Education Research International The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. A Study on the Relationship between English Reading Comprehension and English Vocabulary Knowledge Wed, 28 Jan 2015 09:33:00 +0000 The present study aimed to investigate the overall and relative contribution of four subcomponents of vocabulary knowledge to reading comprehension. The four vocabulary subcomponents were vocabulary size, word association knowledge, collocation knowledge, and morphological knowledge. The participants were 124 college students from a university in Taipei, Taiwan. Six instruments were employed: (1) a reading comprehension test, (2) a vocabulary size test, (3) a test on word association knowledge and collocation knowledge, (4) a test of morphological knowledge, (5) motivation attitude scale, and (6) a self-efficacy scale. The results can be summarized as follows. First, after the effects of motivation and self-efficacy have been controlled, the four vocabulary subcomponents altogether contributed significantly (20%) to reading comprehension performance. Moreover, depth of vocabulary knowledge (including word association knowledge, collocation knowledge, and morphological knowledge) provided an additional explained variance (6%) in reading comprehension performance over and above vocabulary size. Finally, among the three subcomponents of depth of vocabulary knowledge, collocation knowledge explained the most proportion of variance (5.6%) in contributing to performance on reading comprehension. Based on these findings, some implications and suggestions for future research were provided. Yu-han Ma and Wen-ying Lin Copyright © 2015 Yu-han Ma and Wen-ying Lin. All rights reserved. A Survey on the Permanence of Finnish Students’ Arithmetical Skills and the Role of Motivation Mon, 26 Jan 2015 06:52:07 +0000 This study concerns the permanence of the basic arithmetical skills of Finnish students by investigating how a group () of the eighth and eleventh year students and the university students of humanities perform in problems that are slightly modified versions of certain PISA 2003 mathematics test items. The investigation also aimed at finding out what the impact of motivation-related constructs, for example, students’ achievement goal orientations, is and what their perceived competence beliefs and task value on their performance in mathematics are. According to our findings, the younger students’ arithmetical skills have declined through the course of ten years but the older students’ skills have become generic to a greater extent. Further, three motivational clusters could be identified accounting for 7.5 per cent of students’ performance in the given assignments. These results are compatible with the outcomes of the recent assessments of the Finnish students’ mathematical skills and support the previous research on the benefits of learning orientation combined with the high expectation of success and the valuing of mathematics learning. Timo Tossavainen, Pertti Väisänen, Jorma K. Merikoski, Tuija Lukin, and Hannele Suomalainen Copyright © 2015 Timo Tossavainen et al. All rights reserved. Increasing Trends in Orthopedic Fellowships Are Not due to Inadequate Residency Training Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:56:20 +0000 Orthopedic residents have one of the highest fellowship participation rates among medical specialities and there are growing concerns that inadequate residency training may be contributing to this trend. Therefore, a mixed-exploratory research survey was distributed to all 148 graduating Canadian orthopedic residents to investigate their perceptions and attitudes for pursuing fellowships. A response rate of 33% () was obtained with the majority of residents undertaking one (27%) or two (60%) fellowships. Surgical-skill development was reported as the most common motivating factor, followed by employment and marketability; malpractice protection and financial reasons were the least relevant. The overwhelming majority of residents (94%, ) felt adequately prepared by their residency training for independent general practice, and 84% () of respondents did not feel that current fellowship trends were due to poor residency training. Three common themes were expressed in their comments: the growing perceived expectation by healthcare professionals and employers to be fellowship-certified, the integration of fellowship training into the surgical education hierarchy, and the failure of residency training curriculums to accommodate for this trend. In conclusion, Canadian orthopedic residents are confident of their residency training and are increasingly pursuing fellowships to primarily develop their surgical skills and expertise. K. A. Almansoori and M. Clark Copyright © 2015 K. A. Almansoori and M. Clark. All rights reserved. Self-Regulation and Rubrics Assessment in Structural Engineering Subjects Wed, 14 Jan 2015 08:21:24 +0000 Present-day university systems need to educate graduates who are confident and highly independent, attributes that are especially relevant to engineering. We need to develop active methods that can analyze the prior knowledge of students and that impart teaching based on self-regulation and self-assessment by the student. In this study, we work with a sample of 116 students of architecture following a Structural Engineering subject module (61 in the experimental group and 55 in the control group). The objectives of the investigation are (1) to test whether significant differences exist in the knowledge of students after a training program in self-regulation and (2) to test whether the use of rubrics will improve the perceptions of students with regard to their own knowledge. We found that students trained in self-regulation methodologies improved their procedural knowledge in the field of structural engineering. Likewise, student self-perceptions of their own knowledge increased in relation to the design and expert assessment of structural elements and the graphic representation of constructive elements. María Consuelo Sáiz Manzanares, Miguel Ángel Sánchez Báez, Vanesa Ortega-López, and Juan M. Manso Villalaín Copyright © 2015 María Consuelo Sáiz Manzanares et al. All rights reserved. Concept Maps for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment in Electronics Tue, 06 Jan 2015 10:32:10 +0000 The paper describes how to employ the concept mapping technology in engineering education in the field of Electronics. The overall knowledge domain ontology in the field is shown. It is underlined that the concept maps serve as a suitable tool to support instructors in promoting students’ comprehension of the studying material and in improving their understanding of new concepts. Introduction of an original educational thesaurus is proposed. Such a thesaurus helps learners to see what they have acquired from the lessons. It supports them in making connections between new and prior concepts and reinforces knowledge integration by such a promotion. The developed concept maps are regarded as a valuable instrument of many assessment procedures. They represent learners’ knowledge providing informative and reflective feedbacks tailored to learners’ personal styles and requests. Valery Vodovozov and Zoja Raud Copyright © 2015 Valery Vodovozov and Zoja Raud. All rights reserved. Preparedness and Practice Management Skills of Graduating Dental Students Entering the Work Force Mon, 05 Jan 2015 11:22:58 +0000 Dental education aims to produce competent graduates with the ability to provide quality care to the patients and facilitate the smooth integration into professional practice. The objective of this study was to explore the overall preparedness of graduands for integrating into professional practice. The survey was tested for reliability and analysed the career paths, learning preferences, overall knowledge, and confidence amongst graduating dentists in integrating and managing a dental practice on graduation. Sixty-nine students (89.6%) in age group of 20–50 years participated in the study. Students indicated a high level of confidence in their skills and ability to work in a team in a practice or collaboratively with other colleagues and specialists but expressed some reservation on their practice management skills (73.1%). Challenges in gaining employment and pressures to repay educational debts are amongst the reasons for graduands preferring a paid job immediately on graduation regardless of demographics. Students indicated that an increase in speciality training and clinical/outreach placements could enhance employability. This study explores the students’ perception of their confidences, knowledge, learning preferences, and practice management skills as a method of evaluating their preparedness to practice on graduation and provides a base line for curriculum structuring to prepare graduands to enter the competitive dental work force. Jane Manakil, Selwa Rihani, and Roy George Copyright © 2015 Jane Manakil et al. All rights reserved. Management and Administration Issues in Greek Secondary Schools: Self-Evaluation of the Head Teacher Role Wed, 31 Dec 2014 06:14:53 +0000 This study investigated the importance school headmasters attach to a number of activities associated with the effective performance of their duties. This recording aims to examine the potential of these school headmasters to exercise their role and work within the highly bureaucratic and hierarchical Greek educational system. These activities include (a) establishment and realization of a common vision and mission of the school unit as well as its culture identification and formation, (b) teaching and tutoring of students, (c) management and development of the educational personnel, (d) conducting of administrative affairs and management of resources, and (e) good relations with parents, entities of external environment of the school unit, and the local community. The study found that the headmasters consider activities concerning their bureaucratic/conductive role as well as their leading behaviour as “very important” at very high percentages (over 70.0%). However, tasks involving them in administrative issues are, according to them, “less” up to “least important” so that their role is effectively fulfilled. Statistically significant diversifications have been observed in certain activities associated with the efficient performance of their duties in relation to their gender, years of experience in leadership position, and the size of the school unit. Argyrios Argyriou and George Iordanidis Copyright © 2014 Argyrios Argyriou and George Iordanidis. All rights reserved. English Language Learner Boys and Girls Reading and Math Achievement as a Function of Early-Exit and Late-Exit Bilingual Programs: A Multiyear, Statewide Analysis Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:49:08 +0000 We examined the reading and math performance of English Language Learner boys and girls in Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 as a function of early-exit or late-exit transitional bilingual education program. Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Reading and Mathematics scores of all English Language Learner boys and girls who were enrolled in either early-exit or late-exit bilingual education programs were analyzed for the 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011 school years. Results were not consistent across reading and math, across the 4 grade levels, and across the 3 school years. On the TAKS Reading test, 5 instances were present in which statistically significant differences were revealed for boys and 11 for girls. On the TAKS Mathematics test, 8 statistically significant results were revealed for boys and 6 for girls. These statistically significant differences were not consistently in favor of either the early-exit or the late-exit bilingual education programs. Moreover, the differences that were present reflected small to trivial effect sizes. As such, neither the early-exit nor the late-exit bilingual education program was demonstrated to be more effective than its counterpart. Rosa Maria Martinez, John R. Slate, and Cynthia Martinez-Garcia Copyright © 2014 Rosa Maria Martinez et al. All rights reserved. Transforming a Course to Blended Learning for Student Engagement Tue, 09 Dec 2014 12:04:53 +0000 The rising costs of higher education, along with the learning styles and needs of modern students, are changing the instructional landscape. Students of today do less and less well in the “lecture only” format, and staffing this format with live faculty is extremely expensive. MOOCs and other technology-heavy options are low cost but quite impersonal. Blended instruction has promise, with the ultimate goal of cost-efficient student engagement. This paper reports on a major course transformation to achieve student engagement in a large, formerly lecture-only course. The resulting blended-learning course features clickers, web-based operationalization of students helping students, media-rich interactive online materials, event credit, and newly added student-produced video tutorials. Results show that the addition of the student-produced video tutorials increased the student engagement in the course. Charles E. Downing, Julia Spears, and Michaela Holtz Copyright © 2014 Charles E. Downing et al. All rights reserved. A Comparative Study to Evaluate the Educational Impact of E-Learning Tools on Griffith University Pharmacy Students’ Level of Understanding Using Bloom’s and SOLO Taxonomies Tue, 09 Dec 2014 00:10:17 +0000 Objectives. To design a series of e-learning tools within the framework of a defined educational pedagogy to complement the conventional pharmacology curriculum at Griffith University and evaluate the impact of this strategy on student level of understanding through taxonomic classification of student final exam answers. Methods. A series of 148 e-learning tools was designed for 3rd year undergraduate pharmacy students and incorporated into their curriculum during 2012. The educational benefits of the e-learning tools were evaluated by analyses of student level of understanding (by SOLO taxonomy) at the final exams between the control group (standard curricula) in 2011 and the intervention group (standard curricula + e-learning tools) in 2012. Results. Backward linear regression analysis demonstrated GPA to be the most significant predictor of level of understanding, while the intervention group was a highly significant predictor for greater level of understanding in semester two. Conclusion. E-learning tools appeared to significantly improve student level of understanding as scored by the SOLO taxonomy when students engaged highly with the tools. Abdullah Karaksha, Gary Grant, S. Niru Nirthanan, Andrew K. Davey, and Shailendra Anoopkumar-Dukie Copyright © 2014 Abdullah Karaksha et al. All rights reserved. Preservice Education: Perspectives about Integrating Caregivers Mon, 08 Dec 2014 00:10:16 +0000 A disconnect is present between philosophical desire to actively involve caregivers in early intervention (EI) and implementation by EI providers. Preservice education may shape beliefs and build knowledge and skills supporting active participation of caregivers. Two graduate clinicians in speech-language pathology completed a practicum with a two-year-old child, Sam, and his family with half of the sessions including active participation by the caregivers. Analysis of progress notes, individual reflections, and interview transcript yielded clinicians reporting beliefs in collaboration with caregivers and building relationships with caregivers as key to involving caregivers. The clinicians demonstrated knowledge regarding intervention techniques with differences in progress notes based on the presence of the caregiver in sessions. This practicum opportunity promoted development of beliefs, knowledge, and skills about actively involving caregivers in early intervention. Valerie E. Boyer Copyright © 2014 Valerie E. Boyer. All rights reserved. Against the Standards: Analyzing Expectations and Discourse of Educators regarding Students with Disabilities in a Kindergarten Classroom Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:32:30 +0000 This two-year ethnographic case study critically examines the language educators use to describe students with disabilities who are considered to present challenging behaviors in one classroom. Focusing on the language and practices used by one special education teacher and three teaching assistants, this paper explores how educators respond to students’ behaviors by analyzing educators’ utterances and the implication of such use for the education of the students. Using critical discourse analysis, this paper highlights how educators’ language in the classroom reflects a discourse of expectations that is based on various social standards and pressures that educators have to juggle. Educators expressed academic and behavioral standards by comparing students’ performance to the expected norm as well as through comparisons between students. Based on such comparisons, some students were constructed as always lacking and ultimately defined by the adjectives originally used to describe them. Students were perceived to embody defiance or smartness, the characteristics by which they were defined. Fernanda T. Orsati Copyright © 2014 Fernanda T. Orsati. All rights reserved. The Effects of Training on the Competitive Economic Advantage of Companies in Spain Thu, 04 Dec 2014 13:29:29 +0000 The search for factors that lead to competitive advantage in a company in relation to its competitors is a widely debated subject; a wide range of issues have been examined to determine which factors are the most influential. The aim of this paper is to study training effect on business results (particularly on firm’s financial turnover). For the present research, the classical model of Industrial Economy as a frame of reference has been used. The data collection instrument was a questionnaire sent to 381 large organizations in Catalonia (Spain) during 2009 and 2010. The empirical section of the present article was developed using structural equation modeling (SEM). Results relate training to company’s financial turnover in a positive way. The General Expenditure and Costs is the variable that most contributes to the explanation of firms’ financial turnover. The Organization of Training variable is the second most important construct to account for financial turnover However, training is required to be well organized as well as properly financed. Maria Luz Marin-Diaz, Xavier Llinas-Audet, Luis Chiaramonte-Cipolla, and Josep-Oriol Escardibul Copyright © 2014 Maria Luz Marin-Diaz et al. All rights reserved. Sri Lankan Medical Undergraduates Awareness of Nanotechnology and Its Risks Thu, 04 Dec 2014 08:44:36 +0000 This study examines students’ understanding of the normative connections between key concepts of nanotechnology in nanomedicine and underlying biological principles that are critical for an in-depth understanding of its therapeutic application in medical field. A structured questionnaire was distributed among randomly selected undergraduates at the Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, University of Rajarata, Sri Lanka. A total of 80 students participated in this study and completed written questionnaire on nanomedicine. The outcome of this study shows that there is a strong positive response on basic knowledge on nanoscale, but the undergraduates had an average knowledge on therapeutic application related to nanomedicine. Almost all students had a good knowledge on nanoscale but they lack knowledge of the relationship between nano and nanomedicine. Specifically, students were challenged to demonstrate an integrated understanding of the nanomedicine therapeutic application. Almost 58% of them were unable to give an example of it. Also some students struggled to explain it. Furthermore, in this study it was observed that there is a positive correlation in risk benefit section related to nanomedicine. Although the outcome is preliminary in nature, the results provide cause for concern over the status of nanotechnology education in Sri Lanka which needed to be uplifted. Faiz M. M. T. Marikar, Piyumi I. P. W. Ilangakoon, Sri H. K. M. N. Jaliya, Lalinda D. Jayasena, Supun K. P. B. Kalavitigoda, K. I. S. Koralagedara, and Sanjaya P. S. N. Kulathunga Copyright © 2014 Faiz M. M. T. Marikar et al. All rights reserved. The Racialized Impact of Study Abroad on US Students’ Subsequent Interracial Interactions Mon, 01 Dec 2014 11:08:54 +0000 Using an online survey of American undergraduate students, this paper serves as a case study of a liberal arts college located in the Southern United States (US) to explore the effects of studying abroad on students’ attitudes and behavior related to diversity upon their return to campus. We find that white students and students of color report significantly different study abroad experiences and distinct patterns related to their likelihood to engage with racial, but not other forms of, diversity when they return to their home university. Specifically, students of color are more likely than white students to report that their study abroad experiences have increased the likelihood that they interact more frequently with individuals from different racial backgrounds in a number of campus contexts. Utilizing existing literature and our qualitative data, we address possible reasons for these racialized patterns. Maria R. Lowe, Reginald A. Byron, and Susan Mennicke Copyright © 2014 Maria R. Lowe et al. All rights reserved. Teaching Cell Biology in Primary Schools Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:55:20 +0000 Basic concepts of cell biology are essential for scientific literacy. However, because many aspects of cell theory and cell functioning are quite abstract, students experience difficulties understanding them. In this study, we investigated whether diverse teaching resources such as the use of replicas of Leeuwenhoek’s microscope, visualization of cells using an optical microscope, construction of three-dimensional cell models, and reading of a comic book about cells could mitigate the difficulties encountered when teaching cell biology to 8th-grade primary school students. The results suggest that these didactic activities improve students’ ability to learn concrete concepts about cell biology, such as the composition of living beings, growth, and cicatrization. Also, the development of skills was observed, as, for example, the notion of cell size. However, no significant improvements were observed in students’ ability to learn about abstract topics, such as the structures of subcellular organelles and their functions. These results suggest that many students in this age have not yet concluded Piaget’s concrete operational stage, indicating that the concepts required for the significant learning of abstract subjects need to be explored more thoroughly in the process of designing programs that introduce primary school students to cell biology. Francele de Abreu Carlan, Lenira Maria Nunes Sepel, and Elgion Lucio Silva Loreto Copyright © 2014 Francele de Abreu Carlan et al. All rights reserved. Entrepreneurship Education in Health Care Education Tue, 11 Nov 2014 13:33:24 +0000 This study describes the content of entrepreneurship education in health care education and the kinds of teaching methods that are used when teaching about entrepreneurship. Health care entrepreneurship has increased in many countries in recent decades and there is evidence that entrepreneurs have also a role in public health care. Therefore the health care professionals need to be educated to have the entrepreneurial skills. Education in the field of health care is still based on traditional forms of teaching and does not give enough attention to the issue of becoming an entrepreneur. The data was collected from teachers via e-mail from six Finnish polytechnics. The data were analysed statistically and the open-ended questions were analysed via content analysis. Approximately 23% of the teachers had taught about entrepreneurship. The most popular teaching methods were company visits and cases, lecturing, and project work. The courses dealt with establishing a company, entrepreneurship in general, and marketing. Nearly all of the teachers had cooperated with the entrepreneurs or with the companies in question. Approximately 33% of the teachers took entrepreneurship into consideration often in other courses related to entrepreneurship. L. Salminen, E. Lindberg, M.-L. Gustafsson, J. Heinonen, and H. Leino-Kilpi Copyright © 2014 L. Salminen et al. All rights reserved. The Role of University Support Services on Academic Outcomes for Students with Mental Illness Tue, 11 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Mental illness in the university student population has come under increased scrutiny in recent years. Students with mental illness are understandably highly reluctant to disclose their condition to others due to fear of prejudice, “not blending in,” and a strong desire to appear self-reliant. This study considered whether disclosure to university support services, with all its perceived risks, had academic benefits for students with mental illness. Preliminary evidence was found that, for those students with mental illness who registered with the University’s Disability Support Service for assistance, academic achievement was significantly higher on average in the year following their joining the service. Academic retention for these students was comparable to their university peers. A number of recommendations are discussed that could accommodate for students’ learning needs, thereby benefitting those experiencing mental health difficulties. Andrea Simpson and Kerry Ferguson Copyright © 2014 Andrea Simpson and Kerry Ferguson. All rights reserved. Cyberbullying among University Students: Gendered Experiences, Impacts, and Perspectives Tue, 04 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Cyberbullying is an emerging issue in the context of higher education as information and communication technologies (ICT) increasingly become part of daily life in university. This paper presents findings from 1925 student surveys from four Canadian universities. The overall findings are broken down to determine gender similarities and differences that exist between male and female respondents’ backgrounds, ICT usage, experiences with cyberbullying, opinions about the issue, and solutions to the problem. We also examine the continuities between these findings and those of earlier studies on cyberbullying among younger students. Our findings also suggest that gender differences, which do emerge, provide some support for each of the three theoretical frameworks considered for understanding this issue, that is, relational aggression, cognitive-affective deficits, and power and control. However, none of these three models offers a full explanation on its own. The study thus provides information about cyberbullying behaviour at the university level, which has the potential to inform the development of more appropriate policies and intervention programs/solutions to address the gendered nature of this behaviour. Chantal Faucher, Margaret Jackson, and Wanda Cassidy Copyright © 2014 Chantal Faucher et al. All rights reserved. Academic or Functional Life Skills? Using Behaviors Associated with Happiness to Guide Instruction for Students with Profound/Multiple Disabilities Mon, 27 Oct 2014 09:09:42 +0000 The field of special education has begun to concentrate its efforts on developing objectives and procedural strategies that promote a positive quality of life for students with profound multiple disabilities, while determining which educational strategies are the most appropriate. A multielement design was used to compare the effects of two educational conditions, academic skills instruction and functional life skills instruction, on the quality of life indicators of four students with profound multiple disabilities. Results indicated that all four students demonstrated a greater number of behaviors associated with happiness while receiving academic skills instruction. Implications for current educational practices are addressed and directions for future research are discussed. Jonna L. Bobzien Copyright © 2014 Jonna L. Bobzien. All rights reserved. Mathematics and Numeracy as Social and Spatial Practice Wed, 15 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 This study of networked classroom activity proposes that a resource-rich point of view is powerful in increasing the engagement of marginalized students in mathematics classes. Our work brings attention to the values, beliefs, and power relations that infuse numeracy practices and adds attention to mathematical dimensions of social spaces. Findings show that the multiple modes available to communicate mathematically, to contribute, and the inquiry-oriented discussions invited students to draw on a variety of expressive modes to engage with complex mathematical concepts. Spatial analyses illuminate the relations among reproduction and production of knowledge, as well as the social space that characterized the networked classroom activity. They also reveal the affordance of emergent, transformed social spaces for youth’s use of a variety of social and cultural displays in producing mathematical knowledge. Students extended notions about social space by adding attention to affective features of classroom and school activities. Nancy Ares and Dawn M. Evans Copyright © 2014 Nancy Ares and Dawn M. Evans. All rights reserved. Race Has Always Mattered: An Intergeneration Look at Race, Space, Place, and Educational Experiences of Blacks Wed, 01 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Within school settings race continues to be one of the most formidable obstacles for Black children in the United States (US) school system. This paper expands the discussions of race in education by exploring how the social links among race, space, and place provide a lens for understanding the persistence of racism in the educational experiences of Black children. This paper examines how differences in a rural versus urban geographical location influence a student’s experience with race, racism, and racial identity across four generations of Black people in the context of school and community. Implications for research and practice are discussed. Denise G. Yull Copyright © 2014 Denise G. Yull. All rights reserved. Effects of MATAS Hopscotch Technique in the Teaching of Fractions and Error Patterns Made by Year 5 Pupils Tue, 23 Sep 2014 06:06:45 +0000 MATAS Hopscotch technique was created to solve the subtraction of three types of fractions. The study involved 56 pupils from two Year 5 classes. A quasi-experimental, nonrandomized control group, pretest-posttest delayed post-test was conducted on two intact groups, randomly assigned into control and experimental groups. A pretest was administered at the early stage of this study. The study described types of error made by the pupils in solving the subtraction of fractions. Rubrics, Hodes and Notling (1998), were used to describe types of error made by the pupils in the pretest and posttest. The findings in the pretest showed both groups made concept, directions, and careless errors. However, in the posttest, the experimental group made careless errors while the control group made concept, directions, and careless errors. The number of errors made by the control group was higher than that made by the experimental group. Devaki Periasamy, Kamariah Abu Bakar, and Ahmad Fauzi Mohd Ayub Copyright © 2014 Devaki Periasamy et al. All rights reserved. Objects, Worlds, and Students: Virtual Interaction in Education Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:04:05 +0000 The main aim of this study is to form a complete taxonomy of the types of interactions that relate to the use of a virtual world for engaging learning experiences, when blended and hybrid learning methods are to be used. In order to investigate this topic more accurately and effectively, we distinguish four dimensions of interactions based on the context in which these occur, and the involved parts: in-world and in-class, user-to-user and user-to-world interactions. In order to conduct investigation into this topic and form a view of the interactions as clear as possible, we observed a cohort of 15 undergraduate Computer Science students while using an OpenSim-based institutionally hosted virtual world. Moreover, we ran a survey where 50 students were asked to indicate their opinion and feelings about their in-world experience. The results of our study highlight that educators and instructors need to plan their in-world learning activities very carefully and with a focus on interactions if engaging activities are what they want to offer their students. Additionally, it seems that student interactions with the content of the virtual world and the in-class student-to-student interactions, have stronger impact on students’ engagement when hybrid methods are used. Athanasios Christopoulos, Marc Conrad, and Mitul Shukla Copyright © 2014 Athanasios Christopoulos et al. All rights reserved. Correlation between Global Rating Scale and Specific Checklist Scores for Professional Behaviour of Physical Therapy Students in Practical Examinations Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:08:35 +0000 The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the specific item checklist (checklist) and global rating scale (GRS) scores are correlated in practical skills examinations (PSEs). Professional behaviour was evaluated using both the checklist and GRS scores for 183 students in three PSEs. Mean, standard deviation, and correlation for checklist and GRS scores were calculated for each station, within each PSE. Pass rate for checklist and GRS was determined for each PSE, as well as for each individual checklist item within each PSE. Overall, pass rate was high for both checklist and GRS evaluations of professional behaviour in all PSEs. Generally, mean scores for the checklist and GRS were high, with low standard deviations, resulting in low data variability. Spearman correlation between total checklist and GRS scores was statistically significant for two out of five stations in PSE 1, five out of six stations in PSE 2, and three out of four stations in PSE 3. The GRS is comparable to the checklist for evaluation of professional behaviour in physical therapy (PT) students. The correlation between the checklist and GRS appears to become stronger in the assessment of more advanced students. Kaitlin Turner, Maegan Bell, Lindsay Bays, Carmen Lau, Clara Lai, Tetyana Kendzerska, Cathy Evans, and Robyn Davies Copyright © 2014 Kaitlin Turner et al. All rights reserved. Three Social Classroom Applications to Improve Student Attitudes Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:55:36 +0000 The paper presents results of a quasiexperiment where the three social classroom applications Post-It, WordCloud, and Categorizer were used in software architecture lectures. Post-It and WordCloud are applications that allow students to brainstorm or give comments related to a given topic. Categorizer is a puzzle game where the students are asked to place a number of terms in one of two correct categories. The three applications are multimodal HTML5 applications that enable students to interact in a classroom using their own digital devices, and the teacher’s laptop is used to display progress and results on the large screen. The focus of this study was to evaluate how the difference of these applications and how their integration into the lecture affected the students’ motivation, engagement, thinking, activity level, social interaction, creativity, enjoyment, attention, and learning. In addition, the study evaluated the usability and the technical quality of the applications. The results of the experiment show that the way such applications are integrated into a lecture highly affects the students’ attitude. The experiment also showed that the game-based application was on average better received among the students and that the students’ attitude was highly sensitive to the difficulty level of the game. Alf Inge Wang, Aleksander Aanesl. Elvemo, and Vegard Gamnes Copyright © 2014 Alf Inge Wang et al. All rights reserved. Doctoral Dissertation Supervision: Identification and Evaluation of Models Mon, 08 Sep 2014 07:29:38 +0000 Doctoral research supervision is one of the major avenues for sustaining students’ satisfaction with the programme, preparing students to be independent researchers and effectively initiating students into the academic community. This work reports doctoral students’ evaluation of their various supervision models, their satisfaction with these supervision models, and development of research-related skills. The study used a descriptive research design and was guided by three research questions and two hypotheses. A sample of 310 Ph.D. candidates drawn from a federal university in Eastern part of Nigeria was used for this study. The data generated through the questionnaire was analyzed using descriptive statistics and t-tests. Results show that face-to-face interactive model was not only the most frequently used, but also the most widely adopted in doctoral thesis supervision while ICT-based models were rarely used. Students supervised under face-to-face interactive model reported being more satisfied with dissertation supervision than those operating under face-to-face noninteractive model. However, students supervised under these two models did not differ significantly in their perceived development in research-related skills. Ngozi Agu and Christy O. Odimegwu Copyright © 2014 Ngozi Agu and Christy O. Odimegwu. All rights reserved. Check This Word Out! Exploring the Factors That Affect Students’ Vocabulary Learning Using Smartphones via Partial Least Squares Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:12:50 +0000 A rigorous understanding of the use of Smartphones for foreign language vocabulary acquisition is crucial. Employing the technology acceptance model, this study aims to investigate students’ behavioural factors affecting Saudi students’ attitudes towards employing Smartphones for foreign vocabulary acquisition. Two hundred and seventy-three students studying in a preparatory year programme were surveyed. SmartPLS was employed to analyse the data obtained from the study’s sample. The results revealed that perceived usefulness and attitude proved to be significantly and positively related to vocabulary development. In addition, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use proved to be significant predictors of students’ attitudes towards the use of Smartphone for vocabulary learning. However, the study showed that the relationship between perceived ease of use and vocabulary development is not significant. Thus, publishers of dictionaries may find it necessary to take into account the important role played by the design of dictionaries interfaces in facilitating the use of dictionaries in Smartphones. Furthermore, teachers and educators are encouraged to employ creative activities (e.g., word guessing games) that invest students’ use of Smartphones to learn vocabularies. Using Smartphones in learning improves interaction among students and teachers. Discussion and conclusions are also provided. Mohammad Madallh Alhabahba, Omer Hassan Ali Mahfoodh, Ambigapathy Pandian, Yazan Mdala Mohammad, Enas Waleed Ahmed, Ali Albdour, and Hussein Al Bazar Copyright © 2014 Mohammad Madallh Alhabahba et al. All rights reserved. Dilemma of Basic School Pupils in Northern Ghana with respect to Their Learning Context Mon, 01 Sep 2014 05:42:30 +0000 Lately, basic school pupils have performed poorly in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) as well as in their end of term examinations and this necessitated an enquiry into the phenomenon. The study used the cross-sectional study design. The sample size was 195. The study collected data using a questionnaire. Data analysis involved using descriptive statistics. The study found that largely pupils from academically performing and nonacademically performing schools have similar perceptions about causes of poor academic performance. Again, the combined effect of home and school environmental factors emerged as the major contributor to poor academic performance. The study recommends that providing a conducive home environment for the pupils, tackling pupil and teacher related factors, would help to ensure that poor academic performance is a thing of the past. Hakim Abdallah, Moses Naiim Fuseini, Amadu Musah Abudu, and Yusif Nuhu Copyright © 2014 Hakim Abdallah et al. All rights reserved. Social Media in Nursing Education: The View of the Students Mon, 01 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Social media usage in nursing education is limited and the active use of various new developed learning environments are left behind. The purpose of this research was to survey second-year nursing students’ social media usage in studies and in their free time. The research was also interested to know students' interest and skill level in using different social media applications. The research presented a descriptive survey research design. The data was collected from second-year nursing students () through electronic and paper questionnaire in 2012. The questionnaire contained 20 structured questions and was analyzed statistically. The response rate was 61.4%. Students used social media applications more in their free time than in their studies. The most used applications in studies were an e-learning environment. Web video and online community services were the most used applications in their free time. The least used application was online games, in studies and in free time. Students were evaluated as having an excellent skill level in using social media, and they felt that the social media application was interesting. The relationship between age and application skill level was statistically significant. Younger students had better skills in using social media applications than older students. Riikka Tuominen, Minna Stolt, and Leena Salminen Copyright © 2014 Riikka Tuominen et al. All rights reserved.