International Science Index

15
10012012
Social Influences on Americans' Mask-Wearing Behavior during COVID-19
Abstract:

Based on a convenience sample of 2,092 participants from across all 50 states of the United States, a survey was conducted to explore Americans’ mask-wearing behaviors during COVID-19 according to their political convictions, religious beliefs, and ethnic cultures from late July to early September, 2020. The purpose of the study is to provide evidential support for government policymaking so as to drive up more effective public policies by taking into consideration the variance in these social factors. It was found that the respondents’ party affiliation or preference, religious belief, and ethnicity, in addition to their health condition, gender, level of concern of contracting COVID-19, all affected their mask-wearing habits both in March, the initial coronavirus outbreak stage, and in August, when mask-wearing had been made mandatory by state governments. The study concludes that pandemic awareness campaigns must be run among all citizens, especially among African Americans, Muslims, and Republicans, who have the lowest rates of wearing masks, in order to protect themselves and others. It is recommended that complementary cognitive bias awareness programs should be implemented in non-Black and non-Muslim communities to eliminate social concerns that deter them from wearing masks.

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10011950
Online Teaching Methods and Student Satisfaction during a Pandemic
Authors:
Abstract:

With the outbreak of the global pandemic of COVID-19, online education characterizes today’s higher education. For some higher education institutions (HEIs), the shift from classroom education to online solutions was swift and smooth, and students are continuously asked about their experience regarding online education. Therefore, there is a growing emphasis on student satisfaction with online education, a field that had emerged previously, but has become the center of higher education and research interest today. The aim of the current paper is to give a brief overview of the tools used in the online education of marketing-related classes at the examined university and to investigate student satisfaction with the applied teaching methodologies with the tool of a questionnaire. Results show that students are most satisfied with their teachers’ competences and preparedness, while they are least satisfied with online class quality, where it seems that further steps are needed to be taken.

Paper Detail
32
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13
10011979
A BIM-Based Approach to Assess COVID-19 Risk Management Regarding Indoor Air Ventilation and Pedestrian Dynamics
Abstract:

In the context of the international spread of COVID-19, the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB) has led a joint research with the French government authorities Hauts-de-Seine department, to analyse the risk in school spaces according to their configuration, ventilation system and spatial segmentation strategy. This paper describes the main results of this joint research. A multidisciplinary team involving experts in indoor air quality/ventilation, pedestrian movements and IT domains was established to develop a COVID risk analysis tool based on Building Information Model. The work started with specific analysis on two pilot schools in order to provide for the local administration specifications to minimize the spread of the virus. Different recommendations were published to optimize/validate the use of ventilation systems and the strategy of student occupancy and student flow segmentation within the building. This COVID expertise has been digitized in order to manage a quick risk analysis on the entire building that could be used by the public administration through an easy user interface implemented in a free BIM Management software. One of the most interesting results is to enable a dynamic comparison of different ventilation system scenarios and space occupation strategy inside the BIM model. This concurrent engineering approach provides users with the optimal solution according to both ventilation and pedestrian flow expertise.

Paper Detail
2
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12
10011997
Reimagining the Learning Management System as a “Third” Space
Abstract:
This paper focuses on a sense of belonging, isolation, and the use of a learning management system as a “third space” for connection and community. Given student use of learning management systems (LMS) for courses on campuses, moderate to high use of social media and hand-held devices, the author explores the possibilities of LMS as a third space. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated student experiences of isolation, and research indicates that students who experience a sense of belonging have a greater likelihood for academic retention and success. The impacts on students of an LMS designed for student employee orientation and training were examined through a mixed methods approach, including a survey, individual interviews, and focus groups. The sample involved 250-450 undergraduate student employees at a US northwestern university. The goal of the study was to find out the efficiency and effectiveness of the orientation information for a wide range of student employees from multiple student affairs departments. And unexpected finding emerged within the study in 2015 and was noted again as a finding in the 2017 study. Students reported feeling like they individually connected to the department, and further to the university because of the LMS orientation. They stated they could see themselves as part of the university community and like they belonged. The orientation, through the LMS, was designed for and occurred online (asynchronous), prior to students traveling and beginning university life for the academic year. The students indicated connection and belonging resulting from some of the design features. With the onset of COVID-19 and prolonged sheltering in place in North America, as well as other parts of the world, students have been precluded from physically gathering to educate and learn. COVID-19 essentially paused face-to-face education in 2020. Media, governments, and higher education outlets have been reporting on widespread college student stress, isolation, loneliness, and sadness. In this context, the author conducted a current mixed methods study (online survey, online interviews) of students in advanced degree programs, like Ph.D. and Ed.D. specifically investigating isolation and sense of belonging. As a part of the study a prototype of a Canvas site was experienced by student interviewees for their reaction of this Canvas site prototype as a “third” space. Some preliminary findings of this study are presented. Doctoral students in the study affirmed the potential of LMS as a third space for community and social academic connection.
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10011920
Relevance for Traditional Medicine in South Africa: Experiences of Urban Traditional Healers, Izinyanga
Abstract:
Access to relevant health indicates people’s likelihood of survival, including craft of indigenous healing and its related practitioners- izinyanga. However, the emergence of a dreaded novel corona virus - COVID-19 that has engulfed almost the whole world has necessitated the need to revisit the state of traditional healers in South Africa. This circumstance tended to expose the reality of social settings in various social structures and related policies including the manner coloniality reveal its ugly head when it comes treatment between western and African based therapeutic practices in this country. In attempting to gain a better understanding of such experiences, primary and secondary sources were consulted when collecting data that perusal of various literature in this instance including face-to-face interviews with traditional healers working on the street of Tshwane Municipality in South Africa. Preliminary findings revealed that the emergence of this deadly virus coincided with the moment when the government agenda was focussed on fulfilment of its promise of addressing the past inequity practices, including the transformation of medical sector. This scenario can be witnessed by the manner in which government and related agencies such as health department keeps on undermining indigenous healing practice irrespective of its historical record in terms of healing profession and fighting various diseases before times of father of medicine, Imhotep. Based on these preliminary findings, it is recommended that the government should hasten the incorporation of African knowledge systems especially medicine to offer alternatives and diverse to assess the underutilised indigenous African therapeutic approach and relevant skills that could be useful in combating ailments such as COVID 19. Perhaps, the plural medical systems should be recognized and related policies are formulated to guarantee mutual respect among citizens and the incorporation of healing practices in South African health sector, Africa and in the broader global community.
Paper Detail
52
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10
10011931
Co-Creational Model for Blended Learning in a Flipped Classroom Environment Focusing on the Combination of Coding and Drone-Building
Abstract:
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that online education is so much more than just a cool feature for teachers – it is an essential part of modern teaching. In online math teaching, it is common to use tools to share screens, compute and calculate mathematical examples, while the students can watch the process. On the other hand, flipped classroom models are on the rise, with their focus on how students can gather knowledge by watching videos and on the teacher’s use of technological tools for information transfer. This paper proposes a co-educational teaching approach for coding and engineering subjects with the help of drone-building to spark interest in technology and create a platform for knowledge transfer. The project combines aspects from mathematics (matrices, vectors, shaders, trigonometry), physics (force, pressure and rotation) and coding (computational thinking, block-based programming, JavaScript and Python) and makes use of collaborative-shared 3D Modeling with clara.io, where students create mathematics knowhow. The instructor follows a problem-based learning approach and encourages their students to find solutions in their own time and in their own way, which will help them develop new skills intuitively and boost logically structured thinking. The collaborative aspect of working in groups will help the students develop communication skills as well as structural and computational thinking. Students are not just listeners as in traditional classroom settings, but play an active part in creating content together by compiling a Handbook of Knowledge (called “open book”) with examples and solutions. Before students start calculating, they have to write down all their ideas and working steps in full sentences so other students can easily follow their train of thought. Therefore, students will learn to formulate goals, solve problems, and create a ready-to use product with the help of “reverse engineering”, cross-referencing and creative thinking. The work on drones gives the students the opportunity to create a real-life application with a practical purpose, while going through all stages of product development.
Paper Detail
50
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9
10011934
Financial Technology: The Key to Achieving Financial Inclusion in Developing Countries Post COVID-19 from an East African Perspective
Abstract:

Financial Inclusion is considered a key pillar for development in most countries around the world. Access to affordable financial services in a country’s economy can be a driver to overcome poverty and reduce income inequalities, and thus increase economic growth. Nevertheless, the number of financially excluded populations in developing countries continues to be very high. This paper explores the role of Financial Technology (Fintech) as a key driver for achieving financial inclusion in developing countries post the COVID-19 pandemic with an emphasis on four East African countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. The research paper is inspired by the positive disruption caused by the pandemic, which has compelled societies in East Africa to adapt and embrace the use of financial technology innovations, specifically Mobile Money Services (MMS), to access financial services. MMS has been further migrated and integrated with other financial technology innovations such as Mobile Banking, Micro Savings, and Loans, and Insurance, to mention but a few. These innovations have been adopted across key sectors such as commerce, health care, or agriculture. The research paper will highlight the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) that are behind MMS, along with numerous innovative products and services being offered to the customers. It will also highlight the regulatory framework under which these innovations are being governed to ensure the safety of the customers' funds.

Paper Detail
62
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8
10011935
Urban Resilience: Relation between COVID-19 and Urban Environment in Amman City
Authors:
Abstract:

COVID-19 is an exam for all the city’s systems. It shows many gaps in the systems such as healthcare, economic, social, and environment. This pandemic is paving for a new era, an era of technology and it has changed people’s lives, such as physical, and emotional changes, and converting communication into digitalized. The effect of COVID-19 has covered all urban city parts. COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic our cities will face. For that, more researches focus on enhancing the quality of the urban environment. This pandemic encourages a rethinking of the environment’s role, especially in cities. Cities are trying to provide the best suitable strategies and regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and an example of that is Amman city. Amman has a high increment in the number of COVID-19 infected people, while it has controlled the situation for months. For that, this paper studies the relation between COVID-19 and urban environmental studies cases about cities around the world, and learns from their models to face COVID-19. In Amman, people’s behavior has changed towards public transportation and public green spaces. N­ew governmental regulations focus on increasing people’s mental awareness, supporting local businesses, and enhancing neighborhood planning that can help Amman to face any future pandemics.

Paper Detail
77
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7
10011862
Bayesian Deep Learning Algorithms for Classifying COVID-19 Images
Authors:
Abstract:
The study investigates the accuracy and loss of deep learning algorithms with the set of coronavirus (COVID-19) images dataset by comparing Bayesian convolutional neural network and traditional convolutional neural network in low dimensional dataset. 50 sets of X-ray images out of which 25 were COVID-19 and the remaining 20 were normal, twenty images were set as training while five were set as validation that were used to ascertained the accuracy of the model. The study found out that Bayesian convolution neural network outperformed conventional neural network at low dimensional dataset that could have exhibited under fitting. The study therefore recommended Bayesian Convolutional neural network (BCNN) for android apps in computer vision for image detection.
Paper Detail
131
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6
10011864
Stochastic Impact Analysis of COVID-19 on Karachi Stock Exchange
Abstract:

The stock market of any country acts as a predictor of the economy. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the global financial markets. Besides, it has also critically affected the economy of Pakistan. In this study, we consider the role of the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) with regard to the Pakistan Stock Exchange and quantify the impact on macroeconomic variables in presence of COVID-19. The suitable macroeconomic variables are used to quantify the impact of COVID-19 by developing the stochastic model. The sufficiency of the computed model is attained by means of available techniques in the literature. The estimated equations are used to forecast the impact of pandemic on macroeconomic variables. The constructed model can help the policymakers take counteractive measures for restricting the influence of viruses on the Karachi Stock Market.

Paper Detail
199
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5
10011763
Assessment of the Efficiency of Virtual Orthodontic Consultations during COVID-19
Abstract:

Aims: We aimed to assess the efficiency of ‘Attend Anywhere’ orthodontic clinics within a district general hospital during COVID- 19. Our secondary aim was to pilot a questionnaire to assess patient satisfaction with virtual orthodontic appointments. Design: The study design is a service evaluation including pilot questionnaire. Methods: The average number of patients seen per virtual clinic and the number of patients failing to attend was compared to face-to-face clinics. The capability of virtual appointments to be successful in preventing the need for a face-to-face appointment was assessed. Patients were invited to complete a telephone pilot questionnaire focusing on patient satisfaction and accessibility. Results: There was a small increase in the number of patients failing to attend virtual appointments, with a third of the patients who did not attend failing to receive the appointment link. 81.9% of virtual clinic appointments were successful and prevented the need for a face-to-face appointment. Overall patients were very satisfied with their virtual orthodontic appointment and the majority required no assistance to access the service. Conclusions: The use of ‘Attend Anywhere’ clinics in orthodontics offers patients and clinicians an effective and efficient alternative to face-to-face appointments that patients on average find easy to use and completely satisfactory.

Paper Detail
135
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4
10011542
Investigating Real Ship Accidents with Descriptive Analysis in Turkey
Abstract:

The use of advanced methods has been increasing day by day in the maritime sector, which is one of the sectors least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is aimed to minimize accidents, especially by using advanced methods in the investigation of marine accidents. This research aimed to conduct an exploratory statistical analysis of particular ship accidents in the Transport Safety Investigation Center of Turkey database. 46 ship accidents, which occurred between 2010-2018, have been selected from the database. In addition to the availability of a reliable and comprehensive database, taking advantage of the robust statistical models for investigation is critical to improving the safety of ships. Thus, descriptive analysis has been used in the research to identify causes and conditional factors related to different types of ship accidents. The research outcomes underline the fact that environmental factors and day and night ratio have great influence on ship safety.

Paper Detail
158
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3
10011551
Portfolio Management for Construction Company during Covid-19 Using AHP Technique
Abstract:

In general, Covid-19 created many financial and non-financial damages to the economy and community. Level and severity of covid-19 as pandemic case varies over the region and due to different types of the projects. Covid-19 virus emerged as one of the most imperative risk management factors word-wide recently. Therefore, as part of portfolio management assessment, it is essential to evaluate severity of such risk on the project and program in portfolio management level to avoid any risky portfolio. Covid-19 appeared very effectively in South America, part of Europe and Middle East. Such pandemic infection affected the whole universe, due to lock down, interruption in supply chain management, health and safety requirements, transportations and commercial impacts. Therefore, this research proposes Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to analyze and assess such pandemic case like Covid-19 and its impacts on the construction projects. The AHP technique uses four sub-criteria: Health and safety, commercial risk, completion risk and contractual risk to evaluate the project and program. The result will provide the decision makers with information which project has higher or lower risk in case of Covid-19 and pandemic scenario. Therefore, the decision makers can have most feasible solution based on effective weighted criteria for project selection within their portfolio to match with the organization’s strategies.

Paper Detail
245
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2
10011512
An Exploratory Study of the Student’s Learning Experience by Applying Different Tools for e-Learning and e-Teaching
Abstract:
E-learning is becoming more and more common every day. For online, hybrid or traditional face-to-face programs, there are some e-teaching platforms like Google classroom, Blackboard, Moodle and Canvas, and there are platforms for full e-learning like Coursera, edX or Udemy. These tools are changing the way students acquire knowledge at schools; however, in today’s changing world that is not enough. As students’ needs and skills change and become more complex, new tools will need to be added to keep them engaged and potentialize their learning. This is especially important in the current global situation that is changing everything: the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to Covid-19, education had to make an unexpected switch from face-to-face courses to digital courses. In this study, the students’ learning experience is analyzed by applying different e-tools and following the Tec21 Model and a flexible and digital model, both developed by the Tecnologico de Monterrey University. The evaluation of the students’ learning experience has been made by the quantitative PrEmo method of emotions. Findings suggest that the quantity of e-tools used during a course does not affect the students’ learning experience as much as how a teacher links every available tool and makes them work as one in order to keep the student engaged and motivated.
Paper Detail
202
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1
10011537
Artificial Intelligence-Based Chest X-Ray Test of COVID-19 Patients
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The management of COVID-19 patients based on chest imaging is emerging as an essential tool for evaluating the spread of the pandemic which has gripped the global community. It has already been used to monitor the situation of COVID-19 patients who have issues in respiratory status. There has been increase to use chest imaging for medical triage of patients who are showing moderate-severe clinical COVID-19 features, this is due to the fast dispersal of the pandemic to all continents and communities. This article demonstrates the development of machine learning techniques for the test of COVID-19 patients using Chest X-Ray (CXR) images in nearly real-time, to distinguish the COVID-19 infection with a significantly high level of accuracy. The testing performance has covered a combination of different datasets of CXR images of positive COVID-19 patients, patients with viral and bacterial infections, also, people with a clear chest. The proposed AI scheme successfully distinguishes CXR scans of COVID-19 infected patients from CXR scans of viral and bacterial based pneumonia as well as normal cases with an average accuracy of 94.43%, sensitivity 95%, and specificity 93.86%. Predicted decisions would be supported by visual evidence to help clinicians speed up the initial assessment process of new suspected cases, especially in a resource-constrained environment.

Paper Detail
230
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