Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 25

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

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  • 25
    Using Weblog to Promote Critical Thinking – An Exploratory Study
    Weblog is an Internet tool that is believed to possess great potential to facilitate learning in education. This study wants to know if weblog can be used to promote students- critical thinking. It used a group of secondary two students from a Singapore school to write weblogs as a means of substitution for their traditional handwritten assignments. The topics for the weblogging are taken from History syllabus but modified to suit the purpose of this study. Weblogs from the students were collected and analysed using a known coding system for measuring critical thinking. Results show that the topic for blogging is crucial in determining the types of critical thinking employed by the students. Students are seen to display critical thinking traits in the areas of information sourcing, linking information to arguments and viewpoints justification. Students- criticalness is more profound when the information for writing a topic is readily available. Otherwise, they tend to be less critical and subjective. The study also found that students lack the ability to source for external information suggesting that students may need to be taught information literacy in order to widen their use of critical thinking skills.
    Developing New Processes and Optimizing Performance Using Response Surface Methodology
    Response surface methodology (RSM) is a very efficient tool to provide a good practical insight into developing new process and optimizing them. This methodology could help engineers to raise a mathematical model to represent the behavior of system as a convincing function of process parameters. Through this paper the sequential nature of the RSM surveyed for process engineers and its relationship to design of experiments (DOE), regression analysis and robust design reviewed. The proposed four-step procedure in two different phases could help system analyst to resolve the parameter design problem involving responses. In order to check accuracy of the designed model, residual analysis and prediction error sum of squares (PRESS) described. It is believed that the proposed procedure in this study can resolve a complex parameter design problem with one or more responses. It can be applied to those areas where there are large data sets and a number of responses are to be optimized simultaneously. In addition, the proposed procedure is relatively simple and can be implemented easily by using ready-made standard statistical packages.
    The Usage of Social Networks in Educational Context
    Possible advantages of technology in educational context required the defining boundaries of formal and informal learning. Increasing opportunity to ubiquitous learning by technological support has revealed a question of how to discover the potential of individuals in the spontaneous environments such as social networks. This seems to be related with the question of what purposes in social networks have been being used? Social networks provide various advantages in educational context as collaboration, knowledge sharing, common interests, active participation and reflective thinking. As a consequence of these, the purpose of this study is composed of proposing a new model that could determine factors which effect adoption of social network applications for usage in educational context. While developing a model proposal, the existing adoption and diffusion models have been reviewed and they are thought to be suitable on handling an original perspective instead of using completely other diffusion or acceptance models because of different natures of education from other organizations. In the proposed model; social factors, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and innovativeness are determined four direct constructs that effect adoption process. Facilitating conditions, image, subjective norms and community identity are incorporated to model as antecedents of these direct four constructs.
    Comparative Analysis of the Stochastic and Parsimonious Interest Rates Models on Croatian Government Market
    The paper provides a discussion of the most relevant aspects of yield curve modeling. Two classes of models are considered: stochastic and parsimonious function based, through the approaches developed by Vasicek (1977) and Nelson and Siegel (1987). Yield curve estimates for Croatia are presented and their dynamics analyzed and finally, a comparative analysis of models is conducted.
    Explorative Data Mining of Constructivist Learning Experiences and Activities with Multiple Dimensions
    This paper discusses the use of explorative data mining tools that allow the educator to explore new relationships between reported learning experiences and actual activities, even if there are multiple dimensions with a large number of measured items. The underlying technology is based on the so-called Compendium Platform for Reproducible Computing (http://www.freestatistics.org) which was built on top the computational R Framework (http://www.wessa.net).
    A Metametadata Architecture forPedagogic Data Description
    This paper focuses on a novel method for semantic searching and retrieval of information about learning materials. Metametadata encapsulate metadata instances by using the properties and attributes provided by ontologies rather than describing learning objects. A novel metametadata taxonomy has been developed which provides the basis for a semantic search engine to extract, match and map queries to retrieve relevant results. The use of ontological views is a foundation for viewing the pedagogical content of metadata extracted from learning objects by using the pedagogical attributes from the metametadata taxonomy. Using the ontological approach and metametadata (based on the metametadata taxonomy) we present a novel semantic searching mechanism.These three strands – the taxonomy, the ontological views, and the search algorithm – are incorporated into a novel architecture (OMESCOD) which has been implemented.
    A New Approach for Prioritization of Failure Modes in Design FMEA using ANOVA
    The traditional Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) uses Risk Priority Number (RPN) to evaluate the risk level of a component or process. The RPN index is determined by calculating the product of severity, occurrence and detection indexes. The most critically debated disadvantage of this approach is that various sets of these three indexes may produce an identical value of RPN. This research paper seeks to address the drawbacks in traditional FMEA and to propose a new approach to overcome these shortcomings. The Risk Priority Code (RPC) is used to prioritize failure modes, when two or more failure modes have the same RPN. A new method is proposed to prioritize failure modes, when there is a disagreement in ranking scale for severity, occurrence and detection. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) is used to compare means of RPN values. SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) statistical analysis package is used to analyze the data. The results presented are based on two case studies. It is found that the proposed new methodology/approach resolves the limitations of traditional FMEA approach.
    Numerical Optimization within Vector of Parameters Estimation in Volatility Models
    In this paper usefulness of quasi-Newton iteration procedure in parameters estimation of the conditional variance equation within BHHH algorithm is presented. Analytical solution of maximization of the likelihood function using first and second derivatives is too complex when the variance is time-varying. The advantage of BHHH algorithm in comparison to the other optimization algorithms is that requires no third derivatives with assured convergence. To simplify optimization procedure BHHH algorithm uses the approximation of the matrix of second derivatives according to information identity. However, parameters estimation in a/symmetric GARCH(1,1) model assuming normal distribution of returns is not that simple, i.e. it is difficult to solve it analytically. Maximum of the likelihood function can be founded by iteration procedure until no further increase can be found. Because the solutions of the numerical optimization are very sensitive to the initial values, GARCH(1,1) model starting parameters are defined. The number of iterations can be reduced using starting values close to the global maximum. Optimization procedure will be illustrated in framework of modeling volatility on daily basis of the most liquid stocks on Croatian capital market: Podravka stocks (food industry), Petrokemija stocks (fertilizer industry) and Ericsson Nikola Tesla stocks (information-s-communications industry).
    Using Structural Equation Modeling in Causal Relationship Design for Balanced-Scorecards' Strategic Map
    Through 1980s, management accounting researchers described the increasing irrelevance of traditional control and performance measurement systems. The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a critical business tool for a lot of organizations. It is a performance measurement system which translates mission and strategy into objectives. Strategy map approach is a development variant of BSC in which some necessary causal relations must be established. To recognize these relations, experts usually use experience. It is also possible to utilize regression for the same purpose. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), which is one of the most powerful methods of multivariate data analysis, obtains more appropriate results than traditional methods such as regression. In the present paper, we propose SEM for the first time to identify the relations between objectives in the strategy map, and a test to measure the importance of relations. In SEM, factor analysis and test of hypotheses are done in the same analysis. SEM is known to be better than other techniques at supporting analysis and reporting. Our approach provides a framework which permits the experts to design the strategy map by applying a comprehensive and scientific method together with their experience. Therefore this scheme is a more reliable method in comparison with the previously established methods.
    Tracing Quality Cost in a Luggage Manufacturing Industry
    Quality costs are the costs associated with preventing, finding, and correcting defective work. Since the main language of corporate management is money, quality-related costs act as means of communication between the staff of quality engineering departments and the company managers. The objective of quality engineering is to minimize the total quality cost across the life of product. Quality costs provide a benchmark against which improvement can be measured over time. It provides a rupee-based report on quality improvement efforts. It is an effective tool to identify, prioritize and select quality improvement projects. After reviewing through the literature it was noticed that a simplified methodology for data collection of quality cost in a manufacturing industry was required. The quantified standard methodology is proposed for collecting data of various elements of quality cost categories for manufacturing industry. Also in the light of research carried out so far, it is felt necessary to standardise cost elements in each of the prevention, appraisal, internal failure and external failure costs. . Here an attempt is made to standardise the various cost elements applicable to manufacturing industry and data is collected by using the proposed quantified methodology. This paper discusses the case study carried in luggage manufacturing industry.
    E-Business Security: Methodological Considerations
    A great deal of research works in the field information systems security has been based on a positivist paradigm. Applying the reductionism concept of the positivist paradigm for information security means missing the bigger picture and thus, the lack of holism which could be one of the reasons why security is still overlooked, comes as an afterthought or perceived from a purely technical dimension. We need to reshape our thinking and attitudes towards security especially in a complex and dynamic environment such as e- Business to develop a holistic understanding of e-Business security in relation to its context as well as considering all the stakeholders in the problem area. In this paper we argue the suitability and need for more inductive interpretive approach and qualitative research method to investigate e-Business security. Our discussion is based on a holistic framework of enquiry, nature of the research problem, the underling theoretical lens and the complexity of e-Business environment. At the end we present a research strategy for developing a holistic framework for understanding of e-Business security problems in the context of developing countries based on an interdisciplinary inquiry which considers their needs and requirements.
    An Expectation of the Rate of Inflation According to Inflation-Unemployment Interaction in Croatia
    According to the interaction of inflation and unemployment, expectation of the rate of inflation in Croatia is estimated. The interaction between inflation and unemployment is shown by model based on three first-order differential i.e. difference equations: Phillips relation, adaptive expectations equation and monetary-policy equation. The resulting equation is second order differential i.e. difference equation which describes the time path of inflation. The data of the rate of inflation and the rate of unemployment are used for parameters estimation. On the basis of the estimated time paths, the stability and convergence analysis is done for the rate of inflation.
    Digital Learning Environments for Joint Master in Science Programmes in Building and Construction in Europe: Experimenting with Tools and Technologies
    Recent developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) have created excellent conditions for profoundly enhancing the traditional learning and teaching practices. New modes of teaching in higher education subjects can profoundly enhance ones ability to proactively constructing his or her personal learning universe. These developments have contributed to digital learning environments becoming widely available and accessible. In addition, there is a trend towards enlargement and specialization in higher education in Europe. With as a result that existing Master of Science (MSc) programmes are merged or new programmes have been established that are offered as joint MSc programmes to students. In these joint MSc programmes, the need for (common) digital learning environments capable of surmounting the barriers of time and location has become evident. This paper discusses the past and ongoing efforts to establish such common digital learning environments in two joint MSc programmes in Europe and discusses the way technology-based learning environments affect the traditional way of learning.
    Integrating the Theory of Constraints and Six Sigma in Manufacturing Process Improvement
    Six Sigma is a well known discipline that reduces variation using complex statistical tools and the DMAIC model. By integrating Goldratts-s Theory of Constraints, the Five Focusing Points and System Thinking tools, Six Sigma projects can be selected where it can cause more impact in the company. This research defines an integrated model of six sigma and constraint management that shows a step-by-step guide using the original methodologies from each discipline and is evaluated in a case study from the production line of a Automobile engine monoblock V8, resulting in an increase in the line capacity from 18.7 pieces per hour to 22.4 pieces per hour, a reduction of 60% of Work-In-Process and a variation decrease of 0.73%.
    Evidence of the Long-run Equilibrium between Money Demand Determinants in Croatia
    In this paper real money demand function is analyzed within multivariate time-series framework. Cointegration approach is used (Johansen procedure) assuming interdependence between money demand determinants, which are nonstationary variables. This will help us to understand the behavior of money demand in Croatia, revealing the significant influence between endogenous variables in vector autoregrression system (VAR), i.e. vector error correction model (VECM). Exogeneity of the explanatory variables is tested. Long-run money demand function is estimated indicating slow speed of adjustment of removing the disequilibrium. Empirical results provide the evidence that real industrial production and exchange rate explains the most variations of money demand in the long-run, while interest rate is significant only in short-run.
    The Experiences of South-African High-School Girls in a Fab Lab Environment
    This paper reports on an effort to address the issue of inequality in girls- and women-s access to science, engineering and technology (SET) education and careers through raising awareness on SET among secondary school girls in South Africa. Girls participated in hands-on high-tech rapid prototyping environment of a fabrication laboratory that was aimed at stimulating creativity and innovation as part of a Fab Kids initiative. The Fab Kids intervention is about creating a SET pipeline as part of the Young Engineers and Scientists of Africa Initiative.The methodology was based on a real world situation and a hands-on approach. In the process, participants acquired a number of skills including computer-aided design, research skills, communication skills, teamwork skills, technical drawing skills, writing skills and problem-solving skills. Exposure to technology enhanced the girls- confidence in being able to handle technology-related tasks.
    Instructional Design Using the Virtual Ecological Pond for Science Education in Elementary Schools
    Ecological ponds can be a good teaching tool for science teachers, but they must be built and maintained properly to provide students with a safe and suitable learning environment. Hence, many schools do not have the ability to build an ecological pond. This study used virtual reality technology to develop a webbased virtual ecological pond. Supported by situated learning theory and the instructional design of “Aquatic Life" learning unit, elementary school students can actively explore in the virtual ecological pond to observe aquatic animals and plants and learn about the concept of ecological conservation. A teaching experiment was conducted to investigate the learning effectiveness and practicability of this instructional design, and the results showed that students improved a great deal in learning about aquatic life. They found the virtual ecological pond interesting, easy to operate and helpful to understanding the aquatic ecological system. Therefore, it is useful in elementary science education.
    Applications of Stable Distributions in Time Series Analysis, Computer Sciences and Financial Markets

    In this paper, first we introduce the stable distribution, stable process and theirs characteristics. The a -stable distribution family has received great interest in the last decade due to its success in modeling data, which are too impulsive to be accommodated by the Gaussian distribution. In the second part, we propose major applications of alpha stable distribution in telecommunication, computer science such as network delays and signal processing and financial markets. At the end, we focus on using stable distribution to estimate measure of risk in stock markets and show simulated data with statistical softwares.

    Social Influence in the Adoption Process and Usage of Innovation: Gender Differences
    The purpose of this study is to determine in what ways elementary education prospective teachers are being informed about innovations and to explain the role of social influence in the usage process of a technological innovation in terms of genders. The study group consisted of 300 prospective teachers, including 234 females and 66 males. Data have been collected by a questionnaire developed by the researchers. The result of the study showed that, while prospective teachers are being informed about innovations most frequently by mass media, they rarely seek to take expert advice. In addition, analysis of results showed that the social influence on females were significantly higher than males in usage process of a technological innovation.
    The Recreation Technique Model from the Perspective of Environmental Quality Elements
    The quality improvements of the environmental elements could increase the recreational opportunities in a certain area (destination). The technique of the need for recreation focuses on choosing certain destinations for recreational purposes. The basic exchange taken into consideration is the one between the satisfaction gained after staying in that area and the value expressed in money and time allocated. The number of tourists in the respective area, the duration of staying and the money spent including transportation provide information on how individuals rank the place or certain aspects of the area (such as the quality of the environmental elements). For the statistical analysis of the environmental benefits offered by an area through the need of recreation technique, the following stages are suggested: - characterization of the reference area based on the statistical variables considered; - estimation of the environmental benefit through comparing the reference area with other similar areas (having the same environmental characteristics), from the perspective of the statistical variables considered. The model compared in recreation technique faced with a series of difficulties which refers to the reference area and correct transformation of time in money.
    Multi-Enterprise Tie and Co-Operation Mechanism in Mexican Agro Industry SME's

    The aim of this paper is to explain what a multienterprise tie is, what evidence its analysis provides and how does the cooperation mechanism influence the establishment of a multienterprise tie. The study focuses on businesses of smaller dimension, geographically dispersed and whose businessmen are learning to cooperate in an international environment. The empirical evidence obtained at this moment permits to conclude the following: The tie is not long-lasting, it has an end; opportunism is an opportunity to learn; the multi-enterprise tie is a space to learn about the cooperation mechanism; the local tie permits a businessman to alternate between competition and cooperation strategies; the disappearance of a tie is an experience of learning for a businessman, diminishing the possibility of failure in the next tie; the cooperation mechanism tends to eliminate hierarchical relations; the multienterprise tie diminishes the asymmetries and permits SME-s to have a better position when they negotiate with large companies; the multi-enterprise tie impacts positively on the local system. The collection of empirical evidence was done trough the following instruments: direct observation in a business encounter to which the businesses attended in 2003 (202 Mexican agro industry SME-s), a survey applied in 2004 (129), a questionnaire applied in 2005 (86 businesses), field visits to the businesses during the period 2006-2008 and; a survey applied by telephone in 2008 (55 Mexican agro industry SME-s).

    Empirical Study of Real Retail Trade Turnover
    This paper deals with econometric analysis of real retail trade turnover. It is a part of an extensive scientific research about modern trends in Croatian national economy. At the end of the period of transition economy, Croatia confronts with challenges and problems of high consumption society. In such environment as crucial economic variables: real retail trade turnover, average monthly real wages and household loans are chosen for consequence analysis. For the purpose of complete procedure of multiple econometric analysis data base adjustment has been provided. Namely, it has been necessary to deflate original national statistics data of retail trade turnover using consumer price indices, as well as provide process of seasonally adjustment of its contemporary behavior. In model establishment it has been necessary to involve the overcoming procedure for the autocorrelation and colinearity problems. Moreover, for case of time-series shift a specific appropriate econometric instrument has been applied. It would be emphasize that the whole methodology procedure is based on the real Croatian national economy time-series.
    Designing and Implementing an Innovative Course about World Wide Web, Based on the Conceptual Representations of Students
    Internet is nowadays included to all National Curriculums of the elementary school. A comparative study of their goals leads to the conclusion that a complete curriculum should aim to student-s acquisition of the abilities to navigate and search for information and additionally to emphasize on the evaluation of the information provided by the World Wide Web. In a constructivistic knowledge framework the design of a course has to take under consideration the conceptual representations of students. The following paper presents the conceptual representation of students of eleven years old, attending the Sixth Grade of Greek Elementary School about World Wide Web and their use in the design and implementation of an innovative course.
    Small and Silly? or Private Pitfall of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
    Knowledge and these notions have become more and more important and we speak about a knowledge based society today. A lot of small and big companies have reacted upon these new challenges. But there is a deep abyss about knowledge conception and practice between the professional researchers and company - life. The question of this research was: How can small and mediumsized companies be equal to the demands of new economy? Questionnaires were used in this research and a special segment of the native knowledge based on economy was focused on. Researchers would have liked to know what the sources of success are and how they can be in connection with questions of knowledge acquisition, knowledge transfer, knowledge utilization in small and medium-sized companies. These companies know that they have to change their behaviour and thinking, but they are not on the suitable level that they can compete with bigger or multinational companies.
    IDEL - A simple Instructional Design Tool for E-Learning
    Today-s Information and Knowledge Society has placed new demands on education and a new paradigm of education is required. Learning, facilitated by educational systems and the pedagogic process, is globally undergoing dramatic changes. The aim of this paper is the development of a simple Instructional Design tool for E-Learning, named IDEL (Instructional Design for Electronic Learning), that provides the educators with facilities to create their own courses with the essential educational material and manage communication with students. It offers flexibility in the way of learning and provides ease in employment and reusability of resources. IDEL is a web-based Instructional System and is designed to facilitate course design process in accordance with the ADDIE model and the instructional design principles with emphasis placed on the use of technology enhanced learning. An example case of using the ADDIE model to systematically develop a course and its implementation with the aid of IDEL is given and some results from student evaluation of the tool and the course are reported.