International Science Index

488
10010913
The Effect of Eight Weeks of Aerobic Training on Indices of Cardio-Respiratory and Exercise Tolerance in Overweight Women with Chronic Asthma
Abstract:

Asthma, obesity and overweight are the main factors causing change within the heart and respiratory airways. Asthma symptoms are normally observed during exercising. Epidemiological studies have indicated asthma symptoms occurring due to certain lifestyle habits; for example, a sedentary lifestyle. In this study, eight weeks of aerobic exercises resulted in a positive effect overall in overweight women experiencing mild chronic asthma. The quasi-experimental applied research has been done based on experimental and control groups. The experimental group (seven patients) and control group (n = 7) were graded before and after the test. According to the Borg dyspnea and fatigue Perception Index, the training intensity has determined. Participants in the study performed a sub-maximal aerobic activity schedule (45% to 80% of maximum heart rate) for two months, while the control group (n = 7) stayed away from aerobic exercise. Data evaluation and analysis of covariance compared both the pre-test and post-test with paired t-test at significance level of P≤ 0.05. After eight weeks of exercise, the results of the experimental group show a significant decrease in resting heart rate, systolic blood pressure, minute ventilation, while a significant increase in maximal oxygen uptake and tolerance activity (P ≤ 0.05). In the control group, there was no significant difference in these parameters ((P ≤ 0.05). The results indicate the aerobic activity can strengthen the respiratory muscles, while other physiological factors could result in breathing and heart recovery. Aerobic activity also resulted in favorable changes in cardiovascular parameters, and exercise tolerance of overweight women with chronic asthma.

Paper Detail
27
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487
10010803
Public Service Ethics in Public Administration: An Empirical Investigation
Authors:
Abstract:

The increasing concern of public sector reforms brings new challenges to public service ethics in developing countries not only at central level but also at local level. This paper aims to identify perceptions on public service ethics of public officials and examines more generally the understanding of public servants in Pakistan towards public service ethics in local public organizations. The study uses an independently administered structured questionnaire to collect data to know the extent of the recognition of public service ethics in local organizations. A total of 150 completed questionnaires are analyzed received from public servants working at the local level in Pakistan. The analysis explores how traditional, social patterns and cultural ethics can provide us with a rounded picture of the main antecedents, moderators of public service ethics in Pakistan. Moreover, the findings of this study contribute in association of public service ethics which are crucial in ongoing political and administrative culture of Pakistan, the most crucial core for public organizational ethical climate. This study also has numerous implications for local public administration and it highlights the importance of expanding research agenda on public service ethics in developing settings with challenging institutional contexts with imperfect training and operating environments. This study may well be particularly important for practice of public service ethics in developing countries in public administration. To the best of author’s knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to provide an initial step in practical implications to emphasize relevant public service ethics in public administration in developing transparent and accountable organization.

Paper Detail
125
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486
10010757
Professional Management on Ecotourism and Conservation to Ensure the Future of Komodo National Park
Abstract:

Komodo National Park can be associated with the implementation of ecotourism program. The result of Principal Components Analysis is synthesized, tested, and compared to the basic concept of ecotourism with some field adjustments. Principal aspects of professional management should involve ecotourism and wildlife welfare. The awareness should be focused on the future of the Natural Park as 7th Wonder Natural Heritage and its wildlife components, free from human wastes and beneficial to wildlife and local people. According to perceptions and expectations of visitors from various results of tourism programs, the visitor’s perceptions showed that the tourism management in Komodo National Park should pay more attention to visitor's satisfaction and expectation and gives positive impact directly to the ecosystem sustainability, local community and transparency to the conservation program.

Paper Detail
86
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485
10010681
Evaluation of the Role of Advocacy and the Quality of Care in Reducing Health Inequalities for People with Autism, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
Abstract:
Individuals with Autism, Intellectual and Developmental disabilities (AIDD) are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, hampered not only by their own limitations to understand and interact with the wider society, but also societal limitations in perception and understanding. Communication to express their needs and wishes is fundamental to enable such individuals to live and prosper in society. This research project was designed as an organisational case study, in a large secondary health care hospital within the National Health Service (NHS), to assess the quality of care provided to people with AIDD and to review the role of advocacy to reduce health inequalities in these individuals. Methods: The research methodology adopted was as an “insider researcher”. Data collection included both quantitative and qualitative data i.e. a mixed method approach. A semi-structured interview schedule was designed and used to obtain qualitative and quantitative primary data from a wide range of interdisciplinary frontline health care workers to assess their understanding and awareness of systems, processes and evidence based practice to offer a quality service to people with AIDD. Secondary data were obtained from sources within the organisation, in keeping with “Case Study” as a primary method, and organisational performance data were then compared against national benchmarking standards. Further data sources were accessed to help evaluate the effectiveness of different types of advocacy that were present in the organisation. This was gauged by measures of user and carer experience in the form of retrospective survey analysis, incidents and complaints. Results: Secondary data demonstrate near compliance of the Organisation with the current national benchmarking standard (Monitor Compliance Framework). However, primary data demonstrate poor knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, poor knowledge of organisational systems, processes and evidence based practice applied for people with AIDD. In addition there was poor knowledge and awareness of frontline health care workers of advocacy and advocacy schemes for this group. Conclusions: A significant amount of work needs to be undertaken to improve the quality of care delivered to individuals with AIDD. An operational strategy promoting the widespread dissemination of information may not be the best approach to deliver quality care and optimal patient experience and patient advocacy. In addition, a more robust set of standards, with appropriate metrics, needs to be developed to assess organisational performance which will stand the test of professional and public scrutiny.
Paper Detail
89
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484
10010611
Consumer Perception of 3D Body Scanning While Online Shopping for Clothing
Abstract:

Technological development and the globalization in production and sales of clothing in the last decade have significantly influenced the changes in consumer relationship with the industrial-fashioned apparel and in the way of clothing purchasing. The Internet sale of clothing is in a constant and significant increase in the global market, but the possibilities offered by modern computing technologies in the customization segment are not yet fully involved, especially according to the individual customer requirements and body sizes. Considering the growing trend of online shopping, the main goal of this paper is to investigate the differences in customer perceptions towards online apparel shopping and particularly to discover the main differences in perceptions between customers regarding three different body sizes. In order to complete the research goal, the quantitative study on the sample of 85 Croatian consumers was conducted in 2017 in Zagreb, Croatia. Respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement according to a five-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). To analyze attitudes of respondents, simple and descriptive statistics were used. The main findings highlight the differences in respondent perception of 3D body scanning, using 3D body scanning in Internet shopping, online apparel shopping habits regarding their body sizes.

Paper Detail
134
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483
10010640
The Effectiveness of Therapeutic Exercise on Motor Skills and Attention of Male Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) involve myriad aberrant perceptual, cognitive, linguistic, and social behaviors. The term spectrum emphasizes that the disabilities associated with ASD fall on a continuum from relatively mild to severe. People with ASD may display stereotyped behaviors such as twirling, spinning objects, flapping the hands, and rocking. The individuals with ASD exhibit communication problems due to repetitive/restricted behaviors. Children with ASD who lack the motivation to learn, who do not enjoy physical challenges, or whose sensory perception results in confusing or unpleasant feedback from movement may not become sufficiently motivated to practice motor activities. As a result, they may show both a delay in developing certain motor skills. Additionally, attention is an important component of learning. As far as children with ASD have problems in joint attention, many education-based programs are needed to consider some aspects of attention and motor activities development for students with ASD. These programs focus on the basic movement skills that are crucial for the future development of the more complex skills needed in games, dance, sports, gymnastics, active play, and recreational physical activities. The purpose of the present research was to determine the effectiveness of therapeutic exercise on motor skills and attention of male students with ASD. This was an experimental study with a control group. The population consisted of 8-10 year-old male students with ASD and 30 subjects were selected randomly from an available center suitable for the children with ASD. They were evaluated by the Basic Motor Ability Test (BMAT) and Persian version of computerized Stroop color-word test and randomly assigned to an experimental and control group (15 students in per group). The experimental group participated in 16 therapeutic exercise sessions and received therapeutic exercise program (twice a week; each lasting for 45 minutes) designed based on the Spark motor program while the control group did not. All subjects were evaluated by BMAT and Stroop color-word test after the last session again. The collected data were analyzed by using multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). The results of MANCOVA showed that experimental and control groups had a significant difference in motor skills and at least one of the components of attention (correct responses, incorrect responses, no responses, the reaction time of congruent words and reaction time of incongruent words in the Stroop test). The findings showed that the therapeutic exercise had a significant effect on motor skills and all components of attention in students with ASD. We can conclude that the therapeutic exercise led to promote the motor skills and attention of students with ASD, so it is necessary to design or plan such programs for ASD students to prevent their communication or academic problems.

Paper Detail
130
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482
10010440
Students’ Perceptions of Communication Design in Media: Case Study of Portuguese and Spanish Communication Students
Abstract:

The proliferation of mobile devices in society enables the media to disseminate information and knowledge more rapidly. Higher education students access these contents and share them with each other, in the most diverse platforms, allowing the ubiquity in access to information. This article presents the results and respective quantitative analysis of a survey applied to communication students of two higher education institutions: one in Portugal and another in Spain. The results show that, in this sample, higher education students regularly access news content believing traditional news sources to be more credible. Regarding online sources, it was verified that the access was mostly to free news contents. This study intends to promote the knowledge about the changes that occur in the relationship of higher education students with the media, characterizing how news consumption is processed by these students, considering the resulting effects of the digital media evolution. It is intended to present not only the news sources they use, but also to know some of their habits and relationship with the news media.

Paper Detail
152
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481
10010445
A Theory-Based Analysis on Implications of Democracy in Cambodia
Abstract:

Democracy has been categorially accepted and used as foreign and domestic policy agendas for the hope of peace, economic growth and prosperity for more than 25 years in Cambodia. However, the country is now in the grip of dictatorship, human rights violations, and prospective economic sanctions. This paper examines different perceptions and experiences of democratic assistance. In this study, the author employs discourse theory, idealism and realism as a theory-based methodology for debating and assessing the implications of democratization. Discourse theory is used to establish a platform for understanding discursive formations, body of knowledge and the games of truth of democracy. Idealist approaches give rational arguments for adopting key tenets that work well on the ground. In contrast, realism allows for some sweeping critiques of utopian ideal and offers particular views on why Western hegemonic missions do not work well. From idealist views, the research finds that Cambodian people still believe that democracy is a prima facie universality for peace, growth and prosperity. From realism, democratization is on the brink of death in three reasons. Firstly, there are tensions between Western and local discourses about democratic values and norms. Secondly, democratic tenets have been undermined by the ruling party-controlled courts, corruption, structural oppression and political patronage-based institutions. The third pitfall is partly associated with foreign aid dependency and geopolitical power struggles in the region. Finally, the study offers a precise mosaic of democratic principles that may be used to avoid a future geopolitical and economic crisis.

Paper Detail
185
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480
10010456
The U.S. Missile Defense Shield and Global Security Destabilization: An Inconclusive Link
Abstract:

Missile proliferation and global stability are intrinsically linked. Missile threats continually appear at the forefront of global security issues. North Korea’s recently demonstrated nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capabilities, for the first time since the Cold War, renewed public interest in strategic missile defense capabilities. To protect from limited ICBM attacks from so-called rogue actors, the United States developed the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. This study examines if the GMD missile defense shield has contributed to a safer world or triggered a new arms race. Based upon increased missile-related developments and the lack of adherence to international missile treaties, it is generally perceived that the GMD system is a destabilizing factor for global security. By examining the current state of arms control treaties as well as existing missile arsenals and ongoing efforts in technologies to overcome U.S. missile defenses, this study seeks to analyze the contribution of GMD to global stability. A thorough investigation cannot ignore that, through the establishment of this limited capability, the U.S. violated longstanding, successful weapons treaties and caused concern among states that possess ICBMs. GMD capability contributes to the perception that ICBM arsenals could become ineffective, creating an imbalance in favor of the United States, leading to increased global instability and tension. While blame for the deterioration of global stability and non-adherence to arms control treaties is often placed on U.S. missile defense, the facts do not necessarily support this view. The notion of a renewed arms race due to GMD is supported neither by current missile arsenals nor by the inevitable development of new and enhanced missile technology, to include multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles (MIRVs), maneuverable reentry vehicles (MaRVs), and hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs). The methodology in this study encapsulates a period of time, pre- and post-GMD introduction, while analyzing international treaty adherence, missile counts and types, and research in new missile technologies. The decline in international treaty adherence, coupled with a measurable increase in the number and types of missiles or research in new missile technologies during the period after the introduction of GMD, could be perceived as a clear indicator of GMD contributing to global instability. However, research into improved technology (MIRV, MaRV and HGV) prior to GMD, as well as a decline of various global missile inventories and testing of systems during this same period, would seem to invalidate this theory. U.S. adversaries have exploited the perception of the U.S. missile defense shield as a destabilizing factor as a pretext to strengthen and modernize their militaries and justify their policies. As a result, it can be concluded that global stability has not significantly decreased due to GMD; but rather, the natural progression of technological and missile development would inherently include innovative and dynamic approaches to target engagement, deterrence, and national defense.

Paper Detail
233
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479
10010461
The Analysis of Deceptive and Truthful Speech: A Computational Linguistic Based Method
Abstract:

Recently, detecting liars and extracting features which distinguish them from truth-tellers have been the focus of a wide range of disciplines. To the author’s best knowledge, most of the work has been done on facial expressions and body gestures but only few works have been done on the language used by both liars and truth-tellers. This paper sheds light on four axes. The first axis copes with building an audio corpus for deceptive and truthful speech for Egyptian Arabic speakers. The second axis focuses on examining the human perception of lies and proving our need for computational linguistic-based methods to extract features which characterize truthful and deceptive speech. The third axis is concerned with building a linguistic analysis program that could extract from the corpus the inter- and intra-linguistic cues for deceptive and truthful speech. The program built here is based on selected categories from the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count program. Our results demonstrated that Egyptian Arabic speakers on one hand preferred to use first-person pronouns and present tense compared to the past tense when lying and their lies lacked of second-person pronouns, and on the other hand, when telling the truth, they preferred to use the verbs related to motion and the nouns related to time. The results also showed that there is a need for bigger data to prove the significance of words related to emotions and numbers.

Paper Detail
244
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478
10010478
Behavioral Response of Dogs to Interior Environment: An Exploratory Study on Design Parameters for Designing Dog Boarding Centers in Indian Context
Abstract:

Pet population in India is increasing phenomenally owing to the changes in urban lifestyle with increasing number of single professionals, single parents, delayed parenthood etc. The animal companionship as a means of reducing stress levels, deriving emotional support, and unconditional love provided by dogs are a few reasons attributed for increasing pet ownership. The consequence is the booming of the pet care products and dog care centers catering to the different requirements of rearing the pets. Dog care centers quite popular in tier 1 metros of India cater to the requirement of the dog owners providing space for the dogs in absence of the owner. However, it is often reported that the absence of the owner leads to destructive and exploratory behavior issues; the main being the anxiety disorders. In the above context, it becomes imperative for a designer to design dog boarding centers that help in reducing the separation anxiety in dogs keeping in mind the different interior design parameters. An exploratory research with focus group discussion is employed involving a group of dog owners, behaviorists, proprietors of day care as well as boarding centers, and veterinarians to understand their perception on the significance of different interior parameters of color, texture, ventilation, aroma therapy and acoustics as a means of reducing the stress levels in dogs sent to the boarding centers. The data collected is organized as thematic networks thus enabling the listing of the interior design parameters that needs to be considered in designing dog boarding centers. 

Paper Detail
121
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477
10010487
A Qualitative Evidence of the Markedness of Code Switching during Commercial Bank Service Encounters in Ìbàdàn Metropolis
Authors:
Abstract:

In a multilingual setting like Nigeria, the success of service encounters is enhanced by the use of a language that ensures the linguistic and persuasive demands of the interlocutors. This study examined motivations for code switching as a negotiation strategy in bank-hall desk service encounters in Ìbàdàn metropolis using Myers-Scotton’s exploration on markedness in language use. The data consisted of transcribed audio recording of bank-hall service encounters, and direct observation of bank interactions in two purposively sampled commercial banks in Ìbàdàn metropolis. The data was subjected to descriptive linguistic analysis using Myers Scotton’s Markedness Model.  Findings reveal that code switching is frequently employed during different stages of service encounter: greeting, transaction and closing to fulfil relational, bargaining and referential functions. Bank staff and customers code switch to make unmarked, marked and explanatory choices. A strategy used to identify with customer’s cultural affiliation, close status gap, and appeal to begrudged customer; or as an explanatory choice with non-literate customers for ease of communication. Bankers select English to maintain customers’ perceptions of prestige which is retained or diverged from depending on their linguistic preference or ability.  Yoruba is seen as an efficient negotiation strategy with both bankers and their customers, making choices within conversation to achieve desired conversational and functional aims.

Paper Detail
123
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476
10010513
A Study on the Factors Affecting Student Behavior Intention to Attend Robotics Courses at the Primary and Secondary School Levels
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Abstract:

In order to explore the key factors affecting the robot program learning intention of school students, this study takes the technology acceptance model as the theoretical basis and invites 167 students from Jiading District of Shanghai as the research subjects. In the robot course, the model of school students on their learning behavior is constructed. By verifying the causal path relationship between variables, it is concluded that teachers can enhance students’ perceptual usefulness to robotics courses by enhancing subjective norms, entertainment perception, and reducing technical anxiety, such as focusing on the gradual progress of programming and analyzing learner characteristics. Students can improve perceived ease of use by enhancing self-efficacy. At the same time, robot hardware designers can optimize in terms of entertainment and interactivity, which will directly or indirectly increase the learning intention of the robot course. By changing these factors, the learning behavior of primary and secondary school students can be more sustainable.

Paper Detail
109
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475
10010314
Collaborative and Experimental Cultures in Virtual Reality Journalism: From the Perspective of Content Creators
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Virtual Reality (VR) content creation is a complex and an expensive process, which requires multi-disciplinary teams of content creators. Grant schemes from technology companies help media organisations to explore the VR potential in journalism and factual storytelling. Media organisations try to do as much as they can in-house, but they may outsource due to time constraints and skill availability. Journalists, game developers, sound designers and creative artists work together and bring in new cultures of work. This study explores the collaborative experimental nature of VR content creation, through tracing every actor involved in the process and examining their perceptions of the VR work. The study builds on Actor Network Theory (ANT), which decomposes phenomena into their basic elements and traces the interrelations among them. Therefore, the researcher conducted 22 semi-structured interviews with VR content creators between November 2017 and April 2018. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques allowed the researcher to recruit fact-based VR content creators from production studios and media organisations, as well as freelancers. Interviews lasted up to three hours, and they were a mix of Skype calls and in-person interviews. Participants consented for their interviews to be recorded, and for their names to be revealed in the study. The researcher coded interviews’ transcripts in Nvivo software, looking for key themes that correspond with the research questions. The study revealed that VR content creators must be adaptive to change, open to learn and comfortable with mistakes. The VR content creation process is very iterative because VR has no established work flow or visual grammar. Multi-disciplinary VR team members often speak different languages making it hard to communicate. However, adaptive content creators perceive VR work as a fun experience and an opportunity to learn. The traditional sense of competition and the strive for information exclusivity are now replaced by a strong drive for knowledge sharing. VR content creators are open to share their methods of work and their experiences. They target to build a collaborative network that aims to harness VR technology for journalism and factual storytelling. Indeed, VR is instilling collaborative and experimental cultures in journalism.

Paper Detail
203
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474
10010319
Identifying Game Variables from Students’ Surveys for Prototyping Games for Learning
Abstract:

Games-based learning (GBL) has become increasingly important in teaching and learning. This paper explains the first two phases (analysis and design) of a GBL development project, ending up with a prototype design based on students’ and teachers’ perceptions. The two phases are part of a full cycle GBL project aiming to help secondary school students in Thailand in their study of Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE). In the course of the study, we invited 1,152 students to complete questionnaires and interviewed 12 secondary school teachers in focus groups. This paper found that GBL can serve students in their learning about CSE, enabling them to gain understanding of their sexuality, develop skills, including critical thinking skills and interact with others (peers, teachers, etc.) in a safe environment. The objectives of this paper are to outline the development of GBL variables from the research question(s) into the developers’ flow chart, to be responsive to the GBL beneficiaries’ preferences and expectations, and to help in answering the research questions. This paper details the steps applied to generate GBL variables that can feed into a game flow chart to develop a GBL prototype. In our approach, we detailed two models: (1) Game Elements Model (GEM) and (2) Game Object Model (GOM). There are three outcomes of this research – first, to achieve the objectives and benefits of GBL in learning, game design has to start with the research question(s) and the challenges to be resolved as research outcomes. Second, aligning the educational aims with engaging GBL end users (students) within the data collection phase to inform the game prototype with the game variables is essential to address the answer/solution to the research question(s). Third, for efficient GBL to bridge the gap between pedagogy and technology and in order to answer the research questions via technology (i.e. GBL) and to minimise the isolation between the pedagogists “P” and technologist “T”, several meetings and discussions need to take place within the team.

Paper Detail
151
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473
10010361
Millennials' Viewpoints about Sustainable Hotels' Practices in Egypt: Promoting Responsible Consumerism
Abstract:

Millennials are a distinctive and dominant consumer group whose behavior, preferences and purchase decisions are broadly explored but not fully understood yet. Making up the largest market segment in the world, and in Egypt, they have the power to reinvent the hospitality industry and contribute to forming prospective demand for green hotels by showing willingness to adopting their environmental-friendly practices. The current study aims to enhance better understanding of Millennials' perception about sustainable initiatives and to increase the prediction power of their intentions regarding green hotel practices in Egypt. In doing so, the study is exploring the relation among different factors; Millennials' environmental awareness, their acceptance of green practices and their willingness to pay more for them. Millennials' profile, their preferences and environmental decision-making process are brought under light to stimulate actions of hospitality decision-makers and hoteliers. Bearing in mind that responsible consumerism is depending on understanding the different influences on consumption. The study questionnaire was composed of four sections and it was distributed to random Egyptian travelers' blogs and Facebook groups, with approximately 8000 members. Analysis of variance test (ANOVA) was used to examine the study variables. The findings indicated that Millennials' environmental awareness will not be a significant factor in their acceptance of hotel green practices, as well as, their willingness to pay more for them. However, Millennials' acceptance of the level of hotel green practices will have an impact on their willingness to pay more. Millennials were found to have a noticeable level of environmental awareness but lack commitment to tolerating hotel green practices and their associated high prices.

Paper Detail
170
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472
10010364
Farmers’ Perception, Willingness and Capacity in Utilization of Household Sewage Sludge as Organic Resources for Peri-Urban Agriculture around Jos Nigeria
Abstract:

Peri-urban agriculture in Jos Nigeria serves as a major means of livelihood for both urban and peri-urban poor, and constitutes huge commercial inclination with a target market that has spanned beyond Plateau State. Yet, the sustainability of this sector is threatened by intensive application of urban refuse ash contaminated with heavy metals, as a result of the highly heterogeneous materials used in ash production. Hence, this research aimed to understand the current fertilizer employed by farmers, their perception and acceptability in utilization of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes and their capacity in mitigating risks associated with such practice. Mixed methods approach was adopted, and data collection tools used include survey questionnaire, focus group discussion with farmers, participants and field observation. The study identified that farmers maintain a complex mixture of organic and chemical fertilizers, with mixture composition that is dependent on fertilizer availability and affordability. Also, farmers have decreased the rate of utilization of urban refuse ash due to labor and increased logistic cost and are keen to utilize household sewage sludge for soil fertility improvement but are mainly constrained by accessibility of this waste product. Nevertheless, farmers near to sewage disposal points have commenced utilization of household sewage sludge for improving soil fertility. Farmers were knowledgeable on composting but find their strategic method of dewatering and sun drying more convenient. Irrigation farmers were not enthusiastic for treatment, as they desired both water and sludge. Secondly, household sewage sludge observed in the field is heterogeneous due to nearness between its disposal point and that of urban refuse, which raises concern for possible cross-contamination of pollutants and also portrays lack of extension guidance as regards to treatment and management of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes. Hence, farmers concerns need to be addressed, particularly in providing extension advice and establishment of decentralized household sewage sludge collection centers, for continuous availability of liquid and concentrated sludge. Urgent need is also required for the Federal Government of Nigeria to increase commitment towards empowering her subsidiaries for efficient discharge of corporate responsibilities.

Paper Detail
178
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471
10010400
Branding Good Corporate Governance: A Pathway to Strengthen Investors’ Perception and Brand Equity
Abstract:

Corporate governance has become a crucial issue in both the business and academic world as a result of world-wide financial scandals and lack of trust in corporate practices. There is no doubt that in order to thrive and attain growth in the market, a company must earn the trust of its stakeholders by consistently delivering on its commitments. Directors of the companies thus comprehend the importance of upfront communication with relevant stakeholders to increase their confidence. The authors of this article argue that practicing good corporate governance is not enough in this highly competitive market place; corporate leaders need to market their good corporate governance practices in order to make the company more attractive to investors. This article also contends that the strength of corporate governance relies wholly upon the extent to which it is communicated simply, effectively and unceasingly to its stakeholders. The main objective of this study, therefore, is to explore the importance of branding good corporate governance in order to increase corporate brand equity, attract investors, and capture market share. A structured questionnaire comprising three sections and a total of 34 questions was prepared and surveyed by the authors among respondents residing in Bangladesh and who also have an academic and corporate background, to investigate the potential impact of branding good corporate governance in the market place. High mean values for individual questions and overall section depict that communicating and branding good corporate governance to the stakeholders will not only boost the investors’ confidence but also increase the corporate brand equity, yielding both profitable and sustainable business environment.

Paper Detail
266
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470
10010221
Assessment of Predictive Confounders for the Prevalence of Breast Cancer among Iraqi Population: A Retrospective Study from Baghdad, Iraq
Abstract:

Although breast cancer prevalence continues to increase, mortality has been decreasing as a result of early detection and improvement in adjuvant systemic therapy. Nevertheless, this disease required further efforts to understand and identify the associated potential risk factors that could play a role in the prevalence of this malignancy among Iraqi women. The objective of this study was to assess the perception of certain predictive risk factors on the prevalence of breast cancer types among a sample of Iraqi women diagnosed with breast cancer. This was a retrospective observational study carried out at National Cancer Research Center in College of Medicine, Baghdad University from November 2017 to January 2018. Data of 100 patients with breast cancer whose biopsies examined in the National Cancer Research Center were included in this study. Data were collected to structure a detailed assessment regarding the patients’ demographic, medical and cancer records. The majority of study participants (94%) suffered from ductal breast cancer with mean age 49.57 years. Among those women, 48.9% were obese with body mass index (BMI) 35 kg/m2. 68.1% of them had positive family history of breast cancer and 66% had low parity. 40.4% had stage II ductal breast cancer followed by 25.5% with stage III. It was found that 59.6% and 68.1% had positive oestrogen receptor sensitivity and positive human epidermal growth factor (HER2/neu) receptor sensitivity respectively. In regard to the impact of prediction of certain variables on the incidence of ductal breast cancer, positive family history of breast cancer (P < 0.0001), low parity (P< 0.0001), stage I and II breast cancer (P = 0.02) and positive HER2/neu status (P < 0.0001) were significant predictive factors among the study participants. The results from this study provide relevant evidence for a significant positive and potential association between certain risk factors and the prevalence of breast cancer among Iraqi women.

Paper Detail
266
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469
10010240
Evaluation of the Quality of Education Offered to Students with Special Needs in Public Schools in the City of Bauru, Brazil
Abstract:

A paradigm shift is a process. The process of implementing inclusive education, a system constructed to support all learners, requires planning, identification, experimentation, and evaluation. In this vein, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the capacity of one Brazilian state school systems to provide special education students with a quality inclusive education. This study originated at the behest of concerned families of students with special needs who filed complaints with the Municipality of Bauru, São Paulo. These families claimed, 1) children with learning differences and educational needs had not been identified for services, and 2) those who had been identified had not received sufficient specialized educational assistance (SEA) in schools across the City of Bauru. Hence, the Office of Civil Rights for the state of São Paulo (Ministério Público de São Paulo) summoned the local higher education institution, UNESP, to design a research study to investigate these allegations. In this exploratory study, descriptive data were gathered from all elementary and middle schools including 58 state schools and 17 city schools, for a total of 75 schools overall. Data collection consisted of each school's annual strategic action plan, surveys and interviews with all school stakeholders to determine their perceptions of the inclusive education available to students with Special Education Needs (SEN). The data were collected as one of four stages in a larger study which also included field observations of a focal students' experience and a continuing education course for all teachers and administrators in both state and city schools. For the purposes of this study, the researchers were interested in understanding the perceptions of school staff, parents, and students across all schools. Therefore, documents and surveys from 75 schools were analyzed for adherence to federal legislation guaranteeing students with SEN the right to special education assistance within the regular school setting. Results shows that while some schools recognized the legal rights of SEN students to receive special education, the plans to actually deliver services were absent. In conclusion, the results of this study revealed both school staff and families have insufficient planning and accessibility resources, and the schools have inadequate infrastructure for full-time support to SEN students, i.e., structures and systems to support the identification of SEN and delivery of services within schools of Bauru, SP. Having identified the areas of need, the city is now prepared to take next steps in the process toward preparing all schools to be inclusive.

Paper Detail
325
downloads
468
10010289
Map UI Design of IoT Application Based on Passenger Evacuation Behaviors in Underground Station
Abstract:

When the public space is in an emergency, how to quickly establish spatial cognition and emergency shelter in the closed underground space is the urgent task. This study takes Taipei Station as the research base and aims to apply the use of Internet of things (IoT) application for underground evacuation mobility design. The first experiment identified passengers' evacuation behaviors and spatial cognition in underground spaces by wayfinding tasks and thinking aloud, then defined the design conditions of User Interface (UI) and proposed the UI design.  The second experiment evaluated the UI design based on passengers' evacuation behaviors by wayfinding tasks and think aloud again as same as the first experiment. The first experiment found that the design conditions that the subjects were most concerned about were "map" and hoping to learn the relative position of themselves with other landmarks by the map and watch the overall route. "Position" needs to be accurately labeled to determine the location in underground space. Each step of the escape instructions should be presented clearly in "navigation bar." The "message bar" should be informed of the next or final target exit. In the second experiment with the UI design, we found that the "spatial map" distinguishing between walking and non-walking areas with shades of color is useful. The addition of 2.5D maps of the UI design increased the user's perception of space. Amending the color of the corner diagram in the "escape route" also reduces the confusion between the symbol and other diagrams. The larger volume of toilets and elevators can be a judgment of users' relative location in "Hardware facilities." Fire extinguisher icon should be highlighted. "Fire point tips" of the UI design indicated fire with a graphical fireball can convey precise information to the escaped person. "Fire point tips" of the UI design indicated fire with a graphical fireball can convey precise information to the escaped person. However, "Compass and return to present location" are less used in underground space.

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183
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10010117
Stochastic Modeling for Parameters of Modified Car-Following Model in Area-Based Traffic Flow
Abstract:

The driving behavior in area-based (i.e., non-lane based) traffic is induced by the presence of other individuals in the choice space from the driver’s visual perception area. The driving behavior of a subject vehicle is constrained by the potential leaders and leaders are frequently changed over time. This paper is to determine a stochastic model for a parameter of modified intelligent driver model (MIDM) in area-based traffic (as in developing countries). The parametric and non-parametric distributions are presented to fit the parameters of MIDM. The goodness of fit for each parameter is measured in two different ways such as graphically and statistically. The quantile-quantile (Q-Q) plot is used for a graphical representation of a theoretical distribution to model a parameter and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) test is used for a statistical measure of fitness for a parameter with a theoretical distribution. The distributions are performed on a set of estimated parameters of MIDM. The parameters are estimated on the real vehicle trajectory data from India. The fitness of each parameter with a stochastic model is well represented. The results support the applicability of the proposed modeling for parameters of MIDM in area-based traffic flow simulation.

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257
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466
10010158
Self-Care Behavior and Performance Level Associated with Algerian Chronically Ill Patients
Abstract:

Chronic illnesses affect many Algerians. It is possible to investigate the impact of illness representations and coping on quality of life and whether illness representations are indirectly associated with quality of life through their influence on coping. This study aims at investigating the relationship between illness perception, coping strategies and quality of life with chronic illness. Illness perceptions are indirectly associated with the quality of life through their influence on coping mediation. A sample of 316 participants with chronic illness living in the region of Batna, Algeria, has been adopted in this study. A correlation statistical analysis is used to determine the relationship between illness perception, coping strategies, and quality of life. Multiple regression analysis was employed to highlight the predictive ability of the dimensions of illness perception and coping strategies on the dependent variables of quality of life, where mediation analysis is considered in the exploration of the indirect effect significance of the mediator. This study provides insights about the relationship between illness perception, coping strategies and quality of life in the considered sample (r = 0.39, p < 0.01). Therefore, it proves that there is an effect of illness identity perception, external and medical attributions related to emotional role, physical functioning, and mental health perceived, and these were fully mediated by the asking for assistance (c’= 0.04, p < 0.05), the guarding (c’= 0.00, p < 0.05), and the task persistence strategy (c’= 0.05, p < 0.05). The findings imply partial support for the common-sense model of illness representations in a chronic illness population. Directions for future research are highlighted, as well as implications for psychotherapeutic interventions which target unhelpful beliefs and maladaptive coping strategies (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy).

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236
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10010169
Perception of Predictive Confounders for the Prevalence of Hypertension among Iraqi Population: A Pilot Study
Abstract:
Background: Hypertension is considered as one of the most important causes of cardiovascular complications and one of the leading causes of worldwide mortality. Identifying the potential risk factors associated with this medical health problem plays an important role in minimizing its incidence and related complications. The objective of this study is to explore the prevalence of receptor sensitivity regarding assess and understand the perception of specific predictive confounding factors on the prevalence of hypertension (HT) among a sample of Iraqi population in Baghdad, Iraq. Materials and Methods: A randomized cross sectional study was carried out on 100 adult subjects during their visit to the outpatient clinic at a certain sector of Baghdad Province, Iraq. Demographic, clinical and health records alongside specific screening and laboratory tests of the participants were collected and analyzed to detect the potential of confounding factors on the prevalence of HT. Results: 63% of the study participants suffered from HT, most of them were female patients (P < 0.005). Patients aged between 41-50 years old significantly suffered from HT than other age groups (63.5%, P < 0.001). 88.9% of the participants were obese (P < 0.001) and 47.6% had diabetes with HT. Positive family history and sedentary lifestyle were significantly higher among all hypertensive groups (P < 0.05). High salt and fatty food intake was significantly found among patients suffered from isolated systolic hypertension (ISHT) (P < 0.05). A significant positive correlation between packed cell volume (PCV) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) (r = 0.353, P = 0.048) found among normotensive participants. Among hypertensive patients, a positive significant correlation found between triglycerides (TG) and both SBP (r = 0.484, P = 0.031) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (r = 0.463, P = 0.040), while low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c) showed a positive significant correlation with DBP (r = 0.443, P = 0.021). Conclusion: The prevalence of HT among Iraqi populations is of major concern. Further consideration is required to detect the impact of potential risk factors and to minimize blood pressure (BP) elevation and reduce the risk of other cardiovascular complications later in life.
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212
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10010177
Mitigating the Cost of Empty Container Repositioning through the Virtual Container Yard: An Appraisal of Carriers’ Perceptions
Abstract:

Empty container repositioning is a fundamental problem faced by the shipping industry. The virtual container yard is a novel strategy underpinning the container interchange between carriers that could substantially reduce this ever-increasing shipping cost. This paper evaluates the shipping industry perception of the virtual container yard using chi-square tests. It examines if the carriers perceive that the selected independent variables, namely culture, organization, decision, marketing, attitudes, legal, independent, complexity, and stakeholders of carriers, impact the efficiency and benefits of the virtual container yard. There are two major findings of the research. Firstly, carriers view that complexity, attitudes, and stakeholders may impact the effectiveness of container interchange and may influence the perceived benefits of the virtual container yard. Secondly, the three factors of legal, organization, and decision influence only the perceived benefits of the virtual container yard. Accordingly, the implementation of the virtual container yard will be influenced by six key factors, namely complexity, attitudes, stakeholders, legal, organization and decision. Since the virtual container yard could reduce overall shipping costs, it is vital to examine the carriers’ perception of this concept.

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205
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463
10010003
Sharing Tourism Experience through Social Media: Consumer's Behavioral Intention for Destination Choice
Abstract:

Social media create a better opportunity for travelers to search for travel information, select destination and share their personal experiences of the travel. This study proposes a framework which describes the relationships between social media, and positive or negative tourism experience sharing impact on destination choice. To find out new trends of travelers behavioral intention, we propose an extended theoretical model, the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). We conducted a survey to analyze three external factors, subjective norms, and positive and negative experience influence on travel destination choice. Structural questionnaire analysis was employed to confirm the proposed research hypothesis within the relationship between consumer influences on the shared experience of social media. The results of the study confirm that sharing positive experiences influence the positive effect of destination choice, while negative experiences decrease the destination selection option. The results indicate that attitudes, subjective norms are passively influenced by shared experience. Moreover, we find that sharing live pictures of travel experiences through social media helps to reduce negative perceptions of the destination brand. This research contribution is useable to the research field as a new determination factor and the findings could be used by destination organization management (DMO) to enhancing their tourism promotion through social media.

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490
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10010010
Indigenous Dayak People’s Perceptions of Wildlife Loss and Gain Related to Oil Palm Development
Abstract:

Controversies surrounding the impacts of oil palm plantations have resulted in some heated debates, especially concerning biodiversity loss and indigenous people well-being. The indigenous people of Dayak generally used wildlife to fulfill their daily needs thus were assumed to have experienced negative impacts due to oil palm developments within and surrounding their settlement areas. This study was conducted to identify the characteristics of the Dayak community settled around an oil palm plantation, to determine their perceptions of wildlife loss or gain as the results of the development of oil palm plantations, and to identify the determinant characteristic of the perceptions. The research was conducted on March 2018 in Nanga Tayap and Tajok Kayong Villages, which were located around the oil palm plantation of NTYE of Ketapang, West Kalimantan-Indonesia. Data were collected through in depth-structured interview, using closed and semi-open questionnaires and three-scale Likert statements. Interviews were conducted with 74 respondents using accidental sampling, and categorized into respondents who were dependent on oil palm for their livelihoods and those who were not. Data were analyzed using quantitative statistics method, Likert Scale, Chi-Square Test, Spearman Test, and Mann-Whitney Test. The research found that the indigenous Dayak people were aware of wildlife species loss and gain since the establishment of the plantation. Nevertheless, wildlife loss did not affect their social, economic, and cultural needs since they could find substitutions. It was found that prior to the plantation’s development, the local Dayak communities were already slowly experiencing some livelihood transitions through local village development. The only determinant characteristic of the community that influenced their perceptions of wildlife loss/gain was level of education.

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416
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10010017
Using Business Intelligence Capabilities to Improve the Quality of Decision-Making: A Case Study of Mellat Bank
Abstract:

Today, business executives need to have useful information to make better decisions. Banks have also been using information tools so that they can direct the decision-making process in order to achieve their desired goals by rapidly extracting information from sources with the help of business intelligence. The research seeks to investigate whether there is a relationship between the quality of decision making and the business intelligence capabilities of Mellat Bank. Each of the factors studied is divided into several components, and these and their relationships are measured by a questionnaire. The statistical population of this study consists of all managers and experts of Mellat Bank's General Departments (including 190 people) who use commercial intelligence reports. The sample size of this study was 123 randomly determined by statistical method. In this research, relevant statistical inference has been used for data analysis and hypothesis testing. In the first stage, using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, the normalization of the data was investigated and in the next stage, the construct validity of both variables and their resulting indexes were verified using confirmatory factor analysis. Finally, using the structural equation modeling and Pearson's correlation coefficient, the research hypotheses were tested. The results confirmed the existence of a positive relationship between decision quality and business intelligence capabilities in Mellat Bank. Among the various capabilities, including data quality, correlation with other systems, user access, flexibility and risk management support, the flexibility of the business intelligence system was the most correlated with the dependent variable of the present research. This shows that it is necessary for Mellat Bank to pay more attention to choose the required business intelligence systems with high flexibility in terms of the ability to submit custom formatted reports. Subsequently, the quality of data on business intelligence systems showed the strongest relationship with quality of decision making. Therefore, improving the quality of data, including the source of data internally or externally, the type of data in quantitative or qualitative terms, the credibility of the data and perceptions of who uses the business intelligence system, improves the quality of decision making in Mellat Bank.

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355
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10009915
A Mixed Method Investigation of the Impact of Practicum Experience on Mathematics Female Pre-Service Teachers’ Sense of Preparedness
Abstract:

The practicum experience is a critical component of any initial teacher education (ITE) course. As well as providing a near authentic setting for pre-service teachers (PSTs) to practice in, it also plays a key role in shaping their perceptions and sense of preparedness. Nevertheless, merely including a practicum period as a compulsory part of ITE may not in itself be enough to induce feelings of preparedness and efficacy; the quality of the classroom experience must also be considered. Drawing on findings of a larger study of secondary and intermediate level mathematics PSTs’ sense of preparedness to teach, this paper examines the influence of the practicum experience in particular. The study sample comprised female mathematics PSTs who had almost completed their teaching methods course in their fourth year of ITE across 16 teacher education programs in Saudi Arabia. The impact of the practicum experience on PSTs’ sense of preparedness was investigated via a mixed-methods approach combining a survey (N = 105) and in-depth interviews with survey volunteers (N = 16). Statistical analysis in SPSS was used to explore the quantitative data, and thematic analysis was applied to the qualitative interviews data. The results revealed that the PSTs perceived the practicum experience to have played a dominant role in shaping their feelings of preparedness and efficacy. However, despite the generally positive influence of practicum, the PSTs also reported numerous challenges that lessened their feelings of preparedness. These challenges were often related to the classroom environment and the school culture. For example, about half of the PSTs indicated that the practicum schools did not have the resources available or the support necessary to help them learn the work of teaching. In particular, the PSTs expressed concerns about translating the theoretical knowledge learned at the university into practice in authentic classrooms. These challenges engendered PSTs feeling less prepared and suggest that more support from both the university and the school is needed to help PSTs develop a stronger sense of preparedness. The area in which PSTs felt least prepared was that of classroom and behavior management, although the results also indicated that PSTs only felt a moderate level of general teaching efficacy and were less confident about how to support students as learners. Again, feelings of lower efficacy were related to the dissonance between the theory presented at university and real-world classroom practice. In order to close this gap between theory and practice, PSTs expressed the wish to have more time in the practicum, and more accountability for support from school-based mentors. In highlighting the challenges of the practicum in shaping PSTs’ sense of preparedness and efficacy, the study argues that better communication between the ITE providers and the practicum schools is necessary in order to maximize the benefit of the practicum experience.

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413
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10009918
Students’ Perceptions of the Use of Social Media in Higher Education in Saudi Arabia
Abstract:
This paper examined the attitudes of using social media tools to support learning at a university in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, it investigated the students’ current usage of these tools and examined the barriers they could face during the use of social media tools in the education process. Participants in this study were 42 university students. A web-based survey was used to collect data for this study. The results indicate that all of the students were familiar with social media and had used at least one type of social media for learning. It was found out that all students had very positive attitudes towards the use of social media and welcomed using these tools as a supplementary to the curriculum. However, the results indicated that the major barriers to using these tools in learning were distraction, opposing Islamic religious teachings, privacy issues, and cyberbullying. The study recommended that this study could be replicated at other Saudi universities to investigate factors and barriers that might affect Saudi students’ attitudes toward using social media to support learning.
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833
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