International Journal of Education and Practice

Published by: Conscientia Beam
Online ISSN: 2310-3868
Print ISSN: 2311-6897
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No. 4

When Virtual Becomes Better than Real: Investigating the Impact of a Networking Simulation on Learning and Motivation

Pages: 253-270
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When Virtual Becomes Better than Real: Investigating the Impact of a Networking Simulation on Learning and Motivation

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DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.253.270

Nahed F. Abdel-Maksoud

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Nahed F. Abdel-Maksoud (2018). When Virtual Becomes Better than Real: Investigating the Impact of a Networking Simulation on Learning and Motivation. International Journal of Education and Practice, 6(4): 253-270. DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.253.270
Virtualization technology has been around for many years, and its use is increasingly becoming common in education, in general and in computing fields, in particular. This can be attributed partly to its potential to reduce costs, boost efficiency and overcome limited resources through its virtual applications such as servers, storage devices and networks. However, the question is: "would that be at the cost of the quality of learning?" Besides, the way virtualized environments impact motivation needs further clarification, since it is a neglected area of research. This quasi-experimental study tried to address such questions through investigating the impact of virtualized networking software (OPNET Network Simulator) on students' learning and motivation. 116 undergraduate students enrolled in a computer networking class at one of the universities in Egypt participated in this study, who were then randomly assigned to an experimental group (N= 59), which used the OPNET Network simulator, and a control group (N= 57) which studied the same content via the traditional physical lab. Two instruments; a networking test, and a Motivation Scale were administered to both study groups prior and post the intervention. Results showed that students of experimental group who used OPNET Networking simulator had significantly higher grades and greater motivation levels than those of the control group.
Contribution/ Originality
This paper's primary contribution is to find out how virtual learning environments can prove more effective than real environment on both learning and motivation. The current study came to this conclusion by employing a quasi-experimental method, while other studies relied mostly on anecdotal or tentative evidence.

Effects of Utilizing the STAD Method (Cooperative Learning Approach) in Enhancing Students' Descriptive Writing Skills

Pages: 239-252
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Effects of Utilizing the STAD Method (Cooperative Learning Approach) in Enhancing Students' Descriptive Writing Skills

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DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.239.252

Subadrah Madhawa Nair , Mogana Sanai

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Subadrah Madhawa Nair , Mogana Sanai (2018). Effects of Utilizing the STAD Method (Cooperative Learning Approach) in Enhancing Students' Descriptive Writing Skills. International Journal of Education and Practice, 6(4): 239-252. DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.239.252
Students’ ESL writing skills in general are not at a desirable level. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of utilizing the STAD method to enhance descriptive writing skills among students in an international school in Selangor, Malaysia. This study employed an action research design. The sample consisted of 20 Year 6 students aged between 11 and 12 years. The data for the research was obtained using a pre-test and a post-test, focus group interviews with students, teacher’s reflection and an observation checklist. The action-research was carried out over a period of 6 weeks. The quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics and the qualitative data (interviews, teacher’s reflections and observations) was analyzed based on emerging themes. The findings from the quantitative data indicated that the STAD method helped to enhance students’ descriptive writing skills. The analysis of the qualitative data revealed that students enjoyed writing in groups and they stressed that they learned a lot from their friends when they wrote in groups. The teacher’s reflection revealed that the STAD method improved students’ writing skills through collaborative learning as they get the opportunity to edit their group essays. Findings from the observation showed that students were actively engaged in the process of writing during group work and their social skills improved too. This study has pertinent theoretical implications, pedagogical implications and practical implications in ESL writing.
Contribution/ Originality
This study is one of very few studies which have investigated the effectiveness of utilizing the STAD method to enhance students’ ESL writing skills in an international school. This study has strong pedagogical implications as it serves as a guide to teachers on how to carry out action research using the STAD method.

Metadiscourse in the Academic Writing of Local and International Students at a University in Malaysia

Pages: 227-238
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Metadiscourse in the Academic Writing of Local and International Students at a University in Malaysia

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DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.227.238

Muhamad Khairul Zakaria , Faridah Abdul Malik , Radzuwan Ab. Rashid , Zahariah Pilus , Nur Shahida Zakaria

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Muhamad Khairul Zakaria , Faridah Abdul Malik , Radzuwan Ab. Rashid , Zahariah Pilus , Nur Shahida Zakaria (2018). Metadiscourse in the Academic Writing of Local and International Students at a University in Malaysia. International Journal of Education and Practice, 6(4): 227-238. DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.227.238
This study examines the use of metadiscourse markers among 50 Malaysian and 50 Arab Pre-University students. The findings of this study indicated that there was a significant difference in the use of metadiscourse markers between Malaysian and Arab Pre-University students {?2 (1, n = 100) = 7.17, p-value is .007} where the use of metadiscourse markers among Malaysian Pre-University students was substantially higher than that of the Arab Pre-University students. In the use of interactive markers, the results showed significant differences between Malaysian and Arab Pre-University students in the use of transitions, evidential and code glosses. Additionally, in the use of interactional markers, Malaysian and Arab students differed in their use of hedges, engagement markers and self-mentions. These variances in the frequency and forms of metadiscourse markers utilized by the students could be attributed to the diverse cultural backgrounds of the two groups of students. It is therefore suggested that English language teachers integrate and incorporate cultural elements in their lessons with regard to metadiscourse markers.
Contribution/ Originality
This study documents the examination of metadiscourse markers employed by ESL students and this has offered interesting findings and thought-provoking insights. The discoveries would certainly be enlightening for stakeholders such as syllabus designers of academic writing classes and language instructors.

Investigating Readiness for Acceptance of Change for the Adoption of Blackboard LMS at Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

Pages: 216-226
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Investigating Readiness for Acceptance of Change for the Adoption of Blackboard LMS at Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

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DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.216.226

Mohammed Ilyas

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Mohammed Ilyas (2018). Investigating Readiness for Acceptance of Change for the Adoption of Blackboard LMS at Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Education and Practice, 6(4): 216-226. DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.216.226
This study applies the theory of Readiness for Organizational Change (Holt et al., 2007) with respect to the Learning Management System (LMS) such as Blackboard. Widely adopted in organizational environments, this theory discusses four types of antecedents: content, process, context and individual differences in order to determine behavioral patterns in change recipients. Based on prior studies, and modifying Holt et al’s model, this paper created a Model for Readiness for Acceptance of Change (MRAC) to meet the requirements of implementing the Blackboard LMS at Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University (PSAU), Saudi Arabia. This paper studied three variables: readiness for acceptance for change, change beliefs and resistance to change. 340 respondents, male and female, comprising Faculty and students PSAU from all schools and levels, participated in this study. A questionnaire was prepared to collect data. SPSS software was used to analyze the data. The results suggested that readiness or acceptance for change is a multidimensional variable influenced by factors such as context, change beliefs, individual differences and resistance to change. The results also suggested that respondents were aware of the usefulness of a change, their beliefs were stronger but they lacked readiness for that change.
Contribution/ Originality
This study shall contribute towards motivating Faculty and Students for adoption of Blackboard LMS. It will also provide useful insights to policy makers and university management to take initiatives for developing positive beliefs in Faculty and learners in order to develop Readiness for Change.

Analyzing the Relationship between International Accreditation and the Quality of High-End Business Talents in China

Pages: 206-215
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Analyzing the Relationship between International Accreditation and the Quality of High-End Business Talents in China

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DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.206.215

SUN Xinqi , ZHU Wenzhong , PAN Wenchao

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SUN Xinqi , ZHU Wenzhong , PAN Wenchao (2018). Analyzing the Relationship between International Accreditation and the Quality of High-End Business Talents in China. International Journal of Education and Practice, 6(4): 206-215. DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.206.215
In recent years, with the deepening of internationalization of higher education and the increasing intensification of international academic exchanges and cooperation, a large number of business schools in China participated in the process of international accreditation and evaluation in order to improve their quality of training and competitive power. Obtaining internationally acknowledged accreditations such as AACSB, EQUIS, AMBA raises their status among internationally outstanding business schools and a testimony of the quality of their business school. The existing research literature mainly focuses on the evaluation and policy review of international accreditation. Little or no research has been conducted empirically on the effectiveness of international accreditation. This study focuses on students as main stakeholders of education and their acceptance of the credibility of such international accreditations and their perception of education quality attached. This study is the result of an empirical research conducted through a survey questionnaire. A major finding of this research is evident in students’ offering a high degree of recognition to international accreditation Moreover, the “4+2” education mode led by international accreditation has a good impact on the improvement of the quality of training in business schools. The findings of the study would provide decision makers of business school effective data support and relevant policy advice.
Contribution/ Originality
This study is one of very few studies that have investigated empirically the subject of International Accreditation and The Quality of High-End Business Schools. It focuses on students’ perception and their acceptance of international accreditation as a benchmark of education quality.

Importance of Anger Management in Pre-School Childhood

Pages: 200-205
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Importance of Anger Management in Pre-School Childhood

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DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.200.205

Munevver Mertoglu

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Munevver Mertoglu (2018). Importance of Anger Management in Pre-School Childhood. International Journal of Education and Practice, 6(4): 200-205. DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.200.205
Anger, although it is a natural emotion, when it cannot be managed, individuals experience extremely serious problems; at an extreme, they might even engage in criminal behaviors. The behaviours of people have some physical, hormonal, environmental, psychological and social causes that have positive or negative effects on anger. In this respect, it is crucial to understand the reasons for anger in preschools, which are an essential period in the formation of personality. The perfect behaviors of mothers, fathers, caretakers and other members of the family as well as the model behaviors of teachers and school administrators all can have an impact on the child. People dealing with an obstinate child or one throwing a temper tantrum may also become angry. In such cases, adults have an obligation to manage their anger as well as to help the child control his/her anger. The training received and the model samples encountered in the preschool period are significant determinants of the anger behaviors displayed in adulthood. When the fact is considered that there are teenagers or young adults who face serious problems due to instant loss of their tempers and even commit murders, the necessity of anger management training and proper model behaviors in the preschool period becomes more essential.
Contribution/ Originality
Violent behavior in society is the result of uncontrollable anger. Although there are many reasons for uncontrollable anger behaviors, it is also something can be learned. In the pre-school period, where the learning potential is highest. Therefore, this article, however, will contribute to studies on anger management in the pre-school period.

The Influence of Perfectionism on Academic Self-Concept

Pages: 192-199
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The Influence of Perfectionism on Academic Self-Concept

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DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.192.199

Michael A. DeDonno , Karla Rivera-Torres

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Michael A. DeDonno , Karla Rivera-Torres (2018). The Influence of Perfectionism on Academic Self-Concept. International Journal of Education and Practice, 6(4): 192-199. DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.192.199
In today’s academic environment, there is a tenacious effort to better educate our children. Unfortunately, federal and local budget constraints often limit our ability to create highly effective learning environments. As educators, it becomes our task to identify cost effective activities that will have a positive impact on our student’s education. A child’s academic self-concept is an important factor to academic success. Further, the rating of performance and desire for perfection are activities found in most every academic situation. The purpose of the present study was to explore the influence of perfectionism on academic self-concept. From a sample of one hundred and thirty five college students, the present study found evidence that a student’s academic self-concept is positively influenced by high personal standards, being organized, and low self-doubt. Educators could consider incorporating cost effective activities known to influence organization skills, personal standards, and self-doubt into education curriculum.
Contribution/ Originality
The present study contributes to existing literature related to college students’ academic self-concept. The study provides evidence of factors that may impact academic self-concept. Educators should consider these factors when developing curriculum designed to optimize student performance.

I am a College Graduate: Postsecondary Experiences as Described by Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Pages: 179-191
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I am a College Graduate: Postsecondary Experiences as Described by Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.179.191

Michelle Lizotte

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Michelle Lizotte (2018). I am a College Graduate: Postsecondary Experiences as Described by Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. International Journal of Education and Practice, 6(4): 179-191. DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.179.191
As the number of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) attending postsecondary education increases, so does the need for first-hand information regarding experiences and barriers. This study uses phenomenological methodology to examine the postsecondary education experiences of adults with ASD who obtained a college degree. Previous research identified that individuals with ASD enrolled in college at lesser rates than individuals with other types of disabilities. This pilot qualitative study examined the experiences of six college graduates with ASD as they described their experiences in PSE. Participants described their academic, social, and sensory experiences. Study results indicate that PSE students with ASD benefitted from academic accommodations such as preferential seating or extended time on tests. Implications for professionals and suggestions for future research are included.
Contribution/ Originality
This study contributes to existing literature by providing first hand descriptions of the postsecondary experience directly from individuals with ASD who have successfully completed postsecondary education.

The Decline in Science Students’ Enrolment in Nigerian Colleges of Education: Causes and Remedies

Pages: 167-178
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The Decline in Science Students’ Enrolment in Nigerian Colleges of Education: Causes and Remedies

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DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.167.178

Aina, Jacob Kola , Ayodele, Michael Olu

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Aina, Jacob Kola , Ayodele, Michael Olu (2018). The Decline in Science Students’ Enrolment in Nigerian Colleges of Education: Causes and Remedies. International Journal of Education and Practice, 6(4): 167-178. DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.167.178
The article critically reviewed the decline in science students’ enrolment in Nigerian Colleges of Education, causes and the solutions. The research evidence abounds that the students’ enrolment for science education in the Nigeria colleges of education reduces every year. The causes for this drawback are the crux of this article. The Nigerian college of education is an institution saddled with the responsibility of training teachers for the primary and secondary schools. Nonetheless, the colleges had been criticised for lack of standards in its admission policy and also of qualified academic personnel. The reviewed literature indicates that there are many challenges confronting colleges of education in Nigeria. Some of these are teachers’ inadequate pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), out-of-field teaching and low teachers self-efficacy. The paper however observed that this problem and others are the results of bad governance experiencing in the nation. Consequent upon these challenges, the students’ enrolment in science education continues to decline every year unabated. The paper identified many causes of the students’ enrolment among these are, the proliferation of private Colleges of Education, loss of interest by the students, lack of science equipment and many others. The paper suggested some recommendations to raise the standard of the Nigeria colleges of education and improve science education students’ enrolment. Among these suggestions is the full government commitment to the funding of the Colleges of Education’s academic programmes.
Contribution/ Originality
This study contributes to the existing literature on the science enrolment in Nigerian colleges of education. Principally, it provides an insight into the causes of the low enrolment in the Nigerian colleges of education. Essentially, suggestions for improving students’ enrolment was made at the end of the paper.