Abstract: The global warming crisis forced humans to consider their place in the world and the earth's future. In this regard, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a significant step towards protecting the environment. By identifying factors that influence people's behavior intentions toward using EVs, we proposed a theoretical model by extending the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), including three more concepts, Subjective Norm (SN), Self-Efficacy (SE), and Perceived Behavior Control (PBC). The study was conducted in South Korea, and a random sample was taken at a specific time. In order to collect data, a questionnaire was created in a Google Form and sent via Kakao Talk, a popular social media application used in Korea. There were about 220 participants in this survey. However, 201 surveys were completely done. The findings revealed that all factors in the TAM model and the other added concepts such as SNs, SE and PBC significantly affect the behavioral intention of using EVs.
Abstract: Background: Stroke is a disabling neurological disease. Rehabilitative therapies are important treatment methods. This clinical trial was done to compare the effects of virtual reality (VR) beside conventional rehabilitation versus conventional rehabilitation alone on the spasticity and motor function in stroke patients. Materials and methods: In this open-label randomized controlled clinical trial, 40 consecutive patients with stable first-ever ischemic stroke in the past three to 12 months that were referred to a rehabilitation clinic in Tehran, Iran in 2020 were enrolled. After signing the informed written consent form, subjects were randomly assigned by block randomization of five in each block as cases with 1:1 into two groups of 20 cases; conventional plus VR therapy group: 45-minute conventional therapy session plus 15-minute VR therapy, and conventional group: 60-minute conventional therapy session. VR rehabilitation is designed and developed with different stages. Outcomes were Modified Ashworth scale, Recovery Stage score for motor function, range of motion (ROM) of shoulder abduction/wrist extension, and patients’ satisfaction rate. Data were compared after study termination. Results: The satisfaction rate among the patients was significantly better in combination group (P = 0.003). Only wrist extension was varied between groups and was better in combination group. The variables generally had statistically significant difference (P < 0.05). Conclusion: VR plus conventional rehabilitation therapy is superior versus conventional rehabilitation alone on the wrist and elbow spasticity and motor function in patients with stroke.
Abstract: Entrepreneurship is an essential source of economic growth and a prominent factor influencing socio-economic development. Entrepreneurship education educates and enhances entrepreneurial activity. This study aims to understand current trends in entrepreneurship education and evaluate the effectiveness of diverse entrepreneurship education programs. An increasing number of universities offer entrepreneurship education courses to create and successfully continue entrepreneurial ventures. Despite the prevalence of entrepreneurship education, research studies lack inconsistency about the effectiveness of entrepreneurship education to promote and develop entrepreneurship. Strategies to develop entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions among individuals are hindered by a lack of understanding of entrepreneurs' educational purposes, components, methodology, and resources required. Lack of adequate entrepreneurship education has been linked with low self-efficacy and lack of entrepreneurial intent. Moreover, in the age of digitisation and during the COVID-19 pandemic, digital learning platforms (e.g. online entrepreneurship education courses and programs) and other digital tools (e.g. digital game-based entrepreneurship education) have become more relevant to entrepreneurship education. This paper contributes to the continuation of academic literature in entrepreneurship education by evaluating and assessing current trends in entrepreneurship education programs, leading to better understanding to reduce gaps between entrepreneurial development requirements and higher education institutions.
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have given their courses. From emergency remote where all students and faculty were immediately confined to home teaching and learning, the continuing evolving sanitary situation obliged HEIs to adopt other methods of teaching and learning from blended courses that included both synchronous and asynchronous courses and activities to HyFlex models where some students were on campus while others followed the course simultaneously online. Each semester brought new challenges for HEIs and, subsequently, additional emotional reactions. This paper investigates the affective side of teaching and learning in various online modalities and its toll on students and faculty members over the past three semesters. The findings confirm that students and faculty who have more self-efficacy, flexibility, and resilience reported positive emotions and embraced the opportunities that these past semesters have offered. While HEIs have begun a new semester in an attempt to return to ‘normal’ face-to-face courses, this paper posits that there are lessons to be learned from these past three semesters. The opportunities that arose from the challenge of the pandemic should be considered when moving forward by focusing on a greater emphasis on the affective aspect of teaching and learning in HEIs worldwide.
Abstract: Developing new medicine and health solutions and improving patient health currently rely on the successful execution of clinical trials, which generate relevant safety and efficacy data. For their success, recruitment and retention of participants are some of the most challenging aspects of protocol adherence. Main barriers include: i) lack of awareness of clinical trials; ii) long distance from the clinical site; iii) the burden on participants, including the duration and number of clinical visits, and iv) high dropout rate. Most of these aspects could be addressed with a new paradigm, namely the Remote Decentralized Clinical Trials (RDCTs). Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted additional advantages and challenges for RDCTs in practice, allowing participants to join trials from home and not depending on site visits, etc. Nevertheless, RDCTs should follow the process and the quality assurance of conventional clinical trials, which involve several processes. For each part of the trial, the Building Blocks, existing software and technologies were assessed through a systematic search. The technology needed to perform RDCTs is widely available and validated but is yet segmented and developed in silos, as different software solutions address different parts of the trial and at various levels. The current paper is analyzing the availability of technology to perform RDCTs, identifying gaps and providing an overview of Basic Building Blocks and functionalities that need to be covered to support the described processes.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a low-cost filter regarding per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS is a commonly used man-made chemical that can be found in a variety of household and industrial products with deleterious effects on humans. The filter consists of a combination of low-cost materials which could be locally procured. Water testing results for 4 different PFAS contaminants indicated that for Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) regulation is 7 ppt, the initial concentration was 15 ppt, and the final concentration was 3.9 ppt. For Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), the ATSDR regulation is 10.5 ppt, the initial concentration was 15 ppt, and the final concentration was 3.9 ppt. For Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the ATSDR regulation is 11 ppt, the initial concentration was 15 ppt, and the final concentration was 3.9 ppt. For Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), the ATSDR regulation is 70 ppt, the initial concentration was 15 ppt, and the final concentration was 3.9 ppt. The results indicated a 74% reduction in PFAS concentration in filtered samples. Statistical data through regression analysis showed 0.9 validity of the sample data. Initial tests show the efficiency of the proposed filter described could be far greater if tested at a greater scale. It is highly recommended further testing to be conducted to validate the data for an innovative solution to a ubiquitous problem.
Abstract: Sea-level rise being one of the most important impacts of anthropogenic induced climate change resulting from global warming and melting of icebergs at Arctic and Antarctic, the investigations done by various researchers both on Indian Coast and elsewhere during the last decade has been reviewed in this paper. The paper aims to ascertain the propensity of consistency of different suggested methods to predict the near-accurate future sea level rise along the coast of Mumbai. Case studies at East Coast, Southern Tip and West and South West coast of India have been reviewed. Coastal Vulnerability Index of several important international places has been compared, which matched with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecasts. The application of Geographic Information System mapping, use of remote sensing technology, both Multi Spectral Scanner and Thematic Mapping data from Landsat classified through Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Technique for arriving at high, moderate and low Coastal Vulnerability Index at various important coastal cities have been observed. Instead of data driven, hindcast based forecast for Significant Wave Height, additional impact of sea level rise has been suggested. Efficacy and limitations of numerical methods vis-à-vis Artificial Neural Network has been assessed, importance of Root Mean Square error on numerical results is mentioned. Comparing between various computerized methods on forecast results obtained from MIKE 21 has been opined to be more reliable than Delft 3D model.
Abstract: The availability of public transportation modes and qualitative infrastructure is a burning issue that affects urban sustainability. Public transportation is indispensable in providing adequate transportation means to people at an affordable price, and it promotes public transport reliance. Burgersfort town has a critical condition on the urban public transportation infrastructure which affects the bus and taxi public transport modes and the existing infrastructure. The municipality is regarded as one of the mining towns in Limpopo Province considering the availability of mining activities and proposal on establishment of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The study aim is to assess the efficacy of current public transportation infrastructure and to propose relevant recommendations that will unlock the possibility of future supportable public transportation systems. The Key Informant Interview (KII) was used to acquire data on the views from commuters and stakeholders involved. There KII incorporated three relevant questions in relation to services rendered in public transportation. Relevant literature relating to public transportation modes and infrastructure revealed the imperatives of public transportation infrastructure, and relevant legislation was reviewed concerning public transport infrastructure. The finding revealed poor conditions on the public transportation ranks and also inadequate parking space for public transportation modes. The study reveals that 100% of people interviewed were not satisfied with the condition of public transportation infrastructure and 100% are not satisfied with the services offered by public transportation sectors. The findings revealed that the municipality is the main player who can upgrade the existing conditions of public transportation. The study recommended that an intermodal transportation facility must be established to resolve the emerging challenges.
Abstract: Lesson study is used as an instructional technique to promote both student and faculty learning. However, little is known about the usefulness of learning communities in supporting results of lesson study on the self-efficacy and development for tenure-track faculty. This study investigated the impact of participation in a lesson study learning community on 34 new faculty members at a mid-size Midwestern University, specifically regarding implementing lesson study evaluations by new faculty on their reported self-efficacy. Results indicate that participation in a lesson study learning community significantly increased faculty members’ lesson study self-efficacy as well as grant and manuscript production over one academic year. Suggestions for future lesson study around faculty learning communities are discussed.
Abstract: This study examined the association between creative performance, organizational climate and leadership, affectivity, shared flow, and group decision making. The sample consisted of 315 cadets of a military academic unit of South America. Satisfaction with the decision-making process during a creative task was associated with the usefulness and effectiveness of the ideas generated by the teams with a weighted average correlation of r = .18. Organizational emotional climate, positive and innovation leadership were associated with this group decision-making process r = .25, with shared flow, r = .29 and with positive affect felt during the performance of the creative task, r = .12. In a sequential mediational analysis positive organizational leadership styles were significantly associated with decision-making process and trough cohesion with utility and efficacy of the solution of a creative task. Satisfactory decision-making was related to shared flow during the creative task at collective or group level, and positive affect with flow at individual level.This study examined the association between creative performance, organizational climate and leadership, affectivity, shared flow, and group decision making. The sample consisted of 315 cadets of a military academic unit of South America. Satisfaction with the decision-making process during a creative task was associated with the usefulness and effectiveness of the ideas generated by the teams with a weighted average correlation of r = .18. Organizational emotional climate, positive and innovation leadership were associated with this group decision-making process r = .25, with shared flow, r = .29 and with positive affect felt during the performance of the creative task, r = .12. In a sequential mediational analysis positive organizational leadership styles were significantly associated with decision-making process and trough cohesion with utility and efficacy of the solution of a creative task. Satisfactory decision-making was related to shared flow during the creative task at collective or group level, and positive affect with flow at individual level.
Abstract: Effective cybersecurity training is of the utmost importance, given the plethora of attacks that continue to increase in complexity and ubiquity. VR cybersecurity training remains a starkly understudied discipline. Studies that evaluated the effectiveness of VR cybersecurity training over traditional methods are required. An engaging and interactive platform can support knowledge retention of the training material. Consequently, an effective form of cybersecurity training is required to support a culture of cybersecurity awareness. Measurements of effectiveness varied throughout the studies, with surveys and observations being the two most utilized forms of evaluating effectiveness. Further research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of VR cybersecurity training and traditional training. Additionally, research for evaluating if VR cybersecurity training is more effective than traditional methods is vital. This paper proposes a methodology to compare the two cybersecurity training methods and their effectiveness. The proposed framework includes developing both VR and traditional cybersecurity training methods and delivering them to at least 100 users. A quiz along with a survey will be administered and statistically analyzed to determine if there is a difference in knowledge retention and user satisfaction. The aim of this paper is to bring attention to the need to study VR cybersecurity training and its effectiveness compared to traditional training methods. This paper hopes to contribute to the cybersecurity training field by providing an effective way to train users for security awareness. If VR training is deemed more effective, this could create a new direction for cybersecurity training practices.
Abstract: The efficacy of two essential oils applied as a bean seed dressing followed by seedlings foliar spray with four commercial disinfectants against root rot and wilt incidence was evaluated under field conditions. The essential oils, grape seed and peppermint oils and the disinfectants, Gold, Revarest, Klenva, Malva were applied. Chitosan and the fungicide Topsin-M were used as comparison treatment. Essential oils individually or combined with disinfectants were applied as a bean seed dressing. Furthermore, emerged bean plants were sprayed with the same treatments. Under laboratory conditions, growth inhibition effect was observed for the isolated, tested fungi R. solani and F. oxysporum when exposed to essential oils individually or combined with disinfectants. A high inhibitor effect was recorded for peppermint followed by grape seed oils. Concentrations of 1% and 2% of chitosan as well as Topsin M at 400 ppm showed complete reduction (100%) in the two fungal growths. Under field conditions, the obtained results showed that the applied treatments of chitosan had a superior effect on root rot and wilt disease incidence compared with other tested treatments. It was found that seed coating treatment provides good protection of emerged green bean seeds against the root pathogens attack compared with the fungicide and control treatments. Also, the application of seed dressing with essential oils accompanied by seedling spray demonstrated similar results. It was observed that essential oils had an enhancing effect against disease incidence when combined with disinfectants compared with their application. The obvious yield increase was significantly higher in all applied treatments than in fungicide and control.
Abstract: The study discussed in this article sought to assess whether a sense of professional efficacy mediates the relationship between personal factors and career adaptability. A quantitative cross-sectional survey approach was followed. A non–probability sample of (N = 409) of which predominantly early career and permanently employed black females in call centres in Africa participated in this study. In order to assess personal factors, the participants completed sense of meaningfulness and emotional intelligence measures. Measures of professional efficacy and career adaptability were also completed. The results of the mediational analysis revealed that professional efficacy significantly mediates the meaningfulness (sense of coherence) and career adaptability relationship, but not the emotional intelligence–career adaptability relationship. Call centre agents with professional efficacy are likely to be more work engaged as a result of their sense of meaningfulness and emotional intelligence.
Abstract: Physical Computing, as an instructional model, is applied in the framework of the Engineering Pedagogy to teach “transversal/cross-cutting ideas” in a STEM content approach. Labview and Arduino were used in order to connect the physical world with real data in the framework of the so called Computational Experiment. Tertiary prospective engineering educators were engaged during their course and Computational Thinking (CT) concepts were registered before and after the intervention across didactic activities using validated questionnaires for the relationship between self-efficacy, computer programming, and CT concepts when STEM content epistemology is implemented in alignment with the Computational Pedagogy model. Results show a significant change in students’ responses for self-efficacy for CT before and after the instruction. Results also indicate a significant relation between the responses in the different CT concepts/practices. According to the findings, STEM content epistemology combined with Physical Computing should be a good candidate as a learning and teaching approach in university settings that enhances students’ engagement in CT concepts/practices.
Abstract: This study aimed to investigate the level of secondary school students’ information literacy in China and examine the contribution of school and teacher level factors on students’ information literacy between rural and urban schools. A total of 598 schools, 56415 students and 18286 teachers participated in this study. The findings of this study were as follows: (1) the overall of secondary schools students’ information literacy only reached an average level and urban school students’ information literacy were significantly higher than that of rural school students; (2) In rural schools, teachers’ ICT collaboration was a positive predictor for students’ information literacy, while teachers’ ICT use for learning was identified as a negative predictor of students’ information literacy; (3) In urban schools, ICT management, ICT operation and teachers’ ICT self-efficacy were found to be significantly associated with students’ information literacy. Based on the findings, suggestions for improving students’ information literacy between rural and urban schools were discussed.
Abstract: Chlorophytum borivillianum root extract (CBE) was chosen as a reducing agent to fabricate silver nanoparticles with the aim of studying its radioprotective efficacy. The formation of synthesized nanoparticles was characterized by UV–visible analysis (UV–vis), Fourier transform infra-red (FT-IR), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Scanning electron microscope (SEM). TEM analysis showed particles size in the range of 20-30 nm. For this study, Swiss albino mice were selected from inbred colony and were divided into 4 groups: group I- control (irradiated-6 Gy), group II- normal (vehicle treated), group III- plant extract alone and group IV- CB-AgNPs (dose of 50 mg/kg body wt./day) administered orally for 7 consecutive days before irradiation to serve as experimental. CB-AgNPs pretreatment rendered significant increase in body weight and testes weight at various post irradiation intervals in comparison to irradiated group. Supplementation of CB-AgNPs reversed the adverse effects of gamma radiation on biochemical parameters as it notably ameliorated the elevation in lipid peroxidation and decline in glutathione concentration in testes. These observations indicate the radio-protective potential of CB-AgNPs in testicular constituents against gamma irradiation in mice.
Abstract: White grub (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is a major destructive pest in western Himalayan region of Uttarakhand. Beetles feed on apple, apricot, plum, walnut etc. during night while, second and third instar grubs feed on live roots of cultivated as well as non-cultivated crops. Collection and identification of scarab beetles through light trap was carried out at Crop Research Centre, Govind Ballab Pant University Pantnagar, Udham Singh Nagar (Uttarakhand) during 2018. Field trials were also conducted in 2018 to evaluate pre and post sown application of different insecticides against the white grub infesting soybean. The insecticides like Carbofuran 3 Granule (G) (750 g a.i./ha), Clothianidin 50 Water Dispersal Granule (WG) (120 g a.i./ha), Fipronil 0.3 G (50 g a.i./ha), Thiamethoxam 25 WG (80 g a.i./ha), Imidacloprid 70 WG (300 g a.i./ha), Chlorantraniliprole 0.4% G(100 g a.i./ha) and mixture of Fipronil 40% and Imidacloprid 40% WG (300 g a.i./ha) were applied at the time of sowing in pre sown experiment while same dosage of insecticides were applied in standing soybean crop during (first fortnight of July). Commutative plant mortality data were recorded after 20, 40, 60 days intervals and compared with untreated control. Total 23 species of white grub beetles recorded on the light trap and Holotrichia serrata Fabricious (Coleoptera: Melolonthinae) was found to be predominant species by recording 20.6% relative abundance out of the total light trap catch (i.e. 1316 beetles) followed by Phyllognathus sp. (14.6% relative abundance). H. rosettae and Heteronychus lioderus occupied third and fourth rank with 11.85% and 9.65% relative abundance, respectively. The emergence of beetles of predominant species started from 15th March, 2018. In April, average light trap catch was 382 white grub beetles, however, peak emergence of most of the white grub species was observed from June to July, 2018 i.e. 336 beetles in June followed by 303 beetles in the July. On the basis of the emergence pattern of white grub beetles, it may be concluded that the Peak Emergence Period (PEP) for the beetles of H. serrata was second fortnight of April for the total period of 15 days. In May, June and July relatively low population of H. serrata was observed. A decreasing trend in light trap catch was observed and went on till September during the study. No single beetle of H. serrata was observed on light trap from September onwards. The cumulative plant mortality data in both the experiments revealed that all the insecticidal treatments were significantly superior in protection-wise (6.49-16.82% cumulative plant mortality) over untreated control where highest plant mortality was 17.28 to 39.65% during study. The mixture of Fipronil 40% and Imidacloprid 40% WG applied at the rate of 300 g a.i. per ha proved to be most effective having lowest plant mortality i.e. 9.29 and 10.94% in pre and post sown crop, followed by Clothianidin 50 WG (120 g a.i. per ha) where the plant mortality was 10.57 and 11.93% in pre and post sown treatments, respectively. Both treatments were found significantly at par among each other. Production-wise, all the insecticidal treatments were found statistically superior (15.00-24.66 q per ha grain yields) over untreated control where the grain yield was 8.25 & 9.13 q per ha. Treatment Fipronil 40% + Imidacloprid 40% WG applied at the rate of 300 g a.i. per ha proved to be most effective and significantly superior over Imidacloprid 70WG applied at the rate of 300 g a.i. per ha.
Abstract: This study investigated factors that influence mathematics achievement based on a sample of ninth-grade students (N = 21,444) from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS09). Key aspects studied included efficacy in mathematics, interest and enjoyment of mathematics, identity with mathematics and future utility beliefs and how these influence mathematics achievement. The predictability of mathematics achievement based on these factors was assessed using correlation coefficients and multiple linear regression. Spearman rank correlations and multiple regression analyses indicated positive and statistically significant relationships between the explanatory variables: mathematics efficacy, identity with mathematics, interest in and future utility beliefs with the response variable, achievement in mathematics.
Abstract: Mental health in higher education has received increasing attention over the past few decades. The high academic demands of the engineering degree, coupled with students’ mental health challenges, have led to higher education institutions offering psychotherapeutic services to students. This paper discusses an evaluation of the psychotherapy service at the University of Cape Town. The aim was to determine (i) the efficacy of the service; and (ii) the impact of race, gender, and language of the therapist on the students’ therapeutic process. An online survey was sent to 109 students who attended psychotherapy. The majority expressed favorable experiences of psychotherapy, with reports of increased capacity to engage with their academic work. Most students did not experience the gender, race, or language of the psychologists to be barriers to their therapy. The findings point to a need for ongoing psychological support for students.
Abstract: Educational technology is changing the way how students engage and interact with learning materials. This improved the learning process amongst various subjects. Virtual Reality (VR) applications are considered one of the evolving methods that have contributed to enhancing medical education. This paper utilizes VR to provide a solution to improve the delivery of the subject of Embryology to medical students, and facilitate the teaching process by providing a useful aid to lecturers, whilst proving the effectiveness of this new technology in this particular area. After evaluating the current teaching methods and identifying students ‘needs, a VR system was designed that demonstrates in an interactive fashion the development of the human embryo from fertilization to week ten of intrauterine development. This system aims to overcome some of the problems faced by the students’ in the current educational methods, and to increase the efficacy of the learning process.