International Science Index

30
10009055
A Pilot Study of Robot Reminiscence in Dementia Care
Abstract:

In care for older adults, behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) like agitation and aggression are distressing for patients and their caretakers, often resulting in premature institutionalization with increased costs of care. To improve mood and mitigate symptoms, as a non-pharmaceutical approach, emotion-oriented therapy like reminiscence work is adopted in face-to-face communication. Telecommunication support is expected to be provided by robotic media as a bridge for digital divide for those with dementia and facilitate social interaction both verbally and nonverbally. The purpose of this case study is to explore the conditions in which robotic media can effectively attract attention from older adults with dementia and promote their well-being. As a pilot study, we introduced the pillow-phone Hugvie®, a huggable humanly shaped communication medium to five residents with dementia at a care facility, to investigate how the following conditions work for the elderly when they use the medium; 1) no sound, 2) radio, non-interactive, 3) daily conversation, and 4) reminiscence work. As a result, under condition 4, reminiscence work, the five participants kept concentration in interacting with the medium for a longer duration than other conditions. In condition 4, they also showed larger amount of utterances than under other conditions. These results indicate that providing topics related to personal histories through robotic media could affect communication positively and should, therefore, be further investigated. In addition, the issue of ethical implications by using persuasive technology that affects emotions and behaviors of older adults is also discussed.

Paper Detail
10
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29
10008751
The Effect of Information vs. Reasoning Gap Tasks on the Frequency of Conversational Strategies and Accuracy in Speaking among Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners
Abstract:

Speaking skills merit meticulous attention both on the side of the learners and the teachers. In particular, accuracy is a critical component to guarantee the messages to be conveyed through conversation because a wrongful change may adversely alter the content and purpose of the talk. Different types of tasks have served teachers to meet numerous educational objectives. Besides, negotiation of meaning and the use of different strategies have been areas of concern in socio-cultural theories of SLA. Negotiation of meaning is among the conversational processes which have a crucial role in facilitating the understanding and expression of meaning in a given second language. Conversational strategies are used during interaction when there is a breakdown in communication that leads to the interlocutor attempting to remedy the gap through talk. Therefore, this study was an attempt to investigate if there was any significant difference between the effect of reasoning gap tasks and information gap tasks on the frequency of conversational strategies used in negotiation of meaning in classrooms on one hand, and on the accuracy in speaking of Iranian intermediate EFL learners on the other. After a pilot study to check the practicality of the treatments, at the outset of the main study, the Preliminary English Test was administered to ensure the homogeneity of 87 out of 107 participants who attended the intact classes of a 15 session term in one control and two experimental groups. Also, speaking sections of PET were used as pretest and posttest to examine their speaking accuracy. The tests were recorded and transcribed to estimate the percentage of the number of the clauses with no grammatical errors in the total produced clauses to measure the speaking accuracy. In all groups, the grammatical points of accuracy were instructed and the use of conversational strategies was practiced. Then, different kinds of reasoning gap tasks (matchmaking, deciding on the course of action, and working out a time table) and information gap tasks (restoring an incomplete chart, spot the differences, arranging sentences into stories, and guessing game) were manipulated in experimental groups during treatment sessions, and the students were required to practice conversational strategies when doing speaking tasks. The conversations throughout the terms were recorded and transcribed to count the frequency of the conversational strategies used in all groups. The results of statistical analysis demonstrated that applying both the reasoning gap tasks and information gap tasks significantly affected the frequency of conversational strategies through negotiation. In the face of the improvements, the reasoning gap tasks had a more significant impact on encouraging the negotiation of meaning and increasing the number of conversational frequencies every session. The findings also indicated both task types could help learners significantly improve their speaking accuracy. Here, applying the reasoning gap tasks was more effective than the information gap tasks in improving the level of learners’ speaking accuracy.

Paper Detail
77
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28
10007799
Optimization of the Co-Precipitation of Industrial Waste Metals in a Continuous Reactor System
Abstract:

A continuous copper precipitation treatment (CCPT) system was conceived at Intel Chandler Site to serve as a first-of-kind (FOK) facility-scale waste copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), and manganese (Mn) co-precipitation facility. The process was designed to treat highly variable wastewater discharged from a substrate packaging research factory. The paper discusses metals co-precipitation induced by internal changes for manufacturing facilities that lack the capacity for hardware expansion due to real estate restrictions, aggressive schedules, or budgetary constraints. Herein, operating parameters such as pH and oxidation reduction potential (ORP) were examined to analyze the ability of the CCPT System to immobilize various waste metals. Additionally, influential factors such as influent concentrations and retention times were investigated to quantify the environmental variability against system performance. A total of 2,027 samples were analyzed and statistically evaluated to measure the performance of CCPT that was internally retrofitted for Mn abatement to meet environmental regulations. In order to enhance the consistency of the influent, a separate holding tank was cannibalized from another system to collect and slow-feed the segregated Mn wastewater from the factory into CCPT. As a result, the baseline influent Mn decreased from 17.2+18.7 mg1L-1 at pre-pilot to 5.15+8.11 mg1L-1 post-pilot (70.1% reduction). Likewise, the pre-trial and post-trial average influent Cu values to CCPT were 52.0+54.6 mg1L-1 and 33.9+12.7 mg1L-1, respectively (34.8% reduction). However, the raw Ni content of 0.97+0.39 mg1L-1 at pre-pilot increased to 1.06+0.17 mg1L-1 at post-pilot. The average Mn output declined from 10.9+11.7 mg1L-1 at pre-pilot to 0.44+1.33 mg1L-1 at post-pilot (96.0% reduction) as a result of the pH and ORP operating setpoint changes. In similar fashion, the output Cu quality improved from 1.60+5.38 mg1L-1 to 0.55+1.02 mg1L-1 (65.6% reduction) while the Ni output sustained a 50% enhancement during the pilot study (0.22+0.19 mg1L-1 reduced to 0.11+0.06 mg1L-1). pH and ORP were shown to be significantly instrumental to the precipitative versatility of the CCPT System.

Paper Detail
204
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27
10007865
Perceptual and Ultrasound Articulatory Training Effects on English L2 Vowels Production by Italian Learners
Abstract:
The American English contrast /ɑ-ʌ/ (cop-cup) is difficult to be produced by Italian learners since they realize L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ as L1-/ɔ-a/ respectively, due to differences in phonetic-phonological systems and also in grapheme-to-phoneme conversion rules. In this paper, we try to answer the following research questions: Can a short training improve the production of English /ɑ-ʌ/ by Italian learners? Is a perceptual training better than an articulatory (ultrasound - US) training? Thus, we compare a perceptual training with an US articulatory one to observe: 1) the effects of short trainings on L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ productions; 2) if the US articulatory training improves the pronunciation better than the perceptual training. In this pilot study, 9 Salento-Italian monolingual adults participated: 3 subjects performed a 1-hour perceptual training (ES-P); 3 subjects performed a 1-hour US training (ES-US); and 3 control subjects did not receive any training (CS). Verbal instructions about the phonetic properties of L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ and L1-/ɔ-a/ and their differences (representation on F1-F2 plane) were provided during both trainings. After these instructions, the ES-P group performed an identification training based on the High Variability Phonetic Training procedure, while the ES-US group performed the articulatory training, by means of US video of tongue gestures in L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ production and dynamic view of their own tongue movements and position using a probe under their chin. The acoustic data were analyzed and the first three formants were calculated. Independent t-tests were run to compare: 1) /ɑ-ʌ/ in pre- vs. post-test respectively; /ɑ-ʌ/ in pre- and post-test vs. L1-/a-ɔ/ respectively. Results show that in the pre-test all speakers realize L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ as L1-/ɔ-a/ respectively. Contrary to CS and ES-P groups, the ES-US group in the post-test differentiates the L2 vowels from those produced in the pre-test as well as from the L1 vowels, although only one ES-US subject produces both L2 vowels accurately. The articulatory training seems more effective than the perceptual one since it favors the production of vowels in the correct direction of L2 vowels and differently from the similar L1 vowels.
Paper Detail
198
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26
10007085
A Nutritional Wellness Program for Overweight Health Care Providers in Hospital Setting: A Randomized Controlled Trial Pilot Study
Abstract:
Background: The prevalence of workplace obesity is rising worldwide; therefore, the workplace is an ideal venue to implement weight control intervention. This pilot randomized controlled trial aimed to develop, implement, and evaluate a nutritional wellness program for obese health care providers working in a hospital. Methods: This hospital-based nutritional wellness program was an 8-week pilot randomized controlled trial for obese health care providers. The primary outcomes were body weight and body mass index (BMI). The secondary outcomes were serum fasting glucose, fasting cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density (HDL) and low-density (LDL) lipoprotein, body fat percentage, and body mass. Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 20) or control (n = 22) group. Participants in both groups received individual nutrition counselling and nutrition pamphlets, whereas only participants in the intervention group were given mobile phone text messages. Results: 42 participants completed the study. In comparison with the control group, the intervention group showed approximately 0.98 kg weight reduction after two months. Participants in intervention group also demonstrated clinically significant improvement in BMI, serum cholesterol level, and HDL level. There was no improvement of body fat percentage and body mass for both intervention and control groups. Conclusion: The nutritional wellness program for obese health care providers was feasible in hospital settings. Health care providers demonstrated short-term weight loss, decrease in serum fasting cholesterol level, and HDL level after completing the program.
Paper Detail
272
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25
10006374
Development of a Real-Time Brain-Computer Interface for Interactive Robot Therapy: An Exploration of EEG and EMG Features during Hypnosis
Abstract:
This study presents a framework for development of a new generation of therapy robots that can interact with users by monitoring their physiological and mental states. Here, we focused on one of the controversial methods of therapy, hypnotherapy. Hypnosis has shown to be useful in treatment of many clinical conditions. But, even for healthy people, it can be used as an effective technique for relaxation or enhancement of memory and concentration. Our aim is to develop a robot that collects information about user’s mental and physical states using electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) signals and performs costeffective hypnosis at the comfort of user’s house. The presented framework consists of three main steps: (1) Find the EEG-correlates of mind state before, during, and after hypnosis and establish a cognitive model for state changes, (2) Develop a system that can track the changes in EEG and EMG activities in real time and determines if the user is ready for suggestion, and (3) Implement our system in a humanoid robot that will talk and conduct hypnosis on users based on their mental states. This paper presents a pilot study in regard to the first stage, detection of EEG and EMG features during hypnosis.
Paper Detail
541
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24
10005869
An Open-Label Pilot Study of Efficacy and Safety of 2% Curcuma aeruginosa Roxb. Extract Cream in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Facial Seborrheic Dermatitis
Abstract:

Background: Seborrheic dermatitis is a common chronic skin condition affecting the face, scalp, chest, and trunk. The cause of seborrheic dermatitis is still unknown. Sebum production, lipid composition, hormone levels, and Malassezia species have been suggested as important factors in the development of seborrheic dermatitis. Curcuma aeruginosa Roxb. extract-containing cream with anti-inflammatory and anti-androgenic properties may be beneficial for treating mild to moderate facial seborrheic dermatitis. Objectives: We evaluated the efficacy and safety of 2% C. aeruginosa Roxb. extract-containing cream in the treatment of mild to moderate seborrheic dermatitis. Methods: This was a prospective, open-label, and non-comparative study. Ten adult patients clinically diagnosed with mild to moderate seborrheic dermatitis were enrolled in a four-week study. The 2% C. aeruginosa Roxb. cream was applied twice daily to a lesional area on the face for four weeks. The Scoring Index (SI) ranking system on days 14 and 28 was compared with that at baseline to determine the efficacy of treatment. The adverse events (burning sensation and erythema) were evaluated on days 14 and 28 to determine the safety of the treatment. Results: Significant improvement was observed in the reduction of the mean SI at day 14 (2.9) and 28 (1.4) compared to that at baseline (4.9). An adverse reaction was observed on day 14 (mild erythema 20% and mild burning sensation 10%) and was resolved by the end of the study. Conclusion: This open-label pilot study has shown that there was a significant improvement in the severity in these seborrheic patients and most reported they were satisfied with it. Reported adverse events were all mild.

Paper Detail
406
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23
10006173
Hypertension and Its Association with Oral Health Status in Adults: A Pilot Study in Padusunan Adults Community
Abstract:
The association between general and oral health is clearly important, particularly in adults with medical conditions. Many of the medical systemic conditions are either caused or aggravated by poor oral hygiene and vice versa. Hypertension is one of common medical systemic problem which has been a public health concern worldwide due to its known consequences. Those consequences must be related to oral health status as well, whether it may cause or worsen the oral health conditions. The objective of this study was to find out the association between hypertension and oral health status in adults. This study was an analytical observational study by using cross-sectional method. A total of 42 adults both male and female in Padusunan Village, Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia were selected as subjects by using purposive sampling. Manual sphygmomanometer was used to measure blood pressure and dental examination was performed to calculate the decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) scores in order to represent oral health status. The data obtained was analyzed statistically using One Way ANOVA to determine the association between hypertensive adults and their oral health status. The result showed that majority age of the subjects was ranging from 51-70 years (40.5%). Based on blood pressure examination, 57.1% of subjects were classified to prehypertension. Overall, the mean of DMFT score calculated in normal, prehypertension and hypertension group was not considered statistically significant. There was no significant association (p>0.05) between hypertension and oral health status in adults.
Paper Detail
682
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22
10005718
From Primer Generation to Chromosome Identification: A Primer Generation Genotyping Method for Bacterial Identification and Typing
Abstract:

A challenge for laboratories is to provide bacterial identification and antibiotic sensitivity results within a short time. Hence, advancement in the required technology is desirable to improve timing, accuracy and quality. Even with the current advances in methods used for both phenotypic and genotypic identification of bacteria the need is there to develop method(s) that enhance the outcome of bacteriology laboratories in accuracy and time. The hypothesis introduced here is based on the assumption that the chromosome of any bacteria contains unique sequences that can be used for its identification and typing. The outcome of a pilot study designed to test this hypothesis is reported in this manuscript. Methods: The complete chromosome sequences of several bacterial species were downloaded to use as search targets for unique sequences. Visual basic and SQL server (2014) were used to generate a complete set of 18-base long primers, a process started with reverse translation of randomly chosen 6 amino acids to limit the number of the generated primers. In addition, the software used to scan the downloaded chromosomes using the generated primers for similarities was designed, and the resulting hits were classified according to the number of similar chromosomal sequences, i.e., unique or otherwise. Results: All primers that had identical/similar sequences in the selected genome sequence(s) were classified according to the number of hits in the chromosomes search. Those that were identical to a single site on a single bacterial chromosome were referred to as unique. On the other hand, most generated primers sequences were identical to multiple sites on a single or multiple chromosomes. Following scanning, the generated primers were classified based on ability to differentiate between medically important bacterial and the initial results looks promising. Conclusion: A simple strategy that started by generating primers was introduced; the primers were used to screen bacterial genomes for match. Primer(s) that were uniquely identical to specific DNA sequence on a specific bacterial chromosome were selected. The identified unique sequence can be used in different molecular diagnostic techniques, possibly to identify bacteria. In addition, a single primer that can identify multiple sites in a single chromosome can be exploited for region or genome identification. Although genomes sequences draft of isolates of organism DNA enable high throughput primer design using alignment strategy, and this enhances diagnostic performance in comparison to traditional molecular assays. In this method the generated primers can be used to identify an organism before the draft sequence is completed. In addition, the generated primers can be used to build a bank for easy access of the primers that can be used to identify bacteria.

Paper Detail
407
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21
10004322
Clinical Factors of Quality Switched Ruby Laser Therapy for Lentigo Depigmentation
Abstract:
Solar lentigines appear predominantly on chronically sun-exposed areas of skin, such as the face and the back of the hands. Among the several ways to lentigines treatment, quality-switched lasers are well-known effective treatment for removing solar lentigines. The present pilot study was therefore designed to assess the efficacy of quality-switched ruby laser treatment of such lentigines compare between pretreatment and posttreatment of skin brightness. Twenty-two adults with chronic sun-damaged skin (mean age 52.8 years, range 37–74 years) were treated at the Korean site. A 694 nm Q-switched ruby laser was used, with the energy density set from 1.4 to 12.5 J/cm2, to treat solar lentigines. Average brightness of skin color before ruby laser treatment was 137.3 and its skin color was brightened after ruby laser treatment by 150.5. Also, standard deviation of skin color was decreased from 17.8 to 16.4. Regarding the multivariate model, age and energy were identified as significant factors for skin color brightness change in lentigo depigmentation by ruby laser treatment. Their respective odds ratios were 1.082 (95% CI, 1.007–1.163), and 1.431 (95% CI, 1.051–1.946). Lentigo depigmentation treatment using ruby lasers resulted in a high performance in skin color brightness. Among the relative factors involve with ruby laser treatment, age and energy were the most effective factors which skin color change to brighter than pretreatment.
Paper Detail
816
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20
10003727
Use of Smartphones in 6th and 7th Grade (Elementary Schools) in Istria: Pilot Study
Abstract:

Younger and younger children are now using a smartphone, a device which has become ‘a must have’ and the life of children would be almost ‘unthinkable’ without one. Devices are becoming lighter and lighter but offering an array of options and applications as well as the unavoidable access to the Internet, without which it would be almost unusable. Numerous features such as taking of photographs, listening to music, information search on the Internet, access to social networks, usage of some of the chatting and messaging services, are only some of the numerous features offered by ‘smart’ devices. They have replaced the alarm clock, home phone, camera, tablet and other devices. Their use and possession have become a part of the everyday image of young people. Apart from the positive aspects, the use of smartphones has also some downsides. For instance, free time was usually spent in nature, playing, doing sports or other activities enabling children an adequate psychophysiological growth and development. The greater usage of smartphones during classes to check statuses on social networks, message your friends, play online games, are just some of the possible negative aspects of their application. Considering that the age of the population using smartphones is decreasing and that smartphones are no longer ‘foreign’ to children of pre-school age (smartphones are used at home or in coffee shops or shopping centers while waiting for their parents, playing video games often inappropriate to their age), particular attention must be paid to a very sensitive group, the teenagers who almost never separate from their ‘pets’. This paper is divided into two sections, theoretical and empirical ones. The theoretical section gives an overview of the pros and cons of the usage of smartphones, while the empirical section presents the results of a research conducted in three elementary schools regarding the usage of smartphones and, specifically, their usage during classes, during breaks and to search information on the Internet, check status updates and 'likes’ on the Facebook social network.

Paper Detail
791
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19
10003858
Developing and Validating an Instrument for Measuring Mobile Government Adoption in Saudi Arabia
Abstract:
Many governments recently started to change the ways of providing their services by allowing their citizens to access services from anywhere without the need of visiting the location of the service provider. Mobile government (M-government) is one of the techniques that fulfill that goal. It has been adopted by many governments. M-government can be defined as an implementation of Electronic Government (E-Government) by using mobile technology with the aim of improving service delivery to citizens, businesses and all government agencies. There have been several research projects developing models to understand the behavior of individuals towards the adoption of m-government. This paper proposes a model for adoption of m-government services in Saudi Arabia by extending Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) by introducing external factors. This paper also reports on the development of a survey instrument designed to measure user perception of mobile government acceptance. A survey instrument has been developed by using existing scales from prior instruments and a pilot study has been conducted by distributing the survey to 33 participants. As a result, a survey instrument has been refined to retain 43 items. The results also showed that the reliabilities of all the scales in the survey instrument are above the levels acceptable in current academic research, thus the instruments developed by us are capable of analyzing the factors in M-government adoption.
Paper Detail
830
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18
10004042
Quantitative Assessment of Different Formulations of Antimalarials in Sentinel Sites of India
Abstract:

Substandard and counterfeit antimalarials is a major problem in malaria endemic areas. The availability of counterfeit/ substandard medicines is not only decreasing the efficacy in patients, but it is also one of the contributing factors for developing antimalarial drug resistance. Owing to this, a pilot study was conducted to survey quality of drugs collected from different malaria endemic areas of India. Artesunate+Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (AS+SP), Artemether-Lumefantrine (AL), Chloroquine (CQ) tablets were randomly picked from public health facilities in selected states of India. The quality of antimalarial drugs from these areas was assessed by using Global Pharma Health Fund Minilab test kit. This includes physical/visual inspection and disintegration test. Thin-layer chromatography (TLC) was carried out for semi-quantitative assessment of active pharmaceutical ingredients. A total of 45 brands, out of which 21 were for CQ, 14 for AL and 10 for AS+SP were tested from Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), Mizoram, Meghalaya and Gujrat states. One out of 45 samples showed variable disintegration and retension factor. The variable disintegration and retention factor which would have been due to substandard quality or other factors including storage. However, HPLC analysis confirms standard active pharmaceutical ingredient, but may be due to humid temperature and moisture in storage may account for the observed result.

Paper Detail
733
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17
10004673
The Use Management of the Knowledge Management and the Information Technologies in the Competitive Strategy of a Self-Propelling Industry
Abstract:

This article presents the beginning of a wider study that intends to demonstrate how within organizations of the automotive industry from the city of Querétaro. Knowledge management and technological management are required, as well as people’s initiative and the interaction embedded at the interior of it, with the appropriate environment that facilitates information conversion with wide information technologies management (ITM) range. A company was identified for the pilot study of this research, where descriptive and inferential research information was obtained. The results of the pilot suggest that some respondents did noted entity the knowledge management topic, even if staffs have access to information technology (IT) that serve to enhance access to knowledge (through internet, email, databases, external and internal company personnel, suppliers, customers and competitors) data, this implicates that there are Knowledge Management (KM) problems. The data shows that academically well-prepared organizations normally do not recognize the importance of knowledge in the business, nor in the implementation of it, which at the end is a great influence on how to manage it, so that it should guide the company to greater in sight towards a competitive strategy search, given that the company has an excellent technological infrastructure and KM was not exploited. Cultural diversity is another factor that was observed by the staff.

Paper Detail
292
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16
10000985
Alignment between Understanding and Assessment Practice among Secondary School Teachers
Abstract:

This study aimed to identify the alignment of understanding and assessment practices among secondary school teachers. The study was carried out using quantitative descriptive study. The sample consisted of 164 teachers who taught Form 1 and 2 from 11 secondary schools in the district of North Kinta, Perak, Malaysia. Data were obtained from 164 respondents who answered Expectation Alignment Understanding and Practices of School Assessment (PEKDAPS) questionnaire. The data were analysed using SPSS 17.0+. The Cronbach’s alpha value obtained through PEKDAPS questionnaire pilot study was 0.86. The results showed that teachers' performance in PEKDAPS based on the mean value was less than 3, which means that perfect alignment does not occur between the understanding and practices of school assessment. Two major PEKDAPS sub-constructs of articulation across grade and age and usability of the system were higher than the moderate alignment of the understanding and practices of school assessment (Min=2.0). The content focused of PEKDAPs sub-constructs which showed lower than the moderate alignment of the understanding and practices of school assessment (Min=2.0). Another two PEKDAPS subconstructs of transparency and fairness and the pedagogical implications showed moderate alignment (2.0). The implications of the study is that teachers need to fully understand the importance of alignment among components of assessment, learning and teaching and learning objectives as strategies to achieve quality assessment process.

Paper Detail
1423
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15
10000751
The Effect of Fixing Kinesiology Tape onto the Plantar Surface during the Loading Phase of Gait
Abstract:

Precise capture of plantar 3D surface of the foot at the loading gait phases on rigid substrates was found to be valuable for the assessment of the physiology, health and problems of the feet. Photogrammetry, a precision 3D spatial data capture technique is suitable for this type of dynamic application. In this research, the technique is utilised to study the plantar deformation as a result of having a strip of kinesiology tape on the plantar surface during the loading phase of gait. For this pilot study, one healthy adult male subject was recruited under the University’s human research ethics guidelines for this preliminary study. The 3D plantar deformation data with and without applying the tape were analysed. The results and analyses are presented together with detailed findings.

Paper Detail
1339
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14
10000098
Why Do People Abandon Mobile Social Games? Using Candy Crush Saga as an Example
Abstract:

Mobile social games recently become extremely popular, spawning a whole new entertainment culture. However, mobile game players are fickle, quickly and easily picking up and abandoning games. This pilot study seeks to identify factors that influence users to discontinuing playing mobile social games. We identified three sacrifices which can prompt users to abandon games: monetary sacrifice, time sacrifice and privacy sacrifice. The results showed that monetary sacrifice has a greater impact than the other two factors in causing players to discontinue usage intention.

Paper Detail
2407
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13
10000391
Electromyography Activity of the Rectus Femoris and Biceps Femoris Muscles during Prostration and Squat Exercise
Abstract:

This paper investigates the activity of the rectus femoris (RF) and biceps femoris (BF) in healthy subjects during salat (prostration) and specific exercise (squat exercise) using electromyography (EMG). A group of undergraduates aged between 19 to 25 years voluntarily participated in this study. The myoelectric activity of the muscles were recorded and analyzed. The finding indicated that there were contractions of the muscles during the salat and exercise with almost same EMG’s level. From the result, Wilcoxon’s Rank Sum test showed significant difference between prostration and squat exercise (p<0.05) but the differences was very small; RF (8.63%MVC) and BF (11.43%MVC). Therefore, salat may be useful in strengthening exercise and also in rehabilitation programs for lower limb activities. This pilot study conducted initial research into the biomechanical responses of human muscles in various positions of salat.

Paper Detail
2113
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12
9997633
A South African Perspective on Self-Leadership Development for Women Engineering Students – A Pilot Study
Abstract:

Across the world, initiatives have been introduced to encourage women to enter into and remain in engineering fields. However, research has shown that many women leave engineering or suffer a loss of self-esteem and self-confidence compared to their male counterparts. To address this problem, a South African comprehensive university developed a self-leadership intervention pilot study in 2013, aimed at improving the self-efficacy of its female engineering students and increasing retention rates. This paper is a qualitative, descriptive, and interpretive study of the rationale and operational aspects of the Women in Engineering Leadership Association’s (WELA) self-leadership workshop. The objectives of this paper are to provide a framework for the design of a self-leadership workshop and to provide insight into the process of developing such a workshop specifically for women engineering students at a South African university. Finally, the paper proposes an evaluation process for the pilot workshop, which also provides a framework to improve future workshops. It is anticipated that the self-leadership development framework will be applicable to other higher education institutions wishing to improve women engineering student’s feelings of self-efficacy and therefore retention rates of women in engineering.

Paper Detail
1490
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11
17222
Feasibility of Risk Assessment for Type 2 Diabetes in Community Pharmacies Using Two Different Approaches: A Pilot Study in Thailand
Abstract:

Aims: To evaluate the application of non-invasive diabetes risk assessment tool in community pharmacy setting. Methods: Thai diabetes risk score was applied to assess individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Interactive computer-based risk screening (IT) and paper-based risk screening (PT) tools were applied. Participants aged over 25 years with no known diabetes were recruited in six participating pharmacies. Results: A total of 187 clients, mean aged (+SD) was 48.6 (+10.9) years. 35% were at high risk. The mean value of willingness-to-pay for the service fee in IT group was significantly higher than PT group (p=0.013). No significant difference observed for the satisfaction between groups. Conclusions: Non-invasive risk assessment tool, whether paper-based or computerized-based can be applied in community pharmacy to support the enhancing role of pharmacists in chronic disease management. Long term follow up is needed to determine the impact of its application in clinical, humanistic and economic outcomes.

Paper Detail
1506
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10
8465
The Corporate Integration of Highly Skilled Professionals - A Social Capital Perspective
Authors:
Abstract:
Not with standing the importance of foreign highly skilled professionals for host economies, there is a paucity of research studies investigating the role of the corporate social context during the integration process. This research aims to address this paucity by exploring the role of social capital in the integration of foreign health professionals. It does so by using a qualitative research approach. In this pilot study the hospital sector forms this study-s sample and interviews were conducted with HR managers, foreign health professionals and external HR consultants. It was found that most of the participating hospitals had not established specific HR practices and had only partly linked the development of organisational social capital with a successful integration process. This research contributes, for example, to the HR literature on the integration of self-initiated expatriates by analysing the role of HRM in generating organisational social capital needed for a successful integration process.
Paper Detail
1011
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9
7926
Evaluation and Analysis of Lean-Based Manufacturing Equipment and Technology System for Jordanian Industries
Abstract:
International markets driven forces are changing continuously, therefore companies need to gain a competitive edge in such markets. Improving the company's products, processes and practices is no longer auxiliary. Lean production is a production management philosophy that consolidates work tasks with minimum waste resulting in improved productivity. Lean production practices can be mapped into many production areas. One of these is Manufacturing Equipment and Technology (MET). Many lean production practices can be implemented in MET, namely, specific equipment configurations, total preventive maintenance, visual control, new equipment/ technologies, production process reengineering and shared vision of perfection.The purpose of this paper is to investigate the implementation level of these six practices in Jordanian industries. To achieve that a questionnaire survey has been designed according to five-point Likert scale. The questionnaire is validated through pilot study and through experts review. A sample of 350 Jordanian companies were surveyed, the response rate was 83%. The respondents were asked to rate the extent of implementation for each of practices. A relationship conceptual model is developed, hypotheses are proposed, and consequently the essential statistical analyses are then performed. An assessment tool that enables management to monitor the progress and the effectiveness of lean practices implementation is designed and presented. Consequently, the results show that the average implementation level of lean practices in MET is 77%, Jordanian companies are implementing successfully the considered lean production practices, and the presented model has Cronbach-s alpha value of 0.87 which is good evidence on model consistency and results validation.
Paper Detail
1598
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8
11430
School Design and Energy Efficiency
Authors:
Abstract:
Auckland has a temperate climate with comfortable warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. An Auckland school normally does not need air conditioning for cooling during the summer and only need heating during the winter. The space hating energy is the major portion of winter school energy consumption and the winter energy consumption is major portion of annual school energy consumption. School building thermal design should focus on the winter thermal performance for reducing the space heating energy. A number of Auckland schools- design data and energy consumption data are used for this study. This pilot study investigates the relationships between their energy consumption data and school building design data to improve future school design for energy efficiency.
Paper Detail
1287
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7
10478
Effects of Combined Stimulation on the Autonomic Nervous System: A Pilot Study
Abstract:
The autonomic nervous system has a regulatory structure that helps people adapt to changes in their environment by adjusting or modifying some functions in response to stress, and regulating involuntary function of human organs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of combined stimulation, both far-infrared heating and chiropractic, on the autonomic nervous system activities using thermal image and heart rate variability. Six healthy subjects participated in this test. We compared the before and after autonomic nervous system activities through obtaining thermal image and photoplethysmogram signal. The thermal images showed that the combined stimulation changed subject-s body temperature more highly and widely than before. The result of heart rate variability indicated that LF/HF ratio decreased. We concluded that combined stimulation activates autonomic nervous system, and expected other possibilities of this combined stimulation.
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1573
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6809
Physical Evaluation of Selected Malaysian National Rugby Players
Abstract:
Currently, there is no database or local norms for the physical performance of Malaysian rugby players. This database or norms are vital for Malaysian-s sports development as programs can be setup to improve the current status. This pilot study was conducted to evaluate the status of our semi professional rugby players. The rugby players were randomly selected from the Malaysian National team and several clubs in the Klang valley, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. 54 male rugby players (Age: 24.41 ± 4.06 years) were selected for this pilot study. Height, bodyweight, percentage body fat and body mass index (BMI) and several other physical tests were performed. Results from the BLEEP test revealed an average of level 9, shuttle 2 for the players. Interestingly, forwards were taller, heavier, and had lower maximal aerobic power than backs in the same team. In conclusion, the physical characteristics of the rugby players were much lower when compared to international players from other countries. From this pilot study, the physical performance of the Malaysian team must be improved in order to further develop the sports.
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2508
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6727
Pilot Study on the Impact of VLE on Mathematical Concepts Acquisition within Secondary Education in England
Abstract:

The research investigates the “impact of VLE on mathematical concepts acquisition of the special education needs (SENs) students at KS4 secondary education sector" in England. The overall aim of the study is to establish possible areas of difficulties to approach for above or below knowledge standard requirements for KS4 students in the acquisition and validation of basic mathematical concepts. A teaching period, in which virtual learning environment (Fronter) was used to emphasise different mathematical perception and symbolic representation was carried out and task based survey conducted to 20 special education needs students [14 actually took part]. The result shows that students were able to process information and consider images, objects and numbers within the VLE at early stages of acquisition process. They were also able to carry out perceptual tasks but with limiting process of different quotient, thus they need teacher-s guidance to connect them to symbolic representations and sometimes coach them through. The pilot study further indicates that VLE curriculum approaches for students were minutely aligned with mathematics teaching which does not emphasise the integration of VLE into the existing curriculum and current teaching practice. There was also poor alignment of vision regarding the use of VLE in realisation of the objectives of teaching mathematics by the management. On the part of teacher training, not much was done to develop teacher-s skills in the technical and pedagogical aspects of VLE that is in-use at the school. The classroom observation confirmed teaching practice will find a reliance on VLE as an enhancer of mathematical skills, providing interaction and personalisation of learning to SEN students.

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937
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1503
Methodology Issues and Design Approach of VLE on Mathematical Concepts Acquisition within Secondary Education in England
Abstract:

This study used positivist quantitative approach to examine the mathematical concepts acquisition of- KS4 (14-16) Special Education Needs (SENs) students within the school sector education in England. The research is based on a pilot study and the design is completely holistic in its approach with mixing methodologies. The study combines the qualitative and quantitative methods of approach in gathering formative data for the design process. Although, the approach could best be described as a mix method, fundamentally with a strong positivist paradigm, hence my earlier understanding of the differentiation of the students, student – teacher body and the various elements of indicators that is being measured which will require an attenuated description of individual research subjects. The design process involves four phases with five key stages which are; literature review and document analysis, the survey, interview, and observation; then finally the analysis of data set. The research identified the need for triangulation with Reid-s phases of data management providing scaffold for the study. The study clearly identified the ideological and philosophical aspects of educational research design for the study of mathematics by the special education needs (SENs) students in England using the virtual learning environment (VLE) platform.

Paper Detail
1314
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12131
A Pilot Study for the Optimization of Routes for Waste Collection Vehicles for the Göçmenköy District of Lefkoşa
Abstract:
A pilot project was carried out in 2007 by the senior students of Cyprus International University, aiming to minimize the total cost of waste collection in Northern Cyprus. Many developed and developing countries have cut their transportation costs – which lies between 30-40% – down at a rate of 40% percent, by implementing network models for their route assignments. Accordingly, a network model was implemented at Göçmenköy district, to optimize and standardize waste collection works. The work environment of the employees were also redesigned to provide maximum ergonomy and to increase productivity, efficiency and safety. Following the collection of the required data including waste densities, lengths of roads and population, a model was constructed to allocate the optimal route assignment for the waste collection trucks at Göçmenköy district.
Paper Detail
2180
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2
14957
Use of Persuasive Technology to Change End-Users- IT Security Aware Behaviour: A Pilot Study
Abstract:
Persuasive technology has been applied in marketing, health, environmental conservation, safety and other domains and is found to be quite effective in changing people-s attitude and behaviours. This research extends the application domains of persuasive technology to information security awareness and uses a theory-driven approach to evaluate the effectiveness of a web-based program developed based on the principles of persuasive technology to improve the information security awareness of end users. The findings confirm the existence of a very strong effect of the webbased program in raising users- attitude towards information security aware behavior. This finding is useful to the IT researchers and practitioners in developing appropriate and effective education strategies for improving the information security attitudes for endusers.
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1605
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3145
AudioMine: Medical Data Mining in Heterogeneous Audiology Records
Abstract:

We report on the results of a pilot study in which a data-mining tool was developed for mining audiology records. The records were heterogeneous in that they contained numeric, category and textual data. The tools developed are designed to observe associations between any field in the records and any other field. The techniques employed were the statistical chi-squared test, and the use of self-organizing maps, an unsupervised neural learning approach.

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1037
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