32,091 research outputs found

    Gamification in E-Learning: game factors to strengthen specific English pronunciation features in undergraduate students at UPTC Sogamoso

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    Appendix A Characterization survey (104), Appendix B. EFL Students‚Äô questionnaire (109), Appendix C. Characterization survey: data treatment question (113), Appendix D. Informed consent letter, English version (114), Appendix E. Carta de consentimiento informado, versi√≥n en espa√Īol (117), Appendix F. Time Schedule (120), Appendix G. Sample Challenges at Moodle (126), Appendix H. Participants‚Äô questionnaire results (128).La gamificaci√≥n es un t√©rmino que suele denotar el uso de componentes del juego en situaciones no relacionadas con el juego en s√≠ para crear experiencias de aprendizaje agradables, divertidas y motivadoras para los estudiantes (Werbach y Hunter, 2012). Por lo tanto, el an√°lisis de los factores b√°sicos de los juegos se convierte en algo esencial a la hora de definir y utilizar la gamificaci√≥n como estrategia de mediaci√≥n del ingl√©s como lengua extranjera para fortalecer rasgos espec√≠ficos de pronunciaci√≥n en los estudiantes de pregrado de la UPTC Sogamoso. El procedimiento de estudio se basa en la investigaci√≥n acci√≥n mediante la implementaci√≥n de la estrategia de gamificaci√≥n para la mediaci√≥n en la pronunciaci√≥n del ingl√©s, orientada a treinta estudiantes de diferentes programas de ingenier√≠a, administraci√≥n y tecnolog√≠a con niveles heterog√©neos de dominio del ingl√©s. Las actividades se centran principalmente en la producci√≥n de sonidos, el ritmo, el acento y la entonaci√≥n, los rasgos de pronunciaci√≥n segmental y suprasegmental. Los resultados arrojaron una evidente mejora en las caracter√≠sticas segm√©ntales y suprasegmentales de la percepci√≥n en la pronunciaci√≥n de los participantes as√≠ como la contribuci√≥n del objetivo de los juegos a la instrucci√≥n fon√©tica y fonol√≥gica, la sensaci√≥n en el juego a la motivaci√≥n para mejorar la pronunciaci√≥n, el reto establecido en los juegos a la actitud positiva de los participantes, y la sociabilidad a la exposici√≥n practica de la pronunciaci√≥n inglesa.Gamification is a relatively new term that often denotes the use of game components in situations unrelated to the game itself to create enjoyable, fun, and motivating learning experiences for students (Werbach and Hunter, 2012). Therefore, analyzing the games' basic factors becomes essential when defining and using gamification as a strategy for English as Foreign Language mediation to strengthen specific pronunciation features in UPTC Sogamoso undergraduate students. The study procedure is based on action research by implementing the gamification strategy for mediation in English pronunciation, oriented to thirty students from different engineering, management, and technology programs at heterogeneous levels of English proficiency. The activities mainly focus on sound production, rhythm, stress, and intonation, segmental and suprasegmental pronunciation features. The results showed an evident improvement in the segmental and suprasegmental features of the participants' pronunciation perception as well as the contribution of game goals to phonetics and phonological instruction, the game sensation to the motivation for pronunciation improvement, the game challenge to the participants' positive attitude, and the sociality to the English pronunciation exposure practice

    Metaphors of London fog, smoke and mist in Victorian and Edwardian Art and Literature

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    Julian Wolfreys has argued that after 1850 writers employed stock images of the city without allowing them to transform their texts. This thesis argues, on the contrary, that metaphorical uses of London fog were complex and subtle during the Victorian and Edwardian periods, at least until 1914. Fog represented, in particular, formlessness and the dissolution of boundaries. Examining the idea of fog in literature, verse, newspaper accounts and journal articles, as well as in the visual arts, as part of a common discourse about London and the state of its inhabitants, this thesis charts how the metaphorical appropriation of this idea changed over time. Four of Dickens's novels are used to track his use of fog as part of a discourse of the natural and unnatural in individual and society, identifying it with London in progressively more negative terms. Visual representations of fog by Constable, Turner, Whistler, Monet, Markino, O'Connor, Roberts and Wyllie and Coburn showed an increasing readiness to engage with this discourse. Social tensions in the city in the 1880s were articulated in art as well as in fiction. Authors like Hay and Barr showed the destruction of London by its fog because of its inhabitants' supposed degeneracy. As the social threat receded, apocalyptic scenarios gave way to a more optimistic view in the work of Owen and others. Henry James used fog as a metaphorical representation of the boundaries of gendered behaviour in public, and the problems faced by women who crossed them. The dissertation also examines fog and individual transgression, in novels and short stories by Lowndes, Stevenson, Conan Doyle and Joseph Conrad. After 1914, fog was no more than a crude signifier of Victorian London in literature, film and, later, television, deployed as a cliche instead of the subtle metaphorical idea discussed in this thesis

    Building body identities - exploring the world of female bodybuilders

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    This thesis explores how female bodybuilders seek to develop and maintain a viable sense of self despite being stigmatized by the gendered foundations of what Erving Goffman (1983) refers to as the 'interaction order'; the unavoidable presentational context in which identities are forged during the course of social life. Placed in the context of an overview of the historical treatment of women's bodies, and a concern with the development of bodybuilding as a specific form of body modification, the research draws upon a unique two year ethnographic study based in the South of England, complemented by interviews with twenty-six female bodybuilders, all of whom live in the U.K. By mapping these extraordinary women's lives, the research illuminates the pivotal spaces and essential lived experiences that make up the female bodybuilder. Whilst the women appear to be embarking on an 'empowering' radical body project for themselves, the consequences of their activity remains culturally ambivalent. This research exposes the 'Janus-faced' nature of female bodybuilding, exploring the ways in which the women negotiate, accommodate and resist pressures to engage in more orthodox and feminine activities and appearances

    The Professional Identity of Doctors who Provide Abortions: A Sociological Investigation

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    Abortion is a medicalised problem in England and Wales, where the law places doctors at the centre of legal provision and puts doctors in control of who has an abortion. However, the sex-selection abortion scandal of 2012 presented a very real threat to 'abortion doctors', when the medical profession's values and practices were questioned in the media, society and by Members of Parliament. Doctors found themselves at the centre of a series of claims that stated doctors were acting both illegally and unethically, driven by profit rather than patient needs. Yet, the perspectives of those doctors who provide abortions has been under-researched; this thesis aims to fill that gap by examining the beliefs and values of this group of doctors. Early chapters highlight the ambiguous position of the abortion provider in Britain, where doctors are seen as a collective group of professionals motivated by medical dominance and medical autonomy. They outline how this position is then questioned and contested, with doctors being presented as unethical. By studying abortion at the macro-, meso- and micro-levels, this thesis seeks to better understand the values of the 'abortion doctor', and how these levels shape the work and experiences of abortion providers in England and Wales. This thesis thus addresses the question: 'What do abortion doctors' accounts of their professional work suggest about the contemporary dynamics of the medicalisation of abortion in Britain?'. It investigates the research question using a qualitative methodological approach: face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted with 47 doctors who provide abortions in England and Wales. The findings from this empirical study show how doctors' values are linked to how they view the 'normalisation of abortion'. At the macro-level doctors, openly resisted the medicalisation of abortion through the position ascribed to them by the legal framework, yet at the meso-level doctors construct an identity where normalising abortion is based on further medicalising services. Finally, at the micro-level, the ambiguous position of the abortion provider is further identified in terms of being both a proud provider and a stigmatised individual. This thesis shows that while the existing medicalisation literature has some utility, it has limited explanatory power when investigating the problem of abortion. The thesis thus provides some innovative insights into the relevance and value of medicalisation through a comprehensive study on doctors' values, beliefs and practices

    Balancing the urban stomach: public health, food selling and consumption in London, c. 1558-1640

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    Until recently, public health histories have been predominantly shaped by medical and scientific perspectives, to the neglect of their wider social, economic and political contexts. These medically-minded studies have tended to present broad, sweeping narratives of health policy's explicit successes or failures, often focusing on extraordinary periods of epidemic disease viewed from a national context. This approach is problematic, particularly in studies of public health practice prior to 1800. Before the rise of modern scientific medicine, public health policies were more often influenced by shared social, cultural, economic and religious values which favoured maintaining hierarchy, stability and concern for 'the common good'. These values have frequently been overlooked by modern researchers. This has yielded pessimistic assessments of contemporary sanitation, implying that local authorities did not care about or prioritise the health of populations. Overly medicalised perspectives have further restricted historians' investigation and use of source material, their interpretation of multifaceted and sometimes contested cultural practices such as fasting, and their examination of habitual - and not just extraordinary - health actions. These perspectives have encouraged a focus on reactive - rather than preventative - measures. This thesis contributes to a growing body of research that expands our restrictive understandings of pre-modern public health. It focuses on how public health practices were regulated, monitored and expanded in later Tudor and early Stuart London, with a particular focus on consumption and food-selling. Acknowledging the fundamental public health value of maintaining urban foodways, it investigates how contemporaries sought to manage consumption, food production waste, and vending practices in the early modern City's wards and parishes. It delineates the practical and political distinctions between food and medicine, broadly investigates the activities, reputations of and correlations between London's guild and itinerant food vendors and licensed and irregular medical practitioners, traces the directions in which different kinds of public health policy filtered up or down, and explores how policies were enacted at a national and local level. Finally, it compares and contrasts habitual and extraordinary public health regulations, with a particular focus on how perceptions of and actual food shortages, paired with the omnipresent threat of disease, impacted broader aspects of civic life

    Self-help/mutual aid groups in mental health : ideology, helping mechanisms and empowerment

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    In the last quarter of the twentieth century, self-help/mutual aid groups for mental health issues started to emerge in growing numbers, mainly in Western societies, offering and/or advocating for alternative non-traditional forms of support, and attracted the attention of many researchers and clinicians for their unique characteristics. Among the subjects of interest are typologies of groups, helping mechanisms and benefits from participation. However, there is lack of systematic research in the area and existing studies have been largely confined to the therapeutic value of these groups instead of acknowledging their socio-political meaning and subsequent psychosocial benefits for their members like personal empowerment. The present study was conducted during the transitional years from a Conservative to a newly elected Labour Government (1996 -1998), with subsequent policy shifts taking place in the welfare sector. The purpose of the study was to explore the potential of self-help groups as part of a broader new social movement, the service user movement, focussing on the English scene. It addressed this issue examining the relevance of a group typology based on political ideology and focus of change. To test the validity of this classification for members, a set of individual characteristics and group mechanisms as well as their change through time were examined. The sample consisted of fourteen mental health selfhelp/mutual aid groups from London and South East England, with a variety of structural and organisational features. The methodology used was a combination of both quantitative (self-completion questionnaires) and qualitative techniques (analysis of written material, participant observation and interviews). Measurements were repeated after a one-year interval (Time 1N=67, Time 2 N=56). Findings showed that, indeed, political ideology of self-help/mutual aid groups provided the basis of a meaningful typology and constitutes a comprehensive way of categorising them. Group ideology was related to specific helping mechanisms and aspects of personal empowerment. Specifically, conservative and combined group members reported more expressive group processes like sharing of feelings and self-disclosure, while radical group members were more empowered and optimistic. Group identification was also associated with specific helping activities and aspects of empowerment in the three group categories. The psychosocial character of group types and the beneficial outcomes for members remained stable through time. In general, prolonged participation was reflected in greater member identification with the group and resulted in improved mental wellbeing, increased social support, companionship and optimism for the future

    Studies of strategic performance management for classical organizations theory & practice

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    Nowadays, the activities of "Performance Management" have spread very broadly in actually every part of business and management. There are numerous practitioners and researchers from very different disciplines, who are involved in exploring the different contents of performance management. In this thesis, some relevant historic developments in performance management are first reviewed. This includes various theories and frameworks of performance management. Then several management science techniques are developed for assessing performance management, including new methods in Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and Soft System Methodology (SSM). A theoretical framework for performance management and its practical procedures (five phases) are developed for "classic" organizations using soft system thinking, and the relationship with the existing theories are explored. Eventually these results are applied in three case studies to verify our theoretical development. One of the main contributions of this work is to point out, and to systematically explore the basic idea that the effective forms and structures of performance management for an organization are likely to depend greatly on the organizational configuration, in order to coordinate well with other management activities in the organization, which has seemingly been neglected in the existing literature of performance management research in the sense that there exists little known research that associated particular forms of performance management with the explicit assumptions of organizational configuration. By applying SSM, this thesis logically derives some main functional blocks of performance management in 'classic' organizations and clarifies the relationships between performance management and other management activities. Furthermore, it develops some new tools and procedures, which can hierarchically decompose organizational strategies and produce a practical model of specific implementation steps for "classic" organizations. Our approach integrates popular types of performance management models. Last but not least, this thesis presents findings from three major cases, which are quite different organizations in terms of management styles, ownership, and operating environment, to illustrate the fliexbility of the developed theoretical framework

    Pontus in Antiquity: aspects of identity

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    The purpose of this thesis is the presentation of the interaction between the successive inhabitants of Pontus in antiquity, indigenous Anatolians, Greeks, Persians and Romans. Limited archaeological evidence cannot determine the precise extent of interaction, although the available information substantiates the notion of a slow, but steady amalgamation. Initially, the intermingling was based on mutual trading links. Although the Hellenic cultural element tended to surface, Eastern factors remained visible. The Mithridatic dynasty was established around the vicinity of Pontus, creating the 'Kingdom of Pontus' which reached its height under Mithridates VI. His administrative and military policy appears to have placed the foundations for the later, Roman corresponding structures. His policies-propaganda reflected the GraecoEastern image of a king, which appealed to the Greek and Persian-Eastern inhabitants of his kingdom, Asia Minor and, to a lesser extent, mainland Greece. This GraecoEastern image might have nourished the concept of a shared history among the inhabitants of Pontus. Their interactions appear to have given rise to an unnamed, local culture, which was enriched with the relevant Roman practices. Around the third century A.D., the Roman administrative patterns might have established an externally defined appellation. During Roman times, Christianity started to be established in Pontus. Although it was not yet a socio-political factor, its non-racial nature prevailed in later centuries. The influence of the Roman-Christian elements can still be observed in the modern Ponti an identity. In antiquity, (lack of) evidence indicates that no group defined themselves as 'Pontics' or 'Pontians' and an internally defined Pontic identity is unlikely to have existed. However, people associated themselves with the geographical area of Pont us, cultural and religious concepts were frequently amalgamated, while the notion of a common descent and a shared history might have been unconsciously fostered. These factors can assist in the understanding of the 'Pontians' today

    International sporting success factors in GB para-track and field

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    Research Question: Elite sport structures that support para-athletes are designed on the assumption that the international sporting success factors are concomitant for parasport and non-disabled sport. However, there is a lack of research on elite parasport policy and the nuances which may exist for specific sports. This study investigates the international success factors for GB para-track and field. Research Methods A mixed-methods approach was used, including quantitative surveys completed by elite GB para-athletes (n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ42) and their coaches (n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ38) and qualitative semi-structured interviews with athletes (n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ7), coaches (n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ5) and UK para-athletics support staff (n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ3). Findings: The study revealed that although factors found in previous non-disabled studies were identified, several para-track and field-specific variables that influence these existing factors were also discovered. These were the nature of impairment (acquired or congenital); level of support and care needs; and level of equipment needs. Implications: The study presents a framework summarising the variables influencing international para-track and field success. This can be used to inform the development of GB para-track and field policy and the design of parasport support structures to optimise success. Research contribution: The paper contributes to growing knowledge on achieving sporting success in parasport and the differences with non-disabled sport

    A Comparison of the Effects of Haptic and Visual Feedback on Presence in Virtual Reality

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    In the current consumer market, Virtual reality experiences are predominantly generated through visual and auditory feedback. Haptics are not yet well established, but are increasingly introduced to enhance the user‚Äôs sense of ‚Äėreality‚Äô. With haptic (vibrotactile) feedback now part of the built-in mechanism of VR consumer devices, there is an urgent need to understand how different modalities work together to improve the user experience. This paper reports an experiment that explores the contributions made to participants‚Äô sense of presence by haptic and visual feedback in a virtual environment. Participants experienced a virtual ball bouncing on a virtual stick resting across their avatar hands. We found that presence was enhanced when they could both see and feel the ball‚Äôs action; with a strong suggestion that haptic feedback alone gave rise to a greater sense of presence than visual alone. Similarly, whilst visual or bimodal feedback enhanced participants‚Äô ability to locate where the ball bounced on the stick, our results suggest that the action itself was more readily discerned haptically than visually
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