Teaching Science Content Area Literacy to 21st Century Learners

The use of new literacies within science classrooms needs to be balanced by teachers to both teach different forms of communication while assessing content area proficiency. Using new literacies such as Twitter and Facebook needs to be incorporated into science content area literacy studies in addition to continuing to use generally-accepted forms of scientific content area presentation which include scientific papers and textbooks. The research question this literature review seeks to answer is “What are some ways in which new forms of literacy are better suited to teach scientific content area literacy to 21st century learners?” The research question is addressed through a literature review that highlights methods currently being used to educate the next wave of learners in the world of science content area literacy. Both temporal discourse analysis (TDA) and critical discourse analysis (CDA) were used to determine the need to use new literacies to teach science content area literacy. Increased use of digital technologies and a change in science content area pedagogy were explored.

Piezoelectric Bimorph Harvester Based on Different Lead Zirconate Titanate Materials to Enhance Energy Collection

Nowadays, the increasing applicability of internet of things (IoT) systems has changed the way that the world around is perceived. The massive interconnection of systems by means of sensing, processing and communication, allows multitude of data to be at our fingertips. In this way, countless advances have been made in different fields such as personal care, predictive maintenance in industry, quality control in production processes, security, and in everything imaginable. However, all these electronic systems have in common the need to be electrically powered. In this context, batteries and wires are the most commonly used solutions, but they are not a definitive solution in some applications, because of the attainability, the serviceability, or the performance requirements. Therefore, the need arises to look for other types of solutions based on energy harvesting and long-life electronics. Energy Harvesting can be defined as the action of capturing energy from the environment and store it for an instantaneous use or later use. Among the materials capable of harvesting energy from the environment, such as thermoelectrics, electromagnetics, photovoltaics or triboelectrics, the most suitable is the piezoelectric material. The phenomenon of piezoelectricity is one of the most powerful sources for energy harvesting, ranging from a few micro wats to hundreds of wats, depending on certain factors such as material type, geometry, excitation frequency, mechanical and electrical configurations, among others. In this research work, an exhaustive study is carried out on how different types of piezoelectric materials and electrical configurations influence the maximum power that a bimorph harvester is able to extract from mechanical vibrations. A series of experiments has been carried out in which the manufactured bimorph specimens are excited under fixed inertial vibrational conditions. In addition, in order to evaluate the dependence of the maximum transferred power, different load resistors are tested. In this way, the pure active power that achieves the maximum power transfer can be approximated. In this paper, we present the design of low-cost energy harvesting solutions based on piezoelectric smart materials with tunable frequency. The results obtained show the differences in energy extraction between the PZT materials studied and their electrical configurations. The aim of this work is to gain a better understanding of the behavior of piezoelectric materials, and the design process of bimorph PZT harvesters to optimize environmental energy extraction.

Factors Affecting Employee Decision Making in an AI Environment

The decision-making process in humans is a complicated system influenced by a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Human decisions have a ripple effect on subsequent decisions. In this study, the scope of human decision making is limited to employees. In an organisation, a person makes a variety of decisions from the time they are hired to the time they retire. The goal of this research is to identify various elements that influence decision making. In addition, the environment in which a decision is made is a significant aspect of the decision-making process. Employees in today's workplace use artificial intelligence (AI) systems for automation and decision augmentation. The impact of AI systems on the decision-making process is examined in this study. This research is designed based on a systematic literature review. Based on gaps in the literature, limitations and the scope of future research have been identified. Based on these findings, a research framework has been designed to identify various factors affecting employee decision making. Employee decision making is influenced by technological advancement, data-driven culture, human trust, decision automation-augmentation and workplace motivation. Hybrid human-AI systems require development of new skill sets and organisational design. Employee psychological safety and supportive leadership influences overall job satisfaction.

Properties of Bacterial Nanocellulose for Scenic Arts

Kombucha (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) produces material capable of acquiring multiple shapes and textures that change significantly under different environment or temperature variations (e.g., when it is exposed to wet conditions), properties that may be explored in the scenic industry. This paper presents an analysis of its specific characteristics, exploring them as a non-conventional material for arts and performance. Costume Design uses surfaces as a powerful way of expression to represent concepts and stories; it may apply the unique features of nano bacterial cellulose (NBC) as assets in this artistic context. A mix of qualitative and quantitative (interventionist) methodology approaches were used such as review of relevant literature to deepen knowledge on the research topic (crossing bibliography from different fields of studies: biology, art, costume design, etc.); as well as descriptive methods: laboratorial experiments, document quantities, observation to identify material properties and possibilities used to express a multiple narrative ideas, concepts and feelings. The results confirmed that NBC is an interactive and versatile material viable to be used in an alternative scenic context; its unique aesthetic and performative qualities, which change in contact to moisture, are resources that can be used to show a visual and poetic impact on stage.

Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting, State Ownership, and Corporate Performance in China: Proof from Longitudinal Data of Publicly Traded Enterprises from 2006 to 2020

This paper offered the primary methodical proof on how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting related to enterprise earnings in listed firms in China in light of most evidence focusing on cross-sectional data or data in a short span of time. Using full economic and business panel data on China’s publicly listed enterprises from 2006 to 2020 over two decades in the China Stock Market & Accounting Research database, we found initial evidence of significant direct relations between CSR reporting and firm corporate performance in both state-owned and privately-owned firms over this period, supporting the stakeholder theory. Results also revealed that state-owned enterprises performed as well as private enterprises in the current period. But private enterprises performed better than state-owned enterprises in the subsequent years. Moreover, the release of social responsibility reports had the more significant impact on the financial performance of state-owned and private enterprises in the current period than in the subsequent periods. Specifically, CSR release was not significantly associated to the financial performance of state-owned enterprises on the lag of the first, second, and third periods. But it had an impact on the lag of the first, second, and third periods among private enterprises. Such findings suggested that CSR reporting helped improve the corporate financial performance of state-owned and private enterprises in the current period, but this kind of effect was more significant among private enterprises in the lag periods.

Multi-Sensor Image Fusion for Visible and Infrared Thermal Images

This paper is motivated by the importance of multi-sensor image fusion with specific focus on Infrared (IR) and Visible image (VI) fusion for various applications including military reconnaissance. Image fusion can be defined as the process of combining two or more source images into a single composite image with extended information content that improves visual perception or feature extraction. These images can be from different modalities like Visible camera & IR Thermal Imager. While visible images are captured by reflected radiations in the visible spectrum, the thermal images are formed from thermal radiation (IR) that may be reflected or self-emitted. A digital color camera captures the visible source image and a thermal IR camera acquires the thermal source image. In this paper, some image fusion algorithms based upon Multi-Scale Transform (MST) and region-based selection rule with consistency verification have been proposed and presented. This research includes implementation of the proposed image fusion algorithm in MATLAB along with a comparative analysis to decide the optimum number of levels for MST and the coefficient fusion rule. The results are presented, and several commonly used evaluation metrics are used to assess the suggested method's validity. Experiments show that the proposed approach is capable of producing good fusion results. While deploying our image fusion algorithm approaches, we observe several challenges from the popular image fusion methods. While high computational cost and complex processing steps of image fusion algorithms provide accurate fused results, but they also make it hard to become deployed in system and applications that require real-time operation, high flexibility and low computation ability. So, the methods presented in this paper offer good results with minimum time complexity.

Public-Private Partnership Transportation Projects: An Exploratory Study

When public transportation projects were delivered through design-bid-build and later design-build, governments found a serious issue: inadequate funding. With population growth, governments began to develop new arrangements in which the private sectors were involved to cut the financial burden. This arrangement, Public-Private Partnership (PPP), has its own risks; however, performance outputs can motivate or discourage its use. On top of such output are time and budget, which can be affected by the type of project delivery methods. Project completion within or ahead of schedule as well as within or under budget is among any owner’s objectives. With a higher application of PPP in the highway industry in the US and insufficient research, the current study addresses the schedule and cost performance of PPP highway projects and determines which one outperforms the other. To meet this objective, after collecting performance data of all PPP projects, schedule growth and cost growth are calculated, and finally, statistical analysis is conducted to evaluate the PPP performance. The results show that PPP highway projects on average have saved time and cost; however, the main benefit is a faster delivery rather than an under-budget completion. This study can provide better insights to understand PPP highways’ performance and assist practitioners in applying PPP for transportation projects with the opportunity to save time and cost.

Local Mechanical Analysis of Arch Foot of Space Y-Beam Arch Bridge

To study the local force characteristics of a spatial Y-arch bridge, a medium-bearing spatial Y-arch bridge is used as the object of study, and the finite element software FEA is used to establish a spatial finite element model and analyze the force conditions of the arch legs under different most unfavorable loading conditions. It is found that the forces on the arch foot under different conditions are mainly in the longitudinal direction and transverse direction, which should be considered for strengthening. The research results can provide reference for the design and construction of the same type of bridge.

Controlled Vocabularies and Information Retrieval: 1918 Pandemic’s Scientific Literature as an Example

The role of controlled vocabularies in information retrieval is broadly recognized as a relevant feature. Besides, there is a standing demand that editors and databases should consider the effective introduction of controlled vocabularies in their procedures to index scientific literature. That is especially important because information retrieval is pointed out as a significant point to drive systematic literature review. Hence, a first question emerges: Are the controlled vocabularies at this moment considered? On the other hand, subject searching in the catalogs is complex mainly due to the dichotomy between keywords from authors versus keywords based on controlled vocabularies. Finally, there is some demand to unify the terminology related to health to make easier the medical history exploitation and research. Considering these features, this paper focuses on controlled vocabularies related to the health field and their role for storing, classifying, and retrieving relevant literature. The objective is knowing which role plays the controlled vocabularies related to the health field to index and retrieve research literature in data bases such as Web of Science (WoS) and Scopus. So, this exploratory research is grounded over two research questions: 1) Which are the terms considered in specific controlled vocabularies of the health field; and 2) How papers are indexed in relevant databases to be easily retrieved, considering keywords vs specific health’ controlled vocabularies? This research takes as fieldwork the controlled vocabularies related to health and the scientific interest for 1918 flu pandemic, also known equivocally as ‘Spanish flu’. This interest has been fostered by the emergence in the early 21st of epidemics of pneumonic diseases caused by virus. Searches about and with controlled vocabularies on WoS and Scopus databases are conducted. First results of this work in progress are surprising. There are different controlled vocabularies for the health field, into which the terms collected and preferred related to ‘1918 pandemic’ are identified. To summarize, ‘Spanish influenza epidemic’ or ‘Spanish flu’ are collected as not preferred terms. The preferred terms are: ‘influenza’ or ‘influenza pandemic, 1918-1919’. Although the controlled vocabularies are clear in their election, most of the literature about ‘1918 pandemic’ is retrievable either by ‘Spanish’ or by ‘1918’ disjunct, and the dominant word to retrieve literature is ‘Spanish’ rather than ‘1918’. This is surprising considering the existence of suitable controlled vocabularies related to health topics, and the modern guidelines of World Health Organization concerning naming of diseases that point out to other preferred terms. A first conclusion is the failure of using controlled vocabularies for a field such as health, and in consequence for WoS and Scopus. This research opens further research questions about which is the role that controlled vocabularies play in the instructions to authors that journals deliver to documents’ authors.

Optimizing Data Evaluation Metrics for Fraud Detection Using Machine Learning

The use of technology has benefited society in more ways than one ever thought possible. Unfortunately, as society’s knowledge of technology has advanced, so has its knowledge of ways to use technology to manipulate others. This has led to a simultaneous advancement in the world of fraud. Machine learning techniques can offer a possible solution to help decrease these advancements. This research explores how the use of various machine learning techniques can aid in detecting fraudulent activity across two different types of fraudulent datasets, and the accuracy, precision, recall, and F1 were recorded for each method. Each machine learning model was also tested across five different training and testing splits in order to discover which split and technique would lead to the most optimal results.

The Psychological Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Non-Healthcare Migrant Workers in a Construction Company in Saudi Arabia

Introduction: The Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease was firstly reported in Asia at the end of 2019 and became a pandemic at the beginning of 2020. It resulted in a significant impact over the global economy and the health care systems around the world. The immediate measure adopted worldwide to contain the virus was mainly the lockdown and curfews. This certainly had an important impact on expats workers due to the financial insecurity, culture barrier and distance from the family. Saudi Arabia has one of the largest flows of foreign workers in the world and expats are the majority of the workforce. The aim of this essay was assessing the psychological impact of COVID-19 in non-health care expats living in Saudi Arabia. Methods: The study was conducted in a construction company in Riyadh with non-health care employees. The cross-sectional study protocol was approved by the company's executive management. Employees who verbally agreed to participate in the study were asked to anonymously answer a questionnaire validated for behavioral research (DASS-21). In addition, a second questionnaire was created to assess feelings and emotions. Results: More than a third of participants screened positive for one or more psychological symptoms (depression, anxiety and stress) on the DASS-21 scale. Moreover, it was observed an increase on negative feelings on the additional questionnaire. Conclusion: This study reveals an increase on negative feelings and psychological symptoms among non-health care migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of this, it is crucial to understand the emotional effects caused by the pandemic on migrant workers in order to create supportive and informative strategies minimizing the emotional impact on this vulnerable group.

The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Digital Forensics and Incident Response in a Constrained Environment

Digital investigators often have a hard time spotting evidence in digital information. It has become hard to determine which source of proof relates to a specific investigation. A growing concern is that the various processes, technology, and specific procedures used in the digital investigation are not keeping up with criminal developments. Therefore, criminals are taking advantage of these weaknesses to commit further crimes. In digital forensics investigations, artificial intelligence (AI) is invaluable in identifying crime. Providing objective data and conducting an assessment is the goal of digital forensics and digital investigation, which will assist in developing a plausible theory that can be presented as evidence in court. This research paper aims at developing a multiagent framework for digital investigations using specific intelligent software agents (ISAs). The agents communicate to address particular tasks jointly and keep the same objectives in mind during each task. The rules and knowledge contained within each agent are dependent on the investigation type. A criminal investigation is classified quickly and efficiently using the case-based reasoning (CBR) technique. The proposed framework development is implemented using the Java Agent Development Framework, Eclipse, Postgres repository, and a rule engine for agent reasoning. The proposed framework was tested using the Lone Wolf image files and datasets. Experiments were conducted using various sets of ISAs and VMs. There was a significant reduction in the time taken for the Hash Set Agent to execute. As a result of loading the agents, 5% of the time was lost, as the File Path Agent prescribed deleting 1,510, while the Timeline Agent found multiple executable files. In comparison, the integrity check carried out on the Lone Wolf image file using a digital forensic tool kit took approximately 48 minutes (2,880 ms), whereas the MADIK framework accomplished this in 16 minutes (960 ms). The framework is integrated with Python, allowing for further integration of other digital forensic tools, such as AccessData Forensic Toolkit (FTK), Wireshark, Volatility, and Scapy.

Applying Systematic Literature Review and Delphi Methods to Explore Digital Transformation Key Success Factors

Digital transformation is about identifying the necessary changes of the entire business model, rethinking how to transform the traditional operations into digital ones that can create better value to its customers. Efforts are common across industries, but they often fail due to a lack of understanding of the factors required to focus on and change to be able to embark in digital transformation successfully. Further research is required to bridge the knowledge gap between academia and industry to support companies starting their digital transformation journey. To date there is no consensus on digital transformation key success factors. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to identify the success factors in digital transformation journey, throughout conducting a systematic literature review of 134 peer-reviewed articles to get better insights regarding the research progress in this field.  After completing the systematic literature review it will be followed by Delphi study to get experts consensus on the most significant factors affecting digital transformation implementation. The findings indicate that organizations undergoing digital transformation should focus mainly on (1) well managed digital transformation activities; (2) digital business strategy; (3) supportive culture; (4) top management support; (5) organizational change capabilities.

Research on Traditional Rammed Earth Houses in Southern Zhejiang, China: Based on the Theory of Embeddedness

Zhejiang’s special geographical environment has created characteristic mountain dwellings with climate adaptability. Among them, the terrain of southern Zhejiang is dominated by mountainous and hilly landforms, and its traditional dwellings have distinctive characteristics. They are often adapted to local conditions and laid out in accordance with the mountains. In order to block the severe winter weather conditions, local traditional building materials such as rammed earth are mostly used. However, with the development of urbanization, traditional villages have undergone large-scale changes, gradually losing their original uniqueness. In order to solve this problem, this paper takes traditional villages around Baishanzu National Park in Zhejiang as an example and selects nine typical villages in Jingning County and Longquan, respectively. Based on field investigations, this paper extracts the environmental adaptability of local traditional rammed earth houses from the perspective of “geographical embeddedness”. And then combined with case analysis, the paper discusses the translation and development of its traditional architectural methods in contemporary rammed earth buildings in southern Zhejiang.

A Web-Based Mobile System for Promoting Agribusiness in Northern Nigeria

This research aimed at developing a web-based mobile system and figuring out a better understanding of how could “web-based mobile system supports farmers in Kebbi State”. Thus, by finding out the answers to the research questions, a conceptual framework of the entire system was implemented using Unified Modelling Language (UML). The work involved a review of existing research on web-based mobile technology for farmers in some countries and other geographical areas within Nigeria. This research explored how farmers in Northern Nigeria, especially in Kebbi state, make use of the web-based mobile system for agribusiness. Also, the benefits of using web-based mobile systems and the challenges farmers face using such systems were examined. Considering the dynamic nature of theory of information and communication technology; this research employed survey and focus group discussion (FGD) methods. Stratified, random, purposive, and convenience sampling techniques were adopted to select the sample. A questionnaire and FGD guide were used to collect data. The survey finds that most of the Kebbi state farms use their alternative medium to get relevant information for their agribusiness. Also, the research reveals that using a web-based mobile system can benefit farmers significantly. Finally, the study has successfully developed and implemented the proposed system using mobile technology in addition to the framework design.

Time Organization for Urban Mobility Decongestion: A Methodology for People’s Profile Identification

Quality of life, environmental impact, congestion of mobility means, and infrastructures remain significant challenges for urban mobility. Solutions like car sharing, spatial redesign, eCommerce, and autonomous vehicles will likely increase the unit veh-km and the density of cars in urban traffic, thus reducing congestion. However, the impact of such solutions is not clear for researchers. Congestion arises from growing populations that must travel greater distances to arrive at similar locations (e.g., workplaces, schools) during the same time frame (e.g., rush hours). This paper first reviews the research and application cases of urban congestion methods through recent years. Rethinking the question of time, it then investigates people’s willingness and flexibility to adapt their arrival and departure times from workplaces. We use neural networks and methods of supervised learning to apply a methodology for predicting peoples’ intentions from their responses in a questionnaire. We created and distributed a questionnaire to more than 50 companies in the Paris suburb. Obtained results illustrate that our methodology can predict peoples’ intentions to reschedule their activities (work, study, commerce, etc.).

Online Think–Pair–Share in a Third-Age ICT Course

Problem: Senior citizens have been facing a challenging reality as a result of strict public health measures designed to protect people from the COVID-19 outbreak. These include the risk of social isolation due to the inability of the elderly to integrate with technology. Never before have Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills become essential for their everyday life. Although third-age ICT education and lifelong learning are widely supported by universities and governments, there is a lack of literature on which teaching strategy/methodology to adopt in an entirely online ICT course aimed at third-age learners. This contribution aims to present an application of the Think-Pair-Share (TPS) learning method in an ICT third-age virtual classroom with an intergenerational approach to conducting online group labs and review activities. Research Question: Is collaborative learning suitable and effective, in terms of student engagement and learning outcomes, in an online ICT course for the elderly? Methods: In the TPS strategy a problem is posed by the teacher, students have time to think about it individually, and then they work in pairs (or small groups) to solve the problem and share their ideas with the entire class. We performed four experiments in the ICT course of the University of the Third Age of Genova (University of Genova, Italy) on the Microsoft Teams platform. The study cohort consisted of 26 students over the age of 45. Data were collected through online questionnaires. Two have been proposed, one at the end of the first activity and another at the end of the course. They consisted of five and three close-ended questions, respectively. The answers were on a Likert scale (from 1 to 4) except two questions (which asked the number of correct answers given individually and in groups) and the field for free comments/suggestions. Results: Groups achieve better results than individual students (with scores greater than one order of magnitude) and most students found TPS helpful to work in groups and interact with their peers. Insights: From these early results, it appears that TPS is suitable for an online third-age ICT classroom and useful for promoting discussion and active learning. Despite this, our work has several limitations. First of all, the results highlight the need for more data to be able to perform a statistical analysis in order to determine the effectiveness of this methodology in terms of student engagement and learning outcomes as future direction.

The Reintegration of the Past as Self-Realisation: Zhao Tao in Jia Zhangke’s Films

This article examines the figure Zhao Tao in Jia Zhangke’s films in light of Carl Jung’s psychoanalytical theory. Zhao is a recurring aesthetic trope in Jia’s films, and the characters she plays often have an intimate relationship with the past. Nevertheless, this relationship has not been systematically investigated, especially its symbolism of the typical relationship between the past and the self in post-social China. To fill this research gap, the article will explore how Zhao’s characters discover, preserve, and adapt the past in I Wish I knew (2010), Mountains May Depart (2015), and Ash Is Purest White (2018). Through a Jungian lens, these three levels of engagement with the past will be demonstrated as corresponding with Jung’s psychoanalytical theory of self-realisation, which entails the confrontation with the shadow, the embodiment of the archetype, and individuation. Thus, by articulating a film-philosophy dialogue between Jia and Jung, this article will develop a philosophy of self-realisation based on the symbolism of Zhao. Through the reintegration of the past, the individuals can overcome the fragmentation of temporality and selfhood in the postmodern world and achieve self-realisation.

Director Compensation, CEO Duality, State Ownership, and Firm Performance in China: Proof from Panel Data of Publicly Listed Enterprises from 1999 to 2020

This paper offered the primary methodical proof on how director remuneration related to enterprise earnings in listed firms in China in light of most evidence focusing on cross-sectional data or data in a short span of time. Using full economic and business panel data on China’s publicly listed enterprise from 1999 to 2020 over two decades in the China Stock Market & Accounting Research database, we found statistically significant positive associations between director pay and firm performance in privately owned firms over this period, supporting the agency theory. In contrast, among the state-owned enterprises, there was a reverse relation between director compensation and firm financial performance, contributing to the existing literature. But the results also revealed that state-owned enterprises financially performed as well as private enterprises. Such findings suggested that state ownership might line up officials’ career incentives with party prime concern rather than pecuniary incentives. Also, CEO duality enhanced firm performance. As such, allegiance to the party and possible advancement to an upper-level political position would motivate company directors in state-owned enterprises. On the other hand, directors in privately owned enterprises might be motivated by monetary incentives. In addition, a statistical regression model was proposed and tested to get the results of the performance of state-owned enterprises. Finally, some suggestions were made about how to improve the institutional management of government-owned corporations in China.

Government of Ghana’s Budget: Its Functions, Coverage, Classification, and Integration with Chart of Accounts

Government budgets are the primary instruments for formulating and implementing a country’s fiscal policy objectives, development priorities, and the overall socio-economic aspirations of its people. Thus, in this paper, the author examined the Government of Ghana’s budgets with respect to their functions, coverage, classifications, and integration with the country’s chart of accounts. The author did so by amalgamating the research findings of extant literature with (a) the operational and procedural guidelines underpinning the formulation and execution of the government’s budgets; (b) the recommendations made by various development partners and thinktanks on reforming the country’s budgeting processes and procedures; and (c) the lessons Ghana could learn from the budget reform efforts of other countries. By way of research findings, the paper showed that the Government of Ghana’s budgets in terms of function are both eclectic and multidimensional. On coverage, the paper showed that the country’s budgets duly cover the revenues and expenditures of the general government (i.e., both the central and sub-national governments). Finally, on classifications, the paper noted with delight the Government of Ghana’s effort in providing classificatory codes to both its national development agenda and such international development goals as the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. However, the paper found some significant lapses that require a complete overhaul and structuring on the integrations of its budget classifications with its chart of accounts. Thus, the paper concluded with a detailed examination of the challenges confronting the country’s current chart of accounts and recommendations for addressing them.