International Science Index

128
10011960
The Effectiveness of Lesson Study via Learning Communities in Increasing Instructional Self-Efficacy of Beginning Special Educators
Abstract:

Lesson study is used as an instructional technique to promote both student and faculty learning. However, little is known about the usefulness of learning communities in supporting results of lesson study on the self-efficacy and development for tenure-track faculty. This study investigated the impact of participation in a lesson study learning community on 34 new faculty members at a mid-size Midwestern University, specifically regarding implementing lesson study evaluations by new faculty on their reported self-efficacy. Results indicate that participation in a lesson study learning community significantly increased faculty members’ lesson study self-efficacy as well as grant and manuscript production over one academic year. Suggestions for future lesson study around faculty learning communities are discussed.

Paper Detail
15
downloads
127
10011860
Adaptive Educational Hypermedia System for High School Students Based on Learning Styles
Abstract:

Information seekers get “lost in hyperspace” due to the voluminous documents updated daily on the internet. Adaptive Hypermedia Systems (AHS) are used to direct learners to their target goals. One of the most common AHS designed to help information seekers to overcome the problem of information overload is the Adaptive Education Hypermedia System (AEHS). However, this paper focuses on AEHS that adopts the learning preference of high school students and deliver learning content according to this preference throughout their learning experience. The research developed a prototype system for predicting students’ learning preference from the Visual, Aural, Read-Write and Kinesthetic (VARK) learning style model and adopting the learning content suitable to their preference. The predicting strength of several classifiers was compared and we found Support Vector Machine (SVM) to be more accurate in predicting learning style based on users’ preferences.

Paper Detail
161
downloads
126
10011647
An Evaluation of Kahoot Application and Its Environment as a Learning Tool
Abstract:

Over the past 20 years, internet has seen continual advancement and with the advent of online technology, various types of web-based games have been developed. Games are frequently being used among different age groups from baby boomers to generation Z. Games are not only used for entertainment but also utilized as a learning approach transmitting education to a level that is more interesting and effective for students. One of the popular web-based education games is Kahoot with growing popularity and usage, which is being used in different fields of studies. However, little knowledge is available on university students’ perception of Kahoot environment and application for learning subjects. Hence, the objective of the current study is to investigate students’ perceptions of Kahoot application and environment as a learning tool. The study employed a survey approach by distributing Google Forms –created questionnaire, with high level of reliability index, to 62 students (11 males and 51 females). The findings show that students have positive attitudes towards Kahoot application and its environment for learning. Regarding Kahoot application, it was indicated that activities created using Kahoot are more interesting for students, Kahoot is useful for collaborative learning, and Kahoot enhances interest in learning lesson. In terms of Kahoot environment, it was found that using this application through mobile is easy for students, its design is simple and useful, Kahoot-created activities can easily be shared, and the application can easily be used on any platform. The findings of the study have implications for instructors, policymakers and curriculum developers.

Paper Detail
184
downloads
125
10011707
Classifications of Neuroscientific-Radiological Findings on “Practicing” in Mathematics Learning
Abstract:

Many people know ‘Mathematics needs practice!’ statement or similar ones from their mathematics lessons. It seems important to practice when learning mathematics. At the same time, it also seems important to practice how to learn mathematics. This paper places neuroscientific-radiological findings on “practicing” while learning mathematics in a context of mathematics education. To accomplish this, we use a literature-based discussion of our case study on practice. We want to describe neuroscientific-radiological findings in the context of mathematics education and point out stimulating connections between both perspectives. From a connective perspective we expect incentives that lead discussions in future research in the field of mathematics education.

Paper Detail
156
downloads
124
10011541
Government of Ghana’s Budget: An Assessment of Its Compliance with Fundamental Budgeting Principles
Abstract:

Public sector budgeting, all over the world, is underpinned by some universally accepted principles of sound budget management such as budget unity, universality, annuality, and a balanced budget. These traditional principles, though fundamental, had, in recent years, been augmented by the more modern principles of budgeting within fiscal objective, alignment with medium-term strategic plans as well as the observance of such related concepts as transparency, openness and accessibility. In this paper, we have endeavored to shed light, from literature and practice, on the meaning and purposes of such fundamental budgeting principles. We have also assessed the extent to which the Government of Ghana’s budget complies with the four traditional principles of budget unity, universality, annuality, and a balanced budget and the three out of the ten modern principles of budgetary governance of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). We did so by using a qualitative method of review and analysis of existing documents and the performance assessment reports on Ghana’s Public Financial Management (PFM) measured using such frameworks as the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA), the Open Budget Survey (OBS) and its Index (OBI), the reports and action plans of Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT). Other performance assessment reports that were relied on included, but not limited to, the Joint Evaluation Report of PFM in Ghana, 2001-2010, and the Joint Evaluation of Budget Support to Ghana, 2005-2015. We have, through this paper, brought to the fore the lessons that could be learned on how those budgetary principles undergird the Government of Ghana’s budget formulation, execution, accounting, control, and oversight. These lessons include, but are not limited to, the need for both scholars and practitioners in the PFM space to be aware of the impact of those principles on public sector budgeting.

Paper Detail
178
downloads
123
10011445
Learning Mandarin Chinese as a Foreign Language in a Bilingual Context: Adult Learners’ Perceptions of the Use of L1 Maltese and L2 English in Mandarin Chinese Lessons in Malta
Abstract:

The first language (L1) could be used in foreign language teaching and learning as a pedagogical tool to scaffold new knowledge in the target language (TL) upon linguistic knowledge that the learner already has. In a bilingual context, code-switching between the two languages usually occurs in classrooms. One of the reasons for code-switching is because both languages are used for scaffolding new knowledge. This research paper aims to find out why both the L1 (Maltese) and the L2 (English) are used in the classroom of Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) in the bilingual context of Malta. This research paper also aims to find out the learners’ perceptions of the use of a bilingual medium of instruction. Two research methods were used to collect qualitative data; semi-structured interviews with adult learners of Mandarin Chinese and lesson observations. These two research methods were used so that the data collected in the interviews would be triangulated with data collected in lesson observations. The L1 (Maltese) is the language of instruction mostly used. The teacher and the learners switch to the L2 (English) or to any other foreign language according to the need at a particular instance during the lesson.

Paper Detail
119
downloads
122
10011251
Public Financial Management in Ghana: A Move beyond Reforms to Consolidation and Sustainability
Abstract:

Ghana’s Public Financial Management reforms have been going on for some two decades now (1997/98 to 2017/18). Given this long period of reforms, Ghana in 2019 is putting together both a Public Financial Management (PFM) strategy and a Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) strategy for the next 5-years (2020-2024). The primary aim of these dual strategies is assisting the country in moving beyond reforms to consolidation and sustainability. In this paper we, first, examined the evolution of Ghana’s PFM reforms. We, secondly, reviewed the legal and institutional reforms undertaken to strengthen the country’s key PFM institutions. Thirdly, we summarized the strengths and weaknesses identified by the 2018 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment of Ghana’s PFM system relating to its macro-fiscal framework, budget preparation and approval, budget execution, accounting and fiscal reporting as well as external scrutiny and audit. We, finally, considered what the country should be doing to achieve its intended goal of PFM consolidation and sustainability. Using a qualitative method of review and analysis of existing documents, we, through this paper, brought to the fore the lessons that could be learnt by other developing countries from Ghana’s PFM reforms experiences. These lessons included the need to: (a) undergird any PFM reform with a comprehensive PFM reform strategy; (b) undertake a legal and institutional reforms of the key PFM institutions; (c) assess the strengths and weaknesses of those reforms using PFM performance evaluation tools such as PEFA framework; and (d) move beyond reforms to consolidation and sustainability.

Paper Detail
306
downloads
121
10010874
Two Lessons Learnt in Defining Intersections and Interfaces in Numerical Modeling with Plaxis
Abstract:

This paper is going to discuss two issues encountered in using PLAXIS. Both issues were monitored during application of PLAXIS to estimate the excavation-induced displacement. Column Soil Mixing (CSM) was applied to stabilise the excavation. It was understood that the estimated excavation induced deformation at the top of the CSM blocks highly depends on the material type defining pavement material adjacent to the CSM blocks. Cohesive material for pavement will result in the unrealistic connection between pavement and CSM even by defining an interface element. To find the most realistic approach, the interface defined in three different manners (1) no interface elements were applied (2) a non-cohesive soil layer was defined between pavement and CSM block to represent the friction between these materials (3) built-in interface elements in PLAXIS was used to define the boundary between the pavement and the CSM block. The result showed that the option 2 would result in more realistic results. The second issue was in the modelling of the contact line between the CSM block and an inclined layer underneath. The analysis result showed that the excavation-induced deformation highly depends on how the PLAXIS user defines the contact area. It was understood that if the contact area had defined as a point in which CSM block had intersected the layer underneath the estimated lateral displacement of CSM block would be unrealistically lower than the model in which the contact area was defined as a line.

Paper Detail
266
downloads
120
10010683
How Children Synchronize with Their Teacher: Evidence from a Real-World Elementary School Classroom
Abstract:

This paper reports on how synchrony occurs between children and their teacher, and what prevents or facilitates synchrony. The aim of the experiment conducted in this study was to precisely analyze their movements and synchrony and reveal the process of synchrony in a real-world classroom. Specifically, the experiment was conducted for around 20 minutes during an English as a foreign language (EFL) lesson. The participants were 11 fourth-grade school children and their classroom teacher in a public elementary school in Japan. Previous researchers assert that synchrony causes the state of flow in a class. For checking the level of flow, Short Flow State Scale (SFSS) was adopted. The experimental procedure had four steps: 1) The teacher read aloud the first half of an English storybook to the children. Both the teacher and the children were at their own desks. 2) The children were subjected to an SFSS check. 3) The teacher read aloud the remaining half of the storybook to the children. She made the children remove their desks before reading. 4) The children were again subjected to an SFSS check. The movements of all participants were recorded with a video camera. From the movement analysis, it was found that the children synchronized better with the teacher in Step 3 than in Step 1, and that the teacher’s movement became free and outstanding without a desk. This implies that the desk acted as a barrier between the children and the teacher. Removal of this barrier resulted in the children’s reactions becoming synchronized with those of the teacher. The SFSS results proved that the children experienced more flow without a barrier than with a barrier. Apparently, synchrony is what caused flow or social emotions in the classroom. The main conclusion is that synchrony leads to cognitive outcomes such as children’s academic performance in EFL learning.

Paper Detail
300
downloads
119
10010697
Sustainability of Healthcare Insurance in India: A Review of Health Insurance Scheme Launched by States in India
Abstract:

This paper presents an overview of the accessibility, design, and functioning of health insurance plans launched by state governments in India. In recent years, the governments of several states in India have come forward to provide health insurance coverage for the low-income group and rural population to reduce the out of pocket expenditure (OPE) on healthcare. Different health insurance schemes have different structures and offerings which differ in the different demographic factors. This study will portray a comparative analysis of the various health insurance schemes by analyzing different offerings and finance generation of the schemes. The comparative analysis will explain the lesson to be learned from these schemes and extend the existing knowledge of the health insurance in India. This would help in recognizing tension between various drivers and identifying issues pertaining to the sustainability of health insurance schemes in India.

Paper Detail
427
downloads
118
10010340
Developing Proof Demonstration Skills in Teaching Mathematics in the Secondary School
Abstract:

The article describes the theoretical concept of teaching secondary school students proof demonstration skills in mathematics. It describes in detail different levels of mastery of the concept of proof-which correspond to Piaget’s idea of there being three distinct and progressively more complex stages in the development of human reflection. Lessons for each level contain a specific combination of the visual-figurative components and deductive reasoning. It is vital at the transition point between levels to carefully and rigorously recalibrate teaching to reflect the development of more complex reflective understanding. This can apply even within the same age range, since students will develop at different speeds and to different potential. The authors argue that this requires an aware and adaptive approach to lessons to reflect this complexity and variation. The authors also contend that effective teaching which enables students to properly understand the implementation of proof arguments must develop specific competences. These are: understanding of the importance of completeness and generality in making a valid argument; being task focused; having an internalised locus of control and being flexible in approach and evaluation. These criteria must be correlated with the systematic application of corresponding methodologies which are best likely to achieve success. The particular pedagogical decisions which are made to deliver this objective are illustrated by concrete examples from the existing secondary school mathematics courses. The proposed theoretical concept formed the basis of the development of methodological materials which have been tested in 47 secondary schools.

Paper Detail
427
downloads
117
10010359
The Use of Different Methodological Approaches to Teaching Mathematics at Secondary Level
Abstract:

The article describes methods of preparation of future teachers that includes the entire diversity of traditional and computer-oriented methodological approaches. The authors reveal how, in the specific educational environment, a teacher can choose the most effective combination of educational technologies based on the nature of the learning task. The key conditions that determine such a choice are that the methodological approach corresponds to the specificity of the problem being solved and that it is also responsive to the individual characteristics of the students. The article refers to the training of students in the proper use of mathematical electronic tools for educational purposes. The preparation of future mathematics teachers should be a step-by-step process, building on specific examples. At the first stage, students optimally solve problems aided by electronic means of teaching. At the second stage, the main emphasis is on modeling lessons. At the third stage, students develop and implement strategies in the study of one of the topics within a school mathematics curriculum. The article also recommended the implementation of this strategy in preparation of future teachers and stated the possible benefits.

Paper Detail
411
downloads
116
10010360
Motivational Orientation of the Methodical System of Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Schools
Abstract:

The article analyses the composition and structure of the motivationally oriented methodological system of teaching mathematics (purpose, content, methods, forms, and means of teaching), viewed through the prism of the student as the subject of the learning process. Particular attention is paid to the problem of methods of teaching mathematics, which are represented in the form of an ordered triad of attributes corresponding to the selected characteristics. A systematic analysis of possible options and their methodological interpretation enriched existing ideas about known methods and technologies of training, and significantly expanded their nomenclature by including previously unstudied combinations of characteristics. In addition, examples outlined in this article illustrate the possibilities of enhancing the motivational capacity of a particular method or technology in the real learning practice of teaching mathematics through more free goal-setting and varying the conditions of the problem situations. The authors recommend the implementation of different strategies according to their characteristics in teaching and learning mathematics in secondary schools.

Paper Detail
392
downloads
115
10010195
Engineering of E-Learning Content Creation: Case Study for African Countries
Abstract:

This research addresses the use of an e-Learning creation methodology for learning objects. Throughout the process, indicators are being gathered, to determine if it responds to the main objectives of an engineering discipline. These parameters will also indicate if it is necessary to review the creation cycle and readjust any phase. Within the project developed for this study, apart from the use of structured methods, there has been a central objective: the establishment of a learning atmosphere. A place where all the professionals involved are able to collaborate, plan, solve problems and determine guides to follow in order to develop creative and innovative solutions. It has been outlined as a blended learning program with an assessment plan that proposes face to face lessons, coaching, collaboration, multimedia and web based learning objects as well as support resources. The project has been drawn as a long term task, the pilot teaching actions designed provide the preliminary results object of study. This methodology is been used in the creation of learning content for the African countries of Senegal, Mauritania and Cape Verde. It has been developed within the framework of the MACbioIDi, an Interreg European project for the International cooperation and development. The educational area of this project is focused in the training and advice of professionals of the medicine as well as engineers in the use of applications of medical imaging technology, specifically the 3DSlicer application and the Open Anatomy Browser.

Paper Detail
618
downloads
114
10010235
Pupils´ Questions at School Attendance Beginning and Teachers´ Teaching Strategy
Abstract:

Pupils´ inquisitiveness at the beginning of their school attendance is reflected by characteristics of the questions they ask. Clearly most of the classroom communication sequences are initiated by the teacher. But the teaching process also includes questions initiated by pupils in the need to satisfy their need for knowledge. The purpose of our research is to present the results of our pre-research strategy of occurrence of pupil-initiated questions in math lessons at the lower elementary school level, and to reveal the extent to which they are influenced by the teacher´s teaching strategy. We used the research methods of direct and indirect observations of fifth year classes in primary school. We focused on questions asked by the pupils in their math lessons. Our research sample for the pre-research observation method was a collection of video recordings available online. We used them for analysing the nature of pupils´ questions identified there. On the basis of the analysis, we hereby present the results concerning the nature of pupils´ questions asked in math lessons on the lower elementary school level. The interpretation of the collected results will be the starting point for the selection of research strategies in the next research stages concerning pupils’ questions in the future.

Paper Detail
311
downloads
113
10009904
The Competence of Solving Mathematical Problems in the Formation of Ethical Values
Abstract:

A study and its preliminary results are presented. The research is descriptive and exploratory and it is still in process. Its objective is to develop an assessment method in the field of fostering values using competence mathematics problem solving. This is part of a more extensive research that aims at contributing to educational integration in Latin America, particularly to the development of proposals to link education for citizenship and the mathematics lessons. This is being carried out by research teams of University of Barcelona-España; University Nacional of Costa Rica; University Autónoma of Querétaro-México; Pontificia University Católica of Perú, University Nacional of Villa María- Argentina and University of Los Lagos-Chile, in the context of Andrés Bello Chair for the Association of Latin American Universities. This research was developed and implemented in Chile in 2016, using mixed research methods. It included interviews and a problem-solving math test with ethical values that was administered to students of the secondary education of the regions of Los Ríos and of the Lakes of Chile. The results show the lack of integration between the teaching of values and science discipline.

Paper Detail
424
downloads
112
10009314
Investigation of the Effect of Teaching a Thinking and Research Lesson by Cooperative and Traditional Methods on the Creativity of Sixth Grade Students
Abstract:

The present study investigates the effect of teaching a Thinking and Research lesson by cooperative and traditional methods on the creativity of sixth-grade students in Piranshahr province. The statistical society includes all the sixth-grade students of Piranshahr province. The sample of this studytable was selected by available sampling from among male elementary schools of Piranshahr. They were randomly assigned into two groups of cooperative teaching method and traditional teaching method. The design of the study is quasi-experimental with a control group. In this study, to assess students’ creativity, Abedi’s creativity questionnaire was used. Based on Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, the reliability of the factor flow was 0.74, innovation was 0.61, flexibility was 0.63, and expansion was 0.68. To analyze the data, t-test, univariate and multivariate covariance analysis were used for evaluation of the difference of means and the pretest and posttest scores. The findings of the research showed that cooperative teaching method does not significantly increase creativity (p > 0.05). Moreover, cooperative teaching method was found to have significant effect on flow factor (p < 0.05), but in innovation and expansion factors no significant effect was observed (p < 0.05).

Paper Detail
363
downloads
111
10008306
Oracle JDE Enterprise One ERP Implementation: A Case Study
Abstract:

The paper intends to bring out a real life experience encountered during actual implementation of a large scale Tier-1 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in a multi-location, discrete manufacturing organization in India, involved in manufacturing of auto components and aggregates. The business complexities, prior to the implementation of ERP, include multi-product with hierarchical product structures, geographically distributed multiple plant locations with disparate business practices, lack of inter-plant broadband connectivity, existence of disparate legacy applications for different business functions, and non-standardized codifications of products, machines, employees, and accounts apart from others. On the other hand, the manufacturing environment consisted of processes like Assemble-to-Order (ATO), Make-to-Stock (MTS), and Engineer-to-Order (ETO) with a mix of discrete and process operations. The paper has highlighted various business plan areas and concerns, prior to the implementation, with specific focus on strategic issues and objectives. Subsequently, it has dealt with the complete process of ERP implementation, starting from strategic planning, project planning, resource mobilization, and finally, the program execution. The step-by-step process provides a very good learning opportunity about the implementation methodology. At the end, various organizational challenges and lessons emerged, which will act as guidelines and checklist for organizations to successfully align and implement ERP and achieve their business objectives.

Paper Detail
1233
downloads
110
10008328
Teachers Leadership Dimension in History Learning
Abstract:
The Ministry of Education Malaysia dynamically and drastically made the subject of History mandatory to be in force in 2013. This is in recognition of the nation's heritage and treasures in maintaining true facts and information for future generations of the State. History reveals the civilization of a nation and the fact of national cultural heritage. Civilization needs to be preserved as a legacy of sovereign heritage. Today's generation is the catalyst for future heirs who will support the principle and direction of the country. In line with the National Education Philosophy that aims to shape the potential development of individuals holistically and uniquely in order to produce a balanced and harmonious student in terms of intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical. Hence, understanding the importance of studying the history subject as a pillar of identity and the history of nationhood is to be a priority in the pursuit of knowledge and empowering the spirit of statehood that is nurtured through continuous learning at school. Judging from the aspect of teacher leadership role in integrating history in a combined way based on Teacher Education Philosophy. It empowers the teaching profession towards the teacher to support noble character. It also supports progressive and scientific views. Teachers are willing to uphold the State's aspirations and celebrate the country's cultural heritage. They guarantee individual development and maintain a united, democratic, progressive and disciplined society. Teacher's role as a change and leadership agent in education begins in the classroom through formal or informal educational processes. This situation is expanded in schools, communities and countries. The focus of this paper is on the role of teacher leadership influencing the effectiveness of teaching and learning history in the classroom environment. Leadership guides to teachers' perceptions on the role of teacher leadership, teaching leadership, and the teacher leadership role and effective teacher leadership role. Discussions give emphasis on aspects of factors affecting the classroom environment, forming the classroom agenda, effective classroom implementation methods, suitable climate for historical learning and teacher challenges in implicating the effectiveness of teaching and learning processes.
Paper Detail
718
downloads
109
10007989
Key Issues in Transfer Stage of BOT Project: Experience from China
Abstract:

The build-operate-transfer (BOT) project delivery system has provided effective routes to mobilize private sector funds, innovative technologies, management skills and operational efficiencies for public infrastructure development and have been widely used in China during the last 20 years. Many BOT projects in China will be smoothly transferred to the government soon and the transfer stage, which is considered as the last stage, must be studied carefully and handled well to achieve the overall success of BOT projects. There will be many issues faced by both the public sector and private sector in the transfer stage of BOT projects, including project post-assessment, technology and documents transfer, personal training and staff transition, etc. and sometimes additional legislation is needed for future operation and management of facilities. However, most previous studies focused on the bidding, financing, and building and operation stages instead of transfer stage. This research identifies nine key issues in the transfer stage of BOT projects through a comprehensive study on three cases in China, and the expert interview and expert discussion meetings are held to validate the key issues and give detail analysis. A proposed framework of transfer management is prepared based on the experiences derived and lessons drawn from the case studies and expert interview and discussions, which is expected to improve the transfer management of BOT projects in practice.

Paper Detail
683
downloads
108
10007772
Massive Open Online Course about Content Language Integrated Learning: A Methodological Approach for Content Language Integrated Learning Teachers
Authors:
Abstract:

This paper focuses on the design of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and more specifically about how teachers can use CLIL as an educational approach incorporating technology in their teaching as well. All the four weeks of the MOOC will be presented and a step-by-step analysis of each lesson will be offered. Additionally, the paper includes detailed lesson plans about CLIL lessons with proposed CLIL activities and games in which technology plays a central part. The MOOC is structured based on certain criteria, in order to ensure success, as well as a positive experience that the learners need to have after completing this MOOC. It addresses to all language teachers who would like to implement CLIL into their teaching. In other words, it presents the methodology that needs to be followed so as to successfully carry out a CLIL lesson and achieve the learning objectives set at the beginning of the course. Firstly, in this paper, it is very important to give the definitions of MOOCs and LMOOCs, as well as to explore the difference between a structure-based MOOC (xMOOC) and a connectivist MOOC (cMOOC) and present the criteria of a successful MOOC. Moreover, the notion of CLIL will be explored, as it is necessary to fully understand this concept before moving on to the design of the MOOC. Onwards, the four weeks of the MOOC will be introduced as well as lesson plans will be presented: The type of the activities, the aims of each activity and the methodology that teachers have to follow. Emphasis will be placed on the role of technology in foreign language learning and on the ways in which we can involve technology in teaching a foreign language. Final remarks will be made and a summary of the main points will be offered at the end.

Paper Detail
638
downloads
107
10007372
Designing for Experience-Based Tourism: A Virtual Tour in Tehran
Abstract:

As one of the most significant phenomena of industrialized societies, tourism plays a key role in encouraging regional developments and enhancing higher standards of living for local communities in particular. Traveling is a formative experience endowed with lessons on various aspects of life. It allows us learning how to enhance the social position as well as the social relationships. However, people forget the need to travel and gain first-hand experiences as they have to cope with the ever-increasing rate of stress created by the disorders and routines of the urban dwelling style. In this paper, various spaces of such experiences were explored through a virtual tour with two underlying aims: 1) encouraging, informing, and educating the community in terms of tourism development, and 2) introducing a temporary release from the routines. This study enjoyed a practical-qualitative research methodology, and the required data were collected through observation and using a multiple-response questionnaire. The participants (19-48 years old) included 41 citizens of both genders (63.4% male and 36.6% female) from two regions in Tehran, selected by cluster-probability sampling. The results led to development of a spatial design for a virtual tour experience in Tehran where different areas are explored to both raise people’s awareness and educate them on their cultural heritage.

Paper Detail
1079
downloads
106
10007264
Separate Collection System of Recyclables and Biowaste Treatment and Utilization in Metropolitan Area Finland
Abstract:

Separate collection system for recyclable wastes in the Helsinki region was ranked second best of European capitals. The collection system includes paper, cardboard, glass, metals and biowaste. Residual waste is collected and used in energy production. The collection system excluding paper is managed by the Helsinki Region Environmental Services HSY, a public organization owned by four municipalities (Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa). Paper collection is handled by the producer responsibility scheme. The efficiency of the collection system in the Helsinki region relies on a good coverage of door-to-door-collection. All properties with 10 or more dwelling units are required to source separate biowaste and cardboard. This covers about 75% of the population of the area. The obligation is extended to glass and metal in properties with 20 or more dwelling units. Other success factors include public awareness campaigns and a fee system that encourages recycling. As a result of waste management regulations for source separation of recyclables and biowaste, nearly 50 percent of recycling rate of household waste has been reached. For households and small and medium size enterprises, there is a sorting station fleet of five stations available. More than 50 percent of wastes received at sorting stations is utilized as material. The separate collection of plastic packaging in Finland will begin in 2016 within the producer responsibility scheme. HSY started supplementing the national bring point system with door-to-door-collection and pilot operations will begin in spring 2016. The result of plastic packages pilot project has been encouraging. Until the end of 2016, over 3500 apartment buildings have been joined the piloting, and more than 1800 tons of plastic packages have been collected separately. In the summer 2015 a novel partial flow digestion process combining digestion and tunnel composting was adopted for source separated household and commercial biowaste management. The product gas form digestion process is converted in to heat and electricity in piston engine and organic Rankine cycle process with very high overall efficiency. This paper describes the efficient collection system and discusses key success factors as well as main obstacles and lessons learned as well as the partial flow process for biowaste management.

Paper Detail
601
downloads
105
10007631
Inner and Outer School Contextual Factors Associated with Poor Performance of Grade 12 Students: A Case Study of an Underperforming High School in Mpumalanga, South Africa
Abstract:

Often a Grade 12 certificate is perceived as a passport to tertiary education and the minimum requirement to enter the world of work. In spite of its importance, many students do not make this milestone in South Africa. It is important to find out why so many students still fail in spite of transformation in the education system in the post-apartheid era. Given the complexity of education and its context, this study adopted a case study design to examine one historically underperforming high school in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa in 2013. The aim was to gain a understanding of the inner and outer school contextual factors associated with the high failure rate among Grade 12 students.  Government documents and reports were consulted to identify factors in the district and the village surrounding the school and a student survey was conducted to identify school, home and student factors. The randomly-sampled half of the population of Grade 12 students (53) participated in the survey and quantitative data are analyzed using descriptive statistical methods. The findings showed that a host of factors is at play. The school is located in a village within a municipality which has been one of the poorest three municipalities in South Africa and the lowest Grade 12 pass rate in the Mpumalanga province.   Moreover, over half of the families of the students are single parents, 43% are unemployed and the majority has a low level of education. In addition, most families (83%) do not have basic study materials such as a dictionary, books, tables, and chairs. A significant number of students (70%) are over-aged (+19 years old); close to half of them (49%) are grade repeaters. The school itself lacks essential resources, namely computers, science laboratories, library, and enough furniture and textbooks. Moreover, teaching and learning are negatively affected by the teachers’ occasional absenteeism, inadequate lesson preparation, and poor communication skills. Overall, the continuous low performance of students in this school mirrors the vicious circle of multiple negative conditions present within and outside of the school. The complexity of factors associated with the underperformance of Grade 12 students in this school calls for a multi-dimensional intervention from government and stakeholders. One important intervention should be the placement of over-aged students and grade-repeaters in suitable educational institutions for the benefit of other students.

Paper Detail
650
downloads
104
10007080
Creating Smart and Healthy Cities by Exploring the Potentials of Emerging Technologies and Social Innovation for Urban Efficiency: Lessons from the Innovative City of Boston
Abstract:

The wide-spread adoption of the Smart City concept has introduced a new era of computing paradigm with opportunities for city administrators and stakeholders in various sectors to re-think the concept of urbanization and development of healthy cities. With the world population rapidly becoming urban-centric especially amongst the emerging economies, social innovation will assist greatly in deploying emerging technologies to address the development challenges in core sectors of the future cities. In this context, sustainable health-care delivery and improved quality of life of the people is considered at the heart of the healthy city agenda. This paper examines the Boston innovation landscape from the perspective of smart services and innovation ecosystem for sustainable development, especially in transportation and healthcare. It investigates the policy implementation process of the Healthy City agenda and eHealth economy innovation based on the experience of Massachusetts’s City of Boston initiatives. For this purpose, three emerging areas are emphasized, namely the eHealth concept, the innovation hubs, and the emerging technologies that drive innovation. This was carried out through empirical analysis on results of public sector and industry-wide interviews/survey about Boston’s current initiatives and the enabling environment. The paper highlights few potential research directions for service integration and social innovation for deploying emerging technologies in the healthy city agenda. The study therefore suggests the need to prioritize social innovation as an overarching strategy to build sustainable Smart Cities in order to avoid technology lock-in. Finally, it concludes that the Boston example of innovation economy is unique in view of the existing platforms for innovation and proper understanding of its dynamics, which is imperative in building smart and healthy cities where quality of life of the citizenry can be improved.

Paper Detail
956
downloads
103
10007507
Research on the Transformation of Bottom Space in the Teaching Area of Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University
Authors:
Abstract:

There is a lot of bottom space in the teaching area of Zijingang Campus of Zhejiang University, which benefits to the ventilation, heat dissipation, circulation, partition of quiet and noisy areas and diversification of spaces. Hangzhou is hot in summer but cold in winter, so teachers and students spend much less time in the bottom space of buildings in winter than in summer. Recently, depending on the teachers and students’ proposals, the school transformed the bottom space in the teaching area to provide space for relaxing, chatting and staying in winter. Surveying and analyzing the existing ways to transform, the paper researches deeply on the transformation projects of bottom space in the teaching buildings. It is believed that this paper can be a salutary lesson to make the bottom space in the teaching areas of universities richer and bring more diverse activities for teachers and students.

Paper Detail
426
downloads
102
10006279
Development of Energy Benchmarks Using Mandatory Energy and Emissions Reporting Data: Ontario Post-Secondary Residences
Abstract:
Governments are playing an increasingly active role in reducing carbon emissions, and a key strategy has been the introduction of mandatory energy disclosure policies. These policies have resulted in a significant amount of publicly available data, providing researchers with a unique opportunity to develop location-specific energy and carbon emission benchmarks from this data set, which can then be used to develop building archetypes and used to inform urban energy models. This study presents the development of such a benchmark using the public reporting data. The data from Ontario’s Ministry of Energy for Post-Secondary Educational Institutions are being used to develop a series of building archetype dynamic building loads and energy benchmarks to fill a gap in the currently available building database. This paper presents the development of a benchmark for college and university residences within ASHRAE climate zone 6 areas in Ontario using the mandatory disclosure energy and greenhouse gas emissions data. The methodology presented includes data cleaning, statistical analysis, and benchmark development, and lessons learned from this investigation are presented and discussed to inform the development of future energy benchmarks from this larger data set. The key findings from this initial benchmarking study are: (1) the importance of careful data screening and outlier identification to develop a valid dataset; (2) the key features used to develop a model of the data are building age, size, and occupancy schedules and these can be used to estimate energy consumption; and (3) policy changes affecting the primary energy generation significantly affected greenhouse gas emissions, and consideration of these factors was critical to evaluate the validity of the reported data.
Paper Detail
742
downloads
101
10006483
Jointly Learning Python Programming and Analytic Geometry
Abstract:
The paper presents an original Python-based application that outlines the advantages of combining some elementary notions of mathematics with the study of a programming language. The application support refers to some of the first lessons of analytic geometry, meaning conics and quadrics and their reduction to a standard form, as well as some related notions. The chosen programming language is Python, not only for its closer to an everyday language syntax – and therefore, enhanced readability – but also for its highly reusable code, which is of utmost importance for a mathematician that is accustomed to exploit already known and used problems to solve new ones. The purpose of this paper is, on one hand, to support the idea that one of the most appropriate means to initiate one into programming is throughout mathematics, and reciprocal, one of the most facile and handy ways to assimilate some basic knowledge in the study of mathematics is to apply them in a personal project. On the other hand, besides being a mean of learning both programming and analytic geometry, the application subject to this paper is itself a useful tool for it can be seen as an independent original Python package for analytic geometry.
Paper Detail
1117
downloads
100
10006229
Template Design Packages for Repetitive Construction Projects
Abstract:

Scope changes, scope creeps, cost and time overruns have become common in projects in the oil and gas sector. Even in repetitive projects, failure to implement lessons learnt and correct past mistakes have resulted in various setbacks. This paper describes the concept of reusing successfully implemented design packages as templates for repetitive projects, and thereby lowering the instances of project failures. Units or systems successfully installed in projects can be identified and taken up for preparing template design packages. Standardization of units and systems helps to develop templates from successful designs which can be repeatedly used with confidence. These packages can be used with minimum modifications for developing FEED packages faster, saving cost and other valuable resources. Lessons learnt from the completed project incorporated in the templates avoid repeating past mistakes during detailed design, procurement and execution. With template packages, consistent quality can be maintained for similar projects, avoiding scope creep and scope changes which will ultimately result in cost and time savings.

Paper Detail
987
downloads
99
10006034
Agriculture in the Dominican Republic: Competitiveness in a New Trade Regime and Lessons for Cuba
Abstract:

Agriculture remains a sensitive issue during multilateral trade negotiations within the World Trade Organization (WTO). Similar problems arise at the bilateral level, as in the case of trade talks between the United States and the Dominican Republic. The study explores the determinant of agricultural industry competitiveness in the 21st century, particularly in the case of U.S. and Dominican agriculture in each other’s market. Complementing existing scholarship on industry competitiveness, the study argues that trade rules that are established under preferential access programs and trade agreements play a significant role in shaping an industry’s ability to compete. The final analysis is used to offer recommendations to the same sector in Cuba. Cuba currently relies heavily on U.S. food imports and is experiencing the gradual opening of trade with the United States.

Paper Detail
648
downloads