Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1231

Search results for: instructors' perceptions

1231 Blended Learning and English Language Teaching: Instructors' Perceptions and Aspirations

Authors: Rasha Alshaye

Abstract:

Blended learning has become an innovative model that combines face-to-face with e-learning approaches. The Saudi Electronic University (SEU) has adopted blended learning as a flexible approach that provides instructors and learners with a motivating learning environment to stimulate the teaching and learning process. This study investigates the perceptions of English language instructors, teaching the four English language skills at Saudi Electronic University. Four main domains were examined in this study; challenges that the instructors encounter while implementing the blended learning approach, enhancing student-instructor interaction, flexibility in teaching, and the lack of technical skills. Furthermore, the study identifies and represents the instructors’ aspirations and plans to utilize this approach in enhancing the teaching and learning experience. Main findings indicate that instructors at Saudi Electronic University experience some challenges while teaching the four language skills. However, they find the blended learning approach motivating and flexible for them and their students. This study offers some important understandings into how instructors are applying the blended learning approach and how this process can be enriched.

Keywords: blended learning, English language skills, English teaching, instructors' perceptions

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1230 Literature Review of Instructor Perceptions of the Blended Learning Approach

Authors: Syed Ahmed Hasnain

Abstract:

Instructors’ perception of blended learning plays an important role in the field of education. The literature review shows that there is a gap in research. Instructor perception of the blended learning approach has an impact on the motivation of the instructor to use technology in the classroom. The role of the student's perspective on the instructor’s perception is also important. Research also shows that instructor perceptions can be changed based on their past and present experiences with technology and blended learning. This paper draws the attention of the readers to the need for further research and contributions to studying instructor perceptions globally. Instructor perception affects the implementation of technology in the classroom, instructor-student relationship, and the class environment. Various publications, literature reviews, and articles are studied to show the importance of instructor perceptions. A lot of work has been published on student perceptions of the blended learning approach but there is a gap in research on instructor perceptions. The paper also makes recommendations for further research in the area of instructor perceptions of the blended learning approach. Institutions, administrators, senior management, and instructors can benefit from this paper.

Keywords: blended learning, education, literature review, instructor perceptions

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1229 Factors Affecting Corruption in Ethiopia from Higher Education Instructors' Perceptions: Evidence from Business and Economics College, Bahir Dar University

Authors: Asmamaw Yigzaw Chirkos

Abstract:

Corruption increasingly has become one of the greatest challenges of the contemporary world. It undermines good government and rule of law and in turn leads to the misallocation of public resources, harms both the private and public sector and particularly hurts the poor. Corruption is found everywhere, but it is deep-rooted in the poor countries of Sub-Saharan Africa countries. Corruption in developing countries continues to be one of the greatest factors of poverty and underdevelopment. As it is the case in other developing countries, in Ethiopia, the culture of corruption has grown roots in the society at large and become endemic. Institutions, which were designed for the regulation of the relationships between citizens and the State, are being used instead for the personal enrichment of public officials and other corrupt private agents. This paper, therefore, assesses the major factors affecting Corruption in Ethiopia from higher education instructors’ Perceptions with special reference to Business and Economics College of Bahir Dar University. The findings of the study support several previously conducted studies in that each factor examined had a moderate to high positive correlation with corruption, where r ranged between .35 and .54. In addition, the 13 variables together explain about 37 percent change in perceived corruption in Ethiopia (R²= .37).

Keywords: Bahir Dar university, corruption, Ethiopia, factors, instructors perceptions

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1228 Perceptions and Experiences of Students and Their Instructors on Online versus Face-To-Face Classrooms

Authors: Rahime Filiz Kiremit

Abstract:

This study involves investigating the comparisons of both online and face-to-face classes, along with providing their respective differences. The research project contains information pertaining to the two courses, provided with testimony from students and instructors alike. There were a total of 37 participants involved within the study from San Jacinto College; 35 students and the two instructors of their respective courses. The online instructor has a total of four years of teaching experience, while the face-to-face instructor has accrued 11 years of instructional education. The both instructors were interviewed and the samples were collected from three different classes - TECA 1311-702 (Educating Young Children 13 week distance learning), TECA 1311-705 (Educating Young Children 13 week distance learning) and TECA 1354 (Child Growth and Development). Among all three classes, 13 of the 29 students enrolled in either of the online courses considered participation within the survey, while 22 of the 28 students enrolled in the face-to-face course elected to do the same thing. With regards to the students’ prior class enrollment, 25 students had taken online classes previously, 9 students had taken early-childhood courses, 4 students had taken general classes, 11 students had taken both types of classes, 10 students had not yet taken online classes, and only 1 of them had taken a hybrid course. 10 of the participants professed that they like face-to-face classes, because they find that they can interact with their classmates and teachers. They find that online classes have more work to do, because they need to read the chapters and instructions on their own time. They said that during the face-to-face instruction, they could take notes and converse concerns with professors and fellow peers. They can have hands-on activities during face-to-face classes, and, as a result, improve their abilities to retain what they have learned within that particular time. Some of the students even mentioned that they are supposed to discipline themselves, because the online classes require more work. According to the remaining six students, online classes are easier than face-to-face classes. Most of them believe that the easiness of a course is dependent on the types of classes, the instructors, and the respective subjects of which they teach. With considerations of all 35 students, almost 63% of the students agreed that they interact more with their classmates in face-to-face classes.

Keywords: distance education, face-to-face education, online classroom, students' perceptions

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1227 The Level of Job Satisfaction among English as a Foreign Language Instructors

Authors: Hashem A. Alsamadani

Abstract:

Identifying the level of job satisfaction has many positive benefits for both the worker and employer. The purpose of the study was to examine the overall level of job satisfaction among English as a Foreign Language (EFL) instructors. During the past years, multiple methods were utilized to collect data to determine the level of job satisfaction among teachers. This study was conducted using survey research method. A questionnaire was coded and analyzed using the SPSS. The findings revealed that the overall level of job satisfaction among EFL instructors is high. The study recommended improving conditions of instructors working at public universities so as to gain a high level of job satisfaction and improve outcomes of the teaching-learning process.

Keywords: job satisfaction, EFL teachers, Saudi Arabia, instruction

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1226 Using the Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK) Model to Address College Instructors Weaknesses in Integration of Technology in Their Current Area Curricula

Authors: Junior George Martin

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to explore college instructors’ integration of technology in their content area curriculum. The instructors indicated that they were in need of additional training to successfully integrate technology in their subject areas. The findings point to the implementation of a proposed the Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK) model professional development workshop to satisfactorily address the weaknesses of the instructors in technology integration. The professional development workshop is proposed as a rational solution to adequately address the instructors’ inability to the successful integration of technology in their subject area in an effort to improve their pedagogy. The intense workshop would last for 5 days and will be designed to provide instructors with training in areas such as a use of technology applications and tools, and using modern methodologies to improve technology integration. Exposing the instructors to the specific areas identified will address the weaknesses they demonstrated during the study. Professional development is deemed the most appropriate intervention based on the opportunities it provides the instructors to access hands-on training to overcome their weaknesses. The purpose of the TPACK professional development workshop will be to improve the competence of the instructors so that they are adequately prepared to integrate technology successfully in their curricula. At the end of the period training, the instructors are expected to adopt strategies that will have a positive impact on the learning experiences of the students.

Keywords: higher education, modern technology tools, professional development, technology integration

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1225 Web 2.0 in Higher Education: The Instructors’ Acceptance in Higher Educational Institutes in Kingdom of Bahrain

Authors: Amal M. Alrayes, Hayat M. Ali

Abstract:

Since the beginning of distance education with the rapid evolution of technology, the social network plays a vital role in the educational process to enforce the interaction been the learners and teachers. There are many Web 2.0 technologies, services and tools designed for educational purposes. This research aims to investigate instructors’ acceptance towards web-based learning systems in higher educational institutes in Kingdom of Bahrain. Questionnaire is used to investigate the instructors’ usage of Web 2.0 and the factors affecting their acceptance. The results confirm that instructors had high accessibility to such technologies. However, patterns of use were complex. Whilst most expressed interest in using online technologies to support learning activities, learners seemed cautious about other values associated with web-based system, such as the shared construction of knowledge in a public format. The research concludes that there are main factors that affect instructors’ adoption which are security, performance expectation, perceived benefits, subjective norm, and perceived usefulness.

Keywords: Web 2.0, higher education, acceptance, students' perception

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1224 Flight School Perceptions of Electric Planes for Training

Authors: Chelsea-Anne Edwards, Paul Parker

Abstract:

Flight school members are facing a major disruption in the technologies available for them to fly as electric planes enter the aviation industry. The year 2020 marked a new era in aviation with the first type certification of an electric plane. The Pipistrel Velis Electro is a two-seat electric aircraft (e-plane) designed for flight training. Electric flight training has the potential to deeply reduce emissions, noise, and cost of pilot training. Though these are all attractive features, understanding must be developed on the perceptions of the essential actor of the technology, the pilot. This study asks student pilots, flight instructors, flight center managers, and other members of flight schools about their perceptions of e-planes. The questions were divided into three categories: safety and trust of the technology, expected costs in comparison to conventional planes, and interest in the technology, including their desire to fly electric planes. Participants were recruited from flight schools using a protocol approved by the Office of Research Ethics. None of these flight schools have an e-plane in their fleet so these views are based on perceptions rather than direct experience. The results revealed perceptions that were strongly positive with many qualitative comments indicating great excitement about the potential of the new electric aviation technology. Some concerns were raised regarding battery endurance limits. Overall, the flight school community is clearly in favor of introducing electric propulsion technology and reducing the environmental impacts of their industry.

Keywords: electric planes, flight training, green aircraft, student pilots, sustainable aviation

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1223 Dialogue Journals as an EFL Learning Strategy in the Preparatory Year Program: Learners' Attitudes and Perceptions

Authors: Asma Alyahya

Abstract:

This study attempts to elicit the perceptions and attitudes of EFL learners of the Preparatory Year Program at KSU towards dialogue journal writing as an EFL learning strategy. The descriptive research design used incorporated both qualitative and quantitative instruments to accomplish the objectives of the study. A learners’ attitude questionnaire and follow-up interviews with learners from a randomly selected representative sample of the participants were employed. The participants were 55 female Saudi university students in the Preparatory Year Program at King Saud University. The analysis of the results indicated that the PYP learners had highly positive attitudes towards dialogue journal writing in their EFL classes and positive perceptions of the benefits of the use of dialogue journal writing as an EFL learning strategy. The results also revealed that dialogue journals are considered an effective EFL learning strategy since they fulfill various needs for both learners and instructors. Interestingly, the analysis of the results also revealed that Saudi university level students tend to write about personal topics in their dialogue journals more than academic ones.

Keywords: dialogue journals, EFL, learning strategy, writing

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1222 Gender Bias and the Role It Plays in Student Evaluation of Instructors

Authors: B. Garfolo, L. Kelpsh, R. Roak, R. Kuck

Abstract:

Often, student ratings of instructors play a significant role in the career path of an instructor in higher education. So then, how does a student view the effectiveness of instructor teaching? This question has been address by literally thousands of studies found in the literature. Yet, why does this question still persist? A literature review reveals that while it is true that student evaluations of instructors can be biased, there is still a considerable amount of work that needs to be done in understanding why. As student evaluations of instructors can be used in a variety of settings (formative or summative) it is critical to understand the nature of the bias. The authors believe that not only is some bias possible in student evaluations, it should be expected for the simple reason that a student evaluation is a human activity and as such, relies upon perception and interpersonal judgment. As such, student ratings are affected by the same factors that can potentially affect any rater’s judgment, such as stereotypes based on gender, culture, race, etc. Previous study findings suggest that student evaluations of teacher effectiveness differ between male and female raters. However, even though studies have shown that instructor gender does play an important role in influencing student ratings, the exact nature and extent of that role remains the subject of debate. Researchers, in their attempt to define good teaching, have looked for differences in student evaluations based on a variety of characteristics such as course type, class size, ability level of the student and grading practices in addition to instructor and student characteristics (gender, age, etc.) with inconsistent results. If a student evaluation represents more than an instructor’s teaching ability, for example, a physical characteristic such as gender, then this information must be taken into account if the evaluation is to have meaning with respect to instructor assessment. While the authors concede that it is difficult or nearly impossible to separate gender from student perception of teaching practices in person, it is, however, possible to shield an instructor’s gender identity with respect to an online teaching experience. The online teaching modality presents itself as a unique opportunity to experiment directly with gender identity. The analysis of the differences of online behavior of individuals when they perceive that they are interacting with a male or female could provide a wealth of data on how gender influences student perceptions of teaching effectiveness. Given the importance of the role student ratings play in hiring, retention, promotion, tenure, and salary deliberations in academic careers, this question warrants further attention as it is important to be aware of possible bias in student evaluations if they are to be used at all with respect to any academic considerations. For experimental purposes, the author’s constructed and online class where each instructors operate under two different gender identities. In this study, each instructor taught multiple sections of the same class using both a male identity and a female identity. The study examined student evaluations of teaching based on certain student and instructor characteristics in order to determine if and where male and female students might differ in their ratings of instructors based on instructor gender. Additionally, the authors examined if there are differences between undergraduate and graduate students' ratings with respect to the experimental criteria.

Keywords: gender bias, ethics, student evaluations, student perceptions, online instruction

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1221 Analyzing the Perceptions of Accounting Practitioners regarding Communication Skills of Distance-Learning Graduates

Authors: Carol S. Binnekade, Deon Scott, Christina C. Shuttleworth, Annelien A. Van Rooyen

Abstract:

Higher education institutions are constantly challenged to deliver skilled graduates into the workplace. Employers expect graduates to have the required technical knowledge as well as various pervasive skills. This also applies to accountants who need to know the technical requirements of financial reporting and be able to communicate with individuals, teams and clients at a high level. Accountants need to develop effective business conversational skills and use these skills to communicate up, down and across organizations, taking into consideration cultural and gender diversity. In addition, they need to master business writing and presentation skills. However, providing students with these skills in a distance-learning environment where interaction between students and instructors is limited, is a challenge for academics. The study on which this paper reports, forms part of a larger body of research, which explored the perceptions of accounting practitioners of the communication skills (or lack thereof) of recently qualified accounting students. Feedback (qualitative and quantitative) was obtained from various accounting practitioners in South Africa. Taking into consideration that distance learners communicate mainly with their instructors via email communication and their assignments are submitted using various word processor software, the researchers were of the opinion that the accounting graduates would be capable of communicating effectively once they entered the workplace. However, the research findings, inter alia, suggested that the accounting graduates lacked communication skills and that training was needed to differentiate between business and social communication once they entered the workplace. Recommendations on how these communication challenges may be addressed by higher education institutions are provided.

Keywords: accounting practitioners, communication skills, distance education, pervasive skills

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1220 College Faculty Perceptions of Instructional Strategies That Are Effective for Students with Dyslexia

Authors: Samantha R. Dutra

Abstract:

There are many issues that students face in college, such as academic-based struggles, financial issues, family responsibilities, and vocational problems. Students with dyslexia struggle even more with these problems compared to other students. This qualitative study examines faculty perceptions of instructing students with dyslexia. This study is important to the human services and post-secondary educational fields due to the increase in disabled students enrolled in college. This study is also substantial because of the reported bias faced by students with dyslexia and their academic failure. When students with LDs such as dyslexia experience bias, discrimination, and isolation, they are more apt to not seek accommodations, lack communication with faculty, and are more likely to drop out or fail. College students with dyslexia often take longer to complete their post-secondary education and are more likely to withdraw or drop out without earning a degree. Faculty attitudes and academic cultures are major barriers to the success and use of accommodations as well as modified instruction for students with disabilities, which leads to student success. Faculty members are often uneducated or misinformed regarding students with dyslexia. More importantly, many faculty members are unaware of the many ethical and legal implications that they face regarding accommodating students with dyslexia. Instructor expectations can generally be defined as the understanding and perceptions of students regarding their academic success. Skewed instructor expectations can affect how instructors interact with their students and can also affect student success. This is true for students with dyslexia in that instructors may have lower and biased expectations of these students and, therefore, directly impact students’ academic successes and failures. It is vital to understand how instructor attitudes affect the academic achievement of dyslexic students. This study will examine faculty perceptions of instructing students with dyslexia and faculty attitudes towards accommodations and institutional support. The literature concludes that students with dyslexia have many deficits and several learning needs. Furthermore, these are the students with the highest dropout and failure rates, as well as the lowest retention rates. Disabled students generally have many reasons why accommodations and supports just do not help. Some research suggests that accommodations do help students and show positive outcomes. Many improvements need to be made between student support service personnel, faculty, and administrators regarding providing access and adequate supports for students with dyslexia. As the research also suggests, providing more efficient and effective accommodations may increase positive student as well as faculty attitudes in college, and may improve student outcomes overall.

Keywords: dyslexia, faculty perception, higher education, learning disability

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1219 Classroom Management Practices of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management Instructors

Authors: Diana Ruth Caga-Anan

Abstract:

Classroom management is a critical skill but the styles are constantly evolving. It is constantly under pressure particularly in the college education level due to diversity in student profiles, modes of delivery, and marketization of higher education. This study sought to analyze the extent of implementation of classroom management practices (CMPs) of the college instructors of the Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management of a premier university in the Philippines. It was also determined if their length of teaching affects their classroom management style. A questionnaire with sixteen 'evidenced-based' CMPs grouped into five critical features of classroom management, adopted from the literature search of Simonsen et al. (2008), was administered to 4 instructor-respondents and to their 88 students. Weighted mean scores of each of the CMPs revealed that there were differences between the instructors’ self-scores and their students’ ratings on their implementation of CMPs. The critical feature of classroom management 'actively engage students in observable ways' got the highest mean score, corresponding to 'always' from the instructors’ self-rating and 'frequently' from their students’ ratings. However, 'use a continuum of strategies to respond to inappropriate behaviors' got the lowest scores from both the instructors and their students corresponding only to 'occasionally'. Analysis of variance showed that the only CMP affected by the length of teaching is the practice of 'prompting students to respond'. Based on the findings, some recommendations for the instructors to improve on the critical feature where they scored low are discussed and suggestions are included for future research.

Keywords: classroom management, CMPs, critical features, evidence-based classroom management practices

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1218 Iranian Students’ and Teachers’ Perceptions of Effective Foreign Language Teaching

Authors: Mehrnoush Tajnia, Simin Sadeghi-Saeb

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Students and teachers have different perceptions of effectiveness of instruction. Comparing students’ and teachers’ beliefs and finding the mismatches between them can increase L2 students’ satisfaction. Few studies have taken into account the beliefs of both students and teachers on different aspects of pedagogy and the effect of learners’ level of education and contexts on effective foreign language teacher practices. Therefore, the present study was conducted to compare students’ and teachers’ perceptions on effective foreign language teaching. A sample of 303 learners and 54 instructors from different private language institutes and universities participated in the study. A questionnaire was developed to elicit participants’ beliefs on effective foreign language teaching and learning. The analysis of the results revealed that: a) there is significant difference between the students’ beliefs about effective teacher practices and teachers’ belief, b) Class level influences students’ perception of effective foreign language teacher, d) There is a significant difference of opinion between those learners who study foreign languages at university and those who study foreign language in private institutes with respect to effective teacher practices. The present paper concludes that finding the gap between students’ and teachers’ beliefs would help both of the groups to enhance their learning and teaching.

Keywords: effective teacher, effective teaching, students’ beliefs, teachers’ beliefs

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1217 Gendered Perceptions in Maize Supply Chains: Evidence from Uganda

Authors: Anusha De, Bjorn Van Campenhout

Abstract:

Faced with imperfect information, economic actors use judgment and perceptions in decision-making. Inaccurate perceptions or false beliefs may result in inefficient value chains, and systematic bias in perceptions may affect inclusiveness. In this paper, perceptions in Ugandan maize supply chains are studied. A random sample of maize farmers where they were asked to rate other value chain actors—agro-input dealers, assembly traders and maize millers—on a set of important attributes such as service quality, price competitiveness, ease of access, and overall reputation. These other value chain actors are tracked and asked to assess themselves on the same attributes. It is observed that input dealers, traders and millers assess themselves more favorably than farmers do. Zooming in on heterogeneity in perceptions related to gender, it is evident that women rate higher than men. The sex of the actor being rated does not affect the rating.

Keywords: gender, input dealers, maize supply chain, perceptions, processors

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1216 Harnessing the Power of Feedback to Assist Progress: A Process-Based Approach of Providing Feedback to L2 Composition Students in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Brad Curabba

Abstract:

Utilising active, process-based learning methods to improve critical thinking and writing skills of second language (L2) writers brings unique challenges. To comprehensively satisfy different learners' needs, when commenting on student work, instructors can embed multiple feedback methods so that the capstone of their abilities as writers can be achieved. This research project assesses faculty and student perceptions regarding the effectiveness of various feedback practices used in process-based writing classrooms with L2 students at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). In addition, the research explores the challenges encountered by faculty during the provision of feedback practices. The quantitative research findings are based on two concurrent electronically distributed anonymous surveys; one aimed at students who have just completed a process-based writing course, and the other at instructors who delivered these courses. The student sample is drawn from multiple sections of Academic Writing I and II, and the faculty survey was distributed among the Department of Writing Studies (DWS) faculty. Our findings strongly suggest that all methods of feedback are deemed equally important by both students and faculty. Students, in particular, find process writing and its feedback practices to have greatly contributed to their writing proficiency.

Keywords: process writing, feedback, formative feedback, composition, reflection

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1215 Love Is Color-Blind: Perceptions among Sunway University Students toward Interracial Relationship

Authors: Azman Ramlie, Vivian Foo Jing Wen

Abstract:

As the advancement of technology has tremendously changed the way people communicate with each other, it has opened up opportunities for interracial relationships. Interracial relationship is also known as intercultural or interethnic relationships. This research topic aims to study on students’ perceptions toward interracial relationship in terms of their level of acceptance and approval. In addition, the study also focuses on determining and ranking the factors that affects students’ perceptions towards interracial relationship. This study also targets to determine the differences in students’ perceptions from business and communication major. This study uses a sample of university students from Sunway University, particularly on students in business and communication major. The study was conducted through online survey questionnaires. Results revealed that students’ level of acceptance towards interracial relationship was high. In addition, results also further indicated that family members’ support was one of the most important factors in influencing students’ perception towards interracial relationship. No diverse differences of perceptions among students in business and communication major towards interracial relationship were shown in the findings. Most of the result showed that both majors turned out to have similar perceptions towards interracial relationship. It can be said that the students’ perception towards interracial relationship did not differ from which major the students was in but their family background that would shape their perceptions.

Keywords: interracial relationship, racial, relationship, perceptions

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1214 Faculty Members' Acceptance of Mobile Learning in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Case Study of a Saudi University

Authors: Omran Alharbi

Abstract:

It is difficult to find an aspect of our modern lives that has been untouched by mobile technology. Indeed, the use of mobile learning in Saudi Arabia may enhance students’ learning and increase overall educational standards. However, within tertiary education, the success of e-learning implementation depends on the degree to which students and educators accept mobile learning and are willing to utilise it. Therefore, this research targeted the factors that influence Hail University instructors’ intentions to use mobile learning. An online survey was completed by eighty instructors and it was found that their use of mobile learning was heavily predicted by performance experience, effort expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions; the multiple regression analysis revealed that 67% of the variation was accounted for by these variables. From these variables, effort expectancy was shown to be the strongest predictor of intention to use e-learning for instructors.

Keywords: acceptance, faculty member, mobile learning, KSA

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1213 myITLab as an Implementation Instance of Distance Education Technologies

Authors: Leila Goosen

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The research problem reported on in this paper relates to improving success in Computer Science and Information Technology subjects where students are learning applications, especially when teaching occurs in a distance education context. An investigation was launched in order to address students’ struggles with applications, and improve their assessment in such subjects. Some of the main arguments presented centre on formulating and situating significant concepts within an appropriate conceptual framework. The paper explores the experiences and perceptions of computing instructors, teaching assistants, students and higher education institutions on how they are empowered by using technologies such as myITLab. They also share how they are working with the available features to successfully teach applications to their students. The data collection methodology used is then described. The paper includes discussions on how myITLab empowers instructors, teaching assistants, students and higher education institutions. Conclusions are presented on the way in which this paper could make an original and significant contribution to the promotion and development of knowledge in fields related to successfully teaching applications for student learning, including in a distance education context. The paper thus provides a forum for practitioners to highlight and discuss insights and successes, as well as identify new technical and organisational challenges, lessons and concerns regarding practical activities related to myITLab as an implementation instance of distance education technologies.

Keywords: distance, education, myITLab, technologies

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1212 Using Smartphone Instant Messaging (IM) App for Academic Discussion in an Undergraduate Chemistry Course

Authors: Mei Xuan Tan, Eng Ying Bong

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Academic discussion during and after instructional teaching is an integral part of learning. Such discussion between the instructor and student or peer-to-peer discussion can be in several different forms. It could be face-to-face discussion, via email and use of online discussion forum. In this study, the effectiveness of using WhatsApp for academic discussion for a first year half-credit Chemistry course was examined. This study was run over two years with two different batches of students. Participation in the study was voluntary and student volunteers were recruited within the first week of the term. The activity in the WhatsApp group was monitored by two instructors teaching the course. At the end of the course, the students participated in an online survey to evaluate their experience of using WhatsApp for academic discussion. There were a total of 26 questions. The survey had a total of 4 sections with regards to the use of WhatsApp for academic discussion: 1) Familiarity with WhatsApp, 2) Effectiveness of using WhatsApp for discussion, 3) Challenges and 4) Overall experience. The main purpose of using an IM platform for academic discussion was to encourage after-class discussion amongst the students. 32% of the participants had used other online platform, such as Piazza and forums in Learning Management System (LMS), for after-class academic discussion with their instructors and peers. This was a low percentage considering that some courses use such online platform as their main forum amongst instructors and students. At the end of our study, over 83% of the participants felt that WhatsApp was a more effective platform compared to other online forum. One interesting finding was the effect of WhatsApp discussion on face-to-face interaction with instructors. 28% of the students agreed that the use of WhatsApp as a discussion forum had encouraged them to approach their instructors during or after class. 51% of students answered neutral. This could be interpreted that the use of WhatsApp had not affected the frequent (or lack of) face-to-face interaction with their instructors. A second survey question, similar but phrased differently from the first, was also asked to evaluate the aspect of face-to-face interaction with instructors. 34% disagreed that the use of WhatsApp had reduced the frequency of face-to-face interaction. This could imply that the frequency remained the same or might have increased. The 38% who agreed to a decrease in face-to-face interaction have either asked the questions in WhatsApp or had their questions answered by a query from another student in the group chat. These outcomes suggested that the use of technology aided and complemented face-to-face interaction between instructors and students. The study also looked at the challenges of using WhatsApp for academic discussion. Some challenges included difficulty in referring back to previous discussion and students finding some discussions irrelevant to them. In conclusion, the use of IM platform for academic discussion was desirable for the students, but it should not be the only channel as face-to-face consultation and online forum for lengthy discussion are still important for after-class learning of students.

Keywords: chemistry, pedogogy, technological tools, undergraduate

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1211 The Video Database for Teaching and Learning in Football Refereeing

Authors: M. Armenteros, A. Domínguez, M. Fernández, A. J. Benítez

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The following paper describes the video database tool used by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) as part of the research project developed in collaboration with the Carlos III University of Madrid. The database project began in 2012, with the aim of creating an educational tool for the training of instructors, referees and assistant referees, and it has been used in all FUTURO III courses since 2013. The platform now contains 3,135 video clips of different match situations from FIFA competitions. It has 1,835 users (FIFA instructors, referees and assistant referees). In this work, the main features of the database are described, such as the use of a search tool and the creation of multimedia presentations and video quizzes. The database has been developed in MySQL, ActionScript, Ruby on Rails and HTML. This tool has been rated by users as "very good" in all courses, which prompt us to introduce it as an ideal tool for any other sport that requires the use of video analysis.

Keywords: assistants referees, cloud computing, e-learning, instructors, FIFA, referees, soccer, video database

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1210 The Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Citizens’ Perceptions of Social Justice in China

Authors: Yan Liu

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The Gini coefficient indicates that the inequality of income distribution is rising in China. How individuals viewing the equality of current society is an important predicator of social turbulence. Perceptions of social justice may vary according to the social stratification. People usually use socioeconomic status to identify divisions between social stratifications. The objective of this study is to explore the potential influence of socioeconomic status on citizens’ perceptions of social justice in China. Socioeconomic status (SES) is usually reflected by either an SES indicator or a composite of three core dimensions: education, income and occupation. With data collected in the 2010 Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS), this study uses OLS regression analyses to examine the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and citizens’ perceptions of social justice. This study finds that most Chinese citizens believe that the current society is fair or more than fair. Socioeconomic status (SES) has a positive impact on citizens’ perceptions of social justice, which means individuals with higher indicator of socioeconomic status prefer to believe current society is fair. However, the three core dimensions which are used to measure socioeconomic status (SES) have different influences on perceptions of social justice: First, income helps enhance citizens’ sense of social justice. Second, education weakens citizens’ sense of social justice. Third, compared to the middle occupational status, people of both higher occupational status and lower occupational status have higher levels of perceptions of social justice. Though education creates a negative influence on perceptions of social justice, its effect is much weaker than that of income, which indicates income is a determining factor for enhancing people’s perceptions of social justice in China’s market society. Policy implications are discussed.

Keywords: education, income, occupation, perceptions of social justice, social stratification, socioeconomic status

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1209 Perceptions toward Adopting Virtual Reality as a Learning Aid in Information Technology

Authors: S. Alfalah, J. Falah, T. Alfalah, M. Elfalah, O. Falah

Abstract:

The field of education is an ever-evolving area constantly enriched by newly discovered techniques provided by active research in all areas of technologies. The recent years have witnessed the introduction of a number of promising technologies and applications to enhance the teaching and learning experience. Virtual Reality (VR) applications are considered one of the evolving methods that have contributed to enhancing education in many fields. VR creates an artificial environment, using computer hardware and software, which is similar to the real world. This simulation provides a solution to improve the delivery of materials, which facilitates the teaching process by providing a useful aid to instructors, and enhances the learning experience by providing a beneficial learning aid. In order to assure future utilization of such systems, students’ perceptions were examined toward utilizing VR as an educational tool in the Faculty of Information Technology (IT) in The University of Jordan. A questionnaire was administered to IT undergraduates investigating students’ opinions about the potential opportunities that VR technology could offer and its implications as learning and teaching aid. The results confirmed the end users’ willingness to adopt VR systems as a learning aid. The result of this research forms a solid base for investing in a VR system for IT education.

Keywords: information, technology, virtual reality, education

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1208 Investigation of Organisational Culture and Its Impacts on Job Satisfaction among Language Teachers at a Language School

Authors: Davut Uysal

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Turkish higher education system has experienced some structural changes in recent decades, which resulted in the concentration on English language teaching as a foreign language at high education institutions. However, the number of studies examining the relationship between organizational culture and job satisfaction among language teachers at higher education institutions, who are the key elements of the teaching process, is very limited in the country. The main objective of this study is to find out the perceptions of English language instructors regarding organizational culture and its impact on their job satisfaction at School of Foreign Language, Anadolu University in Turkey. Questionnaire technique was used in data collection, and the collected data was analysed with the help of SPSS data analysis program. The findings of the study revealed that the respondents of the study had positive perceptions regarding current organizational culture indicating satisfaction with co-worker relations and administration, supervision support and the work itself, as well as their satisfaction with the available professional development opportunities provided by their institution. A significant relationship between overall organizational culture and job satisfaction was found in the study. This study also presents some key elements to increase the job satisfaction levels of the language teachers by managing corporate communication and to improve the organisational culture based on the findings of the study as they are two interrelated issues.

Keywords: corporate communication, English teacher, organizational culture, job satisfaction

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1207 The Impact of Blended Learning on Developing the students' Writing Skills and the Perception of Instructors and Students: Hawassa University in Focus

Authors: Mulu G. Gencha, Gebremedhin Simon, Menna Olango

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This study was conducted at Hawassa University (HwU) in the Southern Nation Nationalities Peoples Regional State (SNNPRS) of Ethiopia. The prime concern of this study was to examine the writing performances of experimental and control group students, perception of experimental group students, and subject instructors. The course was blended learning (BL). Blended learning is a hybrid of classroom and on-line learning. Participants were eighty students from the School of Computer Science. Forty students attended the BL delivery involved using Face-to-Face (FTF) and campus-based online instruction. All instructors, fifty, of School of Language and Communication Studies along with 10 FGD members participated in the study. The experimental group went to the computer lab two times a week for four months, March-June, 2012, using the local area network (LAN), and software (MOODLE) writing program. On the other hand, the control group, forty students, took the FTF writing course five times a week for four months in similar academic calendar. The three instruments, the attitude questionnaire, tests and FGD were designed to identify views of students, instructors, and FGD participants on BL. At the end of the study, students’ final course scores were evaluated. Data were analyzed using independent samples t-tests. A statistically, significant difference was found between the FTF and BL (p<0.05). The analysis showed that the BL group was more successful than the conventional group. Besides, both instructors and students had positive attitude towards BL. The final section of the thesis showed the potential benefits and challenges, considering the pedagogical implications for the BL, and recommended possible avenues for further works.

Keywords: blended learning, computer attitudes, computer usefulness, computer liking, computer confidence, computer phobia

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1206 An Investigation of Engineering Students’ Perceptions Towards E-learning in the UK

Authors: Farid Arya, Parisa Razzaghifard, Sonia Chien-I Chen, Behzad Abdi, Vida Razzaghifard, James Uhomoibhi

Abstract:

E-learning, also known as online learning, has indicated an increased growth in recent years. One of the critical factors in successful application of e-learning in higher education is students’ perceptions towards it. The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the perceptions of engineering students about e-learning in UK. For the purpose of the present study, 145 second year Engineering students were randomly selected from the total population of 1280 participants. The participants were asked to complete a questionnaire containing 16 items. The data collected from the questionnaire were analysed through the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) software. The findings of the study revealed that the majority of participants have negative perceptions on e-learning. Most of the students had trouble interacting effectively during online classes. Furthermore, the majority of participants had negative experiences with learning platform they were used during e-learning. Suggestions were made on what could be done to improve the students’ perceptions towards e-learning.

Keywords: e-learning, higher, education, engineering education, online learning

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1205 Insights and Inferences Associated with Subscription of Health Insurance in the Informal Sector of India

Authors: Harinder Singh

Abstract:

The paper sheds light on the perceptions of the uninsured workers employed in the urban informal sector of India, towards the health insurance. In addition to this, it also explores the association of the identified perceptions with household decisions to enroll for health insurance schemes in India. Firstly the data taken from the primary survey of the uninsured workers employed in the urban informal sector was analyzed using exploratory factor analysis to evaluate the perceptions. Thereafter, logistic regression was employed to determine the association of the identified perceptions regarding the enrollment. Our study identifies twelve perceptions related to the health insurance enrollment of the uninsured workers employed in the urban informal sector of India. The study demonstrates that perceptions have the strongest association with the voluntary enrollment. These specifically relate to the lack of awareness about the need to buy health insurance; comprehensive coverage; income constraint; future contingencies and social obligations; lack of information; availability of subsidized government health care; linkage with government hospitals and preference for government schemes. Conclusions: Along with the food security, health security has become a crying need of the workers employed in the informal sector and the time has come to scale up the health insurance schemes for them in the country. Policy makers or marketers of health insurance policies should recognize the household perceptions as a potential barrier and try to develop a health insurance package as per the actual needs of the informal sector (low income) in India.

Keywords: association, enrollment, health insurance, informal sector, perceptions, uninsured

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1204 Analysis of the Current and Ideal Situation of Iran’s Football Talent Management Process from the Perspective of the Elites

Authors: Mehran Nasiri, Ardeshir Poornemat

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The aim of this study was to investigate the current and ideal situations of the process of talent identification in Iranian football from the point of view of Iranian instructors of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). This research was a descriptive-analytical study; in data collection phase a questionnaire was used, whose face validity was confirmed by experts of Physical Education and Sports Science. The reliability of questionnaire was estimated through the use of Cronbach's alpha method (0.91). This study involved 122 participants of Iranian instructors of the AFC who were selected based on stratified random sampling method. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the variables and inferential statistics (Chi-square) were used to test the hypotheses of the study at significant level (p ≤ 0.05). The results of Chi-square test related to the point of view of Iranian instructors of the AFC showed that the grass-roots scientific method was the best way to identify football players (0.001), less than 10 years old were the best ages for talent identification (0.001), the Football Federation was revealed to be the most important organization in talent identification (0.002), clubs were shown to be the most important institution in developing talents (0.001), trained scouts of Football Federation were demonstrated to be the best and most appropriate group for talent identification (0.001), and being referred by the football academy coaches was shown to be the best way to attract talented football players in Iran (0.001). It was also found that there was a huge difference between the current and ideal situation of the process of talent identification in Iranian football from the point of view of Iranian instructors of the AFC. Hence, it is recommended that the policy makers of talent identification for Iranian football provide a comprehensive, clear and systematic model of talent identification and development processes for the clubs and football teams, so that the talent identification process helps to nurture football talents more efficiently.

Keywords: current situation, talent finding, ideal situation, instructors (AFC)

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1203 Discrepant Views of Social Competence and Links with Social Phobia

Authors: Pamela-Zoe Topalli, Niina Junttila, Päivi M. Niemi, Klaus Ranta

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Adolescents’ biased perceptions about their social competence (SC), whether negatively or positively, serve to influence their socioemotional adjustment such as early feelings of social phobia (nowadays referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder-SAD). Despite the importance of biased self-perceptions in adolescents’ psychosocial adjustment, the extent to which discrepancies between self- and others’ evaluations of one’s SC are linked to social phobic symptoms remains unclear in the literature. This study examined the perceptual discrepancy profiles between self- and peers’ as well as between self- and teachers’ evaluations of adolescents’ SC and the interrelations of these profiles with self-reported social phobic symptoms. The participants were 390 3rd graders (15 years old) of Finnish lower secondary school (50.8% boys, 49.2% girls). In contrast with variable-centered approaches that have mainly been used by previous studies when focusing on this subject, this study used latent profile analysis (LPA), a person-centered approach which can provide information regarding risk profiles by capturing the heterogeneity within a population and classifying individuals into groups. LPA revealed the following five classes of discrepancy profiles: i) extremely negatively biased perceptions of SC, ii) negatively biased perceptions of SC, iii) quite realistic perceptions of SC, iv) positively biased perceptions of SC, and v) extremely positively biased perceptions of SC. Adolescents with extremely negatively biased perceptions and negatively biased perceptions of their own SC reported the highest number of social phobic symptoms. Adolescents with quite realistic, positively biased and extremely positively biased perceptions reported the lowest number of socio-phobic symptoms. The results point out the negatively and the extremely negatively biased perceptions as possible contributors to social phobic symptoms. Moreover, the association of quite realistic perceptions with low number of social phobic symptoms indicates its potential protective power against social phobia. Finally, positively and extremely positively biased perceptions of SC are negatively associated with social phobic symptoms in this study. However, the profile of extremely positively biased perceptions might be linked as well with the existence of externalizing problems such as antisocial behavior (e.g. disruptive impulsivity). The current findings highlight the importance of considering discrepancies between self- and others’ perceptions of one’s SC in clinical and research efforts. Interventions designed to prevent or moderate social phobic symptoms need to take into account individual needs rather than aiming for uniform treatment. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Keywords: adolescence, latent profile analysis, perceptual discrepancies, social competence, social phobia

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1202 Themes in Aesthetic Perceptions of Restorative Urban Landscapes

Authors: Rachel Bechtold, Catherine Shoulders, Donald Johnson, Jennie Popp, Elena Garcia, Lisa Wood

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Creating successfully restored urban landscapes involves both the sound design of natural resources and the incorporation of human perceptions of landscape. Moving forward with an invested interest from society is a challenge for the efficacy of reclaimed landscape design. In particular, urban areas present a dynamic environment wherein society and nature compete for resources and space. This review is meant to examine how perceptions of urban community members, the stakeholders for the plant species that share their environment, are reflected in aesthetic considerations. Findings from this literature review include themes of (1) aesthetic perceptions of stakeholders in rehabilitated landscapes and (2) the importance of organizing indicators of aesthetic perception for future design decisions. Recommendations include addressing the gap in research on aesthetic perceptions of reclaimed urban landscapes and addressing the lack of a consistent and widely accepted framework for these interdisciplinary studies. With knowledge of stakeholder perceptions, improved aesthetic and ecologic designs can more seamlessly merge into reclaimed urban landscapes.

Keywords: phytoremediation, urban landscape design, aesthetic perception, landscape ecology, phytorestoration, landscape reclamation, rehabilitation

Procedia PDF Downloads 90