Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 33

Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering

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  • 33
    Increasing the Efficacy of Educators Teaching Online

    In order to provide and maintain effective pedagogy for the burgeoning virtual reality community, it is vital to have trained faculty in the institutions of higher education who will teach these courses and be able to make full use of their academic knowledge and expertise. As the number of online courses continues to grow, there is a need for these institutions to establish mentoring programs that will support the novice online instructor. The environment in which this takes place and the factors that ensure its success are critical to the adoption of the new instructional delivery format taught by both seasoned educators and adjunct instructors. Effective one-on-one mentoring promotes a professional, compassionate and collegial faculty who will provide a consistent and rigorous academic program for students online.

    The Effects of the Impact of Instructional Immediacy on Cognition and Learning in Online Classes
    Current research has explored the impact of instructional immediacy, defined as those behaviors that help build close relationships or feelings of closeness, both on cognition and motivation in the traditional classroom and online classroom; however, online courses continue to suffer from higher dropout rates. Based on Albert Bandura-s Social Cognitive Theory, four primary relationships or interactions in an online course will be explored in light of how they can provide immediacy thereby reducing student attrition and improving cognitive learning. The four relationships are teacher-student, student-student, and student-content, and studentcomputer. Results of a study conducted with inservice teachers completing a 14-week online professional development technology course will be examined to demonstrate immediacy strategies that improve cognitive learning and reduce student attrition. Results of the study reveal that students can be motivated through various interactions and instructional immediacy behaviors which lead to higher completion rates, improved self-efficacy, and cognitive learning.
    Moving From Problem Space to Solution Space
    Extracting and elaborating software requirements and transforming them into viable software architecture are still an intricate task. This paper defines a solution architecture which is based on the blurred amalgamation of problem space and solution space. The dependencies between domain constraints, requirements and architecture and their importance are described that are to be considered collectively while evolving from problem space to solution space. This paper proposes a revised version of Twin Peaks Model named Win Peaks Model that reconciles software requirements and architecture in more consistent and adaptable manner. Further the conflict between stakeholders- win-requirements is resolved by proposed Voting methodology that is simple adaptation of win-win requirements negotiation model and QARCC.
    A Virtual Learning Environment for Deaf Children: Design and Evaluation
    The object of this research is the design and evaluation of an immersive Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for deaf children. Recently we have developed a prototype immersive VR game to teach sign language mathematics to deaf students age K- 4 [1] [2]. In this paper we describe a significant extension of the prototype application. The extension includes: (1) user-centered design and implementation of two additional interactive environments (a clock store and a bakery), and (2) user-centered evaluation including development of user tasks, expert panel-based evaluation, and formative evaluation. This paper is one of the few to focus on the importance of user-centered, iterative design in VR application development, and to describe a structured evaluation method.
    Online Programme of Excellence Model (OPEM)

    Finding effective ways of improving university quality assurance requires, as well, a retraining of the staff. This article illustrates an Online Programme of Excellence Model (OPEM), based on the European quality assurance model, for improving participants- formative programme standards. The results of applying this OPEM indicate the necessity of quality policies that support the evaluators- competencies to improve formative programmes. The study concludes by outlining how faculty and agency staff can use OPEM for the internal and external quality assurance of formative programmes.

    Toward a Model for Knowledge Development in Virtual Environments: Strategies for Student Ownership

    This article discusses the concept of student ownership of knowledge and seeks to determine how to move students from knowledge acquisition to knowledge application and ultimately to knowledge generation in a virtual setting. Instructional strategies for fostering student engagement in a virtual environment are critical to the learner-s strategic ownership of the knowledge. A number of relevant theories that focus on learning, affect, needs and adult concerns are presented to provide a basis for exploring the transfer of knowledge from teacher to learner. A model under development is presented that combines the dimensions of knowledge approach, the teacher-student relationship with regards to knowledge authority and teaching approach to demonstrate the recursive and scaffolded design for creation of virtual learning environments.

    Utilizing Virtual Worlds in Education: The Implications for Practice

    Multi User Virtual Worlds are becoming a valuable educational tool. Learning experiences within these worlds focus on discovery and active experiences that both engage students and motivate them to explore new concepts. As educators, we need to explore these environments to determine how they can most effectively be used in our instructional practices. This paper explores the current application of virtual worlds to identify meaningful educational strategies that are being used to engage students and enhance teaching and learning.

    Development of Subjective Measures of Interestingness: From Unexpectedness to Shocking
    Knowledge Discovery of Databases (KDD) is the process of extracting previously unknown but useful and significant information from large massive volume of databases. Data Mining is a stage in the entire process of KDD which applies an algorithm to extract interesting patterns. Usually, such algorithms generate huge volume of patterns. These patterns have to be evaluated by using interestingness measures to reflect the user requirements. Interestingness is defined in different ways, (i) Objective measures (ii) Subjective measures. Objective measures such as support and confidence extract meaningful patterns based on the structure of the patterns, while subjective measures such as unexpectedness and novelty reflect the user perspective. In this report, we try to brief the more widely spread and successful subjective measures and propose a new subjective measure of interestingness, i.e. shocking.
    The Effect of Facial Expressions on Students in Virtual Educational Environments

    The scope of this research was to study the relation between the facial expressions of three lecturers in a real academic lecture theatre and the reactions of the students to those expressions. The first experiment aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a virtual lecturer-s expressions on the students- learning outcome in a virtual pedagogical environment. The second experiment studied the effectiveness of a single facial expression, i.e. the smile, on the students- performance. Both experiments involved virtual lectures, with virtual lecturers teaching real students. The results suggest that the students performed better by 86%, in the lectures where the lecturer performed facial expressions compared to the results of the lectures that did not use facial expressions. However, when simple or basic information was used, the facial expressions of the virtual lecturer had no substantial effect on the students- learning outcome. Finally, the appropriate use of smiles increased the interest of the students and consequently their performance.

    Building Virtual Reality Environments for Distance Education on the Web: A Case Study in Medical Education

    The paper presents an investigation into the role of virtual reality and web technologies in the field of distance education. Within this frame, special emphasis is given on the building of web-based virtual learning environments so as to successfully fulfill their educational objectives. In particular, basic pedagogical methods are studied, focusing mainly on the efficient preparation, approach and presentation of learning content, and specific designing rules are presented considering the hypermedia, virtual and educational nature of this kind of applications. The paper also aims to highlight the educational benefits arising from the use of virtual reality technology in medicine and study the emerging area of web-based medical simulations. Finally, an innovative virtual reality environment for distance education in medicine is demonstrated. The proposed environment reproduces conditions of the real learning process and enhances learning through a real-time interactive simulator.

    Virtual Reality Classrooms Strategies for Creating a Social Presence
    Delivering course material via a virtual environment is beneficial to today-s students because it offers the interactivity, real-time interaction and social presence that students of all ages have come to accept in our gaming rich community. It is essential that the Net Generation also known as Generation Why, have exposure to learning communities that encompass interactivity to form social and educational connections. As student and professor become interconnected through collaboration and interaction in a virtual learning space, relationships develop and students begin to take on an individual identity. With this in mind the research project was developed to investigate the use of virtual environments on student satisfaction and the effectiveness of course delivery. Furthermore, the project was designed to integrate both interactive (real-time) classes conducted in the Virtual Reality (VR) environment while also creating archived VR sessions for student use in retaining and reviewing course content.
    [The] Creative Art [of] Education
    In our current political climate of assessment and accountability initiatives we are failing to prepare our children for a participatory role in the creative economy. The field of education is increasingly falling prey to didactic methodologies which train a nation of competent test takers, foregoing the opportunity to educate students to find problems and develop multiple solutions. No where is this more evident than in the area of art education. Due to a myriad of issues including budgetary shortfalls, time constraints and a general misconception that anyone who enjoys the arts is capable of teaching the arts, our students are not developing the skills they require to become fully literate in critical thinking and creative processing. Although art integrated curriculum is increasingly being viewed as a reform strategy for motivating students by offering alternative presentation of concepts and representation of knowledge acquisition, misinformed administrators are often excluding the art teacher from the integration equation. The paper to follow addresses the problem of the need for divergent thinking and conceptualization in our schools. Furthermore, this paper explores the role of education, and specifically, art education in the development of a creatively literate citizenry.
    Managing Legal, Consumers and Commerce Risks in Phishing
    Phishing scheme is a new emerged security issue of E-Commerce Crime in globalization. In this paper, the legal scaffold of Malaysia, United States and United Kingdom are analyzed and followed by discussion on critical issues that rose due to phishing activities. The result revealed that inadequacy of current legal framework is the main challenge to govern this epidemic. However, lack of awareness among consumers, crisis on merchant-s responsibility and lack of intrusion reports and incentive arrangement contributes to phishing proliferating. Prevention is always better than curb. By the end of this paper, some best practices for consumers and corporations are suggested.
    Digital Narrative as a Change Agent to Teach Reading to Media-Centric Students
    Because today-s media centric students have adopted digital as their native form of communication, teachers are having increasingly difficult time motivating reluctant readers to read and write. Our research has shown these text-averse individuals can learn to understand the importance of reading and writing if the instruction is based on digital narratives. While these students are naturally attracted to story, they are better at consuming them than creating them. Therefore, any intervention that utilizes story as its basis needs to include instruction on the elements of story making. This paper presents a series of digitally-based tools to identify potential weaknesses of visually impaired visual learners and to help motivate these and other media-centric students to select and complete books that are assigned to them
    Promoting Reflection through Action Learning in a 3D Virtual World
    An international cooperation between educators in Australia and the US has led to a reconceptualization of the teaching of a library science course at Appalachian State University. The pedagogy of Action Learning coupled with a 3D virtual learning environment immerses students in a social constructivist learning space that incorporates and supports interaction and reflection. The intent of this study was to build a bridge between theory and practice by providing students with a tool set that promoted personal and social reflection, and created and scaffolded a community of practice. Besides, action learning is an educational process whereby the fifty graduate students experienced their own actions and experience to improve performance.
    Diffusion of Mobile Entertainment in Malaysia: Drivers and Barriers
    This research aims to examine the key success factors for the diffusion of mobile entertainment services in Malaysia. The drivers and barriers observed in this research include perceived benefit; concerns pertaining to pricing, product and technological standardization, privacy and security; as well as influences from peers and community. An analysis of a Malaysian survey of 384 respondents between 18 to 25 years shows that subscribers placed greater importance on perceived benefit of mobile entertainment services compared to other factors. Results of the survey also show that there are strong positive correlations between all the factors, with pricing issue–perceived benefit showing the strongest relationship. This paper aims to provide an extensive study on the drivers and barriers that could be used to derive architecture for entertainment service provision to serve as a guide for telcos to outline suitable approaches in order to encourage mass market adoption of mobile entertainment services in Malaysia.
    Utilizing Biological Models to Determine the Recruitment of the Irish Republican Army

    Sociological models (e.g., social network analysis, small-group dynamic and gang models) have historically been used to predict the behavior of terrorist groups. However, they may not be the most appropriate method for understanding the behavior of terrorist organizations because the models were not initially intended to incorporate violent behavior of its subjects. Rather, models that incorporate life and death competition between subjects, i.e., models utilized by scientists to examine the behavior of wildlife populations, may provide a more accurate analysis. This paper suggests the use of biological models to attain a more robust method for understanding the behavior of terrorist organizations as compared to traditional methods. This study also describes how a biological population model incorporating predator-prey behavior factors can predict terrorist organizational recruitment behavior for the purpose of understanding the factors that govern the growth and decline of terrorist organizations. The Lotka-Volterra, a biological model that is based on a predator-prey relationship, is applied to a highly suggestive case study, that of the Irish Republican Army. This case study illuminates how a biological model can be utilized to understand the actions of a terrorist organization.

    Prospective Class Teachers- Computer Experiences and Computer Attitudes

    The main purpose of the research is to investigate the computer experiences and computer attitudes of prospective class teachers. The research also investigated the differences between computer attitudes and computer experiences, computer competencies and the influence of genders. Ninety prospective class teachers participated in the research. Computer Attitude Scale- Marmara (CAS-M), and a questionnaire, about their computer experiences, and opinions toward the use of computers in the classroom setting, were administrated. The major findings are as follows: (1) 62% of prospective class teachers have computer at home; (2) 50% of the computer owners have computers less than three years; (3) No significant differences were found between computer attitudes and gender; (4) Differences were found between general computer attitudes and computer liking attitudes of prospective class teachers based on their computer competencies in favor of more competent ones.

    The Role of Classroom Management Efficacy in Predicting Teacher Burnout
    The purpose of this study was to examine to what extend classroom management efficacy, marital status, gender, and teaching experience predict burnout among primary school teachers. Participants of this study were 523 (345 female, 178 male) teachers who completed inventories. The results of multiple regression analysis indicated that three dimensions of teacher burnout (Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization, Personal Accomplishment) were affected differently from four predictor variables. Findings indicated that for the emotional exhaustion, classroom management efficacy, marital status and teaching experience; for depersonalization dimension, classroom management efficacy and marital status and finally for the personal accomplishment dimension, classroom management efficacy, gender, and teaching experience were significant predictors.
    Using Quality Models to Evaluate National ID systems: the Case of the UAE

    This paper presents findings from the evaluation study carried out to review the UAE national ID card software. The paper consults the relevant literature to explain many of the concepts and frameworks explained herein. The findings of the evaluation work that was primarily based on the ISO 9126 standard for system quality measurement highlighted many practical areas that if taken into account is argued to more likely increase the success chances of similar system implementation projects.

    Train the Trainer: The Bricks in the Learning Community Scaffold of Professional Development
    Professional development is the focus of this study. It reports on questionnaire data that examined the perceived effectiveness of the Train the Trainer model of technology professional development for elementary teachers. Eighty-three selected teachers called Information Technology Coaches received four half-day and one after-school in-service sessions. Subsequently, coaches shared the information and skills acquired during training with colleagues. Results indicated that participants felt comfortable as Information Technology Coaches and felt well prepared because of their technological professional development. Overall, participants perceived the Train the Trainer model to be effective. The outcomes of this study suggest that the use of the Train the Trainer model, a known professional development model, can be an integral and interdependent component of the newer more comprehensive learning community professional development model.
    Redefining Field Experiences: Virtual Environments in Teacher Education
    The explosion of interest in online gaming and virtual worlds is leading many universities to investigate possible educational applications of the new environments. In this paper we explore the possibilities of 3D online worlds for teacher education, particularly the field experience component. Drawing upon two pedagogical examples, we suggest that virtual simulations may, with certain limitations, create safe spaces that allow preservice teachers to adopt alternate identities and interact safely with the “other." In so doing they may become aware of the constructed nature of social categories and gain the essential pedagogical skill of perspective-taking. We suggest that, ultimately, the ability to be the principal creators of themselves in virtual environments can increase their ability to do the same in the real world.
    Virtual or Virtually U: Educational Institutions in Second Life

    Educational institutions are increasingly exploring the affordances of 3D virtual worlds for instruction and research, but few studies have been done to document current practices and uses of this emerging technology. This observational survey examines the virtual presences of 170 accredited educational institutions found in one such 3D virtual world called Second Life®, created by San- Francisco based Linden Lab®. The study focuses on what educational institutions look like in this virtual environment, the types of spaces educational institutions are creating or simulating, and what types of activities are being conducted.

    Research on Self-Perceptions of Pre-Service Turkish Language Teachers in Turkey with Regard to Problem Solving Skills

    The aim of this research is to determine how preservice Turkish teachers perceive themselves in terms of problem solving skills. Students attending Department of Turkish Language Teaching of Gazi University Education Faculty in 2005-2006 academic year constitute the study group (n= 270) of this research in which survey model was utilized. Data were obtained by Problem Solving Inventory developed by Heppner & Peterson and Personal Information Form. Within the settings of this research, Cronbach Alpha reliability coefficient of the scale was found as .87. Besides, reliability coefficient obtained by split-half technique which splits odd and even numbered items of the scale was found as r=.81 (Split- Half Reliability). The findings of the research revealed that preservice Turkish teachers were sufficiently qualified on the subject of problem solving skills and statistical significance was found in favor of male candidates in terms of “gender" variable. According to the “grade" variable, statistical significance was found in favor of 4th graders.

    Endogenous Fantasy – Based Serious Games: Intrinsic Motivation and Learning

    Current technological advances pale in comparison to the changes in social behaviors and 'sense of place' that is being empowered since the Internet made it on the scene. Today-s students view the Internet as both a source of entertainment and an educational tool. The development of virtual environments is a conceptual framework that needs to be addressed by educators and it is important that they become familiar with who these virtual learners are and how they are motivated to learn. Massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs), if well designed, could become the vehicle of choice to deliver learning content. We suggest that these games, in order to accomplish these goals, must begin with well-established instructional design principles that are co-aligned with established principles of video game design. And have the opportunity to provide an instructional model of significant prescriptive power. The authors believe that game designers need to take advantage of the natural motivation player-learners have for playing games by developing them in such a way so as to promote, intrinsic motivation, content learning, transfer of knowledge, and naturalization.

    Learning and Teaching in the Panopticon:Ethical and Social Issues in Creating a Virtual Educational Environment
    This paper examines ethical and social issues which have proved important when initiating and creating educational spaces within a virtual environment. It focuses on one project, identifying the key decisions made, the barriers to new practice encountered and the impact these had on the project. It demonstrates the importance of the 'backstage' ethical and social issues involved in the creation of a virtual education community and offers conclusions, and questions, which will inform future research and practice in this area. These ethical issues are considered using Knobel-s framework of front-end, in-process and back-end concerns, and include establishing social practices for the islands, allocating access rights, considering personal safety and supporting researchers appropriately within this context.
    Evaluation of New Product Development Projects using Artificial Intelligence and Fuzzy Logic
    As a vital activity for companies, new product development (NPD) is also a very risky process due to the high uncertainty degree encountered at every development stage and the inevitable dependence on how previous steps are successfully accomplished. Hence, there is an apparent need to evaluate new product initiatives systematically and make accurate decisions under uncertainty. Another major concern is the time pressure to launch a significant number of new products to preserve and increase the competitive power of the company. In this work, we propose an integrated decision-making framework based on neural networks and fuzzy logic to make appropriate decisions and accelerate the evaluation process. We are especially interested in the two initial stages where new product ideas are selected (go/no go decision) and the implementation order of the corresponding projects are determined. We show that this two-staged intelligent approach allows practitioners to roughly and quickly separate good and bad product ideas by making use of previous experiences, and then, analyze a more shortened list rigorously.
    A Virtual Reality Laboratory for Distance Education in Chemistry

    Simulations play a major role in education not only because they provide realistic models with which students can interact to acquire real world experiences, but also because they constitute safe environments in which students can repeat processes without any risk in order to perceive easier concepts and theories. Virtual reality is widely recognized as a significant technological advance that can facilitate learning process through the development of highly realistic 3D simulations supporting immersive and interactive features. The objective of this paper is to analyze the influence of virtual reality-s use in chemistry instruction as well as to present an integrated web-based learning environment for the simulation of chemical experiments. The proposed application constitutes a cost-effective solution for both schools and universities without appropriate infrastructure and a valuable tool for distance learning and life-long education in chemistry. Its educational objectives are the familiarization of students with the equipment of a real chemical laboratory and the execution of virtual volumetric analysis experiments with the active participation of students.

    Virtual Reality for Mutual Understanding in Landscape Planning

    This paper argues that fostering mutual understanding in landscape planning is as much about the planners educating stakeholder groups as the stakeholders educating the planners. In other words it is an epistemological agreement as to the meaning and nature of place, especially where an effort is made to go beyond the quantitative aspects, which can be achieved by the phenomenological experience of the Virtual Reality (VR) environment. This education needs to be a bi-directional process in which distance can be both temporal as well as spatial separation of participants, that there needs to be a common framework of understanding in which neither 'side' is disadvantaged during the process of information exchange and it follows that a medium such as VR offers an effective way of overcoming some of the shortcomings of traditional media by taking advantage of continuing technological advances in Information, Technology and Communications (ITC). In this paper we make particular reference to this as an extension to Geographical Information Systems (GIS). VR as a two-way communication tool offers considerable potential particularly in the area of Public Participation GIS (PPGIS). Information rich virtual environments that can operate over broadband networks are now possible and thus allow for the representation of large amounts of qualitative and quantitative information 'side-by-side'. Therefore, with broadband access becoming standard for households and enterprises alike, distributed virtual reality environments have great potential to contribute to enabling stakeholder participation and mutual learning within the planning context.

    Prospects, Problems of Marketing Research and Data Mining in Turkey
    The objective of this paper is to review and assess the methodological issues and problems in marketing research, data and knowledge mining in Turkey. As a summary, academic marketing research publications in Turkey have significant problems. The most vital problem seems to be related with modeling. Most of the publications had major weaknesses in modeling. There were also, serious problems regarding measurement and scaling, sampling and analyses. Analyses myopia seems to be the most important problem for young academia in Turkey. Another very important finding is the lack of publications on data and knowledge mining in the academic world.
    Multi-matrix Real-coded Genetic Algorithm for Minimising Total Costs in Logistics Chain Network
    The importance of supply chain and logistics management has been widely recognised. Effective management of the supply chain can reduce costs and lead times and improve responsiveness to changing customer demands. This paper proposes a multi-matrix real-coded Generic Algorithm (MRGA) based optimisation tool that minimises total costs associated within supply chain logistics. According to finite capacity constraints of all parties within the chain, Genetic Algorithm (GA) often produces infeasible chromosomes during initialisation and evolution processes. In the proposed algorithm, chromosome initialisation procedure, crossover and mutation operations that always guarantee feasible solutions were embedded. The proposed algorithm was tested using three sizes of benchmarking dataset of logistic chain network, which are typical of those faced by most global manufacturing companies. A half fractional factorial design was carried out to investigate the influence of alternative crossover and mutation operators by varying GA parameters. The analysis of experimental results suggested that the quality of solutions obtained is sensitive to the ways in which the genetic parameters and operators are set.
    Virtual Reality Models used on the Visualization of Construction Activities in Civil Engineering Education
    Three-dimensional geometric models have been used to present architectural and engineering works, showing their final configuration. When the clarification of a detail or the constitution of a construction step in needed, these models are not appropriate. They do not allow the observation of the construction progress of a building. Models that could present dynamically changes of the building geometry are a good support to the elaboration of projects. Techniques of geometric modeling and virtual reality were used to obtain models that could visually simulate the construction activity. The applications explain the construction work of a cavity wall and a bridge. These models allow the visualization of the physical progression of the work following a planned construction sequence, the observation of details of the form of every component of the works and support the study of the type and method of operation of the equipment applied in the construction. These models presented distinct advantage as educational aids in first-degree courses in Civil Engineering. The use of Virtual Reality techniques in the development of educational applications brings new perspectives to the teaching of subjects related to the field of civil construction.
    Auction Theory: Bidder's Perspective in an English Auction Environment

    This paper provides an overview of auction theory literature. We present a general review on literature of various auctions and focus ourselves specifically on an English auction. We are interested in modelling bidder's behavior in an English auction environment. And hence, we present an overview of the New Zealand wool auction followed by a model that would describe a bidder's decision making behavior from the New Zealand wool auction. The mathematical assumptions in an English auction environment are demonstrated from the perspective of the New Zealand wool auction.