Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4705

Search results for: postgraduate students

4705 The Research Experiences of Supervisors and Postgraduate Research Students at One South African Higher Education Institution

Authors: Madoda Cekiso, Thenjiwe Meyiwa

Abstract:

Successful postgraduate supervision involves possessing research capabilities, being knowledgeable in specific disciplines, understanding interpersonal relations, exercising mentoring/guidance skills and having appropriate knowledge of own institutional regulatory systems for postgraduate studies. On the other hand, postgraduate students are expected to know what the postgraduate journey entails and the elements and requirements of a postgraduate study. This paper sought to explore and analyse the research experiences of supervisors and postgraduate research students at one South African higher education institution. The study was qualitative in nature and a case study design was followed. The sample was purposively selected and comprised 25 postgraduate students and 20 postgraduate supervisors from one Faculty of the said university. The study findings revealed that there was no clear contract or memorandum of understanding between the postgraduate students and their supervisors. As a result, both supervisors and postgraduate students were not aware of their responsibilities. Both supervisors and postgraduate students complained about the non-availability of postgraduate facilities and resources for postgraduate students. The results further revealed that the allocation of students to supervisors who are not experts in a particular field was a challenge for both postgraduate students and supervisors. The results also revealed that the supervisors were not happy about the commitment of the postgraduate students towards their studies. The supervisors also complained about the postgraduate students who cannot work independently. Based on the findings, the authors recommended that a memorandum of understanding between a postgraduate student and a supervisor might solve some of the challenges. We further recommended a match between the supervisor’s expertise and the student’s focus area.

Keywords: feedback, mentoring, postgraduate, supervisors, student, memorandum of understanding

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4704 Social Media Utilisation and Addiction among Students in Nigerian Universities

Authors: Kolawole Akinjide Aramide, Razaq Oyewo

Abstract:

This study investigates social media utilisation and addiction among students in Nigerian universities. Three hundred and twenty seven (327) students were randomly selected across five selected universities in Nigeria but only 215 provided useful responses for the study. The study revealed regular use of social media for the purpose of communicating and connecting with friends only while Picassa, Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, MySpace, Blogger, Linkedln and LibraryThing were found to top the list of social media being used on regular basis by the students. The level of social media addiction among the students was found to be low. A significant difference was established between undergraduate and postgraduate students’ utilization of social media as the undergraduate students were found to utilise social media more than the postgraduate students. However, no significant difference was found in the level of addiction to social media between the undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Keywords: social media utilisation, social media addiction, Nigerian students, universities

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4703 Online Metacognitive Reading Strategies Use by Postgraduate Libyan EFL Students

Authors: Najwa Alsayed Omar

Abstract:

With the increasing popularity of the Internet, online reading has become an essential source for EFL readers. Using strategies to comprehend information on online reading texts play a crucial role in students’ academic success. Metacognitive reading strategies are effective factors that enhance EFL learners reading comprehension. This study aimed at exploring the use of online metacognitive reading strategies by postgraduate Libyan EFL students. Quantitative data was collected using the Survey of Online Reading Strategies (OSORS). The findings revealed that the participants were moderate users of metacognitive online reading strategies. Problem solving strategies were the most frequently reported used strategies, while support reading strategies were the least. The five most and least frequently reported strategies were identified. Based on the findings, some future research recommendations were presented.

Keywords: metacognitive strategies, online reading, online reading strategies, postgraduate students

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4702 Investigating 'Criticality' in Written Assignments of Postgraduate Students in TESOL and Applied Linguistics

Authors: Josephine Mirador

Abstract:

Too often, one hears teachers complaining about how uncritical students can be, yet the notion of ‘criticality’ may be subject to variable understandings or interpretations. One challenge facing postgraduate students is the writing of essays responding to a specific reading assignment. Such an essay requires students not only to summarise, but to engage in a discussion of the significant points of the article, pointing out its strengths as well as its weaknesses. This paper presents the results of an investigation on criticality in written assignments of postgraduate students in applied linguistics and TESOL. The guiding questions for this investigation were: -How ‘critical’ are postgraduate students when writing their assignments? -What kind of ‘critical’ comments are they able to offer? A total of 70 essays were analysed, using two sets of corpora in the initial and follow-through phases of the research from three different universities in Asia. The essays were written by MA applied linguistics and TESOL students. Students were told that the response essay should definitely not just summarise, but should offer a reflection or critique on the ideas presented in the subject article. The initial findings from the investigation include: the identification of at least 10 general ‘moves’ each of which has a number of possible specific categories; presence of critique ‘nodes’ as distinguished from ‘support’ comments; and the identification of at least 4 moves as the most recurrent and possibly obligatory categories. This investigation has unearthed a few more questions or issues that are definitely worth investigating as extensions of this research, and will be of interest (most especially) to genre analysts and teachers of writing.

Keywords: criticality, discourse and genre analysis, postgraduate students, applied linguistics

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4701 Exploring Teacher Verbal Feedback on Postgraduate Students' Performances in Presentations in English

Authors: Nattawadee Sinpattanawong, Yaowaret Tharawoot

Abstract:

This is an analytic and descriptive classroom-centered research, the purpose of which is to explore teacher verbal feedback on postgraduate students’ performances in presentations in English in an English for Specific Purposes (ESP) postgraduate classroom. The participants are a Thai female teacher, two Thai female postgraduate students, and two foreign male postgraduate students. The current study draws on both classroom observation and interview data. The class focused on the students’ presentations and the teacher’s providing verbal feedback on them was observed nine times with audio recording and taking notes. For the interviews, the teacher was interviewed about linkages between her verbal feedback and each student’s presentation skills in English. For the data analysis, the audio files from the observations were transcribed and analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The quantitative approach addressed the frequencies and percentages of content of the teacher’s verbal feedback for each student’s performances based on eight presentation factors (content, structure, grammar, coherence, vocabulary, speaking skills, involving the audience, and self-presentation). Based on the quantitative data including the interview data, a qualitative analysis of the transcripts was made to describe the occurrences of several content of verbal feedback for each student’s presentation performances. The study’s findings may help teachers to reflect on their providing verbal feedback based on various students’ performances in presentation in English. They also help students who have similar characteristics to the students in the present study when giving a presentation in English improve their presentation performances by applying the teacher’s verbal feedback content.

Keywords: teacher verbal feedback, presentation factors, presentation in English, presentation performances

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4700 The Effects of Cultural Self-Efficacy and Perceived Social Support on Acculturative Stress of International Postgraduate Students in the United Kingdom

Authors: Rhea Mathews

Abstract:

The purpose of the study is to investigate the effects of perceived social support and cultural self-efficacy on the acculturative stress of international postgraduate students in the United Kingdom. The study adopted Berry, Kim, Minde & Mok’s (1987) acculturative framework on acculturative stress and examined the relationship between the variables. The study hypothesized that perceived social support and cultural self-efficacy would predict lower levels of acculturative stress among students. Postgraduate students in the United Kingdom (N = 76) completed three surveys measuring the variables; Acculturative Stress Scale for International Students, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, and Cultural Self-efficacy for Adolescents. To evaluate the role of the perceived social support and cultural self-efficacy in determining the acculturative stress level of international students, multiple linear regression was employed. Both independent variables exhibited a significant, negative relationship with acculturative stress (p < 0.001; p < 0.01). Results described that cultural self-efficacy and perceived social support significantly predicted acculturative stress (p < 0.01). Together, the variables accounted for 22% of the variance in acculturative stress scores (adjusted R² = 0.22), with cultural self-efficacy playing a larger role in predicting the dependent variable. Limitations and implications of the study are noted. The findings of the study are discussed in relation to enhancing international students’ acculturative experience when relocating to a new environment.

Keywords: acculturative stress, coping, cultural adjustment, cultural self-efficacy, international education, international students, migration, perceived social support

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4699 Research Writing Anxiety among Engineering Postgraduate Students in Taiwan

Authors: Mei-Ching Ho

Abstract:

Graduate-level writing practices have gained increasing scholarly attention in recent years. Due to its discipline-specific conventions and requirements, research writing can cause various levels of anxiety for native English speaking and English as a second/foreign language (ESL/EFL) postgraduate students. Although many studies have investigated how writing anxiety can negatively affect writing performance, self-efficacy, and disciplinary discourse socialization process, relatively few have examined the impact of writing anxiety from the perspectives of postgraduate students in EFL contexts. This study aims to 1) examine the level of and the relationship between research writing anxiety and self-efficacy among Taiwanese EFL students at the master's and doctoral levels and 2) to uncover the causes of students' research writing anxiety. The data was collected from an adapted version of Second Language Writing Anxiety Inventory (SLWAI) and Research Writing Self-Efficacy Scale with 218 EFL graduate students in engineering-related fields at two research-oriented universities in Taiwan. A pilot study was conducted to ensure the construct and content validity of the instruments. Semi-structured interviews were also undertaken with 30 survey respondents to better understand the causes of their writing anxiety. The results revealed that while both master's and doctoral students had low to moderate research writing anxiety and self-efficacy, the doctoral students with more experiences in writing research papers in English were more anxious but not necessarily more confident than the master's students. A significantly weak negative correlation was found between the two constructs. The contributing factors for these results include different degree of writing exigency, perceived importance and types of writing tasks, writing for publication as graduation thresholds, and mentoring relationship with thesis/dissertation advisers. The study also identified several causes of graduate-level writing anxiety, of which writing under time constraints and concern on linguistic and rhetorical proficiency appeared to be the major concern. Pedagogical implications regarding facilitating graduate students' writing process and reducing anxiety will also be drawn.

Keywords: writing affect, writing anxiety, writing self-efficacy, EFL, postgraduate students

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4698 E Learning/Teaching and the Impact on Student Performance at the Postgraduate Level

Authors: Charles Lemckert

Abstract:

E-Learning and E-Teaching can mean many things to different people. For some, the implication is that all material must be delivered in an E way, while for others it only forms part of the learning/teaching process, and (unfortunately) for some it is considered too much work. However, just look around and you will see all generations learning using E devices. In this study we used different forms of teaching, including E, to look at how students responded to set activities and how they performed academically. The particular context was set around a postgraduate university course where students were either present at a face-to-face intensive workshop (on water treatment plant design) or where they were not. For the latter, students needed to make sole use of E media. It is relevant to note that even though some were at the face-to-face class, they were still exposed to E material as the lecturer did use PC projections. Additionally, some also accessed the associate E material (pdf slides and video recordings) to assist their required activities. Analysis of the student performance, in their set assignment, showed that the actual form of delivery did not affect the student performance. This is because, in the end, all the students had access to the recorded/presented E material. The study also showed (somewhat expectedly) that when the material they required for the assignment was clear, the student performance did drop. Therefore, it is possible to enhance future delivery of courses through careful reflection and appropriate support. In the end, we must remember innovation is not just restricted to E.

Keywords: postgraduate, engineering, assignment, perforamance

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4697 Cultural Adjustment Problems in Academic and Social Life Experienced by Indonesian Postgraduate Students Studying in London

Authors: Erizal Lugman

Abstract:

An increasing number of students from Indonesia study in universities in the UK. Because of the substantial cultural differences between the Western and Indonesian cultures, this study investigates the issues in academic and social life experienced by Indonesian postgraduate students, with a sample of 11 Indonesian postgraduate students (8 male, 3 female) studying in London during the cultural adjustment stage. This research made use of a semi-structured interview and was analyzed qualitatively using thematic content analysis to reveal key areas of concern in the academic setting, social life, and language-related issues. The findings confirm that the most challenging aspects experienced by the participants are the use of academic English in academic situations and the students’ lack of critical thinking. Nine out of 11 students agreed that they had problems with writing essays during the cultural adjustment stage. Because of the collectivist culture in Indonesia, making friends with locals was the most concerning issue in the participants’ sociocultural adjustment, followed by difficulty in finding places to pray, looking for Halal food and using the Western toilet system The findings suggest recommendations that the students must be more aware of the cultural differences between Indonesian and Western cultures, including in the academic setting and social life. Also, the lecturers should pay more attention to their speech in the British accent which is sometimes difficult to understand.

Keywords: academic adjustment, cultural adjustment, indonesian culture, intercultural communication

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4696 Behavioural Intention to Use Learning Management System (LMS) among Postgraduate Students: An Application of Utaut Model

Authors: Kamaludeen Samaila, Khashyaullah Abdulfattah, Fahimi Ahmad Bin Amir

Abstract:

The study was conducted to examine the relationship between selected factors (performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence and facilitating condition) and students’ intention to use the learning management system (LMS), as well as investigating the factors predicting students’ intention to use the LMS. The study was specifically conducted at the Faculty of Educational Study of University Putra Malaysia. Questionnaires were distributed to 277 respondents using a random sampling technique. SPSS Version 22 was employed in analyzing the data; the findings of this study indicated that performance expectancy (r = .69, p < .01), effort expectancy (r=.60, p < .01), social influence (r = .61, p < .01), and facilitating condition (r=.42, p < .01), were significantly related to students’ intention to use the LMS. In addition, the result also revealed that performance expectancy (β = .436, p < .05), social influence (β=.232, p < .05), and effort expectancy (β = .193, p < .05) were strong predictors of students’ intention to use the LMS. The analysis further indicated that (R2) is 0.054 which means that 54% of variation in the dependent variable is explained by the entire predictor variables entered into the regression model. Understanding the factors that affect students’ intention to use the LMS could help the lecturers, LMS managers and university management to develop the policies that may attract students to use the LMS.

Keywords: LMS, postgraduate students, PutraBlas, students’ intention, UPM, UTAUT model

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4695 Profile of Postgraduate Nursing Students Studying at B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences Nepal

Authors: Ram Sharan Mehta

Abstract:

Continuing changes in health and social care policy and practice have affected and changed the way in which nursing is practiced. One of the greatest challenges facing nursing today is to build on the essence of nursing as a caring profession whilst incorporating new technologies, ideas and approaches to future healthcare. The objective of this study was to find out the socio-demographic characteristics of the M.Sc. Nursing students and calculate the association between specialty subjects, caste, age group, and residence with SLC division, BN/BSN division, entrance score, and total nursing experience. Descriptive cross-sectional study design was used to conduct the study among all the 25 M.Sc. Nursing students studying at BPKIHS in 2012. Most of the students (56%) were of age group of 25-30 years, completed his academic courses with first division and succeeded in entrance test in first attempt (96%). Based on the results, it can conclude that most of the subjects were of young age, having high score achievers in SLC, I.Sc., CN, BN/BSN and Entrance test. The demographic characteristics do not influence in the academic scores of the students.

Keywords: profile, postgraduate nursing students, Nepal, influence

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4694 Higher Education and Empowerment of Women in Assam (India): An Empirical Analysis

Authors: Anupam Deka, Indira Bardoloi

Abstract:

Gender discrimination has been considered as a major obstacle in granting equal opportunity for women in higher education as education plays a pivotal role in a country’s socioeconomic development. To examine the empowerment of women in the higher education field of Assam, a case study has been carried out. In the first stage, an overview of enrollment of students in different courses has been made by considering the whole state. In the second stage, a study has been conducted regarding the enrollment of students in various degree and postgraduate courses for the period 2000-2007 at Gauhati University (one of the four universities of Assam), and the relevant data has been collected. It has been found that though the enrollment of students in the degree levels has been constantly increasing, but the enrollment of girls are not proportionately increasing, especially in commerce and law. On the other hand, in the postgraduate level, these proportions are higher in almost all subjects (except some subjects like M. COM., L.L.M, M. C. A., Mathematics, etc.), indicating that compared to boys, a higher number of girls are being admitted in postgraduate courses.

Keywords: field study, enrollment of girls in degree and postgratudate levels, regression lines, chi square test, diagrams, statistical tables

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4693 Influences of Culture, Multilingualism and Ethnicity on Using English in Pakistani Universities

Authors: Humaira Irfan Khan

Abstract:

The paper discusses that Pakistan is a multilingual, multicultural, and multiethnic society. The findings from quantitative and qualitative data collected in two public universities look at the importance of English language and the role and status of national and regional languages in the country. The evidence implies that postgraduate students having diverse linguistic, cultural, ethnic, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds display negative attitudes towards the use of English language for academic and interactive functions in universities. It is also discovered that language anxiety of postgraduate students is an outcome of their language learning difficulties. It is suggested that considering the academic needs of students, universities should introduce a language proficiency course to enable them to use English with confidence.

Keywords: Multilingualism, Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, Importance of English, National language, Regional languages, Language Anxiety

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4692 Creativity and Innovation in Postgraduate Supervision

Authors: Rajendra Chetty

Abstract:

The paper aims to address two aspects of postgraduate studies: interdisciplinary research and creative models of supervision. Interdisciplinary research can be viewed as a key imperative to solve complex problems. While excellent research requires a context of disciplinary strength, the cutting edge is often found at the intersection between disciplines. Interdisciplinary research foregrounds a team approach and information, methodologies, designs, and theories from different disciplines are integrated to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline. Our aim should also be to generate research that transcends the original disciplines i.e. transdisciplinary research. Complexity is characteristic of the knowledge economy, hence, postgraduate research and engaged scholarship should be viewed by universities as primary vehicles through which knowledge can be generated to have a meaningful impact on society. There are far too many ‘ordinary’ studies that fall into the realm of credentialism and certification as opposed to significant studies that generate new knowledge and provide a trajectory for further academic discourse. Secondly, the paper will look at models of supervision that are different to the dominant ‘apprentice’ or individual approach. A reflective practitioner approach would be used to discuss a range of supervision models that resonate well with the principles of interdisciplinarity, growth in the postgraduate sector and a commitment to engaged scholarship. The global demand for postgraduate education has resulted in increased intake and new demands to limited supervision capacity at institutions. Team supervision lodged within large-scale research projects, working with a cohort of students within a research theme, the journal article route of doctoral studies and the professional PhD are some of the models that provide an alternative to the traditional approach. International cooperation should be encouraged in the production of high-impact research and institutions should be committed to stimulating international linkages which would result in co-supervision and mobility of postgraduate students and global significance of postgraduate research. International linkages are also valuable in increasing the capacity for supervision at new and developing universities. Innovative co-supervision and joint-degree options with global partners should be explored within strategic planning for innovative postgraduate programmes. Co-supervision of PhD students is probably the strongest driver (besides funding) for collaborative research as it provides the glue of shared interest, advantage and commitment between supervisors. The students’ field serves and informs the co-supervisors own research agendas and helps to shape over-arching research themes through shared research findings.

Keywords: interdisciplinarity, internationalisation, postgraduate, supervision

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4691 Academic Literacy: A Study of L2 Academic Reading Literacy among a Group of EFL/ESL Postgraduate Arab Learners in a British University

Authors: Hanadi Khadawardi

Abstract:

The current study contributes to research on foreign/second language (L2) academic reading by presenting a significant case study, which seeks to investigate specific groups of international (Arab) postgraduate students’ L2 academic reading practices in the UK educational context. In particular, the study scrutinises postgraduate students’ L2 paper-based and digital-based academic reading strategies, and their use of digital aids while engaged in L2 academic reading. To this end, the study investigates Arab readers’ attitudes toward digital L2 academic reading. The study aims to compare between paper and digital L2 academic reading strategies that the students employ and which reading formats they prefer. This study tracks Masters-level students and examines the way in which their reading strategies and attitudes change throughout their Masters programme in the UK educational context. The academic reading strategies and attitudes of five students from four different disciplines (Health Science, Psychology, Management, and Education) are investigated at two points during their one-year Masters programmes. In addition, the study investigates the same phenomenon with 15 Saudi PhD students drawn from seven different disciplines (Computer Science, Engineering, Psychology, Management, Marketing, Health Science, and Applied Linguistics) at one period of their study in the same context. The study uses think-aloud protocol, field notes, stimulated recall, and semi-structured interviews to collect data. The data is analysed qualitatively. The results of the study will explain the process of learning in terms of reading L2 paper and digital academic texts in the L2 context.

Keywords: EFL: English as a foreign language, ESL: English as a second language, L: Language

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4690 A Discourse Completion Test Analysis of Email Request Strategies as Used by Tunisian Postgraduate Students

Authors: Imen Aribi Ben Amor

Abstract:

The aim of the present study is to analyze the performance of requests in emails among a group of Tunisian postgraduate students. It also seeks to determine the influence of the social factors on the participants’ requests performance. For this purpose, the data were collected using a discourse completion test (DCT). Accordingly, 42 Tunisian postgraduate students were asked to respond in English to eight different situations in which they carried out the speech act of request in emails. The data were analyzed based on the degree of directness. A detailed analysis of the head acts found in the DCT revealed that Tunisian Postgraduate students use a varied repertoire of request strategies (direct, conventionally indirect and non-conventionally indirect) but at the same time rely heavily on direct request strategies. They tended to address their requestees directly except for distant superiors. DCT results suggest that the participants are to some extent aware of the influence of the ranking of imposition and social distance but fail to acknowledge the weight of social power when performing requests in emails. The preference of the participants to use direct strategies may be the result of the effect of Tunisian culture and the negative transfer of Tunisian communicative strategies. Accordingly, this study suggests some pedagogical implications and suggestions for Tunisian EFL (English as a Foreign Language) instructors. They are required to pay closer attention to the pragmalinguistic nuances of the ways in which requests in emails are realized. Teachers can also help students understand academic email etiquettes by explicitly explaining what they expect in the student email. Thus, EFL teachers and syllabus designers should devote more attention to developing EFL learners’ pragmatic competence through teaching L2 pragmatics.

Keywords: directness, ranking of imposition, request strategies, social distance, social power

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4689 Bridging the Divide: Mixed-Method Analysis of Student Engagement and Outcomes in Diverse Postgraduate Cohorts

Authors: A.Knox

Abstract:

Student diversity in postgraduate classes puts major challenges on educators seeking to encourage student engagement and desired to learn outcomes. This paper outlines the impact of a set of teaching initiatives aimed at addressing challenges associated with teaching and learning in an environment characterized by diversity in the student cohort. The study examines postgraduate students completing the core capstone unit within a specialized business degree. Although relatively small, the student cohort is highly diverse in terms of cultural backgrounds represented, prior learning and/or qualifications, as well as duration and type of work experience relevant to the degree, is completed. The wide range of cultures, existing knowledge and experience create enormous challenges with respect to students’ learning needs and outcomes. Subsequently, a suite of teaching innovations has been adopted to enhance curriculum content/delivery and the design of assessments. This paper explores the impact of these specific teaching and learning practices, examining the ways they have supported students’ diverse needs and enhanced students’ learning outcomes. Data from surveys and focus groups are used to assess the effectiveness of these practices. The results highlight the effectiveness of peer-assisted learning, cultural competence-building, and advanced assessment options in addressing diverse student needs and enhancing student engagement and learning outcomes. These findings suggest that such practices would benefit students’ learning in environments marked by diversity in the student cohort. Specific recommendations are offered for other educators working with diverse classes.

Keywords: assessment design, curriculum content, curriculum delivery, student diversity

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4688 Students' Statistical Reasoning and Attitudes towards Statistics in Blended Learning, E-Learning and On-Campus Learning

Authors: Petros Roussos

Abstract:

The present study focused on students' statistical reasoning related to Null Hypothesis Statistical Testing and p-values. Its objective was to test the hypothesis that neither the place (classroom, at a distance, online) nor the medium that actually supports the learning (ICT, internet, books) has an effect on understanding of statistical concepts. In addition, it was expected that students' attitudes towards statistics would not predict understanding of statistical concepts. The sample consisted of 385 undergraduate and postgraduate students from six state and private universities (five in Greece and one in Cyprus). Students were administered two questionnaires: a) the Greek version of the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics, and b) a short instrument which measures students' understanding of statistical significance and p-values. Results suggest that attitudes towards statistics do not predict students' understanding of statistical concepts, whereas the medium did not have an effect.

Keywords: attitudes towards statistics, blended learning, e-learning, statistical reasoning

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4687 Charting the Course: Using group Charters to Enhance Engagement and Learning Outcomes

Authors: Angela Knox

Abstract:

Student diversity in postgraduate classes puts major challengesoneducatorsseekingtoencouragestudentengagementand desired learning outcomes. This paper outlines the impact of a set of teaching initiatives aimed at addressing challenges associated with teaching and learning in an environment characterized by diversity in the student cohort. The study examines postgraduate students completing the core capstone unit within a specialized business degree. Although relatively small, the student cohort is highly diverse in terms of cultural backgrounds represented, prior learning and/or qualifications,aswellasdurationandtypeofworkexperiencerelevant to the degree being completed. The wide range of cultures, existing knowledge, and experience create enormous challenges with respect to students’ learning needs and outcomes. Subsequently, a suite of teaching innovations has been adopted to enhance curriculum content/delivery and the design of assessments. This paperexplores the impact of formalized group charters on students’ learning outcomes. Data from surveys and focus groups are used to assess the effectiveness of these practices. The results highlight the effectiveness of formalizedgroup charters in addressing diverse student needs and enhancing student engagement and learning outcomes. Thesefindings suggest that such practices would benefit students’ learning in environments marked by diversity in the student cohort. Specific recommendationsareofferedforothereducatorsworkingwithdiverse classes.

Keywords: assessment design, curriculum content, curriculum delivery, group charter, student diversity

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4686 Complexity in Managing Higher Education Institutions in Mexico: A System Dynamics Approach

Authors: José Carlos Rodríguez, Mario Gómez, Medardo Serna

Abstract:

This paper analyses managing higher education institutions in emerging economies. The paper investigates the case of postgraduate studies development at public universities. In so doing, it adopts the complex theory approach to evaluate how postgraduate studies have evolved in these countries. The investigation suggests that the postgraduate studies sector at public universities can be seen as a complex adaptive system (CAS). Therefore, the paper adopts system dynamics (SD) methods to develop this analysis. The case of postgraduate studies at Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo in Mexico is investigated in this paper.

Keywords: complex adaptive systems, higher education institutions, Mexico, system dynamics

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4685 Information Needs and Seeking Behaviour of Postgraduate Students of Kohat University of Science and Technology, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Authors: Saeed Ullah Jan, Muhammad Ali, Misbah Ullah Awan

Abstract:

Purpose: This study investigated the information needs and seeking behaviour, and hurdles to information seeking of Post Graduate students of Kohat University of Science and Technology (KUST), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It focused on the information requirements of the post-graduate students of the university, the pattern they use for seeking information, and the difficulties they face while seeking information. Design/Methodology/approach: This study used a quantitative approach, adapting a survey questionnaire method for data collection. The population of this study was composed of M.Phil. and Ph.D. students of 2019 and 2020 in the faculties of Physical and Numerical Sciences, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Social Sciences of KUST. The sample size was 260. Students were selected randomly. The study response rate was 77%, and data were analyzed through SPSS (22 versions). Key findings: The study revealed that Most students' information needs were for study and research activities, new knowledge, and career development. To fulfill these needs, the scholars use various sources and resources. The sources they used for information needs were journal articles, textbooks, and research projects commonly. For the information-seeking purpose, often, students prefer books that have some importance. The other factors that played an essential role in selecting material were topical relevance, Novelty, Recommended by colleagues, and publisher's reputation. Most of the students thought that Book Exhibitions, Open Access systems in the Library, and the Display of new arrivals could enhance the students' information-seeking. The main problem seeking information was faced by them was a shortage of printed information resources. Overall they wanted more facilities, enhancement in the library collection, and better services. Delimitations of the study: This study has not included 1) BS and M.Sc. Students of KUST; 2) The colleges and institutions affiliated with KUST; 3) This study was delimited only to the Post Graduate students of KUST. Practical implication(s): The findings of the study motivate the policymakers and authorities of KUST to restructure the information literacy programs to fulfill the scholars' information needs. It may inform the policymakers to know the difficulties faced by scholars during information seeking. Contribution to the knowledge: No significant work has been done on the students' information needs and seeking behaviour at KUST. The study analyzed the information needs and seeking behaviour of post graduate students. It brought a clear picture of information needs and seeking behaviour of scholars and addressed the problems faced by them during the seeking process.

Keywords: information needs of Pakistan, information-seeking behaviors, postgraduate students, university libraries, Kohat university of science and technology, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

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4684 An Investigation into the Views of Distant Science Education Students Regarding Teaching Laboratory Work Online

Authors: Abraham Motlhabane

Abstract:

This research analysed the written views of science education students regarding the teaching of laboratory work using the online mode. The research adopted the qualitative methodology. The qualitative research was aimed at investigating small and distinct groups normally regarded as a single-site study. Qualitative research was used to describe and analyze the phenomena from the student’s perspective. This means the research began with assumptions of the world view that use theoretical lenses of research problems inquiring into the meaning of individual students. The research was conducted with three groups of students studying for Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Bachelor of Education and honors Bachelor of Education respectively. In each of the study programmes, the science education module is compulsory. Five science education students from each study programme were purposively selected to participate in this research. Therefore, 15 students participated in the research. In order to analysis the data, the data were first printed and hard copies were used in the analysis. The data was read several times and key concepts and ideas were highlighted. Themes and patterns were identified to describe the data. Coding as a process of organising and sorting data was used. The findings of the study are very diverse; some students are in favour of online laboratory whereas other students argue that science can only be learnt through hands-on experimentation.

Keywords: online learning, laboratory work, views, perceptions

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4683 Internet Addiction among Students: An Empirical Study in Pondicherry University

Authors: Mashood C., Abdul Vahid K., Ashique C. K.

Abstract:

The technology is growing beyond human expectation. Internet is one of very sophisticated product of the information technology. It has various advantages like connecting the world, simplifying the difficult tasks done in past etc. Simultaneously it has demerits also; that is lack of authenticity and internet addiction. To find out the problems of internet addiction, a study conducted among the Postgraduate students of Pondicherry University and collected 454 samples. The study strictly focused to identify the internet addiction among students, influence and interdependence of personality on internet addiction among first years and second years. To evaluate this, we used two major analysis, these are Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) to predict the internet addiction with the observed data and Logistic Regression to identify the difference between first years and second years in the case of internet addiction. Before applying to the core analysis, the data applied to some preliminary tests to check the model fit. The empirical findings shows that , the students of Pondicherry University are very much addicted to the internet, But there is no such huge difference between first years and second years in case of internet addiction.

Keywords: internet addiction, students, Pondicherry University, empirical study

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4682 Students’ Perception and Patterns of Listening Behaviour in an Online Forum Discussion

Authors: K. L. Wong, I. N. Umar

Abstract:

Online forum is part of a Learning Management System (LMS) environment in which students share opinions. This study attempts to investigate the perceptions of students towards online forum and their patterns of listening behaviour during the forum interaction. The students’ perceptions were measured using a questionnaire, in which seven dimensions were used including online experience, benefits of forum participation, cost of participation, perceived ease of use, usefulness, attitude and intention. Meanwhile, their patterns of listening behaviours 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 behaviour, 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.

Keywords: e-learning, learning management system, listening behavior, online forum

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4681 The Investigation of Predictor Affect of Childhood Trauma, Dissociation, Alexithymia, and Gender on Dissociation in University Students

Authors: Gizem Akcan, Erdinc Ozturk

Abstract:

The purpose of the study was to determine some psychosocial variables that predict dissociation in university students. These psychosocial variables were perceived childhood trauma, alexithymia, and gender. 150 (75 males, 75 females) university students (bachelor, master and postgraduate) were enrolled in this study. They were chosen from universities in Istanbul at the education year of 2016-2017. Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES), Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) and Toronto Alexithymia Scale were used to assess related variables. Demographic Information Form was given to students in order to have their demographic information. Frequency Distribution, Linear Regression Analysis, and t-test analysis were used for statistical analysis. Childhood trauma and alexithymia were found to have predictive value on dissociation among university students. However, physical abuse, physical neglect and emotional neglect sub dimensions of childhood trauma and externally-oriented thinking sub dimension of alexithymia did not have predictive value on dissociation. Moreover, there was no significant difference between males and females in terms of dissociation scores of participants.

Keywords: childhood trauma, dissociation, alexithymia, gender

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4680 Vocabulary Paradigm in Learning Romanian As a Foreign Language

Authors: Georgiana Ciobotaru

Abstract:

The vocabulary that foreign students assimilate once they start studying the Romanian language must allow them to develop the linguistic competence of oral and written expression, but also the intercultural one, necessary for their integration into the new socio-cultural environment. Therefore, the familiarization courses with Romanian as a foreign language aim at fundamental language acquisitions in order to obtain the expected level of Romanian language. They also relate differently to the new culture and the new language they come in contact with, having a distinct way of expressing themselves. Foreign students want to continue their university and postgraduate studies at specialized faculties in the country; therefore, they need both a general language for their integration into society and for interaction with others, Romanians or students from countries other than their own, but also from a specialized language that facilitates didactic communication and professional development. The complexity of the vocabulary must thus cover the daily communication needs, but also the subsequent evolution of each one. This paper aims to illustrate the most important semantic fields that students must assimilate in order to crystallize a linguistic identity in the new context of their personal and professional development and to help them cope with the culture shock.

Keywords: integration, intercultural, language, linguistic, vocabulary

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4679 Hard and Soft Skills in Marketing Education: Using Serious Games to Engage Higher Order Processing

Authors: Ann Devitt, Mairead Brady, Markus Lamest, Stephen Gomez

Abstract:

This study set out to explore the use of an online collaborative serious game for student learning in a postgraduate introductory marketing module. The simulation game aimed to bridge the theory-practice divide in marketing by allowing students to apply theory in a safe, simulated marketplace. This study addresses the following research questions: Does an online marketing simulation game engage students higher order cognitive skills? Does collaborative activity required develop students’ “soft” skills, such as communication and negotiation? What specific affordances of the online simulation promote learning? This qualitative case study took place in 2014 with 40 postgraduate students on a Business Masters Programme. The two-week intensive module combined lectures with collaborative activity on a marketing simulation game, MMX from Pearsons. The game requires student teams to compete against other teams in a marketplace and design a marketing plan to maximize key performance indicators. The data for this study comprise essays written by students after the module reflecting on their learning on the module. A thematic analysis was conducted of the essays using the following a priori theme sets: 6 levels of the cognitive domain of Blooms taxonomy; 5 principles of Cooperative Learning; affordances of simulation environments including experiential learning; motivation and engagement; goal orientation. Preliminary findings would strongly suggest that the game facilitated students identifying the value of theory in practice, in particular for future employment; enhanced their understanding of group dynamics and their role within that; and impacted very strongly, both positively and negatively on motivation. In particular the game mechanics of MMX, which hinges on the correct identification of a target consumer group, was identified as a key determinant of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation for learners. The findings also suggest that the situation of the simulation game within a broader module which required post-game reflection was valuable in identifying key learning of marketing concepts in both the positive and the negative experiences of the game.

Keywords: simulation, marketing, serious game, cooperative learning, bloom's taxonomy

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4678 Social Media and Student-Teacher Relationship: A Case Study Form Kashmir University

Authors: Wahid Ahmad Dar, Irshad Ahmad Najar

Abstract:

The influence of social media is percolating to every corner of our social life. It is also changing the social sphere of the classroom in particular and education in general. This paper tries to explore the ways in which social media is influencing student-teacher relationship. Differences have been found in student’s ability to draw benefits from using ICT. Besides digital divides in access and usage, there are attitudinal differences among students towards ICT aligned with traditional forms of social differences. The paper particularly focusses on how students from diverse backgrounds are using social media to interact with their teachers and how such interactions differ on the basis of social class, gender and residential background of students. A qualitative research methodology has been used for answering these questions. Open-ended questionnaire has been designed and administered to a sample of postgraduate students from University of Kashmir drawn purposively ensuring optimum number of subjects from all backgrounds. The data were analyzed by content analysis, deciphering general patterns in the data.

Keywords: social media, student-teacher relationship, social class, gender

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4677 Values in Higher Education: A Case Study of Higher Education Students

Authors: Bahadır Erişti

Abstract:

Values are the behavioral procedures of society based communication and interaction process that includes social and cultural backgrounds. The policy of learning and teaching in higher education is oriented towards constructing knowledge and skills, based on theorist framework of cognitive and psychomotor aspects. This approach makes people not to develop generosity, empathy, affection, solidarity, justice, equality and so on. But the sensorial gains of education system provide the integrity of society interaction. This situation carries out the necessity of values education’s in higher education. The current study aims to consider values education from the viewpoint of students in higher education. Within the framework of the current study, an open ended survey based scenario of higher education students was conducted with the students’ social, cognitive, affective and moral developments. In line with this purpose, the following situations of the higher education system were addressed based on the higher education students’ viewpoint: The views of higher education students’ regarding values that are tried to be gained at the higher education system; The higher education students’ suggestions regarding values education at the higher education system; The views of the higher education students’ regarding values that are imposed at the higher education system. In this study, descriptive qualitative research method was used. The study group of the research is composed of 20 higher education postgraduate students at Curriculum and Instruction Department of Educational Sciences at Anadolu University. An open-ended survey was applied for the purpose of collecting qualitative data. As a result of the study, value preferences, value judgments and value systems of the higher education students were constructed on prioritizes based on social, cultural and economic backgrounds and statues. Multi-dimensional process of value education in higher education need to be constructed on higher education-community-cultural background cooperation. Thus, the act of judgement upon values between higher education students based on the survey seems to be inherent in the system of education itself. The present study highlights the students’ value priorities and importance of values in higher education. If the purpose of the higher education system gains on values, it is possible to enable society to promote humanity.

Keywords: higher education, value, values education, values in higher education

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4676 A Comparative Evaluation of Cognitive Load Management: Case Study of Postgraduate Business Students

Authors: Kavita Goel, Donald Winchester

Abstract:

In a world of information overload and work complexities, academics often struggle to create an online instructional environment enabling efficient and effective student learning. Research has established that students’ learning styles are different, some learn faster when taught using audio and visual methods. Attributes like prior knowledge and mental effort affect their learning. ‘Cognitive load theory’, opines learners have limited processing capacity. Cognitive load depends on the learner’s prior knowledge, the complexity of content and tasks, and instructional environment. Hence, the proper allocation of cognitive resources is critical for students’ learning. Consequently, a lecturer needs to understand the limits and strengths of the human learning processes, various learning styles of students, and accommodate these requirements while designing online assessments. As acknowledged in the cognitive load theory literature, visual and auditory explanations of worked examples potentially lead to a reduction of cognitive load (effort) and increased facilitation of learning when compared to conventional sequential text problem solving. This will help learner to utilize both subcomponents of their working memory. Instructional design changes were introduced at the case site for the delivery of the postgraduate business subjects. To make effective use of auditory and visual modalities, video recorded lectures, and key concept webinars were delivered to students. Videos were prepared to free up student limited working memory from irrelevant mental effort as all elements in a visual screening can be viewed simultaneously, processed quickly, and facilitates greater psychological processing efficiency. Most case study students in the postgraduate programs are adults, working full-time at higher management levels, and studying part-time. Their learning style and needs are different from other tertiary students. The purpose of the audio and visual interventions was to lower the students cognitive load and provide an online environment supportive to their efficient learning. These changes were expected to impact the student’s learning experience, their academic performance and retention favourably. This paper posits that these changes to instruction design facilitates students to integrate new knowledge into their long-term memory. A mixed methods case study methodology was used in this investigation. Primary data were collected from interviews and survey(s) of students and academics. Secondary data were collected from the organisation’s databases and reports. Some evidence was found that the academic performance of students does improve when new instructional design changes are introduced although not statistically significant. However, the overall grade distribution of student’s academic performance has changed and skewed higher which shows deeper understanding of the content. It was identified from feedback received from students that recorded webinars served as better learning aids than material with text alone, especially with more complex content. The recorded webinars on the subject content and assessments provides flexibility to students to access this material any time from repositories, many times, and this enhances students learning style. Visual and audio information enters student’s working memory more effectively. Also as each assessment included the application of the concepts, conceptual knowledge interacted with the pre-existing schema in the long-term memory and lowered student’s cognitive load.

Keywords: cognitive load theory, learning style, instructional environment, working memory

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