Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 26

Search results for: undergraduates.

26 Measuring the Academic Self-Efficacy of Undergraduates: The Role of Gender and Academic Year Experience

Authors: Vilani Sachitra, Udari Bandara

Abstract:

Self-efficacy beliefs provide the foundation for human motivation, well-being, and personal accomplishment. This study measured the levels of academic self-efficacy of undergraduates and also examined whether there any differences in academic self-efficacy with respect to gender and academic year. A structured questionnaire was employed to collect data from undergraduates who enrolled the Bachelor of Commerce degree programme at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. The outcome of the study revealed that undergraduates lacked the confidence to ask and answer questions, seek help from lecturers, have a study plan and engage in academic discussion and note-taking. However, the findings also demonstrated that undergraduates were not hesitant about seeking help from friends, had confidence on meeting the deadlines and completing the degree within four years. Interestingly, females displayed higher academic self-efficacy than males. Specifically, the data were supported to conclude that there were significant differences in academic self-efficacy with respect to academic years.

Keywords: Academic year, bachelor of commerce undergraduates, gender, self-efficacy.

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25 The Attitude towards Sustainable Development Issues among Malaysian Engineering Undergraduates

Authors: Balamuralithara Balakrishnan

Abstract:

This paper reports the findings of the perception and attitude towards Sustainable Development among Malaysian undergraduates. The study was carried out involving 86 engineering undergraduates from three universities in Malaysia. This research was conducted based on a survey whereby the respondents were given a questionnaire to gauge their attitude towards sustainable development. The output of the analyses showed that the respondents have an appropriate attitude towards the sustainability issues expect for economic and social equality aspects. These findings suggest that the engineering educators involved in sustainable development education need to educate undergraduate students on this important issue. This investigation serves as a cornerstone to which the current paradigm of sustainable development education can be examined for further improvement by related stakeholders.

Keywords: Sustainable development, engineering education, Malaysia, attitude.

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24 Investigating Iraqi EFL Undergraduates' Performance in the Production of Number Forms in English

Authors: Adnan Z. Mkhelif

Abstract:

The production of number forms in English tends to be problematic for Iraqi learners of English as a foreign language (EFL), even at the undergraduate level. To help better understand and consequently address this problem, it is important to identify its sources. This study aims at: (1) statistically analysing Iraqi EFL undergraduates' performance in the production of number forms in English; (2) classifying learners' errors in terms of their possible major causes; and (3) outlining some pedagogical recommendations relevant to the teaching of number forms in English. It is hypothesized in this study that (1) Iraqi EFL undergraduates still face problems in the production of number forms in English and (2) errors pertaining to the context of learning are more numerous than those attributable to the other possible causes. After reviewing the literature available on the topic, a written test comprising 50 items has been constructed and administered to a randomly chosen sample of 50 second-year college students from the Department of English, College of Education, Wasit University. The findings of the study showed that Iraqi EFL undergraduates still face problems in the production of number forms in English and that the possible major sources of learners’ errors can be arranged hierarchically in terms of the percentages of errors to which they can be ascribed as follows: (1) context of learning (50%), (2) intralingual transfer (37%), and (3) interlingual transfer (13%). It is hoped that the implications of the study findings will be beneficial to researchers, syllabus designers, as well as teachers of English as a foreign/second language.

Keywords: L2 morphology, L2 number forms, L2 vocabulary learning, productive knowledge.

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23 The Islamic Element of Al-‘Adl in Critical Thinking: the Perception of Muslim Engineering Undergraduates in Malaysia

Authors: Mohd Nuri Al-Amin Endut, Wan Suhaimi Wan Abdullah, Zulqarnain Abu Bakar

Abstract:

The element of justice or al-‘adl in the context of Islamic critical thinking deals with the notion of justice in a thinking process which critically rationalizes the truth in a fair and objective manner with no irrelevant interference that can jeopardize a sound judgment. This Islamic axiological element is vital in technological decision making as it addresses the issues of religious values and ethics that are primarily set to fulfill the purpose of human life on earth. The main objective of this study was to examine and analyze the perception of Muslim engineering students in Malaysian higher education institutions towards the concept of al-‘adl as an essential element of Islamic critical thinking. The study employed mixed methods approach that comprises data collection from the questionnaire survey and the interview responses. A total of 557 Muslim engineering undergraduates from six Malaysian universities participated in the study. The study generally indicated that Muslim engineering undergraduates in the higher institutions have rather good comprehension and consciousness for al-‘adl with a slight awareness on the importance of objective thinking. Nonetheless there were a few items on the concept that have implied a comparatively low perception on the rational justice in Islam as the means to grasp the ultimate truth.

Keywords: Engineering education, Islamic critical thinking, rational justice, perception, tertiary education.

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22 Malaysia Folk Literature in Early Childhood Education

Authors: F. P. Chew, Z. Ishak

Abstract:

Malay Folk Literature in early childhood education served as an important agent in child development that involved emotional, thinking and language aspects. Up to this moment not much research has been carried out in Malaysia particularly in the teaching and learning aspects nor has there been an effort to publish “big books." Hence this article will discuss the stance taken by university undergraduate students, teachers and parents in evaluating Malay Folk Literature in early childhood education to be used as big books. The data collated and analyzed were taken from 646 respondents comprising 347 undergraduates and 299 teachers. Results of the study indicated that Malay Folk Literature can be absorbed into teaching and learning for early childhood with a mean of 4.25 while it can be in big books with a mean of 4.14. Meanwhile the highest mean value required for placing Malay Folk Literature genre as big books in early childhood education rests on exemplary stories for undergraduates with mean of 4.47; animal fables for teachers with a mean of 4.38. The lowest mean value of 3.57 is given to lipurlara stories. The most popular Malay Folk Literature found suitable for early children is Sang Kancil and the Crocodile, followed by Bawang Putih Bawang Merah. Pak Padir, Legends of Mahsuri, Origin of Malacca, and Origin of Rainbow are among the popular stories as well. Overall the undergraduates show a positive attitude toward all the items compared to teachers. The t-test analysis has revealed a non significant relationship between the undergraduate students and teachers with all the items for the teaching and learning of Malay Folk Literature.

Keywords: Big Book, Early Childhood Education, Malay FolkLiterature

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21 Active Learning Strategies and Academic Achievement among Some Psychology Undergraduates in Barbados

Authors: Grace Adebisi Fayombo

Abstract:

This study investigated the relationships between the active learning strategies (discussion, video clips, game show, role– play, five minute paper, clarification pauses, and small group) and academic achievement among a sample of 158 undergraduate psychology students in The University of the West Indies (UWI), Barbados. Results revealed statistically significant positive correlations between active learning strategies and students’ academic achievement; so also the active learning strategies contributed 22% (Rsq=0.222) to the variance being accounted for in academic achievement and this was found to be statistically significant (F(7,150) = 6.12, p < .05). Additionally, group work emerged as the best active learning strategy and had the highest correlation with the students’ academic achievement. These results were discussed in the light of the importance of the active learning strategies promoting academic achievement among the university students.

Keywords: Academic achievement, active learning strategies, psychology, undergraduates.

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20 Relationship between Facebook Usage and the Student Engagement of Sri Lankan Management Undergraduates

Authors: L. C. H. Jayarathna, W. M. N. Fernando

Abstract:

Academics and researchers are interested in the effects of social media on college students, with a specific focus on the most popular social media website; Facebook. Previous studied have found contradictory result on the relationship between Facebook usage and the student engagement with positive, detrimental and no significant relationships. However, these studies were limited to western higher education system. This paper fills a gap in the literature by using a sample (300) of Sri Lankan management undergraduates to examine the relationship between Facebook usage and student engagement. Student engagement was measured 35 item scale based on the National Survey of Student Engagement and Facebook usage by Facebook intensity scale. Descriptive statistics, path analysis and structural equation modeling were applied as statistical tools and techniques. Results indicate that student engagement scale was significantly negatively related with the Facebook usage with the influence from student engagement on Facebook usage.

Keywords: Facebook Intensity, Social Networking Sites, Student Engagement.

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19 Integration of Virtual Learning of Induction Machines for Undergraduates

Authors: Rajesh Kumar, Puneet Aggarwal

Abstract:

In context of understanding problems faced by undergraduate students while carrying out laboratory experiments dealing with high voltages, it was found that most of the students are hesitant to work directly on machine. The reason is that error in the circuitry might lead to deterioration of machine and laboratory instruments. So, it has become inevitable to include modern pedagogic techniques for undergraduate students, which would help them to first carry out experiment in virtual system and then to work on live circuit. Further advantages include that students can try out their intuitive ideas and perform in virtual environment, hence leading to new research and innovations. In this paper, virtual environment used is of MATLAB/Simulink for three-phase induction machines. The performance analysis of three-phase induction machine is carried out using virtual environment which includes Direct Current (DC) Test, No-Load Test, and Block Rotor Test along with speed torque characteristics for different rotor resistances and input voltage, respectively. Further, this paper carries out computer aided teaching of basic Voltage Source Inverter (VSI) drive circuitry. Hence, this paper gave undergraduates a clearer view of experiments performed on virtual machine (No-Load test, Block Rotor test and DC test, respectively). After successful implementation of basic tests, VSI circuitry is implemented, and related harmonic distortion (THD) and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of current and voltage waveform are studied.

Keywords: Block rotor test, DC test, no-load test, virtual environment, VSI.

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18 Undergraduates Learning Preferences: A Comparison of Science, Technology and Social Science Academic Disciplines in Relations to Teaching Designs and Strategies

Authors: Salina Budin, Shaira Ismail

Abstract:

Students learn effectively in a learning environment with a suitable teaching approach that matches their learning preferences. The main objective of the study is to examine the learning preferences amongst the students in the Science and Technology (S&T), and Social Science (SS) fields of study at the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Pulau Pinang. The measurement instrument is based on the Dunn and Dunn Learning Styles which measure five elements of learning styles; environmental, sociological, emotional, physiological and psychological. Questionnaires are distributed amongst undergraduates in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Faculty of Business Management. The respondents comprise of 131 diploma students of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and 111 degree students of the Faculty of Business Management. The results indicate that, both S&T and SS students share a similar learning preferences on the environmental aspect, emotional preferences, motivational level, learning responsibility, persistent level in learning and learning structure. Most of the S&T students are concluded as analytical learners and the majority of SS students are global learners. Both S&T and SS students are concluded as visual learners, preferred to be in an active mobility in a relaxing and enjoying mode with some light of refreshments during the learning process and exhibited reflective characteristics in learning. Obviously, the S&T students are considered as left brain dominant, whereas the SS students are right brain dominant. The findings highlighted that both categories of students exhibited similar learning preferences except on psychological preferences.

Keywords: Learning preferences, Dunn and Dunn learning style, teaching approach, science and technology, social science.

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17 Mathematics Anxiety among Male and Female Students

Authors: Wern Lin Yeo, Choo Kim Tan, Sook Ling Lew

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship of anxiety level between male and female undergraduates at a private university in Malaysia. Convenient sampling method used in this study in which the students were selected based on the grouping assigned by the faculty. There were 214 undergraduates who registered the probability courses had participated in this study. Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (MARS) was the instrument used in study which used to determine students’ anxiety level towards probability. Reliability and validity of instrument was done before the major study was conducted. In the major study, students were given briefing about the study conducted. Participation of this study was voluntary. Students were given consent form to determine whether they agree to participate in the study. Duration of two weeks was given for students to complete the given online questionnaire. The data collected will be analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to determine the level of anxiety. There were three anxiety level, i.e., low, average and high. Students’ anxiety level was determined based on their scores obtained compared with the mean and standard deviation. If the scores obtained were below mean and standard deviation, the anxiety level was low. If the scores were at below and above the mean and between one standard deviation, the anxiety level was average. If the scores were above the mean and greater than one standard deviation, the anxiety level was high. Results showed that both of genders were having average anxiety level. Among low, average and high anxiety level, frequency of males were found to be higher as compared to females. Hence, the mean values obtained for males (M = 3.62) was higher than females (M = 3.42). In order to be significant of anxiety level among the gender, the p-value should be less than .05. The p-value obtained in this study was .117. However, this value was greater than .05. Thus, there was no significant difference of anxiety level among the gender. In other words, there was no relationship of anxiety level with the gender.

Keywords: Anxiety level, gender, mathematics anxiety, probability and statistics.

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16 Linguistic, Pragmatic and Evolutionary Factors in Wason Selection Task

Authors: Olimpia Matarazzo, Fabrizio Ferrara

Abstract:

In two studies we tested the hypothesis that the appropriate linguistic formulation of a deontic rule – i.e. the formulation which clarifies the monadic nature of deontic operators - should produce more correct responses than the conditional formulation in Wason selection task. We tested this assumption by presenting a prescription rule and a prohibition rule in conditional vs. proper deontic formulation. We contrasted this hypothesis with two other hypotheses derived from social contract theory and relevance theory. According to the first theory, a deontic rule expressed in terms of cost-benefit should elicit a cheater detection module, sensible to mental states attributions and thus able to discriminate intentional rule violations from accidental rule violations. We tested this prevision by distinguishing the two types of violations. According to relevance theory, performance in selection task should improve by increasing cognitive effect and decreasing cognitive effort. We tested this prevision by focusing experimental instructions on the rule vs. the action covered by the rule. In study 1, in which 480 undergraduates participated, we tested these predictions through a 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 (type of the rule x rule formulation x type of violation x experimental instructions) between-subjects design. In study 2 – carried out by means of a 2 x 2 (rule formulation x type of violation) between-subjects design - we retested the hypothesis of rule formulation vs. the cheaterdetection hypothesis through a new version of selection task in which intentional vs. accidental rule violations were better discriminated. 240 undergraduates participated in this study. Results corroborate our hypothesis and challenge the contrasting assumptions. However, they show that the conditional formulation of deontic rules produces a lower performance than what is reported in literature.

Keywords: Deontic reasoning; Evolutionary, linguistic, logical, pragmatic factors; Wason selection task

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15 The Role of Online Videos in Undergraduate Casual-Leisure Information Behaviors

Authors: Nei-Ching Yeh

Abstract:

This study describes undergraduate casual-leisure information behaviors relevant to online videos. Diaries and in-depth interviews were used to collect data. Twenty-four undergraduates participated in this study (9 men, 15 women; all were aged 18–22 years). This study presents a model of casual-leisure information behaviors and contributes new insights into user experience in casual-leisure settings, such as online video programs, with implications for other information domains.

Keywords: Casual-leisure information behaviors, information behavior, online videos, role.

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14 Inequalities in Higher Education and Students’ Perceptions of Factors Influencing Academic Performance

Authors: Violetta Parutis

Abstract:

This qualitative study aims to answer the following research questions: i) What are the factors that students perceive as relevant to a) promoting and b) preventing good grades? ii) How does socio-economic status (SES) feature in those beliefs? We conducted in-depth interviews with 19 first- and second-year undergraduates of varying SES at a research-intensive university in the UK. The interviews yielded eight factors that students perceived as promoting and six perceived as preventing good grades. The findings suggested one significant difference between the beliefs of low and high SES students in that low SES students perceive themselves to be at a greater disadvantage to their peers while high SES students do not have such beliefs. This could have knock-on effects on their performance.

Keywords: Social class, education, academic performance, students’ beliefs.

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13 Electromyographic Activity of the Medial Gastrocnemius and Lateral Gastrocnemius Muscle during Salat-s and Specific Exercise

Authors: M. K. M. Safee, W. A. B. Wan Abas, N. A. Abu Osman, F. Ibrahim

Abstract:

This paper investigates the activity of the gastrocnemius (Gas) muscle in healthy subjects during salat (ruku- position) and specific exercise [Unilateral Plantar Flexion Exercise (UPFE)] using electromyography (EMG). Both lateral and medial Gas muscles were assessed. A group of undergraduates aged between 19 to 25 years voluntarily participated in this study. The myoelectric activity of the muscles were recorded and analyzed. The finding indicated that there were contractions of the muscles during the salat and exercise with almost same EMG-s level. From the result, Wilcoxon-s Rank Sum test showed no significant difference between ruku- and UPFE for both medial (p=0.082) and lateral (p=0.226) of GAS muscles. Therefore, salat may be useful in strengthening exercise and also in rehabilitation programs for lower limb activities.

Keywords: Electromyography, salat, exercise, muscle.

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12 A Generic e-Tutor for Graphical Problems

Authors: B.W. Field

Abstract:

For a variety of safety and economic reasons, engineering undergraduates in Australia have experienced diminishing access to the real hardware that is typically the embodiment of their theoretical studies. This trend will delay the development of practical competence, decrease the ability to model and design, and suppress motivation. The author has attempted to address this concern by creating a software tool that contains both photographic images of real machinery, and sets of graphical modeling 'tools'. Academics from a range of disciplines can use the software to set tutorial tasks, and incorporate feedback comments for a range of student responses. An evaluation of the software demonstrated that students who had solved modeling problems with the aid of the electronic tutor performed significantly better in formal examinations with similar problems. The 2-D graphical diagnostic routines in the Tutor have the potential to be used in a wider range of problem-solving tasks.

Keywords: CAL, graphics, modeling, structural distillation, tutoring.

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11 Electromyography Activity of the Rectus Femoris and Biceps Femoris Muscles during Prostration and Squat Exercise

Authors: Mohd Safee M. K., Wan Abas W. A. B, Ibrahim F., Abu Osman N. A., Abdul Malik N. A.

Abstract:

This paper investigates the activity of the rectus femoris (RF) and biceps femoris (BF) in healthy subjects during salat (prostration) and specific exercise (squat exercise) using electromyography (EMG). A group of undergraduates aged between 19 to 25 years voluntarily participated in this study. The myoelectric activity of the muscles were recorded and analyzed. The finding indicated that there were contractions of the muscles during the salat and exercise with almost same EMG’s level. From the result, Wilcoxon’s Rank Sum test showed significant difference between prostration and squat exercise (p<0.05) but the differences was very small; RF (8.63%MVC) and BF (11.43%MVC). Therefore, salat may be useful in strengthening exercise and also in rehabilitation programs for lower limb activities. This pilot study conducted initial research into the biomechanical responses of human muscles in various positions of salat.

Keywords: Electromyography, exercise, muscle, salat.

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10 Q-Test of Undergraduate Epistemology and Scientific Thought: Development and Testing of an Assessment of Scientific Epistemology

Authors: Matthew J. Zagumny

Abstract:

The QUEST is an assessment of scientific epistemic beliefs and was developed to measure students’ intellectual development in regards to beliefs about knowledge and knowing. The QUEST utilizes Q-sort methodology, which requires participants to rate the degree to which statements describe them personally. As a measure of personal theories of knowledge, the QUEST instrument is described with the Q-sort distribution and scoring explained. A preliminary demonstration of the QUEST assessment is described with two samples of undergraduate students (novice/lower division compared to advanced/upper division students) being assessed and their average QUEST scores compared. The usefulness of an assessment of epistemology is discussed in terms of the principle that assessment tends to drive educational practice and university mission. The critical need for university and academic programs to focus on development of students’ scientific epistemology is briefly discussed.

Keywords: Scientific epistemology, critical thinking, Q-sort method, STEM undergraduates.

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9 Computer-Aided Teaching of Transformers for Undergraduates

Authors: Rajesh Kumar, Roopali Dogra, Puneet Aggarwal

Abstract:

In the era of technological advancement, use of computer technology has become inevitable. Hence it has become the need of the hour to integrate software methods in engineering curriculum as a part to boost pedagogy techniques. Simulations software is a great help to graduates of disciplines such as electrical engineering. Since electrical engineering deals with high voltages and heavy instruments, extra care must be taken while operating with them. The viable solution would be to have appropriate control. The appropriate control could be well designed if engineers have knowledge of kind of waveforms associated with the system. Though these waveforms can be plotted manually, but it consumes a lot of time. Hence aid of simulation helps to understand steady state of system and resulting in better performance. In this paper computer, aided teaching of transformer is carried out using MATLAB/Simulink. The test carried out on a transformer includes open circuit test and short circuit respectively. The respective parameters of transformer are then calculated using the values obtained from open circuit and short circuit test respectively using Simulink.

Keywords: Computer aided teaching, transformer, open circuit test, short circuit test, Simulink.

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

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

Abstract:

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

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

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7 The Implementation of Self-Determination Theory on the Opportunities and Challenges for Blended e-Learning in Motivating Egyptian Logistic Learners

Authors: Aisha Tarek Noour, Nick Hubbard

Abstract:

Learner motivation is considered to be an important component for the Blended e-Learning (BL) Method. BL is an effective learning method in multiple domains, which opens several opportunities for its participants to engage in the learning environment. This research explores the learners’ perspective of BL according to the Self-Determination Theory (SDT). It identifies the opportunities and challenges for using the BL in Logistics Education (LE) in Egyptian Higher Education (HE). SDT is approached from different perspectives within the relationship between Intrinsic Motivation (IM), Extrinsic Motivation (EM) and Amotivation (AM). A self-administered face-to-face questionnaire was used to collect data from learners who were geographically widely spread around three colleges of International Transport and Logistics (CILTs) at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AAST&MT) in Egypt. Six hundred and sixteen undergraduates responded to a questionnaire survey. Respondents were drawn from three branches in Greater Cairo, Alexandria, and Port Said. The data analysis used was SPSS 22 and AMOS 18.

Keywords: Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation, Amotivation, Blended e-Learning, Self Determination Theory.

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6 Perceptions toward Adopting Virtual Reality as a Learning Aid in Information Technology

Authors: S. Alfalah, J. Falah, T. Alfalah, M. Elfalah, O. Falah

Abstract:

The field of education is an ever-evolving area constantly enriched by newly discovered techniques provided by active research in all areas of technologies. The recent years have witnessed the introduction of a number of promising technologies and applications to enhance the teaching and learning experience. Virtual Reality (VR) applications are considered one of the evolving methods that have contributed to enhancing education in many fields. VR creates an artificial environment, using computer hardware and software, which is similar to the real world. This simulation provides a solution to improve the delivery of materials, which facilitates the teaching process by providing a useful aid to instructors, and enhances the learning experience by providing a beneficial learning aid. In order to assure future utilization of such systems, students’ perceptions were examined toward utilizing VR as an educational tool in the Faculty of Information Technology (IT) in The University of Jordan. A questionnaire was administered to IT undergraduates investigating students’ opinions about the potential opportunities that VR technology could offer and its implications as learning and teaching aid. The results confirmed the end users’ willingness to adopt VR systems as a learning aid. The result of this research forms a solid base for investing in a VR system for IT education.

Keywords: Education, information, technology, virtual reality.

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5 Probability and Instruction Effects in Syllogistic Conditional Reasoning

Authors: Olimpia Matarazzo, Ivana Baldassarre

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The main aim of this study was to examine whether people understand indicative conditionals on the basis of syntactic factors or on the basis of subjective conditional probability. The second aim was to investigate whether the conditional probability of q given p depends on the antecedent and consequent sizes or derives from inductive processes leading to establish a link of plausible cooccurrence between events semantically or experientially associated. These competing hypotheses have been tested through a 3 x 2 x 2 x 2 mixed design involving the manipulation of four variables: type of instructions (“Consider the following statement to be true", “Read the following statement" and condition with no conditional statement); antecedent size (high/low); consequent size (high/low); statement probability (high/low). The first variable was between-subjects, the others were within-subjects. The inferences investigated were Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens. Ninety undergraduates of the Second University of Naples, without any prior knowledge of logic or conditional reasoning, participated in this study. Results suggest that people understand conditionals in a syntactic way rather than in a probabilistic way, even though the perception of the conditional probability of q given p is at least partially involved in the conditionals- comprehension. They also showed that, in presence of a conditional syllogism, inferences are not affected by the antecedent or consequent sizes. From a theoretical point of view these findings suggest that it would be inappropriate to abandon the idea that conditionals are naturally understood in a syntactic way for the idea that they are understood in a probabilistic way.

Keywords: Conditionals, conditional probability, conditional syllogism, inferential task.

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4 A Study on Learning Styles and Academic Performance in Relation with Kinesthetic, Verbal and Visual Intelligences

Authors: Salina Budin, Nor Liawati Abu Othman, Shaira Ismail

Abstract:

This study attempts to determine kinesthetic, verbal and visual intelligences among mechanical engineering undergraduate students and explores any probable relation with students’ learning styles and academic performance. The questionnaire used in this study is based on Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory comprising of five elements of learning style; environmental, sociological, emotional, physiological and psychological. Questionnaires are distributed amongst undergraduates in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Additional questions on students’ perception of learning styles and their academic performance are included in the questionnaire. The results show that one third of the students are strongly dominant in the kinesthetic intelligent (33%), followed by a combination of kinesthetic and visual intelligences (29%) and 21% are strongly dominant in all three types of intelligences. There is a statistically significant correlation between kinesthetic, verbal and visual intelligences and students learning styles and academic performances. The ANOVA analysis supports that there is a significant relationship between academic performances and level of kinesthetic, verbal and visual intelligences. In addition, it has also proven a remarkable relationship between academic performances and kinesthetic, verbal and visual learning styles amongst the male and female students. Thus, it can be concluded that, academic achievements can be enhanced by understanding as well as capitalizing the students’ types of intelligences and learning styles.

Keywords: Kinesthetic intelligent, verbal intelligent, visual intelligent, learning style, academic performances.

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3 Effects of an Inclusive Educational Model for Students with High Intellectual Capacity and Special Educational Needs: A Case Study in Talentos UdeC, Chile

Authors: Gracia V. Navarro, María C. González, María G. González, María V. González

Abstract:

In Chile, since 2002, there are extracurricular enrichment programs complementary to regular education for students with high intellectual capacity. This paper describes a model for the educational inclusion of students, with special educational needs associated with high intellectual capacity, developed at the University of Concepción and its effects on its students, academics and undergraduate students that collaborate with the program. The Talentos UdeC Program was created in 2003 and is intended for 240 children and youth from 11 to 18 years old, from 15 communes of the Biobio region. The case Talentos UdeC is analyzed from a mixed qualitative study in which those participating in the educational model are considered. The sample was composed of 30 students, 30 academics, and 30 undergraduate students. In the case of students, pre and post program measurements were made to analyze their socio-emotional adaptation, academic motivation and socially responsible behavior. The mentioned variables are measured through questionnaires designed and validated by the University of Concepcion that included: The Socially Responsible Behavior Questionnaire (CCSR); the Academic Motivation Questionnaire (CMA) and the Socio-Emotional Adaptation Questionnaire (CASE). The information obtained by these questionnaires was analyzed through a quantitative analysis. Academics and undergraduate students were interviewed to learn their perception of the effects of the program on themselves, on students and on society. The information obtained is analyzed using qualitative analysis based on the identification of common themes and descriptors for the construction of conceptual categories of answers. Quantitative results show differences in the first three variables analyzed in the students, after their participation for two years in Talentos UdeC. Qualitative results demonstrate perception of effects in the vision of world, project of life and in other areas of the students’ development; perception of effects in a personal, professional and organizational plane by academics and a perception of effects in their personal-social development and training in generic competencies by undergraduates students.

Keywords: Educational model, high intellectual capacity, inclusion, special educational needs.

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2 Challenges and Professional Perspectives for Pedagogy Undergraduates with Specific Learning Disability: A Greek Case Study

Authors: Tatiani D. Mousoura

Abstract:

Specific learning disability (SLD) in higher education has been partially explored in Greece so far. Moreover, opinions on professional perspectives for university students with SLD, is scarcely encountered in Greek research. The perceptions of the hidden character of SLD along with the university policy towards it and professional perspectives that result from this policy have been examined in the present research. This study has applied the paradigm of a Greek Tertiary Pedagogical Education Department (Early Childhood Education). Via mixed methods, data have been collected from different groups of people in the Pedagogical Department: students with SLD and without SLD, academic staff and administration staff, all of which offer the opportunity for triangulation of the findings. Qualitative methods include ten interviews with students with SLD and 15 interviews with academic staff and 60 hours of observation of the students with SLD. Quantitative methods include 165 questionnaires completed by third and fourth-year students and five questionnaires completed by the administration staff. Thematic analyses of the interviews’ data and descriptive statistics on the questionnaires’ data have been applied for the processing of the results. The use of medical terms to define and understand SLD was common in the student cohort, regardless of them having an SLD diagnosis. However, this medical model approach is far more dominant in the group of students without SLD who, by majority, hold misconceptions on a definitional level. The academic staff group seems to be leaning towards a social approach concerning SLD. According to them, diagnoses may lead to social exclusion. The Pedagogical Department generally endorses the principles of inclusion and complies with the provision of oral exams for students with SLD. Nevertheless, in practice, there seems to be a lack of regular academic support for these students. When such support does exist, it is only through individual initiatives. With regards to their prospective profession, students with SLD can utilize their personal experience, as well as their empathy; these appear to be unique weapons in their hands –in comparison with other educators− when it comes to teaching students in the future. In the Department of Pedagogy, provision towards SLD results sporadic, however the vision of an inclusive department does exist. Based on their studies and their experience, pedagogy students with SLD claim that they have an experiential internalized advantage for their future career as educators.

Keywords: Specific learning disability, dyslexia, pedagogy department, inclusion, professional role of SLDed educators, higher education, university policy.

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1 Towards Bridging the Gap between the ESP Classroom and the Workplace: Content and Language Needs Analysis in English for an Administrative Studies Course

Authors: Vesna Vulić

Abstract:

Croatia has made large steps forward in the development of higher education over the past 10 years. Purposes and objectives of the tertiary education system are focused on the personal development of young people so that they obtain competences for employment on a flexible labour market. The most frequent tensions between the tertiary institutions and employers are complaints that the current tertiary education system still supplies students with an abundance of theoretical knowledge and not enough practical skills. Polytechnics and schools of professional higher education should deliver professional education and training that will satisfy the needs of their local communities. The 21st century sets demand on undergraduates as well as their lecturers to strive for the highest standards. The skills students acquire during their studies should serve the needs of their future professional careers. In this context, teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) presents an enormous challenge for teachers. They have to cope with teaching the language in classes with a large number of students, limitations of time, inadequate equipment and teaching material; most frequently, this leads to focusing on specialist vocabulary neglecting the development of skills and competences required for future employment. Globalization has transformed the labour market and set new standards a perspective employee should meet. When knowledge of languages is considered, new generic skills and competences are required. Not only skillful written and oral communication is needed, but also information, media, and technology literacy, learning skills which include critical and creative thinking, collaborating and communicating, as well as social skills. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the needs of two groups of ESP first year Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students taking ESP as a mandatory course: 47 first-year Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students, 21 first-year employed part-time Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students and 30 graduates with a degree in Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study with various amounts of work experience. The survey adopted a quantitative approach with the aim to determine the differences between the groups in their perception of the four language skills and different areas of law, as well as getting the insight into students' satisfaction with the current course and their motivation for studying ESP. Their perceptions will be compared to the results of the questionnaire conducted among sector professionals in order to examine how they perceive the same elements of the ESP course content and to what extent it fits into their working environment. The results of the survey indicated that there is a strong correlation between acquiring work experience and the level of importance given to particular areas of law studied in an ESP course which is in line with our initial hypothesis. In conclusion, the results of the survey should help lecturers in re-evaluating and updating their ESP course syllabi.

Keywords: English for Specific Purposes, ESP, language skills, motivation, needs analysis.

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