through the building to community level. Among them, CASBEE is developed by Japanese organizations and is recognized as one of the international well-known assessment tools. The main purpose of the study is to find out the potential of CASBEE tool reflecting sustainability city level performances in developing countries. The research framework was designed with three major phases: Quantitative Approach, Qualitative Approach and Evaluation Reflection. The first two approaches were based on the investigation of tool’s contents and indicators by means of three sustainable dimensions and sustainability categories. To know the reality and reflection on developing country, Pathein City from Myanmar was selected and evaluated by 2012 version of CASBEE for Cities. The evaluation practices went through assigned indicators and the evaluation outcome presents the performances of Pathein city’s environmental efficiency as a very good in current conditions. The results of this study indicate that the indicators of this tool have balance coverage among three dimensions of sustainability but it has not yet counted enough for some indicators like location, infrastructure and institution which are relative to society dimension. In the developing countries’ cities, the most critical issues on development such as affordable housing and heritage preservation which are already planted in Pathein City but the tool does not account for those issues. Moreover, in some of the indicators, the benchmark and the weighting coefficient are strongly linked to the system birth region. By means of this study, it can be stated that CASBEE for Cities would be potential for delivering sustainable city level development in developing country especially in Myanmar along with further inclusion of the indicators.

Adverse Drug Reactions Monitoring in the Northern Region of Zambia
The Copperbelt University Health Services (CBUHS) was designated by the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA), formally the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (PRA) as a regional pharmacovigilance centre to carryout activities of drug safety monitoring in four provinces in Zambia. CBUHS’s mandate included stimulating the reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), as well as collecting and collating ADR reports from health institutions in the four provinces. This report covers the researchers’ experiences from May 2008 to September, 2016. The main objectives are 1) to monitor ADRs in the Zambian population, 2) to disseminate information to all health professionals in the region advising that the CBU health was a centre for reporting ADRs in the region, 3) to monitor polypharmacy as well as the benefit-risk profile of medicines, 4) to generate independent, evidence based recommendations on the safety of medicines, 5) to support ZAMRA in formulating safety related regulatory decisions for medicines, and 6) to communicate findings with all key stakeholders. The methodology involved monthly visits, beginning in early May 2008 to September, 2016, by the CBUHS to health institutions in the programme areas. Activities included holding discussions with health workers, distribution of ADR forms and collection of ADRs reports. These reports, once collected, were documented and assessed at the CBUHS. A report was then prepared for ZAMRA on quarterly basis. At ZAMRA, serious ADRs were noted and recommendations made to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Zambia. The results show that 2,600 ADRs reports were received at the pharmacovigilance regional centre. Most of the ADRs reports that received were due to antiretroviral drugs, as well as a few from anti-malarial drugs like Artemether/Lumefantrine – Coartem®. Three hundred and twelve ADRs were entered in the Uppsala Monitoring Centre WHO Vigiflow for further analysis. It was concluded that in general, 2008-16 were exciting years for the pharmacovigilance group at CBUHS. From a very tentative beginning, a lot of strides were made and contacts established with healthcare facilities in the region. The researchers were encouraged by the support received from the Copperbelt University management, the motivation provided by ZAMRA and most importantly the enthusiasm of health workers in all the health care facilities visited. As a centre for drug safety in Zambia, the results show it achieves its objectives for monitoring ADRs, Pharmacovigilance (drug safety monitoring), and activities of monitoring ADRs as well as preventing them. However, the centre faces critical challenges caused by erratic funding that prevents the smooth running of the programme.
Sustainability Assessment of Municipal Wastewater Treatment

In this paper, our methodology to assess sustainability of wastewater treatment technologies in Egypt is presented. The preliminary list of factors to be considered, as well as their ranking listed. The factors include, but are not limited to pollutants removal efficiency and energy consumption under the environmental dimension, construction cost, operation and maintenance costs and required land area cost under the economic dimension and public acceptance, noise and generating job opportunities for local residents. This methodology is intended to be a user-friendly screening tool to support the decision making process when investigating different wastewater treatment technologies in Egypt. Based on the research work results presented in this paper, it can be generally concluded that the categorization of some of the social and environmental aspects of sustainability is subjective and highly dependent on the local conditions and researchers’ background.

Impact of Egypt’s Energy Demand on Oil and Gas Power Systems Environment

This paper will explore the influence of energy sector in Arab Republic of Egypt which has shared its responsibilities of many environmental challenges as the second largest economy in the Middle East (after Iran). Air and water pollution, desertification, inadequate disposal of solid waste and damage to coral reefs are serious problems that influence environmental management in Egypt. The intensive reliance of high population density and strong industrial growth are wearing Egypt's resources, and the rapidly-growing population has forced Egypt to breakdown agricultural land to residential and relevant use of commercial ingestion. The depletion effects of natural resources impose the government to apply innovation techniques in emission control and focus on sustainability. The cogeneration will be presented to control thermal losses and increase efficiency of energy power system.

An Analysis of Institutional Audits: Basis for Teaching, Learning and Assessment Framework and Principles
The dynamism in education, particularly in the area of teaching, learning and assessment has caused Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) worldwide to seek for ways to continuously improve their educational processes. HEIs use outcomes of institutional audits, assessments and accreditations, for improvement. In this study, the published institutional audit reports of HEIs in the Sultanate of Oman were analyzed to produce features of good practice; identify challenges along Teaching, Learning Assessment (TLA); and propose a framework that puts major emphasis in having a quality-assured TLA, including a set of principles that can be used as basis in succeeding an institutional visit. The TLA framework, which shows the TLA components, characteristics of the components, related expectation, including implementation tool/ strategy and pitfalls can be used by HEIs to have an adequate understanding of the scope of audit and be able to satisfy institutional audit requirements. The scope of this study can be widened by exploring the other requirements of the Institutional Audits in the Sultanate of Oman, particularly the area on Governance and Management and Student Support Services.
Design and Development of On-Line, On-Site, In-Situ Induction Motor Performance Analyser

In the present scenario of energy crises, energy conservation in the electrical machines is very important in the industries. In order to conserve energy, one needs to monitor the performance of an induction motor on-site and in-situ. The instruments available for this purpose are very meager and very expensive. This paper deals with the design and development of induction motor performance analyser on-line, on-site, and in-situ. The system measures only few electrical input parameters like input voltage, line current, power factor, frequency, powers, and motor shaft speed. These measured data are coupled to name plate details and compute the operating efficiency of induction motor. This system employs the method of computing motor losses with the help of equivalent circuit parameters. The equivalent circuit parameters of the concerned motor are estimated using the developed algorithm at any load conditions and stored in the system memory. The developed instrument is a reliable, accurate, compact, rugged, and cost-effective one. This portable instrument could be used as a handy tool to study the performance of both slip ring and cage induction motors. During the analysis, the data can be stored in SD Memory card and one can perform various analyses like load vs. efficiency, torque vs. speed characteristics, etc. With the help of the developed instrument, one can operate the motor around its Best Operating Point (BOP). Continuous monitoring of the motor efficiency could lead to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of motors. LCA helps in taking decisions on motor replacement or retaining or refurbishment.

A Programming Assessment Software Artefact Enhanced with the Help of Learners

The demands of an ever changing and complex higher education environment, along with the profile of modern learners challenge current approaches to assessment and feedback. More learners enter the education system every year. The younger generation expects immediate feedback. At the same time, feedback should be meaningful. The assessment of practical activities in programming poses a particular problem, since both lecturers and learners in the information and computer science discipline acknowledge that paper-based assessment for programming subjects lacks meaningful real-life testing. At the same time, feedback lacks promptness, consistency, comprehensiveness and individualisation. Most of these aspects may be addressed by modern, technology-assisted assessment. The focus of this paper is the continuous development of an artefact that is used to assist the lecturer in the assessment and feedback of practical programming activities in a senior database programming class. The artefact was developed using three Design Science Research cycles. The first implementation allowed one programming activity submission per assessment intervention. This pilot provided valuable insight into the obstacles regarding the implementation of this type of assessment tool. A second implementation improved the initial version to allow multiple programming activity submissions per assessment. The focus of this version is on providing scaffold feedback to the learner – allowing improvement with each subsequent submission. It also has a built-in capability to provide the lecturer with information regarding the key problem areas of each assessment intervention.

An Integrated Planning Framework for Sustainable Tourism: Case Study of Tunisia
Tourism sector in Tunisia faces several problems that range from economic challenges to environmental degradation and social instability. These problems have been intensified because of the increased competition in the tourism market, the political instability, financial crises, and recently terrorism problems have aggravated the situation. As a consequence, a new framework that promotes sustainable tourism in the country and increases its competitiveness is urgently needed. Planning for sustainable tourism sector requires the integration of complex interactions between economic, social and environmental aspects. Sustainable tourism principles can be implemented with the help of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process, which ensures the full integration of economic, social and environmental considerations while planning for the tourism sector in Tunisia. Results of the paper have broad implications for policy makers and tourism professionals.
PYTHEIA: A Scale for Assessing Rehabilitation and Assistive Robotics

The objective of the present study was to develop a scale called PYTHEIA. The PYTHEIA is a self-reported measure for the assessment of rehabilitation and assistive robotics and other assistive technology devices. The development of PYTHEIA faced the absence of a valid instrument that can be used to evaluate the assistive robotic devices both as a whole, as well as any of their individual components or functionalities implemented. According to the results presented, PYTHEIA is a valid and reliable scale able to be applied to different target groups for the subjective evaluation of various assistive technology devices.

Thermal Radiation and Noise Safety Assessment of an Offshore Platform Flare Stack as Sudden Emergency Relief Takes Place

To study the potential hazards of the sudden emergency relief of flare stack, the thermal radiation and noise calculation of flare stack is carried out by using Flaresim program 2.0. Thermal radiation and noise analysis should be considered as the sudden emergency relief takes place. According to the Flaresim software simulation results, the thermal radiation and noise meet the requirement.

Fragility Assessment for Torsionally Asymmetric Buildings in Plan

The present paper aims at evaluating the response of three-dimensional buildings with in-plan stiffness irregularities that have been subjected to two-way excitation ground motion records simultaneously. This study is broadly-based fragility assessment with greater emphasis on structural response at in-plan flexible and stiff sides. To this end, three type of three-dimensional 5-story steel building structures with stiffness eccentricities, were subjected to extensive nonlinear incremental dynamic analyses (IDA) utilizing Ibarra-Krawinkler deterioration models. Fragility assessment was implemented for different configurations of braces to investigate the losses in buildings with center of resisting (CR) eccentricities.

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Exercises of Upper Extremities Assessment Using Microsoft Kinect Sensor and Color Marker in a Virtual Reality Environment

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation exercises are a series of stretching techniques that are commonly used in rehabilitation and exercise therapy. Assessment of these exercises for true maneuvering requires extensive experience in this field and could not be down with patients themselves. In this paper, we developed software that uses Microsoft Kinect sensor, a spherical color marker, and real-time image processing methods to evaluate patient’s performance in generating true patterns of movements. The software also provides the patient with a visual feedback by showing his/her avatar in a Virtual Reality environment along with the correct path of moving hand, wrist and marker. Primary results during PNF exercise therapy of a patient in a room environment shows the ability of the system to identify any deviation of maneuvering path and direction of the hand from the one that has been performed by an expert physician.

A Consumption-Based Hybrid Life Cycle Assessment of Carbon Footprints in California: High Footprints in Small Urban Households
Higher density reduces distances, private car dependency and thus reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). As a result, increased density has been given a central role among urban development targets. However, it is not just travel behavior that changes along with density. Rather, the consumption patterns, or overall lifestyles, change along with changing urban structure, particularly with changing housing types and consumption opportunities. Furthermore, elevated consumption of services, more frequent flying and less intra-household sharing have been shown to potentially outweigh the gains from reduced driving in more dense urban settlements. In this study, the geography of carbon footprints (CFs) in California is analyzed paying close attention to the household size differences and the resulting economies-of-scale advantages and disadvantages. A hybrid life cycle assessment (LCA) framework is employed together with consumer expenditure data to assess the CFs. According to the study, small urban households have the highest CFs in California. Their transport related emissions are significantly lower than those of the residents of less urbanized areas, but higher emissions from other consumption categories, together with the low degree of sharing of goods, overweigh the gains. Two functional units, per capita and per household, are used to analyze the CFs and to demonstrate the importance of household size. The lifestyle impacts visible through the consumption data are also discussed. The study suggests that there are still significant gaps in our understanding of the premises of low-carbon human settlements.
Internal and External Factors Affecting Teachers’ Adoption of Formative Assessment to Support Learning
Assessment forms an important part of instruction. Assessment that aims to support learning is known as formative assessment and it contributes student’s learning gain and motivation. However, teachers rarely use assessment formatively to aid their students’ learning. Thus, reviewing the factors that limit or support teachers’ practices of formative assessment will be crucial for guiding educators to support prospective teachers in using formative assessment and also eliminate limiting factors to let practicing teachers to engage in formative assessment practices during their instruction. The study, by using teacher’s change environment framework, reviews literature on formative assessment and presents a tentative model that illustrates the factors impacting teachers’ adoption of formative assessment in their teaching. The results showed that there are four main factors consisting personal, contextual, resource-related and external factors that influence teachers’ practices of formative assessment.
Comprehensive Regional Drought Assessment Index
Drought is an inevitable part of the earth’s climate. It occurs regularly with no clear warning and without recognizing borders. In addition, its impact is cumulative and not immediately discernible. Iran is located in a semi-arid region where droughts occur periodically as natural hazard. Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), Surface Water Supply Index (SWSI), and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) are three well-known indices which describe drought severity; each has its own advantages and disadvantages and can be used for specific types of drought. These indices take into account some factors such as precipitation, reservoir storage and discharge, temperature, and potential evapotranspiration in determining drought severity. In this paper, first all three indices are calculated in Aharchay river watershed located in northwestern part of Iran in East Azarbaijan province. Next, based on two other important parameters which are groundwater level and solar radiation, two new indices are defined. Finally, considering all five aforementioned indices, a combined drought index (CDI) is presented and calculated for the region. This combined index is based on all the meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural features of the region. The results show that the most severe drought condition in Aharchay watershed happened in Jun, 2004. The result of this study can be used for monitoring drought and prepare for the drought mitigation planning.
Air Dispersion Model for Prediction Fugitive Landfill Gaseous Emission Impact in Ambient Atmosphere
This paper will explore formation of HCl aerosol at atmospheric boundary layers and encourages the uptake of environmental modeling systems (EMSs) as a practice evaluation of gaseous emissions (“framework measures”) from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The conceptual model predicts greenhouse gas emissions to ecological points beyond landfill site operations. It focuses on incorporation traditional knowledge into baseline information for both measurement data and the mathematical results, regarding parameters influence model variable inputs. The paper has simplified parameters of aerosol processes based on the more complex aerosol process computations. The simple model can be implemented to both Gaussian and Eulerian rural dispersion models. Aerosol processes considered in this study were (i) the coagulation of particles, (ii) the condensation and evaporation of organic vapors, and (iii) dry deposition. The chemical transformation of gas-phase compounds is taken into account photochemical formulation with exposure effects according to HCl concentrations as starting point of risk assessment. The discussion set out distinctly aspect of sustainability in reflection inputs, outputs, and modes of impact on the environment. Thereby, models incorporate abiotic and biotic species to broaden the scope of integration for both quantification impact and assessment risks. The later environmental obligations suggest either a recommendation or a decision of what is a legislative should be achieved for mitigation measures of landfill gas (LFG) ultimately.
Estimating Marine Tidal Power Potential in Kenya

The rapidly diminishing fossil fuel reserves, their exorbitant cost and the increasingly apparent negative effect of fossil fuels to climate changes is a wake-up call to explore renewable energy. Wind, bio-fuel and solar power have already become staples of Kenyan electricity mix. The potential of electric power generation from marine tidal currents is enormous, with oceans covering more than 70% of the earth. However, attempts to harness marine tidal energy in Kenya, has yet to be studied thoroughly due to its promising, cyclic, reliable and predictable nature and the vast energy contained within it. The high load factors resulting from the fluid properties and the predictable resource characteristics make marine currents particularly attractive for power generation and advantageous when compared to others. Global-level resource assessments and oceanographic literature and data have been compiled in an analysis of the technology-specific requirements for tidal energy technologies and the physical resources. Temporal variations in resource intensity as well as the differences between small-scale applications are considered.

Comparison between Deterministic and Probabilistic Stability Analysis, Featuring Consequent Risk Assessment
Slope stability analyses are largely carried out by deterministic methods and evaluated through a single security factor. Although it is known that the geotechnical parameters can present great dispersal, such analyses are considered fixed and known. The probabilistic methods, in turn, incorporate the variability of input key parameters (random variables), resulting in a range of values of safety factors, thus enabling the determination of the probability of failure, which is an essential parameter in the calculation of the risk (probability multiplied by the consequence of the event). Among the probabilistic methods, there are three frequently used methods in geotechnical society: FOSM (First-Order, Second-Moment), Rosenblueth (Point Estimates) and Monte Carlo. This paper presents a comparison between the results from deterministic and probabilistic analyses (FOSM method, Monte Carlo and Rosenblueth) applied to a hypothetical slope. The end was held to evaluate the behavior of the slope and consequent risk analysis, which is used to calculate the risk and analyze their mitigation and control solutions. It can be observed that the results obtained by the three probabilistic methods were quite close. It should be noticed that the calculation of the risk makes it possible to list the priority to the implementation of mitigation measures. Therefore, it is recommended to do a good assessment of the geological-geotechnical model incorporating the uncertainty in viability, design, construction, operation and closure by means of risk management. 
Introducing Principles of Land Surveying by Assigning a Practical Project
A practical project is used in an engineering surveying course to expose sophomore and junior civil engineering students to several important issues related to the use of basic principles of land surveying. The project, which is the design of a two-lane rural highway to connect between two arbitrary points, requires students to draw the profile of the proposed highway along with the existing ground level. Areas of all cross-sections are then computed to enable quantity computations between them. Lastly, Mass-Haul Diagram is drawn with all important parts and features shown on it for clarity. At the beginning, students faced challenges getting started on the project. They had to spend time and effort thinking of the best way to proceed and how the work would flow. It was even more challenging when they had to visualize images of cut, fill and mixed cross sections in three dimensions before they can draw them to complete the necessary computations. These difficulties were then somewhat overcome with the help of the instructor and thorough discussions among team members and/or between different teams. The method of assessment used in this study was a well-prepared-end-of-semester questionnaire distributed to students after the completion of the project and the final exam. The survey contained a wide spectrum of questions from students' learning experience when this course development was implemented to students' satisfaction of the class instructions provided to them and the instructor's competency in presenting the material and helping with the project. It also covered the adequacy of the project to show a sample of a real-life civil engineering application and if there is any excitement added by implementing this idea. At the end of the questionnaire, students had the chance to provide their constructive comments and suggestions for future improvements of the land surveying course. Outcomes will be presented graphically and in a tabular format. Graphs provide visual explanation of the results and tables, on the other hand, summarize numerical values for each student along with some descriptive statistics, such as the mean, standard deviation, and coefficient of variation for each student and each question as well. In addition to gaining experience in teamwork, communications, and customer relations, students felt the benefit of assigning such a project. They noticed the beauty of the practical side of civil engineering work and how theories are utilized in real-life engineering applications. It was even recommended by students that such a project be exercised every time this course is offered so future students can have the same learning opportunity they had.
Multi-Objective Evolutionary Computation Based Feature Selection Applied to Behaviour Assessment of Children
Abstract—Attribute or feature selection is one of the basic strategies to improve the performances of data classification tasks, and, at the same time, to reduce the complexity of classifiers, and it is a particularly fundamental one when the number of attributes is relatively high. Its application to unsupervised classification is restricted to a limited number of experiments in the literature. Evolutionary computation has already proven itself to be a very effective choice to consistently reduce the number of attributes towards a better classification rate and a simpler semantic interpretation of the inferred classifiers. We present a feature selection wrapper model composed by a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm, the clustering method Expectation-Maximization (EM), and the classifier C4.5 for the unsupervised classification of data extracted from a psychological test named BASC-II (Behavior Assessment System for Children - II ed.) with two objectives: Maximizing the likelihood of the clustering model and maximizing the accuracy of the obtained classifier. We present a methodology to integrate feature selection for unsupervised classification, model evaluation, decision making (to choose the most satisfactory model according to a a posteriori process in a multi-objective context), and testing. We compare the performance of the classifier obtained by the multi-objective evolutionary algorithms ENORA and NSGA-II, and the best solution is then validated by the psychologists that collected the data.
Qualitative Analysis of Current Child Custody Evaluation Practices

The role of the custody evaluator is perhaps one of the most controversial and risky endeavors in clinical practice. Complaints filed with licensing boards regarding a child-custody evaluation constitute the second most common reason for such an event. Although the evaluator is expected to answer for the family-law court what is in the “best interest of the child,” there is a lack of clarity on how to establish this in any empirically validated manner. Hence, practitioners must contend with a nebulous framework in formulating their methodological procedures that inherently places them at risk in an already litigious context. This study sought to qualitatively investigate patterns of practice among doctoral practitioners conducting child custody evaluations in the area of Southern California. Ten psychologists were interviewed who devoted between 25 and 100% of their California private practice to custody work. All held Ph.D. degrees with a range of eight to 36 years of experience in custody work. Semi-structured interviews were used to investigate assessment practices, ensure adherence to guidelines, risk management, and qualities of evaluators. Forty-three Specific Themes were identified using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Seven Higher Order Themes clustered on salient factors such as use of Ethics, Law, Guidelines; Parent Variables; Child Variables; Psychologist Variables; Testing; Literature; and Trends. Evaluators were aware of the ever-present reality of a licensure complaint and thus presented idiosyncratic descriptions of risk management considerations. Ambiguity about quantifying and validly tapping parenting abilities was also reviewed. Findings from this study suggested a high reliance on unstructured and observational methods in child custody practices.

Vol:11 No:10 2017Vol:11 No:09 2017Vol:11 No:08 2017Vol:11 No:07 2017Vol:11 No:06 2017Vol:11 No:05 2017Vol:11 No:04 2017Vol:11 No:03 2017Vol:11 No:02 2017Vol:11 No:01 2017
Vol:10 No:12 2016Vol:10 No:11 2016Vol:10 No:10 2016Vol:10 No:09 2016Vol:10 No:08 2016Vol:10 No:07 2016Vol:10 No:06 2016Vol:10 No:05 2016Vol:10 No:04 2016Vol:10 No:03 2016Vol:10 No:02 2016Vol:10 No:01 2016
Vol:9 No:12 2015Vol:9 No:11 2015Vol:9 No:10 2015Vol:9 No:09 2015Vol:9 No:08 2015Vol:9 No:07 2015Vol:9 No:06 2015Vol:9 No:05 2015Vol:9 No:04 2015Vol:9 No:03 2015Vol:9 No:02 2015Vol:9 No:01 2015
Vol:8 No:12 2014Vol:8 No:11 2014Vol:8 No:10 2014Vol:8 No:09 2014Vol:8 No:08 2014Vol:8 No:07 2014Vol:8 No:06 2014Vol:8 No:05 2014Vol:8 No:04 2014Vol:8 No:03 2014Vol:8 No:02 2014Vol:8 No:01 2014
Vol:7 No:12 2013Vol:7 No:11 2013Vol:7 No:10 2013Vol:7 No:09 2013Vol:7 No:08 2013Vol:7 No:07 2013Vol:7 No:06 2013Vol:7 No:05 2013Vol:7 No:04 2013Vol:7 No:03 2013Vol:7 No:02 2013Vol:7 No:01 2013
Vol:6 No:12 2012Vol:6 No:11 2012Vol:6 No:10 2012Vol:6 No:09 2012Vol:6 No:08 2012Vol:6 No:07 2012Vol:6 No:06 2012Vol:6 No:05 2012Vol:6 No:04 2012Vol:6 No:03 2012Vol:6 No:02 2012Vol:6 No:01 2012
Vol:5 No:12 2011Vol:5 No:11 2011Vol:5 No:10 2011Vol:5 No:09 2011Vol:5 No:08 2011Vol:5 No:07 2011Vol:5 No:06 2011Vol:5 No:05 2011Vol:5 No:04 2011Vol:5 No:03 2011Vol:5 No:02 2011Vol:5 No:01 2011
Vol:4 No:12 2010Vol:4 No:11 2010Vol:4 No:10 2010Vol:4 No:09 2010Vol:4 No:08 2010Vol:4 No:07 2010Vol:4 No:06 2010Vol:4 No:05 2010Vol:4 No:04 2010Vol:4 No:03 2010Vol:4 No:02 2010Vol:4 No:01 2010
Vol:3 No:12 2009Vol:3 No:11 2009Vol:3 No:10 2009Vol:3 No:09 2009Vol:3 No:08 2009Vol:3 No:07 2009Vol:3 No:06 2009Vol:3 No:05 2009Vol:3 No:04 2009Vol:3 No:03 2009Vol:3 No:02 2009Vol:3 No:01 2009
Vol:2 No:12 2008Vol:2 No:11 2008Vol:2 No:10 2008Vol:2 No:09 2008Vol:2 No:08 2008Vol:2 No:07 2008Vol:2 No:06 2008Vol:2 No:05 2008Vol:2 No:04 2008Vol:2 No:03 2008Vol:2 No:02 2008Vol:2 No:01 2008
Vol:1 No:12 2007Vol:1 No:11 2007Vol:1 No:10 2007Vol:1 No:09 2007Vol:1 No:08 2007Vol:1 No:07 2007Vol:1 No:06 2007Vol:1 No:05 2007Vol:1 No:04 2007Vol:1 No:03 2007Vol:1 No:02 2007Vol:1 No:01 2007