International Science Index

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10007281
Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models
Abstract:

Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.

Paper Detail
778
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733
10008943
Indoor Air Quality Analysis for Renovating Building: A Case Study of Student Studio, Department of Landscape, Chiangmai, Thailand
Abstract:

The rapidly increasing number of population in the limited area creates an effect on the idea of the improvement of the area to suit the environment and the needs of people. Faculty of architecture Chiang Mai University is also expanding in both variety fields of study and quality of education. In 2020, the new department will be introduced in the faculty which is Department of Landscape Architecture. With the limitation of the area in the existing building, the faculty plan to renovate some parts of its school for anticipates the number of students who will join the program in the next two years. As a result, the old wooden workshop area is selected to be renovated as student studio space. With such condition, it is necessary to study the restriction and the distinctive environment of the site prior to the improvement in order to find ways to manage the existing space due to the fact that the primary functions that have been practiced in the site, an old wooden workshop space and the new function, studio space, are too different. 72.9% of the annual times in the room are considered to be out of the thermal comfort condition with high relative humidity. This causes non-comfort condition for occupants which could promote mould growth. This study aims to analyze thermal comfort condition in the Landscape Learning Studio Area for finding the solution to improve indoor air quality and respond to local conditions. The research methodology will be in two parts: 1) field gathering data on the case study 2) analysis and finding the solution of improving indoor air quality. The result of the survey indicated that the room needs to solve non-comfort condition problem. This can be divided into two ways which are raising ventilation and indoor temperature, e.g. improving building design and stack driven ventilation, using fan for enhancing more internal ventilation.

Paper Detail
48
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732
10008983
Pilot Scale Investigation on the Removal of Pollutants from Secondary Effluent to Meet Botswana Irrigation Standards Using Roughing and Slow Sand Filters
Abstract:

Botswana is an arid country that needs to start reusing wastewater as part of its water security plan. Pilot scale slow sand filtration in combination with roughing filter was investigated for the treatment of effluent from Botswana International University of Science and Technology to meet Botswana irrigation standards. The system was operated at hydraulic loading rates of 0.04 m/hr and 0.12 m/hr. The results show that the system was able to reduce turbidity from 262 Nephelometric Turbidity Units to a range between 18 and 0 Nephelometric Turbidity Units which was below 30 Nephelometric Turbidity Units threshold limit. The overall efficacy ranged between 61% and 100%. Suspended solids, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, and Chemical Oxygen Demand removal efficiency averaged 42.6%, 45.5%, and 77% respectively and all within irrigation standards. Other physio-chemical parameters were within irrigation standards except for bicarbonate ion which averaged 297.7±44 mg L-1 in the influent and 196.22±50 mg L-1 in the effluent which was above the limit of 92 mg L-1, therefore averaging a reduction of 34.1% by the system. Total coliforms, fecal coliforms, and Escherichia coli in the effluent were initially averaging 1.1 log counts, 0.5 log counts, and 1.3 log counts respectively compared to corresponding influent log counts of 3.4, 2.7 and 4.1, respectively. As time passed, it was observed that only roughing filter was able to reach reductions of 97.5%, 86% and 100% respectively for faecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, and total coliforms. These organism numbers were observed to have increased in slow sand filter effluent suggesting multiplication in the tank. Water quality index value of 22.79 for the physio-chemical parameters suggests that the effluent is of excellent quality and can be used for irrigation purposes. However, the water quality index value for the microbial parameters (1820) renders the quality unsuitable for irrigation. It is concluded that slow sand filtration in combination with roughing filter is a viable option for the treatment of secondary effluent for reuse purposes. However, further studies should be conducted especially for the removal of microbial parameters using the system.

Paper Detail
55
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731
10008869
Study on Construction of 3D Topography by UAV-Based Images
Abstract:

In this paper, a method of fast 3D topography modeling using the high-resolution camera images is studied based on the characteristics of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system for low altitude aerial photogrammetry and the need of three dimensional (3D) urban landscape modeling. Firstly, the existing high-resolution digital camera with special design of overlap images is designed by reconstructing and analyzing the auto-flying paths of UAVs, which improves the self-calibration function to achieve the high precision imaging by software, and further increased the resolution of the imaging system. Secondly, several-angle images including vertical images and oblique images gotten by the UAV system are used for the detail measure of urban land surfaces and the texture extraction. Finally, the aerial photography and 3D topography construction are both developed in campus of Chang-Jung University and in Guerin district area in Tainan, Taiwan, provide authentication model for construction of 3D topography based on combined UAV-based camera images from system. The results demonstrated that the UAV system for low altitude aerial photogrammetry can be used in the construction of 3D topography production, and the technology solution in this paper offers a new, fast, and technical plan for the 3D expression of the city landscape, fine modeling and visualization.

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Paper Detail
72
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730
10008903
Influence of Shading on a BIPV System’s Performance in an Urban Context: Case Study of BIPV Systems of the Science Center of Complexity Building of the National and Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City
Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to establish the influence of shading on a Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) system´s performance in an urban context. The PV systems of the Science Center of Complexity (Centro de Ciencias de la Complejidad) Building based in the Main Campus of the National and Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City was taken as case study.  The PV systems are placed on the rooftop and on the south façade of the building.  The south-façade PV system, operating as sunshades, consists of two strings:  one at the ground floor and the other one at the first floor.  According to the building’s facility manager, the south-façade PV system generates 42% less electricity per kilowatt peak (kWp) installed than the one on the roof.  The methods applied in this study were Solar Radiation Analysis (SRA) simulations performed with the Insight 360 Plug-in from Revit 2018® and an on-site measurement using specialized tools.  The results of the SRA simulations showed that the shading casted by the PV system placed on the first floor on top of the PV system of the ground floor decreases its solar incident radiation over 50%.  The simulation outcome was compared and validated to the measured data obtained from the on-site measurement.  In conclusion, the loss factor achieved from the shading of the PVs is due to the surroundings and the PV system´s own design.  The south-façade BIPV system’s deficient design generates critical losses on its performance and decreases its profitability.

Paper Detail
89
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729
10008661
University Students Sport’s Activities Assessment in Harsh Weather Conditions
Abstract:

This paper addresses the application of physiological status monitoring (PSM) for assessing the impact of harsh weather conditions on sports activities in universities in Saudi Arabia. Real sports measurement was conducted during sports activities such that the physiological status (HR and BR) of five students were continuously monitored by using Zephyr BioHarnessTM 3.0 sensors in order to identify the physiological bonds and zones. These bonds and zones were employed as indicators of the associated physiological risks of the performed sports activities. Furthermore, a short yes/no questionnaire was applied to collect information on participants’ health conditions and opinions of the applied PSM sensors. The results show the absence of a warning system as a protective aid for the hazardous levels of extremely hot and humid weather conditions that may cause dangerous and fatal circumstances. The applied formulas for estimating maximum HR provides accurate estimations for Maximum Heart Rate (HRmax). The physiological results reveal that the performed activities by the participants are considered the highest category (90–100%) in terms of activity intensity. This category is associated with higher HR, BR and physiological risks including losing the ability to control human body behaviors. Therefore, there is a need for immediate intervention actions to reduce the intensity of the performed activities to safer zones. The outcomes of this study assist the safety improvement of sports activities inside universities and athletes performing their sports activities. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to represent a special case of the application of PSM technology for assessing sports activities in universities considering the impacts of harsh weather conditions on students’ health and safety.

Paper Detail
138
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10008665
The Attitude of Second Year Pharmacy Students towards Lectures, Exams and E-Learning
Abstract:

There is an increasing trend toward student-centred interactive e-learning methods and students’ feedback is a valuable tool for improving learning methods. The aim of this study was to explore the attitude of second year pharmacy students at the University of Babylon, Iraq, towards lectures, exams and e-learning. Materials and methods: Ninety pharmacy students were surveyed by paper questionnaire about their preference for lecture format, use of e-files, theoretical lectures versus practical experiments, lecture and lab time. Students were also asked about their predilection for Moodle-based online exams, different types of exam questions, exam time and other extra academic activities. Results: Students prefer to read lectures on paper (73.3%), use of PowerPoint file (76.7%), short lectures of less than 10 pages (94.5%), practical experiments (66.7%), lectures and lab time of less than two hours (89.9% and 96.6 respectively) and intra-lecture discussions (68.9%). Students also like to have paper-based exam (73.3%), short essay (40%) or MCQ (34.4%) questions and also prefer to do extra activities like reports (22.2%), seminars (18.6%) and posters (10.8%). Conclusion: Second year pharmacy students have different attitudes toward traditional and electronic leaning and assessment methods. Using multimedia, e-learning and Moodle are increasingly preferred methods among some students.

Paper Detail
160
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727
10008742
E-Learning Network Support Services: A Comparative Case Study of Australian and United States Universities
Abstract:

This research study examines the current state of support services for e-network practice in an Australian and an American university. It identifies information that will be of assistance to Australian and American universities to improve their existing online programs. The study investigated the two universities using a quantitative methodological approach. Participants were students, lecturers and admins of universities engaged with online courses and learning management systems. The support services for e-network practice variables, namely academic support services, administrative support and technical support, were investigated for e-practice. Evaluations of e-network support service and its sub factors were above average and excellent in both countries, although the American admins and lecturers tended to evaluate this factor higher than others did. Support practice was evaluated higher by all participants of an American university than by Australians. One explanation for the results may be that most suppliers of the Australian university e-learning system were from eastern Asian cultural backgrounds with a western networking support perspective about e-learning.

Paper Detail
98
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726
10008753
Economics of Open and Distance Education in the University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Abstract:

One of the major objectives of the Nigeria national policy on education is the provision of equal educational opportunities to all citizens at different levels of education. With regards to higher education, an aspect of the policy encourages distance learning to be organized and delivered by tertiary institutions in Nigeria. This study therefore, determines how much of the Government resources are committed, how the resources are utilized and what alternative sources of funding are available for this system of education. This study investigated the trends in recurrent costs between 2004/2005 and 2013/2014 at University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre (DLC). A descriptive survey research design was employed for the study. Questionnaire was the research instrument used for the collection of data. The population of the study was 280 current distance learning education students, 70 academic staff and 50 administrative staff. Only 354 questionnaires were correctly filled and returned. Data collected were analyzed and coded using the frequencies, ratio, average and percentages were used to answer all the research questions. The study revealed that staff salaries and allowances of academic and non-academic staff represent the most important variable that influences the cost of education. About 55% of resources were allocated to this sector alone. The study also indicates that costs rise every year with increase in enrolment representing a situation of diseconomies of scale. This study recommends that Universities who operates distance learning program should strive to explore other internally generated revenue option to boost their revenue. University of Ibadan, being the premier university in Nigeria, should be given foreign aid and home support, both financially and materially, to enable the institute to run a formidable distance education program that would measure up in planning and implementation with those of developed nation.

Paper Detail
98
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725
10008853
Design of Collaborative Web System: Based on Case Study of PBL Support Systems
Authors:
Abstract:
This paper describes the design and implementation of web system for continuable and viable collaboration. This study proposes the improvement of the system based on a result of a certain practice. As contemporary higher education information environments transform, this study highlights the significance of university identity and college identity that are formed continuously through independent activities of the students. Based on these discussions, the present study proposes a practical media environment design which facilitates the processes of organizational identity formation based on a continuous and cyclical model. Even if users change by this system, the communication system continues operation and cooperation. The activity becomes the archive and produces new activity. Based on the result, this study elaborates a plan with a re-design by a system from the viewpoint of second-order cybernetics. Systems theory is a theoretical foundation for our study.
Paper Detail
75
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724
10009018
University-Industry Technology Transfer and Technology Transfer Offices in Emerging Economies
Abstract:
The aim of this paper is to get insight on the nature of university-industry technology transfer (UITT) and technology transfer offices (TTOs) activity at universities in the case of emerging economies. In relation to the process of transferring knowledge/technology in the case of emerging economies, knowledge/technology transfer in these economies are more reactive than in developed economies due to differences in maturity of technologies. It is assumed in this paper that knowledge/technology transfer is a complex phenomenon, and thus the paper contributes to get insight on the nature of UITT and TTOs creation in the case of emerging economies by using a system dynamics model of knowledge/technology transfer in these countries. The paper recognizes the differences between industrialized countries and emerging economies on these phenomena.
Paper Detail
26
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723
10008445
Emergence of Fluoroquinolone Resistance in Pigs, Nigeria
Abstract:

A comparison of resistance to quinolones was carried out on isolates of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coliO157:H7 from cattle and mecA and nuc genes harbouring Staphylococcus aureus from pigs. The isolates were separately tested in the first and current decades of the 21st century. The objective was to demonstrate the dissemination of resistance to this frontline class of antibiotic by bacteria from food animals and bring to the limelight the spread of antibiotic resistance in Nigeria. A total of 10 isolates of the E. coli O157:H7 and 9 of mecA and nuc genes harbouring S. aureus were obtained following isolation, biochemical testing, and serological identification using the Remel Wellcolex E. coli O157:H7 test. Shiga toxin-production screening in the E. coli O157:H7 using the verotoxin E. coli reverse passive latex agglutination (VTEC-RPLA) test; and molecular identification of the mecA and nuc genes in S. aureus. Detection of the mecA and nuc genes were carried out using the protocol by the Danish Technical University (DTU) using the following primers mecA-1:5'-GGGATCATAGCGTCATTATTC-3', mecA-2: 5'-AACGATTGTGACACGATAGCC-3', nuc-1: 5'-TCAGCAAATGCATCACAAACAG-3', nuc-2: 5'-CGTAAATGCACTTGCTTCAGG-3' for the mecA and nuc genes, respectively. The nuc genes confirm the S. aureus isolates and the mecA genes as being methicillin-resistant and so pathogenic to man. The fluoroquinolones used in the antibiotic resistance testing were norfloxacin (10 µg) and ciprofloxacin (5 µg) in the E. coli O157:H7 isolates and ciprofloxacin (5 µg) in the S. aureus isolates. Susceptibility was tested using the disk diffusion method on Muller-Hinton agar. Fluoroquinolone resistance was not detected from isolates of E. coli O157:H7 from cattle. However, 44% (4/9) of the S. aureus were resistant to ciprofloxacin. Resistance of up to 44% in isolates of mecA and nuc genes harbouring S. aureus is a compelling evidence for the rapid spread of antibiotic resistance from bacteria in food animals from Nigeria. Ciprofloxacin is the drug of choice for the treatment of Typhoid fever, therefore widespread resistance to it in pathogenic bacteria is of great public health significance. The study concludes that antibiotic resistance in bacteria from food animals is on the increase in Nigeria. The National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) agency in Nigeria should implement the World Health Organization (WHO) global action plan on antimicrobial resistance. A good starting point can be coordinating the WHO, Office of International Epizootics (OIE), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) tripartite draft antimicrobial resistance monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework in Nigeria.

Paper Detail
175
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722
10008590
Development of Active Learning Calculus Course for Biomedical Program
Abstract:

The paper reviews design and implementation of a Calculus Course required for the Biomedical Competency Based Program developed as a joint project between The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the University of Texas’ Institute for Transformational Learning, from the theoretical perspective as presented in scholarly work on active learning, formative assessment, and on-line teaching. Following a four stage curriculum development process (objective, content, delivery, and assessment), and theoretical recommendations that guarantee effectiveness and efficiency of assessment in active learning, we discuss the practical recommendations on how to incorporate a strong formative assessment component to address disciplines’ needs, and students’ major needs. In design and implementation of this project, we used Constructivism and Stage-by-Stage Development of Mental Actions Theory recommendations.

Paper Detail
131
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721
10008597
Investigating Medical Students’ Perspectives toward University Teachers’ Talking Features in an English as a Foreign Language Context in Urmia, Iran
Abstract:

This study aimed to investigate medical students’ attitudes toward some teachers’ talking features regarding their gender in the Iranian context. To do so, 60 male and 60 female medical students of Urmia University of Medical Sciences (UMSU) participated in the research. A researcher made Likert-type questionnaire which was initially piloted and was used to gather the data. Comparing the four different factors regarding the features of teacher talk, it was revealed that visual and extra-linguistic information factor, Lexical and syntactic familiarity, Speed of speech, and the use of Persian language had the highest to the lowest mean score, respectively. It was also indicated that female students rather than male students were significantly more in favor of speed of speech and lexical and syntactic familiarity.

Paper Detail
94
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720
10008598
Voyage Analysis of a Marine Gas Turbine Engine Installed to Power and Propel an Ocean-Going Cruise Ship
Abstract:

A gas turbine-powered cruise Liner is scheduled to transport pilgrim passengers from Lagos-Nigeria to the Islamic port city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Since the gas turbine is an air breathing machine, changes in the density and/or mass flow at the compressor inlet due to an encounter with variations in weather conditions induce negative effects on the performance of the power plant during the voyage. In practice, all deviations from the reference atmospheric conditions of 15 oC and 1.103 bar tend to affect the power output and other thermodynamic parameters of the gas turbine cycle. Therefore, this paper seeks to evaluate how a simple cycle marine gas turbine power plant would react under a variety of scenarios that may be encountered during a voyage as the ship sails across the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea before arriving at its designated port of discharge. It is also an assessment that focuses on the effect of varying aerodynamic and hydrodynamic conditions which deteriorate the efficient operation of the propulsion system due to an increase in resistance that results from some projected levels of the ship hull fouling. The investigated passenger ship is designed to run at a service speed of 22 knots and cover a distance of 5787 nautical miles. The performance evaluation consists of three separate voyages that cover a variety of weather conditions in winter, spring and summer seasons. Real-time daily temperatures and the sea states for the selected transit route were obtained and used to simulate the voyage under the aforementioned operating conditions. Changes in engine firing temperature, power output as well as the total fuel consumed per voyage including other performance variables were separately predicted under both calm and adverse weather conditions. The collated data were obtained online from the UK Meteorological Office as well as the UK Hydrographic Office websites, while adopting the Beaufort scale for determining the magnitude of sea waves resulting from rough weather situations. The simulation of the gas turbine performance and voyage analysis was effected through the use of an integrated Cranfield-University-developed computer code known as ‘Turbomatch’ and ‘Poseidon’. It is a project that is aimed at developing a method for predicting the off design behavior of the marine gas turbine when installed and operated as the main prime mover for both propulsion and powering of all other auxiliary services onboard a passenger cruise liner. Furthermore, it is a techno-economic and environmental assessment that seeks to enable the forecast of the marine gas turbine part and full load performance as it relates to the fuel requirement for a complete voyage.

Keywords:
Paper Detail
85
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719
10008349
The Effect of Cross-Curriculum of L1 and L2 on Elementary School Students’ Linguistic Proficiency: To Sympathize with Others
Abstract:
This paper reports on a project to integrate Japanese (as a first language) and English (as a second language) education. This study focuses on the mutual effects of the two languages on the linguistic proficiency of elementary school students. The research team consisted of elementary school teachers and researchers at a university. The participants of the experiment were students between 3rd and 6th grades at an elementary school. The research process consisted of seven steps: 1) specifying linguistic proficiency; 2) developing the cross-curriculum of L1 and L2; 3) forming can-do statements; 4) creating a self-evaluation questionnaire; 5) executing the self-evaluation questionnaire at the beginning of the school year; 6) instructing L1 and L2 based on the curriculum; and 7) executing the self-evaluation questionnaire at the beginning of the next school year. In Step 1, the members of the research team brainstormed ways to specify elementary school students’ linguistic proficiency that can be observed in various scenes. It was revealed that the teachers evaluate their students’ linguistic proficiency on the basis of the students’ utterances, but also informed by their non-verbal communication abilities. This led to the idea that competency for understanding others’ minds through the use of physical movement or bodily senses in communication in L1 – to sympathize with others – can be transferred to that same competency in communication in L2. Based on the specification of linguistic proficiency that L1 and L2 have in common, a cross-curriculum of L1 and L2 was developed in Step 2. In Step 3, can-do statements based on the curriculum were also formed, building off of the action-oriented approach from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) used in Europe. A self-evaluation questionnaire consisting of the main can-do statements was given to the students between 3rd grade and 6th grade at the beginning of the school year (Step 4 and Step 5), and all teachers gave L1 and L2 instruction based on the curriculum to the students for one year (Step 6). The same questionnaire was given to the students at the beginning of the next school year (Step 7). The results of statistical analysis proved the enhancement of the students’ linguistic proficiency. This verified the validity of developing the cross-curriculum of L1 and L2 and adapting it in elementary school. It was concluded that elementary school students do not distinguish between L1 and L2, and that they just try to understand others’ minds through physical movement or senses in any language.
Paper Detail
293
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718
10008391
Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making Using Information and Communication Technology
Abstract:

By giving personal opinions, suggestions and criticism through e-democracy, young people can reinforce the adoption of decisions which they have an impact on. The purpose of this research was to examine the opinion of university students about the possibility of their decision-making by using information and communication technology (ICT). The questionnaire examined young people's values and behaviour associated with e-democracy and the related decision-making. Students are most active online when it comes to finding information connected with their academic responsibilities, but less frequently take part in democratic processes in society, both at the national and local level. E-democracy as a tool can be learned in programmes of Human Rights Education and Citizenship Education. 

Paper Detail
527
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717
10008429
Development and Range Testing of a LoRaWAN System in an Urban Environment
Abstract:
This paper describes the construction and operation of an experimental LoRaWAN network surrounding the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. Following successful installation, an experimental node design is built and characterised, with particular emphasis on radio range. Several configurations are investigated, including different data rates, and varying heights of node. It is concluded that although range can be great (over 8 km in this case), environmental topology is critical. However, shorter range implementations, up to about 2 km in an urban environment, are relatively insensitive although care is still needed. The example node and the relatively simple base station reported demonstrate that LoraWan can be a very low cost and practical solution to Internet of Things type applications for distributed monitoring systems with sensors spread over distances of several km.
Paper Detail
227
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716
10008498
Effect of Nanoparticles on Wheat Seed Germination and Seedling Growth
Abstract:

Wheat is an important cereal crop for food security. Boosting the wheat production and productivity is the major challenge across the nation. Good quality of seed is required for maintaining optimum plant stand which ultimately increases grain yield. Ensuring a good germination is one of the key steps to ensure proper plant stand and moisture assurance during seed germination may help to speed up the germination. The tiny size of nanoparticles may help in entry of water into seed without disturbing their internal structure. Considering above, a laboratory experiment was conducted during 2012-13 at G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, India. The completely randomized design was used for statistical analysis. The experiment was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, the appropriate concentration of nanoparticles for seed treatment was screened. In second phase seed soaking hours of nanoparticles for better seed germination were standardized. Wheat variety UP2526 was taken as test crop. Four nanoparticles (TiO2, ZnO, nickel and chitosan) were taken for study. The crop germination studies were done in petri dishes and standard package and practices were used to raise the seedlings. The germination studies were done by following standard procedure. In first phase of the experiment, seeds were treated with 50 and 300 ppm of nanoparticles and control was also maintained for comparison. In the second phase of experiment, seeds were soaked for 4 hours, 6 hours and 8 hours with 50 ppm nanoparticles of TiO2, ZnO, nickel and chitosan along with control treatment to identify the soaking time for better seed germination. Experiment revealed that the application of nanoparticles help to enhance seed germination. The study revealed that seed treatment with  nanoparticles at 50 ppm concentration increases root length, shoot length, seedling length, shoot dry weight, seedling dry weight, seedling vigour index I and seedling vigour index II as compared to seed soaking at 300 ppm concentration. This experiment showed that seed soaking up to 4 hr was better as compared to 6 and 8 hrs. Seed soaking with nanoparticles specially TiO2, ZnO, and chitosan proved to enhance germination and seedling growth indices of wheat crop.

Paper Detail
211
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715
10008226
A Study on the Waiting Time for the First Employment of Arts Graduates in Sri Lanka
Abstract:

Transition from tertiary level education to employment is one of the challenges that many fresh university graduates face after graduation. The transition period or the waiting time to obtain the first employment varies with the socio-economic factors and the general characteristics of a graduate. Compared to other fields of study, Arts graduates in Sri Lanka, have to wait a long time to find their first employment. The objective of this study is to identify the determinants of the transition from higher education to employment of these graduates using survival models. The study is based on a survey that was conducted in the year 2016 on a stratified random sample of Arts graduates from Sri Lankan universities who had graduated in 2012. Among the 469 responses, 36 (8%) waiting times were interval censored and 13 (3%) were right censored. Waiting time for the first employment varied between zero to 51 months. Initially, the log-rank and the Gehan-Wilcoxon tests were performed to identify the significant factors. Gender, ethnicity, GCE Advanced level English grade, civil status, university, class received, degree type, sector of first employment, type of first employment and the educational qualifications required for the first employment were significant at 10%. The Cox proportional hazards model was fitted to model the waiting time for first employment with these significant factors. All factors, except ethnicity and type of employment were significant at 5%. However, since the proportional hazard assumption was violated, the lognormal Accelerated failure time (AFT) model was fitted to model the waiting time for the first employment. The same factors were significant in the AFT model as in Cox proportional model.

Paper Detail
221
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10008371
Education for Sustainability Using PBL on an Engineering Course at the National University of Colombia
Abstract:
This article describes the implementation experience of Project-Based Learning (PBL) in an engineering course of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, with the aim of strengthening student skills necessary for the exercise of their profession under a sustainability framework. Firstly, we present a literature review on the education for sustainability field, emphasizing the skills and knowledge areas required for its development, as well as the commitment of the Faculty of Engineering of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and other engineering faculties of the country, regarding education for sustainability. This article covers the general aspects of the course, describes how students team were formed, and how their experience was during the first semester of 2017. During this period two groups of students decided to develop their course project aiming to solve a problem regarding a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that works with head-of-household mothers in a low-income neighborhood in Bogota (Colombia). Subsequently, we show how sustainability is involved in the course, how tools are provided to students, and how activities are developed as to strengthen their abilities, which allows them to incorporate sustainability in their projects while also working on the methodology used to develop said projects. Finally, we introduce the results obtained by the students who sent the prototypes of their projects to the community they were working on and the conclusions reached by them regarding the course experience.
Paper Detail
141
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713
10008065
Measuring the Academic Self-Efficacy of Undergraduates: The Role of Gender and Academic Year Experience
Abstract:
Self-efficacy beliefs provide the foundation for human motivation, well-being, and personal accomplishment. This study measured the levels of academic self-efficacy of undergraduates and also examined whether there any differences in academic self-efficacy with respect to gender and academic year. A structured questionnaire was employed to collect data from undergraduates who enrolled the Bachelor of Commerce degree programme at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. The outcome of the study revealed that undergraduates lacked the confidence to ask and answer questions, seek help from lecturers, have a study plan and engage in academic discussion and note-taking. However, the findings also demonstrated that undergraduates were not hesitant about seeking help from friends, had confidence on meeting the deadlines and completing the degree within four years. Interestingly, females displayed higher academic self-efficacy than males. Specifically, the data were supported to conclude that there were significant differences in academic self-efficacy with respect to academic years.
Paper Detail
169
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712
10008138
Students Perceptions on the Relevance of High School Mathematics in University Education in South Africa
Abstract:
In this study we investigated the relevance of high school mathematics in university education. The paper particularly focused on whether the concepts taught in high school are enough for engineering courses at diploma level. The study identified particular concepts that are required in engineering courses whether they were adequately covered in high school. A questionnaire was used to investigate whether relevant topics were covered in high school. The respondents were 228 first year students at the Central University of Technology in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology. The study indicates that there are some topics such as integration, complex numbers and matrices that are not done at high schools and are required in engineering courses at university. It is further observed that some students did not cover the topics that are in the current syllabus. Female students enter the university less prepared than their male counterparts. More than 30% of the respondents in this study felt that high school mathematics was not useful for them to be able to do engineering courses.
Paper Detail
199
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711
10008142
Development of the Academic Model to Predict Student Success at VUT-FSASEC Using Decision Trees
Abstract:

The success or failure of students is a concern for every academic institution, college, university, governments and students themselves. Several approaches have been researched to address this concern. In this paper, a view is held that when a student enters a university or college or an academic institution, he or she enters an academic environment. The academic environment is unique concept used to develop the solution for making predictions effectively. This paper presents a model to determine the propensity of a student to succeed or fail in the French South African Schneider Electric Education Center (FSASEC) at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT). The Decision Tree algorithm is used to implement the model at FSASEC.

Paper Detail
211
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10008162
Evaluation of the Mechanical Behavior of a Retaining Wall Structure on a Weathered Soil through Probabilistic Methods
Abstract:

Retaining slope structures are increasingly considered in geotechnical engineering projects due to extensive urban cities growth. These kinds of engineering constructions may present instabilities over the time and may require reinforcement or even rebuilding of the structure. In this context, statistical analysis is an important tool for decision making regarding retaining structures. This study approaches the failure probability of the construction of a retaining wall over the debris of an old and collapsed one. The new solution’s extension length will be of approximately 350 m and will be located over the margins of the Lake Paranoá, Brasilia, in the capital of Brazil. The building process must also account for the utilization of the ruins as a caisson. A series of in situ and laboratory experiments defined local soil strength parameters. A Standard Penetration Test (SPT) defined the in situ soil stratigraphy. Also, the parameters obtained were verified using soil data from a collection of masters and doctoral works from the University of Brasília, which is similar to the local soil. Initial studies show that the concrete wall is the proper solution for this case, taking into account the technical, economic and deterministic analysis. On the other hand, in order to better analyze the statistical significance of the factor-of-safety factors obtained, a Monte Carlo analysis was performed for the concrete wall and two more initial solutions. A comparison between the statistical and risk results generated for the different solutions indicated that a Gabion solution would better fit the financial and technical feasibility of the project.

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168
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10008213
Effects of Lateness Gene on Yield and Related Traits in Indica Rice
Abstract:

Various genes which control or affect heading time have been found in rice. Out of them, Se1 and E1 loci play important roles in determining heading time by controlling photosensitivity. An isogenic-line pair of late and early lines were developed from progenies of the F1 from Suweon 258 × 36U. A lateness gene tentatively designated as “Ex” was found to control the difference in heading time between the early and late lines mentioned above. The present study was conducted to examine the effect of Ex on yield and related traits. Indica-type variety Suweon 258 was crossed with 36U, which is an Ur1 (Undulate rachis-1) isogenic line of IR36. In the F2 population, comparatively early-heading, late-heading and intermediate-heading plants were segregated. Segregation similar to that by the three types of heading was observed in the F3 and later generations. A late-heading plant and an early-heading plant were selected in the F8 population from an intermediate-heading F7 plant, for developing L and E of the isogenic-line pair, respectively. Experiments for L and E were conducted by randomized block design with three replications. Transplanting was conducted on May 3 at a planting distance of 30 cm × 15 cm with two seedlings per hill to an experimental field of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kochi University. Chemical fertilizers containing N, P2O5 and K2O were applied at the nitrogen levels of 4 g/m2, 9 g/m2 and 18 g/m2 in total being denoted by "N4", "N9" and "N18", respectively. Yield, yield components and other traits were measured. Ex delayed 80%-heading by 17 or 18 days in L as compared with E. In total brown rice yield (g/m2), L was 635, 606 and 590, and E was 577, 548 and 501, respectively, at N18, N9 and N4, indicating that Ex increased this trait by 10% to 18%. Ex increased yield-1.5 mm sieve (g/m2) b 9% to 15% at the three fertilizer levels. Ex increased the spikelet number per panicle by 16% to 22%. As a result, the spikelet number per m2 was increased by 11% to 18% at the three fertilizer levels. Ex decreased 1000-grain weight (g) by 2 to 4%. L was not significantly different from E in ripened-grain percentage, fertilized-spikelet percentage and percentage of ripened grains to fertilized spikelets. Hence, it is inferred that Ex increased yield by increasing spikelet number per panicle. Hence, Ex could be utilized to develop high yielding varieties for warmer districts.

Paper Detail
211
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708
10008240
A Case Study on Experiences of Clinical Preceptors in the Undergraduate Nursing Program
Abstract:

Clinical education is one of the most important components of a nursing curriculum as it develops the students’ cognitive, psychomotor and affective skills. Clinical teaching ensures the integration of knowledge into practice. As the numbers of students increase in the field of nursing coupled with the faculty shortage, clinical preceptors are the best choice to ensure student learning in the clinical settings. The clinical preceptor role has been introduced in the undergraduate nursing programme. In Pakistan, this role emerged due to a faculty shortage. Initially, two clinical preceptors were hired. This study will explore clinical preceptors views and experiences of precepting Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) students in an undergraduate program. A case study design was used. As case studies explore a single unit of study such as a person or very small number of subjects; the two clinical preceptors were fundamental to the study and served as a single case. Qualitative data were obtained through an iterative process using in depth interviews and written accounts from reflective journals that were kept by the clinical preceptors. The findings revealed that the clinical preceptors were dedicated to their roles and responsibilities. Another, key finding was that clinical preceptors’ prior knowledge and clinical experience were valuable assets to perform their role effectively. The clinical preceptors found their new role innovative and challenging; it was stressful at the same time. Findings also revealed that in the clinical agencies there were unclear expectations and role ambiguity. Furthermore, clinical preceptors had difficulty integrating theory into practice in the clinical area and they had difficulty in giving feedback to the students. Although this study is localized to one university, generalizations can be drawn from the results. The key findings indicate that the role of a clinical preceptor is demanding and stressful. Clinical preceptors need preparation prior to precepting students on clinicals. Also, institutional support is fundamental for their acceptance. This paper focuses on the views and experiences of clinical preceptors undertaking a newly established role and resonates with the literature. The following recommendations are drawn to strengthen the role of the clinical preceptors: A structured program for clinical preceptors is needed along with mentorship. Clinical preceptors should be provided with formal training in teaching and learning with emphasis on clinical teaching and giving feedback to students. Additionally, for improving integration of theory into practice, clinical modules should be provided ahead of the clinical. In spite of all the challenges, ten more clinical preceptors have been hired as the faculty shortage continues to persist.

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206
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10008634
Solomon 300 OD (Betacyfluthrin+Imidacloprid): A Combi-Product for the Management of Insect-Pests of Chilli (Capsicum annum L.)
Abstract:

Chilli (Capsicum annum L.) an important commercial vegetable crop is ravaged by a number of insect-pests during both vegetative and reproductive phase resulting into significant crop loss.Thrips, Scirtothripsdorsalis, mite, Polyphagotarsonemuslatus and whitefly, Bemisiatabaci are the key sap feeding insects, their infestation leads to leaf curl, stunted growth and yield loss.During flowering and fruit formation stage, gall midge fly, Asphondyliacapparis (Rubsaaman) infesting flower buds and young fruits andHelicoverpaarmigera (Hubner) feeding on matured green fruits are the important insect pests causing significant crop loss.The pest is known to infest both flower buds and young fruits resulting into malformation of flower buds and twisting of fruits.In order to manage these insect-pests a combi product consisting of imidacloprid and betacyfluthrin (Soloman 300 OD) was evaluated for its bio-efficacy, phytotoxicity and effect on predator activity.Imidacloprid, a systemic insecticide belonging to neo-nicotinoid group, is effective against insect pests such as aphids, whiteflies (sap feeders) and other insectsviz., termites and soil insects.Beta-Cyfluthrin is an insecticide of synthetic pyrethroid group which acts by contact action and ingestion. It acts on the insects' nervous system as sodium channel blocker consequently a disorder of the nervous system occurs leading finally to the death. The field experiments were taken up during 2015 and 2016 at the Main Agricultural Research Station of University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka, India.The trials were laid out in a Randomized Block Design (RBD) with three replications using popular land race of Byadagi crop variety.Results indicated that the product at 21.6 + 50.4% gai/ha (240 ml/ha) and 27.9 + 65% gai/ha (310 ml/ha) was found quite effective in controlling thrips (0.00 to 0.66 thrips per six leaves) as against the standard check insecticide recommended for thrips by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad wherein the density of thrips recorded was significantly higher (1.00 to 2.00 Nos./6 leaves). Similarly, the test insecticide was quite effective against other target insects, whiteflies, fruit borer and gall midge fly as indicated by lower insect population observed in the treatments as compared to standard insecticidal control. The predatory beetle activity was found to be normal in all experimental plots. Highest green fruit yield of 5100-5500 kg/ha was recorded in Soloman 300 OD applied crop at 310 ml/ha rate as compared to 4750 to 5050 kg/ha recorded in check. At present 6-8 sprays of insecticides are recommended for management of these insect-pests on the crop. If combi-products are used in pest management programmes, it is possible to reduce insecticide usages in crop ecosystem.

Paper Detail
109
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10008987
Investigating the Dynamics of Knowledge Acquisition in Learning Using Differential Equations
Abstract:
A mathematical model for knowledge acquisition in teaching and learning is proposed. In this study we adopt the mathematical model that is normally used for disease modelling into teaching and learning. We derive mathematical conditions which facilitate knowledge acquisition. This study compares the effects of dropping out of the course at early stages with later stages of learning. The study also investigates effect of individual interaction and learning from other sources to facilitate learning. The study fits actual data to a general mathematical model using Matlab ODE45 and lsqnonlin to obtain a unique mathematical model that can be used to predict knowledge acquisition. The data used in this study was obtained from the tutorial test results for mathematics 2 students from the Central University of Technology, Free State, South Africa in the department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The study confirms already known results that increasing dropout rates and forgetting taught concepts reduce the population of knowledgeable students. Increasing teaching contacts and access to other learning materials facilitate knowledge acquisition. The effect of increasing dropout rates is more enhanced in the later stages of learning than earlier stages. The study opens up a new direction in further investigations in teaching and learning using differential equations.
Paper Detail
23
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10008047
The Capacity of Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients for Speech Recognition
Abstract:

Speech recognition is of an important contribution in promoting new technologies in human computer interaction. Today, there is a growing need to employ speech technology in daily life and business activities. However, speech recognition is a challenging task that requires different stages before obtaining the desired output. Among automatic speech recognition (ASR) components is the feature extraction process, which parameterizes the speech signal to produce the corresponding feature vectors. Feature extraction process aims at approximating the linguistic content that is conveyed by the input speech signal. In speech processing field, there are several methods to extract speech features, however, Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC) is the popular technique. It has been long observed that the MFCC is dominantly used in the well-known recognizers such as the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Sphinx and the Markov Model Toolkit (HTK). Hence, this paper focuses on the MFCC method as the standard choice to identify the different speech segments in order to obtain the language phonemes for further training and decoding steps. Due to MFCC good performance, the previous studies show that the MFCC dominates the Arabic ASR research. In this paper, we demonstrate MFCC as well as the intermediate steps that are performed to get these coefficients using the HTK toolkit.

Paper Detail
376
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