• Fa'aSamoa: An Afro-Oceanic Understanding of Epistemology through Folktales and Oral History

      Mazama, Ama, 1961-; Nehusi, Kimani S. K.; Asante, Molefi Kete, 1942- (Temple University. Libraries, 2017)
      Often disconnected from the African diaspora, the Black South Pacific is constantly laid to the wayside. My research works to shed light on the voices of Afro-Oceanic scholars who are fully capable of articulating their own narratives based on their traditional foundational knowledge that may not align with standard western notions of knowledge but in fact create a system or methods of knowledge unique to the Afro-Oceanic community and traditions. The indigenous Afro-Oceanic agenda of self-determination, indigenous rights and sovereignty, integrity, spiritual healing, reconciliation and humble morality, builds capacity towards a systematic change and re-acknowledgement of indigenous Afro-Oceanic epistemologies. By identifying and analyzing indigenous Oceanic epistemologies, ontologies, and cosmologies, my research seeks to place Afro-Oceanic peoples within the broader African Diaspora. Scholars throughout Afro-Oceania such as Dr. A.M Tupuola, Dr. Vaioleti T.M, and Dr. Helu-Thaman inter
    • Face Recognition with visible and thermal IR images

      Kong, Seong Gong; Bai, Li; Picone, Joseph (Temple University. Libraries, 2010)
      This thesis describes how the fusion of visible and thermal infrared (IR) images can be used to improve the performance of face recognition techniques, especially when illumination variations and occlusions are involved. Visible images are sensitive to illumination variations, while thermal IR images are robust to them. However, thermal IR images are degraded by occlusions caused from eyeglasses, but visible images can provide detailed information around the eyes even when eyeglasses are present. Fusion techniques, which combine complementary information from both spectrums, generate information that is robust to both illumination variations and occlusions. Before two images are fused, they must be registered. In this thesis, edge-based mutual information is used to register both visible and thermal IR images taken under different conditions. Following that, eyeglasses (if present) are removed from the thermal IR image, and replaced by eyes that are reconstructed from the visible image. Then, data-level, feature-level, and score-level fusion techniques are applied to the visible and thermal IR images for face recognition. Experimental results using the NIST/Equinox database showed that the fusion of visible and thermal IR images increased the number of first matches by 22% over visible images, and 8% over thermal IR images. Unfortunately, thermal IR sensors may be cost-prohibitive for many applications. In consideration of this, this thesis explores ways to predict a novelty component from the visible image. A novelty component is a thermal-like image that can be obtained from information in the visible image. It is later fused with the visible image for face recognition. Experimental results based upon four face recognition algorithms showed that the fusion of visible images and their novelty components increased the number of first matches over visible images by 21% (using the NIST/Equinox database) and 17% (using the Extended Yale Face Database B).
    • Face Value: An Iconographic Analysis of the Corbels of Chartres Cathedral

      Bolman, Elizabeth S., 1960-; Hall, Marcia B. (Temple University. Libraries, 2013)
      The numerous figurated corbels of Chartres Cathedral were inscribed with semiotic content. Works in this genre were formerly disregarded by researchers because of their perceived lack of meaning. Trends in modern scholarship have challenged this misconception, and recent technological innovations have facilitated the study of these objects. The category would be more appropriately termed "secondary" rather than" marginal," as the former offers a semantically unencumbered assessment of the role of these sculptures. Originally designed for the cathedral's twelfth-century western complex, the corbels were likely members of a series that encircled the entire perimeter of the building. The use of human and animal head motifs for their decoration exemplifies a pervasive historical practice in architectural sculpture. The preservation of the corbels in the Gothic reconstruction of the cathedral substantiates their significance to medieval viewers. Study of the surviving pieces is complicated by the loss of the contextual framework provided by the remainder of the series. The examination of material evidence indicates a record of artistic engagement with these works. Iconographic analysis of individual corbel images reveals both correspondences with the thematic context of the primary sculptural program and independent signification. This project is intended as a useful starting point for additional inquiry, as investigations of secondary sculpture at other sites may bring new insight to its manifestations at Chartres.
    • Facebook and Other Internet Use and the Academic Performance of College Students

      DuCette, Joseph P.; Farley, Frank; Schifter, Catherine; Fullard, William; Thurman, S. Kenneth (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      This study explored college students' use of the Internet and Facebook as well as whether usage patterns, and perceptions about the academic effects of use, relate to time spent studying and/or academic performance. One hundred sixty undergraduate students completed an online survey designed to measure the frequency, duration, intensity, and academic impact of their Internet and Facebook use. Results indicate that students devote a significant amount of time to both academic (M = 1.82 hrs per day) and recreational (M = 2.50 hrs per day) Internet activities, and that Facebook users (n = 153, 96% of the sample) spend an average of two hours per day on the site, accounting for almost half of total time spent on the Internet and approximately 80% of recreational use. Results also show that spending more time on the Internet for academic purposes, waiting longer to check Facebook when studying or doing schoolwork, and spending less time on the Internet for fun, are all significant predictor
    • Facilitating Browsing with Information Visualization: Is Animation a Powerful Scent?

      Schuff, David (David Michael); Turetken, Ozgur; Yoo, Youngjin; Galletta, Dennis F. (Temple University. Libraries, 2009)
      Search engines make vast amounts of information available to Internet users. Two types of tasks users engage in using search engines are closed-ended and open-ended. For closed-ended tasks, individuals have narrow objectives that require finding specific results. For open-ended tasks, individuals only have general objectives that require finding as much relevant information as possible about a topic, which can be difficult when large numbers of both relevant and irrelevant results are returned from a query. This can also leave users in a state of information overload. Some search engines have incorporated information visualization techniques (combining cognitive senses with visual cues that allow for better understanding the information) to facilitate browsing through results in order to reduce information overload. However, there is little research that identifies which visual cues are the most desirable for the presentation of search results. According to information foraging theory, cues that have strong scents will help users find information faster. In this study, we investigate the effects of augmenting visualizations with animation as a powerful scent to help users more easily identify relevant information in search engine results. This study employs cognitive fit theory to study the effect of different information formats on users' performance in completing the two different tasks. Overall, we find evidence that the effectiveness of cues such as animation is task-dependent. For example, we find that visualizations with animation are less effective than a standard textual display for subjects performing closed-ended web search tasks. The results of this study have strong implications for integrating appropriate cues into visualizations in order to help people find information.
    • Factores lingüísticos y no-lingüísticos en el contacto entre el papiamento y el español en Aruba

      Lorenzino, Gerardo; Holmquist, Jonathan Carl; Garrett, Paul B., 1968-; Cabrera-Puche, María J. (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
      Although it is not traditionally considered part of the “Spanish-speaking world,” Aruba has a significant population of Spanish-speakers due to both tourism and immigration from Latin America. Recognizing the significant presence of Spanish in Aruba, this investigation will focus on contact between Spanish and Papiamento, an Iberian-lexified Creole language that is both one of the two official languages of the country—the other one is Dutch—and the primary language of the local Aruban population. This dissertation has two main goals: (1) to identify the contact features of Aruban Spanish transferred from Papiamento along with the linguistic and non-linguistic factors (tourism, education) that condition their appearance and, (2) to contextualize Aruban Spanish in the broader Caribbean context issues of identity in Aruba. Several methodological strategies were utilized to carry out this research. Six linguistic features were studied and analyzed in the Spanish spoken by Arubans: two phonological features (/r/ and word-final -/s/) and four morphosyntactic features (the pluralization in the noun phrase and past tense, subjunctive mood and aspect in the verb phrase). Through sociolinguistic-style interviews and additional elicitation tools such as the reading of a short text and a word list, a translation activity, a grammatical judgement test and a sentence completion activity, data from 14 participants were collected, transcribed and analyzed. Although the research uses techniques and strategies employed in variationist sociolinguistics, the research questions that guide this project deviate from the statistical analysis that structure Labovian sociolinguistic research. The frequency-based analysis used in this dissertation determined that the realization of the studied features, except for the past tense, exhibit patterns that diverge from those of other Caribbean Spanish varieties. Social factors such as the frequency of Spanish use, occupation in or outside of tourism, context of language acquisition, level of education and gender presented varying effects in the favoring of Papiamento transfer in the Spanish spoken Aruba. Overall, a reduced frequency of Spanish use, occupations in fields with little to no contact with Spanish-speakers, limited exposure to authentic Spanish during acquisition, an increased exposure to the norms of standard Spanish through education and female gender favored increased realizations of Papiamento transfer in the Spanish of the Aruban participants. This dissertation concludes that linguistic transfer from Papiamento contributes to differentiating Aruban Spanish from other varieties spoken in the Caribbean. In Aruba, Spanish is not an official language, and the country’s social history is distinct from the colonial legacy of other Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries. Thus, Spanish becomes a tool of constructing a divergent identity, unique from that of individuals from other Spanish-speaking Caribbean nations.
    • Factors Affecting Learner Satisfaction in EFL Program Evaluation

      Beglar, David; Ross, Steven, 1951-; Sawyer, Mark; Houck, Nöel, 1942-; Tatsuki, Donna Hurst (Temple University. Libraries, 2009)
      To provide quality assurance to various stakeholders, current foreign language program evaluation practices often incorporate learners' satisfaction of their language program experiences. Surprisingly, there is a lack of research investigating the multiple learner variables that potentially influence their satisfaction of the program, including foreign language proficiency, foreign language learning goals, and foreign language program grades. In order to address this issue, a study investigating the influences of various learner factors on program satisfaction was conducted with 440 learners enrolled in a two-year English as a foreign language program at a university in Japan. The results of a recursive path analysis indicated that program satisfaction, a construct comprised of questionnaire items related to the content and learners expectations as well as various aspects of the instructors, was influenced by their level of academic-vocational English language learning goals, grades in the English program courses, and gains in English language proficiency. While initial English proficiency did not have a direct effect on program satisfaction as hypothesized, it did have considerable indirect effects through its influence on other learner variables in the model, particularly the learners' grades. Importantly, further analyses also found significant differences between gender groups regarding the interrelationships of the learner factors to satisfaction, with proficiency gains having considerable effects for the male participants but almost no effect among the female participants. Furthermore, a comparison of the path models for each gender group showed that while the learner variables accounted for 17% of the variance in program satisfaction for the male learners, the same learner variables only accounted for 5% of satisfaction in the model for the female learners. Another important finding was an increase of 30% of variance accounting for program satisfaction between a path analysis that incorporated the learners' gains in English language proficiency based on pre- and post-program TOEFL scores and another path analysis that used the learners' self-perceived improvement in English language skills. Finally, a cross-validation of the path models revealed statistically significant differences on two variables, proficiency gain and English learning goals, between the two cohorts in the study, indicating a limitation in the longitudinal format utilized.

      Iglesias, Aquiles; Goldstein, Brian; Martin, Nadine, 1952-; Fabiano-Smith, Leah (Temple University. Libraries, 2010)
      The Latino population of which English Language Learners (ELLs) is a subset, has demonstrated substantial growth in recent years (U.S Census Bureau, 2008), highlighting the need for normative information regarding their language skills. However, requisite to obtaining normative information is determining appropriate norming methods. The principal purpose of the present study was to ascertain appropriate norming procedures for the language variables: Mean Length of Utterance (MLU), Number of Different Words (NDW) and Words Per Minute (WPM) in English and Spanish narratives of Spanish-speaking ELLs. The issues were 1) whether age or grade norms should be used as an index of language development, 2) whether cross-sectional or longitudinal data should be utilized, and 3) whether the inclusion or exclusion of children with missing data or grade repeats affects the language measures. It was hypothesized that due to the syntactic and lexical differences that are present across languages, there would be a different developmental schedule of development for the language variables in the English and Spanish of ELLs. Participants were typically developing kindergarten to second grade Spanish speaking ELLs enrolled in transitional bilingual programs. A total of 605 children comprised the cross-sectional dataset and a total of 679 children were included in the longitudinal dataset. From these initial datasets, additional datasets were created to provide separate age and grade groups (for the cross-sectional and longitudinal datasets) as well as three different longitudinal datasets. Narratives in English and Spanish were elicited from each child using a story retell procedure. Analyses were carried out using Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA), Univariate Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance procedures. Results of both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses indicated that age and grade are comparable indices of time for studying MLU, NDW, and WPM. Results also indicated that longitudinal data is superior to cross-sectional data for examining the language variables and that including or excluding subjects with missing data or grade repeaters does not significantly affect MLU, NDW, and WPM scores. Additionally, results confirm the findings from the research literature that MLU, NDW, and WPM are valid variables for studying narrative development.

      Beglar, David; Wagner, Elvis; Kozaki, Yoko; Tatsuki, Shigeo; In'nami, Yo (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      The holistic listening comprehension of 112 Kyoto University students, operationalized as TOEFL iBT listening (long listening), was investigated with a battery of 12 tests, including a phoneme and word recognition test, a test of short 10-second listening, a test of long 3- to 5-minute listening, a reading comprehension of listening scripts test, listening and reading cloze tests, a gap-filling test designed to assess syntactic awareness, a grammatical error detection test, and the Vocabulary Size Test. Rasch analyses were employed to yield person ability measures; these measures were used for correlation studies, a series of linear regression analyses, principal components analysis, and structural equation modeling. Long listening correlated most strongly with the reading comprehension test (.756) and the listening cloze test (.705), and these two variables explained as much variance in long listening as all the variables combined in a linear regression (68%). Of the two prominent components yielded by a principal components analysis, capturing sounds and processing for meaning, long listening loaded significantly only on processing for meaning (.727) and showed no notable loading on capturing sounds. When long listening comprehension was viewed as a two-stage activity consisting of capturing input and processing that input for meaning, the participants were found to rely mainly on processing for meaning. As a result, long/holistic listening had more in common with reading comprehension than with short listening, for which the first stage of input capture was more important. As a part of this study, long listening was expressed as a product of aural word recognition and processing for meaning as in the Simple View of Reading, where reading comprehension is regarded as a product of decoding and linguistic comprehension. While the Simple View of Reading typically accounts for 48% of the variance in reading comprehension, its listening counterpart in this study explained up to 58% of the variance; as much as an improved version of the Simple View of Reading named the Component Model of Reading. The identification of the structural equation models required an additional component for a total of three latent variables; availability of written text, aural activities, and processing for meaning. The three-latent-variable model for long listening incorporated all the variables as indicators except for the grammatical error detection due to its insignificant contribution to holistic understanding. Generally speaking, structural equation approach produced models which were in good qualitative agreements with correlation studies, principal components analysis, and multiple regression; thus, providing an integrative view and a unified treatment of the participants' proficiency with a focus on long listening. Overall, the results highlighted the importance of processing for meaning, a skill largely shared with reading comprehension, for the long listening comprehension of Kyoto University students. This finding indicates a transfer of meaning formation skill from L1 and L2 reading to L2 listening.
    • Factors Associated with College Student Use of New Media for Educational and Social Reason

      Farley, Frank; DuCette, Joseph P.; Fullard, William; Stahler, Gerald; Rotheram-Fuller, Erin (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      The utilization of new media/technology is essential to many college students. Utilizing technology has many benefits and drawbacks. This study examines the use of new media, for educational and social purposes, among two-year and four-year college students. There are many speculations regarding whether or not technology can enhance, or impair, students' educational experiences. Various forms of new media are summarized within the literature review. Personality and motivation are considered and research regarding the educational and social use of new media is explored. Three conceptualizations (The Big Five Personality, The Type T Personality and Academic Motivation) are examined in relation to college students' use of new media for educational and social reasons. A secondary purpose of this study was to examine the similarities and differences between two-year and four-year students. There is limited research in examining both two-year and four-year college students simultaneously. The present study examined the educational and social use of technology among 278 college students (128 community college students and 150 four-year students) in the Northeastern United States. The participants completed a questionnaire that was comprised of items relating to their use of new media, general demographic questions and questions from standardized instruments. Through correlations and multiple regression analyses, the results from this study indicate that personality factors and academic motivation are predictors for both the educational and social use of new media. Students who take part in extracurricular activities, prefer mental challenges and are motivated through identifying the value of a task, are more likely to use technology for an educational purpose. In contrast, younger students and those motivated by external forces are more likely to frequently use technology for a social purpose. Although the type of institution attended was not a predictor for any of the criterion variables, considerable differences were found between the two-year and four-year students. Studies examining only four-year college students should be interpreted with caution before they are generalized to all college students. It is imperative that researchers and educators understand the differences between two-year and four-year students. Educators should also take into account the various types of personality and motivation styles before utilizing, or failing to utilize, various forms of new media in the classroom.
    • Factors Associated with Functional Status in Community-Dwelling Hispanic Elders, in East Little Havana, FL

      Newton, Roberta A.; Spokane, Arnold R.; Carp, Stephen J.; Sachs, Michael L. (Temple University. Libraries, 2010)
      Purpose: Data from a National Institute on Aging funded grant, developed by the University of Miami (UM), Center for Family Studies, were analyzed to determine if baseline levels of cognitive function, physical performance, psychological well-being, physical health, and social support (SS) predict functional status [basic (BADL) and instrumental (IADL) activities of daily living] among Hispanic elders (30 months later). Participants: The parent grant randomly selected a population based sample of Hispanic seniors living in East Little Havana, Florida: n=216, `M' age = 80.0 yrs, `SD' = 6.0; female = 63%. Methods: Data from two time points of the parent grant separated by 30 months were used in this analysis. Self report and physical measures of: cognitive function (MMSE), physical performance (gait speed, grip strength, number of blocks walked in past 7 days), psychological well-being (CES-D), physical health (BMI & self-rated health), SS (Received SS scale), and functional status (BADL and IADL), measured by a derivative of the OARS Functional Assessment Questionnaire, were examined. Two stepwise regression equations (one for BADL and one for IADL as dependent variables respectively) were calculated using SPSS v17.0. The study was approved by UM and Temple University's IRB. Results: Gait speed and physical activity were positively associated with IADL while physical activity was positively associated with BADL. In contrast, received social support and age were negatively associated with each of these outcomes. Conclusion: `Young-old,' Hispanic adults with lower levels of received SS and higher gait speeds and levels of physical activity exhibit greater BADL and IADL capacity. Social Relevance: Results of this study have implications for the development of strategies that delay long-term placement of Hispanic elders with disability.
    • Factors Associated With Parents' Intention to Follow Pediatric Recommendations for Their Child's Weight Loss

      Collins, Bradley N.; Nelson, Deborah B.; Daly, Brian P.; Belay, Brook; McCoy, Andrea (Temple University. Libraries, 2009)
      The purpose of this study was to improve our understanding of the factors related to parents' intention to make weight-reducing lifestyle changes for their children. Previous research has examined parental perception of weight and adoption of weight loss behaviors, but many determinants remain unknown, including possible psychological and motivational factors that may facilitate self-efficacy and parents' intention to make weight-reducing lifestyle changes for their children. This study was a cross-sectional survey of 100 parents of obese children 6-12 years old attending primary care clinic in an urban academic practice. Parents completed the Family Demographics Questionnaire, the Weight Efficacy Lifestyle Questionnaire (Clark et al., 1991) and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) (Radloff, 1977). Parents' height and weight were measured to calculate BMI. Logistic regression analyses of intention to follow provider advice included predictors of parents' self-efficacy for maintaining their child's diet, parents' self-perception of weight and controlling variables of child gender, child age, parents' BMI, ethnicity, and income. Parents' self-efficacy was found to be a significant predictor of parents' intention to follow the provider's recommendations; parents with higher self-efficacy scores were more likely to show intention to follow provider's recommendations (OR = 1.05, p < .001). Parents' level of depressive symptoms was a significant predictor of parents' self-efficacy; as level of depressive symptoms increased, parents' self-efficacy decreased. Depressive symptoms, together with legal guardian status and child's age predicted 16% of the total variance of parents' self-efficacy (B = -17.98, p < .01). The association of parents' self-perception of weight and intention did not achieve statistical significance; however, parents who perceived their provider to be overweight were less likely to intend to follow the provider's instructions (OR = 0.29, p < .03). Parents reporting a child with co-morbid health problems were less likely to show intention to follow weight loss recommendations in every analysis. These study results have implications for the training needs of pediatric providers to enable more effective interventions and improve overall outcome for the obese child, as well as implications for public health programs incorporating family participation into healthy lifestyle interventions for children.

      Hu, Clark; Roehl, Wesley S.; Mandviwalla, Munir; Connolly, Daniel J. (Temple University. Libraries, 2008)
      Online word-of-mouth (WOM) platforms have been referred to by various terms such as online communities, feedback systems, peer reputation systems, or consumer generated media. Such systems provide a global platform for customers to share their experiences, and also rate service providers. WOM systems are burgeoning on the Internet for products such as music and books (Amazon.com), news (Slashdot.org), consumer electronics (shopping.com), tourism and travel (Tripadvisor.com; Hotels.com), and many other products and services. As with the traditional WOM, numerous studies have shown that these systems have a significant impact on customer decision making process, their satisfaction with goods and services, and the overall value of online economic transactions. In this study, the primary focus were the product review systems (PRS). These review systems are less personal but more ubiquitous platforms for online WOM wherein consumers post reviews about the products/services they have consumed. These reviews are widely accessible to other consumers but are disseminated only when other consumer consult these reviews during the purchasing process. However, there are still numerous problems associated with these systems. Recent studies have shown that there are numerous instances of deceptive information provided by service providers themselves or customers who have been paid by commercial parties. Added to this is the problem of anonymity in a computer mediated environment that adds to the already existing uncertainty for the consumer. Further, each review system consists of hundreds of consumer reviews associated with any given product or service. Given that consumers face these numerous problems, research is yet to examine the factors that drive the consumers develop trust in these reviews, and base their purchasing decisions on the information gleaned from the review systems. The main objective of this study was to explore this interesting phenomenon. To this end, this study applied uncertainty reduction theory and Social identity theory to delineate certain aspects of the online reviews that might have an impact on the consumer's assessment of online product reviews. Based on these theories, it was hypothesized that the informational content of the review and social component of the review (individuals' identity information disclosure and the consumers' perceived similarity with this information) have a significant effect on the consumers' trust in a review and subsequently the purchase intention. Further, based on the elaboration likelihood model, it was also posited that consumers' use of these heuristics is more salient while evaluating high involvement products than low involvement products. To test the hypotheses, the study adopted a quasi-experimental design with 2x2 (2 levels each for information content and social component within-subjects) x 2 (2 involvement modes between-subjects) full factorial design. Based on two levels for each of these factors, four reviews similar to those found in sites such as tripadvisor.com were created. A total of 283 students (153 in high involvement mode and 130 in low involvement mode) evaluated these reviews and assigned trust scores as well purchase intention scores to each review. The data was analyzed using linear mixed models and structural equation modeling. The results showed that both the main effects, information content of the review, and the consumers' perceived social identity with the reviewer contribute to an increased trust in the reviews. The study data did not support the hypothesis that involvement of the activity moderates the above mentioned relationships. Within this, information content was found to be playing an important role in both the involvement modes whereas the social component explained more variance in the trust in the high involvement mode than low involvement mode. Some of the results concur with previous research in both traditional and online WOM. The significance of these results in the extant literature as well their implications for both product review system providers as well tourism and hospitality service providers are discussed in detail.
    • Factors Influencing Pennsylvania Public School Special Education Teachers Desire to Leave Teaching

      Ducette, Joseph P.; Stull, JudithC., 1944-; Gilmour, Allison; Haviland, Joseph (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      Retaining qualified teachers is critical to the long-term success of students who receive special education services. Special education teacher retention is particularly important during the middle-school years, as this time is a marked period of transition between elementary and high-school that may place increasing demands upon teachers. Further, teachers in their first five years of working may be especially vulnerable to leaving their positions. I sought to identify the factors that contribute to public middle school special education teachers desire to leave teaching. Correlational analyses conducted on self-report data from 446 current public school special education teachers indicated classroom behavior, academic achievement, family involvement and communication, salary, potential for job advancement, and work attitude were significant predictors of whether teachers considered leaving. Based on the findings from the quantitative data, the original intent on focusing the research on middle-school became problematic as the statistical significance was not measurably different across grade levels taught. The qualitative information from open ended responses supports the quantitative results. The implications of these findings, future directions, and possible remediation strategies to improve retention are discussed.

      Beglar, David; Nation, I. S. P.; Webb, Stuart Alexander; Daulton, Frank E., 1965-; Kozaki, Yoko (Temple University. Libraries, 2010)
      Although studies of lexical inferencing indicate that second language learners frequently encounter difficulties inferring lexical meaning from context, lexical inferencing, or deriving lexical meaning from contextual analysis, constitutes an essential part of reading comprehension. Two main purposes motivated the current study. The first purpose was to investigate how 139 Japanese EFL learners performed in lexical inferencing tasks and the second purpose concerned to what degree their linguistic and extralinguistic knowledge sources were related to lexical inferencing and which knowledge sources contributed to successful lexical inferencing. Linguistic knowledge sources were categorized into lexical knowledge (recognition vocabulary and collocation), syntactic knowledge (syntactic property of words and sentence-level grammar), and discourse knowledge of cohesion and coherence (conjunction, pronoun reference, and discourse prediction). Extralinguistic knowledge sources concern background knowledge related to the topic of texts. The participants were relatively successful at the lexical inferencing tasks for two reasons. First, the lexical density of the texts was controlled so that almost all of the non-target words were at the 2,000 word frequency level, a comprehensible level for the participants in this study. Second, the data were analyzed in a way that gave the participants credit for acquiring partial knowledge of the semantic features of the target words. All the knowledge sources were significantly correlated with lexical inferencing, and a hierarchical multiple regression identified the three best predictors of lexical inferencing. Discourse prediction was the best predictor of lexical inferencing due to the similarities of the cognitive processes of bridging information gaps through scrutinizing textbase input. The second best predictor was written receptive vocabulary size, the most fundamental component of deriving meaning in a text. It was followed by text-related background knowledge. Other significant, but minor predictors were knowledge of the part-of-speech of words and syntax, both of which are constituents of sentence-level processing. Collocational knowledge and knowledge associated with discourse-processing constituents were not significant predictors of lexical inferencing. To summarize, three semantically oriented knowledge sources, i.e., discourse prediction, recognition vocabulary, background knowledge, were more important predictors of lexical inferencing than structurally oriented knowledge sources such as part-of-speech and syntax.
    • Factors Limiting Biodegradation of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and Feasibility of the Bioremediation Techniques

      Boufadel, Michel C.; Van Aken, Benoit; Ryan, Robert; Velinsky, David Jay; Kargbo, David M. (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      The oil from the Exxon Valdez incident is still observed in different Prince William Sound beaches over two decades. The persisting oil is slightly weathered and highly toxic to the environment. Several studies investigated the reasons for lingering oil. Different remediation techniques were tried and the results were not satisfactory. Recently, it was found that the oil is stranded in a low permeability layer. Detailed explorations showed that the exchange of the nutrients and oxygen is limited in this layer. The main objective of the present study is to explain the effect of oxygen and nutrients on the degradation phenomena in the Alaskan beaches. The general approach for this study is a combination of the field experiments and lab analysis. As it is important to eliminate any cross-layer contamination, a unique sampling method was developed. The applied method involves collecting samples from the oily layer (low permeability layer), measuring oxygen levels in the field and comparing them with the nutrient samples analyzed in the lab. The findings showed that the nutrients levels were low in the beach but the lack of effective electron acceptor is the major factor limiting the biodegradation of the oil. The seawater is responsible for delivering the oxygen and nutrients to the beach during the high tide while during low tide the landward freshwater discharges to the beach. The study of the sulfate and nitrate in the beach revealed that the levels of the alternative electron acceptors were not sufficient to support anaerobic biodegradation. Finally, for successful biodegradation of the Exxon Valdez oil, adequate levels of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) and along with oxygen are required.

      Fiorello, Catherine A.; Tincani, Matt; Farley, Frank; Mandell, David S., 1968- (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
      The number of publications examining autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has increased dramatically over the past 30 years, and research on treatments and interventions for individuals with ASD is a growing and popular topic. It is essential to identify effective and efficient strategies for educating students with ASD due to the number of recommended interventions, the increasing number of students with ASD, and the limited resources available in public schools. However, there is a lack of research examining the application of these strategies in classrooms for students with ASD, as well as their associations with student outcomes. The purpose of this study is to examine the use of commonly recommended and applied strategies (i.e., praise-to-behavior correction ratios, individual or small group instructional format, and paraprofessional support), and to investigate the association between these factors and on-task behaviors of students with ASD. Data from 257 observations across 76 kindergarten-to-second grade autism support teachers in a large, urban school district were analyzed. Teachers were observed using positive praise-to-behavior correction ratios, and more than half of the observations were collected during whole group instruction. The use of fewer behavior correction statements and small group instruction had significant associations with students’ on-task behaviors, but the number of staff was not associated with higher rates of on-task behaviors. Directions for future research include investigating additional characteristics related to teachers’ use of praise and behavior correction statements in autism support classrooms, as well as providing teacher and paraprofessional training in the use of praise-to-behavior correction ratios and providing instruction in small group formats.
    • Factors Related to Undergraduate Psychology Majors Learning Statistics

      Farley, Frank; DuCette, Joseph P.; Fullard, William; Fiorello, Catherine A.; Stahler, Gerald (Temple University. Libraries, 2013)
      Factors Related to Undergraduate Psychology Majors Learning Statistics Tamarah Faye Smith Doctor of Philosophy: Educational Psychology Major Advisor: Dr. Frank Farley The American Psychological Association (APA) has outlined goals for psychology undergraduates. These goals are aimed at several objectives including the need to build skills for interpreting and conducting psychological research (APA, 2007). These skills allow psychologists to conduct research that is covered in the media (Farley et al. 2009) and influences policy and law (Fischer, Stein & Heikkinen, 2009; Steinberg, Cauffman, Woolard, Graham & Banich, 2009a; Steinberg, Cauffman, Woolard, Graham & Banich, 2009b). One of the fundamental courses required for building these skills is statistics, a course that begins at the undergraduate level. Research has suggested that performance after completing statistics courses is weak for many students (Garfield, 2003; Hirsch & O'Donnell, 2001; Konold et al. 1993; Mulhern & Wylie, 2005; Schau & Mattern, 1997). The current study examined factors that may be related to performance on a statistical test. A sample of 231 students enrolled in or having already completed a statistics course for psychology majors completed a statistical skill questionnaire, built by the author, to measure performance with four APA outlined goals. To measure student attitudes the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics (SATS-36; Schau, 2003) was completed with adapted questions to measure perceived attitudes of peers and faculty toward statistics. Finally, questions pertaining to classroom techniques and content areas covered were assessed. Building off of social cognitive theory (SCT; Bandura, 1986) and expectancy-value theory (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002), it was expected that lower attitudes, such as low value and low interest, among the students and those perceived to be held by faculty and peers would be related to lower performance on the statistical test. A series of linear regressions were conducted and revealed no significant relationship between perceived faculty attitudes and performance. Students' own liking and positive affect ratings were positive predictors of performance indicating a gain of 3-4% on the statistical test. However, an interesting negative relationship emerged with respect to students' value of statistics and peer interest scores where performance on the statistical test decreased as value and peer interest increased. This may be demonstrating issues pertaining to the SATS-36 validity when measuring students' value as well as issues with the items created to measure perceived peer interest. The results of a factor analysis on perceived attitude measures for peers and faculty suggest that the need for more items is necessary, particularly for faculty attitudes. Finally, this study provides a first look at the performance of a sample of psychology students with APA goals for quantitative reasoning. Results showed that students performed best at reading basic descriptive statistics (M=74.5%), and worst when choosing statistical tests for a given research hypothesis (M=30%). Performance on questions pertaining to confidence intervals (M=38%) and discriminating between statistical and practical significance (M=39%) was also low. Future research can address limitations of this study by expanding the sample to include a broader range of psychology undergraduates and including additional items for measuring perceived attitudes. Other methodological approaches, such as experimental design and directly measuring faculty attitudes, should also be considered. Finally, further research and replication are necessary to determine if scores on the statistical test will continue to be low with other samples and varying question formats. These results can then be used to generate conversation about why and how students are, or are not, learning the appropriate quantitative skills.
    • Factors that Influence State Written Pandemic Flu Plan Inclusion of Federal Recommendations

      Ibrahim, Jennifer; Haviland, Lyndon; Hausman, Alice J.; Hanlon, Alexandra L.; Mullin, Megan, 1973- (Temple University. Libraries, 2009)
      The threat of a pandemic influenza outbreak is considered imminent and could cause severe morbidity and mortality as well as devastating economic losses. The U.S. government has worked to empower states to respond to a pandemic, but there has been minimal evaluation to determine the success of such efforts. The purpose of this study was to examine states' preparedness for a pandemic as documented by states' written pandemic plans and evaluate what political and structural factors may be associated with pandemic plan inclusion of federal recommendations. This was a cross-sectional comparative analysis of 50 states' pandemic influenza plans as of March 2008. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) State and Local Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist was turned into a matrix with each of 85 recommendations making up 10 overarching domains coded as "no mention" = 1, "brief mention but no description or action item" = 2, or "description or action of the item" = 3. Forty-nine complete plans and one state's plan summary were included in the analysis. Each state's domain scores were calculated by adding the scores of each factor within the domain. A "total preparedness score" for each state, was derived by adding the unweighted scores of each domain. Federal recommendations surrounding leadership, networking and surveillance have been well-integrated, but greater efforts are needed to develop partnerships with health care agencies and to focus on antiviral preparedness and infection controls. Federal and state governments have invested resources in pandemic planning and published recommendations for such planning; however, little research has been conducted focusing on what predicts integration of federal recommendations in written state plans. Understanding the factors that influence state plans can offer health departments strategies for increasing their effectiveness in pandemic preparedness and response. This study compared models for bureaucratic behavior and health department structural variables to evaluate what factors may be associated with pandemic plans. The findings showed that structural variables offer greater explanation for pandemic plan comprehensiveness than political theory models, but more work is needed to glean causal relationships. Recommendations to assist state health departments, legislators, and responders in improving state pandemic plans are presented as well as suggested areas for future research.
    • Faculty Perceptions of Dual Enrollment Students' College Readiness

      Smith, Michael W. (Michael William), 1954-; Laufgraben, Jodi Levine, 1966-; DuCette, Joseph P. (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of faculty members who teach courses to high school dual enrollment students. Existing literature on dual enrollment focuses mainly on academic achievement and grade point averages; few studies explore the lived experiences of those who participate in dual enrollment. Although there is limited research on how students perceive their experiences with dual enrollment, a missing piece of the existing literature is in how faculty members perceive their experiences with dual enrollment students. The research questions sought to explore professors' experiences with dual enrollment students, to what extent they believe their students were prepared to perform in a college course, and to what extent they believed their students were prepared to access resources on a college campus. The method included interviewing professors who have taught dual enrollment students in the last 10 years and exploring their experience working with high school students. Interviews were transcribed, codes were applied to the data, and a thematic analysis was conducted to analyze the data. Five themes were discovered as a result of the thematic analysis. Data showed that faculty members perceive that dual enrollment students show regularly improvement, are responsive to feedback, are as prepared or more prepared than their peers who do not participate in dual enrollment, have academic related soft skills that help them succeed, and they are just as resourceful as their peers. Additionally, a common perception among faculty members is that they think dual enrollment students benefit from committed professors. The data suggested from this study has implications for the recruitment of dual enrollment students and the way programs are structured. Additionally, it recommends further research on students' lived experiences of their participation in dual enrollment.