6,366 research outputs found

    Strategies to improve retention of postgraduate business students in distance education courses: an Australian case

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    In spite of the clear value of postgraduate business students to many providers of distance education courses, the factors affecting the retention of these students have received limited attention in the literature. In addressing this gap, this paper presents the findings of a qualitative study into the factors affecting the retention of postgraduate business students at a major Australian distance education university. The findings of this study suggest that a range of situational, dispositional and attitudinal factors impact upon student retention on this context, both as enablers of and obstacles to ongoing participation. In many cases, these factors differ to those identified in the existing literature on student retention. Based on these findings, we present a range of strategies designed to improve the retention of postgraduate business students by maximising enabling factors and minimising the impact of any identified obstacles. Limitations of the study and suggestions for further research are also presented

    Learning to predict distributions of words across domains

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    Although the distributional hypothesis has been applied successfully in many natural language processing tasks, systems using distributional information have been limited to a single domain because the distribution of a word can vary between domains as the word’s predominant meaning changes. However, if it were possible to predict how the distribution of a word changes from one domain to another, the predictions could be used to adapt a system trained in one domain to work in another. We propose an unsupervised method to predict the distribution of a word in one domain, given its distribution in another domain. We evaluate our method on two tasks: cross-domain part-of-speech tagging and cross-domain sentiment classification. In both tasks, our method significantly outperforms competitive baselines and returns results that are statistically comparable to current state-of-the-art methods, while requiring no task-specific customisations

    Quintessential Difficulties

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    An alternative to a cosmological constant is quintessence, defined as a slowly-varying scalar field potential V(\phi). If quintessence is observationally significant, an epoch of inflation is beginning at the present epoch, with \phi the slowly-rolling inflaton field. In contrast with ordinary inflation, quintessence seems to require extreme fine tuning of the potential V(\phi). The degree of fine-tuning is quantified in various cases.Comment: 7 pages LaTeX. Revised to be more pedagogical; results unchange

    The Cube Recurrence

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    We construct a combinatorial model that is described by the cube recurrence, a nonlinear recurrence relation introduced by Propp, which generates families of Laurent polynomials indexed by points in Z3\mathbb{Z}^3. In the process, we prove several conjectures of Propp and of Fomin and Zelevinsky, and we obtain a combinatorial interpretation for the terms of Gale-Robinson sequences. We also indicate how the model might be used to obtain some interesting results about perfect matchings of certain bipartite planar graphs

    Evaluation of LTAG parsing with supertag compaction

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    One of the biggest concerns that has been raised over the feasibility of using large-scale LTAGs in NLP is the amount of redundancy within a grammar¿s elementary tree set. This has led to various proposals on how best to represent grammars in a way that makes them compact and easily maintained (Vijay-Shanker and Schabes, 1992; Becker, 1993; Becker, 1994; Evans, Gazdar and Weir, 1995; Candito, 1996). Unfortunately, while this work can help to make the storage of grammars more efficient, it does nothing to prevent the problem reappearing when the grammar is processed by a parser and the complete set of trees is reproduced. In this paper we are concerned with an approach that addresses this problem of computational redundancy in the trees, and evaluate its effectiveness

    Cross-domain sentiment classification using a sentiment sensitive thesaurus

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    Automatic classification of sentiment is important for numerous applications such as opinion mining, opinion summarization, contextual advertising, and market analysis. However, sentiment is expressed differently in different domains, and annotating corpora for every possible domain of interest is costly. Applying a sentiment classifier trained using labeled data for a particular domain to classify sentiment of user reviews on a different domain often results in poor performance. We propose a method to overcome this problem in cross-domain sentiment classification. First, we create a sentiment sensitive distributional thesaurus using labeled data for the source domains and unlabeled data for both source and target domains. Sentiment sensitivity is achieved in the thesaurus by incorporating document level sentiment labels in the context vectors used as the basis for measuring the distributional similarity between words. Next, we use the created thesaurus to expand feature vectors during train and test times in a binary classifier. The proposed method significantly outperforms numerous baselines and returns results that are comparable with previously proposed cross-domain sentiment classification methods. We conduct an extensive empirical analysis of the proposed method on single and multi-source domain adaptation, unsupervised and supervised domain adaptation, and numerous similarity measures for creating the sentiment sensitive thesaurus

    Saving and Growth: A Reinterpretation

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    We examine the relationship between income growth and saving using both cross-country and household data. At the aggregate level, we find that growth Granger causes saving, but that saving does not Granger cause growth. Using household data, we find that households with predictably higher income growth save more than households with predictably low growth. We argue that standard Permanent Income models of consumption cannot explain these findings, but that a model of consumption with habit formation may. The positive effect of growth on saving implies that previous estimates of the effect of saving on growth may be overstated.

    Developing Dispositions for Ambitious Teaching

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    Critics of teacher education in recent years have argued that attempts to assess dispositions for teaching amount to a process of political indoctrination, claiming that teacher candidates are often expected to endorse ideas like “white privilege” and “social justice” as a kind of political litmus test for entering the teaching profession. In some circumstances, teacher education programs have avoided this kind of controversy by limiting their attention to dispositions such as honesty, integrity, and professional interactions. Charges and counter charges about the potential political implications of dispositions, and lack of clarity about other dimensions of dispositions, have obscured fundamental associations between personal beliefs and professional ethics, and between dispositions and ambitious conceptions of teaching. At the same time, little attention has been devoted to gaining a deeper understanding of dispositions for teaching, how they play a role in learning to teach, and how teacher education programs can support teacher candidates in developing dispositions for the kinds of challenging and complex teaching needed to do well by all children. This essay examines these issues and proposes ways in which teacher education can both support and assess the development of dispositions among teacher candidates

    Review of George Eliot and the Conflict of Interpretations: a reading of the novels

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    Towards the climax of Felix Holt Esther Lyon moves centre stage. Mist around her own history and that of Transome Court dissolves to reveal a vista of possibilities. The narrator comments: \u27Esther found it impossible to read in these days; her life was a book which she seemed to be constructing - trying to make character clear before her, and looking into the ways of destiny\u27. This lovely sentence might serve as the epigraph to David Carroll\u27s study. A character in a novel, who is well-versed in romance narrative, finds herself an author, \u27constructing\u27 the book of her own life, interpreting not only her past but seeking to project its varying narrative lines into a future where they might cohere into a satisfactory ending. The actual reader of Felix Holt is engaged in a similar task, making sense of the interrelations of lives which have individually claimed our particular interest at different moments in the story. And there is the so-called omniscient narrator, opening up for the reader possibilities of interpretation which even she cannot finally determine. According to David Carroll moments such as this, which occur throughout George Eliot, focus most intensely her \u27awareness of the fundamental role of interpretation in all areas of life\u27, an awareness which drives her to \u27redefine the nature of Victorian fiction: its presentation of character, the role of the narrator, the structure of its narrative, the depiction of social and historical change\u27. The literary slant of this sentence is important. In his Introduction Carroll outlines the dynamic role of hermeneutics in Victorian intellectual life and rehearses the evidence that George Eliot was well equipped philosophically to enter at the highest level the debate on how to \u27re-create meaning and coherence\u27 in the face of the \u27loss of traditional forms of belief. What is most valuable about Carroll\u27s approach, however, is that it emphasizes that Eliot\u27s contribution to hermeneutical endeavour is her novels. The intellectual who translated Feuerbach and could cope with discussions about Schleiermacher over breakfast with Lewes, was an imaginative artist, who recognized story-telling as fundamental to human beings in their attempt to make sense not only of their own lives but of life