Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 25

Search results for: Postgraduate

25 Hospitality Program Postgraduate Theses: What Hinders Their Accomplishment?

Authors: Mohd Salehuddin Mohd Zahari, Hamizad Abdul Hadi, Nik Mohd Shahril Nik Mohd Nor, Syuhirdy Mat Noor

Abstract:

Postgraduate education is generally aimed at providing in-depth knowledge and understanding that include general philosophy in the world sciences, management, technologies, applications and other elements closely related to specific areas. In most universities, besides core and non-core subjects, a thesis is one of the requirements for the postgraduate student to accomplish before graduating. This paper reports on the empirical investigation into attributes that are associated with the obstacles to thesis accomplishment among postgraduate students. Using the quantitative approach the experiences of postgraduate students were tapped. Findings clearly revealed that information seeking, writing skills and other factors which refer to supervisor and time management, in particular, are recognized as contributory factors which positively or negatively influence postgraduates’ thesis accomplishment. Among these, writing skills dimensions were found to be the most difficult process in thesis accomplishment compared to information seeking and other factors. This pessimistic indication has provided some implications not only for the students but supervisors and institutions as a whole.

Keywords: Hospitality, Program, Postgraduate, thesis.

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24 Ontology-based Query System for UNITEN Postgraduate Students

Authors: Zaihisma C. Cob, Alicia Y.C. Tang, Sharifah J. Syed Aziz

Abstract:

This paper proposes a new model to support user queries on postgraduate research information at Universiti Tenaga Nasional. The ontology to be developed will contribute towards shareable and reusable domain knowledge that makes knowledge assets intelligently accessible to both people and software. This work adapts a methodology for ontology development based on the framework proposed by Uschold and King. The concepts and relations in this domain are represented in a class diagram using the Protégé software. The ontology will be used to support a menudriven query system for assisting students in searching for information related to postgraduate research at the university.

Keywords: Ontology, Protégé, postgraduate program, query system.

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

Authors: José Carlos Rodríguez, Mario Gómez, Medardo Serna

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

Keywords: Higher education institutions, complex adaptive systems, system dynamics, Mexico.

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22 Design of a Statistics Lecture for Multidisciplinary Postgraduate Students Using a Range of Tools and Techniques

Authors: S. Assi, M. Haffar

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Teaching statistics is a critical and challenging issue especially to students from multidisciplinary and diverse postgraduate backgrounds. Postgraduate research students require statistics not only for the design of experiments; but also for data analysis. Students often perceive statistics as a complex and technical subject; thus, they leave data analysis to the last moment. The lecture needs to be simple and inclusive at the same time to make it comprehendible and address the learning needs of each student. Therefore, the aim of this work was to design a simple and comprehendible statistics lecture to postgraduate research students regarding ‘Research plan, design and data collection’. The lecture adopted the constructive alignment learning theory which facilitated the learning environments for the students. The learning environment utilized a student-centered approach and used interactive learning environment with in-class discussion, handouts and electronic voting system handsets. For evaluation of the lecture, formative assessment was made with in-class discussions and poll questions which were introduced during and after the lecture. The whole approach showed to be effective in creating a learning environment to the students who were able to apply the concepts addressed to their individual research projects.

Keywords: Teaching, statistics, lecture, multidisciplinary, postgraduate, learning theory, learning environment, student-centered approach, data analysis.

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21 Online Metacognitive Reading Strategies Use by Postgraduate Libyan EFL Students

Authors: Najwa Alsayed Omar

Abstract:

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

Keywords: Metacognitive strategies, Online reading, Online reading strategies, Postgraduate students.

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20 Intention to Use Digital Library based on Modified UTAUT Model: Perspectives of Malaysian Postgraduate Students

Authors: Abd Latif Abdul Rahman, Adnan Jamaludin, Zamalia Mahmud

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Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model has demonstrated the influencing factors for generic information systems use such as tablet personal computer (TPC) and mobile communication. However, in the context of digital library system, there has been very little effort to determine factors affecting the intention to use digital library based on the UTAUT model. This paper investigates factors that are expected to influence the intention of postgraduate students to use digital library based on modified UTAUT model. The modified model comprises of constructs represented by several latent variables, namely performance expectancy (PE), effort expectancy (EE), information quality (IQ) and service quality (SQ) and moderated by age, gender and experience in using digital library. Results show that performance expectancy, effort expectancy and information quality are positively related to the intention to use digital library, while service quality is negatively related to the intention to use digital library. Age and gender have shown no evidence of any significant interactions, while experience in using digital library significantly interacts with effort expectancy and intention to use digital library. This has provided the evidence of a moderating effect of experience in the intention to use digital library. It is expected that this research will shed new lights into research of acceptance and intention to use the library in a digital environment.

Keywords: Intention to use digital library, UTAUT model, performance expectancy, effort expectancy, information quality, service quality.

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19 Life Satisfaction of Non-Luxembourgish and Native Luxembourgish Postgraduate Students

Authors: Chrysoula Karathanasi, Senad Karavdic, Angela Odero, Michèle Baumann

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It is not only the economic determinants that impact on life conditions, but maintaining a good level of life satisfaction (LS) may also be an important challenge currently. In Luxembourg, university students receive financial aid from the government. They are then registered at the Centre for Documentation and Information on Higher Education (CEDIES). Luxembourg is built on migration with almost half its population consisting of foreigners. It is upon this basis that our research aims to analyze the associations with mental health factors (health satisfaction, psychological quality of life, worry), perceived financial situation, career attitudes (adaptability, optimism, knowledge, planning) and LS, for non-Luxembourgish and native postgraduate students. Between 2012 and 2013, postgraduates registered at CEDIES were contacted by post and asked to participate in an online survey with either the option of English or French. The study population comprised of 644 respondents. Our statistical analysis excluded: those born abroad who had Luxembourgish citizenship, or those born in Luxembourg who did not have citizenship. Two groups were formed one consisting 147 non-Luxembourgish and the other 284 natives. A single item measured LS (1=not at all satisfied to 10=very satisfied). Bivariate tests, correlations and multiple linear regression models were used in which only significant relationships (p<0.05) were integrated. Among the two groups no differences were found between LS indicators (7.8/10 non-Luxembourgish; 8.0/10 natives) as both were higher than the European indicator of 7.2/10 (for 25-34 years). In the case of non-Luxembourgish students, they were older than natives (29.3 years vs. 26.3 years) perceived their financial situation as more difficult, and a higher percentage of their parents had an education level higher than a Bachelor's degree (father 59.2% vs 44.6% for natives; mother 51.4% vs 33.7% for natives). In addition, the father’s education was related to the LS of postgraduates and the higher was the score, the greater was the contribution to LS. Whereas for native students, when their scores of health satisfaction and career optimism were higher, their LS’ score was higher. For both groups their LS was linked to mental health-related factors, perception of their financial situation, career optimism, adaptability and planning. The higher the psychological quality of life score was, the greater the LS of postgraduates’ was. Good health and positive attitudes related to the job market enhanced their LS indicator.

Keywords: Career attitudes, fathers’ education level, life satisfaction, mental health.

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18 Using Services Oriented Architecture to Improve Efficient Web-Services for Postgraduate Students

Authors: Ehab N. Alkhanak, Salimah Mokhtar

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The main aim of this paper is to present the research findings on the solution of centralized Web-Services for students by adopting a framework and a prototype for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Web-Services. The current situation of students- Web-based application services has been identified and proposed an effective SOA to increase the operational efficiency of Web-Services for them it was necessary to identify the challenges in delivering a SOA technology to increase operational efficiency of Web-Services. Moreover, the SOA is an emerging concept, used for delivering efficient student SOA Web-Services. Therefore, service reusability from SOA Web-Services is provided and logically divided services into smaller services to increase reusability and modularity. In this case each service is a modular unit by itself and interoperability services.

Keywords: Services Oriented Architecture (SOA), Web-based Application services, and Web-Services.

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17 Simulation Games in Business Process Management Education

Authors: Vesna Bosilj Vuksic, Mirjana Pejic Bach

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Business process management (BPM) has become widely accepted within business community as a means for improving business performance. However, it is of the highest importance to incorporate BPM as part of the curriculum at the university level education in order to achieve the appropriate acceptance of the method. Goal of the paper is to determine the current state of education in business process management (BPM) at the Croatian universities and abroad. It investigates the applied forms of instruction and teaching methods and gives several proposals for BPM courses improvement. Since majority of undergraduate and postgraduate students have limited understanding of business processes and lack of any practical experience, there is a need for introducing new teaching approaches. Therefore, we offer some suggestions for further improvement, among which the introduction of simulation games environment in BPM education is strongly recommended.

Keywords: business process management, simulation games, education

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16 Affirming Students’ Attention and Perceptions on Prezi Presentation via Eye Tracking System

Authors: Mona Masood, Norshazlina Shaik Othman

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The purpose of this study was to investigate graduate students’ visual attention and perceptions of a Prezi presentation. Ten postgraduate master students were presented with a Prezi presentation at the Centre for Instructional Technology and Multimedia, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). The eye movement indicators such as dwell time, average fixation on the areas of interests, heat maps and focus maps were abstracted to indicate the students’ visual attention. Descriptive statistics was employed to analyze the students’ perception of the Prezi presentation in terms of text, slide design, images, layout and overall presentation. The result revealed that the students paid more attention to the text followed by the images and sub heading presented through the Prezi presentation.

Keywords: Eye tracking, Prezi, visual attention, visual perception.

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15 An Overview of the Advice Process and the Scientific Production of the Adviser-Advised Relationship in the Areas of Engineering

Authors: Tales H. J. Moreira, Thiago M. R. Dias, Gray F. Moita

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The adviser-advised relationship, in addition to the evident propagation of knowledge, can provide an increase in the scientific production of the advisors. Specifically, in post-graduate programs, in which the advised submit diverse papers in different means of publication, these end up boosting the production of their advisor, since in general the advisors appear as co-authors, responsible for instructing and assisting in the development of the work. Therefore, to visualize the orientation process and the scientific production resulting from this relation is another important way of analyzing the scientific collaboration in the different areas of knowledge. In this work, are used the data of orientations and postgraduate supervisions from the Lattes curricula, from the main advisors who work in the Engineering area, to obtain an overview of the process of orientation of this group, and even, to produce Academic genealogical trees, where it is possible to verify how knowledge has spread in the diverse areas of engineering.

Keywords: Academic genealogy, advice, engineering, lattes platform.

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14 Graphical Password Security Evaluation by Fuzzy AHP

Authors: Arash Habibi Lashkari, Azizah Abdul Manaf, Maslin Masrom

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In today's day and age, one of the important topics in information security is authentication. There are several alternatives to text-based authentication of which includes Graphical Password (GP) or Graphical User Authentication (GUA). These methods stems from the fact that humans recognized and remembers images better than alphanumerical text characters. This paper will focus on the security aspect of GP algorithms and what most researchers have been working on trying to define these security features and attributes. The goal of this study is to develop a fuzzy decision model that allows automatic selection of available GP algorithms by taking into considerations the subjective judgments of the decision makers who are more than 50 postgraduate students of computer science. The approach that is being proposed is based on the Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) which determines the criteria weight as a linear formula.

Keywords: Graphical Password, Authentication Security, Attack Patterns, Brute force attack, Dictionary attack, Guessing Attack, Spyware attack, Shoulder surfing attack, Social engineering Attack, Password Entropy, Password Space.

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13 Policies that Enhance Learning and Teaching

Authors: Shannon M. Chance, Pamela L. Eddy, Gavin Duffy, Brian Bowe, Jen Harvey

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Educational institutions often implement policies with the intention of influencing how learning and teaching occur. Generally, such policies are not as effective as their makers would like; changing the behavior of third-level teachers proves difficult. Nevertheless, a policy instituted in 2006 at the Dublin Institute of Technology has met with success: each newly hired faculty member must have a post-graduate qualification in “Learning and Teaching" or successfully complete one within the first two years of employment. The intention is to build teachers- knowledge about student-centered pedagogies and their capacity to implement them. As a result of this policy (and associated programs that support it), positive outcomes are readily apparent. Individual teachers who have completed the programs have implemented significant change at the course and program levels. This paper introduces the policy, identifies outcomes in relation to existing theory, describes research underway, and pinpoints areas where organizational learning has occurred.

Keywords: Faculty Development, Institutional Policy, Learning and Teaching, Postgraduate Qualification, Professional Development.

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12 The Integration of Environmental Educational Outcomes within Higher Education to Nurture Environmental Consciousness amongst Engineering Undergraduates

Authors: Sivapalan, S., Subramaniam, G., Clifford, M.J., Balbir Singh, M.S., Abdullah, A

Abstract:

Higher education has an important role to play in advocating environmentalism. Given this responsibility, the goal of higher education should therefore be to develop graduates with the knowledge, skills and values related to environmentalism. However, research indicates that there is a lack of consciousness amongst graduates on the need to be more environmentally aware, especially when it comes to applying the appropriate knowledge and skills related to environmentalism. Although institutions of higher learning do include environmental parameters within their undergraduate and postgraduate academic programme structures, the environmental boundaries are usually confined to specific engineering majors within an engineering programme. This makes environmental knowledge, skills and values exclusive to certain quarters of the higher education system. The incorporation of environmental literacy within higher education institutions as a whole is of utmost pertinence if a nation-s human capital is to be nurtured to become change agents for the preservation of environment. This paper discusses approaches that can be adapted by institutions of higher learning to include environmental literacy within the graduate-s higher learning experience.

Keywords: Higher education, engineering education, environmental literacy, Malaysia.

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11 Board Members' Financial Education and Firms' Performance: Empirical Evidence for Bucharest Stock Exchange Companies

Authors: Mădălina Maria Gîrbină, Cătălin Nicolae Albu, Nadia Albu

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After the accounting scandals and the financial crisis, regulators have stressed the need for more financial experts on boards. Several studies conducted in countries with developed capital markets report positive effects of board financial competencies. As each country offers a different context and specific institutional factors this paper addresses the subject in the context of Romania. The Romanian capital market offers an interesting research field because of the heterogeneity of listed firms. After analyzing board members education based on public information posted on listed companies websites and their annual reports we found a positive association between the proportion of board members holding a postgraduate degree in financial fields and market based performance measured by Tobin q. We found also that the proportion of Board members holding degrees in financial fields is higher in bigger firms and firms with more concentrated ownership.

Keywords: financial education, corporate governance, board

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10 An Evaluation of Tourism Education in Nigeria’s Higher Institutions

Authors: Eldah Ephraim Buba

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This paper evaluated the quality of tourism education in Nigeria higher education. The problem of poor quality of tourism education in Nigeria’s higher institutions prompted the study. Archival research was used with evaluation reports as secondary data, twenty evaluation reports for different polytechnics from the National board for technical education (NBTE) from 1995-2012 were assessed. The evidence from the documents shows that the quality of teaching and evaluation is fair. The programmes resources are fairly good, and most of the teachers do not have a postgraduate qualification in tourism related courses. It is therefore recommended that the institutions running tourism programmes in Nigeria need to introduce self -assessment of programmes and not rely on the NBTE accreditation which comes up in three years. Also there is need for a staff development policy that will encourage Tourism educators to further their education; The Tertiary Educational Trust Fund (TETFUND) should focus on developing staff of tourism education because it is an area of study in Nigeria that lacks qualified personnel. With the way higher institution in Nigeria are finding interest in tourism programmes, having good quality programmes will not only produce better professionals but it will help in offering better services in the industry and maximizing the impacts of the business.

Keywords: Education, evaluation tourism, quality.

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9 Evaluation of Curriculum Quality of Postgraduate Studies of Actuarial Science Field at Public Universities of Iran

Authors: F. Havas Beigi, M. Vafaee Yeganeh, E. Mohammadi

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Evaluation and survey of curriculum quality as one of the most important components of universities system is necessary for different levels in higher education. The main purpose of this study was to survey of the curriculum quality of Actuarial science field. Case: University of SHahid Beheshti and Higher education institute of Eco insurance (according to viewpoint of students, alumni, employers and faculty members). Descriptive statistics (mean, tables, percentage, and frequency distribution) and inferential statistics (CHI SQUARE) were used to analyze the data. Six criteria considered for the Quality of curriculum: objectives, content, teaching and learning methods, space and facilities, Time, assessment of learning. Content, teaching and learning methods, space and facilities, assessment of learning criteria were relatively desirable level, objectives and time criterions were desirable level. The quality of curriculum of Actuarial Science field was relatively desirable level.

Keywords: Quality, curriculum, Actuarial science, higher education

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8 Students’ Perception and Patterns of Listening Behavior in an Online Forum Discussion

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

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Online forum is part of a Learning Management System (LMS) environment in which students share their opinions. This study attempts to investigate the perceptions of students towards online forum and their patterns of listening behavior during the forum interaction. The students’ perceptions were measured using a questionnaire, in which seven dimensions were used involving online experience, benefits of forum participation, cost of participation, perceived ease of use, usefulness, attitude, and intention. Meanwhile, their patterns of listening behaviors were obtained using the log file extracted from the LMS. A total of 25 postgraduate students undertaking a course were involved in this study, and their activities in the forum session were recorded by the LMS and used as a log file. The results from the questionnaire analysis indicated that the students perceived that the forum is easy to use, useful, and bring benefits to them. Also, they showed positive attitude towards online forum, and they have the intention to use it in future. Based on the log data, the participants were also divided into six clusters of listening behavior, in which they are different in terms of temporality, breadth, depth and speaking level. The findings were compared to previous clusters grouping and future recommendations are also discussed.

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

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7 Motivation Factors in Distance Education

Authors: Sheila R. Bonito

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This study describes the relationship between motivation factors and academic performance among distance education students enrolled in a postgraduate nursing course. Students (n=96) participated in a survey that assesses student's motivational orientations from a cognitive perspective using a selfadministered questionnaire based on Pintrich-s Motivation Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MLSQ). Results showed students- motivational factors are highest on task value (6.44, 0.71); followed by intrinsic goal orientation (6.20, 0.76), control beliefs (6.02, 0.89); extrinsic goal orientation (5.85, 1.13); self-efficacy for learning and performance (5.62, 0.84), and finally, test anxiety (4.21, 1.37). Weak positive correlations were found between academic performance and intrinsic goal orientation (r=0.13), extrinsic goal orientation (r=0.04), task value (r=0.09), control beliefs (r=0.02), and self-efficacy (r=0.05), while there was weak negative correlation with test anxiety (r=-0.04). Conclusions from the study indicate the need to focus on improving tasks and targeting intrinsic goal orientations of students to courses since these were positively correlated with academic performance and downplay the use of tests since these were negatively correlated with academic performance.

Keywords: Motivation factors, academic performance, distance education

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6 Survey of Curriculum Quality of Postgraduate Studies of Insurance Management Field Case: University of Allameh Taba Tabaee

Authors: F. Havas Beigi, E. Mohammadi, M.Vafaee Yeganeh

Abstract:

Curriculum is one of the most important inputs in higher education system and for knowing the strong and weak spots of it we need evaluation. The main purpose of this study was to survey of the curriculum quality of Insurance Management field. Case: University of Allameh Taba Tabaee(according to view point of students,alumni,employer and faculty members).Descriptive statistics (mean, tables, percentages, frequency distribution) and inferential statistics (CHI SQUARE) were used to analyze the data. Six criterions considered for the Quality of curriculum: objectives, content, teaching and learning methods, space and facilities, Time, assessment of learning. objectives, teaching and learning methods criterions was desirable level, content criteria was undesirable level, space and facilities, time and assessment of learning were rather desirable level. The quality of curriculum of insurance management field was relatively desirable level.

Keywords: Quality, curriculum, insurance management, higher education.

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5 The Influence of Congruence between Incentive System and Locus of Control on Team Performance: An Experiment

Authors: Siti Mutmainah, Slamet Sugiri

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Organizations are increasingly relying upon teamwork; however, little is known about the best fit among incentive system, team composition, and group performance. To further explore this issue this study examines whether the congruence between incentive system and locus of control (LoC) affects team performance. To reconcile opposite lines of argument in literature regarding the best incentive system for a team, this paper uses the social identity perspective and person-environment (P-E) fit theory to understand behavior in a group process. A laboratory experiment with postgraduate students is conducted to test the hypotheses. One hundred and five accounting students were assigned to three-person work groups, where they completed an independent task under one of two types of incentive—individual and group incentive systems—after their LoC was measured. The findings confirm the hypothesis. Group incentive results in an enhanced team performance. Team performance is better when there is congruence between incentive system and LoC. Group incentive system combined with external LoC results in the best performance, while individual incentive system results in a better team performance when combined with internal LoC. The result suggests that a cooperative process enables ‘ordinary people’ to obtain extraordinary results.

Keywords: Incentive system, locus of control, person-environment fit, social identity perspective, team performance.

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4 The Motivating and Limiting Factors of Learners’ Engagement in an Online Discussion Forum

Authors: K. Durairaj, I. N. Umar

Abstract:

Lately, asynchronous discussion forum is integrated in higher educational institutions as it may increase learning process, learners’ understanding, achievement and knowledge construction. The asynchronous discussion forum is used to complement the traditional, face-to-face learning session in hybrid learning courses. However, studies have proven that students’ engagement in online forums is still unconvincing. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate the motivating factors and obstacles that affect the learners’ engagement in asynchronous discussion forum. This study is carried out in one of the public higher educational institutions in Malaysia with 18 postgraduate students as samples. The authors have developed a 40-items questionnaire based on literature review. The results indicate several factors that have encouraged or limited students’ engagement in asynchronous discussion forum: (a) the practices or behaviors of peers, or instructors, (b) the needs for the discussions, (c) the learners’ personalities, (d) constraints in continuing the discussion forum, (e) lack of ideas, (f) the level of thoughts, (g) the level of knowledge construction, (h) technical problems, (i) time constraints and (j) misunderstanding. This study suggests some recommendations to increase the students’ engagement in online forums. Finally, based upon the findings, some implications are proposed for further research.

Keywords: Asynchronous Discussion Forum, Engagement, Factors, Motivating, Limiting.

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3 Students’ Level of Participation, Critical Thinking, Types of Action and Influencing Factors in Online Forum Environment

Authors: N. I. Bazid, I. N. Umar

Abstract:

Due to the advancement of Internet technology, online learning is widely used in higher education institutions. Online learning offers several means of communication, including online forum. Through online forum, students and instructors are able to discuss and share their knowledge and expertise without having a need to attend the face-to-face, ordinary classroom session. The purposes of this study are to analyze the students’ levels of participation and critical thinking, types of action and factors influencing their participation in online forum. A total of 41 postgraduate students undertaking a course in educational technology from a public university in Malaysia were involved in this study. In this course, the students participated in a weekly online forum as part of the course requirement. Based on the log data file extracted from the online forum, the students’ type of actions (view, add, update, delete posts) and their levels of participation (passive, moderate or active) were identified. In addition, the messages posted in the forum were analyzed to gauge their level of critical thinking. Meanwhile, the factors that might influence their online forum participation were measured using a 24-items questionnaire. Based on the log data, a total of 105 posts were sent by the participants. In addition, the findings show that (i) majority of the students are moderate participants, with an average of two to three posts per person, (ii) viewing posts are the most frequent type of action (85.1%), and followed by adding post (9.7%). Furthermore, based on the posts they made, the most frequent type of critical thinking observed was justification (50 input or 19.0%), followed by linking ideas and interpretation (47 input or 18%), and novelty (38 input or 14.4%). The findings indicate that online forum allows for social interaction and can be used to measure the students’ critical thinking skills. In order to achieve this, monitoring students’ activities in the online forum is recommended.

Keywords: Critical thinking, learning management system, level of online participation, online forum.

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2 Enhancing Learning for Research Higher Degree Students

Authors: Jenny Hall, Alison Jaquet

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Universities’ push toward the production of high quality research is not limited to academic staff and experienced researchers. In this environment of research rich agendas, Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are increasingly expected to engage in the publishing of good quality papers in high impact journals. IFN001: Advanced Information Research Skills (AIRS) is a credit bearing mandatory coursework requirement for Queensland University of Technology (QUT) doctorates. Since its inception in 1989, this unique blended learning program has provided the foundations for new researchers to produce original and innovative research. AIRS was redeveloped in 2012, and has now been evaluated with reference to the university’s strategic research priorities. Our research is the first comprehensive evaluation of the program from the learner perspective. We measured whether the program develops essential transferrable skills and graduate capabilities to ensure best practice in the areas of publishing and data management. In particular, we explored whether AIRS prepares students to be agile researchers with the skills to adapt to different research contexts both within and outside academia. The target group for our study consisted of HDR students and supervisors at QUT. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used for data collection. Gathering data was by survey and focus groups with qualitative responses analyzed using NVivo. The results of the survey show that 82% of students surveyed believe that AIRS assisted their research process and helped them learn skills they need as a researcher. The 18% of respondents who expressed reservation about the benefits of AIRS were also examined to determine the key areas of concern. These included trends related to the timing of the program early in the candidature and a belief among some students that their previous research experience was sufficient for postgraduate study. New insights have been gained into how to better support HDR learners in partnership with supervisors and how to enhance learning experiences of specific cohorts, including international students and mature learners.

Keywords: Data management, enhancing learning experience, publishing, research higher degree students.

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1 Simulation and Design of an Aerospace Mission Powered by “Candy” Type Fuel Engines

Authors: N. Hernández Huertas, F. Rojas Mora

Abstract:

Sounding rockets are aerospace vehicles that were developed in the mid-20th century, and since then numerous investigations have been executed with the aim of innovate in this type of technology. However, the costs associated to the production of this type of technology are usually quite high, and therefore the challenge that exists today is to be able to reduce them. In this way, the main objective of this document is to present the design process of a Colombian aerospace mission capable to reach the thermosphere using low-cost “Candy” type solid fuel engines. This mission is the latest development of the Uniandes Aerospace Project (PUA for its Spanish acronym), which is an undergraduate and postgraduate research group at Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia), dedicated to incurring in this type of technology. In this way, the investigations that have been carried out on Candy-type solid fuel, which is a compound of potassium nitrate and sorbitol, have allowed the production of engines powerful enough to reach space, and which represents a unique technological advance in Latin America and an important development in experimental rocketry. In this way, following the engineering iterative design methodology was possible to design a 2-stage sounding rocket with 1 solid fuel engine in each one, which was then simulated in RockSim V9.0 software and reached an apogee of approximately 150 km above sea level. Similarly, a speed equal to 5 Mach was obtained, which after performing a finite element analysis, it was shown that the rocket is strong enough to be able to withstand such speeds. Under these premises, it was demonstrated that it is possible to build a high-power aerospace mission at low cost, using Candy-type solid fuel engines. For this reason, the feasibility of carrying out similar missions clearly depends on the ability to replicate the engines in the best way, since as mentioned above, the design of the rocket is adequate to reach supersonic speeds and reach space. Consequently, with a team of at least 3 members, the mission can be obtained in less than 3 months. Therefore, when publishing this project, it is intended to be a reference for future research in this field and benefit the industry.

Keywords: Aerospace missions, candy type solid propellant engines, design of solid rockets, experimental rocketry, low costs missions.

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