Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1062

Search results for: aging

1062 Influence of Instructors in Engaging Online Graduate Students in Active Learning in the United States

Authors: Ehi E. Aimiuwu

Abstract:

As of 2017, many online learning professionals, institutions, and journals are still wondering how instructors can keep student engaged in the online learning environment to facilitate active learning effectively. The purpose of this qualitative single-case and narrative research is to explore whether online professors understand their role as mentors and facilitators of students’ academic success by keeping students engaged in active learning based on personalized experience in the field. Data collection tools that were used in the study included an NVivo 12 Plus qualitative software, an interview protocol, a digital audiotape, an observation sheet, and a transcription. Seven online professors in the United States from LinkedIn and residencies were interviewed for this study. Eleven online teaching techniques from previous research were used as the study framework. Data analysis process, member checking, and key themes were used to achieve saturation. About 85.7% of professors agreed on rubric as the preferred online grading technique. About 57.1% agreed on professors logging in daily, students logging in about 2-5 times weekly, knowing students to increase accountability, email as preferred communication tool, and computer access for adequate online learning. About 42.9% agreed on syllabus for clear class expectations, participation to show what has been learned, and energizing students for creativity.

Keywords: Class facilitation, class management, online teaching, online education, pedagogy.

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1061 Experimental Investigation on Effect of Different Heat Treatments on Phase Transformation and Superelasticity of NiTi Alloy

Authors: Erfan Asghari Fesaghandis, Reza Ghaffari Adli, Abbas Kianvash, Hossein Aghajani, Homa Homaie

Abstract:

NiTi alloys possess magnificent superelastic, shape memory, high strength and biocompatible properties. For improving mechanical properties, foremost, superelasticity behavior, heat treatment process is carried out. In this paper, two different heat treatment methods were undertaken: (1) solid solution, and (2) aging. The effect of each treatment in a constant time is investigated. Five samples were prepared to study the structure and optimize mechanical properties under different time and temperature. For measuring the upper plateau stress, lower plateau stress and residual strain, tensile test is carried out. The samples were aged at two different temperatures to see difference between aging temperatures. The sample aged at 500 °C has a bigger crystallite size and lower amount of Ni which causes the mentioned sample to possess poor pseudo elasticity behaviour than the other aged sample. The sample aged at 460 °C has shown remarkable superelastic properties. The mentioned sample’s higher plateau is 580 MPa with the lowest residual strain (0.17%) while other samples have possessed higher residual strains. X-ray diffraction was used to investigate the produced phases.

Keywords: Heat treatment, phase transformation, superelasticity, NiTi alloy.

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1060 Suitability of Alternative Insulating Fluid for Power Transformer: A Laboratory Investigation

Authors: S. N. Deepa, A. D. Srinivasan, K. T. Veeramanju, R. Sandeep Kumar, Ashwini Mathapati

Abstract:

Power transformer is a vital element in a power system as it continuously regulates power flow, maintaining good voltage regulation. The working of transformer much depends on the oil insulation, the oil insulation also decides the aging of transformer and hence its reliability. The mineral oil based liquid insulation is globally accepted for power transformer insulation; however it is potentially hazardous due to its non-biodegradability. In this work efficient alternative biodegradable insulating fluid is presented as a replacement to conventional mineral oil. Dielectric tests are performed as distinct alternating fluid to evaluate the suitability for transformer insulation. The selection of the distinct natural esters for an insulation system is carried out by the laboratory investigation of Breakdown voltage, Oxidation stability, Dissipation factor, Permittivity, Viscosity, Flash and Fire point. It is proposed to study and characterize the properties of natural esters to be used in power transformer. Therefore for the investigation of the dielectric behavior rice bran oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil are considered for the study. The investigated results have been compared with the mineral oil to validate the dielectric behavior of natural esters.

Keywords: Alternative insulating fluid, dielectric properties, natural esters, power transformers.

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1059 A Bacterial Foraging Optimization Algorithm Applied to the Synthesis of Polyacrylamide Hydrogels

Authors: Florin Leon, Silvia Curteanu

Abstract:

The Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO) algorithm is inspired by the behavior of bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Myxococcus xanthus when searching for food, more precisely the chemotaxis behavior. Bacteria perceive chemical gradients in the environment, such as nutrients, and also other individual bacteria, and move toward or in the opposite direction to those signals. The application example considered as a case study consists in establishing the dependency between the reaction yield of hydrogels based on polyacrylamide and the working conditions such as time, temperature, monomer, initiator, crosslinking agent and inclusion polymer concentrations, as well as type of the polymer added. This process is modeled with a neural network which is included in an optimization procedure based on BFO. An experimental study of BFO parameters is performed. The results show that the algorithm is quite robust and can obtain good results for diverse combinations of parameter values.

Keywords: Bacterial foraging optimization, hydrogels, neural networks, modeling.

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1058 Experimental Characterization of the Thermal Behavior of a Sawdust Mortar

Authors: F. Taouche-Kheloui, O. Fedaoui-Akmoussi, K. Ait tahar, Li. Alex

Abstract:

Currently, the reduction of energy consumption, through the use of abundant and recyclable natural materials, for better thermal insulation represents an important area of research. To this end, the use of bio-sourced materials has been identified as one of the green sectors with a very high economic development potential for the future. Because of its role in reducing the consumption of fossil-based raw materials, it contributes significantly to the storage of atmospheric carbon, limits greenhouse gas emissions and creates new economic opportunities. This study constitutes a contribution to the elaboration and the experimental characterization of the thermal behavior of a sawdust-reduced mortar matrix. We have taken into account the influence of the size of the grain fibers of sawdust, hence the use of three different ranges and also different percentage in the different confections. The intended practical application consists of producing a light weight compound at a lower cost to ensure a better thermal and acoustic behavior compared to that existing in the field, in addition to the desired resistances. Improving energy performance, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector, is amongst the objectives to be achieved. The results are very encouraging and highlight the value of the proposed design of organic-source mortar panels which have specific mechanical properties acceptable for their use, low densities, lower cost of manufacture and labor, and above all a positive impact on the environment.

Keywords: Mortar, sawdust waste, thermal, experimental, analysis.

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1057 Hairy Beggarticks (Bidens pilosa L. - Asteraceae) Control in Sunflower Fields Using Pre-Emergence Herbicides

Authors: Alexandre M. Brighenti

Abstract:

One of the most damaging species in sunflower crops in Brazil is the hairy beggarticks (Bidens pilosa L.). The large number of seeds, the various vegetative cycles during the year, the staggered germination and the scarcity of selective and effective herbicides to control this weed in sunflower are some of attributes that hinder the effectiveness in controlling hairy beggarticks populations. The experiment was carried out with the objectives of evaluating the control of hairy beggarticks plants in sunflower crops, and to assess sunflower tolerance to residual herbicides. The treatments were as follows: S-metolachlor (1,200 and 2,400 g ai ha-1), flumioxazin (60 and 120 g ai ha-1), sulfentrazone (150 and 300 g ai ha-1) and two controls (weedy and weed-free check). Phytotoxicity on sunflower plants, percentage of control and density of hairy beggarticks plants, sunflower stand and plant height, head diameter, oil content and sunflower yield were evaluated. The herbicides flumioxazin and sulfentrazone were the most efficient in hairy beggarticks control. S-metolachlor provided acceptable control levels. S-metolachlor (1,200 g ha-1), flumioxazin (60 g ha-1) and sulfentrazone (150 g ha-1) were the most selective doses for sunflower crop.

Keywords: Flumioxazin, Helianthus annuus, S-metolachlor, sulfentrazone, weeds.

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1056 Educating the Educators: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Enhance Science Teaching

Authors: Denise Levy, Anna Lucia C. H. Villavicencio

Abstract:

In a rapid-changing world, science teachers face considerable challenges. In addition to the basic curriculum, there must be included several transversal themes, which demand creative and innovative strategies to be arranged and integrated to traditional disciplines. In Brazil, nuclear science is still a controversial theme, and teachers themselves seem to be unaware of the issue, most often perpetuating prejudice, errors and misconceptions. This article presents the authors’ experience in the development of an interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal to include nuclear science in the basic curriculum, in a transversal and integrating way. The methodology applied was based on the analysis of several normative documents that define the requirements of essential learning, competences and skills of basic education for all schools in Brazil. The didactic materials and resources were developed according to the best practices to improve learning processes privileging constructivist educational techniques, with emphasis on active learning process, collaborative learning and learning through research. The material consists of an illustrated book for students, a book for teachers and a manual with activities that can articulate nuclear science to different disciplines: Portuguese, mathematics, science, art, English, history and geography. The content counts on high scientific rigor and articulate nuclear technology with topics of interest to society in the most diverse spheres, such as food supply, public health, food safety and foreign trade. Moreover, this pedagogical proposal takes advantage of the potential value of digital technologies, implementing QR codes that excite and challenge students of all ages, improving interaction and engagement. The expected results include the education of the educators for nuclear science communication in a transversal and integrating way, demystifying nuclear technology in a contextualized and significant approach. It is expected that the interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal contributes to improving attitudes towards knowledge construction, privileging reconstructive questioning, fostering a culture of systematic curiosity and encouraging critical thinking skills.

Keywords: Science education, interdisciplinary learning, nuclear science; scientific literacy.

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1055 Residential and Care Model for Elderly People Based on “Internet Plus”

Authors: Haoyi Sheng

Abstract:

China's aging tendency is becoming increasingly severe, which leads to the embarrassing situation of "getting old before getting wealthy". The traditional pension model does not comply with the need of today. Relying on "Internet Plus", it can efficiently integrate information and resources and meet the personalized needs of elderly care. It can reduce the operating cost of community elderly care facilities and lay a technical foundation for providing better services for the elderly. The key for providing help for the elderly in the future is to effectively integrate technology, make good use of technology, and improve the efficiency of elderly care services. The effective integration of traditional home care, community care, intelligent elderly care equipment and medical resources to create the "Internet Plus" community intelligent pension service mode has become the future development trend of aging care. The research method of this paper is to collect literature and conduct theoretical research on community pension firstly. Secondly, the combination of suitable aging design and "Internet Plus" is elaborated through research. Finally, this paper states the current level of intelligent technology in old-age care and looks into the future by understanding multiple levels of "Internet Plus". The development of community intelligent pension mode and content under "Internet Plus" has enormous development potential. In addition to the characteristics and functions of ordinary houses, residential design of endowment housing has higher requirements for comfort and personalization, and the people-oriented is the principle of design.

Keywords: Ageing tendency, "Internet plus", community intelligent elderly care, elderly care service model, technology.

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1054 Nigerian Football System: Examining Meso-Level Practices against a Global Model for Integrated Development of Mass and Elite Sport

Authors: I. Derek Kaka’an, P. Smolianov, D. Koh Choon Lian, S. Dion, C. Schoen, J. Norberg

Abstract:

This study was designed to examine mass participation and elite football performance in Nigeria with reference to advance international football management practices. Over 200 sources of literature on sport delivery systems were analyzed to construct a globally applicable model of elite football integrated with mass participation, comprising of the following three levels: macro- (socio-economic, cultural, legislative, and organizational), meso- (infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs) and micro-level (operations, processes, and methodologies for development of individual athletes). The model has received scholarly validation and showed to be a framework for program analysis that is not culturally bound. The Smolianov and Zakus model has been employed for further understanding of sport systems such as US soccer, US Rugby, swimming, tennis, and volleyball as well as Russian and Dutch swimming. A questionnaire was developed using the above-mentioned model. Survey questions were validated by 12 experts including academicians, executives from sport governing bodies, football coaches, and administrators. To identify best practices and determine areas for improvement of football in Nigeria, 120 coaches completed the questionnaire. Useful exemplars and possible improvements were further identified through semi-structured discussions with 10 Nigerian football administrators and experts. Finally, content analysis of Nigeria Football Federation’s website and organizational documentation was conducted. This paper focuses on the meso-level of Nigerian football delivery, particularly infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs. This includes training centers, competition systems, and intellectual services. Results identified remarkable achievements coupled with great potential to further develop football in different types of public and private organizations in Nigeria. These include: assimilating football competitions with other cultural and educational activities, providing favorable conditions for employees of all possible organizations to partake and help in managing football programs and events, providing football coaching integrated with counseling for prevention of antisocial conduct, and improving cooperation between football programs and organizations for peace-making and advancement of international relations, tourism, and socio-economic development. Accurate reporting of the sports programs from the media should be encouraged through staff training for better awareness of various events. The systematic integration of these meso-level practices into the balanced development of mass and high-performance football will contribute to international sport success as well as national health, education, and social harmony.

Keywords: Football, high performance, mass participation, Nigeria, sport development.

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1053 Application of Seismic Isolators in Kutahya City Hospital Project Utilizing Double Friction Pendulum Type Devices

Authors: Kaan Yamanturk, Cihan Dogruoz

Abstract:

Seismic isolators have been utilized around the world to protect the structures, nonstructural components and contents from the damaging effects of earthquakes. In Structural Engineering, seismic isolation is used for protecting buildings and its vibration-sensitive contents from earthquakes. Seismic isolation is a passive control system that lowers effective earthquake forces by utilizing flexible bearings. One of the most significant isolation systems is seismic isolators. In this paper, double pendulum type Teflon coated seismic isolators utilized in a city hospital project by Guris Construction and Engineering Co. Inc, located in Kutahya, Turkey, have been investigated. Totally, 498 seismic isolators were applied in the project. These isolators are double friction pendulum type seismic isolation devices. The review of current practices is also examined in this study. The focus of this study is related to the application of passive seismic isolation systems for buildings as practiced in Kutahya City Hospital Project. Based on the study, the acceleration at the top floor will be 0.18 g and it will decrease 0.01 g in every floor. Therefore, seismic isolators are very important for buildings located in earthquake zones.

Keywords: Maximum considered earthquake, moment resisting frame, seismic isolator, seismic design.

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1052 Electromagnetic Wave Propagation Equations in 2D by Finite Difference Method

Authors: N. Fusun Oyman Serteller

Abstract:

In this paper, the techniques to solve time dependent electromagnetic wave propagation equations based on the Finite Difference Method (FDM) are proposed by comparing the results with Finite Element Method (FEM) in 2D while discussing some special simulation examples.  Here, 2D dynamical wave equations for lossy media, even with a constant source, are discussed for establishing symbolic manipulation of wave propagation problems. The main objective of this contribution is to introduce a comparative study of two suitable numerical methods and to show that both methods can be applied effectively and efficiently to all types of wave propagation problems, both linear and nonlinear cases, by using symbolic computation. However, the results show that the FDM is more appropriate for solving the nonlinear cases in the symbolic solution. Furthermore, some specific complex domain examples of the comparison of electromagnetic waves equations are considered. Calculations are performed through Mathematica software by making some useful contribution to the programme and leveraging symbolic evaluations of FEM and FDM.

Keywords: Finite difference method, finite element method, linear-nonlinear PDEs, symbolic computation, wave propagation equations.

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1051 Mechanical and Microstructural Properties of Rotary-Swaged Wire of Commercial-Purity Titanium

Authors: Michal Duchek, Jan Palán, Tomas Kubina

Abstract:

Bars made of titanium grade 2 and grade 4 were subjected to rotary forging with up to 2.2 true strain reduction in the cross-section from 10 to 3.81 mm. During progressive deformation, grain refinement in the transverse direction took place. In the longitudinal direction, ultrafine microstructure has not developed. It has been demonstrated that titanium grade 2 strengthens more than grade 4. The ultimate tensile strength increased from 650 MPa to 1040 MPa in titanium grade 4. Hardness profiles on the cross section in both materials show an increase in the centre of the wire.

Keywords: Commercial-purity titanium, wire, rotary swaging, tensile test, hardness, modulus of elasticity, microstructure.

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1050 The South African Polycentric Water Resource Governance-Management Nexus: Parlaying an Institutional Agent and Structured Social Engagement

Authors: J. H. Boonzaaier, A. C. Brent

Abstract:

South Africa, a water scarce country, experiences the phenomenon that its life supporting natural water resources is seriously threatened by the users that are totally dependent on it. South Africa is globally applauded to have of the best and most progressive water laws and policies. There are however growing concerns regarding natural water resource quality deterioration and a critical void in the management of natural resources and compliance to policies due to increasing institutional uncertainties and failures. These are in accordance with concerns of many South African researchers and practitioners that call for a change in paradigm from talk to practice and a more constructive, practical approach to governance challenges in the management of water resources. A qualitative theory-building case study through longitudinal action research was conducted from 2014 to 2017. The research assessed whether a strategic positioned institutional agent can be parlayed to facilitate and execute WRM on catchment level by engaging multiple stakeholders in a polycentric setting. Through a critical realist approach a distinction was made between ex ante self-deterministic human behaviour in the realist realm, and ex post governance-management in the constructivist realm. A congruence analysis, including Toulmin’s method of argumentation analysis, was utilised. The study evaluated the unique case of a self-steering local water management institution, the Impala Water Users Association (WUA) in the Pongola River catchment in the northern part of the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Exploiting prevailing water resource threats, it expanded its ancillary functions from 20,000 to 300,000 ha. Embarking on WRM activities, it addressed natural water system quality assessments, social awareness, knowledge support, and threats, such as: soil erosion, waste and effluent into water systems, coal mining, and water security dimensions; through structured engagement with 21 different catchment stakeholders. By implementing a proposed polycentric governance-management model on a catchment scale, the WUA achieved to fill the void. It developed a foundation and capacity to protect the resilience of the natural environment that is critical for freshwater resources to ensure long-term water security of the Pongola River basin. Further work is recommended on appropriate statutory delegations, mechanisms of sustainable funding, sufficient penetration of knowledge to local levels to catalyse behaviour change, incentivised support from professionals, back-to-back expansion of WUAs to alleviate scale and cost burdens, and the creation of catchment data monitoring and compilation centres.

Keywords: Institutional agent, water governance, polycentric water resource management, water resource management.

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1049 Screening of Strategic Management Criterions in Hospitals Using Delphi-Fuzzy Method

Authors: Helia Moayedi, Mahdi Moaidi

Abstract:

Nowadays, the managing and planning of hospitals is facing many problems. Failure to recognize the main criteria for strategic management to ensure long-term hospital performance can lead to many health problems. To achieve this goal, a qualitative-quantitate method titled Delphi-Fuzzy has been applied. This strategy makes it possible for experts to screen among the most important criteria in strategic management. To conduct this operation, a statistical society consisting of 20 experts in Ahwaz hospitals has been questioned. The final model confirms the key criterions after three stages of Delphi. This model provides the possibility to focus on the basic criteria and can determine the organization’s main orientation.

Keywords: Delphi-Fuzzy Method, hospital management, long-term planning, qualitative-quantitate method, screening of strategic criteria, strategic planning.

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1048 A Small-Scale Study of Fire Whirls and Investigation of the Effects of Near-Ground Height on the Behavior of Fire Whirls

Authors: M. Arabghahestani, A. Darwish Ahmad, N. K. Akafuah

Abstract:

In this work, small-scale experiments of fire whirl were conducted to study the spinning fire phenomenon and to gain comprehensive understandings of fire tornadoes and the factors that affect their behavior. High speed imaging was used to track the flames at both temporal and spatial scales. This allowed us to better understand the role of the near-ground height in creating a boundary layer flow profile that, in turn contributes to formation of vortices around the fire, and consequent fire whirls. Based on the results obtained from these observations, we were able to spot the differences in the fuel burning rate of the fire itself as a function of a newly defined specific non-dimensional near-ground height. Based on our observations, there is a cutoff non-dimensional height, beyond which a normal fire can be turned into a fire whirl. Additionally, the results showed that the fire burning rate decreases by moving the fire to a height higher than the ground level. These effects were justified by the interactions between vortices formed by, the back pressure and the boundary layer velocity profile, and the vortices generated by the fire itself.

Keywords: Boundary layer profile, fire whirls, near-ground height, vortex interactions.

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1047 Talent Management through Integration of Talent Value Chain and Human Capital Analytics Approaches

Authors: Wuttigrai Ngamsirijit

Abstract:

Talent management in today’s modern organizations has become data-driven due to a demand for objective human resource decision making and development of analytics technologies. HR managers have been faced with some obstacles in exploiting data and information to obtain their effective talent management decisions. These include process-based data and records; insufficient human capital-related measures and metrics; lack of capabilities in data modeling in strategic manners; and, time consuming to add up numbers and make decisions. This paper proposes a framework of talent management through integration of talent value chain and human capital analytics approaches. It encompasses key data, measures, and metrics regarding strategic talent management decisions along the organizational and talent value chain. Moreover, specific predictive and prescriptive models incorporating these data and information are recommended to help managers in understanding the state of talent, gaps in managing talent and the organization, and the ways to develop optimized talent strategies.    

Keywords: Decision making, human capital analytics, talent management, talent value chain.

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1046 Factors Influencing Intention to Engage in Long-term Care Services among Nursing Aide Trainees and the General Public

Authors: Ju-Chun Chien

Abstract:

Rapid aging and depopulation could lead to serious problems, including workforce shortages and health expenditure costs. The current and predicted future LTC workforce shortages could be a real threat to Taiwan’s society. By means of comparison of data from 144 nursing aide trainees and 727 general public, the main purpose of the present study was to determine whether there were any notable differences between the two groups toward engaging in LTC services. Moreover, this study focused on recognizing the attributes of the general public who had the willingness to take LTC jobs but continue to ride the fence. A self-developed questionnaire was designed based on Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior model. After conducting exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and reliability analysis, the questionnaire was a reliable and valid instrument for both nursing aide trainees and the general public. The main results were as follows: Firstly, nearly 70% of nursing aide trainees showed interest in LTC jobs. Most of them were middle-aged female (M = 46.85, SD = 9.31), had a high school diploma or lower, had unrelated work experience in healthcare, and were mostly unemployed. The most common reason for attending the LTC training program was to gain skills in a particular field. The second most common reason was to obtain the license. The third and fourth reasons were to be interested in caring for people and to increase income. The three major reasons that might push them to leave LTC jobs were physical exhaustion, payment is bad, and being looked down on. Secondly, the variables that best-predicted nursing aide trainees’ intention to engage in LTC services were having personal willingness, perceived behavior control, with high school diploma or lower, and supported from family and friends. Finally, only 11.80% of the general public reported having interest in LTC jobs (the disapproval rating was 50% for the general public). In comparison to nursing aide trainees who showed interest in LTC settings, 64.8% of the new workforce for LTC among the general public was male and had an associate degree, 54.8% had relevant healthcare experience, 67.1% was currently employed, and they were younger (M = 32.19, SD = 13.19) and unmarried (66.3%). Furthermore, the most commonly reason for the new workforce to engage in LTC jobs were to gain skills in a particular field. The second priority was to be interested in caring for people. The third and fourth most reasons were to give back to society and to increase income, respectively. The top five most commonly reasons for the new workforce to quitting LTC jobs were listed as follows: physical exhaustion, being looked down on, excessive working hours, payment is bad, and excessive job stress.

Keywords: Long-term care services, nursing aide trainees, Taiwanese people, theory of planned behavior.

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1045 Vr-GIS and Ar-GIS In Education: A Case Study

Authors: Ilario Gabriele Gerloni, Vincenza Carchiolo, Alessandro Longheu, Ugo Becciani, Eva Sciacca, Fabio Vitello

Abstract:

ICT tools and platforms endorse more and more educational process. Many models and techniques for people to be educated and trained about specific topics and skills do exist, as classroom lectures with textbooks, computers, handheld devices and others. The choice to what extent ICT is applied within learning contexts is related to personal access to technologies as well as to the infrastructure surrounding environment. Among recent techniques, the adoption of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) provides significant impulse in fully engaging users senses. In this paper, an application of AR/VR within Geographic Information Systems (GIS) context is presented. It aims to provide immersive environment experiences for educational and training purposes (e.g. for civil protection personnel), useful especially for situations where real scenarios are not easily accessible by humans. First acknowledgments are promising for building an effective tool that helps civil protection personnel training with risk reduction.

Keywords: Education, virtual reality, augmented reality, civil protection.

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1044 Recovery of Post-Consumer PET Bottles in a Composite Material Preparation

Authors: Rafenomananjara Tsinjo Nirina, Tomoo Sekito, Andrianaivoravelona Jaconnet Oliva

Abstract:

Manufacturing a composite material from post-consumer bottles is an interesting outlet since Madagascar is still facing the challenges of managing plastic waste on the one hand and appropriate waste treatment facilities are not yet developed on the other hand. New waste management options are needed to divert End-Of-Life (EOL) soft plastic wastes from landfills and incineration. Waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles might be considered as a valuable resource and recovered into polymer concrete. The methodology is easy to implement and appropriate to the local context in Madagascar. This approach will contribute to the production of ecological building materials that might be profitable for the environment and the construction sector. This work aims to study the feasibility of using the post-consumer PET bottles as an alternative binding agent instead of the conventional Portland cement and water. Then, the mechanical and physical properties of the materials were evaluated.

Keywords: PET recycling, polymer concrete, ecological building materials, pollution mitigation.

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1043 Development and Usability Assessment of a Connected Resistance Exercise Band Application for Strength-Monitoring

Authors: J. A. Batsis, G. G. Boateng, L. M. Seo, C. L. Petersen, K. L. Fortuna, E. V. Wechsler, R. J. Peterson, S. B. Cook, D. Pidgeon, R. S. Dokko, R. J. Halter, D. F. Kotz

Abstract:

Resistance exercise bands are a core component of any physical activity strengthening program. Strength training can mitigate the development of sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass or strength and function with aging. Yet, the adherence of such behavioral exercise strategies in a home-based setting are fraught with issues of monitoring and compliance. Our group developed a Bluetooth-enabled resistance exercise band capable of transmitting data to an open-source platform. In this work, we developed an application to capture this information in real-time, and conducted three usability studies in two mixed-aged groups of participants (n=6 each) and a group of older adults with obesity participating in a weight-loss intervention (n=20). The system was favorable, acceptable and provided iterative information that could assist in future deployment on ubiquitous platforms. Our formative work provides the foundation to deliver home-based monitoring interventions in a high-risk, older adult population.

Keywords: Application, mHealth, older adult, resistance exercise band, sarcopenia.

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1042 Identifying Game Variables from Students’ Surveys for Prototyping Games for Learning

Authors: N. Ismail, O. Thammajinda, U. Thongpanya

Abstract:

Games-based learning (GBL) has become increasingly important in teaching and learning. This paper explains the first two phases (analysis and design) of a GBL development project, ending up with a prototype design based on students’ and teachers’ perceptions. The two phases are part of a full cycle GBL project aiming to help secondary school students in Thailand in their study of Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE). In the course of the study, we invited 1,152 students to complete questionnaires and interviewed 12 secondary school teachers in focus groups. This paper found that GBL can serve students in their learning about CSE, enabling them to gain understanding of their sexuality, develop skills, including critical thinking skills and interact with others (peers, teachers, etc.) in a safe environment. The objectives of this paper are to outline the development of GBL variables from the research question(s) into the developers’ flow chart, to be responsive to the GBL beneficiaries’ preferences and expectations, and to help in answering the research questions. This paper details the steps applied to generate GBL variables that can feed into a game flow chart to develop a GBL prototype. In our approach, we detailed two models: (1) Game Elements Model (GEM) and (2) Game Object Model (GOM). There are three outcomes of this research – first, to achieve the objectives and benefits of GBL in learning, game design has to start with the research question(s) and the challenges to be resolved as research outcomes. Second, aligning the educational aims with engaging GBL end users (students) within the data collection phase to inform the game prototype with the game variables is essential to address the answer/solution to the research question(s). Third, for efficient GBL to bridge the gap between pedagogy and technology and in order to answer the research questions via technology (i.e. GBL) and to minimise the isolation between the pedagogists “P” and technologist “T”, several meetings and discussions need to take place within the team.

Keywords: Games-based learning, design, engagement, pedagogy, preferences, prototype, variables.

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1041 The Current Home Hemodialysis Practices and Patients’ Safety Related Factors: A Case Study from Germany

Authors: Ilyas Khan. Liliane Pintelon, Harry Martin, Michael Shömig

Abstract:

The increasing costs of healthcare on one hand, and the rise in aging population and associated chronic disease, on the other hand, are putting increasing burden on the current health care system in many Western countries. For instance, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common disease and in Europe, the cost of renal replacement therapy (RRT) is very significant to the total health care cost. However, the recent advancement in healthcare technology, provide the opportunity to treat patients at home in their own comfort. It is evident that home healthcare offers numerous advantages apparently, low costs and high patients’ quality of life. Despite these advantages, the intake of home hemodialysis (HHD) therapy is still low in particular in Germany. Many factors are accounted for the low number of HHD intake. However, this paper is focusing on patients’ safety-related factors of current HHD practices in Germany. The aim of this paper is to analyze the current HHD practices in Germany and to identify risks related factors if any exist. A case study has been conducted in a dialysis center which consists of four dialysis centers in the south of Germany. In total, these dialysis centers have 350 chronic dialysis patients, of which, four patients are on HHD. The centers have 126 staff which includes six nephrologists and 120 other staff i.e. nurses and administration. The results of the study revealed several risk-related factors. Most importantly, these centers do not offer allied health services at the pre-dialysis stage, the HHD training did not have an established curriculum; however, they have just recently developed the first version. Only a soft copy of the machine manual is offered to patients. Surprisingly, the management was not aware of any standard available for home assessment and installation. The home assessment is done by a third party (i.e. the machines and equipment provider) and they may not consider the hygienic quality of the patient’s home. The type of machine provided to patients at home is similar to the one in the center. The model may not be suitable at home because of its size and complexity. Even though portable hemodialysis machines, which are specially designed for home use, are available in the market such as the NxStage series. Besides the type of machine, no assistance is offered for space management at home in particular for placing the machine. Moreover, the centers do not offer remote assistance to patients and their carer at home. However, telephonic assistance is available. Furthermore, no alternative is offered if a carer is not available. In addition, the centers are lacking medical staff including nephrologists and renal nurses.

Keywords: Home hemodialysis, home hemodialysis practices, patients’ related risks in the current home hemodialysis practices, patient safety in home hemodialysis.

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1040 A Generalized Sparse Bayesian Learning Algorithm for Near-Field Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging: By Exploiting Impropriety and Noncircularity

Authors: Pan Long, Bi Dongjie, Li Xifeng, Xie Yongle

Abstract:

The near-field synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging is an advanced nondestructive testing and evaluation (NDT&E) technique. This paper investigates the complex-valued signal processing related to the near-field SAR imaging system, where the measurement data turns out to be noncircular and improper, meaning that the complex-valued data is correlated to its complex conjugate. Furthermore, we discover that the degree of impropriety of the measurement data and that of the target image can be highly correlated in near-field SAR imaging. Based on these observations, A modified generalized sparse Bayesian learning algorithm is proposed, taking impropriety and noncircularity into account. Numerical results show that the proposed algorithm provides performance gain, with the help of noncircular assumption on the signals.

Keywords: Complex-valued signal processing, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), 2-D radar imaging, compressive sensing, Sparse Bayesian learning.

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1039 Managing City Pipe Leaks through Community Participation Using a Web and Mobile Application in South Africa

Authors: Mpai Mokoena, Nsenda Lukumwena

Abstract:

South Africa is one of the driest countries in the world and is facing a water crisis. In addition to inadequate infrastructure and poor planning, the country is experiencing high rates of water wastage due to pipe leaks. This study outlines the level of water wastage and develops a smart solution to efficiently manage and reduce the effects of pipe leaks, while monitoring the situation before and after fixing the pipe leaks. To understand the issue in depth, a literature review of journal papers and government reports was conducted. A questionnaire was designed and distributed to the general public. Additionally, the municipality office was contacted from a managerial perspective. The analysis from the study indicated that the majority of the citizens are aware of the water crisis and are willing to participate positively to decrease the level of water wasted. Furthermore, the response from the municipality acknowledged that more practical solutions are needed to reduce water wastage, and resources to attend to pipe leaks swiftly. Therefore, this paper proposes a specific solution for municipalities, local plumbers and citizens to minimize the effects of pipe leaks. The solution provides web and mobile application platforms to report and manage leaks swiftly. The solution is beneficial to the country in achieving water security and would promote a culture of responsibility toward water usage.

Keywords: Urban Distribution Networks, leak management, mobile application, responsible citizens, water crisis, water security.

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1038 Managing Business Processes in the Age of Digital Transformation: A Literature Review

Authors: Ana-Marija Stjepić, Dalia Suša Vugec

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Today, digital transformation is one of the leading topics that occupy the attention of scientific circles and business experts. Organizational success is most often reflected through the successful managing of business processes. Given the growing market for digital innovations and its ever-increasing impact on business, organizations need to be prepared for organizational changes that come with the digital era. In order to maintain their competitive advantage in the global market, organizations must adapt their processes to new digitalization conditions. The main goal of this study is to point out the link between the digital transformation and the business process management concept. Therefore, in order to contribute to the scientific field that explores the potential relation between business process management concept and digital transformation, a literature review has been conducted. Papers have been searched within the Business Process Management Journal by keywords related to the term digital transformation. Selected papers have been analyzed according to the topic, type of publication, year of publication, keywords, etc. The results reveal a growing number of papers published on the topic of digital transformation to the Business Process Management Journal, but the lack of case studies. This paper contributes to the extension of academic literature in this important, yet insufficiently researched, scientific field that creates the bond between two strong concepts of digital transformation and business process management.

Keywords: Business process management, digital transformation, digitalization, process change.

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1037 Engineering of E-Learning Content Creation: Case Study for African Countries

Authors: María-Dolores Afonso-Suárez, Nayra Pumar-Carreras, Juan Ruiz-Alzola

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This research addresses the use of an e-Learning creation methodology for learning objects. Throughout the process, indicators are being gathered, to determine if it responds to the main objectives of an engineering discipline. These parameters will also indicate if it is necessary to review the creation cycle and readjust any phase. Within the project developed for this study, apart from the use of structured methods, there has been a central objective: the establishment of a learning atmosphere. A place where all the professionals involved are able to collaborate, plan, solve problems and determine guides to follow in order to develop creative and innovative solutions. It has been outlined as a blended learning program with an assessment plan that proposes face to face lessons, coaching, collaboration, multimedia and web based learning objects as well as support resources. The project has been drawn as a long term task, the pilot teaching actions designed provide the preliminary results object of study. This methodology is been used in the creation of learning content for the African countries of Senegal, Mauritania and Cape Verde. It has been developed within the framework of the MACbioIDi, an Interreg European project for the International cooperation and development. The educational area of this project is focused in the training and advice of professionals of the medicine as well as engineers in the use of applications of medical imaging technology, specifically the 3DSlicer application and the Open Anatomy Browser.

Keywords: Teaching contents engineering, e-learning, blended learning, international cooperation, 3DSlicer, open anatomy browser.

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1036 Business Process Management and Organizational Culture in Big Companies: Cross-Country Analysis

Authors: Dalia Suša Vugec

Abstract:

Business process management (BPM) is widely used approach focused on designing, mapping, changing, managing and analyzing business processes of an organization, which eventually leads to better performance and derives many other benefits. Since every organization strives to improve its performance in order to be sustainable and to remain competitive on the market in long-term period, numerous organizations are nowadays adopting and implementing BPM. However, not all organizations are equally successful in that. One of the ways of measuring BPM success is by measuring its maturity by calculating Process Performance Index (PPI) using ten BPM success factors. Still, although BPM is a holistic concept, organizational culture is not taken into consideration in calculating PPI. Hence, aim of this paper is twofold; first, it aims to explore and analyze the current state of BPM success factors within the big organizations from Slovenia, Croatia, and Austria and second, it aims to analyze the structure of organizational culture within the observed companies, focusing on the link with BPM success factors as well. The presented study is based on the results of the questionnaire conducted as the part of the PROSPER project (IP-2014-09-3729) and financed by Croatian Science Foundation. The results of the questionnaire reveal differences in the achieved levels of BPM success factors and therefore BPM maturity in total between the three observed countries. Moreover, the structure of organizational culture across three countries also differs. This paper discusses the revealed differences between countries as well as the link between organizational culture and BPM success factors.

Keywords: Business process management, BPM maturity, BPM success factors, organizational culture, process performance index.

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1035 Aging Evaluation of Ammonium Perchlorate/Hydroxyl Terminated Polybutadiene-Based Solid Rocket Engine by Reactive Molecular Dynamics Simulation and Thermal Analysis

Authors: R. F. B. Gonçalves, E. N. Iwama, J. A. F. F. Rocco, K. Iha

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Propellants based on Hydroxyl Terminated Polybutadiene/Ammonium Perchlorate (HTPB/AP) are the most commonly used in most of the rocket engines used by the Brazilian Armed Forces. This work aimed at the possibility of extending its useful life (currently in 10 years) by performing kinetic-chemical analyzes of its energetic material via Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and also performing computer simulation of aging process using the software Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS). Thermal analysis via DSC was performed in triplicates and in three heating ratios (5 ºC, 10 ºC, and 15 ºC) of rocket motor with 11 years shelf-life, using the Arrhenius equation to obtain its activation energy, using Ozawa and Kissinger kinetic methods, allowing comparison with manufacturing period data (standard motor). In addition, the kinetic parameters of internal pressure of the combustion chamber in 08 rocket engines with 11 years of shelf-life were also acquired, for comparison purposes with the engine start-up data.

Keywords: Shelf-life, thermal analysis, Ozawa method, Kissinger method, LAMMPS software, thrust.

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1034 Iterative Image Reconstruction for Sparse-View Computed Tomography via Total Variation Regularization and Dictionary Learning

Authors: XianYu Zhao, JinXu Guo

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Recently, low-dose computed tomography (CT) has become highly desirable due to increasing attention to the potential risks of excessive radiation. For low-dose CT imaging, ensuring image quality while reducing radiation dose is a major challenge. To facilitate low-dose CT imaging, we propose an improved statistical iterative reconstruction scheme based on the Penalized Weighted Least Squares (PWLS) standard combined with total variation (TV) minimization and sparse dictionary learning (DL) to improve reconstruction performance. We call this method "PWLS-TV-DL". In order to evaluate the PWLS-TV-DL method, we performed experiments on digital phantoms and physical phantoms, respectively. The experimental results show that our method is in image quality and calculation. The efficiency is superior to other methods, which confirms the potential of its low-dose CT imaging.

Keywords: Low dose computed tomography, penalized weighted least squares, total variation, dictionary learning.

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1033 Assessment of Breeding Soundness by Comparative Radiography and Ultrasonography of Rabbit Testes

Authors: Adenike O. Olatunji-Akioye, Emmanual B Farayola

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In order to improve the animal protein recommended daily intake of Nigerians, there is an upsurge in breeding of hitherto shunned food animals one of which is the rabbit. Radiography and ultrasonography are tools for diagnosing disease and evaluating the anatomical architecture of parts of the body non-invasively. As the rabbit is becoming a more important food animal, to achieve improved breeding of these animals, the best of the species form a breeding stock and will usually depend on breeding soundness which may be evaluated by assessment of the male reproductive organs by these tools. Four male intact rabbits weighing between 1.2 to 1.5 kg were acquired and acclimatized for 2 weeks. Dorsoventral views of the testes were acquired using a digital radiographic machine and a 5 MHz portable ultrasound scanner was used to acquire images of the testes in longitudinal, sagittal and transverse planes. Radiographic images acquired revealed soft tissue images of the testes in all rabbits. The testes lie in individual scrotal sacs sides on both sides of the midline at the level of the caudal vertebrae and thus are superimposed by caudal vertebrae and the caudal limits of the pelvic girdle. The ultrasonographic images revealed mostly homogenously hypoechogenic testes and a hyperechogenic mediastinum testis. The dorsal and ventral poles of the testes were heterogeneously hypoechogenic and correspond to the epididymis and spermatic cord. The rabbit is unique in the ability to retract the testes particularly when stressed and so careful and stressless handling during the procedures is of paramount importance. The imaging of rabbit testes can be safely done using both imaging methods but ultrasonography is a better method of assessment and evaluation of soundness for breeding.

Keywords: Breeding soundness, rabbits, radiography, ultrasonography.

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