Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 227

Search results for: Reading

227 A Recognition Method of Ancient Yi Script Based on Deep Learning

Authors: Shanxiong Chen, Xu Han, Xiaolong Wang, Hui Ma

Abstract:

Yi is an ethnic group mainly living in mainland China, with its own spoken and written language systems, after development of thousands of years. Ancient Yi is one of the six ancient languages in the world, which keeps a record of the history of the Yi people and offers documents valuable for research into human civilization. Recognition of the characters in ancient Yi helps to transform the documents into an electronic form, making their storage and spreading convenient. Due to historical and regional limitations, research on recognition of ancient characters is still inadequate. Thus, deep learning technology was applied to the recognition of such characters. Five models were developed on the basis of the four-layer convolutional neural network (CNN). Alpha-Beta divergence was taken as a penalty term to re-encode output neurons of the five models. Two fully connected layers fulfilled the compression of the features. Finally, at the softmax layer, the orthographic features of ancient Yi characters were re-evaluated, their probability distributions were obtained, and characters with features of the highest probability were recognized. Tests conducted show that the method has achieved higher precision compared with the traditional CNN model for handwriting recognition of the ancient Yi.

Keywords: Recognition, CNN, convolutional neural network, Yi character, divergence.

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226 How Children Synchronize with Their Teacher: Evidence from a Real-World Elementary School Classroom

Authors: Reiko Yamamoto

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This paper reports on how synchrony occurs between children and their teacher, and what prevents or facilitates synchrony. The aim of the experiment conducted in this study was to precisely analyze their movements and synchrony and reveal the process of synchrony in a real-world classroom. Specifically, the experiment was conducted for around 20 minutes during an English as a foreign language (EFL) lesson. The participants were 11 fourth-grade school children and their classroom teacher in a public elementary school in Japan. Previous researchers assert that synchrony causes the state of flow in a class. For checking the level of flow, Short Flow State Scale (SFSS) was adopted. The experimental procedure had four steps: 1) The teacher read aloud the first half of an English storybook to the children. Both the teacher and the children were at their own desks. 2) The children were subjected to an SFSS check. 3) The teacher read aloud the remaining half of the storybook to the children. She made the children remove their desks before reading. 4) The children were again subjected to an SFSS check. The movements of all participants were recorded with a video camera. From the movement analysis, it was found that the children synchronized better with the teacher in Step 3 than in Step 1, and that the teacher’s movement became free and outstanding without a desk. This implies that the desk acted as a barrier between the children and the teacher. Removal of this barrier resulted in the children’s reactions becoming synchronized with those of the teacher. The SFSS results proved that the children experienced more flow without a barrier than with a barrier. Apparently, synchrony is what caused flow or social emotions in the classroom. The main conclusion is that synchrony leads to cognitive outcomes such as children’s academic performance in EFL learning.

Keywords: Movement synchrony, teacher–child relationships, English as a foreign language, EFL learning.

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225 The Design of Multiple Detection Parallel Combined Spread Spectrum Communication System

Authors: Lixin Tian, Wei Xue

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Many jobs in society go underground, such as mine mining, tunnel construction and subways, which are vital to the development of society. Once accidents occur in these places, the interruption of traditional wired communication is not conducive to the development of rescue work. In order to realize the positioning, early warning and command functions of underground personnel and improve rescue efficiency, it is necessary to develop and design an emergency ground communication system. It is easy to be subjected to narrowband interference when performing conventional underground communication. Spreading communication can be used for this problem. However, general spread spectrum methods such as direct spread communication are inefficient, so it is proposed to use parallel combined spread spectrum (PCSS) communication to improve efficiency. The PCSS communication not only has the anti-interference ability and the good concealment of the traditional spread spectrum system, but also has a relatively high frequency band utilization rate and a strong information transmission capability. So, this technology has been widely used in practice. This paper presents a PCSS communication model-multiple detection parallel combined spread spectrum (MDPCSS) communication system. In this paper, the principle of MDPCSS communication system is described, that is, the sequence at the transmitting end is processed in blocks and cyclically shifted to facilitate multiple detection at the receiving end. The block diagrams of the transmitter and receiver of the MDPCSS communication system are introduced. At the same time, the calculation formula of the system bit error rate (BER) is introduced, and the simulation and analysis of the BER of the system are completed. By comparing with the common parallel PCSS communication, we can draw a conclusion that it is indeed possible to reduce the BER and improve the system performance. Furthermore, the influence of different pseudo-code lengths selected on the system BER is simulated and analyzed, and the conclusion is that the larger the pseudo-code length is, the smaller the system error rate is.

Keywords: Cyclic shift, multiple detection, parallel combined spread spectrum, PN code.

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224 Water Management Scheme: Panacea to Development Using Nigeria’s University of Ibadan Water Supply Scheme as a Case Study

Authors: Sunday Olufemi Adesogan

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The supply of potable water at least is a very important index in national development. Water tariffs depend on the treatment cost which carries the highest percentage of the total operation cost in any water supply scheme. In order to keep water tariffs as low as possible, treatment costs have to be minimized. The University of Ibadan, Nigeria, water supply scheme consists of a treatment plant with three distribution stations (Amina way, Kurumi and Lander) and two raw water supply sources (Awba dam and Eleyele dam). An operational study of the scheme was carried out to ascertain the efficiency of the supply of potable water on the campus to justify the need for water supply schemes in tertiary institutions. The study involved regular collection, processing and analysis of periodic operational data. Data collected include supply reading (water production on daily basis) and consumers metered reading for a period of 22 months (October 2013 - July 2015), and also collected, were the operating hours of both plants and human beings. Applying the required mathematical equations, total loss was determined for the distribution system, which was translated into monetary terms. Adequacies of the operational functions were also determined. The study revealed that water supply scheme is justified in tertiary institutions. It was also found that approximately 10.7 million Nigerian naira (N) is lost to leakages during the 22-month study period; the system’s storage capacity is no longer adequate, especially for peak water production. The capacity of the system as a whole is insufficient for the present university population and that the existing water supply system is not being operated in an optimal manner especially due to personnel, power and system ageing constraints.

Keywords: Operational, efficiency, production, supply, water treatment plant, water loss.

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223 “Protection” or “Destruction”: Taking the Cultural Heritage Protection of the Grand Canal in Huaxian and Xunxian Sections of Henan Province as Example

Authors: Yue Sun, Yuan Wang

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The Grand Canal of China has been in use for more than two thousand years. It runs through the central and eastern regions of China and communicates with the five major river systems of Haihe River, Yellow River, Huaihe River, Yangtze River and Qiantang River from north to south. It is a complex, systematic and comprehensive water conservancy project in the period of agricultural civilization and includes the three parts of the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal, the Sui and Tang Dynasties Canal and the Eastern Zhejiang Canal. It covers eight provinces and cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Henan and Anhui. The Grand Canal is an important channel connecting the Central Plains and the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal, and it is also an important waterway trade channel. Nowadays, although the Grand Canal no longer bears the burden of communicating water transportation between the north and the south, the site of the Grand Canal is still a “historical museum” of the lifestyle of people who lived on the canal from the Ming and Qing Dynasties to the Republic of China. By means of literature reading and field investigation, this paper compares the different protection strategies of the Grand Canal in the region between the ancient villages of Huaxian and Xunxian, which witness the vicissitudes of canal water transport, to explore whether the protective renovation of historical and cultural routes is “protection” or “destruction”, and puts forward some protection suggestions.

Keywords: The Grand Canal, heritage conservation, cultural route, ancient villages, strategies.

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222 Evaluating Factors Affecting Audiologists’ Diagnostic Performance in Auditory Brainstem Response Reading: Training and Experience

Authors: M. Zaitoun, S. Cumming, A. Purcell

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This study aims to determine if audiologists' experience characteristics in ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) reading is associated with their performance in interpreting ABR results. Fifteen ABR traces with varying degrees of hearing level were presented twice, making a total of 30. Audiologists were asked to determine the hearing threshold for each of the cases after completing a brief survey regarding their experience and training in ABR administration. Sixty-one audiologists completed all tasks. Correlations between audiologists’ performance measures and experience variables suggested significant associations (p < 0.05) between training period in ABR testing and audiologists’ performance in terms of both sensitivity and accuracy. In addition, the number of years conducting ABR testing correlated with specificity. No other correlations approached significance. While there are relatively few significant correlations between ABR performance and experience, accuracy in ABR reading is associated with audiologists’ length of experience and period of training. To improve audiologists’ performance in reading ABR results, an emphasis on the importance of training should be raised and standardized levels and period for audiologists training in ABR testing should also be set.

Keywords: ABR, audiology, performance, training, experience.

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221 The Role of Glutamine-Rich Region of Candida Albicans Tec1p in Mediating Morphological Transition and Invasive Growth

Authors: W. Abu Rayyan, A. Singh, A. M. Al-Jaafreh, W. Abu Dayyih, M. Bustami, S. Salem, N. Seder, K. Schröppel

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Hyphal growth and the transcriptional regulation to the host environment are key issues during the pathogenesis of C. albicans. Tec1p is the C. albicans homolog of a TEA transcription factor family, which share a conserved DNA-binding TEA domain in their N-terminal. In order to define a structure-function relationship of the C. albicans Tec1p protein, we constructed several mutations on the N terminal, C terminal or in the TEA binding domain itself by homologous recombination technology. The modifications in the open reading frame of TEC1 were tested for reconstitution of the morphogenetic development of the tec1/tec1 mutant strain CaAS12. Mutation in the TEA consensus sequence did not confer transition to hyphae whereas the reconstitution of the full-length Tec1p has reconstituted hyphal development. A deletion in one of glutamine-rich regions either in the Tec1p N-terminal or the C-terminal in regions of 53-212 or 637–744 aa, respectively, did not restore morphological development in mutant CaAS12 strain. Whereas, the reconstitution with Tec1p mutants other than the glutamate-rich region has restored the morphogenetic switch. Additionally, the deletion of the glutamine-rich region has attenuated the invasive growth and the heat shock resistance of C. albicans. In conclusion, we show that a glutamine-rich region of Tec1p is essential for the hyphal development and mediating adaptation to the host environment of C. albicans.

Keywords: Candida albicans, transcription factor, TEA domain, hyphal formation, morphogenetic development, TEC1, Tet-induced.

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220 Comparing the Educational Effectiveness of eHealth to Deliver Health Knowledge between Higher Literacy Users and Lower Literacy Users

Authors: Yah-Ling Hung

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eHealth is undoubtedly emerging as a promising vehicle to provide information for individual self-care management. However, the accessing ability, reading strategies and navigating behavior between higher literacy users and lower literacy users are significantly different. Yet, ways to tailor audiences’ health literacy and develop appropriate eHealth to feed their need become a big challenge. The purpose of this study is to compare the educational effectiveness of eHealth to deliver health knowledge between higher literacy users and lower literacy users, thus establishing useful design strategies of eHealth for users with different level of health literacy. The study was implemented in four stages, the first of which developed a website as the testing media to introduce health care knowledge relating to children’s allergy. Secondly, a reliability and validity test was conducted to make sure that all of the questions in the questionnaire were good indicators. Thirdly, a pre-post knowledge test was conducted with 66 participants, 33 users with higher literacy and 33 users with lower literacy respectively. Finally, a usability evaluation survey was undertaken to explore the criteria used by users with different levels of health literacy to evaluate eHealth. The results demonstrated that the eHealth Intervention in both groups had a positive outcome. There was no significant difference between the effectiveness of eHealth intervention between users with higher literacy and users with lower literacy. However, the average mean of lower literacy group was marginally higher than the average mean of higher literacy group. The findings also showed that the criteria used to evaluate eHealth could be analyzed in terms of the quality of information, appearance, appeal and interaction, but the users with lower literacy have different evaluation criteria from those with higher literacy. This is an interdisciplinary research which proposes the sequential key steps that incorporate the planning, developing and accessing issues that need to be considered when designing eHealth for patients with varying degrees of health literacy.

Keywords: eHealth, health intervention, health literacy, usability evaluation.

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219 Inductive Grammar, Student-Centered Reading, and Interactive Poetry: The Effects of Teaching English with Fun in Schools of Two Villages in Lebanon

Authors: Talar Agopian

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Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) is a common practice in many Lebanese schools. However, ESL teaching is done in traditional ways. Methods such as constructivism are seldom used, especially in villages. Here lies the significance of this research which joins constructivism and Piaget’s theory of cognitive development in ESL classes in Lebanese villages. The purpose of the present study is to explore the effects of applying constructivist student-centered strategies in teaching grammar, reading comprehension, and poetry on students in elementary ESL classes in two villages in Lebanon, Zefta in South Lebanon and Boqaata in Mount Lebanon. 20 English teachers participated in a training titled “Teaching English with Fun”, which focused on strategies that create a student-centered class where active learning takes place and there is increased learner engagement and autonomy. The training covered three main areas in teaching English: grammar, reading comprehension, and poetry. After participating in the training, the teachers applied the new strategies and methods in their ESL classes. The methodology comprised two phases: in phase one, practice-based research was conducted as the teachers attended the training and applied the constructivist strategies in their respective ESL classes. Phase two included the reflections of the teachers on the effects of the application of constructivist strategies. The results revealed the educational benefits of constructivist student-centered strategies; the students of teachers who applied these strategies showed improved engagement, positive attitudes towards poetry, increased motivation, and a better sense of autonomy. Future research is required in applying constructivist methods in the areas of writing, spelling, and vocabulary in ESL classrooms of Lebanese villages.

Keywords: Active learning, constructivism, learner engagement, student-centered strategies.

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218 A Risk Assessment for the Small Hive Beetle Based on Meteorological Standard Measurements

Authors: J. Junk, M. Eickermann

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The Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) is a parasite for honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera, and was recently introduced to the European continent, accidentally. Based on the literature, a model was developed by using regional meteorological variables (daily values of minimum, maximum and mean air temperature as well as mean soil temperature at 50 mm depth) to calculate the time-point of hive invasion by A. tumida in springtime, the development duration of pupae as well as the number of generations of A. tumida per year. Luxembourg was used as a test region for our model for 2005 to 2013. The model output indicates a successful surviving of the Small Hive Beetle in Luxembourg with two up to three generations per year. Additionally, based on our meteorological data sets a first migration of SHB to apiaries can be expected from mid of March up to April. Our approach can be transferred easily to other countries to estimate the risk potential for a successful introduction and spreading of A. tumida in Western Europe.

Keywords: Aethina tumida, air temperature, larval development, soil temperature.

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217 The Use of Software and Internet Search Engines to Develop the Encoding and Decoding Skills of a Dyslexic Learner: A Case Study

Authors: Rabih Joseph Nabhan

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This case study explores the impact of two major computer software programs Learn to Speak English and Learn English Spelling and Pronunciation, and some Internet search engines such as Google on mending the decoding and spelling deficiency of Simon X, a dyslexic student. The improvement in decoding and spelling may result in better reading comprehension and composition writing. Some computer programs and Internet materials can help regain the missing awareness and consequently restore his self-confidence and self-esteem. In addition, this study provides a systematic plan comprising a set of activities (four computer programs and Internet materials) which address the problem from the lowest to the highest levels of phoneme and phonological awareness. Four methods of data collection (accounts, observations, published tests, and interviews) create the triangulation to validly and reliably collect data before the plan, during the plan, and after the plan. The data collected are analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Sometimes the analysis is either quantitative or qualitative, and some other times a combination of both. Tables and figures are utilized to provide a clear and uncomplicated illustration of some data. The improvement in the decoding, spelling, reading comprehension, and composition writing skills that occurred is proved through the use of authentic materials performed by the student under study. Such materials are a comparison between two sample passages written by the learner before and after the plan, a genuine computer chat conversation, and the scores of the academic year that followed the execution of the plan. Based on these results, the researcher recommends further studies on other Lebanese dyslexic learners using the computer to mend their language problem in order to design and make a most reliable software program that can address this disability more efficiently and successfully.

Keywords: Analysis, awareness, dyslexic, software.

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216 The Effect of Realizing Emotional Synchrony with Teachers or Peers on Children’s Linguistic Proficiency: The Case Study of Uji Elementary School

Authors: Reiko Yamamoto

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This paper reports on a joint research project in which a researcher in applied linguistics and elementary school teachers in Japan explored new ways to realize emotional synchrony in a classroom in childhood education. The primary purpose of this project was to develop a cross-curriculum of the first language (L1) and second language (L2) based on the concept of plurilingualism. This concept is common in Europe, and can-do statements are used in forming the standard of linguistic proficiency in any language; these are attributed to the action-oriented approach in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). CEFR has a basic tenet of language education: improving communicative competence. Can-do statements are classified into five categories based on the tenet: reading, writing, listening, speaking/ interaction, and speaking/ speech. The first approach of this research was to specify the linguistic proficiency of the children, who are still developing their L1. Elementary school teachers brainstormed and specified the linguistic proficiency of the children as the competency needed to synchronize with others – teachers or peers – physically and mentally. The teachers formed original can-do statements in language proficiency on the basis of the idea that emotional synchrony leads to understanding others in communication. The research objectives are to determine the effect of language education based on the newly developed curriculum and can-do statements. The participants of the experiment were 72 third-graders in Uji Elementary School, Japan. For the experiment, 17 items were developed from the can-do statements formed by the teachers and divided into the same five categories as those of CEFR. A can-do checklist consisting of the items was created. The experiment consisted of three steps: first, the students evaluated themselves using the can-do checklist at the beginning of the school year. Second, one year of instruction was given to the students in Japanese and English classes (six periods a week). Third, the students evaluated themselves using the same can-do checklist at the end of the school year. The results of statistical analysis showed an enhancement of linguistic proficiency of the students. The average results of the post-check exceeded that of the pre-check in 12 out of the 17 items. Moreover, significant differences were shown in four items, three of which belonged to the same category: speaking/ interaction. It is concluded that children can get to understand others’ minds through physical and emotional synchrony. In particular, emotional synchrony is what teachers should aim at in childhood education.

Keywords: Elementary school education, emotional synchrony, language proficiency, sympathy with others.

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215 A Geographical Spatial Analysis on the Benefits of Using Wind Energy in Kuwait

Authors: Obaid AlOtaibi, Salman Hussain

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Wind energy is associated with many geographical factors including wind speed, climate change, surface topography, environmental impacts, and several economic factors, most notably the advancement of wind technology and energy prices. It is the fastest-growing and least economically expensive method for generating electricity. Wind energy generation is directly related to the characteristics of spatial wind. Therefore, the feasibility study for the wind energy conversion system is based on the value of the energy obtained relative to the initial investment and the cost of operation and maintenance. In Kuwait, wind energy is an appropriate choice as a source of energy generation. It can be used in groundwater extraction in agricultural areas such as Al-Abdali in the north and Al-Wafra in the south, or in fresh and brackish groundwater fields or remote and isolated locations such as border areas and projects away from conventional power electricity services, to take advantage of alternative energy, reduce pollutants, and reduce energy production costs. The study covers the State of Kuwait with an exception of metropolitan area. Climatic data were attained through the readings of eight distributed monitoring stations affiliated with Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). The data were used to assess the daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual available wind energy accessible for utilization. The researchers applied the Suitability Model to analyze the study by using the ArcGIS program. It is a model of spatial analysis that compares more than one location based on grading weights to choose the most suitable one. The study criteria are: the average annual wind speed, land use, topography of land, distance from the main road networks, urban areas. According to the previous criteria, the four proposed locations to establish wind farm projects are selected based on the weights of the degree of suitability (excellent, good, average, and poor). The percentage of areas that represents the most suitable locations with an excellent rank (4) is 8% of Kuwait’s area. It is relatively distributed as follows: Al-Shqaya, Al-Dabdeba, Al-Salmi (5.22%), Al-Abdali (1.22%), Umm al-Hayman (0.70%), North Wafra and Al-Shaqeeq (0.86%). The study recommends to decision-makers to consider the proposed location (No.1), (Al-Shqaya, Al-Dabdaba, and Al-Salmi) as the most suitable location for future development of wind farms in Kuwait, this location is economically feasible.

Keywords: Kuwait, renewable energy, spatial analysis, wind energy.

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214 Reading and Teaching Poetry as Communicative Discourse: A Pragma-Linguistic Approach

Authors: Omnia Elkommos

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Language is communication on several discourse levels. The target of teaching a language and the literature of a foreign language is to communicate a message. Reading, appreciating, analysing, and interpreting poetry as a sophisticated rhetorical expression of human thoughts, emotions, and philosophical messages is more feasible through the use of linguistic pragmatic tools from a communicative discourse perspective. The poet's intention, speech act, illocutionary act, and perlocutionary goal can be better understood when communicative situational context as well as linguistic discourse structure theories are employed. The use of linguistic theories in the teaching of poetry is, therefore, intrinsic to students' comprehension, interpretation, and appreciation of poetry of the different ages. It is the purpose of this study to show how both teachers as well as students can apply these linguistic theories and tools to dramatic poetic texts for an engaging, enlightening, and effective interpretation and appreciation of the language. Theories drawn from areas of pragmatics, discourse analysis, embedded discourse level, communicative situational context, and other linguistic approaches were applied to selected poetry texts from the different centuries. Further, in a simple statistical count of the number of poems with dialogic dramatic discourse with embedded two or three levels of discourse in different anthologies outweighs the number of descriptive poems with a one level of discourse, between the poet and the reader. Poetry is thus discourse on one, two, or three levels. It is, therefore, recommended that teachers and students in the area of ESL/EFL use the linguistics theories for a better understanding of poetry as communicative discourse. The practice of applying these linguistic theories in classrooms and in research will allow them to perceive the language and its linguistic, social, and cultural aspect. Texts will become live illocutionary acts with a perlocutionary acts goal rather than mere literary texts in anthologies.

Keywords: Coda, commissives, communicative situation, context of culture, context of reference, context of utterance, dialogue, directives, discourse analysis, dramatic discourse interaction, duologue, embedded discourse levels, language for communication, linguistic structures, literary texts, poetry, pragmatic theories, reader response, speech acts (macro/micro), stylistics, teaching literature, TEFL, terms of address, turn-taking.

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213 Understanding the Programming Techniques Using a Complex Case Study to Teach Advanced Object-Oriented Programming

Authors: M. Al-Jepoori, D. Bennett

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Teaching Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) as part of a Computing-related university degree is a very difficult task; the road to ensuring that students are actually learning object oriented concepts is unclear, as students often find it difficult to understand the concept of objects and their behavior. This problem is especially obvious in advanced programming modules where Design Pattern and advanced programming features such as Multi-threading and animated GUI are introduced. Looking at the students’ performance at their final year on a university course, it was obvious that the level of students’ understanding of OOP varies to a high degree from one student to another. Students who aim at the production of Games do very well in the advanced programming module. However, the students’ assessment results of the last few years were relatively low; for example, in 2016-2017, the first quartile of marks were as low as 24.5 and the third quartile was 63.5. It is obvious that many students were not confident or competent enough in their programming skills. In this paper, the reasons behind poor performance in Advanced OOP modules are investigated, and a suggested practice for teaching OOP based on a complex case study is described and evaluated.

Keywords: Complex programming case study, design pattern, learning advanced programming, object oriented programming.

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212 Highly Accurate Target Motion Compensation Using Entropy Function Minimization

Authors: Amin Aghatabar Roodbary, Mohammad Hassan Bastani

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One of the defects of stepped frequency radar systems is their sensitivity to target motion. In such systems, target motion causes range cell shift, false peaks, Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) reduction and range profile spreading because of power spectrum interference of each range cell in adjacent range cells which induces distortion in High Resolution Range Profile (HRRP) and disrupt target recognition process. Thus Target Motion Parameters (TMPs) effects compensation should be employed. In this paper, such a method for estimating TMPs (velocity and acceleration) and consequently eliminating or suppressing the unwanted effects on HRRP based on entropy minimization has been proposed. This method is carried out in two major steps: in the first step, a discrete search method has been utilized over the whole acceleration-velocity lattice network, in a specific interval seeking to find a less-accurate minimum point of the entropy function. Then in the second step, a 1-D search over velocity is done in locus of the minimum for several constant acceleration lines, in order to enhance the accuracy of the minimum point found in the first step. The provided simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Keywords: ATR, HRRP, motion compensation, SFW, TMP.

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211 A Book Review of Inside the Battle of Algiers, by Zohra Drif: A Thematic Analysis on Women’s Agency

Authors: W. Zekri

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This paper explores Zohra Drif’s memoir, Inside the Battle of Algiers, which narrates her desires as a student to become a revolutionary activist. She exemplified, in her narrative, the different roles, she and her fellows performed as combatants in the Casbah during the Algerian Revolution 1954-1962. This book review aims to evaluate the concept of women’s agency through education and language learning, and its impact on empowering women’s desires. Close-reading method and thematic analysis are used to explore the text. The analysis identified themes that refine the meaning of agency which are social and cultural supports, education, and language proficiency. These themes aim to contribute to the representation in Inside the Battle of Algiers of a woman guerrilla who engaged herself to perform national acts of resistance.

Keywords: Agency, education, learning, women.

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210 Outbound Tourism in Developed Countries: Analysis of the Trends, Behavior and the Transformation of the Moroccan Demand for International Travels

Authors: M. Boukhrouk, R. Ed-Dali

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Outbound tourism in Morocco, as in the majority of developing countries, reveals some of the aspects of inequality between the north and the south. Considered by some researchers as one of the facets of the development crisis, access to tourism and especially international tourism is a chance for a small minority with financial means, while the vast portions of the population dream rather of immigrating to a developed country for the sake of improving their standard of living. The right to travel is also limited by visa requirements, procedures in host countries, security and technical measures and creates discrimination in the practice of tourism. These conditions do not seem to be favorable to the democratization of the practice of international tourism for the populations of the southern countries. This paper is a contribution to the reading of the trends of outbound tourism in developing countries through the example of Morocco. It highlights the different aspects of Moroccan outbound tourism, destinations and the behavior of tourists through an analysis of the offer of a sample of 50 travel agencies. In the same vein, it offers a reading grid of the possibilities offered for the development of outbound tourism and the various existing obstacles to the democratization of international outbound tourism in the southern countries. This reading reveals the transformation in the behavior of Moroccan international tourists as well as the profound changes in Moroccan society, through a model of statistical analysis.

Keywords: Demand, Hajj, Morocco, outbound tourism, tendency, Umrah.

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209 The Classical Islamic Laws of Apostasy in the Present Context

Authors: Ali Akbar

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The main purpose of this essay is to examine whether or not the earthly punishments in regards to apostates that are often found in classical Islamic sources are applicable in the present context. The paper indeed addresses how Muslims should understand the question of apostasy in the contemporary context. To do so, the paper first argues that an accurate understanding of the way the Quranic verses and prophetic hadiths deal with the concept of apostasy could help us rethink and re-examine the classical Islamic laws on apostasy in the present context. In addition, building on Abdolkarim Soroush’s theory of contraction and expansion of religious knowledge, this article argues that approaches to apostasy in the present context can move away from what prescribed by classical Islamic laws. Finally, it argues that instances of persecution of apostates in the early days of Islam during the Medinan period of Muhammad’s prophetic mission should be interpreted in their own socio-historical context. Rereading these reports within our modern context supports the mutability of the traditional corporal punishments of apostasy.

Keywords: Apostasy, Islam, Quran, hadith, Abdolkarim Soroush, contextualization.

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208 Study Habits and Level of Difficulty Encountered by Maltese Students Studying Biology Advanced Level Topics

Authors: Marthese Azzopardi, Liberato Camilleri

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This research was performed to investigate the study habits and level of difficulty perceived by post-secondary students in Biology at Advanced-level topics after completing their first year of study. At the end of a two-year ‘sixth form’ course, Maltese students sit for the Matriculation and Secondary Education Certificate (MATSEC) Advanced-level biology exam as a requirement to pursue science-related studies at the University of Malta. The sample was composed of 23 students (16 taking Chemistry and seven taking some ‘Other’ subject at the Advanced Level). The cohort comprised seven males and 16 females. A questionnaire constructed by the authors, was answered anonymously during the last lecture at the end of the first year of study, in May 2016. The Chi square test revealed that gender plays no effect on the various study habits (c2 (6) = 5.873, p = 0.438). ‘Reading both notes and textbooks’ was the most common method adopted by males (71.4%), whereas ‘Writing notes on each topic’ was that mostly used by females (81.3%). The Mann-Whitney U test showed no significant difference in the study habits of students and the mean assessment mark obtained at the end of the first year course (p = 0.231). Statistical difference was found with the One-ANOVA test when comparing the mean assessment mark obtained at the end of the first year course when students are clustered by their Secondary Education Certificate (SEC) grade (p < 0.001). Those obtaining a SEC grade of 2 and 3 got the highest mean assessment of 68.33% and 66.9%, respectively [SEC grading is 1-7, where 1 is the highest]. The Friedman test was used to compare the mean difficulty rating scores provided for the difficulty of each topic. The mean difficulty rating score ranges from 1 to 4, where the larger the mean rating score, the higher the difficulty. When considering the whole group of students, nine topics out of 21 were perceived as significantly more difficult than the other topics. Protein synthesis, DNA Replication and Biomolecules were the most difficult, in that order. The Mann-Whitney U test revealed that the perceived level of difficulty in comprehending Biomolecules is significantly lower for students taking Chemistry compared to those not choosing the subject (p = 0.018). Protein Synthesis was claimed as the most difficult by Chemistry students and Biomolecules by those not studying Chemistry. DNA Replication was the second most difficult topic perceived by both groups. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to examine the effect of gender on the perceived level of difficulty in comprehending various topics. It was found that females have significantly more difficulty in comprehending Biomolecules than males (p=0.039). Protein synthesis was perceived as the most difficult topic by males (mean difficulty rating score = 3.14), while Biomolecules, DNA Replication and Protein synthesis were of equal difficulty for females (mean difficulty rating score = 3.00). Males and females perceived DNA Replication as equally difficult (mean difficulty rating score = 3.00). Discovering the students’ study habits and perceived level of difficulty of specific topics is vital for the lecturer to offer guidance that leads to higher academic achievement.

Keywords: Biology, Perceived difficulty, Post-secondary, Study habits.

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207 An Analysis of the Representation of the Translator and Translation Process into Brazilian Social Networking Groups

Authors: Érica Lima

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In the digital era, in which we have an avalanche of information, it is not new that the Internet has brought new modes of communication and knowledge access. Characterized by the multiplicity of discourses, opinions, beliefs and cultures, the web is a space of political-ideological dimensions where people (who often do not know each other) interact and create representations, deconstruct stereotypes, and redefine identities. Currently, the translator needs to be able to deal with digital spaces ranging from specific software to social media, which inevitably impact on his professional life. One of the most impactful ways of being seen in cyberspace is the participation in social networking groups. In addition to its ability to disseminate information among participants, social networking groups allow a significant personal and social exposure. Such exposure is due to the visibility of each participant achieved not only on its personal profile page, but also in each comment or post the person makes in the groups. The objective of this paper is to study the representations of translators and translation process on the Internet, more specifically in publications in two Brazilian groups of great influence on the Facebook: "Translators/Interpreters" and "Translators, Interpreters and Curious". These chosen groups represent the changes the network has brought to the profession, including the way translators are seen and see themselves. The analyzed posts allowed a reading of what common sense seems to think about the translator as opposed to what the translators seem to think about themselves as a professional class. The results of the analysis lead to the conclusion that these two positions are antagonistic and sometimes represent conflict of interests: on the one hand, the society in general consider the translator’s work something easy, therefore it is not necessary to be well remunerated; on the other hand, the translators who know how complex a translation process is and how much it takes to be a good professional. The results also reveal that social networking sites such as Facebook provide more visibility, but it takes a more active role from the translator to achieve a greater appreciation of the profession and more recognition of the role of the translator, especially in face of increasingly development of automatic translation programs.

Keywords: Facebook, social representation, translation, translator.

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206 Projections of Climate Change in the Rain Regime of the Ibicui River Basin

Authors: Claudineia Brazil, Elison Eduardo Bierhals, Francisco Pereira, José Leandro Néris, Matheus Rippel, Luciane Salvi

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The global concern about climate change has been increasing, since the emission of gases from human activities contributes to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, indicating significant impacts to the planet in the coming years. The study of precipitation regime is fundamental for the development of research in several areas. Among them are hydrology, agriculture, and electric sector. Using the climatic projections of the models belonging to the CMIP5, the main objective of the paper was to present an analysis of the impacts of climate change without rainfall in the Uruguay River basin. After an analysis of the results, it can be observed that for the future climate, there is a tendency, in relation to the present climate, for larger numbers of dry events, mainly in the winter months, changing the pluviometric regime for wet summers and drier winters. Given this projected framework, it is important to note the importance of adequate management of the existing water sources in the river basin, since the value of rainfall is reduced for the next years, it may compromise the dynamics of the ecosystems in the region. Facing climate change is fundamental issue for regions and cities all around the world. Society must improve its resilience to phenomenon impacts, and spreading the knowledge among decision makers and citizens is also essential. So, these research results can be subsidies for the decision-making in planning and management of mitigation measures and/or adaptation in south Brazil.

Keywords: Climate change, hydrological potential, precipitation, mitigation.

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205 Contextual Variables Affecting Frustration Level in Reading: An Integral Inquiry

Authors: Mae C. Pavilario

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This study employs a sequential explanatory mixed method. Quantitatively it investigated the profile of grade VII students. Qualitatively, the prevailing contextual variables that affect their frustration-level were sought based on their perspective and that of their parents and teachers. These students were categorized as frustration-level in reading based on the data on word list of the Philippine Informal Reading Inventory (Phil-IRI). The researcher-made reading factor instrument translated to local dialect (Hiligaynon) was subjected to cross-cultural translation to address content, semantic, technical, criterion, or conceptual equivalence, the open-ended questions, and one unstructured interview was utilized. In the profile of the 26 participants, the 12 males are categorized as grade II and grade III frustration-levels. The prevailing contextual variables are personal-“having no interest in reading”, “being ashamed and fear of having to read in front of others” for extremely high frustration level; social environmental-“having no regular reading schedule at home” for very high frustration level and personal- “having no interest in reading” for high frustration level. Kendall Tau inferential statistical tool was used to test the significant relationship in the prevailing contextual variables that affect frustration-level readers when grouped according to perspective. Result showed that significant relationship exists between students-parents perspectives; however, there is no significant relationship between students’ and teachers’, and parents’ and teachers’ perspectives. The themes in the narratives of the participants on frustration-level readers are existence of speech defects, undesirable attitude, insufficient amount of reading materials, lack of close supervision from parents, and losing time and focus on task. Intervention was designed.

Keywords: Contextual variables, frustration-level readers, perspective, inquiry.

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204 Knowledge Reactor: A Contextual Computing Work in Progress for Eldercare

Authors: Scott N. Gerard, Aliza Heching, Susann M. Keohane, Samuel S. Adams

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The world-wide population of people over 60 years of age is growing rapidly. The explosion is placing increasingly onerous demands on individual families, multiple industries and entire countries. Current, human-intensive approaches to eldercare are not sustainable, but IoT and AI technologies can help. The Knowledge Reactor (KR) is a contextual, data fusion engine built to address this and other similar problems. It fuses and centralizes IoT and System of Record/Engagement data into a reactive knowledge graph. Cognitive applications and services are constructed with its multiagent architecture. The KR can scale-up and scaledown, because it exploits container-based, horizontally scalable services for graph store (JanusGraph) and pub-sub (Kafka) technologies. While the KR can be applied to many domains that require IoT and AI technologies, this paper describes how the KR specifically supports the challenging domain of cognitive eldercare. Rule- and machine learning-based analytics infer activities of daily living from IoT sensor readings. KR scalability, adaptability, flexibility and usability are demonstrated.

Keywords: Ambient sensing, AI, artificial intelligence, eldercare, IoT, internet of things, knowledge graph.

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203 Medical Image Watermark and Tamper Detection Using Constant Correlation Spread Spectrum Watermarking

Authors: Peter U. Eze, P. Udaya, Robin J. Evans

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Data hiding can be achieved by Steganography or invisible digital watermarking. For digital watermarking, both accurate retrieval of the embedded watermark and the integrity of the cover image are important. Medical image security in Teleradiology is one of the applications where the embedded patient record needs to be extracted with accuracy as well as the medical image integrity verified. In this research paper, the Constant Correlation Spread Spectrum digital watermarking for medical image tamper detection and accurate embedded watermark retrieval is introduced. In the proposed method, a watermark bit from a patient record is spread in a medical image sub-block such that the correlation of all watermarked sub-blocks with a spreading code, W, would have a constant value, p. The constant correlation p, spreading code, W and the size of the sub-blocks constitute the secret key. Tamper detection is achieved by flagging any sub-block whose correlation value deviates by more than a small value, ℇ, from p. The major features of our new scheme include: (1) Improving watermark detection accuracy for high-pixel depth medical images by reducing the Bit Error Rate (BER) to Zero and (2) block-level tamper detection in a single computational process with simultaneous watermark detection, thereby increasing utility with the same computational cost.

Keywords: Constant correlation, medical image, spread spectrum, tamper detection, watermarking.

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202 Development of Soft-Core System for Heart Rate and Oxygen Saturation

Authors: Caje F. Pinto, Jivan S. Parab, Gourish M. Naik

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This paper is about the development of non-invasive heart rate and oxygen saturation in human blood using Altera NIOS II soft-core processor system. In today's world, monitoring oxygen saturation and heart rate is very important in hospitals to keep track of low oxygen levels in blood. We have designed an Embedded System On Peripheral Chip (SOPC) reconfigurable system by interfacing two LED’s of different wavelengths (660 nm/940 nm) with a single photo-detector to measure the absorptions of hemoglobin species at different wavelengths. The implementation of the interface with Finger Probe and Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) was carried out using NIOS II soft-core system running on Altera NANO DE0 board having target as Cyclone IVE. This designed system is used to monitor oxygen saturation in blood and heart rate for different test subjects. The designed NIOS II processor based non-invasive heart rate and oxygen saturation was verified with another Operon Pulse oximeter for 50 measurements on 10 different subjects. It was found that the readings taken were very close to the Operon Pulse oximeter.

Keywords: Heart rate, NIOS II, Oxygen Saturation, photoplethysmography, soft-core, SOPC.

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201 Complementing Assessment Processes with Standardized Tests: A Work in Progress

Authors: Amparo Camacho

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ABET accredited programs must assess the development of student learning outcomes (SOs) in engineering programs. Different institutions implement different strategies for this assessment, and they are usually designed “in house.” This paper presents a proposal for including standardized tests to complement the ABET assessment model in an engineering college made up of six distinct engineering programs. The engineering college formulated a model of quality assurance in education to be implemented throughout the six engineering programs to regularly assess and evaluate the achievement of SOs in each program offered. The model uses diverse techniques and sources of data to assess student performance and to implement actions of improvement based on the results of this assessment. The model is called “Assessment Process Model” and it includes SOs A through K, as defined by ABET. SOs can be divided into two categories: “hard skills” and “professional skills” (soft skills). The first includes abilities, such as: applying knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering and designing and conducting experiments, as well as analyzing and interpreting data. The second category, “professional skills”, includes communicating effectively, and understanding professional and ethnical responsibility. Within the Assessment Process Model, various tools were used to assess SOs, related to both “hard” as well as “soft” skills. The assessment tools designed included: rubrics, surveys, questionnaires, and portfolios. In addition to these instruments, the Engineering College decided to use tools that systematically gather consistent quantitative data. For this reason, an in-house exam was designed and implemented, based on the curriculum of each program. Even though this exam was administered during various academic periods, it is not currently considered standardized. In 2017, the Engineering College included three standardized tests: one to assess mathematical and scientific reasoning and two more to assess reading and writing abilities. With these exams, the college hopes to obtain complementary information that can help better measure the development of both hard and soft skills of students in the different engineering programs. In the first semester of 2017, the three exams were given to three sample groups of students from the six different engineering programs. Students in the sample groups were either from the first, fifth, and tenth semester cohorts. At the time of submission of this paper, the engineering college has descriptive statistical data and is working with various statisticians to have a more in-depth and detailed analysis of the sample group of students’ achievement on the three exams. The overall objective of including standardized exams in the assessment model is to identify more precisely the least developed SOs in order to define and implement educational strategies necessary for students to achieve them in each engineering program.

Keywords: Assessment, hard skills, soft skills, standardized tests.

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200 The Role of Physically Adsorbing Species of Oxyhydryl Reagents in Flotation Aggregate Formation

Authors: S. A. Kondratyev, O. I. Ibragimova

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The authors discuss the collecting abilities of desorbable species (DS) of saturated fatty acids. The DS species of the reagent are understood as species capable of moving from the surface of the mineral particle to the bubble at the moment of the rupture of the interlayer of liquid separating these objects of interaction. DS species of carboxylic acids (molecules and ionic-molecular complexes) have the ability to spread over the surface of the bubble. The rate of their spreading at pH 7 and 10 over the water surface is determined. The collectibility criterion of saturated fatty acids is proposed. The values of forces exerted by the spreading DS species of reagents on liquid in the interlayer and the liquid flow rate from the interlayer are determined.

Keywords: Criterion of action of physically adsorbed reagent, flotation, saturated fatty acids, surface pressure.

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199 Crashworthiness Optimization of an Automotive Front Bumper in Composite Material

Authors: S. Boria

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In the last years, the crashworthiness of an automotive body structure can be improved, since the beginning of the design stage, thanks to the development of specific optimization tools. It is well known how the finite element codes can help the designer to investigate the crashing performance of structures under dynamic impact. Therefore, by coupling nonlinear mathematical programming procedure and statistical techniques with FE simulations, it is possible to optimize the design with reduced number of analytical evaluations. In engineering applications, many optimization methods which are based on statistical techniques and utilize estimated models, called meta-models, are quickly spreading. A meta-model is an approximation of a detailed simulation model based on a dataset of input, identified by the design of experiments (DOE); the number of simulations needed to build it depends on the number of variables. Among the various types of meta-modeling techniques, Kriging method seems to be excellent in accuracy, robustness and efficiency compared to other ones when applied to crashworthiness optimization. Therefore the application of such meta-model was used in this work, in order to improve the structural optimization of a bumper for a racing car in composite material subjected to frontal impact. The specific energy absorption represents the objective function to maximize and the geometrical parameters subjected to some design constraints are the design variables. LS-DYNA codes were interfaced with LS-OPT tool in order to find the optimized solution, through the use of a domain reduction strategy. With the use of the Kriging meta-model the crashworthiness characteristic of the composite bumper was improved.

Keywords: Composite material, crashworthiness, finite element analysis, optimization.

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198 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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