Interest in the development of appropriate safety culture in the oil and gas industry has taken centre stage among stakeholders in the industry. Human behaviour has been identified as a major contributor to occupational accidents, where abnormal activities associated with safety management are taken as normal behaviour. Poor safety culture is one of the major factors that influence employee’s safety behaviour at work, which may consequently result in injuries and accidents and strengthening such a culture can improve workers safety performance. Nigeria oil and gas industry has contributed to the growth and development of the country in diverse ways. However, in terms of safety and health of workers, this industry is a dangerous place to work as workers are often exposed to occupational safety and health hazard. To ascertain the impact of employees’ safety and how it impacts health and safety compliance within the local industry, online safety culture survey targeting frontline workers within the industry was administered covering major subjects that include; perception of management commitment and style of leadership; safety communication method and its resultant impact on employees’ behaviour; employee safety commitment and training needs. The preliminary result revealed that 54% of the participants feel that there is a lack of motivation from the management to work safely. In addition, 55% of participants revealed that employers place more emphasis on work delivery over employee’s safety on the installation. It is expected that the study outcome will provide measures aimed at strengthening and sustaining safety culture in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Perceived risks play a major role in consumer intentions, behaviors, attitudes, and decisions about online shopping in the KSA. This paper investigates the influence of six perceived risk dimensions on Saudi consumers: product risk, information risk, financial risk, privacy and security risk, delivery risk, and terms and conditions risk empirically. To ensure the success of this study, a random survey was distributed to reflect the consumers’ perceived risk and to enable the generalization of the results. Data were collected from 323 respondents in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA): 50 who had never shopped online and 273 who had done so. The results indicated that all six risks influenced the respondents’ perceptions of online shopping. The non-online shoppers perceived financial and delivery risks as the most significant barriers to online shopping. This was followed closely by performance, information, and privacy and security risks. Terms and conditions were perceived as less significant. The online consumers considered delivery and performance risks to be the most significant influences on internet shopping. This was followed closely by information and terms and conditions. Financial and privacy and security risks were perceived as less significant. This paper argues that introducing adequate legal solutions to addressing related problems arising from this study is an urgent need. This may enhance consumer trust in the KSA online market, increase consumers’ intentions regarding online shopping, and improve consumer protection.
Specific learning disability (SLD) in higher education has been partially explored in Greece so far. Moreover, opinions on professional perspectives for university students with SLD, is scarcely encountered in Greek research. The perceptions of the hidden character of SLD along with the university policy towards it and professional perspectives that result from this policy have been examined in the present research. This study has applied the paradigm of a Greek Tertiary Pedagogical Education Department (Early Childhood Education). Via mixed methods, data have been collected from different groups of people in the Pedagogical Department: students with SLD and without SLD, academic staff and administration staff, all of which offer the opportunity for triangulation of the findings. Qualitative methods include ten interviews with students with SLD and 15 interviews with academic staff and 60 hours of observation of the students with SLD. Quantitative methods include 165 questionnaires completed by third and fourth-year students and five questionnaires completed by the administration staff. Thematic analyses of the interviews’ data and descriptive statistics on the questionnaires’ data have been applied for the processing of the results. The use of medical terms to define and understand SLD was common in the student cohort, regardless of them having an SLD diagnosis. However, this medical model approach is far more dominant in the group of students without SLD who, by majority, hold misconceptions on a definitional level. The academic staff group seems to be leaning towards a social approach concerning SLD. According to them, diagnoses may lead to social exclusion. The Pedagogical Department generally endorses the principles of inclusion and complies with the provision of oral exams for students with SLD. Nevertheless, in practice, there seems to be a lack of regular academic support for these students. When such support does exist, it is only through individual initiatives. With regards to their prospective profession, students with SLD can utilize their personal experience, as well as their empathy; these appear to be unique weapons in their hands –in comparison with other educators− when it comes to teaching students in the future. In the Department of Pedagogy, provision towards SLD results sporadic, however the vision of an inclusive department does exist. Based on their studies and their experience, pedagogy students with SLD claim that they have an experiential internalized advantage for their future career as educators.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of tourists’ culture on perception and evaluation of hotel service experience and behavioral intentions. Drawing on Hofested’s cultural dimensions, this study seeks to further contribute towards understanding the effect of culture on perception and evaluation of hotels’ services, and whether there are differences between Saudi and European tourists’ perceptions of hotel services evaluation. A descriptive cross-sectional design was used in this study. Data were collected from tourists staying in five-star hotels in Saudi Arabia using the self-completion technique. The findings show that evaluations of hotel services differ from one culture to another. T-test results reveal that Saudis were more tolerant and reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction, were more likely to return and recommend the hotel, and perceived the price for the hotel stay as being good value for money as compared to their European counterparts. The sample was relatively small and specific to only five-star hotel evaluations. As a result, findings cannot be generalized to the wider tourist population. The results of this research have important implications for management within the Saudi hospitality industry. The study contributes to the tourist cultural theory by emphasizing the relative importance of cultural dimensions in-service evaluation. The author argues that no studies could be identified that compare Saudis and Europeans in their evaluations of their experiences staying at hotels. Therefore, the current study would enhance understanding of the effects of cultural factors on service evaluations and provide valuable input for international market segmentation and resource allocation in the Saudi hotel industry.
In the tropics, indoor thermal environment is usually provided by a cooling mode to maintain comfort all year. Indoor thermal environment performance is sometimes different from the standard or from the first design process because of operation, maintenance, and utilization. The field study of thermal environment in the green building is still limited in this region, while the green building continues to increase. This study aims to clarify thermal performance and subjective perception in the green building by testing the temperature set-points. A Thai green office was investigated twice in October 2018 and in May 2019. Indoor environment variables (temperature, relative humidity, and wind velocity) were collected continuously. The temperature set-point was normally set as 23 °C, and it was changed into 24 °C and 25 °C. The study found that this gap of temperature set-point produced average room temperature from 22.7 to 24.6 °C and average relative humidity from 55% to 62%. Thermal environments slight shifted out of the ASHRAE comfort zone when the set-point was increased. Based on the thermal sensation vote, the feeling-colder vote decreased by 30% and 18% when changing +1 °C and +2 °C, respectively. Predicted mean vote (PMV) shows that most of the calculated median values were negative. The values went close to the optimal neutral value (0) when the set-point was set at 25 °C. The neutral temperature was slightly decreased when changing warmer temperature set-points. Building-related symptom reports were found in this study that the number of votes reduced continuously when the temperature was warmer. The symptoms that occurred by a cooler condition had the number of votes more than ones that occurred by a warmer condition. In sum, for this green office, there is a possibility to adjust a higher temperature set-point to +1 °C (24 °C) in terms of reducing cold sensitivity, discomfort, and symptoms. All results could support the policy of changing a warmer temperature of this office to become “a better green building”.
Existing learning techniques such as problem-based learning, project-based learning, or case study learning are learning techniques that focus mainly on technical details, but give no specific guidelines on learner’s experience and emotional learning aspects such as arousal salience and valence, being emotional states important factors affecting engagement and retention. Some approaches involving emotion in educational settings, such as social and emotional learning, lack neuroscientific rigorousness and use of specific neurobiological mechanisms. On the other hand, neurobiology approaches lack educational applicability. And educational approaches mainly focus on cognitive aspects and disregard conditioning learning. First, authors start explaining the reasons why it is hard to learn thoughtfully, then they use the method of neurobiological mapping to track the main limbic system functions, such as the reward circuit, and its relations with perception, memories, motivations, sympathetic and parasympathetic reactions, and sensations, as well as the brain cortex. The authors conclude explaining the major finding: The mechanisms of nonconscious learning and the triggers that guarantee long-term memory potentiation. Afterward, the educational framework for practical application and the instructors’ guidelines are established. An implementation example in engineering education is given, namely, the study of tuned-mass dampers for earthquake oscillations attenuation in skyscrapers. This work represents an original learning technique based on nonconscious learning mechanisms to enhance long-term memories that complement existing cognitive learning methods.
The present research investigates the effect of symmetry on the perception of happiness and boredom in design products. Three experiments were carried out in order to verify the degree of the visual expressive value on different models of bookcases, wall clocks, and chairs. 60 participants directly indicated the degree of happiness and boredom using 7-point rating scales. The findings show that the participants acknowledged a different value of expressive quality in the different product models. Results show also that symmetry is not a significant constraint for an emotional design project.
The color theory of good and evil is the association of colors to the omnipresent concept of good and evil, where human behavior and perception can be highly influenced by seeing black and white, making these connotations almost dangerously distinctive where they can be very hard to distinguish. This theory is a human construct that dates back to ancient Egypt and has been used since then in almost all forms of communication and expression, such as art, fashion, literature, and religious manuscripts, helping the implantation of preconceived ideas that influence behavior and society. This is a mixed-methods research that uses both surveys to collect quantitative data related to the theory and a vignette to collect qualitative data by using a scenario where participants aged between 18-25 will style two characters of good and bad characteristics with color contrasting clothes, both yielding results about the nature of the preconceived perceptions associated with ‘black and white’ and ‘good and evil’, illustrating the important role of media and communications in human behavior and subconscious, and also uncover how far this theory goes in the age of social media enlightenment.
With the birth of Islam, the definitions of paradise in Quran have spread across three continents since 7th century, showing itself in the palace gardens as a reflection of Islamic Culture. The design characteristics of Islamic gardens come forth with the influence of religious beliefs, as well as taking its form as per the cultural, climatic and soil characteristics of its geography, and showing its difference. It is possible to see these differences from the garden examples that survived to present time from the civilizations in the lands of Islamic proliferation. The main material of this research is the Islamic gardens in Iran and Spain. Field study was carried out in Alhambra Palace in Spain, Granada and Shah Goli garden in Iran, Tabriz. In this study, the birth of Islamic gardens, spatial perception of paradise, design principles, spatial structure, along with the structural/plantation materials used are examined. Also the characteristics and differentiation of the gardens examined in different cultures and geographies have been revealed. In the conclusion section, Iran and Spain Islamic garden samples were evaluated and their properties were determined.
This paper reports the findings of the perception and attitude towards Sustainable Development among Malaysian undergraduates. The study was carried out involving 86 engineering undergraduates from three universities in Malaysia. This research was conducted based on a survey whereby the respondents were given a questionnaire to gauge their attitude towards sustainable development. The output of the analyses showed that the respondents have an appropriate attitude towards the sustainability issues expect for economic and social equality aspects. These findings suggest that the engineering educators involved in sustainable development education need to educate undergraduate students on this important issue. This investigation serves as a cornerstone to which the current paradigm of sustainable development education can be examined for further improvement by related stakeholders.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.