Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 34

Search results for: Action research

34 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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33 Information Security Risk Management in IT-Based Process Virtualization: A Methodological Design Based on Action Research

Authors: Jefferson Camacho Mejía, Jenny Paola Forero Pachón, Luis Carlos Gómez Flórez

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Action research is a qualitative research methodology, which leads the researcher to delve into the problems of a community in order to understand its needs in depth and finally, to propose actions that lead to a change of social paradigm. Although this methodology had its beginnings in the human sciences, it has attracted increasing interest and acceptance in the field of information systems research since the 1990s. The countless possibilities offered nowadays by the use of Information Technologies (IT) in the development of different socio-economic activities have meant a change of social paradigm and the emergence of the so-called information and knowledge society. According to this, governments, large corporations, small entrepreneurs and in general, organizations of all kinds are using IT to virtualize their processes, taking them from the physical environment to the digital environment. However, there is a potential risk for organizations related with exposing valuable information without an appropriate framework for protecting it. This paper shows progress in the development of a methodological design to manage the information security risks associated with the IT-based processes virtualization, by applying the principles of the action research methodology and it is the result of a systematic review of the scientific literature. This design consists of seven fundamental stages. These are distributed in the three stages described in the action research methodology: 1) Observe, 2) Analyze and 3) Take actions. Finally, this paper aims to offer an alternative tool to traditional information security management methodologies with a view to being applied specifically in the planning stage of IT-based process virtualization in order to foresee risks and to establish security controls before formulating IT solutions in any type of organization.

Keywords: Action research, information security, information technology, methodological design, process virtualization, risk management.

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32 Enhancing Children’s English Vocabulary Acquisition through Digital Storytelling at Happy Kids Kindergarten, Palembang, Indonesia

Authors: Gaya Tridinanti

Abstract:

Enhanching English vocabulary in early childhood is the main problem often faced by teachers. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the enhancement of children’s English vocabulary acquisition by using digital storytelling. This type of research was an action research. It consisted of a series of four activities done in repeated cycles: planning, implementation, observation, and reflection. The subject of the study consisted of 30 students of B group (5-6 years old) attending Happy Kids Kindergarten Palembang, Indonesia. This research was conducted in three cycles. The methods used for data collection were observation and documentation. Descriptive qualitative and quantitative methods were also used to analyse the data. The research showed that the digital storytelling learning activities could enhance the children’s English vocabulary acquisition. It is based on the data in which the enhancement in pre-cycle was 37% and 51% in Cycle I. In Cycle II it was 71% and in Cycle III it was 89.3%. The results showed an enhancement of about 14% from the pre-cycle to Cycle I, 20% from Cycle I to Cycle II, and enhancement of about 18.3% from Cycle II to Cycle III. The conclusion of this study suggests that digital storytelling learning method could enhance the English vocabulary acquisition of B group children at the Happy Kids Kindergarten Palembang. Therefore, digital storytelling can be considered as an alternative to improve English language learning in the classroom.

Keywords: Acquisition, enhancing, digital storytelling, English vocabulary.

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31 Building the Professional Readiness of Graduates from Day One: An Empirical Approach to Curriculum Continuous Improvement

Authors: Fiona Wahr, Sitalakshmi Venkatraman

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Industry employers require new graduates to bring with them a range of knowledge, skills and abilities which mean these new employees can immediately make valuable work contributions. These will be a combination of discipline and professional knowledge, skills and abilities which give graduates the technical capabilities to solve practical problems whilst interacting with a range of stakeholders. Underpinning the development of these disciplines and professional knowledge, skills and abilities, are “enabling” knowledge, skills and abilities which assist students to engage in learning. These are academic and learning skills which are essential to common starting points for both the learning process of students entering the course as well as forming the foundation for the fully developed graduate knowledge, skills and abilities. This paper reports on a project created to introduce and strengthen these enabling skills into the first semester of a Bachelor of Information Technology degree in an Australian polytechnic. The project uses an action research approach in the context of ongoing continuous improvement for the course to enhance the overall learning experience, learning sequencing, graduate outcomes, and most importantly, in the first semester, student engagement and retention. The focus of this is implementing the new curriculum in first semester subjects of the course with the aim of developing the “enabling” learning skills, such as literacy, research and numeracy based knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs). The approach used for the introduction and embedding of these KSAs, (as both enablers of learning and to underpin graduate attribute development), is presented. Building on previous publications which reported different aspects of this longitudinal study, this paper recaps on the rationale for the curriculum redevelopment and then presents the quantitative findings of entering students’ reading literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills degree as well as their perceived research ability. The paper presents the methodology and findings for this stage of the research. Overall, the cohort exhibits mixed KSA levels in these areas, with a relatively low aggregated score. In addition, the paper describes the considerations for adjusting the design and delivery of the new subjects with a targeted learning experience, in response to the feedback gained through continuous monitoring. Such a strategy is aimed at accommodating the changing learning needs of the students and serves to support them towards achieving the enabling learning goals starting from day one of their higher education studies.

Keywords: Enabling skills, student retention, embedded learning support, continuous improvement.

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30 The Way Digitized Lectures and Film Presence Coaching Impact Academic Identity: An Expert Facilitated Participatory Action Research Case Study

Authors: Amanda Burrell, Tonia Gary, David Wright, Kumara Ward

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This paper explores the concept of academic identity as it relates to the lecture, in particular, the digitized lecture delivered to a camera, in the absence of a student audience. Many academics have the performance aspect of the role thrust upon them with little or no training. For the purpose of this study, we look at the performance of the academic identity and examine tailored film presence coaching for its contributions toward academic identity, specifically in relation to feelings of self-confidence and diminishment of discomfort or stage fright. The case is articulated through the lens of scholar-practitioners, using expert facilitated participatory action research. It demonstrates in our sample of experienced academics, all reported some feelings of uncertainty about presenting lectures to camera prior to coaching. We share how power poses and reframing fear, produced improvements in the ease and competency of all participants. We share exactly how this insight could be adapted for self-coaching by any academic when called to present to a camera and consider the relationship between this and academic identity.

Keywords: Academic identity, embodied learning, digitized lecture, performance coaching.

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29 Indigenous Knowledge and Nature of Science Interface: Content Considerations for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education

Authors: Mpofu Vongai, Vhurumuku Elaosi

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Many African countries, such as Zimbabwe and South Africa, have curricula reform agendas that include incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge and Nature of Science (NOS) into school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. It is argued that at high school level, STEM learning, which incorporates understandings of indigenization science and NOS, has the potential to provide a strong foundation for a culturally embedded scientific knowledge essential for their advancement in Science and Technology. Globally, investment in STEM education is recognized as essential for economic development. For this reason, developing countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa have been investing into training specialized teachers in natural sciences and technology. However, in many cases this training has been detached from the cultural realities and contexts of indigenous learners. For this reason, the STEM curricula reform has provided implementation challenges to teachers. An issue of major concern is the teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), which is essential for effective implementation of these STEM curricula. Well-developed Teacher PCK include an understanding of both the nature of indigenous knowledge (NOIK) and of NOS. This paper reports the results of a study that investigated the development of 3 South African and 3 Zimbabwean in-service teachers’ abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK as part of their PCK. A participatory action research design was utilized. The main focus was on capturing, determining and developing teachers STEM knowledge for integrating NOIK and NOS in science classrooms. Their use of indigenous games was used to determine how their subject knowledge for STEM and pedagogical abilities could be developed. Qualitative data were gathered through the use dialogues between the researchers and the in-service teachers, as well as interviewing the participating teachers. Analysis of the data provides a methodological window through which in-service teachers’ PCK can be STEMITIZED and their abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK developed. Implications are raised for developing teachers’ STEM education in universities and teacher training colleges.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, nature of science, pedagogical content knowledge, STEM education.

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28 Evaluation of Top-down and Bottom-up Leadership Development Programs in a Finnish Company

Authors: Kati Skarp, Keijo Varis, Juha Kettunen

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The purpose of this paper is to examine and evaluate the top-down and bottom-up leadership development programs focused on human capital that improve the performance of a company. This study reports on the external top-down leadership development program supported by a consulting company and the internal participatory action research of the bottom-up program. The sickness rate and the lost time incident failure rate decreased and the ideas produced for cost savings improved, leading to increased earnings during the top-down program. The estimated cost savings potential of the bottom-up program was 3.8 million euro based on the cost savings of meeting habits, maintenance practices and the way of working in production. The results of this study are useful for those who plan and evaluate leadership development and human capital productivity consultation programs to improve the performance of a company.

Keywords: Leadership, development, human resources, company, indicators, evaluation.

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27 Assisted Approach as a Tool for Increasing Attention When Using the iPad in a Special Elementary School: Action Research

Authors: Vojtěch Gybas, Libor Klubal, Kateřina Kostolányová

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Nowadays, mobile touch technologies, such as tablets, are an integral part of teaching and learning in many special elementary schools. Many special education teachers tend to choose an iPad tablet with iOS. The reason is simple; the iPad has a function for pupils with special educational needs. If we decide to use tablets in teaching, in general, first we should try to stimulate the cognitive abilities of the pupil at the highest level, while holding the pupil’s attention on the task, when working with the device. This paper will describe how student attention can be increased by eliminating the working environment of selected applications, while using iPads with pupils in a special elementary school. Assisted function approach is highly effective at eliminating unwanted touching by a pupil when working on the desktop iPad, thus actively increasing the pupil´s attention while working on specific educational applications. During the various stages of the action, the research was conducted via data collection and interpretation. After a phase of gaining results and ideas for practice and actions, we carried out the check measurement, this time using the tool-assisted approach. In both cases, the pupils worked in the Math Board application and the resulting differences were evident.

Keywords: Special elementary school, mobile touch device, iPad, attention, math board.

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26 Online Language Learning and Teaching Pedagogy: Constructivism and Beyond

Authors: Zeineb Deymi-Gheriani

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In the last two decades, one can clearly observe a boom of interest for e-learning and web-supported programs. However, one can also notice that many of these programs focus on the accumulation and delivery of content generally as a business industry with no much concern for theoretical underpinnings. The existing research, at least in online English language teaching (ELT), has demonstrated a lack of an effective online teaching pedagogy anchored in a well-defined theoretical framework. Hence, this paper comes as an attempt to present constructivism as one of the theoretical bases for the design of an effective online language teaching pedagogy which is at the same time technologically intelligent and theoretically informed to help envision how education can best take advantage of the information and communication technology (ICT) tools. The present paper discusses the key principles underlying constructivism, its implications for online language teaching design, as well as its limitations that should be avoided in the e-learning instructional design. Although the paper is theoretical in nature, essentially based on an extensive literature survey on constructivism, it does have practical illustrations from an action research conducted by the author both as an e-tutor of English using Moodle online educational platform at the Virtual University of Tunis (VUT) from 2007 up to 2010 and as a face-to-face (F2F) English teaching practitioner in the Professional Certificate of English Language Teaching Training (PCELT) at AMIDEAST, Tunisia (April-May, 2013).

Keywords: Active learning, constructivism, experiential learning, Piaget, Vygotsky.

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25 Domain Driven Design vs Soft Domain Driven Design Frameworks

Authors: Mohammed Salahat, Steve Wade

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This paper presents and compares the SSDDD “Systematic Soft Domain Driven Design Framework” to DDD “Domain Driven Design Framework” as a soft system approach of information systems development. The framework use SSM as a guiding methodology within which we have embedded a sequence of design tasks based on the UML leading to the implementation of a software system using the Naked Objects framework. This framework has been used in action research projects that have involved the investigation and modelling of business processes using object-oriented domain models and the implementation of software systems based on those domain models. Within this framework, Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) is used as a guiding methodology to explore the problem situation and to develop the domain model using UML for the given business domain. The framework is proposed and evaluated in our previous works, a comparison between SSDDD and DDD is presented in this paper, to show how SSDDD improved DDD as an approach to modelling and implementing business domain perspectives for Information Systems Development. The comparison process, the results, and the improvements are presented in the following sections of this paper.

Keywords: SSM, UML, domain-driven design, soft domain-driven design, naked objects, soft language, information retrieval, multimethodology.

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24 Development of EREC IF Model to Increase Critical Thinking and Creativity Skills of Undergraduate Nursing Students

Authors: Kamolrat Turner, Boontuan Wattanakul

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Critical thinking and creativity are prerequisite skills for working professionals in the 21st century. A survey conducted in 2014 at the Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Chon Buri, Thailand, revealed that these skills within students across all academic years was at a low to moderate level. An action research study was conducted to develop the EREC IF Model, a framework which includes the concepts of experience, reflection, engagement, culture and language, ICT, and flexibility and fun, to guide pedagogic activities for 75 sophomores of the undergraduate nursing science program at the college. The model was applied to all professional nursing courses. Prior to implementation, workshops were held to prepare lecturers and students. Both lecturers and students initially expressed their discomfort and pointed to the difficulties with the model. However, later they felt more comfortable, and by the end of the project they expressed their understanding and appreciation of the model. A survey conducted four and eight months after implementation found that the critical thinking and creativity skills of the sophomores were significantly higher than those recorded in the pretest. It could be concluded that the EREC IF model is efficient for fostering critical thinking and creativity skills in the undergraduate nursing science program. This model should be used for other levels of students.

Keywords: Critical thinking, creativity, undergraduate nursing students, EREC IF model.

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23 Encouraging the Development of Scientific Literacy in Early Childhood Institutions: Croatian Experience

Authors: L. Vujičić, Ž. Ivković, Ž. Boneta

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There is a widespread belief in everyday discourse that science subjects (physics, chemistry and biology) are, along with math, the most difficult school subjects in the education of an individual. This assumption is usually justified by the following facts: low GPA in these subjects, the number of pupils who fail these subjects is high in comparison to other subjects, and the number of pupils interested in continuing their studies in the fields with a focus on science subjects is lower compared to non-science-oriented fields. From that perspective, the project: “Could it be different? How do children explore it?” becomes extremely interesting because it is focused on young children and on the introduction of new methods, with aim of arousing interest in scientific literacy development in 10 kindergartens by applying the methodology of an action research, with an ethnographic approach. We define scientific literacy as a process of encouraging and nurturing the research and explorative spirit in children, as well as their natural potential and abilities that represent an object of scientific research: to learn about exploration by conducting exploration. Upon project completion, an evaluation questionnaire was created for the parents of the children who had participated in the project, as well as for those whose children had not been involved in the project. The purpose of the first questionnaire was to examine the level of satisfaction with the project implementation and its outcomes among those parents whose children had been involved in the project (N=142), while the aim of the second questionnaire was to find out how much the parents of the children not involved (N=154) in this activity were interested in this topic.

Keywords: Documenting, early childhood education, evaluation questionnaire for parents, scientific literacy development.

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22 Child Sexual Abuse Prevention: Evaluation of the Program “Sharing Mouth to Mouth: My Body, Nobody Can Touch It”

Authors: Faride Peña, Teresita Castillo, Concepción Campo

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Sexual violence, and particularly child sexual abuse, is a serious problem all over the world, México included. Given its importance, there are several preventive and care programs done by the government and the civil society all over the country but most of them are developed in urban areas even though these problems are especially serious in rural areas. Yucatán, a state in southern México, occupies one of the first places in child sexual abuse. Considering the above, the University Unit of Clinical Research and Victimological Attention (UNIVICT) of the Autonomous University of Yucatan, designed, implemented and is currently evaluating the program named “Sharing Mouth to Mouth: My Body, Nobody Can Touch It”, a program to prevent child sexual abuse in rural communities of Yucatán, México. Its aim was to develop skills for the detection of risk situations, providing protection strategies and mechanisms for prevention through culturally relevant psycho-educative strategies to increase personal resources in children, in collaboration with parents, teachers, police and municipal authorities. The diagnosis identified that a particularly vulnerable population were children between 4 and 10 years. The program run during 2015 in primary schools in the municipality whose inhabitants are mostly Mayan. The aim of this paper is to present its evaluation in terms of its effectiveness and efficiency. This evaluation included documental analysis of the work done in the field, psycho-educational and recreational activities with children, evaluation of knowledge by participating children and interviews with parents and teachers. The results show high efficiency in fulfilling the tasks and achieving primary objectives. The efficiency shows satisfactory results but also opportunity areas that can be resolved with minor adjustments to the program. The results also show the importance of including culturally relevant strategies and activities otherwise it minimizes possible achievements. Another highlight is the importance of participatory action research in preventive approaches to child sexual abuse since by becoming aware of the importance of the subject people participate more actively; in addition to design culturally appropriate strategies and measures so that the proposal may not be distant to the people. Discussion emphasizes the methodological implications of prevention programs (convenience of using participatory action research (PAR), importance of monitoring and mediation during implementation, developing detection skills tools in creative ways using psycho-educational interactive techniques and working assessment issued by the participants themselves). As well, it is important to consider the holistic character this type of program should have, in terms of incorporating social and culturally relevant characteristics, according to the community individuality and uniqueness, consider type of communication to be used and children’ language skills considering that there should be variations strongly linked to a specific cultural context.

Keywords: Child sexual abuse, evaluation, PAR, prevention.

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21 Identifying Teachers’ Perception of Integrity in School-Based Assessment Practice: A Case Study

Authors: Abd Aziz Bin Abd Shukor, Eftah Binti Moh Hj Abdullah

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This case study aims to identify teachers’ perception as regards integrity in School-Ba sed Assessment (PBS) practice. This descriptive study involved 9 teachers from 4 secondary schools in 3 districts in the state of Perak. The respondents had undergone an integrity in PBS Practice interview using a focused group discussion method. The overall findings showed that the teachers believed that integrity in PBS practice could be achieved by adjusting the teaching methods align with learning objectives and the students’ characteristics. Many teachers, parents and student did not understand the best practice of PBS. This would affect the integrity in PBS practice. Teachers did not emphasis the principles and ethics. Their integrity as an innovative public servant may also be affected with the frequently changing assessment system, lack of training and no prior action research. The analysis of findings showed that the teachers viewed that organizational integrity involving the integrity of PBS was difficult to be implemented based on the expectations determined by Malaysia Ministry of Education (KPM). A few elements which assisted in the achievement of PBS integrity were the training, students’ understanding, the parents’ understanding of PBS, environment (involving human resources such as support and appreciation and non-human resources such as technology infrastructure readiness and media). The implications of this study show that teachers, as the PBS implementers, have a strong influence on the integrity of PBS. However, the transformation of behavior involving PBS integrity among teachers requires the stabilisation of support and infrastructure in order to enable the teachers to implement PBS in an ethical manner.

Keywords: Assessment integrity, integrity, perception, school-based assessment.

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20 The Application of Action Research to Integrate the Innovation in Learning Experience in a Design Course

Authors: Walaa Mohammed Metwally

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This case study used the action research concept as a tool to integrate the innovation in a learning experience on a design course. The action research was investigated at Prince Sultan University, College of Engineering in the Interior Design and Architecture Department in January 2015, through the Higher Education Academy program. The action research was presented first with the definition of the research, leading to how it was used and how solutions were found. It concluded by showing that once the action research application in interior design and architecture were studied it was an effective tool to improve student’s learning, develop their practice in design courses, and it discussed the negative and positive issues that were encountered.

Keywords: Action research, innovation, intervention, learning experience, peer review.

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19 Business Domain Modelling Using an Integrated Framework

Authors: Mohammed Salahat, Steve Wade

Abstract:

This paper presents an application of a “Systematic Soft Domain Driven Design Framework” as a soft systems approach to domain-driven design of information systems development. The framework use SSM as a guiding methodology within which we have embedded a sequence of design tasks based on the UML leading to the implementation of a software system using the Naked Objects framework. This framework have been used in action research projects that have involved the investigation and modelling of business processes using object-oriented domain models and the implementation of software systems based on those domain models. Within this framework, Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) is used as a guiding methodology to explore the problem situation and to develop the domain model using UML for the given business domain. The framework is proposed and evaluated in our previous works, and a real case study “Information Retrieval System for academic research” is used, in this paper, to show further practice and evaluation of the framework in different business domain. We argue that there are advantages from combining and using techniques from different methodologies in this way for business domain modelling. The framework is overviewed and justified as multimethodology using Mingers multimethodology ideas.

Keywords: SSM, UML, domain-driven design, soft domaindriven design, naked objects, soft language, information retrieval, multimethodology.

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18 Transnational Higher Education: Developing a Transnational Student Success 'Signature' for Pre-Clinical Medical Students – An Action Research Project

Authors: W. Maddison

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This paper describes an Action Research project which was undertaken to inform professional practice in order to develop a newly created Centre for Student Success in the specific context of transnational medical and nursing education in the Middle East. The objectives were to enhance the academic performance, persistence, integration and personal and professional development of a multinational study body, in particular in relation to pre-clinical medical students, and to establish a comfortable, friendly and student-driven environment within an Irish medical university recently established in Bahrain. The outcomes of the project resulted in the development of a specific student success ‘signature’ for this particular transnational higher education context.

Keywords: Global-Local, pre-clinical medical students, student success, transnational higher education, Middle East.

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17 Validation of an Acuity Measurement Tool for Maternity Services

Authors: Cherryl Lowe

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Background - The TrendCare Patient Dependency System is currently used by a large number of maternity Services across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. In 2012, 2013 and 2014 validation studies were initiated in all three countries to validate the acuity tools used for women in labour, and postnatal mothers and babies. This paper will present the findings of the validation study. Aim - The aim of this study was to; identify if the care hours provided by the TrendCare acuity system was an accurate reflection of the care required by women and babies; obtain evidence of changes required to acuity indicators and/or category timings to ensure the TrendCare acuity system remains reliable and valid across a range of maternity care models in three countries. Method - A non-experimental action research methodology was used across maternity services in four District Health Boards in New Zealand, a large tertiary and a large secondary maternity service in Singapore and a large public maternity service in Australia. Standardised data collection forms and timing devices were used to collect midwife contact times, with women and babies included in the study. Rejection processes excluded samples when care was not completed/rationed, and contact timing forms were incomplete. The variances between actual timed midwife/mother/baby contact and the TrendCare acuity category times were identified and investigated. Results - Thirty two (88.9%) of the 36 TrendCare acuity category timings, fell within the variance tolerance levels when compared to the actual timings recorded for midwifery care. Four (11.1%) TrendCare categories provided less minutes of care than the actual timings and exceeded the variance tolerance level. These were all night shift category timings. Nine postnatal categories were not able to be compared as the sample size for these categories was statistically insignificant. 100% of labour ward TrendCare categories matched actual timings for midwifery care, all falling within the variance tolerance levels. The actual time provided by core midwifery staff to assist lead maternity carer (LMC) midwives in New Zealand labour wards showed a significant deviation to previous studies. The findings of the study demonstrated the need for additional time allocations in TrendCare to accommodate an increased level of assistance given to LMC midwives. Conclusion - The results demonstrated the importance of regularly validating the TrendCare category timings with actual timings of the care hours provided. It was evident from the findings that variances to models of care and length of stay in maternity units have increased midwifery workloads on the night shift. The level of assistance provided by the core labour ward staff to the LMC midwife has increased substantially. Outcomes - As a consequence of this study, changes were made to the night duty TrendCare maternity categories, additional acuity indicators were developed and times for assisting LMC midwives in labour ward increased. The updated TrendCare version was delivered to maternity services in 2014.

Keywords: Maternity, acuity, midwifery research, midwifery workloads.

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16 Innovation to Protect the Smoke and Odor Pollutions in Benjarong Ceramic Production

Authors: Chonmapat Torasa, Witthaya Mekhum

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The improvement of a filer case utilized to purify the let-out smoke and smell in the production of Benjarong Ceramic is studied through Participatory Action Research (PAR). This research is aimed to protect smell, dirty smoke, and air pollution which are effects of incomplete combustion in the production of Benjarong ceramic. This research was conducted at Jongjint Benjarong Ceramic Factory in Plai Bang, Bang Kruai, Nonthaburi Province,Thailand, also 12 employees were interviewed for data collection. All collected data were analyzed to develop and create solution to protect smoke and smell pollution from Benjarong ceramic production. The results revealed that the employees who have used the developed filer cases are moderately satisfied. In addition to the efficiency of developed smoke-and-smell filer cases, it was found that Overall, the respondents were satisfied moderately with efficiency of modified smoke and smell filter cases.

Keywords: Benjarong Ceramic, Community Economy, OTOP Production, Production.

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15 A Development of English Pronunciation Using Principles of Phonetics for English Major Students at Loei Rajabhat University

Authors: Pongthep Bunrueng

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This action research accentuates the outcome of a development in English pronunciation, using principles of phonetics for English major students at Loei Rajabhat University. The research is split into 5 separate modules: 1) Organs of Speech and How to Produce Sounds, 2) Monopthongs, 3) Diphthongs, 4) Consonant sounds, and 5) Suprasegmental Features. Each module followed a 4 step action research process, 1) Planning, 2) Acting, 3) Observing, and 4) Reflecting. The research targeted 2nd year students who were majoring in English Education at Loei Rajabhat University during the academic year of 2011. A mixed methodology employing both quantitative and qualitative research was used, which put theory into action, taking segmental features up to suprasegmental features. Multiple tools were employed which included the following documents: pre-test and post-test papers, evaluation and assessment papers, group work assessment forms, a presentation grading form, an observation of participants form and a participant self-reflection form.

All 5 modules for the target group showed that results from the post-tests were higher than those of the pre-tests, with 0.01 statistical significance. All target groups attained results ranging from low to moderate and from moderate to high performance. The participants who attained low to moderate results had to re-sit the second round. During the first development stage, participants attended classes with group participation, in which they addressed planning through mutual co-operation and sharing of responsibility. Analytic induction of strong points for this operation illustrated that learner cognition, comprehension, application, and group practices were all present whereas the participants with weak results could be attributed to biological differences, differences in life and learning, or individual differences in responsiveness and self-discipline.

Participants who were required to be re-treated in Spiral 2 received the same treatment again. Results of tests from the 5 modules after the 2nd treatment were that the participants attained higher scores than those attained in the pre-test. Their assessment and development stages also showed improved results. They showed greater confidence at participating in activities, produced higher quality work, and correctly followed instructions for each activity. Analytic induction of strong and weak points for this operation remains the same as for Spiral 1, though there were improvements to problems which existed prior to undertaking the second treatment.

Keywords: Action research, English pronunciation, phonetics, segmental features, suprasegmental features.

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14 Flexible Development and Calculation of Contract Logistics Services

Authors: T. Spiegel, J. Siegmann, C. F. Durach

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Challenges resulting from an international and dynamic business environment are increasingly being passed on from manufacturing companies to external service providers. Especially providers of complex, customer-specific industry services have to cope with continuously changing requirements. This is particularly true for contract logistics service providers. They are forced to develop efficient and highly flexible structures and strategies to meet their customer’s needs. One core element they have to focus on is the reorganization of their service development and sales process. Based on an action research approach, this study develops and tests a concept to streamline tender management for contract logistics service providers. The concept of modularized service architecture is deployed in order to derive a practice-oriented approach for the modularization of complex service portfolios and the design of customized quotes. These findings are evaluated regarding their applicability in other service sectors and practical recommendations are given.

Keywords: Contract Logistics, Modularization, Service Development, Tender Management.

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13 PRO-Teaching – Sharing Ideas to Develop Capabilities

Authors: Steve J. Drew, Christopher J. Klopper

Abstract:

In this paper, the action research driven design of a context relevant, developmental peer review of teaching model, its implementation strategy and its impact at an Australian university is presented. PRO-Teaching realizes an innovative process that triangulates contemporaneous teaching quality data from a range of stakeholders including students, discipline academics, learning and teaching expert academics, and teacher reflection to create reliable evidence of teaching quality. Data collected over multiple classroom observations allows objective reporting on development differentials in constructive alignment, peer, and student evaluations. Further innovation is realized in the application of this highly structured developmental process to provide summative evidence of sufficient validity to support claims for professional advancement and learning and teaching awards. Design decision points and contextual triggers are described within the operating domain. Academics and developers seeking to introduce structured peer review of teaching into their organization will find this paper a useful reference.

Keywords: Development loop, Multiple data sources, Objective reporting, Peer review of teaching.

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12 Developing Student Teachers to Be Professional Teachers

Authors: Suttipong Boonphadung

Abstract:

Practicum placements are an critical factor for student teachers on Education Programs. How can student teachers become professionals? This study was to investigate problems, weakness and obstacles of practicum placements and develop guidelines for partnership in the practicum placements. In response to this issue, a partnership concept was implemented for developing student teachers into professionals. Data were collected through questionnaires on attitude toward problems, weaknesses, and obstacles of practicum placements of student teachers in Rajabhat universities and included focus group interviews. The research revealed that learning management, classroom management, curriculum, assessment and evaluation, classroom action research, and teacher demeanor are the important factors affecting the professional development of Education Program student teachers. Learning management plan and classroom management concerning instructional design, teaching technique, instructional media, and student behavior management are another important aspects influencing the professional development for student teachers.

Keywords: Developing student teacher, Partnership concepts, Professional teachers.

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11 Increasing Value Added of Recycling Business Management: A Case of Thailand

Authors: Yananda Siraphatthada

Abstract:

This policy participation action research explores the roles of Thai government units during its 2010 fiscal year on how to create value added to recycling business in the central part of Thailand. The research aims to a) study how the government plays a role to support the business, and its problems and obstacles on supporting the business, b) to design a strategic action – short, medium, and long term plans -- to create value added to the recycling business, particularly in local full-loop companies/organizations licensed by Wongpanit Waste Separation Plant as well as those licensed by the Department of Provincial Administration. Mixed method research design, i.e., a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods is utilized in the present study in both data collection and analysis procedures. Quantitative data was analyzed by frequency, percent value, mean scores, and standard deviation, and aimed to note trend and generalizations. Qualitative data was collected via semi-structured interviews/focus group interviews to explore in-depth views of the operators. The sampling included 1,079 operators in eight provinces in the central part of Thailand.

Keywords: Management, Recycling Business, Value Added.

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10 Building a Service-Centric Business Model in SMEs in the Business-to-Business Context

Authors: Päivi J. Tossavainen , Leena Alakoski, Katri Ojasalo

Abstract:

Building a service-centric business model requires new knowledge and capabilities in companies. This paper enlightens the challenges small and medium sized firms (SMEs) face when developing their service-centric business models. This paper examines the premise for knowledge transfer and capability development required. The objective of this paper is to increase knowledge about SME-s transformation to service-centric business models.This paper reports an action research based case study. The paper provides empirical evidence from three case companies. The empirical data was collected through multiple methods. The findings of the paper are: First, the developed model to analyze the current state in companies. Second, the process of building the service – centric business models. Third, the selection of suitable service development methods. The lack of a holistic understanding on service logic suggests that SMEs need practical and easy to use methods to improve their business

Keywords: service-centric business model, service development, action research, case study

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9 The use of ICT for Learning Guidance for Junior High School in Indonesia

Authors: Tri Prasetyaningrum, Suyoto

Abstract:

In this paper, we will be present Guidance and Councelling (GC) class action research. The research was done because a fact that some students are still learning ways such as in elementary school. The research objective is to enhance the value of “academic performance report" grade by using ICT as GC Learning Guidance services. The research method was carried out with two cycles. First cycle is applying Learning Guidance services indirectly and not programmed. Second cycle into two implementing Learning Guidance services indirectly, programmed and using ICTs primarily mobile phones and computer media applications i.e. “m-NingBK©: Learning Guidance" and “screen saver: Learning Guidance". A research subject is a class VII student who has the lowest value of “academic performance report". The result is by using an indirect GC services with ICT there were significant changes.

Keywords: ICT, Learning Guidance, action research and Guidance and Councelling

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8 Using Critical Systems Thinking to Improve Student Performance in Networking

Authors: Albertus G. Joubert, Roelien Goede

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This paper explores how Critical Systems Thinking and Action Research can be used to improve student performance in Networking. When describing a system from a systems thinking perspective, the following aspects can be identified: the total system performance, the systems environment, the resources, the components and the management of the system. Following the history of system thinking we observe three emerged methodologies namely, hard systems, soft systems, and critical systems. This paper uses Critical Systems Thinking (CST) which describes systems in terms of contradictions and conflict. It demonstrates how CST can be used in an Action Research (AR) project to improve the performance of students. Intervention in terms of student assessment is discussed and the impact of the intervention is discussed.

Keywords: Action research, computer networks, critical systems thinking, higher education.

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7 A Critical Social Research Perspective on Self-Directed Learning and Information Technology Practitioners

Authors: Roelien Goede

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Information systems practitioners are frequently required to master new technology, often without the aid of formal training. They require the skill to manage their own learning and, when this skill is developed in their formal training, their adaptability to new technology may be improved. Self- directed learning is the ability of the learner to manage his or her own learning experience with some guidance from a facilitator. Self-directed learning skills are best improved when practiced. This paper reflects on a critical social research project to improve the self-directed learning skills of fourth year Information Systems students. Critical social research differs from other research paradigms in that the researcher is viewed as the agent of change to achieve the desired outcome in the problem situation.

Keywords: Action Research, Critical Social Research, Information Systems Education, Self-directed Learning.

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6 Innovative Teaching in Systems Analysis and Design - an Action Research Project

Authors: Imelda Smit

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Systems Analysis and Design is a key subject in Information Technology courses, but students do not find it easy to cope with, since it is not “precise" like programming and not exact like Mathematics. It is a subject working with many concepts, modeling ideas into visual representations and then translating the pictures into a real life system. To complicate matters users who are not necessarily familiar with computers need to give their inputs to ensure that they get the system the need. Systems Analysis and Design also covers two fields, namely Analysis, focusing on the analysis of the existing system and Design, focusing on the design of the new system. To be able to test the analysis and design of a system, it is necessary to develop a system or at least a prototype of the system to test the validity of the analysis and design. The skills necessary in each aspect differs vastly. Project Management Skills, Database Knowledge and Object Oriented Principles are all necessary. In the context of a developing country where students enter tertiary education underprepared and the digital divide is alive and well, students need to be motivated to learn the necessary skills, get an opportunity to test it in a “live" but protected environment – within the framework of a university. The purpose of this article is to improve the learning experience in Systems Analysis and Design through reviewing the underlying teaching principles used, the teaching tools implemented, the observations made and the reflections that will influence future developments in Systems Analysis and Design. Action research principles allows the focus to be on a few problematic aspects during a particular semester.

Keywords: Action Research, Project Development, Systems Analysis and Design, Technology in Teaching.

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5 User Experience Evolution Lifecycle Framework

Authors: Maissom Qanber Abbasi, Philip Lew, Irfan Rafique, Zhang Li

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Perceptions of quality from both designers and users perspective have now stretched beyond the traditional usability, incorporating abstract and subjective concepts. This has led to a shift in human computer interaction research communities- focus; a shift that focuses on achieving user experience (UX) by not only fulfilling conventional usability needs but also those that go beyond them. The term UX, although widely spread and given significant importance, lacks consensus in its unified definition. In this paper, we survey various UX definitions and modeling frameworks and examine them as the foundation for proposing a UX evolution lifecycle framework for understanding UX in detail. In the proposed framework we identify the building blocks of UX and discuss how UX evolves in various phases. The framework can be used as a tool to understand experience requirements and evaluate them, resulting in better UX design and hence improved user satisfaction.

Keywords: Usability, user experience lifecycle, user satisfaction

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