Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Search results for: textbooks

24 Teachers- Perceptions on the Use of E-Books as Textbooks in the Classroom

Authors: Abd Mutalib Embong, Azelin M Noor, Razol Mahari M Ali, Zulqarnain Abu Bakar, Abdur- Rahman Mohamed Amin

Abstract:

At the time where electronic books, or e-Books, offer students a fun way of learning , teachers who are used to the paper text books may find it as a new challenge to use it as a part of learning process. Precisely, there are various types of e-Books available to suit students- knowledge, characteristics, abilities, and interests. The paper discusses teachers- perceptions on the use of ebooks as a paper text book in the classroom. A survey was conducted on 72 teachers who use e-books as textbooks. It was discovered that a majority of these teachers had good perceptions on the use of ebooks. However, they had little problems using the devices. It can be overcome with some strategies and a suggested framework.

Keywords: Classroom, E-books, perception, teacher.

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23 The Didactic Transposition in Brazilian High School Physics Textbooks: A Comparative Study of Didactic Materials

Authors: Leandro Marcos Alves Vaz

Abstract:

In this article, we analyze the different approaches to the topic Magnetism of Matter in physics textbooks of Brazilian schools. For this, we compared the approach to the concepts of the magnetic characteristics of materials (diamagnetism, paramagnetism, ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism) in different sources of information and in different levels of education, from Higher Education to High School. In this sense, we used as reference the theory of the Didactic Transposition of Yves Chevallard, a French educational theorist, who conceived in his theory three types of knowledge – Scholarly Knowledge, Knowledge to be taught and Taught Knowledge – related to teaching practice. As a research methodology, from the reading of the works used in teacher training and those destined to basic education students, we compared the treatment of a higher education physics book, a scientific article published in a Brazilian journal of the educational area, and four high school textbooks, in order to establish in which there is a greater or lesser degree of approximation with the knowledge produced by the scholars – scholarly knowledge – or even with the knowledge to be taught (to that found in books intended for teaching). Thus, we evaluated the level of proximity of the subjects conveyed in high school and higher education, as well as the relevance that some textbook authors give to the theme.

Keywords: Magnetism of matter, teaching of physics, didactic transposition, Brazilian physics books.

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22 A CDA-Driven Study of World English Series Published by Cengage Heinle

Authors: Mohammad Amin Mozaheb, Jalal Farzaneh Dehkordi, Khojasteh Hosseinzadehpilehvar

Abstract:

English Language Teaching (ELT) is widely promoted across the world. ELT textbooks play pivotal roles in the mentioned process. Since biases of authors have been an issue of continuing interest to analysts over the past few years, the present study seeks to analyze an ELT textbook using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). To obtain the goal of the study, the listening section of a book called World English 3 (new edition) has been analyzed in terms of the cultures and countries mentioned in the listening section of the book using content-based analysis. The analysis indicates biases towards certain cultures. Moreover, some countries are shown as rich and powerful countries, while some others have been shown as poor ones without considering the history behind them.

Keywords: ELT, textbooks, critical discourse analysis, World English.

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21 Examining the Usefulness of an ESP Textbook for Information Technology: Learner Perspectives

Authors: Yun-Husan Huang

Abstract:

Many English for Specific Purposes (ESP) textbooks are distributed globally as the content development is often obliged to compromises between commercial and pedagogical demands. Therefore, the issue of regional application and usefulness of globally published ESP textbooks has received much debate. For ESP instructors, textbook selection is definitely a priority consideration for curriculum design. An appropriate ESP textbook can facilitate teaching and learning, while an inappropriate one may cause a disaster for both teachers and students. This study aims to investigate the regional application and usefulness of an ESP textbook for information technology (IT). Participants were 51 sophomores majoring in Applied Informatics and Multimedia at a university in Taiwan. As they were non-English majors, their English proficiency was mostly at elementary and elementary-to-intermediate levels. This course was offered for two semesters. The textbook selected was Oxford English for Information Technology. At class end, the students were required to complete a survey comprising five choices of Very Easy, Easy, Neutral, Difficult, and Very Difficult for each item. Based on the content design of the textbook, the survey investigated how the students viewed the difficulty of grammar, listening, speaking, reading, and writing materials of the textbook. In terms of difficulty, results reveal that only 22% of them found the grammar section difficult and very difficult. For listening, 71% responded difficult and very difficult. For general reading, 55% responded difficult and very difficult. For speaking, 56% responded difficult and very difficult. For writing, 78% responded difficult and very difficult. For advanced reading, 90% reported difficult and very difficult. These results indicate that, except the grammar section, more than half of the students found the textbook contents difficult in terms of listening, speaking, reading, and writing materials. Such contradictory results between the easy grammar section and the difficult four language skills sections imply that the textbook designers do not well understand the English learning background of regional ESP learners. For the participants, the learning contents of the grammar section were the general grammar level of junior high school, while the learning contents of the four language skills sections were more of the levels of college English majors. Implications from the findings are obtained for instructors and textbook designers. First of all, existing ESP textbooks for IT are few and thus textbook selections for instructors are insufficient. Second, existing globally published textbooks for IT cannot be applied to learners of all English proficiency levels, especially the low level. With limited textbook selections, third, instructors should modify the selected textbook contents or supplement extra ESP materials to meet the proficiency level of target learners. Fourth, local ESP publishers should collaborate with local ESP instructors who understand best the learning background of their students in order to develop appropriate ESP textbooks for local learners. Even though the instructor reduced learning contents and simplified tests in curriculum design, in conclusion, the students still found difficult. This implies that in addition to the instructor’s professional experience, there is a need to understand the usefulness of the textbook from learner perspectives.

Keywords: ESP textbooks, ESP materials, ESP textbook design, learner perspectives on ESP textbooks.

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20 Beginning Physics Experiments Class Using Multi Media in National University of Laos

Authors: T. Nagata, S. Xaphakdy, P. Souvannavong, P. Chanthamaly, K. Sithavong, C. H. Lee, S. Phommathat, V. Srithilat, P. Sengdala, B. Phetarnousone, B. Siharath, X. Chemcheng, T. Yamaguchi, A. Suenaga, S. Kashima

Abstract:

National University of Laos (NUOL) requested Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) volunteers to begin a physics experiments class using multi media. However, there are issues. NUOL had no physics experiment class, no space for physics experiments, experiment materials were not used for many years and were scattered in various places, and there is no projector and laptop computer in the unit. This raised the question: How do authors begin the physics experiments class using multimedia? To solve this problem, the JICA took some steps, took stock of what was available and reviewed the syllabus. The JICA then revised the experiment materials to assess what was available and then developed textbooks for experiments using them; however, the question remained, what about the multimedia component of the course? Next, the JICA reviewed Physics teacher Pavy Souvannavong’s YouTube channel, where he and his students upload video reports of their physics classes at NUOL using their smartphones. While they use multi-media, almost all the videos recorded were of class presentations. To improve the multimedia style, authors edited the videos in the style of another YouTube channel, “Science for Lao,” which is a science education group made up of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) in Laos. They created the channel to enhance science education in Laos, and hold regular monthly meetings in the capital, Vientiane, and at teacher training colleges in the country. They edit the video clips in three parts, which are the materials and procedures part including pictures, practice footage of the experiment part, and then the result and conclusion part. Then students perform experiments and prepare for presentation by following the videos. The revised experiment presentation reports use PowerPoint presentations, material pictures and experiment video clips. As for providing textbooks and submitting reports, the students use the e-Learning system of “Moodle” of the Information Technology Center in Dongdok campus of NUOL. The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) donated those facilities. The authors have passed the process of the revised materials, developed textbooks, the PowerPoint slides presented by students, downloaded textbooks and uploaded reports, to begin the physics experiments class using multimedia. This is the practice research report for beginning a physics experiments class using multimedia in the physics unit at the Department of Natural Science, Faculty of Education, at the NUOL.

Keywords: NUOL, JICA, KOICA, Physics experiment materials, smart phone, Moodle, IT center, Science for Lao.

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19 Teaching English to Engineers: Between English Language Teaching and Psychology

Authors: Irina-Ana Drobot

Abstract:

Teaching English to Engineers is part of English for Specific Purposes, a domain which is under the attention of English students especially under the current conditions of finding jobs and establishing partnerships outside Romania. The paper will analyse the existing textbooks together with the teaching strategies they adopt. Teaching English to Engineering students can intersect with domains such as psychology and cultural studies in order to teach them efficiently. Textbooks for students of ESP, ranging from those at the Faculty of Economics to those at the Faculty of Engineers, have shifted away from using specialized vocabulary, drills for grammar and reading comprehension questions and toward communicative methods and the practical use of language. At present, in Romania, grammar is neglected in favour of communicative methods. The current interest in translation studies may indicate a return to this type of method, since only translation specialists can distinguish among specialized terms and determine which are most suitable in a translation. Engineers are currently encouraged to learn English in order to do their own translations in their own field. This paper will analyse the issue of the extent to which it is useful to teach Engineering students to do translations in their field using cognitive psychology applied to language teaching, including issues such as motivation and social psychology. Teaching general English to engineering students can result in lack of interest, but they can be motivated by practical aspects which will help them in their field. This is why this paper needs to take into account an interdisciplinary approach to teaching English to Engineers.

Keywords: Cognition, ESP, motivation, psychology.

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18 Behavior of Engineering Students in Kuwait University

Authors: M. A. Al-Ajmi, R. S. Al-Kandari

Abstract:

This initial study is concerned with the behavior of engineering students in Kuwait University which became a concern due to the global issues of education in all levels. A survey has been conducted to identify academic and societal issues affecting the engineering student performance. The study is drawing major conclusions with regard to private tutoring and the online availability of textbooks’ solution manuals.

Keywords: Solution manual, engineering, textbook, ethics.

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17 Theory of Fractions in College Algebra Course

Authors: Alexander Y. Vaninsky

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The paper compares the treatment of fractions in a typical undergraduate college curriculum and in abstract algebra textbooks. It stresses that the main difference is that the undergraduate curriculum treats equivalent fractions as equal, and this treatment eventually leads to paradoxes and impairs the students- ability to perceive ratios, proportions, radicals and rational exponents adequately. The paper suggests a simplified version of rigorous theory of fractions suitable for regular college curriculum.

Keywords: Fractions, mathematics curriculum, mathematics education, teacher preparation

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16 E-Books in Malaysian Primary Schools: The Terengganu Chapter

Authors: Azelin Mohamed Noor, Abd Mutalib Embong, Muhamad Ridhuan Tony Lim Abdullah

Abstract:

After the Terengganu state government decided to give a boost in teaching and learning through the allocation of free ebooks to all Primary five and six students; it was time to examine the presence of e-books in the classrooms. A survey was conducted on 101 students to determine how they felt about using the e-book and their experiences. It was discovered that a majority of these students liked using the e-book. However, although they had little problems using the e-book and the e-book helped to lighten the schoolbags, these new-age textbooks were not fully utilized. It is implied that perhaps the school administrators, teachers and students may not be able to overcome the unfamiliar characteristics of the e-book and its limitations.

Keywords: E-books, students, classroom, limitations

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

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

Abstract:

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

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

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14 Buddha Images in Mudras Representing Days of a Week: Tactile Texture Design for the Blind

Authors: Chantana Insra

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The research “Buddha Images in Mudras Representing Days of a Week: Tactile Texture Design for the Blind” aims to provide original tactile format to institutions for the blind, as supplementary textbooks, to accumulate Buddhist knowledge, so that it could be extracurricular learning. The research studied on 33 students with both total and partial blindness, the latter with the ability to read Braille’s signs, of elementary 4 – 6, who are pursuing their studies on the second semester of the academic year 2013 at Bangkok School for the Blind. The researcher opted samples specifically, studied data acquired from both documents and fieldworks. Those methods must be related to the blind, tactile format production, and Buddha images in mudras representing days of a week. Afterwards, the formats will be analyzed and designed so that there would be 8 format pictures of Buddha images in mudras representing days of the week. Experts will next evaluate the media and try out.

Keywords: Blind, tactile texture, Thai Buddha images in Mudras representing days of the week.

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13 Perceptions of Teachers toward Inclusive Education Focus on Hearing Impairment

Authors: Chalise Kiran

Abstract:

The prime idea of inclusive education is to mainstream every child in education. However, it will be challenging for implementation when there are policy and practice gaps. It will be even more challenging when children have disabilities. Generally, the focus will be on the policy gap, but the problem may not always be with policy. The proper practice could be a challenge in the countries like Nepal. In determining practice, the teachers’ perceptions toward inclusive will play a vital role. Nepal has categorized disability in 7 types (physical, visual, hearing, vision/hearing, speech, mental, and multiple). Out of these, hearing impairment is the study realm. In the context of a limited number of researches on children with disabilities and rare researches on CWHI and their education in Nepal, this study is a pioneering effort in knowing basically the problems and challenges of CWHI focused on inclusive education in the schools including gaps and barriers in its proper implementation. Philosophically, the paradigm of the study is post-positivism. In the post-positivist worldview, the quantitative approach with the description of the situation and inferential relationship are revealed out in the study. This is related to the natural model of objective reality. The data were collected from an individual survey with the teachers and head teachers of 35 schools in Nepal. The survey questionnaire was prepared and filled by the respondents from the schools where the CWHI study in 7 provincial 20 districts of Nepal. Through these considerations, the perceptions of CWHI focused inclusive education were explored in the study. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential tools on which the Likert scale-based analysis was done for descriptive analysis, and chi-square mathematical tool was used to know the significant relationship between dependent variables and independent variables. The descriptive analysis showed that the majority of teachers have positive perceptions toward implementing CWHI focused inclusive education, and the majority of them have positive perceptions toward CWHI focused inclusive education, though there are some problems and challenges. The study has found out the major challenges and problems categorically. Some of them are: a large number of students in a single class; availability of generic textbooks for CWHI and no availability of textbooks to all students; less opportunity for teachers to acquire knowledge on CWHI; not adequate teachers in the schools; no flexibility in the curriculum; less information system in schools; no availability of educational consular; disaster-prone students; no child abuse control strategy; no disabled-friendly schools; no free health check-up facility; no participation of the students in school activities and in child clubs and so on. By and large, it is found that teachers’ age, gender, years of experience, position, employment status, and disability with him or her show no statistically significant relation to successfully implement CWHI focused inclusive education and perceptions to CWHI focused inclusive education in schools. However, in some of the cases, the set null hypothesis was rejected, and some are completely retained. The study has suggested policy implications, implications for educational authority, and implications for teachers and parents categorically.

Keywords: Children with hearing impairment, disability, inclusive education, perception.

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12 Revising the Student Experiment Materials and Practices at the National University of Laos

Authors: Syhalath Xaphakdy, Toshio Nagata, Saykham Phommathat, Pavy Souwannavong, Vilayvanh Srithilat, Phoxay Sengdala, Bounaom Phetarnousone, Boualay Siharath, Xaya Chemcheng

Abstract:

The National University of Laos (NUOL) invited a group of volunteers from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to revise the physics experiments to utilize the materials that were already available to students. The intension was to review and revise the materials regularly utilized in physics class. The project had access to limited materials and a small budget for the class in the unit; however, by developing experimental textbooks related to mechanics, electricity, and wave and vibration, the group found a way to apply them in the classroom and enhance the students teaching activities. The aim was to introduce a way to incorporate the materials and practices in the classroom to enhance the students learning and teaching skills, particularly when they graduate and begin working as high school teachers.

Keywords: NUOL, JICA, physics experiment materials, small budget, mechanics, electricity.

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11 Developing Online Bookstore to Facilitate Manual Process – UTP Case Study

Authors: Emelia Akashah P.A, Sharifah Nadiah S.A

Abstract:

Knowledge sharing enables the information or knowledge to be transmitted from one source to another. This paper demonstrates the needs of having the online book catalogue which can be used to facilitate disseminating information on textbook used in the university. This project is aimed to give access to the students and lecturers to the list of books in the bookstore and at the same time to allow book reviewing without having to visit the bookstore physically. Research is carried out according to the boundaries which accounts to current process of new book purchasing, current system used by the bookstore and current process the lecturers go through for reviewing textbooks. The questionnaire is used to gather the requirements and it is distributed to 100 students and 40 lecturers. This project has enabled the improvement of a manual process to be carried out automatically, through a web based platform. It is shown based on the user acceptance survey carried out that target groups found that this web service is feasible to be implemented in Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), and they have shown positive signs of interest in utilizing it in the future.

Keywords: bookstore, knowledge sharing, online bookcatalogue, textbook

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10 Acceleration Analysis of a Rotating Body

Authors: R. Usubamatov

Abstract:

The velocity of a moving point in a general path is the vector quantity, which has both magnitude and direction. The magnitude or the direction of the velocity vector can change over time as a result of acceleration that the time rate of velocity changes. Acceleration analysis is important because inertial forces and inertial torques are proportional to rectilinear and angular accelerations accordingly. The loads must be determined in advance to ensure that a machine is adequately designed to handle these dynamic loads. For planar motion, the vector direction of acceleration is commonly separated into two elements: tangential and centripetal or radial components of a point on a rotating body. All textbooks in physics, kinematics and dynamics of machinery consider the magnitude of a radial acceleration at condition when a point rotates with a constant angular velocity and it means without acceleration. The magnitude of the tangential acceleration considered on a basis of acceleration for a rotating point. Such condition of presentation of magnitudes for two components of acceleration logically and mathematically is not correct and may cause further confusion in calculation. This paper presents new analytical expressions of the radial and absolute accelerations of a rotating point with acceleration and covers the gap in theoretical study of acceleration analysis.

Keywords: acceleration analysis, kinematics of mechanisms.

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9 Statistical (Radio) Path Loss Modelling: For RF Propagations within localized Indoor and Outdoor Environments of the Academic Building of INTI University College (Laureate International Universities)

Authors: Emmanuel O.O. Ojakominor, Tian F. Lai

Abstract:

A handful of propagation textbooks that discuss radio frequency (RF) propagation models merely list out the models and perhaps discuss them rather briefly; this may well be frustrating for the potential first time modeller who's got no idea on how these models could have been derived. This paper fundamentally provides an overture in modelling the radio channel. Explicitly, for the modelling practice discussed here, signal strength field measurements had to be conducted beforehand (this was done at 469 MHz); to be precise, this paper primarily concerns empirically/statistically modelling the radio channel, and thus provides results obtained from empirically modelling the environments in question. This paper, on the whole, proposes three propagation models, corresponding to three experimented environments. Perceptibly, the models have been derived by way of making the most use of statistical measures. Generally speaking, the first two models were derived via simple linear regression analysis, whereas the third have been originated using multiple regression analysis (with five various predictors). Additionally, as implied by the title of this paper, both indoor and outdoor environments have been experimented; however, (somewhat) two of the environments are neither entirely indoor nor entirely outdoor. The other environment, however, is completely indoor.

Keywords: RF propagation, radio channel modelling, statistical methods.

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8 Towards an Intelligent Ontology Construction Cost Estimation System: Using BIM and New Rules of Measurement Techniques

Authors: F. H. Abanda, B. Kamsu-Foguem, J. H. M. Tah

Abstract:

Construction cost estimation is one of the most important aspects of construction project design. For generations, the process of cost estimating has been manual, time-consuming and error-prone. This has partly led to most cost estimates to be unclear and riddled with inaccuracies that at times lead to over- or underestimation of construction cost. The development of standard set of measurement rules that are understandable by all those involved in a construction project, have not totally solved the challenges. Emerging Building Information Modelling (BIM) technologies can exploit standard measurement methods to automate cost estimation process and improve accuracies. This requires standard measurement methods to be structured in ontological and machine readable format; so that BIM software packages can easily read them. Most standard measurement methods are still text-based in textbooks and require manual editing into tables or Spreadsheet during cost estimation. The aim of this study is to explore the development of an ontology based on New Rules of Measurement (NRM) commonly used in the UK for cost estimation. The methodology adopted is Methontology, one of the most widely used ontology engineering methodologies. The challenges in this exploratory study are also reported and recommendations for future studies proposed.

Keywords: BIM, Construction projects, Cost estimation, NRM, Ontology.

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7 Brief Review of the Self-Tightening, Left-Handed Thread

Authors: Robert S. Giachetti, Emanuele Grossi

Abstract:

Loosening of bolted joints in rotating machines can adversely affect their performance, cause mechanical damage, and lead to injuries. In this paper, two potential loosening phenomena in rotating applications are discussed. First, ‘precession,’ is governed by thread/nut contact forces, while the second is based on inertial effects of the fastened assembly. These mechanisms are reviewed within the context of historical usage of left-handed fasteners in rotating machines which appears absent in the literature and common machine design texts. Historically, to prevent loosening of wheel nuts, vehicle manufacturers have used right-handed and left-handed threads on different sides of the vehicle, but most modern vehicles have abandoned this custom and only use right-handed, tapered lug nuts on all sides of the vehicle. Other classical machines such as the bicycle continue to use different handed threads on each side while other machines such as, bench grinders, circular saws and brush cutters still use left-handed threads to fasten rotating components. Despite the continued use of left-handed fasteners, the rationale and analysis of left-handed threads to mitigate self-loosening of fasteners in rotating applications is not commonly, if at all, discussed in the literature or design textbooks. Without scientific literature to support these design selections, these implementations may be the result of experimental findings or aged institutional knowledge. Based on a review of rotating applications, historical documents and mechanical design references, a formal study of the paradoxical nature of left-handed threads in various applications is merited.

Keywords: Rotating machinery, self-loosening fasteners, wheel fastening, vibration loosening.

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6 Promoting Open Educational Resources (OER) in Theological/Religious Education in Nigeria

Authors: Miracle Ajah

Abstract:

One of the biggest challenges facing Theological/ Religious Education in Nigeria is access to quality learning materials. For instance at the Trinity (Union) Theological College, Umuahia, it was difficult for lecturers to access suitable and qualitative materials for instruction especially the ones that would suit the African context and stimulate a deep rooted interest among the students. Some textbooks written by foreign authors were readily available in the School Library, but were lacking in the College bookshops for students to own copies. Even when the College was able to order some of the books from abroad, it did not usher in the needed enthusiasm expected from the students because they were either very expensive or very difficult to understand during private studies. So it became necessary to develop contextual materials which were affordable and understandable, though with little success. The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)’s innovation in the development and sharing of learning resources through its Open Courseware is a welcome development and of great assistance to students. Apart from NOUN students who could easily access the materials, many others from various theological/religious institutes across the nation have benefited immensely. So, the thesis of this paper is that the promotion of open educational resources in theological/religious education in Nigeria would facilitate a better informed/equipped religious leadership, which would in turn impact its adherents for a healthier society and national development. Adopting a narrative and historical approach within the context of Nigeria’s educational system, the paper discusses: educational traditions in Nigeria; challenges facing theological/religious education in Nigeria; and benefits of open educational resources. The study goes further to making recommendations on how OER could positively influence theological/religious education in Nigeria. It is expected that theologians, religious educators, and ODL practitioners would find this work very useful.

Keywords: Nigeria, OER, religious education, theological education.

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5 Legal Problems with the Thai Political Party Establishment

Authors: Paiboon Chuwatthanakij

Abstract:

Each of the countries around the world has different ways of management and many of them depend on people to administrate their country. Thailand, for example, empowers the sovereignty of Thai people under constitution; however, our Thai voting system is not able to flow fast enough under the current Political management system. The sovereignty of Thai people is addressing this problem through representatives during current elections, in order to set a new policy for the countries ideology to change in the House and the Cabinet. This is particularly important in a democracy to be developed under our current political institution. The Organic Act on Political Parties 2007 is the establishment we have today that is causing confrontations within the establishment. There are many political parties that will soon be abolished. Many political parties have already been subsidized. This research study is to analyze the legal problems with the political party establishment under the Organic Act on Political Parties 2007. This will focus on the freedom of each political establishment compared to an effective political operation. Textbooks and academic papers will be referenced from studies home and abroad. The study revealed that Organic Act on Political Parties 2007 has strict provisions on the political structure over the number of members and the number of branches involved within political parties system. Such operations shall be completed within one year; but under the existing laws the small parties are not able to participate with the bigger parties. The cities are capable of fulfilling small political party requirements but fail to become coalesced because the current laws won't allow them to be united as one. It is important to allow all independent political parties to join our current political structure. Board members can’t help the smaller parties to become a large organization under the existing Thai laws. Creating a new establishment that functions efficiently throughout all branches would be one solution to these legal problems between all political parties. With this new operation, individual political parties can participate with the bigger parties during elections. Until current political institutions change their system to accommodate public opinion, these current Thai laws will continue to be a problem with all political parties in Thailand.

Keywords: Coalesced, Political Party, Sovereignty.

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4 Bond Graph Modeling of Mechanical Dynamics of an Excavator for Hydraulic System Analysis and Design

Authors: Mutuku Muvengei, John Kihiu

Abstract:

This paper focuses on the development of bond graph dynamic model of the mechanical dynamics of an excavating mechanism previously designed to be used with small tractors, which are fabricated in the Engineering Workshops of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. To develop a mechanical dynamics model of the manipulator, forward recursive equations similar to those applied in iterative Newton-Euler method were used to obtain kinematic relationships between the time rates of joint variables and the generalized cartesian velocities for the centroids of the links. Representing the obtained kinematic relationships in bondgraphic form, while considering the link weights and momenta as the elements led to a detailed bond graph model of the manipulator. The bond graph method was found to reduce significantly the number of recursive computations performed on a 3 DOF manipulator for a mechanical dynamic model to result, hence indicating that bond graph method is more computationally efficient than the Newton-Euler method in developing dynamic models of 3 DOF planar manipulators. The model was verified by comparing the joint torque expressions of a two link planar manipulator to those obtained using Newton- Euler and Lagrangian methods as analyzed in robotic textbooks. The expressions were found to agree indicating that the model captures the aspects of rigid body dynamics of the manipulator. Based on the model developed, actuator sizing and valve sizing methodologies were developed and used to obtain the optimal sizes of the pistons and spool valve ports respectively. It was found that using the pump with the sized flow rate capacity, the engine of the tractor is able to power the excavating mechanism in digging a sandy-loom soil.

Keywords: Actuators, bond graphs, inverse dynamics, recursive equations, quintic polynomial trajectory.

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3 Inner and Outer School Contextual Factors Associated with Poor Performance of Grade 12 Students: A Case Study of an Underperforming High School in Mpumalanga, South Africa

Authors: Victoria L. Nkosi, Parvaneh Farhangpour

Abstract:

Often a Grade 12 certificate is perceived as a passport to tertiary education and the minimum requirement to enter the world of work. In spite of its importance, many students do not make this milestone in South Africa. It is important to find out why so many students still fail in spite of transformation in the education system in the post-apartheid era. Given the complexity of education and its context, this study adopted a case study design to examine one historically underperforming high school in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa in 2013. The aim was to gain a understanding of the inner and outer school contextual factors associated with the high failure rate among Grade 12 students.  Government documents and reports were consulted to identify factors in the district and the village surrounding the school and a student survey was conducted to identify school, home and student factors. The randomly-sampled half of the population of Grade 12 students (53) participated in the survey and quantitative data are analyzed using descriptive statistical methods. The findings showed that a host of factors is at play. The school is located in a village within a municipality which has been one of the poorest three municipalities in South Africa and the lowest Grade 12 pass rate in the Mpumalanga province.   Moreover, over half of the families of the students are single parents, 43% are unemployed and the majority has a low level of education. In addition, most families (83%) do not have basic study materials such as a dictionary, books, tables, and chairs. A significant number of students (70%) are over-aged (+19 years old); close to half of them (49%) are grade repeaters. The school itself lacks essential resources, namely computers, science laboratories, library, and enough furniture and textbooks. Moreover, teaching and learning are negatively affected by the teachers’ occasional absenteeism, inadequate lesson preparation, and poor communication skills. Overall, the continuous low performance of students in this school mirrors the vicious circle of multiple negative conditions present within and outside of the school. The complexity of factors associated with the underperformance of Grade 12 students in this school calls for a multi-dimensional intervention from government and stakeholders. One important intervention should be the placement of over-aged students and grade-repeaters in suitable educational institutions for the benefit of other students.

Keywords: Inner context, outer context, over-aged students, vicious circle.

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

Authors: Marthese Azzopardi, Liberato Camilleri

Abstract:

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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1 Teaching Turn-Taking Rules and Pragmatic Principles to Empower EFL Students and Enhance Their Learning in Speaking Modules

Authors: O. F. Elkommos

Abstract:

Teaching and learning EFL speaking modules is one of the most challenging productive modules for both instructors and learners. In a student-centered interactive communicative language teaching approach, learners and instructors should be aware of the fact that the target language must be taught as/for communication. The student must be empowered by tools that will work on more than one level of their communicative competence. Communicative learning will need a teaching and learning methodology that will address the goal. Teaching turn-taking rules, pragmatic principles and speech acts will enhance students' sociolinguistic competence, strategic competence together with discourse competence. Sociolinguistic competence entails the mastering of speech act conventions and illocutionary acts of refusing, agreeing/disagreeing; emotive acts like, thanking, apologizing, inviting, offering; directives like, ordering, requesting, advising, and hinting, among others. Strategic competence includes enlightening students’ consciousness of the various particular turn-taking systemic rules of organizing techniques of opening and closing conversation, adjacency pairs, interrupting, back-channeling, asking for/giving opinion, agreeing/disagreeing, using natural fillers for pauses, gaps, speaker select, self-select, and silence among others. Students will have the tools to manage a conversation. Students are engaged in opportunities of experiencing the natural language not as a mere extra student talking time but rather an empowerment of knowing and using the strategies. They will have the component items they need to use as well as the opportunity to communicate in the target language using topics of their interest and choice. This enhances students' communicative abilities. Available websites and textbooks now use one or more of these tools of turn-taking or pragmatics. These will be students' support in self-study in their independent learning study hours. This will be their reinforcement practice on e-Learning interactive activities. The students' target is to be able to communicate the intended meaning to an addressee that is in turn able to infer that intended meaning. The combination of these tools will be assertive and encouraging to the student to beat the struggle with what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. Teaching the rules, principles and techniques is an act of awareness raising method engaging students in activities that will lead to their pragmatic discourse competence. The aim of the paper is to show how the suggested pragmatic model will empower students with tools and systems that would support their learning. Supporting students with turn taking rules, speech act theory, applying both to texts and practical analysis and using it in speaking classes empowers students’ pragmatic discourse competence and assists them to understand language and its context. They become more spontaneous and ready to learn the discourse pragmatic dimension of the speaking techniques and suitable content. Students showed a better performance and a good motivation to learn. The model is therefore suggested for speaking modules in EFL classes.

Keywords: Communicative competence, EFL, empowering learners, enhance learning, speech acts, teaching speaking, turn-taking, learner centered, pragmatics.

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