Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 872

Educational and Pedagogical Sciences

872
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):
871
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):
870
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):
869
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):
868
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):
867
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):
866
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):
865
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):
864
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):
863
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):
862
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):
861
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):
860
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):
859
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):
858
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):
857
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):
856
10008799
Strategies for Patient Families Integration in Caregiving: A Consensus Opinion
Abstract:

There is no reservation on the outstanding contribution of patient families in restoration of hospitalised patients, hence their consideration as essential component of hospital ward regimen. The psychological and emotional support a patient requires has been found to be solely provided by the patient’s family. However, consideration of their presence as one of the major functional requirements of an inpatient setting design have always been a source of disquiet, especially in developing countries where policies, norms and protocols of healthcare administration have no consideration for the patients’ family. This have been a major challenge to the hospital ward facilities, a concern for the hospital administration and patient management. The study therefore is aimed at obtaining a consensus opinion on the best approach for family integration in the design of an inpatient setting.  A one day visioning charrette involving Architects, Nurses, Medical Doctors, Healthcare assistants and representatives from the Patient families was conducted with the aim of arriving at a consensus opinion on practical design approach for sustainable family integration. Patient’s family are found to be decisive character of hospital ward regimen that cannot be undermined. However, several challenges that impede family integration were identified and subsequently a recommendation for an ideal approach. This will serve as a guide to both architects and hospital management in implementing much desired Patient and Family Centred Care.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
855
10008751
The Effect of Information vs. Reasoning Gap Tasks on the Frequency of Conversational Strategies and Accuracy in Speaking among Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners
Abstract:

Speaking skills merit meticulous attention both on the side of the learners and the teachers. In particular, accuracy is a critical component to guarantee the messages to be conveyed through conversation because a wrongful change may adversely alter the content and purpose of the talk. Different types of tasks have served teachers to meet numerous educational objectives. Besides, negotiation of meaning and the use of different strategies have been areas of concern in socio-cultural theories of SLA. Negotiation of meaning is among the conversational processes which have a crucial role in facilitating the understanding and expression of meaning in a given second language. Conversational strategies are used during interaction when there is a breakdown in communication that leads to the interlocutor attempting to remedy the gap through talk. Therefore, this study was an attempt to investigate if there was any significant difference between the effect of reasoning gap tasks and information gap tasks on the frequency of conversational strategies used in negotiation of meaning in classrooms on one hand, and on the accuracy in speaking of Iranian intermediate EFL learners on the other. After a pilot study to check the practicality of the treatments, at the outset of the main study, the Preliminary English Test was administered to ensure the homogeneity of 87 out of 107 participants who attended the intact classes of a 15 session term in one control and two experimental groups. Also, speaking sections of PET were used as pretest and posttest to examine their speaking accuracy. The tests were recorded and transcribed to estimate the percentage of the number of the clauses with no grammatical errors in the total produced clauses to measure the speaking accuracy. In all groups, the grammatical points of accuracy were instructed and the use of conversational strategies was practiced. Then, different kinds of reasoning gap tasks (matchmaking, deciding on the course of action, and working out a time table) and information gap tasks (restoring an incomplete chart, spot the differences, arranging sentences into stories, and guessing game) were manipulated in experimental groups during treatment sessions, and the students were required to practice conversational strategies when doing speaking tasks. The conversations throughout the terms were recorded and transcribed to count the frequency of the conversational strategies used in all groups. The results of statistical analysis demonstrated that applying both the reasoning gap tasks and information gap tasks significantly affected the frequency of conversational strategies through negotiation. In the face of the improvements, the reasoning gap tasks had a more significant impact on encouraging the negotiation of meaning and increasing the number of conversational frequencies every session. The findings also indicated both task types could help learners significantly improve their speaking accuracy. Here, applying the reasoning gap tasks was more effective than the information gap tasks in improving the level of learners’ speaking accuracy.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
854
10008728
Complementing Assessment Processes with Standardized Tests: A Work in Progress
Abstract:

ABET accredited programs must assess the development of student learning outcomes (SOs) in engineering programs. Different institutions implement different strategies for this assessment, and they are usually designed “in house.” This paper presents a proposal for including standardized tests to complement the ABET assessment model in an engineering college made up of six distinct engineering programs. The engineering college formulated a model of quality assurance in education to be implemented throughout the six engineering programs to regularly assess and evaluate the achievement of SOs in each program offered. The model uses diverse techniques and sources of data to assess student performance and to implement actions of improvement based on the results of this assessment. The model is called “Assessment Process Model” and it includes SOs A through K, as defined by ABET. SOs can be divided into two categories: “hard skills” and “professional skills” (soft skills). The first includes abilities, such as: applying knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering and designing and conducting experiments, as well as analyzing and interpreting data. The second category, “professional skills”, includes communicating effectively, and understanding professional and ethnical responsibility. Within the Assessment Process Model, various tools were used to assess SOs, related to both “hard” as well as “soft” skills. The assessment tools designed included: rubrics, surveys, questionnaires, and portfolios. In addition to these instruments, the Engineering College decided to use tools that systematically gather consistent quantitative data. For this reason, an in-house exam was designed and implemented, based on the curriculum of each program. Even though this exam was administered during various academic periods, it is not currently considered standardized. In 2017, the Engineering College included three standardized tests: one to assess mathematical and scientific reasoning and two more to assess reading and writing abilities. With these exams, the college hopes to obtain complementary information that can help better measure the development of both hard and soft skills of students in the different engineering programs. In the first semester of 2017, the three exams were given to three sample groups of students from the six different engineering programs. Students in the sample groups were either from the first, fifth, and tenth semester cohorts. At the time of submission of this paper, the engineering college has descriptive statistical data and is working with various statisticians to have a more in-depth and detailed analysis of the sample group of students’ achievement on the three exams. The overall objective of including standardized exams in the assessment model is to identify more precisely the least developed SOs in order to define and implement educational strategies necessary for students to achieve them in each engineering program.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
853
10008514
A Proposal on the Educational Transactional Analysis as a Dialogical Vision of Culture: Conceptual Signposts and Practical Tools for Educators
Abstract:

The multicultural composition of today's societies poses new challenges to educational contexts. Schools are therefore called first to develop dialogic aptitudes and communicative skills adapted to the complex reality of post-modern societies. It is indispensable for educators and for young people to learn theoretical and practical tools during their scholastic path, in order to allow the knowledge of themselves and of the others with the aim of recognizing the value of the others regardless of their culture. Dialogic Skills help to understand and manage individual differences by allowing the solution of problems and preventing conflicts. The Educational Sector of Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis offers a range of methods and techniques for this purpose. Educational Transactional Analysis is firmly anchored in the Personalist Philosophy and deserves to be promoted as a theoretical frame suitable to face the challenges of contemporary education. The goal of this paper is therefore to outline some conceptual and methodological signposts for the education to dialogue by drawing concepts and methodologies from educational transactional analysis.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
852
10008502
The Changing Trend of Collaboration Patterns in the Social Sciences: Institutional Influences on Academic Research in Korea, 2013-2016
Abstract:

Collaborative research has become more prevalent and important across disciplines because it stimulates innovation and interaction between scholars. Seeing as existing studies relatively disregarded the institutional conditions triggering collaborative research, this work aims to analyze the changing trend in collaborative work patterns among Korean social scientists. The focus of this research is the performance of social scientists who received research grants through the government’s Social Science Korea (SSK) program. Using quantitative statistical methods, collaborative research patterns in a total of 2,354 papers published under the umbrella of the SSK program in peer-reviewed scholarly journals from 2013 to 2016 were examined to identify changing trends and triggering factors in collaborative research. A notable finding is that the share of collaborative research is overwhelmingly higher than that of individual research. In particular, levels of collaborative research surpassed 70%, increasing much quicker compared to other research done in the social sciences. Additionally, the most common composition of collaborative research was for two or three researchers to conduct joint research as coauthors, and this proportion has also increased steadily. Finally, a strong association between international journals and co-authorship patterns was found for the papers published by SSK program researchers from 2013 to 2016. The SSK program can be seen as the driving force behind collaboration between social scientists. Its emphasis on competition through a merit-based financial support system along with a rigorous evaluation process seems to have influenced researchers to cooperate with those who have similar research interests.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
851
10008349
The Effect of Cross-Curriculum of L1 and L2 on Elementary School Students’ Linguistic Proficiency: To Sympathize with Others
Abstract:
This paper reports on a project to integrate Japanese (as a first language) and English (as a second language) education. This study focuses on the mutual effects of the two languages on the linguistic proficiency of elementary school students. The research team consisted of elementary school teachers and researchers at a university. The participants of the experiment were students between 3rd and 6th grades at an elementary school. The research process consisted of seven steps: 1) specifying linguistic proficiency; 2) developing the cross-curriculum of L1 and L2; 3) forming can-do statements; 4) creating a self-evaluation questionnaire; 5) executing the self-evaluation questionnaire at the beginning of the school year; 6) instructing L1 and L2 based on the curriculum; and 7) executing the self-evaluation questionnaire at the beginning of the next school year. In Step 1, the members of the research team brainstormed ways to specify elementary school students’ linguistic proficiency that can be observed in various scenes. It was revealed that the teachers evaluate their students’ linguistic proficiency on the basis of the students’ utterances, but also informed by their non-verbal communication abilities. This led to the idea that competency for understanding others’ minds through the use of physical movement or bodily senses in communication in L1 – to sympathize with others – can be transferred to that same competency in communication in L2. Based on the specification of linguistic proficiency that L1 and L2 have in common, a cross-curriculum of L1 and L2 was developed in Step 2. In Step 3, can-do statements based on the curriculum were also formed, building off of the action-oriented approach from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) used in Europe. A self-evaluation questionnaire consisting of the main can-do statements was given to the students between 3rd grade and 6th grade at the beginning of the school year (Step 4 and Step 5), and all teachers gave L1 and L2 instruction based on the curriculum to the students for one year (Step 6). The same questionnaire was given to the students at the beginning of the next school year (Step 7). The results of statistical analysis proved the enhancement of the students’ linguistic proficiency. This verified the validity of developing the cross-curriculum of L1 and L2 and adapting it in elementary school. It was concluded that elementary school students do not distinguish between L1 and L2, and that they just try to understand others’ minds through physical movement or senses in any language.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
850
10008328
Teachers Leadership Dimension in History Learning
Abstract:
The Ministry of Education Malaysia dynamically and drastically made the subject of History mandatory to be in force in 2013. This is in recognition of the nation's heritage and treasures in maintaining true facts and information for future generations of the State. History reveals the civilization of a nation and the fact of national cultural heritage. Civilization needs to be preserved as a legacy of sovereign heritage. Today's generation is the catalyst for future heirs who will support the principle and direction of the country. In line with the National Education Philosophy that aims to shape the potential development of individuals holistically and uniquely in order to produce a balanced and harmonious student in terms of intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical. Hence, understanding the importance of studying the history subject as a pillar of identity and the history of nationhood is to be a priority in the pursuit of knowledge and empowering the spirit of statehood that is nurtured through continuous learning at school. Judging from the aspect of teacher leadership role in integrating history in a combined way based on Teacher Education Philosophy. It empowers the teaching profession towards the teacher to support noble character. It also supports progressive and scientific views. Teachers are willing to uphold the State's aspirations and celebrate the country's cultural heritage. They guarantee individual development and maintain a united, democratic, progressive and disciplined society. Teacher's role as a change and leadership agent in education begins in the classroom through formal or informal educational processes. This situation is expanded in schools, communities and countries. The focus of this paper is on the role of teacher leadership influencing the effectiveness of teaching and learning history in the classroom environment. Leadership guides to teachers' perceptions on the role of teacher leadership, teaching leadership, and the teacher leadership role and effective teacher leadership role. Discussions give emphasis on aspects of factors affecting the classroom environment, forming the classroom agenda, effective classroom implementation methods, suitable climate for historical learning and teacher challenges in implicating the effectiveness of teaching and learning processes.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
849
10008732
Impact of Ownership Structure on Provision of Staff and Infrastructure for Implementing Computer Aided Design Curriculum in Universities in South-East Nigeria
Abstract:

Instruction towards acquiring skills in the use of Computer Aided Design technologies has become a vital part of architectural education curriculum in the digital era. Its implementation, however, requires deployment of extra resources to build new infrastructure, acquisition and maintenance of new equipment, retraining of staff and recruitment of new ones who are knowledgeable in this area. This study sought to examine the impact that ownership structure of Nigerian universities had on provision of staff and infrastructure for implementing computer aided design curriculum with a view to developing a framework for the evaluation for appropriate implementation by the institutions. Survey research design was employed. The focus was on departments of architecture in universities in south-east Nigeria accredited by the National Universities Commission. Data were obtained in the areas of infrastructure and personnel for CAD implementation. A multi-stage stratified random sampling method was adopted. The first stage of stratification involved the accredited departments. Random sampling by balloting was then carried out. At the second stage, sampling size formulae was applied to obtain respondents’ number. For data analysis, analysis of variance tool for testing differences of means was used. With ρ < 0.5, the study found that there was significant difference between private-funded, state-funded and federal-funded departments of architecture in the provision of personnel and infrastructure. The implications of these findings were that for successful implementation leading to attainment of CAD proficiency to occur in every institution regardless of ownership structure, minimum evaluation guidelines needed to be set. A regular comparison of implementation in institutions was recommended as a means of rating performance. This will inform better interaction with those who consistently show weakness to challenge them towards improvement.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
848
10008371
Education for Sustainability Using PBL on an Engineering Course at the National University of Colombia
Abstract:
This article describes the implementation experience of Project-Based Learning (PBL) in an engineering course of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, with the aim of strengthening student skills necessary for the exercise of their profession under a sustainability framework. Firstly, we present a literature review on the education for sustainability field, emphasizing the skills and knowledge areas required for its development, as well as the commitment of the Faculty of Engineering of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and other engineering faculties of the country, regarding education for sustainability. This article covers the general aspects of the course, describes how students team were formed, and how their experience was during the first semester of 2017. During this period two groups of students decided to develop their course project aiming to solve a problem regarding a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that works with head-of-household mothers in a low-income neighborhood in Bogota (Colombia). Subsequently, we show how sustainability is involved in the course, how tools are provided to students, and how activities are developed as to strengthen their abilities, which allows them to incorporate sustainability in their projects while also working on the methodology used to develop said projects. Finally, we introduce the results obtained by the students who sent the prototypes of their projects to the community they were working on and the conclusions reached by them regarding the course experience.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
847
10008368
Islamic Education System: Implementation of Curriculum Kuttab Al-Fatih Semarang
Abstract:

The picture and pattern of Islamic education in the Prophet's period in Mecca and Medina is the history of the past that we need to bring back. The Basic Education Institute called Kuttab. Kuttab or Maktab comes from the word kataba which means to write. The popular Kuttab in the Prophet’s period aims to resolve the illiteracy in the Arab community. In Indonesia, this Institution has 25 branches; one of them is located in Semarang (i.e. Kuttab Al-Fatih). Kuttab Al-Fatih as a non-formal institution of Islamic education is reserved for children aged 5-12 years. The independently designed curriculum is a distinctive feature that distinguishes between Kuttab Al-Fatih curriculum and the formal institutional curriculum in Indonesia. The curriculum includes the faith and the Qur’an. Kuttab Al-Fatih has been licensed as a Community Activity Learning Center under the direct supervision and guidance of the National Education Department. Here, we focus to describe the implementation of curriculum Kuttab Al-Fatih Semarang (i.e. faith and al-Qur’an). After that, we determine the relevance between the implementation of the Kuttab Al-Fatih education system with the formal education system in Indonesia. This research uses literature review and field research qualitative methods. We obtained the data from the head of Kuttab Al-Fatih Semarang, vice curriculum, faith coordinator, al-Qur’an coordinator, as well as the guardians of learners and the learners. The result of this research is the relevance of education system in Kuttab Al-Fatih Semarang about education system in Indonesia. Kuttab Al-Fatih Semarang emphasizes character building through a curriculum designed in such a way and combines thematic learning models in modules.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
846
10008344
The Impact of Leadership Style and Sense of Competence on the Performance of Post-Primary School Teachers in Oyo State, Nigeria
Abstract:

The not so pleasing state of the nation's quality of education has been a major area of research. Many researchers have looked into various aspects of the educational system and organizational structure in relation to the quality of service delivery of the staff members. However, there is paucity of research in areas relating to the sense of competence and commitment in relation to leadership styles. Against this backdrop, this study investigated the impact of leadership style and sense of competence on the performance of post-primary school teachers in Oyo state Nigeria. Data were generated across public secondary schools in the city using survey design method. Ibadan as a metropolis has eleven local government areas contained in it. A systematic random sampling technique of the eleven local government areas in Ibadan was done and five local government areas were selected. The selected local government areas are Akinyele, Ibadan North, Ibadan North-East, Ibadan South and Ibadan South-West. Data were obtained from a range of two – three public secondary schools selected in each of the local government areas mentioned above. Also, these secondary schools are a representation of the variations in the constructs under consideration across the Ibadan metropolis. Categorically, all secondary school teachers in Ibadan were clustered into selected schools in those found across the five local government areas. In all, a total of 272 questionnaires were administered to public secondary school teachers, while 241 were returned. Findings revealed that transformational leadership style makes room for job commitment when compared with transactional and laissez-faire leadership styles. Teachers with a high sense of competence are more likely to demonstrate more commitment to their job than others with low sense of competence. We recommend that, it is important an assessment is made of the leadership styles employed by principals and school administrators. This guides administrators and principals in to having a clear, comprehensive knowledge of the style they currently adopt in the management of the staff and the school as a whole; and know where to begin the adjustment process from. Also to make an impact on student achievement, being attentive to teachers’ levels of commitment may be an important aspect of leadership for school principals.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
845
10008310
Building the Professional Readiness of Graduates from Day One: An Empirical Approach to Curriculum Continuous Improvement
Abstract:

Industry employers require new graduates to bring with them a range of knowledge, skills and abilities which mean these new employees can immediately make valuable work contributions. These will be a combination of discipline and professional knowledge, skills and abilities which give graduates the technical capabilities to solve practical problems whilst interacting with a range of stakeholders. Underpinning the development of these disciplines and professional knowledge, skills and abilities, are “enabling” knowledge, skills and abilities which assist students to engage in learning. These are academic and learning skills which are essential to common starting points for both the learning process of students entering the course as well as forming the foundation for the fully developed graduate knowledge, skills and abilities. This paper reports on a project created to introduce and strengthen these enabling skills into the first semester of a Bachelor of Information Technology degree in an Australian polytechnic. The project uses an action research approach in the context of ongoing continuous improvement for the course to enhance the overall learning experience, learning sequencing, graduate outcomes, and most importantly, in the first semester, student engagement and retention. The focus of this is implementing the new curriculum in first semester subjects of the course with the aim of developing the “enabling” learning skills, such as literacy, research and numeracy based knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs). The approach used for the introduction and embedding of these KSAs, (as both enablers of learning and to underpin graduate attribute development), is presented. Building on previous publications which reported different aspects of this longitudinal study, this paper recaps on the rationale for the curriculum redevelopment and then presents the quantitative findings of entering students’ reading literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills degree as well as their perceived research ability. The paper presents the methodology and findings for this stage of the research. Overall, the cohort exhibits mixed KSA levels in these areas, with a relatively low aggregated score. In addition, the paper describes the considerations for adjusting the design and delivery of the new subjects with a targeted learning experience, in response to the feedback gained through continuous monitoring. Such a strategy is aimed at accommodating the changing learning needs of the students and serves to support them towards achieving the enabling learning goals starting from day one of their higher education studies.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
844
10008242
Enhancing Children’s English Vocabulary Acquisition through Digital Storytelling at Happy Kids Kindergarten, Palembang, Indonesia
Abstract:
Enhanching English vocabulary in early childhood is the main problem often faced by teachers. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the enhancement of children’s English vocabulary acquisition by using digital storytelling. This type of research was an action research. It consisted of a series of four activities done in repeated cycles: planning, implementation, observation, and reflection. The subject of the study consisted of 30 students of B group (5-6 years old) attending Happy Kids Kindergarten Palembang, Indonesia. This research was conducted in three cycles. The methods used for data collection were observation and documentation. Descriptive qualitative and quantitative methods were also used to analyse the data. The research showed that the digital storytelling learning activities could enhance the children’s English vocabulary acquisition. It is based on the data in which the enhancement in pre-cycle was 37% and 51% in Cycle I. In Cycle II it was 71% and in Cycle III it was 89.3%. The results showed an enhancement of about 14% from the pre-cycle to Cycle I, 20% from Cycle I to Cycle II, and enhancement of about 18.3% from Cycle II to Cycle III. The conclusion of this study suggests that digital storytelling learning method could enhance the English vocabulary acquisition of B group children at the Happy Kids Kindergarten Palembang. Therefore, digital storytelling can be considered as an alternative to improve English language learning in the classroom.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
843
10008138
Students Perceptions on the Relevance of High School Mathematics in University Education in South Africa
Abstract:
In this study we investigated the relevance of high school mathematics in university education. The paper particularly focused on whether the concepts taught in high school are enough for engineering courses at diploma level. The study identified particular concepts that are required in engineering courses whether they were adequately covered in high school. A questionnaire was used to investigate whether relevant topics were covered in high school. The respondents were 228 first year students at the Central University of Technology in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology. The study indicates that there are some topics such as integration, complex numbers and matrices that are not done at high schools and are required in engineering courses at university. It is further observed that some students did not cover the topics that are in the current syllabus. Female students enter the university less prepared than their male counterparts. More than 30% of the respondents in this study felt that high school mathematics was not useful for them to be able to do engineering courses.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
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