Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 52

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

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  • 52
    A Multi-Phase Methodology for Investigating Localisation Policies within the GCC: The Hotel Industry in the KSA and the UAE

    Due to a high unemployment rate among local people and a high reliance on expatriate workers, the governments in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries have been implementing programmes of localisation (replacing foreign workers with GCC nationals). These programmes have been successful in the public sector but much less so in the private sector. However, there are now insufficient jobs for locals in the public sector and the onus to provide employment has fallen on the private sector. This paper is concerned with a study, which is a work in progress (certain elements are complete but not the whole study), investigating the effective implementation of localisation policies in four- and five-star hotels in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The purpose of the paper is to identify the research gap, and to present the need for the research. Further, it will explain how this research was conducted. Studies of localisation in the GCC countries are under-represented in scholarly literature. Currently, the hotel sectors in KSA and UAE play an important part in the countries’ economies. However, the total proportion of Saudis working in the hotel sector in KSA is slightly under 8%, and in the UAE, the hotel sector remains highly reliant on expatriates. There is therefore a need for research on strategies to enhance the implementation of the localisation policies in general and in the hotel sector in particular. Further, despite the importance of the hotel sector to their economies, there remains a dearth of research into the implementation of localisation policies in this sector. Indeed, as far as the researchers are aware, there is no study examining localisation in the hotel sector in KSA, and few in the UAE. This represents a considerable research gap. Regarding how the research was carried out, a multiple case study strategy was used. The four- and five-star hotel sector in KSA is one of the cases, while the four- and five-star hotel sector in the UAE is the other case. Four- and five-star hotels in KSA and the UAE were chosen as these countries have the longest established localisation policies of all the GCC states and there are more hotels of these classifications in these countries than in any of the other Gulf countries. A literature review was carried out to underpin the research. The empirical data were gathered in three phases. In order to gain a pre-understanding of the issues pertaining to the research context, Phase I involved eight unstructured interviews with officials from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (three interviewees); the Saudi Human Resources Development Fund (one); the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (three); and the Abu Dhabi Development Fund (one).

    In Phase II, a questionnaire was administered to 24 managers and 24 employees in four- and five-star hotels in each country to obtain their beliefs, attitudes, opinions, preferences and practices concerning localisation. Unstructured interviews were carried out in Phase III with six managers in each country in order to allow them to express opinions that may not have been explored in sufficient depth in the questionnaire. The interviews in Phases I and III were analysed using thematic analysis and SPSS will be used to analyse the questionnaire data. It is recommended that future research be undertaken on a larger scale, with a larger sample taken from all over KSA and the UAE rather than from only four cities (i.e., Riyadh and Jeddah in KSA and Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the UAE), as was the case in this research.

    Web-Based Cognitive Writing Instruction (WeCWI): A Hybrid e-Framework for Instructional Design

    Web-based Cognitive Writing Instruction (WeCWI) is a hybrid e-framework for the development of a web-based instruction (WBI), which contributes towards instructional design and language development. WeCWI divides its contribution in instructional design into macro and micro perspectives. In macro perspective, being a 21st century educator by disseminating knowledge and sharing ideas with the in-class and global learners is initiated. By leveraging the virtue of technology, WeCWI aims to transform an educator into an aggregator, curator, publisher, social networker and ultimately, a web-based instructor. Since the most notable contribution of integrating technology is being a tool of teaching as well as a stimulus for learning, WeCWI focuses on the use of contemporary web tools based on the multiple roles played by the 21st century educator. The micro perspective in instructional design draws attention to the pedagogical approaches focusing on three main aspects: reading, discussion, and writing. With the effective use of pedagogical approaches through free reading and enterprises, technology adds new dimensions and expands the boundaries of learning capacity. Lastly, WeCWI also imparts the fundamental theories and models for web-based instructors’ awareness such as interactionist theory, cognitive information processing (CIP) theory, computer-mediated communication (CMC), e-learning interactionalbased model, inquiry models, sensory mind model, and leaning styles model.

    Students’ Perception and Patterns of Listening Behavior in an Online Forum Discussion

    Online forum is part of a Learning Management System (LMS) environment in which students share their opinions. This study attempts to investigate the perceptions of students towards online forum and their patterns of listening behavior during the forum interaction. The students’ perceptions were measured using a questionnaire, in which seven dimensions were used involving online experience, benefits of forum participation, cost of participation, perceived ease of use, usefulness, attitude, and intention. Meanwhile, their patterns of listening behaviors were obtained using the log file extracted from the LMS. A total of 25 postgraduate students undertaking a course were involved in this study, and their activities in the forum session were recorded by the LMS and used as a log file. The results from the questionnaire analysis indicated that the students perceived that the forum is easy to use, useful, and bring benefits to them. Also, they showed positive attitude towards online forum, and they have the intention to use it in future. Based on the log data, the participants were also divided into six clusters of listening behavior, in which they are different in terms of temporality, breadth, depth and speaking level. The findings were compared to previous clusters grouping and future recommendations are also discussed.

    Effects of Gamification on Lower Secondary School Students’ Motivation and Engagement

    This paper explores the effects of gamification on lower secondary school students’ motivation and engagement in the classroom. Two-group posttest-only experimental design were employed to study the influence of gamification teaching method (GTM) when compared with conventional teaching method (CTM) on 60 lower secondary school students. The Student Engagement Instrument (SEI) and Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) were used to assess students’ intrinsic motivation and engagement level towards the respective teaching method. Finding indicates that students who completed the GTM lesson were significantly higher in intrinsic motivation to learn than those from the CTM. Although the result were insignificant and only marginal difference in the engagement mean, GTM still show better potential in raising student’s engagement in class when compared with CTM. This finding proves that the GTM is likely to solve the current issue of low motivation to learn and low engagement in class among lower secondary school students in Malaysia. On the other hand, despite being not significant, higher mean indicates that CTM positively contribute to higher peer support for learning and better teacher and student relationship when compared with GTM. As a conclusion, gamification approach is flexible and can be adapted into many learning content to enhance the intrinsic motivation to learn and to some extent, encourage better student engagement in class.

    The Libyan Accounting Profession

    The aim of this paper is to trace the historical development of the accounting profession in Libya, in order to identify challenges facing the profession as the country moves from a closed to emerging economy. The study is based on a literature review and archival research. Accounting information has a vital role to play in the achievement of economic goals in developing and emerging economies, but a well qualified accounting profession is required. In the context of institutional instability and unique cultural factors, the accounting profession in Libya faces educational and legal challenges if it is to achieve its potential in assisting the country to reach its economic goals. This study focuses on one country, which does limit its generalisability. However, it also suggests fruitful research areas in considering the impact and challenge of historic factors on the accounting profession in emerging economies. Centrally planned economies require a body of well trained professional accountants if they are to emerge onto the global economic arena. Studies on the accounting profession have focused primarily on those in developed economies, where the need for meaningful accounting information for decision making is taken for granted and there is a well trained, professional workforce. This study of the profession in an emerging economy highlights the efforts that will be needed to ensure the contribution of the profession to the economic wellbeing of other emerging economies.

    Acceptance of Health Information Application in Smart National Identity Card (SNIC) Using a New I-P Framework

    This study discovers a novel framework of individual level technology adoption known as I-P (Individual- Privacy) towards health information application in Smart National Identity Card. Many countries introduced smart national identity card (SNIC) with various applications such as health information application embedded inside it. However, the degree to which citizens accept and use some of the embedded applications in smart national identity remains unknown to many governments and application providers as well. Moreover, the factors of trust, perceived risk, Privacy concern and perceived credibility need to be incorporated into more comprehensive models such as extended Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology known as UTAUT2. UTAUT2 is a mainly widespread and leading theory up to now. This research identifies factors affecting the citizens’ behavioural intention to use health information application embedded in SNIC and extends better understanding on the relevant factors that the government and the application providers would need to consider in predicting citizens’ new technology acceptance in the future. We propose a conceptual framework by combining the UTAUT2 and Privacy Calculus Model constructs and also adding perceived credibility as a new variable. The proposed framework may provide assistance to any government planning, decision, and policy makers involving e-government projects. Empirical study may be conducted in the future to provide proof and empirically validate this I-P framework.

    The Motivating and Limiting Factors of Learners’ Engagement in an Online Discussion Forum

    Lately, asynchronous discussion forum is integrated in higher educational institutions as it may increase learning process, learners’ understanding, achievement and knowledge construction. The asynchronous discussion forum is used to complement the traditional, face-to-face learning session in hybrid learning courses. However, studies have proven that students’ engagement in online forums is still unconvincing. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate the motivating factors and obstacles that affect the learners’ engagement in asynchronous discussion forum. This study is carried out in one of the public higher educational institutions in Malaysia with 18 postgraduate students as samples. The authors have developed a 40-items questionnaire based on literature review. The results indicate several factors that have encouraged or limited students’ engagement in asynchronous discussion forum: (a) the practices or behaviors of peers, or instructors, (b) the needs for the discussions, (c) the learners’ personalities, (d) constraints in continuing the discussion forum, (e) lack of ideas, (f) the level of thoughts, (g) the level of knowledge construction, (h) technical problems, (i) time constraints and (j) misunderstanding. This study suggests some recommendations to increase the students’ engagement in online forums. Finally, based upon the findings, some implications are proposed for further research.

    Students’ Level of Knowledge Construction and Pattern of Social Interaction in an Online Forum

    The asynchronous discussion forum is one of the most widely used activities in learning management system environment. Online forum allows participants to interact, construct knowledge, and can be used to complement face to face sessions in blended learning courses. However, to what extent do the students perceive the benefits or advantages of forum remain to be seen. Through content and social network analyses, instructors will be able to gauge the students’ engagement and knowledge construction level. Thus, this study aims to analyze the students’ level of knowledge construction and their participation level that occur through online discussion. It also attempts to investigate the relationship between the level of knowledge construction and their social interaction patterns. The sample involves 23 students undertaking a master course in one public university in Malaysia. The asynchronous discussion forum was conducted for three weeks as part of the course requirement. The finding indicates that the level of knowledge construction is quite low. Also, the density value of 0.11 indicating the overall communication among the participants in the forum is low. This study reveals that strong and significant correlations between SNA measures (in-degree centrality, out-degree centrality) and level of knowledge construction. Thus, allocating these active students in different group aids the interactive discussion takes place. Finally, based upon the findings, some recommendations to increase students’ level of knowledge construction and also for further research are proposed.

    Affirming Students’ Attention and Perceptions on Prezi Presentation via Eye Tracking System

    The purpose of this study was to investigate graduate students’ visual attention and perceptions of a Prezi presentation. Ten postgraduate master students were presented with a Prezi presentation at the Centre for Instructional Technology and Multimedia, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). The eye movement indicators such as dwell time, average fixation on the areas of interests, heat maps and focus maps were abstracted to indicate the students’ visual attention. Descriptive statistics was employed to analyze the students’ perception of the Prezi presentation in terms of text, slide design, images, layout and overall presentation. The result revealed that the students paid more attention to the text followed by the images and sub heading presented through the Prezi presentation.

    The Effects of Drill and Practice Courseware on Students’ Achievement and Motivation in Learning English

    Students’ achievement and motivation in learning English in Malaysia is a worrying trend as it is lagging behind several other countries in Asia. Thus, necessary actions have to be taken by the parties concerned to overcome this problem. The purpose of this research was to study the effects of drill and practice courseware on students’ achievement and motivation in learning English language. A multimedia courseware was developed for this purpose. The independent variable was the drill and practice courseware while the dependent variables were the students’ achievement and motivation. Their achievement was measured using pre-test and post-test scores, while motivation was measured using a questionnaire. A total of 60 students from three vernacular primary schools in a northern state in Malaysia were randomly selected in this study. The findings indicate: (1) a significant difference between the students’ pre-test and posttest scores after using the courseware, (2) no significant difference in the achievement score between male and female students after using the courseware, (3) a significant difference in motivation score between the female and the male students, and (4) while the female students scored significantly higher than the male students in the aspects of relevance, confidence and satisfaction, no significant difference in terms of attention was observed between them. Overall, the findings clearly indicate that although the female students are significantly more motivated than their male students, they are equally good in terms of achievement after learning from the courseware. Through this study, the drill and practice courseware is proven to influence the students’ learning and motivation.

    Students’ Level of Participation, Critical Thinking, Types of Action and Influencing Factors in Online Forum Environment

    Due to the advancement of Internet technology, online learning is widely used in higher education institutions. Online learning offers several means of communication, including online forum. Through online forum, students and instructors are able to discuss and share their knowledge and expertise without having a need to attend the face-to-face, ordinary classroom session. The purposes of this study are to analyze the students’ levels of participation and critical thinking, types of action and factors influencing their participation in online forum. A total of 41 postgraduate students undertaking a course in educational technology from a public university in Malaysia were involved in this study. In this course, the students participated in a weekly online forum as part of the course requirement. Based on the log data file extracted from the online forum, the students’ type of actions (view, add, update, delete posts) and their levels of participation (passive, moderate or active) were identified. In addition, the messages posted in the forum were analyzed to gauge their level of critical thinking. Meanwhile, the factors that might influence their online forum participation were measured using a 24-items questionnaire. Based on the log data, a total of 105 posts were sent by the participants. In addition, the findings show that (i) majority of the students are moderate participants, with an average of two to three posts per person, (ii) viewing posts are the most frequent type of action (85.1%), and followed by adding post (9.7%). Furthermore, based on the posts they made, the most frequent type of critical thinking observed was justification (50 input or 19.0%), followed by linking ideas and interpretation (47 input or 18%), and novelty (38 input or 14.4%). The findings indicate that online forum allows for social interaction and can be used to measure the students’ critical thinking skills. In order to achieve this, monitoring students’ activities in the online forum is recommended.

    Business Penetration through Print Media: A Review of Select Enablers

    It’s an era of high competition, dynamism and complexities which have forced organizations to change dramatically due to rising customer expectations. Marketers are under constant pressure to deliver finest to their customers. With the advent of technology, marketers have identified latest advertising media options to reach out to target audience. But the conventional ways of print advertisements still holds a deeper penetration and coverage. Various researchers and practitioners have studied the area of print media advertising and have tried to identify and implement advertisement effectiveness enablers. The purpose of this paper is to suggest select enablers for print media in Indian context using an integrated approach of review of literature and investigative interviews with academicians and experts from the area of advertising.

    Promoting Open Educational Resources (OER) in Theological/Religious Education in Nigeria

    One of the biggest challenges facing Theological/ Religious Education in Nigeria is access to quality learning materials. For instance at the Trinity (Union) Theological College, Umuahia, it was difficult for lecturers to access suitable and qualitative materials for instruction especially the ones that would suit the African context and stimulate a deep rooted interest among the students. Some textbooks written by foreign authors were readily available in the School Library, but were lacking in the College bookshops for students to own copies. Even when the College was able to order some of the books from abroad, it did not usher in the needed enthusiasm expected from the students because they were either very expensive or very difficult to understand during private studies. So it became necessary to develop contextual materials which were affordable and understandable, though with little success. The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)’s innovation in the development and sharing of learning resources through its Open Courseware is a welcome development and of great assistance to students. Apart from NOUN students who could easily access the materials, many others from various theological/religious institutes across the nation have benefited immensely. So, the thesis of this paper is that the promotion of open educational resources in theological/religious education in Nigeria would facilitate a better informed/equipped religious leadership, which would in turn impact its adherents for a healthier society and national development. Adopting a narrative and historical approach within the context of Nigeria’s educational system, the paper discusses: educational traditions in Nigeria; challenges facing theological/religious education in Nigeria; and benefits of open educational resources. The study goes further to making recommendations on how OER could positively influence theological/religious education in Nigeria. It is expected that theologians, religious educators, and ODL practitioners would find this work very useful.

    Modeling Default Probabilities of the Chosen Czech Banks in the Time of the Financial Crisis

    One of the most important tasks in the risk management is the correct determination of probability of default (PD) of particular financial subjects. In this paper a possibility of determination of financial institution’s PD according to the creditscoring models is discussed. The paper is divided into the two parts. The first part is devoted to the estimation of the three different models (based on the linear discriminant analysis, logit regression and probit regression) from the sample of almost three hundred US commercial banks. Afterwards these models are compared and verified on the control sample with the view to choose the best one. The second part of the paper is aimed at the application of the chosen model on the portfolio of three key Czech banks to estimate their present financial stability. However, it is not less important to be able to estimate the evolution of PD in the future. For this reason, the second task in this paper is to estimate the probability distribution of the future PD for the Czech banks. So, there are sampled randomly the values of particular indicators and estimated the PDs’ distribution, while it’s assumed that the indicators are distributed according to the multidimensional subordinated Lévy model (Variance Gamma model and Normal Inverse Gaussian model, particularly). Although the obtained results show that all banks are relatively healthy, there is still high chance that “a financial crisis” will occur, at least in terms of probability. This is indicated by estimation of the various quantiles in the estimated distributions. Finally, it should be noted that the applicability of the estimated model (with respect to the used data) is limited to the recessionary phase of the financial market.

    Demographic Factors Influencing Employees’ Salary Expectations and Labor Turnover

    Thanks to informational technologies development every sphere of economics is becoming more and more datacentralized as people are generating huge datasets containing information on any aspect of their life. Applying research of such data to human resources management allows getting scarce statistics on labor market state including salary expectations and potential employees’ typical career behavior, and this information can become a reliable basis for management decisions. The following article presents results of career behavior research based on freely accessible resume data. Information used for study is much wider than one usually uses in human resources surveys. That is why there is enough data for statistically significant results even for subgroups analysis.

    Disability Diversity Management: A Case Study of the Banking Sector in the KSA

    This paper is drawn from a wider study of the management of gender, age and disability diversity in the banking sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which aims to develop a framework for diversity management (DM) in this sector. The paper focuses on the management of disability diversity. The purpose of the paper is to assist in understanding disability DM in the banking sector in KSA and to make suggestions for its enhancement. Hence, it contributes to filling a research gap, as there is a dearth of literature on disability DM, in KSA in general, and in the banking sector specifically. Discrimination against people with disabilities is a social issue that has not been entirely overcome in any society. However, in KSA, Islam informs almost every aspect of daily life including work, and Islam is against discrimination. Hence, in KSA, there are regulations to accommodate people with disabilities; however, employers are still free not to hire job applicants with disabilities specifically because of their condition. Indeed, disabled people are almost entirely absent from the labour market. There are 12 Saudi-owned or part-Saudi-owned banks in KSA and two managers from each of these were interviewed, making a total of 24. The interviews aimed to investigate empirically the understanding of managers in the banking sector in KSA of diversity management, including disability DM, in the banking sector. The interview data were analysed using thematic analysis. Two interviewees stated that banks used the employment of people with disabilities to enhance their corporate image, while five expressed the opinion that disabled employees could contribute to the bank provided they did not have to deal with customers face-to-face. Nine of the interviewees perceived that disabled employees could be of value to the bank for their own sake, not only in ‘behind the scenes’ roles. Another two interviewees mentioned that employing disabled people could be part of the bank’s community service programme and one thought it would be part of the bank’s Saudisation efforts. The remaining five interviewees did not know how disabled people could contribute to the bank. The findings show that disability DM in the banking sector in KSA is a relatively new concept, and is not yet well understood. In the light of the findings, in order to achieve the purpose of the paper, the following suggestions were made for the enhancement of disability DM in the banking sector in KSA. A change in attitudes towards disabled people is necessary. Such a change in the workplace can only be achieved if a top-down approach is taken to the integration of disabled people. Hence, it is suggested that management and employees follow a course in disability awareness. Further, a diversity officer in the HR department could enhance the integration of disabled people into the banking workforce. It is also suggested that greater government support is required through closely monitored and enforced anti-discrimination legislation. Moreover, flexible working arrangements such as part-time work would facilitate the employment of disabled people and benefit other groups of employees.

    Customers’ Priority to Implement SSTs Using AHP Analysis

    Self-service technologies (SSTs) make an important contribution to the daily life of people nowadays. However, the introduction of SST does not lead to its usage. Thereby, this paper was an attempt on discovery of the most preferred SST in the customers’ point of view. To fulfill this aim, the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was applied based on Saaty’s questionnaire which was administered to the customers of e-banking services located in Golestan providence, northern Iran. This study used qualitative factors in association with the intention of consumers’ usage of SSTs to rank three SSTs: ATM, mobile banking and internet banking. The results showed that mobile banking get the highest weight in consumers’ point of view. This research can be useful both for managers and service providers and also for customers who intend to use e-banking.

    Contemporary Anti-Gypsyism in European Mass Media

    This paper focuses on the contemporary phenomenon of Anti-Gypsyism which diffused widely throughout social representations of the so called “Gypsies”. In Europe and especially in Italy, the media tends to reproduce racist stereotypes and prejudices through a xenophobic depiction of this ethnic group, often offering an ethnocentric point of view. From an anthropological perspective, Roma people are a minority group facing diasporic phenomena across Europe, produced by the host societies.

    Sri Lanka – Middle East Labour Migration Corridor: Trends, Patterns and Structural Changes

    Objective of this study is to explore the recent trends, patterns and the structural changes in the labour migration from Sri Lanka to Middle East countries and to discuss the possible impacts of those changes on the remittance flow. Study uses secondary data published by Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment and Central Bank. Thematic analysis of the secondary data revealed that the migration for labour has increased rapidly during past decades. Parallel with that the gender and the skill composition of the migration flow has been changing. Similarly, the destinations for male migration have changed over the period. These show positive implications on the international remittance receipts to the country.

    The Potential Benefits of Multimedia Information Representation in Enhancing Students’ Critical Thinking and History Reasoning

    This paper discusses the potential benefits of an interactive multimedia information representation in enhancing students’ critical thinking aligned with history reasoning in learning history amongst Secondary School students in Malaysia. Two modes of multimedia information representation were implemented; chronologic and thematic information representations. A qualitative study of an unstructured interview was conducted among two history teachers, one history education lecturer, two i-think experts, and five students from Form Four secondary school. The interview was to elicit their opinions on the implementation of thinking maps and interactive multimedia information representation in history learning. The key elements of the interactive multimedia (e.g. multiple media, user control, interactivity and use of timelines and concept maps) were then considered to improve the learning process. Findings of the preliminary investigation reveal that the interactive multimedia information representations have the potential benefits to be implemented as an instructional resource in enhancing students’ higher order thinking skills (HOTs). This paper concludes by giving suggestions for future work.

    A Primer to the Learning Readiness Assessment to Raise the Sharing of e-Health Knowledge amongst Libyan Nurses

    The usage of e-health facilities is seen to be the first priority by the Libyan government. As such this paper focuses on how the key factors or elements of working size in terms of technological availability, structural environment, and other competence-related matters may affect nurses’ sharing of knowledge in e-health. Hence, this paper investigates learning readiness assessment to raise e-health for Libyan regional hospitals by using ehealth services in nursing education.

    An Evaluation of Drivers in Implementing Sustainable Manufacturing in India: Using DEMATEL Approach

    Due to growing concern about environmental and social consequences throughout the world, a need has been felt to incorporate sustainability concepts in conventional manufacturing. This paper is an attempt to identify and evaluate drivers in implementing sustainable manufacturing in Indian context. Nine possible drivers for successful implementation of sustainable manufacturing have been identified from extensive review. Further, Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) approach has been utilized to evaluate and categorize these identified drivers for implementing sustainable manufacturing in to the cause and effect groups. Five drivers (Societal Pressure and Public Concerns; Regulations and Government Policies; Top Management Involvement, Commitment and Support; Effective Strategies and Activities towards Socially Responsible Manufacturing and Market Trends) have been categorized into the cause group and four drivers (Holistic View in Manufacturing Systems; Supplier Participation; Building Sustainable culture in Organization; and Corporate Image and Benefits) have been categorized into the effect group. “Societal Pressure and Public Concerns” has been found the most critical driver and “Corporate Image and Benefits” as least critical or the most easily influenced driver to implementing sustainable manufacturing in Indian context. This paper may surely help practitioners in better understanding of these drivers and their priorities towards effective implementation of sustainable manufacturing.

    Post Earthquake Volunteer Learning That Build Up Caring Learning Communities

    From a perspective of moral education, this study has examined the experiences of a group of college students who volunteered in disaster areas after the magnitude 9.0 Earthquake, which struck the Northeastern region of Japan in March, 2011. The research, utilizing the method of grounded theory, has uncovered that most of the students have gone through positive changes in their development of moral and social characters, such as attaining deeper sense of empathy and caring personalities. The study expresses, in identifying the nature of those transformations, that the importance of volunteer work should strongly be recognized by the colleges and universities in Japan, in fulfilling their public responsibility of creating and building learning communities that are responsible and caring.

    Study of Influencing Factors of Shrinking Cities Based On Factor Analysis – The Example of Halle, Germany

    City shrinkage is one of the thorny problems that many European cities have to face with nowadays. It is mainly expressed as the decrease of population in these cities. Eastern Germany is one of the pioneers of European shrinking cities with long shrinking history. The paper selects one representative shrinking city Halle (Saale) in eastern Germany as research objective, collecting and investigating nearly 20 years (1993-2010) municipal data after the reunification of Germany. These data based on five dimensions, which are demographic, economic, social, spatial and environmental and total 16 eligible variables. Factor Analysis is used to deal with these variables in order to assess the most important factors affecting shrinking Halle. The results show that there are three main factors determine the shrinkage of Halle, respectively named “demographical and economical factor”, “social stability factor”, and “city vitality factor”. The three factors act at different time period of Halle’s shrinkage: from 1993 to 1997 the demographical and economical factor played an important role; from 1997 to 2004 the social stability factor is significant to city shrinkage; since 2005 city vitality factor determines the shrinkage of Halle. In recent years, the shrinkage in Halle mitigates that shows the sign of growing population. Thus the city Halle should focus on attaching more importance on the city vitality factor to prevent the city from shrinkage. Meanwhile, the city should possess a positive perspective to shift the growth-oriented development to tap the potential of shrinking cities. This method is expected to apply to further research and other shrinking cities

    Lean Environmental Management Integration System (LEMIS) Framework Development

    The Lean Environmental Management Integration System (LEMIS) framework development is integration between lean core element and ISO 14001. The curiosity on the relationship between continuous improvement and sustainability of lean implementation has influenced this study toward LEMIS. Characteristic of ISO 14001 standard clauses and core elements of lean principles are explored from past studies and literature reviews. Survey was carried out on ISO 14001 certified companies to examine continual improvement by implementing the ISO 14001 standard. The study found that there is a significant and positive relationship between Lean Principles: value, value stream, flow, pull and perfection with the ISO 14001 requirements. LEMIS is significant to support the continuous improvement and sustainability. The integration system can be implemented to any manufacturing company. It gives awareness on the importance on why organizations need to sustain its environmental management system. In the meantime, the lean principle can be adapted in order to streamline daily activities of the company. Throughout the study, it had proven that there is no sacrifice or trade-off between lean principles with ISO 14001 requirements. The framework developed in the study can be further simplified in the future, especially the method of crossing each sub requirements of ISO 14001 standard with the core elements of Lean principles in this study.

    A Systemic Maturity Model

    Maturity models, used descriptively to explain changes in reality or normatively to guide managers to make interventions to make organizations more effective and efficient, are based on the principles of statistical quality control and PDCA continuous improvement (Plan, Do, Check, Act). Some frameworks developed over the concept of maturity models include COBIT, CMM, and ITIL. This paper presents some limitations of traditional maturity models, most of them related to the mechanistic and reductionist principles over which those models are built. As systems theory helps the understanding of the dynamics of organizations and organizational change, the development of a systemic maturity model can help to overcome some of those limitations. This document proposes a systemic maturity model, based on a systemic conceptualization of organizations, focused on the study of the functioning of the parties, the relationships among them, and their behavior as a whole. The concept of maturity from the system theory perspective is conceptually defined as an emergent property of the organization, which arises as a result of the degree of alignment and integration of their processes. This concept is operationalized through a systemic function that measures the maturity of organizations, and finally validated by the measuring of maturity in some organizations. For its operationalization and validation, the model was applied to measure the maturity of organizational Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) processes.

    Development of Multimedia Learning Application for Mastery Learning Style: A Graduated Difficulty Strategy

    Guided by the theory of learning styles, this study is based on the development of a multimedia learning application for students with mastery learning style. The learning material was developed by applying a graduated difficulty learning strategy. Algebra was chosen as the learning topic for this application. The effectiveness of this application in helping students learn is measured by giving a pre- and post-test. The result shows that students who learn using the learning material that matches their preferred learning style perform better than the students with a non-personalized learning material.

    Prospective English Language Teachers’ Views on Translation Use in Foreign Language Teaching

    The importance of using mother tongue and translation in foreign language classrooms cannot be ignored and translation can be utilized as a method in English Language Teaching courses. There exist researches advocating or objecting to the use of translation in foreign language learning but they all have a point in common: Translation should be used as an aid to teaching, not an end in itself. In this research, prospective English language teachers’ opinions about translation use and use of mother tongue in foreign language teaching are investigated and according to the findings, some explanations and recommendations are made.

    Advertisement Effectiveness: A Review and Research Agenda

    In today’s highly competitive, dynamic and technology driven business circumstances, marketers are under steady pressure to deliver the best. Organizations are continuously improving and upgrading themselves to meet customer expectations and demands. Technology has not only changed the way in which business is done in modern times but has also transformed the way to reach out to target audience. Marketers have identified most recent media options to communicate and convince potential customers. Numerous scholars have studied the research domain of advertising and have tried to recognize different measures of advertisement effectiveness in context of various media. The objective of this paper is to critically review accessible literature on advertisement effectiveness in context of varied advertising media, recognize major gaps in the literature and identify future research prospects on the basis of critical analysis of literature.

    Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalysis: Teachings of the Thermal Energy and Power Engineering Course

    It is usually difficult for students to understand some basic theories in learning thermal energy and power engineering course. A new teaching method was proposed that we should introduce the comparison research method of those theories to help them being understood. “Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis” teaching is analyzed as an example by comparison research method.

    The Study and Practice of the Thermal Energy and Power Engineering Characteristic Specialty in China

    According to the demand of the power and refrigeration industry, the theoretical and practical teachings of the Thermal Energy and Power Engineering characteristic specialty in china are studied. The teaching reform and practice of the Thermal Energy and Power Engineering specialty have been carried out, including construction and reform measures, teaching reform and practice, features, and achievements. Proved by practices, the theoretical and practical teaching effects are obvious. The study results can provides certain reference experience for theoretical and practical teachings of the related specialties in china.

    A Conceptual Framework on Review of E-Service Quality in Banking Industry

    E-service quality plays a significant role to achieve success or failure in any organization, offering services online. It will increase the competition among the organizations, to attract the customers on the basis of the quality of service provided by the organization. Better e-service quality will enhance the relationship with customers and their satisfaction. So the measurement of eservice quality is very important but it is a complex process due to the complex nature of services. Literature predicts that there is a lack of universal definition of e-service quality. The e-service quality measures in banking have great importance in achieving high customer base. This paper proposes a conceptual model for measuring e-service quality in Indian Banking Industry. Nine dimensions reliability, ease of use, personalization, security and trust, website aesthetic, responsiveness, contact and fulfillment had been identified. The results of this paper may help to develop a proper scale to measure the e-service quality in Indian Banking Industry, which may assist to maintain and improve the performance and effectiveness of e-service quality to retain customers.

    Role of Natural Language Processing in Information Retrieval; Challenges and Opportunities

    This paper aims to analyze the role of natural language processing (NLP). The paper will discuss the role in the context of automated data retrieval, automated question answer, and text structuring. NLP techniques are gaining wider acceptance in real life applications and industrial concerns. There are various complexities involved in processing the text of natural language that could satisfy the need of decision makers. This paper begins with the description of the qualities of NLP practices. The paper then focuses on the challenges in natural language processing. The paper also discusses major techniques of NLP. The last section describes opportunities and challenges for future research.

    A Collaborative Platform for Multilingual Ontology Development

    Ontologies provide a common understanding of a specific domain of interest that can be communicated between people and used as background knowledge for automated reasoning in a wide range of applications. In this paper, we address the design of multilingual ontologies following well-defined knowledge engineering methodologies with the support of novel collaborative development approaches. In particular, we present a collaborative platform which allows ontologies to be developed incrementally in multiple languages. This is made possible via an appropriate mapping between language independent concepts and one lexicalization per language (or a lexical gap in case such lexicalization does not exist). The collaborative platform has been designed to support the development of the Universal Knowledge Core, a multilingual ontology currently in English, Italian, Chinese, Mongolian, Hindi and Bangladeshi. Its design follows a workflow-based development methodology that models resources as a set of collaborative objects and assigns customizable workflows to build and maintain each collaborative object in a community driven manner, with extensive support of modern web 2.0 social and collaborative features.

    The Implementation of Self-Determination Theory on the Opportunities and Challenges for Blended e-Learning in Motivating Egyptian Logistic Learners

    Learner motivation is considered to be an important component for the Blended e-Learning (BL) Method. BL is an effective learning method in multiple domains, which opens several opportunities for its participants to engage in the learning environment. This research explores the learners’ perspective of BL according to the Self-Determination Theory (SDT). It identifies the opportunities and challenges for using the BL in Logistics Education (LE) in Egyptian Higher Education (HE). SDT is approached from different perspectives within the relationship between Intrinsic Motivation (IM), Extrinsic Motivation (EM) and Amotivation (AM). A self-administered face-to-face questionnaire was used to collect data from learners who were geographically widely spread around three colleges of International Transport and Logistics (CILTs) at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AAST&MT) in Egypt. Six hundred and sixteen undergraduates responded to a questionnaire survey. Respondents were drawn from three branches in Greater Cairo, Alexandria, and Port Said. The data analysis used was SPSS 22 and AMOS 18.

    Studies on Lucrative Process Layout for Medium Scale Industries

    In this paper a comprehensive review on various factory layouts has been carried out for designing a lucrative process layout for medium scale industries. Industry data base reveals that the end product rejection rate is on the order of 10% amounting large profit loss. In order to avoid these rejection rates and to increase the quality product production an intermediate non-destructive testing facility (INDTF) has been recommended for increasing the overall profit. We observed through detailed case studies that while introducing INDTF to medium scale industries the expensive production process can be avoided to the defective products well before its final shape. Additionally, the defective products identified during the intermediate stage can be effectively utilized for other applications or recycling; thereby the overall wastage of the raw materials can be reduced and profit can be increased. We concluded that the prudent design of a factory layout through critical path method facilitating with INDTF will warrant profitable outcome.

    Decision Making about the Environmental Management Implementation – Incentives and Expectations

    Environmental management implementation is presently one of the ways of organization success and value improvement. Increasing an organization motivation to environmental measures introduction is caused primarily by the rising pressure of the society that generates various incentives to endeavor for the environmental performance improvement. The aim of the paper is to identify and characterize the key incentives and expectations leading organizations to the environmental management implementation. The author focuses on five businesses of different size and field, operating in the Czech Republic. The qualitative approach and grounded theory procedure are used in research. The results point out that the significant incentives for environmental management implementation represent primarily demands of customers, the opportunity to declare the environmental commitment and image improvement. The researched enterprises less commonly expect the economical contribution, competitive advantage increase or export rate improvement. The results show that marketing contributions are primarily expected from the environmental management implementation.

    Challenges of e-Service Adoption and Implementation in Nigeria: Lessons from Asia

    e-Service has moved from the usual manual and traditional way of rendering services to electronic service provision for the public and there are several reasons for implementing these services, Airline ticketing have gone from its manual traditional way to an intelligent web-driven service of purchasing. Many companies have seen their profits doubled through the use of online services in their operation and a typical example is Hewlett Packard (HP) which is rapidly transforming their after sales business into a profit generating e-service business unit. This paper will examine the various challenges confronting e- Service adoption and implementation in Nigeria and also analyse lessons learnt from e-Service adoption and implementation in Asia to see how it could be useful in Nigeria which is a lower middle income country. From the analysis of the online survey data, it has been identified that the public in Nigeria are much aware of e-Services but successful adoption and implementation have been the problems faced.

    Measurement of Operational and Environmental Performance of the Coal-Fired Power Plants in India by Using Data Envelopment Analysis

    In this study, the performance analyses of the twenty five Coal-Fired Power Plants (CFPPs) used for electricity generation are carried out through various Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) models. Three efficiency indices are defined and pursued. During the calculation of the operational performance, energy and non-energy variables are used as input, and net electricity produced is used as desired output (Model-1). CO2 emitted to the environment is used as the undesired output (Model-2) in the computation of the pure environmental performance while in Model-3 CO2 emissions is considered as detrimental input in the calculation of operational and environmental performance. Empirical results show that most of the plants are operating in increasing returns to scale region and Mettur plant is efficient one with regards to energy use and environment. The result also indicates that the undesirable output effect is insignificant in the research sample. The present study will provide clues to plant operators towards raising the operational and environmental performance of CFPPs.

    Scale Development for Measuring E-Service Quality in Banking

    This study examines several critical dimensions of eservice quality overlooked in the existing literature and proposes a model and instrument framework for measuring customer perceived e-service quality in the banking sector. The initial design was derived from a pool of instrument dimensions and their items from the existing literature review by content analysis. Based on focused group discussion, nine dimensions were extracted. An exploratory factor analysis approach was applied to data from a survey of 323 respondents. The instrument has been designed specifically for the banking sector. Research data was collected from bank customers who use electronic banking in a developing economy. A nine-factor instrument has been proposed to measure the e-service quality. The instrument has been checked for reliability. The validity and sample place limited the applicability of the instrument across economies and service categories. Future research must be conducted to check the validity. This instrument can help bankers in developing economies like India to measure the e-service quality and make improvements. The present study offers a systematic procedure that provides insights on to the conceptual and empirical comprehension of customer perceived e-service quality and its constituents.

    Retrospective Reconstruction of Time Series Data for Integrated Waste Management

    The development, operation and maintenance of Integrated Waste Management Systems (IWMS) affects essentially the sustainable concern of every region. The features of such systems have great influence on all of the components of sustainability. In order to reach the optimal way of processes, a comprehensive mapping of the variables affecting the future efficiency of the system is needed such as analysis of the interconnections among the components and modeling of their interactions. The planning of a IWMS is based fundamentally on technical and economical opportunities and the legal framework. Modeling the sustainability and operation effectiveness of a certain IWMS is not in the scope of the present research. The complexity of the systems and the large number of the variables require the utilization of a complex approach to model the outcomes and future risks. This complex method should be able to evaluate the logical framework of the factors composing the system and the interconnections between them. The authors of this paper studied the usability of the Fuzzy Cognitive Map (FCM) approach modeling the future operation of IWMS’s. The approach requires two input data set. One is the connection matrix containing all the factors affecting the system in focus with all the interconnections. The other input data set is the time series, a retrospective reconstruction of the weights and roles of the factors. This paper introduces a novel method to develop time series by content analysis.

    Carrying Out the Steps of Decision Making Process in Concrete Organization

    The decision-making process is theoretically clearly defined. Generally, it includes the problem identification and analysis, data gathering, goals and criteria setting, alternatives development and optimal alternative choice and its implementation. In practice however, various modifications of the theoretical decision-making process can occur. The managers can consider some of the phases to be too complicated or unfeasible and thus they do not carry them out and conversely some of the steps can be overestimated. The aim of the paper is to reveal and characterize the perception of the individual phases of decision-making process by the managers. The research is concerned with managers in the military environment – commanders. Quantitative survey is focused cross-sectionally in the individual levels of management of the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. On the total number of 135 respondents the analysis focuses on which of the decision-making process phases are problematic or not carried out in practice and which are again perceived to be the easiest. Then it is examined the reasons of the findings.

    Effect of Trataka on Anxiety among Adolescents

    Anxiety is a common psychological problem and also implicated as a contributor to many chronic diseases which decreased quality of life even with pharmacological treatment. At the present time several yogic practices- meditation, pranayama, and mantra, etcetera are playing important role in treating physiological and psychological problems. Hence, the present investigation is aimed to see the effect of Trataka on the level of anxiety among adolescents. For the present study, a sample of 30 adolescents belonging to the age range 20-30 years was selected from Devsanskriti Vishwa Vidyalaya Haridwar through random sampling. In this investigation, Sinha’s Comprehensive anxiety test has been used to measure the level of anxiety. Statistical analysis has been done by using t-test. Findings of this study reveal that Trataka significantly decreases the level of anxiety among adolescents.

    Process of Revitalization of the City Centers in Poland: The Problem of Cooperation between Sectors

    Contemporary city is a subject to rapid economic and social changes. Therefore, it requires an active policy designed to meet the diverse needs of their residents, build competitive position and capacity to compete with other cities. Competitiveness of cities depends largely on their resources but also to a large extent, on the policies and performance of local authorities. Cooperation with social sector also plays an important role, as it affects the use of resources and builds an advantage over other cities. The subject of this article is city's contemporary problems of development with particular emphasis on central areas. This issue is a starting point for reflection on the process of urban regeneration in medium size cities in Poland, as well as cooperation between various actors and their roles in the revitalization processes of Polish cities' centers.

    Modelling of the Fire Pragmatism in the Area of Military Management and Its Experimental Verification

    The article deals with modelling of the fire pragmatism in the area of military management and its experimental verification. Potential approaches are based on the synergy of mathematical and theoretical ideas, operational and tactical requirements and the military decision-making process. This issue has taken on importance in recent times, particularly with the increasing trend of digitized battlefield, the development of C4ISR systems and intention to streamline the command and control process at the lowest levels of command. From fundamental and philosophical point of view, these new approaches seek to significantly upgrade and enhance the decision-making process of the tactical commanders.

    A Survey of 2nd Year Students’ Frequent English Writing Errors and the Effects of Participatory Error Correction Process

    The purposes of this study are 1) to study the effects of participatory error correction process and 2) to find out the students’ satisfaction of such error correction process. This study is a Quasi Experimental Research with single group, in which data is collected 5 times preceding and following 4 experimental studies of participatory error correction process including providing coded indirect corrective feedback in the students’ texts with error treatment activities. Samples include 52 2nd year English Major students, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University. Tool for experimental study includes the lesson plan of the course; Reading and Writing English for Academic Purposes II, and tools for data collection include 5 writing tests of short texts and a questionnaire. Based on formative evaluation of the students’ writing ability prior to and after each of the 4 experiments, the research findings disclose the students’ higher scores with statistical difference at 0.00. Moreover, in terms of the effect size of such process, it is found that for mean of the students’ scores prior to and after the 4 experiments; d equals 0.6801, 0.5093, 0.5071, and 0.5296 respectively. It can be concluded that participatory error correction process enables all of the students to learn equally well and there is improvement in their ability to write short texts. Finally the students’ overall satisfaction of the participatory error correction process is in high level (Mean = 4.39, S.D. = 0.76).

    Malaysian Multi-Ethnic Discrimination Scale: Preliminary Factor and Psychometric Analysis
    The aims of this study were to determine the factor structure and psychometric properties (i.e., reliability and convergent validity) of the Malaysian Multi-Ethnic Discrimination Scale (MMEDS). It consists of 71-items measure experience, strategies used and consequences of ethnic discrimination. A sample of 649 university students from one of the higher education institution in Malaysia was asked to complete MMEDS, as well as Perceived Ethnic and Racial Discrimination. The exploratory factor analysis on ethnic discrimination experience extracted two factors labeled ‘unfair treatment’ (15 items) and ‘Denial of the ethnic right’ (12 items) which accounted for 60.92% of the total variance. The two sub scales demonstrated clear reliability with internal consistency above .70. The convergent validity of the Scale was supported by an expected pattern of correlations (positive and significant correlation) between the score of unfair treatment and denial of the ethnic right and the score of Perceived Ethnic and Racial Discrimination by Peers Scale. The results suggest that the MMEDS is a reliable and valid measure. However, further studies need to be carried out in other groups of sample as to validate the Scale.
    Constitutionalisation and Judicial Protection of Social Rights - An Approach to Latin American Case
    Latin America is probably the region with greater social inequality, contrary to the amount of rights enshrined in their constitutions. In the last decade of the twentieth century, the area resulted in significant changes to democratization and constitutional changes. Through low-key public policy, political leaders activated participation in the culture of human rights. The struggle for social rights in Latin America has been a constant regulation. His consecration at the constitutional level has chained search application. The constitutionalization and judicial protection of these rights have been crucial in countries like Argentina, Venezuela, Peru and Colombia. This paper presents an analytical view on the constitutionalization of social rights in the Latin American context and its justiciability.
    “Sport Guts” in Japanese Girl Anime
    "Sport Guts" in Japanese anime developed not only to strengthen mentality but also to challenge for objectives. This paper helps to understand the development of Japanese girl anime, and its philosophical concepts of Japanese amine. This paper focuses on girls’ sport anime “Sport Guts,”, which is the major philosophy of Japanese girl anime and centers on a girl who is enthusiastic about volleyball and makes an effort to compete in the World Series by focusing on girl anime by Tezuka Osamu, and using the methodology of Buddhism. To understand “Sport Guts,” the study of Japanese girl anime is significant because major findings of the study is to investigate changes of girl anime, and the philosophy of “Sports Guts,” which gives encouragement and strength in girls’ lives.
    Communicating with Spirits: Bridging the Nether World of Spirits and the Real World in Healing Performances

    Traditional Malay performances are carried out for both entertainment and curing purposes. In curing rituals, the men and women serving as shamans, communicates with the spirits and beings from the nether world to facilitate the curing process. The dependency on engaging with these other-worldly beings however, have raised religious issues of being syirik, namely practicing in rituals which are religiously forbidden. This study aims to observe how ritual leaders attempt to negotiate the fine balance between what has been religiously forbidden and the psychological and sociological needs of the patient. Two curing rituals, the main peteri and the malibobou were chosen to exemplify the communication between the physical and spiritual realities. In both rituals, the healers engaged in procedures of curing as they attempted to diagnose sicknesses and proffer cures with the help of the spirits. The main peteri was conducted by a male shaman, the tuk teri whereas the malibobou was conducted by a female ritual specialist, the bobohizan. Main peteri and the malibobou both ended with ritually thanking and sending off the spirits back to their nether, invisible domains. These curing rituals heal not only the sick individual, but by extension, the village community. Therefore, there is a need to reconcile these rituals with religious tenets, beliefs and sociological-political-cultural dimensions.

    Collapse of Family System of Japanese Tomb Culture

    This paper examines Japanese life expectancy, and the declining birth rate to investigate the Japanese people’s view of death, and their consciousness of death. To support their perspectives toward death, “Eitai Kuyobo,” and tombs with Japanese animation will be focused as Japanese citizens have created unique tombs designs of their own tombs. With the methodological aspects, Japan’s birth and mortality rates, Japan’s average life expectancy, history of tombs, creation of one’s own tombs and types of marriage will be significant. By examining the Japanese history of tombs, social change and unique tombs, and the increase of mortality rate in Japanese super-aging society, this study contributes the change of people’s view toward tombs, and a view toward life and death. Accordingly, focusing on the change of people’s view toward tombs it is concluded that the change is caused by the increase of mortality rate in Japanese super-aging society.

    Physical and Mental Treatment of Tōji and Local Touristic Strategy in Beppu

    Beppu hot spring provides medical treatment as well as comfort visitors and mental easiness for many years. This paper studies hot spring in Beppu and Tōji, medical treatment in hot spring, and investigates how people’s visit to Beppu has changed with Tōji, and how Beppu Tourism Office tries to regain visitors in Beppu. In this paper, firstly, hot spring history in Beppu will be explained especially focusing on Beppu Hattou (eight major hot springs) and Jigoku Meguri (eight major hell hot spring tours). Secondly, Tōji, a long-residential hot spring with the purpose of medical treatment along with the information about chemical efficacy of hot springs will be analyzed. Then, finally, the change of the long-stay type to short-stay Onsen programs with the combination of multiplex tourism resources will be focused along with the decrease of Onsen or hot spring visitors. It is concluded that Tōji is not only physically and mentally cure people but also bring people mental easiness and release them from their stressful life. All in all, it can be concluded that because Onsen is involved in people’s life in Beppu and keep local people united in the community. Tōji’s attraction is shown when local people try to create the new type of Onsen program so as to keep their traditional way of Tōji.