Abstract: For successful re-integration, the individual offender must adapt and transform, which requires that the offender should adopt and internalise socially approved norms, attitudes, values, and beliefs. However, the offender’s labelling and community stigmatisation decide the destination of the offender. Community involvement in ex-offenders’ re-integration is an important issue in efforts to reduce recidivism and to control overcrowding in our correctional facilities. Crime is a social problem that requires society to come together to fight against it. This study was conducted in the Limpopo Province in Vhembe District Municipality within four local municipalities, namely Musina, Makhado, Mutale, and Thulamela. A total number of 30 participants were interviewed, and all were members of the Community Corrections Forums. This was necessitated by the fact that Musina is a very small area, which compelled the Department of Correctional Services to combine the two (Musina and Makhado) into one social re-integration entity. This is a qualitative research study where participants were selected through the use of purposive sampling. Participants were selected based on the value they would add to this study in order to achieve the objectives. The data collection method of this study was the focus group, which comprised of three groups of 10 participants each. Thulamela and Mutale local municipalities formed a group with (10) participants each, whereas Musina (2) and Makhado (8) formed another. Results indicate that the current situation is not conducive for re-integration to be successful. Participants raised many factors that need serious redress, namely offenders’ discrimination, lack of forgiveness by members of the community, which is fuelled by lack of community awareness due to the failure of the Department of Correctional Services in educating communities on ex-offenders’ re-integration.
Abstract: With the development of information technology in China, network consumption is becoming more and more popular. As a special group, college students have a high degree of education and distinct opinions and personalities. In the future, the key groups of network consumption have gradually become the focus groups of network consumption. Studying college students’ online consumption behavior has important theoretical significance and practical value. Based on the Stimulus-Organism-Response (SOR) driving model and the structural equation model, this paper establishes the influencing factors model of College students’ online consumption behavior, evaluates and amends the model by using SPSS and AMOS software, analyses and determines the positive factors of marketing college students’ consumption, and provides an effective basis for guiding and promoting college student consumption.
Abstract: Thoughtful intelligence offers a sustainable position to enhance the influence of decision-makers. Thoughtful Intelligence implies the understanding to realize the impact of one’s thoughts, words and actions on the survival, dignity and development of the individuals, groups and nations. Thoughtful intelligence has received minimal consideration in the area of Decision Support Systems, with an end goal to evaluate the quantity of knowledge and its viability. This pattern degraded the imbibed contribution of thoughtful intelligence required for sustainable decision making. Given the concern, this paper concentrates on the question: How to present a model of Thoughtful Decision Support System (TDSS)? The aim of this paper is to appreciate the concepts of thoughtful intelligence and insinuate a Decision Support System based on thoughtful intelligence. Thoughtful intelligence includes three dynamic competencies: i) Realization about long term impacts of decisions that are made in a specific time and space, ii) A great sense of taking actions, iii) Intense interconnectivity with people and nature and; seven associate competencies, of Righteousness, Purposefulness, Understanding, Contemplation, Sincerity, Mindfulness, and Nurturing. The study utilizes two methods: Focused group discussion to count prevailing Decision Support Systems; 70% results of focus group discussions found six decision support systems and the positive inexistence of thoughtful intelligence among decision support systems regarding sustainable decision making. Delphi focused on defining thoughtful intelligence to model (TDSS). 65% results helped to conceptualize (definition and description) of thoughtful intelligence. TDSS is offered here as an addition in the decision making literature. The clients are top leaders.
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to build a vision of the utilization of creative industry competences in industrial and services firms connected to Kymenlaakso region, Finland, smart specialization focus areas. Research indicates that creativity and the use of creative industry’s inputs can enhance innovation and competitiveness. Currently creative methods and services are underutilized in regional businesses and the added value they provide is not well grasped. Methodologically, the research adopts a qualitative exploratory approach. Data is collected in multiple ways including a survey, focus groups, and interviews. Theoretically, the paper contributes to the discussion about the use creative industry competences in regional development, and argues for building regional creative economy ecosystems in close co-operation with regional strategies and traditional industries rather than as treating regional creative industry ecosystem initiatives separate from them. The practical contribution of the paper is the creative vision for the use of regional authorities in updating smart specialization strategy as well as boosting industrial and creative & cultural sectors’ competitiveness. The paper also illustrates a research-based model of vision building.
Abstract: We report upon a study introducing a chatbot to develop learning communities at a London University, with a largely international student base. The focus of the chatbot was twofold; to ease the transition for students into their first year of university study, and to increase study engagement. Four learning communities were created using the chatbot; level 3 foundation, level 4 undergraduate, level 6 undergraduate and level 7 post-graduate. Students and programme leaders were provided with access to the chat bot via mobile app prior to their study induction and throughout the autumn term of 2019. At the end of the term, data were collected via questionnaires and focus groups with students and teaching staff to allow for identification of benefits and challenges. Findings indicated a positive correlation between study engagement and engagement with peers. Students reported that the chatbot enabled them to obtain support and connect to their programme leader. Both staff and students also made recommendation on how engagement could be further enhanced using the bot in terms of; clearly specified purpose, integration with existing university systems, leading by example and connectivity. Extending upon these recommendations, a second pilot study is planned for September 2020, for which the focus will be upon improving attendance rates, student satisfaction and module pass rates.
Abstract: The enigma climate change is no longer an illusion but a reality. In the recent years, the Nigeria climate has changed and the changes are shown by the changing patterns of rainfall, the sunshine, increasing level carbon and nitrous emission as well as deforestation. This study analyzed the behavioural response of bee keepers to variations in the climate and the adaptation techniques developed in response to the climate variation. Beekeeping is a viable economic activity for the alleviation of poverty as the products include honey, wax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, venom, queens, bees and their larvae and are all marketable. The study adopted the multistage sampling technique to select 120 beekeepers from the five states of Southeast Nigeria. Well-structured questionnaires and focus group discussions were adopted to collect the required data. Statistical tools like the Principal component analysis, data envelopment models, graphs, and charts were used for the data analysis. Changing patterns of rainfall and sunshine with the increasing rate of deforestation had a negative effect on the habitat of the bees. The bee keepers have adopted the Kenya Top bar and Langstroth hives and they establish the bee hives on fallow farmland close to the cultivated communal farms with more flowering crops.
Abstract: The research question of the article is to explore whether the dialogue meetings method could be relevant for reflective learning among researchers and practitioners when welfare technology should be implemented in municipalities, or not. A testbed was planned to be implemented in a retirement home in a Swedish municipality, and the practitioners worked with a pre-study of that testbed. In the article, the dialogue between the researchers and the practitioners in the dialogue meetings is described and analyzed. The potential of dialogue meetings as an arena for learning and reflection among researchers and practitioners is discussed. The research methodology approach is participatory action research with mixed methods (dialogue meetings, focus groups, participant observations). The main findings from the dialogue meetings were that the researchers learned more about the use of traditional research methods, and the practitioners learned more about how they could improve their use of the methods to facilitate change processes in their organization. These findings have the potential both for the researchers and the practitioners to result in more relevant use of research methods in change processes in organizations. It is concluded that dialogue meetings could be relevant for reflective learning among researchers and practitioners when welfare technology should be implemented in a health care organization.
Abstract: The construction of coastal polders to reduce salinity ingress at greater Khulna-Jashore region area was initiated in the 1960s by Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB). Although successful in a short run the, the Coastal Embankment Project (CEP) and its predecessors are often held accountable for the entire ecological disasters that affected many people. To overcome the water-logging crisis the first Tidal River Management (TRM) at Beel Bhaiana, Bhabodaho was implemented by the affected local people in an unplanned. TRM is an eco-engineering, low cost and participatory approach that utilizes the natural tidal characteristics and the local community’s indigenous knowledge for design and operation of watershed management. But although its outcomes were overwhelming in terms of reducing water-logging, increasing navigability etc. at Beel Bhaina the outcomes of its consequent schemes were debatable. So this study aims to examine the effectiveness and impact of the TRM schemes. Primary data were collected through questionnaire survey, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and Key Informant Interview (KII) so as to collect mutually complementary quantitative and qualitative information along with extensive literature review. The key aspects that were examined include community participation, community perception on effectiveness and operational challenges.
Abstract: Pet population in India is increasing phenomenally owing to the changes in urban lifestyle with increasing number of single professionals, single parents, delayed parenthood etc. The animal companionship as a means of reducing stress levels, deriving emotional support, and unconditional love provided by dogs are a few reasons attributed for increasing pet ownership. The consequence is the booming of the pet care products and dog care centers catering to the different requirements of rearing the pets. Dog care centers quite popular in tier 1 metros of India cater to the requirement of the dog owners providing space for the dogs in absence of the owner. However, it is often reported that the absence of the owner leads to destructive and exploratory behavior issues; the main being the anxiety disorders. In the above context, it becomes imperative for a designer to design dog boarding centers that help in reducing the separation anxiety in dogs keeping in mind the different interior design parameters. An exploratory research with focus group discussion is employed involving a group of dog owners, behaviorists, proprietors of day care as well as boarding centers, and veterinarians to understand their perception on the significance of different interior parameters of color, texture, ventilation, aroma therapy and acoustics as a means of reducing the stress levels in dogs sent to the boarding centers. The data collected is organized as thematic networks thus enabling the listing of the interior design parameters that needs to be considered in designing dog boarding centers.
Abstract: Peri-urban agriculture in Jos Nigeria serves as a major means of livelihood for both urban and peri-urban poor, and constitutes huge commercial inclination with a target market that has spanned beyond Plateau State. Yet, the sustainability of this sector is threatened by intensive application of urban refuse ash contaminated with heavy metals, as a result of the highly heterogeneous materials used in ash production. Hence, this research aimed to understand the current fertilizer employed by farmers, their perception and acceptability in utilization of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes and their capacity in mitigating risks associated with such practice. Mixed methods approach was adopted, and data collection tools used include survey questionnaire, focus group discussion with farmers, participants and field observation. The study identified that farmers maintain a complex mixture of organic and chemical fertilizers, with mixture composition that is dependent on fertilizer availability and affordability. Also, farmers have decreased the rate of utilization of urban refuse ash due to labor and increased logistic cost and are keen to utilize household sewage sludge for soil fertility improvement but are mainly constrained by accessibility of this waste product. Nevertheless, farmers near to sewage disposal points have commenced utilization of household sewage sludge for improving soil fertility. Farmers were knowledgeable on composting but find their strategic method of dewatering and sun drying more convenient. Irrigation farmers were not enthusiastic for treatment, as they desired both water and sludge. Secondly, household sewage sludge observed in the field is heterogeneous due to nearness between its disposal point and that of urban refuse, which raises concern for possible cross-contamination of pollutants and also portrays lack of extension guidance as regards to treatment and management of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes. Hence, farmers concerns need to be addressed, particularly in providing extension advice and establishment of decentralized household sewage sludge collection centers, for continuous availability of liquid and concentrated sludge. Urgent need is also required for the Federal Government of Nigeria to increase commitment towards empowering her subsidiaries for efficient discharge of corporate responsibilities.
Abstract: Games-based learning (GBL) has become increasingly important in teaching and learning. This paper explains the first two phases (analysis and design) of a GBL development project, ending up with a prototype design based on students’ and teachers’ perceptions. The two phases are part of a full cycle GBL project aiming to help secondary school students in Thailand in their study of Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE). In the course of the study, we invited 1,152 students to complete questionnaires and interviewed 12 secondary school teachers in focus groups. This paper found that GBL can serve students in their learning about CSE, enabling them to gain understanding of their sexuality, develop skills, including critical thinking skills and interact with others (peers, teachers, etc.) in a safe environment. The objectives of this paper are to outline the development of GBL variables from the research question(s) into the developers’ flow chart, to be responsive to the GBL beneficiaries’ preferences and expectations, and to help in answering the research questions. This paper details the steps applied to generate GBL variables that can feed into a game flow chart to develop a GBL prototype. In our approach, we detailed two models: (1) Game Elements Model (GEM) and (2) Game Object Model (GOM). There are three outcomes of this research – first, to achieve the objectives and benefits of GBL in learning, game design has to start with the research question(s) and the challenges to be resolved as research outcomes. Second, aligning the educational aims with engaging GBL end users (students) within the data collection phase to inform the game prototype with the game variables is essential to address the answer/solution to the research question(s). Third, for efficient GBL to bridge the gap between pedagogy and technology and in order to answer the research questions via technology (i.e. GBL) and to minimise the isolation between the pedagogists “P” and technologist “T”, several meetings and discussions need to take place within the team.
Abstract: The study was focused on the development and assessment of the illustrated language activities of the 1996 Edition of the Portage Guide to Early Education. It determined the extent of appropriateness, applicability, time efficiency and aesthetics of the illustrated language activities to be used as instructional material not only by teachers, but parents and caregivers as well. The eclectic research design was applied in this study using qualitative and quantitative methods. To determine the applicability and time efficiency of the study, a try out was done. Since the eclectic research design was used, it made use of a researcher-made survey questionnaire and focus group discussion. Analysis of the data was done through weighted mean and ANOVA. The respondents of the study were representatives of Special Education (SPED) teachers, caregivers and parents of a special-needs child, particularly with difficulties in learning basic language skills. The results of the study show that a large number of respondents are SPED teachers and caregivers and are mostly college graduates. Many of them have earned units towards Master’s studies. Moreover, a majority of the respondents have not attended seminars or in-service training in early intervention for them to be more competent in the area of specialization. It is concluded that the illustrated language activities under review in this study are appropriate, applicable, time efficient and aesthetic for use as a tool in teaching. The recommendations are focused on the advocacy for SPED teachers, caregivers and parents of special-needs children to be more consistent in the implementation of the new instructional materials as an aid in an intervention program.
Abstract: Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) have attracted substantial interest in the recent years with the increasing recognition that these can provide essential community needs for improved and diversified rural livelihood and support the objectives of biodiversity conservation. Nevertheless, various challenges are witnessed in their sustainable harvest and management. Assuming that sustainable management with community stewardship can offer one of the solutions to existing challenges, the study assesses the linkages between NTFPs and rural livelihood in Lamabagar village of Dolakha, Nepal. The major objective was to document the status of NTFPs and their contributions in households of Lamabagar. For status documentation, vegetation sampling was done using systematic random sampling technique. 30 plots of 10 m × 10 m were laid down in six parallel transect lines at horizontal distance of 160 m in two different community forests. A structured questionnaire survey was conducted in 76 households (excluding non-response rate) using stratified random sampling technique for contribution analysis. Likewise, key informant interview and focus group discussions were also conducted for data triangulations. 36 different NTFPs were recorded from the vegetation sample in two community forests of which 50% were used for medicinal purposes. The other uses include fodder, religious value, and edible fruits and vegetables. Species like Juniperus indica, Daphne bholua Aconitum spicatum, and Lyonia ovalifolia were frequently used for trade as a source of income, which was sold in local market. The protected species like Taxus wallichiana and Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora were also recorded in the area for which the trade is prohibited. The protection of these species urgently needs community stewardship. More than half of the surveyed households (55%) were depending on NTFPs for their daily uses, other than economic purpose whereas 45% of them sold those products in the market directly or in the form of local handmade products as a source of livelihood. NTFPs were the major source of primary health curing agents especially for the poor and unemployed people in the study area. Hence, the NTFPs contributed to livelihood under three different categories: subsistence, supplement income and emergency support, depending upon the economic status of the households. Although the status of forest improved after handover to the user group, the availability of valuable medicinal herbs like Rhododendron anthopogon, Swertia nervosa, Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora, and Aconitum spicatum were declining. Inadequacy of technology, lack of easy transport access, and absence of good market facility were the major limitations for external trade of NTFPs in the study site. It was observed that people were interested towards conservation only if they could get some returns: economic in terms of rural settlements. Thus, the study concludes that NTFPs could contribute rural livelihood and support conservation objectives only if local communities are provided with the easy access of technology, market and capital.
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to bring light to the current state of the working environments in the corporate environment and other such institutions with a particular focus on the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) and its guidelines for accommodating the physically disabled. Data were collected via semi-formal interviews, site visits and focus groups conducted using a preset questionnaire as the guidelines. After conducting surveys at corporate offices of 20 organizations from major commercial sectors in Dhaka city, the auditing showed many inadequacies, as aside from the larger corporate offices, the offices have little to no accessibility for the physically disabled. This study hopes to shed light on the fact that the existing BNBCs lack of emphasis on ensuring the accessibility of the handicapped in corporate buildings in the hope that, in the future, the physically disabled will have greater opportunities at being productive members of the workforce.
Abstract: Logistics and Supply Chain Management are of crucial importance for organisational success. In the era of Digitalization, several implications and improvement potentials for these domains arise, which at the same time could lead to decreased competitiveness and could endanger long-term company success if ignored or neglected. However, empirical research on the issue of Digitalization and benefits purported to it by practitioners is scarce and mainly focused on single technologies or separate, isolated Supply Chain blocks as e.g. distribution logistics or procurement only. The current paper applies a holistic focus group approach to elaborate practitioner use cases at the nexus of the concepts of Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Digitalization. In the course of three focus group workshops with over 45 participants from more than 20 organisations, a comprehensive set of benefit entitlements and areas for improvement in terms of applying digitalization to SCM is developed. The main results of the paper indicate the relevance of Digitalization being realized in practice. In the form of seventeen concrete research action fields, the benefit entitlements are aggregated and transformed into potential starting points for future research projects in this area. The main contribution of this paper is an empirically grounded basis for future research projects and an overview of actual research action fields from practitioners’ point of view.
Abstract: Despite several interventions, jigger flea infestations continue to be reported in the Busoga sub-region in Eastern Uganda. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that expose the indigenous people to jigger flea infestations and evaluate the effectiveness of any indigenous materials used in flea control by the affected communities. Flea compositions in residences were described, factors associated with flea infestation and indigenous materials used in flea control were evaluated. Field surveys were conducted in the affected communities after obtaining preliminary information on jigger infestation from the offices of the District Health Inspectors to identify the affected villages and households. Informed consent was then sought from the local authorities and household heads to conduct the study. Focus group discussions were conducted with key district informants, namely, the District Health Inspectors, District Entomologists and representatives from the District Health Office. A GPS coordinate was taken at central point at every household enrolled. Fleas were trapped inside residences using Kilonzo traps. A Kilonzo Trap comprised a shallow pan, about three centimetres deep, filled to the brim with water. The edges of the pan were smeared with Vaseline to prevent fleas from crawling out. Traps were placed in the evening and checked every morning the following day. The trapped fleas were collected in labelled vials filled with 70% aqueous ethanol and taken to the laboratory for identification. Socio-economic and environmental data were collected. The results indicate that the commonest flea trapped in the residences was the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) (50%), followed by Jigger flea (Tunga penetrans) (46%) and rat flea (Xenopsylla Cheopis) (4%), respectively. The average size of residences was seven squire metres with a mean of six occupants. The residences were generally untidy; with loose dusty floors and the brick walls were not plastered. The majority of the jigger affected households were headed by peasants (86.7%) and artisans (13.3%). The household heads mainly stopped at primary school level (80%) and few at secondary school level (20%). The jigger affected households were mainly headed by peasants of low socioeconomic status. The affected community members use soil-cow dung-ash mixture to smear floors of residences as the only measure to control fleas. This method was found to be ineffective in controlling the insects. The study recommends that home improvement campaigns be continued in the affected communities to improve sanitation and hygiene in residences as one of the interventions to combat flea infestations. Other cheap, available and effective means should be identified to curb jigger flea infestations.
Abstract: 'Driving What’s Next' is a strong campaign of the new administration of De La Salle Lipa in promoting social innovation in quality education. The new leadership directs social innovation in quality education in the institutional directions and initiatives to address real-world challenges with real-world solutions. This research under study aims to qualify the commitment of the institution to extend the Lasallian quality human and Christian education to all, as expressed in the Institution’s new mission-vision statement. The Classic Grounded Theory methodology is employed in the process of generating concepts in reference to the documents, a series of meetings, focus group discussions and other related activities that account for the conceptualization and formulation of the new mission-vision along with the new education innovation framework. Notably, Driving What’s Next is the emergent theory that encapsulates the commitment of giving quality human and Christian education to all. It directs the new leadership in driving social innovation in quality education initiatives. Correspondingly, Driving What’s Next is continually resolved through four interrelated strategies also termed as the institution's four strategic directions, namely: (1) driving social innovation in quality education, (2) embracing our shared humanity and championing social inclusion and justice initiatives, (3) creating sustainable futures and (4) engaging diverse stakeholders in our shared mission. Significantly, the four strategic directions capture and integrate the 17 UN sustainable development goals, making the innovative curriculum locally and globally relevant. To conclude, the main concern of the new administration and how it is continually resolved, provide meaningful and fun learning experiences and promote a new way of learning in the light of the 21st century skills among the members of the academic community including stakeholders and extended communities at large, which are defined as: learning together and by association (collaboration), learning through engagement (communication), learning by design (creativity) and learning with social impact (critical thinking).
Abstract: Learning oral skills in an Arabic speaking environment is challenging. A blended course (material, activities, and individual/ group work tasks …) was implemented in a module of level B1 for undergraduate students of French as a foreign language in order to increase their opportunities to practice listening and speaking skills. This research investigates the influence of this modality on enhancing active learning and examines the effectiveness of provided strategies. Moreover, it aims at discovering how it allows teacher to flip the traditional classroom and create a learner-centered framework. Which approaches were integrated to motivate students and urge them to search, analyze, criticize, create and accomplish projects? What was the perception of students? This paper is based on the qualitative findings of a questionnaire and a focus group interview with learners. Despite the doubled time and effort both “teacher” and “student” needed, results revealed that the NTIC allowed a shift into a learning paradigm where learners were the “chiefs” of the process. Tasks and collaborative projects required higher intellectual capacities from them. Learners appreciated this experience and developed new life-long learning competencies at many levels: social, affective, ethical and cognitive. To conclude, they defined themselves as motivated young researchers, motivators and critical thinkers.
Abstract: With this contribution, we want to show a successful example of the application of the Design Thinking methodology, in the European project 'Technology transfer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for the creative industry'. The use of this methodology has allowed us to design and build a drone, based on the real needs of prospective users. It has demonstrated that this is a powerful tool for generating innovative ideas in the field of robotics, by focusing its effectiveness on understanding and solving real user needs. In this way, with the support of an interdisciplinary team, comprised of creatives, engineers and economists, together with the collaboration of prospective users from three European countries, a non-linear work dynamic has been created. This teamwork has generated a sense of appreciation towards the creative industries, through continuously adaptive, inventive, and playful collaboration and communication, which has facilitated the development of prototypes. These have been designed to enable filming and photography in interior spaces, within 13 sectors of European creative industries: Advertising, Architecture, Fashion, Film, Antiques and Museums, Music, Photography, Televison, Performing Arts, Publishing, Arts and Crafts, Design and Software. Furthermore, it has married the real needs of the creative industries, with what is technologically and commercially viable. As a result, a product of great value has been obtained, which offers new business opportunities for small companies across this sector.
Abstract: Introduction: Currently, there has been an increasing concern about the provision of palliative care in non-oncological patients in both professional literature and clinical practice. However, there is not much scientific information on how to provide neurological and palliative care together. The main objective of the project is to create and to verify a concept of neuro-palliative and rehabilitative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in an advanced stage of the disease and also to evaluate bio-psychosocial and spiritual needs of these patients and their caregivers related to the quality of life using created standardized tools. Methodology: Triangulation of research methods (qualitative and quantitative) will be used. A concept of care and assessment tools will be developed by analyzing interviews and focus groups. Qualitative data will be analyzed using grounded theory. The concept of care will be tested in the context of the intervention study. Using quantitative analysis, we will assess the effect of an intervention provided on the saturation of needs, quality of life, and quality of care. A research sample will be made up of the patients with selected neurological diseases (Parkinson´s syndrome, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease), together with patients´ family members. Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for health care professionals will be created. Findings: Based on qualitative data analysis, we will propose the concept of integrated care model combining neurological, rehabilitative and specialist palliative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in different settings of care and services. Patients´ needs related to quality of life will be described by newly created and validated measuring tools before the start of intervention (application of neuro-palliative and palliative approach) and then in the time interval. Conclusion: Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for doctors and health care professionals will be created.