Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 887

Educational and Pedagogical Sciences

887
10007281
Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models
Abstract:

Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
886
10009402
Working with Children and Young People as a much Neglected Area of Education within the Social Studies Curriculum in Poland
Abstract:

Social work education in Poland focuses mostly on developing competencies that address the needs of individuals and families affected by a variety of life's problems. As a result of the ageing of the Polish population, much attention is equally devoted to adults, including the elderly. However, social work with children and young people is the area of education which should be given more consideration. Social work students are mostly trained to cater to the needs of families and the competencies aimed to respond to the needs of children and young people do not receive enough attention and are only offered as elective classes. This paper strives to review the social work programmes offered by the selected higher education institutions in Poland in terms of social work training aimed at helping children and young people to address their life problems. The analysis conducted in this study indicates that university education for social work focuses on training professionals who will provide assistance only to adults. Due to changes in the social and political situation, including, in particular, changes in social policy implemented for the needy, it is necessary to extend this area of education to include the specificity of the support for children and young people; especially, in the light of the appearance of new support professions within the area of social work. For example, family assistants, whose task is to support parents in performing their roles as guardians and educators, also assist children. Therefore, it becomes necessary to equip social work professionals with competencies which include issues related to the quality of life of underage people living in families. Social work curricula should be extended to include the issues of child and young person development and the patterns governing this phase of life.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
885
10009358
Understanding the Programming Techniques Using a Complex Case Study to Teach Advanced Object-Oriented Programming
Abstract:

Teaching Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) as part of a Computing-related university degree is a very difficult task; the road to ensuring that students are actually learning object oriented concepts is unclear, as students often find it difficult to understand the concept of objects and their behavior. This problem is especially obvious in advanced programming modules where Design Pattern and advanced programming features such as Multi-threading and animated GUI are introduced. Looking at the students’ performance at their final year on a university course, it was obvious that the level of students’ understanding of OOP varies to a high degree from one student to another. Students who aim at the production of Games do very well in the advanced programming module. However, the students’ assessment results of the last few years were relatively low; for example, in 2016-2017, the first quartile of marks were as low as 24.5 and the third quartile was 63.5. It is obvious that many students were not confident or competent enough in their programming skills. In this paper, the reasons behind poor performance in Advanced OOP modules are investigated, and a suggested practice for teaching OOP based on a complex case study is described and evaluated.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
884
10009357
A Conversation about Inclusive Education: Revelations from Namibian Primary School Teachers
Abstract:

Inclusive education stems from a philosophy and vision, which argues that all children should learn together at school. It is not only about treating all pupils in the same way. It is also about allowing all children to attend school without any restrictions. Ten primary school teachers in a circuit in Namibia volunteered to participate in face-to-face interviews about inclusive education. The teachers responded to three questions about their (i) understanding of inclusive education; (ii) whether inclusive education was implemented in primary schools; and (iii) whether they were able to work with learners with special needs. Findings indicated that teachers understood what inclusive education entailed; felt that inclusive education was not implemented in their primary schools, and they were unable to work with learners with special needs in their classrooms. Further, the teachers identified training and resources as important components of inclusive education. It is recommended that education authorities should perhaps verify the findings reported here as well as ensure that the concerns raised by the teachers are addressed.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
883
10009347
Projectification: Using Project Management Methodology to Manage the Academic Program Review
Abstract:
While research is rich with what criteria could be included in the academic program review processes, there is rarely any mention of how this significant and complex process should be managed. This paper proposes using project management methodology in alignment with the program review criteria of the Dickeson’s Prioritizing Academic Programs model. Project management and academic program review share two distinct characteristics; one is their life cycle, and the second is the core knowledge areas they use. This aligned and structured approach offers academic administrators a step-by-step guide that can help them manage this process and effectively assess academic programs.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
882
10009334
Embodied Cognition and Its Implications in Education: An Overview of Recent Literature
Abstract:

Embodied Cognition (EC) as a learning paradigm is based on the idea of an inseparable link between body, mind, and environment. In recent years, the advent of theoretical learning approaches around EC theory has resulted in a number of empirical studies exploring the implementation of the theory in education. This systematic literature overview identifies the mainstream of EC research and emphasizes on the implementation of the theory across learning environments. Based on a corpus of 43 manuscripts, published between 2013 and 2017, it sets out to describe the range of topics covered under the umbrella of EC and provides a holistic view of the field. The aim of the present review is to investigate the main issues in EC research related to the various learning contexts. Particularly, the study addresses the research methods and technologies that are utilized, and it also explores the integration of body into the learning context. An important finding from the overview is the potential of the theory in different educational environments and disciplines. However, there is a lack of an explicit pedagogical framework from an educational perspective for a successful implementation in various learning contexts.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
881
10009259
Psychometric Examination of the QUEST-25: An Online Assessment of Intellectual Curiosity and Scientific Epistemology
Abstract:

The current study reports an examination of the QUEST-25 (Q-Assessment of Undergraduate Epistemology and Scientific Thinking) online version for assessing the dispositional attitudes toward scientific thinking and intellectual curiosity among undergraduate students. The QUEST-25 consists of scientific thinking (SIQ-25) and intellectual curiosity (ICIQ-25), which were correlated in hypothesized directions with the Religious Commitment Inventory, Curiosity and Exploration Inventory, Belief in Science scale, and measures of academic self-efficacy. Additionally, concurrent validity was established by the resulting significant differences between those identifying the centrality of religious belief in their lives and those who do not self-identify as being guided daily by religious beliefs. This study demonstrates the utility of the QUEST-25 for research, evaluation, and theory development.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
880
10009248
Report of Happiness in the Iranian Educational System: A Qualitative Research
Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to understand the current situation of happiness in the Iranian educational system from the perspective of students, teachers and educational administrators. This research is done in qualitative paradigm. Data collection is done by in-depth interview method. Research participants were selected purposively according to sampling rules, with maximum variation and reaching the saturation point. According to most participants in this study, schools in Iran are not usually happy. This lack of happiness is associated with and related to the educational system, curriculum, teaching method, physical environment of schools and their facilities.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
879
10009314
Investigation of the Effect of Teaching a Thinking and Research Lesson by Cooperative and Traditional Methods on the Creativity of Sixth Grade Students
Abstract:

The present study investigates the effect of teaching a Thinking and Research lesson by cooperative and traditional methods on the creativity of sixth-grade students in Piranshahr province. The statistical society includes all the sixth-grade students of Piranshahr province. The sample of this studytable was selected by available sampling from among male elementary schools of Piranshahr. They were randomly assigned into two groups of cooperative teaching method and traditional teaching method. The design of the study is quasi-experimental with a control group. In this study, to assess students’ creativity, Abedi’s creativity questionnaire was used. Based on Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, the reliability of the factor flow was 0.74, innovation was 0.61, flexibility was 0.63, and expansion was 0.68. To analyze the data, t-test, univariate and multivariate covariance analysis were used for evaluation of the difference of means and the pretest and posttest scores. The findings of the research showed that cooperative teaching method does not significantly increase creativity (p > 0.05). Moreover, cooperative teaching method was found to have significant effect on flow factor (p < 0.05), but in innovation and expansion factors no significant effect was observed (p < 0.05).

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
878
10009249
Exploring Students’ Self-Evaluation on Their Learning Outcomes through an Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average Reporting Mechanism
Abstract:

An Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average (iCGPA) is a mechanism and strategy to ensure the curriculum of an academic programme is constructively aligned to the expected learning outcomes and student performance based on the attainment of those learning outcomes that is reported objectively in a spider web. Much effort and time has been spent to develop a viable mechanism and trains academics to utilize the platform for reporting. The question is: How well do learners conceive the idea of their achievement via iCGPA and whether quality learner attributes have been nurtured through the iCGPA mechanism? This paper presents the architecture of an integrated CGPA mechanism purported to address a holistic evaluation from the evaluation of courses learning outcomes to aligned programme learning outcomes attainment. The paper then discusses the students’ understanding of the mechanism and evaluation of their achievement from the generated spider web. A set of questionnaires were distributed to a group of students with iCGPA reporting and frequency analysis was used to compare the perspectives of students on their performance. In addition, the questionnaire also explored how they conceive the idea of an integrated, holistic reporting and how it generates their motivation to improve. The iCGPA group was found to be receptive to what they have achieved throughout their study period. They agreed that the achievement level generated from their spider web allows them to develop intervention and enhance the programme learning outcomes before they graduate.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
877
10009161
Augmenting History: Case Study Measuring Motivation of Students Using Augmented Reality Apps in History Classes
Abstract:

Due to the rapid advances in the use of information technology and students’ familiarity with technology, learning styles in higher education are being reshaped. One of the technology developments that has gained considerable attention in recent years is Augmented Reality (AR), where technology is used to combine overlays of digital data on physical real-world settings. While AR is being heavily promoted for entertainment by mobile phone manufacturers, it has had little adoption in higher education due to the required upfront investment that an instructor needs to undertake in creating relevant AR applications. This paper discusses a case study that uses a low upfront development approach and examines the impact on generation-Z students’ motivation whilst studying design history over a four-semester period. Even though the upfront investment in creating the AR support was minimal, the results showed a noticeable increase in student motivation. The approach used in this paper can be easily transferred to other disciplines and other areas of design education.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
876
10009152
Leveraging Reasoning through Discourse: A Case Study in Secondary Mathematics Classrooms
Abstract:
Teaching and learning through the use of discourse support students’ conceptual understanding by attending to key concepts and relationships. One discourse structure used in primary classrooms is number talks wherein students mentally calculate, discuss, and reason about the appropriateness and efficiency of their strategies. In the secondary mathematics classroom, the mathematics understudy does not often lend itself to mental calculations yet learning to reason, and articulate reasoning, is central to learning mathematics. This qualitative case study discusses how one secondary school in the Middle East adapted the number talk protocol for secondary mathematics classrooms. Several challenges in implementing ‘reasoning talks’ became apparent including shifting current discourse protocols and practices to a more student-centric model, accurately recording and probing student thinking, and specifically attending to reasoning rather than computations.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
875
10009142
CoP-Networks: Virtual Spaces for New Faculty’s Professional Development in the 21st Higher Education
Abstract:
The 21st century higher education and globalization challenge new faculty members to build effective professional networks and partnership with industry in order to accelerate their growth and success. This creates the need for community of practice (CoP)-oriented development approaches that focus on cognitive apprenticeship while considering individual predisposition and future career needs. This work adopts data mining, clustering analysis, and social networking technologies to present the CoP-Network as a virtual space that connects together similar career-aspiration individuals who are socially influenced to join and engage in a process for domain-related knowledge and practice acquisitions. The CoP-Network model can be integrated into higher education to extend traditional graduate and professional development programs.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
874
10009139
Driving What’s Next: The De La Salle Lipa Social Innovation in Quality Education Initiatives
Abstract:

'Driving What’s Next' is a strong campaign of the new administration of De La Salle Lipa in promoting social innovation in quality education. The new leadership directs social innovation in quality education in the institutional directions and initiatives to address real-world challenges with real-world solutions. This research under study aims to qualify the commitment of the institution to extend the Lasallian quality human and Christian education to all, as expressed in the Institution’s new mission-vision statement. The Classic Grounded Theory methodology is employed in the process of generating concepts in reference to the documents, a series of meetings, focus group discussions and other related activities that account for the conceptualization and formulation of the new mission-vision along with the new education innovation framework. Notably, Driving What’s Next is the emergent theory that encapsulates the commitment of giving quality human and Christian education to all. It directs the new leadership in driving social innovation in quality education initiatives. Correspondingly, Driving What’s Next is continually resolved through four interrelated strategies also termed as the institution's four strategic directions, namely: (1) driving social innovation in quality education, (2) embracing our shared humanity and championing social inclusion and justice initiatives, (3) creating sustainable futures and (4) engaging diverse stakeholders in our shared mission. Significantly, the four strategic directions capture and integrate the 17 UN sustainable development goals, making the innovative curriculum locally and globally relevant. To conclude, the main concern of the new administration and how it is continually resolved, provide meaningful and fun learning experiences and promote a new way of learning in the light of the 21st century skills among the members of the academic community including stakeholders and extended communities at large, which are defined as: learning together and by association (collaboration), learning through engagement (communication), learning by design (creativity) and learning with social impact (critical thinking).

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
873
10009134
A Survey of Online User Perspectives and Age Profile in an Undergraduate Fundamental Business Technology Course
Abstract:

Over the past few decades, more and more students choose to enroll in online classes instead of attending in-class lectures. While past studies consider students’ attitudes towards online education and how their grades differed from in-class lectures, the profile of the online student remains a blur. To shed light on this, an online survey was administered to about 1,500 students enrolled in an undergraduate Fundamental Business Technology course at a Canadian University. The survey was comprised of questions on students’ demographics, their reasons for choosing online courses, their expectations towards the course, the communication channels they use for the course with fellow students and with the instructor. This paper focused on the research question: Do the perspectives of online students concerning the online experience, in general, and in the course in particular, differ according to age profile? After several statistical analyses, it was found that age does have an impact on the reasons why students select online classes instead of in-class. For example, it was found that the perception that an online course might be easier than in-class delivery was a more important reason for younger students than for older ones. Similarly, the influence of friends is much more important for younger students, than for older students. Similar results were found when analyzing students’ expectation about the online course and their use of communication tools. Overall, the age profile of online users had an impact on reasons, expectations and means of communication in an undergraduate Fundamental Business Technology course. It is left to be seen if this holds true across other courses, graduate and undergraduate.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
872
10009133
The Role of Blended Modality in Enhancing Active Learning Strategies in Higher Education: A Case Study of a Hybrid Course of Oral Production and Listening of French
Abstract:

Learning oral skills in an Arabic speaking environment is challenging. A blended course (material, activities, and individual/ group work tasks …) was implemented in a module of level B1 for undergraduate students of French as a foreign language in order to increase their opportunities to practice listening and speaking skills. This research investigates the influence of this modality on enhancing active learning and examines the effectiveness of provided strategies. Moreover, it aims at discovering how it allows teacher to flip the traditional classroom and create a learner-centered framework. Which approaches were integrated to motivate students and urge them to search, analyze, criticize, create and accomplish projects? What was the perception of students? This paper is based on the qualitative findings of a questionnaire and a focus group interview with learners. Despite the doubled time and effort both “teacher” and “student” needed, results revealed that the NTIC allowed a shift into a learning paradigm where learners were the “chiefs” of the process. Tasks and collaborative projects required higher intellectual capacities from them. Learners appreciated this experience and developed new life-long learning competencies at many levels: social, affective, ethical and cognitive. To conclude, they defined themselves as motivated young researchers, motivators and critical thinkers.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
871
10009129
Contributions of Non-Formal Educational Spaces for the Scientific Literacy of Deaf Students
Abstract:

The school is a social institution that should promote learning situations that remain throughout life. Based on this, the teaching activities promoted in museum spaces can represent an educational strategy that contributes to the learning process in a more meaningful way. This article systematizes a series of elements that guide the use of these spaces for the scientific literacy of deaf students and as experiences of this nature are favorable for the school development through the concept of the circularity. The methodology for the didactic use of these spaces of non-formal education is one of the reflections developed in this study and how such environments can contribute to the learning in the classroom. To develop in the student the idea of ​​association making him create connections with the curricular proposal and notice how the proposed activity is articulated. It is in our interest that the experience lived in the museum be shared collaborating for the construction of a scientific literacy and cultural identity through the research.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
870
10009098
Study Habits and Level of Difficulty Encountered by Maltese Students Studying Biology Advanced Level Topics
Abstract:

This research was performed to investigate the study habits and level of difficulty perceived by post-secondary students in Biology at Advanced-level topics after completing their first year of study. At the end of a two-year ‘sixth form’ course, Maltese students sit for the Matriculation and Secondary Education Certificate (MATSEC) Advanced-level biology exam as a requirement to pursue science-related studies at the University of Malta. The sample was composed of 23 students (16 taking Chemistry and seven taking some ‘Other’ subject at the Advanced Level). The cohort comprised seven males and 16 females. A questionnaire constructed by the authors, was answered anonymously during the last lecture at the end of the first year of study, in May 2016. The Chi square test revealed that gender plays no effect on the various study habits (c2 (6) = 5.873, p = 0.438). ‘Reading both notes and textbooks’ was the most common method adopted by males (71.4%), whereas ‘Writing notes on each topic’ was that mostly used by females (81.3%). The Mann-Whitney U test showed no significant difference in the study habits of students and the mean assessment mark obtained at the end of the first year course (p = 0.231). Statistical difference was found with the One-ANOVA test when comparing the mean assessment mark obtained at the end of the first year course when students are clustered by their Secondary Education Certificate (SEC) grade (p < 0.001). Those obtaining a SEC grade of 2 and 3 got the highest mean assessment of 68.33% and 66.9%, respectively [SEC grading is 1-7, where 1 is the highest]. The Friedman test was used to compare the mean difficulty rating scores provided for the difficulty of each topic. The mean difficulty rating score ranges from 1 to 4, where the larger the mean rating score, the higher the difficulty. When considering the whole group of students, nine topics out of 21 were perceived as significantly more difficult than the other topics. Protein synthesis, DNA Replication and Biomolecules were the most difficult, in that order. The Mann-Whitney U test revealed that the perceived level of difficulty in comprehending Biomolecules is significantly lower for students taking Chemistry compared to those not choosing the subject (p = 0.018). Protein Synthesis was claimed as the most difficult by Chemistry students and Biomolecules by those not studying Chemistry. DNA Replication was the second most difficult topic perceived by both groups. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to examine the effect of gender on the perceived level of difficulty in comprehending various topics. It was found that females have significantly more difficulty in comprehending Biomolecules than males (p=0.039). Protein synthesis was perceived as the most difficult topic by males (mean difficulty rating score = 3.14), while Biomolecules, DNA Replication and Protein synthesis were of equal difficulty for females (mean difficulty rating score = 3.00). Males and females perceived DNA Replication as equally difficult (mean difficulty rating score = 3.00). Discovering the students’ study habits and perceived level of difficulty of specific topics is vital for the lecturer to offer guidance that leads to higher academic achievement.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
869
10009190
A Quantitative Study on the Effects of School Development on Character Development
Authors:
Abstract:

One of the aims of education is to educate individuals who have embraced universal moral principles and transform universal moral principles into moral values. Character education aims to educate behaviors of individuals in their mental activities to transform moral principles into moral values in their lives. As the result of this education, individuals are expected to develop positive character traits and become morally indifferent individuals. What are the characteristics of the factors that influence character education at this stage? How should character education help individuals develop positive character traits? Which methods are more effective? These questions come to mind when studying character education. Our research was developed within the framework of these questions. The aim of our study is to provide the most effective use of the education factor that affects character. In this context, we tried to explain character definition, character development, character education and the factors affecting character education using qualitative research methods. At this stage, character education programs applied in various countries were examined and a character education program consisting of Islamic values was prepared and implemented in an International Imam Hatip High School in Istanbul. Our application was carried out with the collaboration of school and families. Various seminars were organized in the school and participation of families was ensured. In the last phase of our study, we worked with the students and their families on the effectiveness of the events held during the program. In this study, it was found that activities such as storytelling and theater in character education programs were effective in recognizing wrong behaviors in individuals. It was determined that our program had a positive effect on the quality of education. It was seen that applications of this educational program affected the behavior of the employees in the educational institution.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
868
10009075
Contextual Variables Affecting Frustration Level in Reading: An Integral Inquiry
Abstract:

This study employs a sequential explanatory mixed method. Quantitatively it investigated the profile of grade VII students. Qualitatively, the prevailing contextual variables that affect their frustration-level were sought based on their perspective and that of their parents and teachers. These students were categorized as frustration-level in reading based on the data on word list of the Philippine Informal Reading Inventory (Phil-IRI). The researcher-made reading factor instrument translated to local dialect (Hiligaynon) was subjected to cross-cultural translation to address content, semantic, technical, criterion, or conceptual equivalence, the open-ended questions, and one unstructured interview was utilized. In the profile of the 26 participants, the 12 males are categorized as grade II and grade III frustration-levels. The prevailing contextual variables are personal-“having no interest in reading”, “being ashamed and fear of having to read in front of others” for extremely high frustration level; social environmental-“having no regular reading schedule at home” for very high frustration level and personal- “having no interest in reading” for high frustration level. Kendall Tau inferential statistical tool was used to test the significant relationship in the prevailing contextual variables that affect frustration-level readers when grouped according to perspective. Result showed that significant relationship exists between students-parents perspectives; however, there is no significant relationship between students’ and teachers’, and parents’ and teachers’ perspectives. The themes in the narratives of the participants on frustration-level readers are existence of speech defects, undesirable attitude, insufficient amount of reading materials, lack of close supervision from parents, and losing time and focus on task. Intervention was designed.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
867
10008976
Impact of Positive Psychology Education and Interventions on Well-Being: A Study of Students Engaged in Pastoral Care
Abstract:

Positive psychology investigates human strengths and virtues and promotes well-being. Relying on this assumption, positive interventions have been continuously designed to build pleasure and happiness, joy and contentment, engagement and meaning, hope and optimism, satisfaction and gratitude, spirituality, and various other positive measures of well-being. In line with this model of positive psychology and interventions, this study investigated certain measures of well-being in a group of 45 students enrolled in an 18-week positive psychology course and simultaneously engaged in service-oriented interventions that they chose for themselves based on the course content and individual interests. Students’ well-being was measured at the beginning and end of the course. The well-being indicators included positive automatic thoughts, optimism and hope, satisfaction with life, and spirituality. A paired-samples t-test conducted to evaluate the impact of class content and service-oriented interventions on students’ scores of well-being indicators indicated statistically significant increase from pre-class to post-class scores. There were also significant gender differences in post-course well-being scores, with females having higher levels of well-being than males. A two-way between groups analysis of variance indicated a significant interaction effect of age by gender on the post-course well-being scores, with females in the age group of 56-65 having the highest scores of well-being in comparison to the males in the same age group. Regression analyses indicated that positive automatic thought significantly predicted hope and satisfaction with life in the pre-course analysis. In the post-course regression analysis, spiritual transcendence made a significant contribution to optimism, and positive automatic thought made a significant contribution to both hope and satisfaction with life. Finally, a significant test between pre-course and post-course regression coefficients indicated that the regression coefficients at pre-course were significantly different from post-course coefficients, suggesting that the positive psychology course and the interventions were helpful in raising the levels of well-being. The overall results suggest a substantial increase in the participants’ well-being scores after engaging in the positive-oriented interventions, implying a need for designing more positive interventions in education to promote well-being.  

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
866
10008897
The Difficulties Witnessed by People with Intellectual Disability in Transition to Work in Saudi Arabia
Abstract:

The transition of a student with a disability from school to work is the most crucial phase while moving from the stage of adolescence into early adulthood. In this process, young individuals face various difficulties and challenges in order to accomplish the next venture of life successfully. In this respect, this paper aims to examine the challenges encountered by the individuals with intellectual disabilities in transition to work in Saudi Arabia. For this purpose, this study has undertaken a qualitative research-based methodology; wherein interpretivist philosophy has been followed along with inductive approach and exploratory research design. The data for the research has been gathered with the help of semi-structured interviews, whose findings are analysed with the help of thematic analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents of persons with intellectual disabilities, officials, supervisors and specialists of two vocational rehabilitation centres providing training to intellectually disabled students, in addition to that, directors of companies and websites in hiring those individuals. The total number of respondents for the interview was 15. The purposive sampling method was used to select the respondents for the interview. This sampling method is a non-probability sampling method which draws respondents from a known population and allows flexibility and suitability in selecting the participants for the study. The findings gathered from the interview revealed that the lack of awareness among their parents regarding the rights of their children who are intellectually disabled; the lack of adequate communication and coordination between various entities; concerns regarding their training and subsequent employment are the key difficulties experienced by the individuals with intellectual disabilities. Training in programmes such as bookbinding, carpentry, computing, agriculture, electricity and telephone exchange operations were involved as key training programmes. The findings of this study also revealed that information technology and media were playing a significant role in smoothing the transition to employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Furthermore, religious and cultural attitudes have been identified to be restricted for people with such disabilities in seeking advantages from job opportunities. On the basis of these findings, it can be implied that the information gathered through this study will serve to be highly beneficial for Saudi Arabian schools/ rehabilitation centres for individuals with intellectual disability to facilitate them in overcoming the problems they encounter during the transition to work.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
865
10008855
Comparing Test Equating by Item Response Theory and Raw Score Methods with Small Sample Sizes on a Study of the ARTé: Mecenas Learning Game
Abstract:
The purpose of the present research is to equate two test forms as part of a study to evaluate the educational effectiveness of the ARTé: Mecenas art history learning game. The researcher applied Item Response Theory (IRT) procedures to calculate item, test, and mean-sigma equating parameters. With the sample size n=134, test parameters indicated “good” model fit but low Test Information Functions and more acute than expected equating parameters. Therefore, the researcher applied equipercentile equating and linear equating to raw scores and compared the equated form parameters and effect sizes from each method. Item scaling in IRT enables the researcher to select a subset of well-discriminating items. The mean-sigma step produces a mean-slope adjustment from the anchor items, which was used to scale the score on the new form (Form R) to the reference form (Form Q) scale. In equipercentile equating, scores are adjusted to align the proportion of scores in each quintile segment. Linear equating produces a mean-slope adjustment, which was applied to all core items on the new form. The study followed a quasi-experimental design with purposeful sampling of students enrolled in a college level art history course (n=134) and counterbalancing design to distribute both forms on the pre- and posttests. The Experimental Group (n=82) was asked to play ARTé: Mecenas online and complete Level 4 of the game within a two-week period; 37 participants completed Level 4. Over the same period, the Control Group (n=52) did not play the game. The researcher examined between group differences from post-test scores on test Form Q and Form R by full-factorial Two-Way ANOVA. The raw score analysis indicated a 1.29% direct effect of form, which was statistically non-significant but may be practically significant. The researcher repeated the between group differences analysis with all three equating methods. For the IRT mean-sigma adjusted scores, form had a direct effect of 8.39%. Mean-sigma equating with a small sample may have resulted in inaccurate equating parameters. Equipercentile equating aligned test means and standard deviations, but resultant skewness and kurtosis worsened compared to raw score parameters. Form had a 3.18% direct effect. Linear equating produced the lowest Form effect, approaching 0%. Using linearly equated scores, the researcher conducted an ANCOVA to examine the effect size in terms of prior knowledge. The between group effect size for the Control Group versus Experimental Group participants who completed the game was 14.39% with a 4.77% effect size attributed to pre-test score. Playing and completing the game increased art history knowledge, and individuals with low prior knowledge tended to gain more from pre- to post test. Ultimately, researchers should approach test equating based on their theoretical stance on Classical Test Theory and IRT and the respective  assumptions. Regardless of the approach or method, test equating requires a representative sample of sufficient size. With small sample sizes, the application of a range of equating approaches can expose item and test features for review, inform interpretation, and identify paths for improving instruments for future study.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
864
10008753
Economics of Open and Distance Education in the University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Abstract:

One of the major objectives of the Nigeria national policy on education is the provision of equal educational opportunities to all citizens at different levels of education. With regards to higher education, an aspect of the policy encourages distance learning to be organized and delivered by tertiary institutions in Nigeria. This study therefore, determines how much of the Government resources are committed, how the resources are utilized and what alternative sources of funding are available for this system of education. This study investigated the trends in recurrent costs between 2004/2005 and 2013/2014 at University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre (DLC). A descriptive survey research design was employed for the study. Questionnaire was the research instrument used for the collection of data. The population of the study was 280 current distance learning education students, 70 academic staff and 50 administrative staff. Only 354 questionnaires were correctly filled and returned. Data collected were analyzed and coded using the frequencies, ratio, average and percentages were used to answer all the research questions. The study revealed that staff salaries and allowances of academic and non-academic staff represent the most important variable that influences the cost of education. About 55% of resources were allocated to this sector alone. The study also indicates that costs rise every year with increase in enrolment representing a situation of diseconomies of scale. This study recommends that Universities who operates distance learning program should strive to explore other internally generated revenue option to boost their revenue. University of Ibadan, being the premier university in Nigeria, should be given foreign aid and home support, both financially and materially, to enable the institute to run a formidable distance education program that would measure up in planning and implementation with those of developed nation.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
863
10008742
E-Learning Network Support Services: A Comparative Case Study of Australian and United States Universities
Abstract:

This research study examines the current state of support services for e-network practice in an Australian and an American university. It identifies information that will be of assistance to Australian and American universities to improve their existing online programs. The study investigated the two universities using a quantitative methodological approach. Participants were students, lecturers and admins of universities engaged with online courses and learning management systems. The support services for e-network practice variables, namely academic support services, administrative support and technical support, were investigated for e-practice. Evaluations of e-network support service and its sub factors were above average and excellent in both countries, although the American admins and lecturers tended to evaluate this factor higher than others did. Support practice was evaluated higher by all participants of an American university than by Australians. One explanation for the results may be that most suppliers of the Australian university e-learning system were from eastern Asian cultural backgrounds with a western networking support perspective about e-learning.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
862
10008691
Using Music in the Classroom to Help Syrian Refugees Deal with Post-War Trauma
Abstract:

Millions of Syrian families have been displaced since the beginning of the Syrian war, and the negative effects of post-war trauma have shown detrimental effects on the mental health of refugee children. While educational strategies have focused on vocational training and academic achievement, little has been done to include music in the school curriculum to help these children improve their mental health. The literature of music education and psychology, on the other hand, shows the positive effects of music on traumatized children, especially when it comes to dealing with stress. This paper presents a brief literature review of trauma, music therapy, and music in the classroom, after having introduced the Syrian war and refugee situation. Furthermore, the paper highlights the benefits of using music with traumatized children from the literature and offers strategies for teachers (such as singing, playing an instrument, songwriting, and others) to include music in their classrooms to help Syrian refugee children deal with post-war trauma.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
861
10008665
The Attitude of Second Year Pharmacy Students towards Lectures, Exams and E-Learning
Abstract:

There is an increasing trend toward student-centred interactive e-learning methods and students’ feedback is a valuable tool for improving learning methods. The aim of this study was to explore the attitude of second year pharmacy students at the University of Babylon, Iraq, towards lectures, exams and e-learning. Materials and methods: Ninety pharmacy students were surveyed by paper questionnaire about their preference for lecture format, use of e-files, theoretical lectures versus practical experiments, lecture and lab time. Students were also asked about their predilection for Moodle-based online exams, different types of exam questions, exam time and other extra academic activities. Results: Students prefer to read lectures on paper (73.3%), use of PowerPoint file (76.7%), short lectures of less than 10 pages (94.5%), practical experiments (66.7%), lectures and lab time of less than two hours (89.9% and 96.6 respectively) and intra-lecture discussions (68.9%). Students also like to have paper-based exam (73.3%), short essay (40%) or MCQ (34.4%) questions and also prefer to do extra activities like reports (22.2%), seminars (18.6%) and posters (10.8%). Conclusion: Second year pharmacy students have different attitudes toward traditional and electronic leaning and assessment methods. Using multimedia, e-learning and Moodle are increasingly preferred methods among some students.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
860
10008590
Development of Active Learning Calculus Course for Biomedical Program
Abstract:

The paper reviews design and implementation of a Calculus Course required for the Biomedical Competency Based Program developed as a joint project between The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the University of Texas’ Institute for Transformational Learning, from the theoretical perspective as presented in scholarly work on active learning, formative assessment, and on-line teaching. Following a four stage curriculum development process (objective, content, delivery, and assessment), and theoretical recommendations that guarantee effectiveness and efficiency of assessment in active learning, we discuss the practical recommendations on how to incorporate a strong formative assessment component to address disciplines’ needs, and students’ major needs. In design and implementation of this project, we used Constructivism and Stage-by-Stage Development of Mental Actions Theory recommendations.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
859
10008589
Determination of the Content of Teachers’ Presentism through a Web-Based Delphi Method
Authors:
Abstract:

Presentism is one of the orientations of teachers’ teaching culture. However, there are few researchers to explore it in Taiwan. The objective of this study is to establish an expert-based determination of the content of teachers’ presentism in Taiwan. The author reviewed the works of Jackson, Lortie, and Hargreaves and employed Hargreaves’ three forms of teachers’ presentism as a framework to design the questionnaire of this study. The questionnaire of teachers’ presentism comprised of 42 statements. A three-round web-based Delphi survey was proposed to 14 participants (two teacher educators, two educational administrators, three school principals, and seven schoolteachers), 13 participants (92.86%) completed the three-rounds of the study. The participants were invited to indicate the importance of each statement. The Delphi study used means and standard deviation to present information concerning the collective judgments of respondents. Finally, the author obtained consensual results for 67% (28/42). However, the outcome of this study could be the result of identifying a series of general statements rather than an in-depth exposition of the topic.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
858
10008995
Effect of Social Media on the Study Habits of Students of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri
Abstract:

There has been considerable anxiety in society that social media distracts from education and reduces the social skills of young people. Following this, educators have sought ways to mitigate its negative effects on educational attainment while incorporating its positive aspects into the learning process. This study sought to examine the impact of social media on the study habits of students of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri. The research design involved survey technique where questionnaires were used to collect data from a sample of the student population. Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse the data. Spearman’s Rho was the specific tool used for analysis. It was presented in frequency tables and bar charts. Findings from variables investigated showed that at p<0.5, social media usage had a significant impact on the study habits of students of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri. This indicated the need for stakeholders in the community to employ counselling and other proactive measures to ensure that students maintained proper focus on their primary assignment for schooling.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
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