Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 20

Search results for: ubiquity

20 E-Commerce versus m-Commerce: The Dividing Line

Authors: Priscilla Omonedo, Paul Bocij

Abstract:

Since the emergence of e-commerce, the world of business has witnessed a radical shift in the way business activities are conducted. However, the emergence of m-Commerce has further pushed the boundaries of virtual commerce revolution. As a result, there seems to be a growing blur in the distinction between e-Commerce and m-Commerce. In addition, existing definitions for both forms of commerce highlight characteristics (e.g. type of device and activity conducted) that may be applicable to both concepts. The aim of this paper is to identify the characteristics that help define and delineate between e- and m- Commerce. The paper concludes that characteristics of mobility, ubiquity, and immediacy provides a clearer and simpler template to distinguish between e-commerce and m-commerce.

Keywords: e-commerce, m-commerce, mobility, ubiquity

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19 Lexico-Semantic and Contextual Analysis of the Concept of Joy in Modern English Fiction

Authors: Zarine Avetisyan

Abstract:

Concepts are part and parcel of everyday text and talk. Their ubiquity predetermines the topicality of the given research which aims at the semantic decomposition of concepts in general and the concept of joy in particular, as well as the study of lexico-semantic variants as means of realization of a certain concept in different “semantic settings”, namely in a certain context. To achieve the stated aim, the given research departs from the methods of componential and contextual analysis, studying lexico-semantic variants /LSVs/ of the concept of joy and the semantic signs embedded in those LSVs, such as the semantic sign of intensity, supporting emotions, etc. in the context of Modern English fiction.

Keywords: concept, context, lexico-semantic variant, semantic sign

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18 Cosmic Dust as Dark Matter

Authors: Thomas Prevenslik

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Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP) experiments suggesting dark matter does not exist are consistent with the argument that the long-standing galaxy rotation problem may be resolved without the need for dark matter if the redshift measurements giving the higher than expected galaxy velocities are corrected for the redshift in cosmic dust. Because of the ubiquity of cosmic dust, all velocity measurements in astronomy based on redshift are most likely overstated, e.g., an accelerating Universe expansion need not exist if data showing supernovae brighter than expected based on the redshift/distance relation is corrected for the redshift in dust. Extensions of redshift corrections for cosmic dust to other historical astronomical observations are briefly discussed.

Keywords: alternative theories, cosmic dust redshift, doppler effect, quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics

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17 Mutual Authentication for Sensor-to-Sensor Communications in IoT Infrastructure

Authors: Shadi Janbabaei, Hossein Gharaee Garakani, Naser Mohammadzadeh

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Internet of things is a new concept that its emergence has caused ubiquity of sensors in human life, so that at any time, all data are collected, processed and transmitted by these sensors. In order to establish a secure connection, the first challenge is authentication between sensors. However, this challenge also requires some features so that the authentication is done properly. Anonymity, untraceability, and being lightweight are among the issues that need to be considered. In this paper, we have evaluated the authentication protocols and have analyzed the security vulnerabilities found in them. Then an improved light weight authentication protocol for sensor-to-sensor communications is presented which uses the hash function and logical operators. The analysis of protocol shows that security requirements have been met and the protocol is resistant against various attacks. In the end, by decreasing the number of computational cost functions, it is argued that the protocol is lighter than before.

Keywords: anonymity, authentication, Internet of Things, lightweight, un-traceability

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16 The Proportion of Dysthymia Prevailing in Men and Women With Anxiety as Comorbidity

Authors: Yashvi Italiya

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Dysthymia (DD) is a much-overlooked soft mood disorder and mostly confused with other forms of chronic depression. This research paper gives a spotlight to the DD prevailing in men and women. It also focuses on one of the comorbidities of Dysthymia, i.e., Anxiety. The comorbidities, hurdles in diagnosis, the ubiquity of the disorder, and the relation of Anxiety and DD are briefly described. Gender was the main focus here because the researcher of this paper found it as a research gap while doing the literature review. The study was done through secondary data obtained primarily from a questionnaire having Alpha 0.891 reliability. T-test method of data analysis was used to test the hypotheses. The result shows that the researcher failed to accept alternative hypothesis 1 (M1 > M2), while the alternative hypothesis 2 (M1 > M2) was accepted. The ratio of DD in women (M1) is not higher than that of men (M2) (hypothesis 1). But, women are more anxious than men (hypothesis 2). It was found that comorbid Anxiety is more widespread in one gender. It further plays a significant role in mixing up the symptoms. It was concluded that the dividing line between Dysthymia and MDD is still unclear for an accurate diagnosis. There is an essential need for spreading knowledge concerning the differences between the symptoms of DD and MDD so that the actual disorder can be identified, and proper help can be received from/provided by professionals.

Keywords: anxiety, comorbidity, dysthymia, gender, MDD

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15 Students’ Perceptions of Communication Design in Media: Case Study of Portuguese and Spanish Communication Students

Authors: Fátima Gonçalves, Joaquim Brigas, Jorge Gonçalves

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The proliferation of mobile devices in society enables the media to disseminate information and knowledge more rapidly. Higher education students access these contents and share them with each other, in the most diverse platforms, allowing the ubiquity in access to information. This article presents the results and respective quantitative analysis of a survey applied to communication students of two higher education institutions: one in Portugal and another in Spain. The results show that, in this sample, higher education students regularly access news content believing traditional news sources to be more credible. Regarding online sources, it was verified that the access was mostly to free news contents. This study intends to promote the knowledge about the changes that occur in the relationship of higher education students with the media, characterizing how news consumption is processed by these students, considering the resulting effects of the digital media evolution. It is intended to present not only the news sources they use, but also to know some of their habits and relationship with the news media.

Keywords: students' perceptions, communication design, mass media, higher education, digital media

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14 Performance Analysis of Bluetooth Low Energy Mesh Routing Algorithm in Case of Disaster Prediction

Authors: Asmir Gogic, Aljo Mujcic, Sandra Ibric, Nermin Suljanovic

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Ubiquity of natural disasters during last few decades have risen serious questions towards the prediction of such events and human safety. Every disaster regardless its proportion has a precursor which is manifested as a disruption of some environmental parameter such as temperature, humidity, pressure, vibrations and etc. In order to anticipate and monitor those changes, in this paper we propose an overall system for disaster prediction and monitoring, based on wireless sensor network (WSN). Furthermore, we introduce a modified and simplified WSN routing protocol built on the top of the trickle routing algorithm. Routing algorithm was deployed using the bluetooth low energy protocol in order to achieve low power consumption. Performance of the WSN network was analyzed using a real life system implementation. Estimates of the WSN parameters such as battery life time, network size and packet delay are determined. Based on the performance of the WSN network, proposed system can be utilized for disaster monitoring and prediction due to its low power profile and mesh routing feature.

Keywords: bluetooth low energy, disaster prediction, mesh routing protocols, wireless sensor networks

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13 The English Classroom: Scope and Space for Motivation

Authors: Madhavi Godavarthy

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The globalized world has been witnessing the ubiquity of the English language and has made it mandatory that students be equipped with the required Communication and soft skills. For students and especially for students studying in technical streams, gaining command over the English language is only a part of the bigger challenges they will face in the future. Linguistic capabilities if blended with the right attitude and a positive personality would deliver better results in the present environment of the digitalized world. An English classroom has that ‘space’; a space if utilized well by the teacher can pay rich dividends. The prescribed syllabus for English in the process of adapting itself to the challenges of a more and more technical world has meted out an indifferent treatment in including ‘literary’ material in their curriculum. A debate has always existed regarding the same and diversified opinions have been given. When the student is motivated to reach Literature through intrinsic motivation, it may contribute to his/her personality-development. In the present paper, the element of focus is on the scope and space to motivate students by creating a specific space for herself/himself amidst the schedules of the teaching-learning processes by taking into consideration a few literary excerpts for the purpose.

Keywords: English language, teaching and learning process, reader response theory, intrinsic motivation, literary texts

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12 Exploring the Need to Study the Efficacy of VR Training Compared to Traditional Cybersecurity Training

Authors: Shaila Rana, Wasim Alhamdani

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Effective cybersecurity training is of the utmost importance, given the plethora of attacks that continue to increase in complexity and ubiquity. VR cybersecurity training remains a starkly understudied discipline. Studies that evaluated the effectiveness of VR cybersecurity training over traditional methods are required. An engaging and interactive platform can support knowledge retention of the training material. Consequently, an effective form of cybersecurity training is required to support a culture of cybersecurity awareness. Measurements of effectiveness varied throughout the studies, with surveys and observations being the two most utilized forms of evaluating effectiveness. Further research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of VR cybersecurity training and traditional training. Additionally, research for evaluating if VR cybersecurity training is more effective than traditional methods is vital. This paper proposes a methodology to compare the two cybersecurity training methods and their effectiveness. The proposed framework includes developing both VR and traditional cybersecurity training methods and delivering them to at least 100 users. A quiz along with a survey will be administered and statistically analyzed to determine if there is a difference in knowledge retention and user satisfaction. The aim of this paper is to bring attention to the need to study VR cybersecurity training and its effectiveness compared to traditional training methods. This paper hopes to contribute to the cybersecurity training field by providing an effective way to train users for security awareness. If VR training is deemed more effective, this could create a new direction for cybersecurity training practices.

Keywords: virtual reality cybersecurity training, VR cybersecurity training, traditional cybersecurity training

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11 Academic Influence of Social Network Sites on the Collegiate Performance of Technical College Students

Authors: Jameson McFarlane, Thorne J. McFarlane, Leon Bernard

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Social network sites (SNS) is an emerging phenomenon that is here to stay. The popularity and the ubiquity of the SNS technology are undeniable. Because most SNS are free and easy to use people from all walks of life and from almost any age are attracted to that technology. College age students are by far the largest segment of the population using SNS. Since most SNS have been adapted for mobile devices, not only do you find students using this technology in their study, while working on labs or on projects, a substantial number of students have been found to use SNS even while listening to lectures. This study found that SNS use has a significant negative impact on the grade point average of college students particularly in the first semester. However, this negative impact is greatly diminished by the end of the third semester partly because the students have adjusted satisfactorily to the challenges of college or because they have learned how to adequately manage their time. It was established that the kinds of activities the students are engaged in during the SNS use are the leading factor affecting academic performance. Of those activities, using SNS during a lecture or while studying is the foremost contributing factor to lower academic performance. This is due to “cognitive” or “information” bottleneck, a condition in which the students find it very difficult to multitask or to switch between resources leading to inefficiency in information retention and thus, educational performance.

Keywords: social network sites, social network analysis, regression coefficient, psychological engagement

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10 The Colombian Linguistic Landscape: A Study of Commercial Signs

Authors: Francia Martinez

Abstract:

This study documents and demonstrates the profound impact of the high status of American English and culture in Colombian commercial landscape due to the globalization and commodification of English. It also documents and describes how Colombian advertisers make use of various language and visual mechanisms in the commercial linguistic landscape to convey messages, create an image with which the target audience can identify, and build a relationship with that target audience. The data (in the form of pictures) were collected in different cities in Colombia and were classified and organized into different categories for the reliability and validity of the analysis. The research questions were: do the ubiquity and high status of American English and culture play a major role in the Colombian commercial linguistic landscape? If so, how?, what roles do national and local culture and language (Spanish) play in the commercial linguistic landscape?, and what different linguistic and visual strategies do Colombian advertisers employ to reach their target audience? Based on data analysis and results, American and local culture and icons play a major role when Colombian advertisers create and design their commercial logos and ads to get consumers’ attention and establish a rapport with them in a successful way. In order to achieve their objectives, Colombian advertisers rely on creative linguistic and visual techniques in their ads, such as puns, humor, irony, comparisons, metaphors, mocking, exaggeration, parody, personification, sarcasm, satire, allusion, onomatopoeias, and imitation (copycat or cloning).

Keywords: Colombian ads, linguistic landscape, rhetorical devices, sociolinguistics

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9 Emergence of Information Centric Networking and Web Content Mining: A Future Efficient Internet Architecture

Authors: Sajjad Akbar, Rabia Bashir

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With the growth of the number of users, the Internet usage has evolved. Due to its key design principle, there is an incredible expansion in its size. This tremendous growth of the Internet has brought new applications (mobile video and cloud computing) as well as new user’s requirements i.e. content distribution environment, mobility, ubiquity, security and trust etc. The users are more interested in contents rather than their communicating peer nodes. The current Internet architecture is a host-centric networking approach, which is not suitable for the specific type of applications. With the growing use of multiple interactive applications, the host centric approach is considered to be less efficient as it depends on the physical location, for this, Information Centric Networking (ICN) is considered as the potential future Internet architecture. It is an approach that introduces uniquely named data as a core Internet principle. It uses the receiver oriented approach rather than sender oriented. It introduces the naming base information system at the network layer. Although ICN is considered as future Internet architecture but there are lot of criticism on it which mainly concerns that how ICN will manage the most relevant content. For this Web Content Mining(WCM) approaches can help in appropriate data management of ICN. To address this issue, this paper contributes by (i) discussing multiple ICN approaches (ii) analyzing different Web Content Mining approaches (iii) creating a new Internet architecture by merging ICN and WCM to solve the data management issues of ICN. From ICN, Content-Centric Networking (CCN) is selected for the new architecture, whereas, Agent-based approach from Web Content Mining is selected to find most appropriate data.

Keywords: agent based web content mining, content centric networking, information centric networking

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8 Knowledge and Attitude towards Helicobacter pylori: Awareness about Health Impacts of H. pylori Gastric Ulcer and Its Carcinogenic Potential among Adults in Sharjah

Authors: Abdullah Malek, Muzn Al Khaldi, Lian Odeh, Atheer Tariq, Mohammad Al Fardan, Hiba Barqawi

Abstract:

H. pylori bacterium is a known underlying agent for gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and gastric cancer and is believed to infect half of the world’s population. Even with the ubiquity of H. pylori bacterium, there is lack of knowledge regarding its modes of transmission, associated diseases, carcinogenic effect and means of prevention; especially in the UAE. A cross sectional study of 500 participants, of which 58% (n= 289) of the respondents were female, and 42% (n=210) were male, was conducted in Sharjah to assess the knowledge, and explore the attitudes and practices among UAE residents towards Helicobacter Pylori and its associated PUD as well as its carcinogenic nature. A structured self-administered questionnaire was distributed to the target population to establish their demographic background and selected aspects of their lifestyle. General knowledge about H. Pylori was poor, only 24.6% stated they have heard of H. pylori. Attitudes towards prevention and practices were relatively poor as well. Subjects who suffered from severe symptoms (ALARM symptoms) had significantly lower habit scores than those with mild and moderate symptoms (p=0.0078**). To the authours’ knowledge, no previous studies were conducted in the United Arab Emirates regarding the epidemiology of the infection to detect the extent of H. Pylori’s impact on the public health. The results of this study can be used to draw conclusions about the average knowledge of the UAE population regarding H. pylori. It can also be a starting point to devise new education programs and campaigns that raise awareness of this health issue which could be easily avoided with early diagnosis and antibiotic treatment.

Keywords: chronic gastritis, community health, gastric cancer, Helicobacter pylori, peptic ulcers

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7 The Current Ways of Thinking Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Clinical Practice in a Trauma Hospital: A Pilot Study

Authors: P. Donnelly, G. Mitchell

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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a major contributor to the global burden of disease; despite its ubiquity, there is significant variation in diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment between clinicians. This study aims to examine the spectrum of approaches that currently exist at a Level 1 Trauma Centre in Australasia by surveying Emergency Physicians and Neurosurgeons on those aspects of mTBI. A pilot survey of 17 clinicians (Neurosurgeons, Emergency Physicians, and others who manage patients with mTBI) at a Level 1 Trauma Centre in Brisbane, Australia, was conducted. The objective of this study was to examine the importance these clinicians place on various elements in their approach to the diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment of mTBI. The data were summarised, and the descriptive statistics reported. Loss of consciousness and post-traumatic amnesia were rated as the most important signs or symptoms in diagnosing mTBI (median importance of 8). MRI was the most important imaging modality in diagnosing mTBI (median importance of 7). ‘Number of the Previous TBIs’ and Intracranial Injury on Imaging’ were rated as the most important elements for prognostication (median importance of 9). Education and reassurance were rated as the most important modality for treating mTBI (median importance of 7). There was a statistically insignificant variation between the specialties as to the importance they place on each of these components. In this Australian tertiary trauma center, there appears to be variation in how clinicians approach mTBI. This study is underpowered to state whether this is between clinicians within a specialty or a trend between specialties. This variation is worthwhile in investigating as a step toward a unified approach to diagnosing, prognosticating, and treating this common pathology.

Keywords: mild traumatic brain injury, adult, clinician, survey

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6 Role of Gender in Apparel Stores' Consumer Review: A Sentiment Analysis

Authors: Sarif Ullah Patwary, Matthew Heinrich, Brandon Payne

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The ubiquity of web 2.0 platforms, in the form of wikis, social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and online review portals (e.g., Yelp), helps shape today’s apparel consumers’ purchasing decision. Online reviews play important role towards consumers’ apparel purchase decision. Each of the consumer reviews carries a sentiment (positive, negative or neutral) towards products. Commercially, apparel brands and retailers analyze sentiment of this massive amount of consumer review data to update their inventory and bring new products in the market. The purpose of this study is to analyze consumer reviews of selected apparel stores with a view to understand, 1) the difference of sentiment expressed through men’s and woman’s text reviews, 2) the difference of sentiment expressed through men’s and woman’s star-based reviews, and 3) the difference of sentiment between star-based reviews and text-based reviews. A total of 9,363 reviews (1,713 men and 7,650 women) were collected using Yelp Dataset Challenge. Sentiment analysis of collected reviews was carried out in two dimensions: star-based reviews and text-based reviews. Sentiment towards apparel stores expressed through star-based reviews was deemed: 1) positive for 3 or 4 stars 2) negative for 1 or 2 stars and 3) neutral for 3 stars. Sentiment analysis of text-based reviews was carried out using Bing Liu dictionary. The analysis was conducted in IPyhton 5.0. Space. The sentiment analysis results revealed the percentage of positive text reviews by men (80%) and women (80%) were identical. Women reviewers (12%) provided more neutral (e.g., 3 out of 5 stars) star reviews than men (6%). Star-based reviews were more negative than the text-based reviews. In other words, while 80% men and women wrote positive reviews for the stores, less than 70% ended up giving 4 or 5 stars in those reviews. One of the key takeaways of the study is that star reviews provide slightly negative sentiment of the consumer reviews. Therefore, in order to understand sentiment towards apparel products, one might need to combine both star and text aspects of consumer reviews. This study used a specific dataset consisting of selected apparel stores from particular geographical locations (the information was not given for privacy concern). Future studies need to include more data from more stores and locations to generalize the findings of the study.

Keywords: apparel, consumer review, sentiment analysis, gender

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5 Men Act, Women Are Acted Upon: Morphosyntactic Framing of the Sexual Intercourse in Online Pornography Titles

Authors: Aleksandra Tomic

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According to reliable sources, 4% of all websites is devoted to pornographic material, yet these estimates are often reported to be much higher. The largest internet pornography streaming website reports 21.2 billion visits in 2015 only. Considering the ubiquity of online pornography and the frequency of use, it is necessary to examine its potential influence on the construal of the sexual act and the roles of participants. Apart from the verbal and physical interactions in the pornographic movies themselves, the language in the titles of movies has the power to frame the sexual intercourse. In this study, Critical Discourse Analysis and corpus linguistics approaches will be used to examine the way the sexual intercourse and the roles of the participants are ideologically construed and perpetuated in the Internet pornography discourse. To this end, the study will explore the association between the specific morphosyntactic aspects of the references to performers of both genders, the person and the thematic role, and the gender of referred performer in the corpus of online pornographic movie titles. Distinctive collexeme analysis will be conducted to uncover possible associations between for gender of the performer denoted by the linguistic expression, and the person and thematic role assigned to it in the titles of online pornography movies. Initial results of the chi-square procedure performed on a sample of 295 online pornography movie titles on the largest pornography streaming website ‘Pornhub’ yielded significant results. The use of the three person categories was not equally distributed between genders, X2 (2, N = 106) = 32.52, p < 0.001, with female performers being referred to in the third person in 71.7% of the instances, and speaking in the first person 20.8% of the time, whereas male performers spoke in the first person 68% of the time, and were referred to in the third person in 17% of the instances. Moreover, there was a gender disparity in the assignment of thematic roles, with linguistic expressions for women being assigned the Patient role and men the Agent role in 58.8% of the cases, whereas the roles were reversed in 41.2% of the instances, X2 (1, N = 262) = 8.07633, p < 0.005. The results are discussed in terms of the ideologies surrounding female and male sexuality in the pornography discourse. Potential patterns of power imbalance, objectification, and discrimination are highlighted. Finally, the evidence from psycholinguistic studies on the influence of the language structure on event construal is related to the results of the study.

Keywords: corpus linguistics, gender studies, pornography, thematic roles

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4 Wind Energy Harvester Based on Triboelectricity: Large-Scale Energy Nanogenerator

Authors: Aravind Ravichandran, Marc Ramuz, Sylvain Blayac

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With the rapid development of wearable electronics and sensor networks, batteries cannot meet the sustainable energy requirement due to their limited lifetime, size and degradation. Ambient energies such as wind have been considered as an attractive energy source due to its copious, ubiquity, and feasibility in nature. With miniaturization leading to high-power and robustness, triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) have been conceived as a promising technology by harvesting mechanical energy for powering small electronics. TENG integration in large-scale applications is still unexplored considering its attractive properties. In this work, a state of the art design TENG based on wind venturi system is demonstrated for use in any complex environment. When wind introduces into the air gap of the homemade TENG venturi system, a thin flexible polymer repeatedly contacts with and separates from electrodes. This device structure makes the TENG suitable for large scale harvesting without massive volume. Multiple stacking not only amplifies the output power but also enables multi-directional wind utilization. The system converts ambient mechanical energy to electricity with 400V peak voltage by charging of a 1000mF super capacitor super rapidly. Its future implementation in an array of applications aids in environment friendly clean energy production in large scale medium and the proposed design performs with an exhaustive material testing. The relation between the interfacial micro-and nano structures and the electrical performance enhancement is comparatively studied. Nanostructures are more beneficial for the effective contact area, but they are not suitable for the anti-adhesion property due to the smaller restoring force. Considering these issues, the nano-patterning is proposed for further enhancement of the effective contact area. By considering these merits of simple fabrication, outstanding performance, robust characteristic and low-cost technology, we believe that TENG can open up great opportunities not only for powering small electronics, but can contribute to large-scale energy harvesting through engineering design being complementary to solar energy in remote areas.

Keywords: triboelectric nanogenerator, wind energy, vortex design, large scale energy

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3 Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: A Cross-Cultural Comparison

Authors: Medha Talpade, Salil Talpade

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The intent of this quantitative project was to compare the values and perceptions of students from a predominantly white college (PWI) to those from a historically black college (HBCU) about culturally relevant teaching and learning practices in the academic realm. The reason for interrelating student culture with teaching practices is to enable a pedagogical response to the low retention rates of African American students and first generation Caucasian students in high schools, colleges, and their low rates of social mobility and educational achievement. Culturally relevant pedagogy, according to related research, is deemed rewarding to students, teachers, the local and national community. Critical race theory (CRT) is the main framework used in this project to explain the ubiquity of a culturally relevant pedagogy. The purpose of this quantitative study was to test the critical race theory that relates the presence of the factors associated with culturally relevant teaching strategies with perceived relevance. The culturally relevant teaching strategies were identified based on the recommendations and findings of past research. Participants in this study included approximately 145 students from a HBCU and 55 students from the PWI. A survey consisting of 37 items related to culturally relevant pedagogy was administered. The themes used to construct the items were: Use of culturally-specific examples in class whenever possible; use of culturally-specific presentational models, use of relational reinforcers, and active engagement. All the items had a likert-type response scale. Participants reported their degree of agreement (5-point scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree) and importance (3-point scale ranging from not at all important to very important) with each survey item. A new variable, Relevance was formed based on the multiplicative function of importance and presence of a teaching and learning strategy. A set of six demographic questions were included in the survey. A consent form based on NIH and APA ethical standards was distributed prior to survey administration to the volunteers. Results of a Factor Analyses on the data from the PWI and the HBCU, and a ANOVA indicated significant differences on ‘Relevance’ related to specific themes. Results of this study are expected to inform educational practices and improve teaching and learning outcomes.

Keywords: culturally relevant pedagogy, college students, cross-cultural, applied psychology

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2 Schooling Competent Citizens: A Normative Analysis of Citizenship Education Policy in Europe

Authors: M. Joris, O. Agirdag

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For over two decades, calls for citizenship education (CE) have been rising to the top of educational policy agendas in Europe. The main motive for the current treatment of CE as a key topic is a sense of crisis: social and political threats that go beyond the reach of nations and require action at the international and European level. On the one hand, this context has triggered abundant attention to the promotion of citizenship through education. On the other hand, the ubiquity of citizenship and education in policy language is paired with a self-evident manner of using the concepts: the more we call for citizenship in and through education, the less the concepts seem to be made explicit or be defined. Research and reflection on the normativity of the concepts of citizenship and CE in Europe are scarce. Departing from the idea that policies are always normative, this study, therefore, investigates the normativity of the current concepts of citizenship and education, in ’key’ European CE policy texts. The study consists of a content analysis of these texts, based on a normative framework developed around the different dimensions of citizenship as status, identity, virtues and agency. The framework also describes the purposes of education and its learning processes, content and practices, based on the assumption that good education always includes, next to qualification and socialisation, a purpose of emancipation: of helping young people become autonomous and independent subjects. The analysis shows how contemporary European citizenship is conceptualised around the dimension of competences. This focus on competences is also visible in the normative framing of education and its relationship to citizenship in the texts: CE should help young people learn how to become good citizens by acquiring a toolkit of competences, consisting of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that can be predetermined, measured and evaluated. This ideal of citizenship-as-competence entails a focus on the educational purposes of socialisation and qualification. Current policy texts thus seem to leave out the educational purpose of emancipating young people, allowing them to take on citizenship as something to which they can determine their own relation and position. It is, however, this purpose of CE that seems increasingly important in our current context. Young people are stepping out of school and onto the streets by the thousands in Belgium and throughout Europe, protesting for more and better environmental policies. They are making use of existing modes of citizenship, exactly to indicate to policymakers how these are falling short and are claiming their right and entitlement to a future that established practices of politics are putting at risk. The importance of citizenship education might then lie, now more than ever, not in the fact that it would prepare young people for competent citizenship, but in offering them a possibility, an emancipatory experience of being able to do something new. It seems that this is what we might want to expect from the school if we want it to educate our truly future citizens.

Keywords: citizenship education, normativity, policy, purposes of education

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1 Persuading ICT Consumers to Disconnect from Work: An Experimental Study on the Influence of Message Frame, Regulatory Focus, Ad Believability and Attitude toward the Ad on Message Effectiveness

Authors: Katharina Ninaus, Ralf Terlutter, Sandra Diehl

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Information and communication technologies (ICT) have become pervasive in all areas of modern life, both in work and leisure. Technological developments and particularly the ubiquity of smartphones have made it possible for ICT consumers to be constantly connected to work, fostering an always-on mentality and increasing the pressure to be accessible at all times. However, performing work tasks outside of working hours using ICT results in a lack of mental detachment and recovery from work. It is, therefore, necessary to develop effective behavioral interventions to increase risk awareness of a constant connection to the workplace in the employed population. Drawing on regulatory focus theory, this study aims to investigate the persuasiveness of tailoring messages to individuals’ chronic regulatory focus in order to encourage ICT consumers to set boundaries by defining fixed times for professional accessibility outside of working hours in order to contribute to the well-being of ICT consumers with high ICT involvement in their work life. The experimental study examines the interaction effect between consumers’ chronic regulatory focus (i.e. promotion focus versus prevention focus) and positive or negative message framing (i.e. gain frame versus loss frame) on consumers’ intention to perform the advocated behavior. Based on the assumption that congruent messages create regulatory fit and increase message effectiveness, it is hypothesized that behavioral intention will be higher in the condition of regulatory fit compared to regulatory non-fit. It is further hypothesized that ad believability and attitude toward the ad will mediate the effect of regulatory fit on behavioral intention given that ad believability and ad attitude both determine consumer behavioral responses. Results confirm that the interaction between regulatory focus and message frame emerged as a predictor of behavioral intention such as that consumers’ intentions to set boundaries by defining fixed times for professional accessibility outside of working hours increased as congruency with their regulatory focus increased. The loss-framed ad was more effective for consumers with a predominant prevention focus, while the gain-framed ad was more effective for consumers with a predominant promotion focus. Ad believability and attitude toward the ad both emerged as predictors of behavioral intention. Mediation analysis revealed that the direct effect of the interaction between regulatory focus and message frame on behavioral intention was no longer significant when including ad believability and ad attitude as mediators in the model, indicating full mediation. However, while the indirect effect through ad believability was significant, the indirect effect through attitude toward the ad was not significant. Hence, regulatory fit increased ad believability, which then increased behavioral intention. Ad believability appears to have a superior effect indicating that behavioral intention does not depend on attitude toward the ad, but it depends on whether or not the ad is perceived as believable. The study shows that the principle of regulatory fit holds true in the context of ICT consumption and responds to calls for more research on mediators of health message framing effects.

Keywords: always-on mentality, Information and communication technologies (ICT) consumption, message framing, regulatory focus

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