This paper analyses managing higher education institutions in emerging economies. The paper investigates the case of postgraduate studies development at public universities. In so doing, it adopts the complex theory approach to evaluate how postgraduate studies have evolved in these countries. The investigation suggests that the postgraduate studies sector at public universities can be seen as a complex adaptive system (CAS). Therefore, the paper adopts system dynamics (SD) methods to develop this analysis. The case of postgraduate studies at Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo in Mexico is investigated in this paper.
The current study presents a proposed program for acquisition the skills and techniques needed to produce concept cartoon. The proposed program has been prepared for non-specialist students who have never used neither graphics nor animating software. It was presented to postgraduates in Faculty of Education for Early Childhood, Cairo University, during the spring term of the 2014-2015 academic year. The program works in three different aspects: Drawing and images editing, sound manipulation, and creating animation. In addition, the researchers have prepared a questionnaire for measuring the quality of the concept cartoons produced by the students. The questionnaire was used as a pre-test and post-test, and at the end of the study, a significant difference was determined in favour of post-test results.
Universities’ push toward the production of high quality research is not limited to academic staff and experienced researchers. In this environment of research rich agendas, Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are increasingly expected to engage in the publishing of good quality papers in high impact journals. IFN001: Advanced Information Research Skills (AIRS) is a credit bearing mandatory coursework requirement for Queensland University of Technology (QUT) doctorates. Since its inception in 1989, this unique blended learning program has provided the foundations for new researchers to produce original and innovative research. AIRS was redeveloped in 2012, and has now been evaluated with reference to the university’s strategic research priorities. Our research is the first comprehensive evaluation of the program from the learner perspective. We measured whether the program develops essential transferrable skills and graduate capabilities to ensure best practice in the areas of publishing and data management. In particular, we explored whether AIRS prepares students to be agile researchers with the skills to adapt to different research contexts both within and outside academia. The target group for our study consisted of HDR students and supervisors at QUT. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used for data collection. Gathering data was by survey and focus groups with qualitative responses analyzed using NVivo. The results of the survey show that 82% of students surveyed believe that AIRS assisted their research process and helped them learn skills they need as a researcher. The 18% of respondents who expressed reservation about the benefits of AIRS were also examined to determine the key areas of concern. These included trends related to the timing of the program early in the candidature and a belief among some students that their previous research experience was sufficient for postgraduate study. New insights have been gained into how to better support HDR learners in partnership with supervisors and how to enhance learning experiences of specific cohorts, including international students and mature learners.
Teaching statistics is a critical and challenging issue especially to students from multidisciplinary and diverse postgraduate backgrounds. Postgraduate research students require statistics not only for the design of experiments; but also for data analysis. Students often perceive statistics as a complex and technical subject; thus, they leave data analysis to the last moment. The lecture needs to be simple and inclusive at the same time to make it comprehendible and address the learning needs of each student. Therefore, the aim of this work was to design a simple and comprehendible statistics lecture to postgraduate research students regarding ‘Research plan, design and data collection’. The lecture adopted the constructive alignment learning theory which facilitated the learning environments for the students. The learning environment utilized a student-centered approach and used interactive learning environment with in-class discussion, handouts and electronic voting system handsets. For evaluation of the lecture, formative assessment was made with in-class discussions and poll questions which were introduced during and after the lecture. The whole approach showed to be effective in creating a learning environment to the students who were able to apply the concepts addressed to their individual research projects.
It is not only the economic determinants that impact on life conditions, but maintaining a good level of life satisfaction (LS) may also be an important challenge currently. In Luxembourg, university students receive financial aid from the government. They are then registered at the Centre for Documentation and Information on Higher Education (CEDIES). Luxembourg is built on migration with almost half its population consisting of foreigners. It is upon this basis that our research aims to analyze the associations with mental health factors (health satisfaction, psychological quality of life, worry), perceived financial situation, career attitudes (adaptability, optimism, knowledge, planning) and LS, for non-Luxembourgish and native postgraduate students. Between 2012 and 2013, postgraduates registered at CEDIES were contacted by post and asked to participate in an online survey with either the option of English or French. The study population comprised of 644 respondents. Our statistical analysis excluded: those born abroad who had Luxembourgish citizenship, or those born in Luxembourg who did not have citizenship. Two groups were formed one consisting 147 non-Luxembourgish and the other 284 natives. A single item measured LS (1=not at all satisfied to 10=very satisfied). Bivariate tests, correlations and multiple linear regression models were used in which only significant relationships (p<0.05) were integrated. Among the two groups no differences were found between LS indicators (7.8/10 non-Luxembourgish; 8.0/10 natives) as both were higher than the European indicator of 7.2/10 (for 25-34 years). In the case of non-Luxembourgish students, they were older than natives (29.3 years vs. 26.3 years) perceived their financial situation as more difficult, and a higher percentage of their parents had an education level higher than a Bachelor's degree (father 59.2% vs 44.6% for natives; mother 51.4% vs 33.7% for natives). In addition, the father’s education was related to the LS of postgraduates and the higher was the score, the greater was the contribution to LS. Whereas for native students, when their scores of health satisfaction and career optimism were higher, their LS’ score was higher. For both groups their LS was linked to mental health-related factors, perception of their financial situation, career optimism, adaptability and planning. The higher the psychological quality of life score was, the greater the LS of postgraduates’ was. Good health and positive attitudes related to the job market enhanced their LS indicator.
Online forum is part of a Learning Management System (LMS) environment in which students share their opinions. This study attempts to investigate the perceptions of students towards online forum and their patterns of listening behavior during the forum interaction. The students’ perceptions were measured using a questionnaire, in which seven dimensions were used involving online experience, benefits of forum participation, cost of participation, perceived ease of use, usefulness, attitude, and intention. Meanwhile, their patterns of listening behaviors were obtained using the log file extracted from the LMS. A total of 25 postgraduate students undertaking a course were involved in this study, and their activities in the forum session were recorded by the LMS and used as a log file. The results from the questionnaire analysis indicated that the students perceived that the forum is easy to use, useful, and bring benefits to them. Also, they showed positive attitude towards online forum, and they have the intention to use it in future. Based on the log data, the participants were also divided into six clusters of listening behavior, in which they are different in terms of temporality, breadth, depth and speaking level. The findings were compared to previous clusters grouping and future recommendations are also discussed.
Lately, asynchronous discussion forum is integrated in higher educational institutions as it may increase learning process, learners’ understanding, achievement and knowledge construction. The asynchronous discussion forum is used to complement the traditional, face-to-face learning session in hybrid learning courses. However, studies have proven that students’ engagement in online forums is still unconvincing. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate the motivating factors and obstacles that affect the learners’ engagement in asynchronous discussion forum. This study is carried out in one of the public higher educational institutions in Malaysia with 18 postgraduate students as samples. The authors have developed a 40-items questionnaire based on literature review. The results indicate several factors that have encouraged or limited students’ engagement in asynchronous discussion forum: (a) the practices or behaviors of peers, or instructors, (b) the needs for the discussions, (c) the learners’ personalities, (d) constraints in continuing the discussion forum, (e) lack of ideas, (f) the level of thoughts, (g) the level of knowledge construction, (h) technical problems, (i) time constraints and (j) misunderstanding. This study suggests some recommendations to increase the students’ engagement in online forums. Finally, based upon the findings, some implications are proposed for further research.
The purpose of this study was to investigate graduate students’ visual attention and perceptions of a Prezi presentation. Ten postgraduate master students were presented with a Prezi presentation at the Centre for Instructional Technology and Multimedia, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). The eye movement indicators such as dwell time, average fixation on the areas of interests, heat maps and focus maps were abstracted to indicate the students’ visual attention. Descriptive statistics was employed to analyze the students’ perception of the Prezi presentation in terms of text, slide design, images, layout and overall presentation. The result revealed that the students paid more attention to the text followed by the images and sub heading presented through the Prezi presentation.
Due to the advancement of Internet technology, online learning is widely used in higher education institutions. Online learning offers several means of communication, including online forum. Through online forum, students and instructors are able to discuss and share their knowledge and expertise without having a need to attend the face-to-face, ordinary classroom session. The purposes of this study are to analyze the students’ levels of participation and critical thinking, types of action and factors influencing their participation in online forum. A total of 41 postgraduate students undertaking a course in educational technology from a public university in Malaysia were involved in this study. In this course, the students participated in a weekly online forum as part of the course requirement. Based on the log data file extracted from the online forum, the students’ type of actions (view, add, update, delete posts) and their levels of participation (passive, moderate or active) were identified. In addition, the messages posted in the forum were analyzed to gauge their level of critical thinking. Meanwhile, the factors that might influence their online forum participation were measured using a 24-items questionnaire. Based on the log data, a total of 105 posts were sent by the participants. In addition, the findings show that (i) majority of the students are moderate participants, with an average of two to three posts per person, (ii) viewing posts are the most frequent type of action (85.1%), and followed by adding post (9.7%). Furthermore, based on the posts they made, the most frequent type of critical thinking observed was justification (50 input or 19.0%), followed by linking ideas and interpretation (47 input or 18%), and novelty (38 input or 14.4%). The findings indicate that online forum allows for social interaction and can be used to measure the students’ critical thinking skills. In order to achieve this, monitoring students’ activities in the online forum is recommended.
Postgraduate education is generally aimed at providing in-depth knowledge and understanding that include general philosophy in the world sciences, management, technologies, applications and other elements closely related to specific areas. In most universities, besides core and non-core subjects, a thesis is one of the requirements for the postgraduate student to accomplish before graduating. This paper reports on the empirical investigation into attributes that are associated with the obstacles to thesis accomplishment among postgraduate students. Using the quantitative approach the experiences of postgraduate students were tapped. Findings clearly revealed that information seeking, writing skills and other factors which refer to supervisor and time management, in particular, are recognized as contributory factors which positively or negatively influence postgraduates’ thesis accomplishment. Among these, writing skills dimensions were found to be the most difficult process in thesis accomplishment compared to information seeking and other factors. This pessimistic indication has provided some implications not only for the students but supervisors and institutions as a whole.
With the increasing popularity of the Internet, online reading has become an essential source for EFL readers. Using strategies to comprehend information on online reading texts play a crucial role in students’ academic success. Metacognitive reading strategies are effective factors that enhance EFL learners reading comprehension. This study aimed at exploring the use of online metacognitive reading strategies by postgraduate Libyan EFL students. Quantitative data was collected using the Survey of Online Reading Strategies (OSORS). The findings revealed that the participants were moderate users of metacognitive online reading strategies. Problem solving strategies were the most frequently reported used strategies, while support reading strategies were the least. The five most and least frequently reported strategies were identified. Based on the findings, some future research recommendations were presented.
This study describes the relationship between motivation factors and academic performance among distance education students enrolled in a postgraduate nursing course. Students (n=96) participated in a survey that assesses student's motivational orientations from a cognitive perspective using a selfadministered questionnaire based on Pintrich-s Motivation Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MLSQ). Results showed students- motivational factors are highest on task value (6.44, 0.71); followed by intrinsic goal orientation (6.20, 0.76), control beliefs (6.02, 0.89); extrinsic goal orientation (5.85, 1.13); self-efficacy for learning and performance (5.62, 0.84), and finally, test anxiety (4.21, 1.37). Weak positive correlations were found between academic performance and intrinsic goal orientation (r=0.13), extrinsic goal orientation (r=0.04), task value (r=0.09), control beliefs (r=0.02), and self-efficacy (r=0.05), while there was weak negative correlation with test anxiety (r=-0.04). Conclusions from the study indicate the need to focus on improving tasks and targeting intrinsic goal orientations of students to courses since these were positively correlated with academic performance and downplay the use of tests since these were negatively correlated with academic performance.
After the accounting scandals and the financial crisis, regulators have stressed the need for more financial experts on boards. Several studies conducted in countries with developed capital markets report positive effects of board financial competencies. As each country offers a different context and specific institutional factors this paper addresses the subject in the context of Romania. The Romanian capital market offers an interesting research field because of the heterogeneity of listed firms. After analyzing board members education based on public information posted on listed companies websites and their annual reports we found a positive association between the proportion of board members holding a postgraduate degree in financial fields and market based performance measured by Tobin q. We found also that the proportion of Board members holding degrees in financial fields is higher in bigger firms and firms with more concentrated ownership.
Curriculum is one of the most important inputs in higher education system and for knowing the strong and weak spots of it we need evaluation. The main purpose of this study was to survey of the curriculum quality of Insurance Management field. Case: University of Allameh Taba Tabaee(according to view point of students,alumni,employer and faculty members).Descriptive statistics (mean, tables, percentages, frequency distribution) and inferential statistics (CHI SQUARE) were used to analyze the data. Six criterions considered for the Quality of curriculum: objectives, content, teaching and learning methods, space and facilities, Time, assessment of learning. objectives, teaching and learning methods criterions was desirable level, content criteria was undesirable level, space and facilities, time and assessment of learning were rather desirable level. The quality of curriculum of insurance management field was relatively desirable level.
Evaluation and survey of curriculum quality as one of the most important components of universities system is necessary for different levels in higher education. The main purpose of this study was to survey of the curriculum quality of Actuarial science field. Case: University of SHahid Beheshti and Higher education institute of Eco insurance (according to viewpoint of students, alumni, employers and faculty members). Descriptive statistics (mean, tables, percentage, and frequency distribution) and inferential statistics (CHI SQUARE) were used to analyze the data. Six criteria considered for the Quality of curriculum: objectives, content, teaching and learning methods, space and facilities, Time, assessment of learning. Content, teaching and learning methods, space and facilities, assessment of learning criteria were relatively desirable level, objectives and time criterions were desirable level. The quality of curriculum of Actuarial Science field was relatively desirable level.