Category Archives: Applications

The competencies required for effective performance in a university e-learning environment

The aim of this study was to identify and rate the importance of the competencies required by students for effective performance in a university e-learning environment mediated by a learning management system.

Article first published in “Australasian Journal of Educational Technology”, V. 29 (2013), n. 6, pp. 777-791

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Data display in qualitative research

This study reviewed the data displays used by three prestigious qualitative research journals within a period of three years. The findings include the types of displays used in these qualitative journals, the frequency of use, and the purposes for using visual displays as opposed to presenting data in text.

Article first published in “International Journal of Qualitative Methods”, n. 12 (2013) and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons‐Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike License 4.0 International and reprinted with permission.

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Employability in online higher education: a case study

Over the past 15 years, learning in distance education universities has become more interactive, flexible, collaborative, and participative. Nevertheless, some accounts have highlighted the importance of developing more instrumental and standardized educational practices to answer the challenges of employability. In fact, the choice of skills that are important to learning communities and the labour market has been the subject of controversy because it involves heterogeneous motives among different groups.
This paper compares the perceptions of employability skills in a sample of teachers from the Universidade Aberta and a sample of students who attend a local learning centre at this University. The research focused on the following dimensions: the most important employability skills, and the employability skills to be developed in online undergraduate degrees. To collect the required data, a questionnaire was prepared and applied to students and teachers taking the theoretical model of Knight and Yorke as its main reference. In spite of the specificity of each group, the results revealed some similarities between students and teachers with regard to employability. The conclusions also highlighted the need to promote research on this matter in online education.

Article first published in IRRODL The International Review of Research in open and distance learning, V. 14, n. 1, pp. 106-125, as open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence.

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El e-learning 2.0: de la tecnologia a la metodologia

This article provides a theoretical framework through which shows the evolution of the different times that the Internet has developed and the educational possibilities that implies, through the evolution of e-learning, critical analysis on the errors in application, and the move towards the concept of e-learning 2.0, through tools such as social networking and personal learning environments, its most significant features and educational potential that arise when incorporate them into practice in higher education institutions.

Copyright 2012 Maria Carmen Llorente Cejudo. Article first published in Revista d´innovacio educativa, Monografico: Experiencias pedagogicas, innovacion e investigacion en ambitos educativos universitarios, n. 9, 2012, pp. 79-86. Reprinted with permission

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The approach of an intelligent system for stopping the phenomenon of migration of young people during the economic crisis

This study identifies and proposes the approach of a new intelligent system regarding stopping the phenomenon of migration of young people during the current economic crisis. We investigate the manner in which the labour market and the educational system in Romania can contribute to the option of emigration as the only saving opportunity for more and more young people. The economic crisis influences the social-economic development and has a major impact on the decision of young people to migrate from Romania to those countries that may offer a general framework optimum for their future human and professional development. The objectives refer to the assessment of the tendencies of the migration phenomenon and to the analysis of the impact for the educational system. In the end, possible solutions are searched for the identified problems, with the purpose of drawing attention to the loss of our country, due to the migration of the most important segment of the labour market in Romania: the young people. The inductors of migration among young people are the professional-educational factors motivated by the wish to attend a form of higher education and the aspiration to a profession according to their formation. The impact of this study is produced in practice, through the results and conclusions of the analysis carried out.

Article first published in CES Working Papers, V. 4, n. 3, 2012, pp. 323-339. Reprinted with permission

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The MOOC model. Challenging traditional education

MOOCs represent the latest stage in the evolution of open educational resources. Here, the most important points will be shown: a turning point will occur in the higher education model when a MOOC-based program of study leads to a degree from an accredited institution, a trend that has already begun to develop; addressing the quality of the learning experience that MOOCs provide is therefore of paramount importance to their credibility and acceptance; MOOCs represent a postindustrial model of teaching and learning that has the potential to undermine and replace the business model of institutions that depend on recruiting and retaining students for location-bound, proprietary forms of campus-based learning.

Copyright 2013 James Mazoue. Article first published in Educause Review, Jan.-Febr. 2013, as open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence.

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Technology and Education: adaptation of TPACK model in the LMS adopted by CIHEAM IAMB

The LMS seems the most favourable solution for the application of different but complementary types of knowledge useful for technology based instruction. To test this assumption, the TPACK model was applied to the LMS adopted by CIHEAM Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari IAMB after a ten year experience of eLearning focused on the collaborative approach. Based on the experience carried out by MAIB, it results that the selected LMS Claroline is compatible with the philosophy expressed in the TPACK model, as it is equipped with appropriate tools to meet the teacher needs in the application of the pedagogical knowledge, content knowledge and technological knowledge. Moreover, in this article, the above knowledge is identified and localized in the selected platform to understand whether and how is the TPACK model suitable for this particular environment.

Received 21 February 2013
Revised 1 March 2013

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OER, Resources for learning – Experiences from an OER Project in Sweden

This article aims to share experience from a Swedish project on the introduction and implementation of Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education with both national and international perspectives. The project, OER – resources for learning, was part of the National Library of Sweden Open Access initiative and aimed at exploring, raising awareness of and disseminating the use of OER and the resulting pedagogical advantages for teaching and learning. Central to the project’s activities were a series of regional seminars which all featured a combination of multi-site meetings combined with online participation. This combination proved highly successful and extended the reach of the project. In total the project reached around 1000 participants at its events and many more have seen the recorded sessions.

Article first published in “European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning”, 2012/II, ©Ebba Ossiannilsson, Alastair M. Creelman. Reprinted with permission.

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Video-based Supplemental Instruction: creating opportunities for at-risk students undertaking Engineering Mathematics

Video Based Supplemental Instruction (VSI) provides students with an intensive learning experience that aims to help them succeed in a subject which they have previously failed. The program, which has proved successful in similar contexts, was piloted at the University of Western Sydney in an engineering mathematics subject with a high failure rate. Students face difficulty with this subject for a number of reasons, including lack of preparedness and lack of confidence or positive attitude towards mathematics. Consequently students tend to fall behind as the subject progresses and are therefore unable to complete assessments and the exam. This paper provides a case study of the VSI pilot and outlines the methodology of utilising pre-recorded lectures which are the primary VSI learning tool. It describes the outcomes for the attendees who had previously failed this demanding first year subject as well as the insights gained by the staff involved in this collaborative learning program.

Article first published in “Journal of Peer Learning”, V. 4 (2011), n. 1, © Lyn Armstrong, Clare Power, Carmel Coady, Lynette Dormer (2011). Reprinted with permission.

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Statistical education in the 21st century: a review of challenges, teaching innovations and strategies for reform

Over the past few decades there has been a large amount of research dedicated to the teaching of statistics. The impact of this research has started to change course content and structure, in both introductory and advanced courses for statisticians and those from other disciplines. In the light of these changes future directions in the teaching and learning of statistics must take into account new innovative pedagogical instructions, educational technologies and the abundance of Web resources that are now available. This article examines different aspects of currently identified challenges in the teaching and learning of statistics and gives an overview of useful strategies and innovations for developing research-based statistics courses in the context of recommendations for reforms, outlining the place of information technology within this framework. The article presents a review of the literature on the topic of statistics education and gives instructors a set of guidelines for generating new and effective teaching material. The summarised recommendations incorporate many innovations employed in a variety of successful statistics classes today. The review is complemented by a collection of statistics related online resources currently available on the Web.

Article first published in “Journal of Statistics Education”, V. 20 (2012), n. 2, Copyright © 2012 by Svetlana Tishkovskaya and Gillian A. Lancaster all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

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A coterminous collaborative learning model: interconnectivity of leadership and learning

This qualitative ethnographic study examines a collaborative leadership model focused on learning and socially just practices within a change context of a wide educational partnership. The study analyzes a range of perspectives of novice teachers, mentor teachers, teacher educators and district superintendents on leadership and learning. The findings reveal the emergence of a coalition of leaders crossing borders at all levels of the educational system: local school level, district level and teacher education level who were involved in coterminous collaborative learning. Four categories of learning were identified as critical to leading a change in the educational system: learning in professional communities, learning from practice, learning through theory and research and learning from and with leaders. The implications of the study for policy makers as well as for practitioners are to adopt a holistic approach to the educational environment and plan a collaborative learning continuum from initial pre-service programs through professional development learning at all levels.

Article first published in “Brock Education”, V 21 (2012), n. 2, as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Role of ICT-enabled visualization-oriented virtual laboratories in Universities for enhancing biotechnology education – VALUE initiative: Case study and impacts

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) – enabled virtual labs have been setup in order to facilitate and enhance higher education. VALUE Biotechnology virtual labs were implemented as part of an ICT initiative and tested between several student and teacher groups. In this paper, we discuss about the application of virtualizing concepts and experiments in biotechnology, one of the fundamental area of biological sciences to impart quality education to meet the necessities of students. We found virtual labs, enhanced attention and student performance in biotechnology courses. The paper reports on applying virtualization techniques, biotechnology education could be intensified in terms of student attention and virtual lab can served as an effective teaching pedagogy. The paper shows how virtual labs in biotechnology can be exploited to improve teaching and student performance. This study analyzes the trends of user behavior towards virtual laboratories and the usability of these laboratories as a learning and curriculum material. Findings from indicated biotechnology virtual laboratories encompass all the core subjects of their curriculum materials in an easy and understandable way with user-interaction and serve to reduce the problems of laboratory education especially in economically challenged and geographically remote areas. Virtual laboratories target a user-friendly outlook to modern laboratory education, aiding as an optional evaluation component for University teachers.

Received: 17th April 2012
Revised: 26th April 2012

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Experiences of operating and studying in Second Life: conclusions for training design

The Educational Association Citizens´ Forum SKAF ry is an educational institution for non-formal education. The Citizens’ Forum has been an active Second Life participant since 2007, researching its potential and challenges in educational use and non-governmental organisation activities. The first training sessions were organised in 2008 on a block of land rented from EduFinland I island. Later, ownership was acquired of the Suomi ry (Finland ry) island, which was customised to serve Finnish organisations and non-governmental organisations (further NGO). The Citizens’ Forum’s training courses have covered training in Second Life and the organisation of cooperative meetings and various other events in Second Life. The overall length of training sessions has been one month. Each course has consisted of 3-5. 1.5 hour meetings in Second Life and interim tasks completed either individually or in small groups. In addition to Second Life, Moodle, an online learning environment, has been employed in which tasks, experiences and feedback have been gathered and which has also contained written summaries of what was learned during the Second Life meetings. The Second Life environment has also been regularly utilised in Citizens’ Forum staff and various other work group work related meetings.Funding and ventures 2008: Ministry of Education special funding, Initiation of Second Life courses and construction of environment 2009-2010: ESF programme Open Learning Environments-AVO venture, development and implementation of Second Life educational programmes. This article is based on practical experiences gained from:
– suitability of cooperative educational processes for Second Life
– constructing a Second Life environment for educational use
– suitability of Second Life technology and tools for education and team work
– practical methods related to educational situations.

Article first published in “Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education TOJDE”, V. 12 (2011), n. 3-2, Special Issue on Second Life Applications in Distance Education, Article 3. Reprinted with permission.

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Design and implementation of a 3D multi-user virtual world for language learning

The best way to learn is by having a good teacher and the best language learning takes place when the learner is immersed in an environment where the language is natively spoken. 3D multi-user virtual worlds have been claimed to be useful for learning, and the field of exploiting them for education is becoming more and more active thanks to the availability of open source 3D multi-user virtual world development tools. The research question we wanted to respond to was whether we could deploy an engaging learning experience to foster communication skills within a 3D multi-user virtual world with minimum teacher´s help. We base our instructional design on the combination of two constructivist learning strategies: situated learning and cooperative/collaborative learning. We extend the capabilities of the Open Wonderland development toolkit to provide natural text chatting with non-player characters, textual tagging of virtual objects, automatic reading of texts in learning sequences and the orchestration of learning activities to foster collaboration. Our preliminary evaluation of the experience deems it to be very promising.

Article first published in “Educational Technology & Society”, V. 14 (2011), n. 4, pp. 2-10. Reprinted with permission.

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Interactive lab to learn radio astronomy, microwave & antenna engineering at the Technical University of Cartagena

An initiative carried out at the Technical University of Cartagena (UPCT, Spain) to encourage students and promote the interest for Scientific and Engineering Culture between society is presented in this contribution. For this purpose, a long-term project based on the set-up of an interactive laboratory surrounding a small Radio Telescope (SRT) system has been carried out. The main novelty is that this project is entirely being developed by students of last courses of our Telecommunication Engineering Faculty, under the supervision of four lecturers. This lab offers the possibility to remotely control the SRT, and it provides a set of multimedia web-based applications to produce a novel, practical, multidisciplinary virtual laboratory to improve the learning and teaching processes in related sciences and technologies.

Article originally published in “International Journal of Online Engineering”, V. 7 (2011), n. 1, pp. 10-18 as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence

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Sensor models and localization algorithms for sensor networks based on received signal strength

Received signal strength (RSS) can be used in sensor networks as a ranging measurement for positioning and localization applications. This contribution studies the realistic situation where neither the emitted power nor the power law decay exponent be assumed to be known. The application in mind is a rapidly deployed network consisting of a number of sensor nodes with low-bandwidth communication, each node measuring RSS of signals traveled through air (microphones) and ground (geophones). The first contribution concerns validation of a model in logarithmic scale, that is, linear in the unknown nuisance parameters (emitted power and power loss constant). The parameter variation is studied over time and space. The second contribution is a localization algorithm based on this model, where the separable least squares principle is applied to the non-linear least squares (NLS) cost function, after which a cost function of only the unknown position is obtained. Results from field trials are presented to illustrate the method, together with fundamental performance bounds. The ambition is to pave the way for sensor configuration design and more thorough performance evaluations as well as filtering and target tracking aspects.

Article first published in “EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking”, V. (2012), n. 16, doi: 10.1186/1687-1499-2012-16, as open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence

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MAPISA: a web based framework for structural health monitoring

The paper describes a Multi Plug-In Software Architecture, MAPISA, designed mainly to enable users and researchers involved with sensor network data to manage relevant information, thereby improving process interoperability, composition and heterogeneity. MAPISA can easily be extended to support new types of sensor data sources in such a way that is completely transparent for end users.
MAPISA functional characteristics enable professional users to perform various specific tasks on a given sensor dataset, such as mathematical model uploading to perform simulations on different, dynamically selected datasets and data visualization.
Even non-expert users can utilize applications based on MAPISA, since it stores all significant data collected from monitored sites which can easily be read and visualized in summarizing reports.
The entire framework has been designed by applying the fundamental principles of software engineering; in particular, modularity and interoperability concepts have been given a fundamental role in order to facilitate the implementation of new features into the platform. In particular, MAPISA is ideal as a base framework for web 2.0 applications.
Therefore MAPISA functions as a middleware that enables stored data to be exchanged between potential users and fully deployed sensor networks so that relevant information can easily be accessed. In order to demonstrate the advantages of this framework, this study presents the development of a web application together with a plug-in and also the integration of a mathematical model. The latter application will also show the output graphs resulting from the running of the mathematical model.

Received: 11 October 2011

Revised: 27 October 2011

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An empirical study of impact of green retailing on customers buying behaviour

Retailing is an age old business. The new retail formats are available now to provide better services and products to customers, this has transformed our traditional, un organised retailing to organized retailing, due to changing demographics, nuclear families, higher disposable income and improved agri-produce realisation have made smaller cities and rural areas the future hotbeds of growth. Green retailing practices adopted by retailers as corporate social responsibility are becoming area of concern. Green retailing practices in the organizations need to follow regulatory compliances and practice conceptual tools such as corporate social responsibility, product stewardship and pollution control practices. Previous studies have paid much attention on product quality, corporate image, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty, but none have explored them about green innovation or environmental management aspects.
This research intends to identify the impact of customer demographics on buying behaviour of customers for ‘green products’ in the retail outlets.
Data for this study was gathered through a five point Likert´s scale questionnaire administered personally on customers at point of purchase. Respondents for this study were selected randomly. The study reveals that demographic factors have a significant impact on the buying behaviour of the customers. Age, gender, marital status, occupation, income and family size bears upon the customer preferences for the environment friendly products.

Received: 2 August 2011

Revised: 25 October 2011

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Activity-based costing models for alternative modes of delivering on-line courses

In recent years there has been growth in online distance learning courses. This has been prompted by new technology such as the Internet, mobile learning, video and audio conferencing: the explosion in student numbers in higher education, and the need for outreach to a world-wide market. Web-based distance learning is seen as a solution to problems of outreach and course delivery.
This paper considers module costing models to compare the costs of delivery of:
– a traditionally delivered face-to-face module
– a web-based distance learning module delivered by inhouse academic staff
– a web-based distance learning module delivered by external contracted staff.
The model uses Activity Based Costing (ABC) utilising data from HEFCE and other sources, and with assumptions made from practice at Leeds Metropolitan University from over ten years experience of delivering web-based distance learning courses.
Using the models different scenarios can be run. The paper concludes that there are savings to be achieved by utilising Webbased distance learning. This saving could, in turn, be passed on to students. Furthermore, the student experience, in terms of contact does not have to suffer and may in fact be enhanced by utilising Web-based distance learning.

Article originally published in “European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning – EURODL”, V. (2011), n. 2, as open access article. Reprinted with permission.

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If You Build It, Will They Come? An Inside Look at a Small Art Market

Discussions of art are often linked to cities such as New York, London, and Paris, though art is also negotiated within small markets. This paper investigates the ways in which gallery owners and artists in a small art market think about the role of art in urban sustainability and social engagement. Through semi-structured interviews, we discovered that many individuals were finding it difficult to maintain an economically feasible business, while also saying that the community supported the arts at various levels. Much of the art that would be considered socially engaged consisted of political caricatures, and typically did not sell very well. We also found that the market functioned as a zero sum game for many of the actors, though there was little evidence that this needed to be the case. Finally, surveys results from two socially engaged art shows are provided to show how patrons for the arts think about the economic importance of the arts at the local level.

Article originally published in “The Open Sociology Journal” V.3 (2010), pp. 1-8, as open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence. Reprinted with permission.

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Added value model of collaboration in higher education

An important factor for developing quality multimedia materials is that future developers should know the learning preferences and applicable strategies of potential students in depth and should also be able to look critically on the products developed by others and to be able to evaluate the added value of their own and others contributions. This paper describes our teaching strategy using an online collaborative methodology with added value based on: (a) generating student profile, (b) online knowledge building and (c) evaluation strategy. The applied methodology integrates e-learning preferences of different learning style dimensions and takes into consideration students´ expectations in learning situations as well as their background knowledge and skills. Knowledge building was realised by means of oral presentations and discussions and finalised within the online learning environment. Developing critical thinking and monitoring this learning progress was carried out by self-evaluation and peer-evaluation of one´s own products and those created by others and final evaluation required summed performance to be divided among students upon negotiated merits.

Article first published in ‘Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects’, V. 6 (2010), pp. 203-215. Reprinted with permission of the Informing Science Institute

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Effect of unconstrained walking plane with virtual environment on spatial learning: an exploratory study

We have integrated the treadmill-style locomotion interface, called the unconstrained walking plane (UWP), with virtual environment (VE) to enable non-visual spatial learning (NSL). This setting allows for a new type of experience, whereby participants with visual disability can explore VE for NSL and to develop cognitive maps of it. Although audio and haptic interface has been studied for NSL, nothing is known about the use of locomotion interface for supporting NSL. We report an experiment that investigates the efficacy of UWP for NSL, formation of cognitive maps, and thereby enhancing the mobility skill of visual impaired people (VIP). Two groups of participants – blind-folded sighted, and blind – learned spatial layout in VE. They used two exploration modes: guided (training phase) and unguided (testing phase). In unguided exploration mode, spatial layout knowledge was assessed by asking participants to perform object localization task and target-object task. Results reveal that the participants have benefited by the learning, i.e. there were significant improvements in post-training navigation performance of the participants.

©CIS Journal. Article first published in ‘Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences’ V. 1 (2010), n. 1 Reprinted with permission

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Advancing large interactive surfaces for use in the realworld

Interactive surfaces are only just beginning to break into the market, and they still do not offer the advanced functionality demonstrated with many lab prototypes. The path from a prototype system to a finished product for use in real-world scenarios is a long one, and many obstacles must be overcome. The design of an interactive multi-touch table had to address issues like optical recognition, hardware design, and ergonomics. This paper describes in detail the construction of a large, robust multi-touch table called mrT (mixed reality Table). It will show how to solve major problems of the diffuse illumination technique and other challenges of constructing a large-screen, high-resolution, self-contained interactive multitouch surface that not only serves as a development system but can be deployed in the real-world. Additionally, to further motivate some of the design decisions, especially why the diffuse illumination technology was chosen, this paper will discuss related on-going research projects on the application side.

© 2010 Jens Teichert et al. Article first published in ‘Advances in Human-Computer Interaction’, V. (2010) Article ID 657937, as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

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Problem solving and creativity in engineering: conclusions of a three year project involving reusable learning objects and robots

The necessity for creative problem solving skills within the sciences and engineering are highlighted in benchmark and policy statements as essential abilities. None of these statements, however, offer any guidance on how these skills might be fostered, let alone ossessed
This paper presents findings from the second cycle of an action research project to develop a dedicated creative problem solving module for first year engineering undergraduates. In the module problem based learning (PBL) techniques have been used with Lego Mindstorm NXT robots to develop creative problem solving skills. The focus of the module has been on developing process skills as opposed to the simple methodical solving of routine problems. Process skills have been introduced and mediated by the use of reusable learning objects (RLOs) within a virtual learning environment (VLE). Separate RLOs have also been used to develop skills in using the robots.
The action research cycle has been informed by a parallel project involving interviews designed to explore the perceptions of students, academics and professional engineers of creative problem solving. Phenomenography has been used as the main research tool.
Student feedback through online questionnaires, focus groups, classroom-based observation and interviews indicates that the module, and its means of delivery, has proven successful in improving creative problem solving skills. It also highlights the value of developing process skills within a practical and motivational environment.

© The authors. Article first published in the ‘Engineering Education: Journal of the Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre’, V. 5, n. 2 (2010), as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

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A study on the relationship between six-years-old children’s creativity and mathematical ability

Creativity is defined as a totality of processes and a way of attitude and behavior which exists in every child to a different extent. Every child is creative owing to their nature and their perspective on life. Offering children creative environments, especially during early childhood education, affects their mathematical abilities and supports their creative thinking. The aim of this study is to investigate whether children´s creativity and mathematical abilities vary with respect to their gender and whether there is a relationship between creativity and mathematical ability. The study population includes six-year-old children attending independent kindergartens affiliated with the Ministry of Education in Ankara city center. The sampling consists of 80 six-year-old children in total, attending Sevgi Kindergarten, which was chosen randomly from among the kindergartens in the population. Data were gathered by using several instruments. These included a ‘General Information Form’ prepared by the researchers to gather information about the children, ‘Torrance Test of Creative Thinking – Figural Form A ‘to assess children´s creativity, and the ‘Test of Early Mathematics Ability-3 (TEMA-3)’ to assess children´s mathematical ability.
While t-test was used to determine whether children´s creativity and mathematics scores differed with respect to gender, Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient was used to analyze whether there was a relationship between creativity and mathematical ability. The results showed that children´s creativity scores differed significantly with respect to gender, but not their mathematics scores. Also, it has been found that there is no relationship between the creativity and mathematical ability of children.

Article first published i’International education Studies’, V. 4 (2011), n. 1, as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,

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Intelligent Wireless Sensors with Application to the Identification of Structural Modal Parameters and Steel Cable Forces: From the Lab to the Field

Wireless sensing systems have been proposed for structural heath monitoring in recent years. While wireless sensors are cost-competitive compared to tethered monitoring systems, their significant merit also lies in their embedded computational capabilities. In this paper, performance of the two embedded engineering algorithms, namely the fast Fourier transform and peak-picking algorithm implemented in the wireless sensing nodes codeveloped at Stanford University and the University of Michigan is investigated through laboratory and field experimental studies. Furthermore, the wireless sensor network embedded with the engineering algorithms is adopted for the identification of structural modal parameters and forces in steel bridge cables. Identification results by the embedded algorithms in the intelligent wireless sensors are compared with those obtained by conventional offline analysis of the measured time-history data. Such a comparison serves to validate the effectiveness of the intelligent wireless sensor network. In addition, it is shown that self-interrogation of measurement data based upon the two embedded algorithms in wireless sensor nodes greatly reduces the amount of data to be transmitted by the wireless sensing network. Thus, the intelligent wireless sensors offer scalable network solutions that are power-efficient for the health monitoring of civil infrastructures.

© The authors. Article first published in the ‘Advances in Civil Engineering’, V. (2010), as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

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The organizational dynamics of knowledge and IT-enabled innovations

The paper presents an integrated framework for IT-enabled organizational innovations. The framework highlights the factors that affect the effective introduction of knowledge and information systems to become organizational innovations. It conceptualizes the innovation process as an open system and takes into consideration knowledge management and performance evaluation. The rationale for this framework is that because of the narrow scope of current frameworks, managers and IT personnel often fail to see the whole picture of their organizations. This difficulty reduces managers´ ability to understand the interrelationships between IT-based innovations and business processes. Consequently, introducing IT/IS into an organizational context doesn´t achieve its intended objectives and often fails entirely. The framework will be useful to managers in their efforts to transform their organizational operations with the use of IT applications.

© 2010 The Author. Article originally published in ‘Journal of Technology Research’, V. 2 (2010),
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Concept Mapping in Introductory Physics

Concept mapping is a meta-learning strategy based on the Ausubel-Novak-Gowin theory of meaningful learning. In a concept map, concepts are related with linking words to form propositions. By expanding this concept-proposition link, one eventually forms a web of concepts whose meanings are embedded in the presented map. The paper describes the author´s experience with students´ use of concept maps and how concept maps are scored. The strategy was utilized as an advance organizer and as an assessment tool (for diagnostic and summative purposes). Sample concept maps constructed by students taking up Introductory Physics are presented.

© 2010 The Author. Article originally published in ‘Journal of Education and Human Development’, V. 3 (2009), n. 1, Reprinted with permission

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On the Measurement of the (Non)linearity of Costas Permutations

We study several criteria for the _non_linearity of Costas permutations, with or without the imposition of additional algebraic structure in the domain and the range of the permutation, aiming to find one that successfully identifies Costas permutations as more nonlinear than randomly chosen permutations of the same order.

© 2010 The Author. Article first published in ‘Journal of Applied Mathematics’, V. (2010) as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,

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Exact Decomposition Approaches for Markov Decision Processes: A Survey

As classical methods are intractable for solving Markov decision processes (MDPs) requiring a large state space, decomposition and aggregation techniques are very useful to cope with large problems. These techniques are in general a special case of the classic Divide-and-Conquer framework to split a large, unwieldy problem into smaller components and solving the parts in order to construct the global solution. This paper reviews most of decomposition approaches encountered in the associated literature over the past two decades, weighing their pros and cons. We consider several categories of MDPs (average, discounted, and weighted MDPs), and we present briefly a variety of methodologies to find or approximate optimal strategies.

© 2010 The Authors. Article first published in ‘Advances in Operations Research’, V. (2010) as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

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