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Article

Despo Ktoridou and Nikleia Eteokleous‐Grigoriou

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a 40‐hour computer course for beginners provided to a group of unemployed women learners with no/minimum…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a 40‐hour computer course for beginners provided to a group of unemployed women learners with no/minimum computer literacy skills who can be characterized as digital immigrants. The aim of the study is to identify participants' perceptions and experiences regarding technology, any barriers and challenges faced throughout the computer course and the extent to which the computer course assisted them in becoming computer literate and employable. This case study was based on the European Commission's EQUAL program.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach was employed making use of qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative data were collected using three different questionnaires (the background questionnaire, the Loyd/Gressard Computer Attitude Scale questionnaire and the Computer Skills Tests questionnaire) and qualitative data were collected through two focus groups. A total of nine unemployed women with no/minimum computer literacy skills were the focus of investigation. The 40‐hour computer literacy course and the data collection process took place in May‐June 2007.

Findings

Results demonstrated the effectiveness and necessity of computer courses for digital immigrants. The participants developed an acceptable level of computer literacy skills and a more positive attitude towards technology. They further realized the importance of possessing computer literacy skills specifically in relation to their employability, professional path and career development. Their self‐esteem in relation to technology was also increased on professional, educational, and personal levels.

Originality/value

The study confirms the necessity to explore further instructional design and implementation of digital immigrants' education and training regarding computer technology.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

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Article

Kamal Naser, Wojoud Rashid Mohammed and Rana Nuseibeh

The purpose of this paper is to identify factors that motivate women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to become self‐employed.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify factors that motivate women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to become self‐employed.

Design/methodology/approach

Different factors, documented in previous research, that affect women's decisions to start their own businesses were included in a questionnaire. A total of 750 women entrepreneurs in the UAE were asked to express the degree of agreement with the factors listed in the questionnaire. Of them, 449 completed the questionnaire.

Findings

Financial support from the government especially in the start‐up capital is an important factor that motivates women to establish their own businesses. Self‐fulfillment, knowledge, skills and experience, including relationship to spouse/father business, are all important factors in the development of women entrepreneurs. Unlike previous research factors such social norms, market network, and competition do not seem to be barriers for women in becoming entrepreneurs.

Research limitations/implications

Questionnaires were mainly distributed in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. To give a clear picture of factors affecting women's decision to start their own businesses in the UAE, the opinion of women located in other Emirates needs to be investigated. The questionnaire survey targeted women entrepreneurs. To give a clear picture, future studies should target women who chose not to start their own businesses.

Practical implications

The outcome of this study will be used by researchers and policy makers to motivate women to become entrepreneurs. Women involvement in developing their businesses provides job opportunities and ensures that women are taking active part in the development of the national economy.

Originality/value

This is the first study that uses empirical evidence to identify factors that motivate women in the UAE to become self‐employed.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article

Saadia Tayyaba

The general objective of this paper is to investigate the mathematics achievement of middle grade students in Pakistan. Specifically: to determine whether mathematics…

Abstract

Purpose

The general objective of this paper is to investigate the mathematics achievement of middle grade students in Pakistan. Specifically: to determine whether mathematics achievement varies systematically across students and schools; to what extent the mathematics curriculum and frameworks are implemented in schools; to what extent gender and location account for differences in mathematics achievement (at item and test scores levels); to what extent student demographics, home background, and homework variables predict mathematics achievement; to what extent schools' physical and academic resources predict mathematics achievement; and to what extent student‐ and school‐level variables interact to predict achievement indirectly.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach was to undertake a quantitative survey of 14,440 students from 770 schools across the country. The analytic strategy included item‐level Rasch analysis, DIF analysis across gender and regional location, and MLM analysis to test various student‐ and school‐level models.

Findings

Rasch analysis indicated that students were able to pass low‐rigour items requiring simple mathematical skills. The DIF analysis indicated that items favouring female students in either content domain belonged to knowledge of concepts to recall basic facts, terminologies, numbers, and geometric properties. Items favouring male students in either domain belonged to the problem solving level. MLM analysis revealed that at the student level, gender, location, and some home background and homework variables contributed towards mathematics achievement. At the school level, availability of learning resources and better physical facilities were found to be associated with increase in achievement scores.

Research limitations/implications

Only a few major variables with policy and research implications were tested to keep the interpretations clear and simple. The next stage of this study could examine the more complex pattern of relationships and interactions among relationships for subgroups.

Practical implications

The study has implications for a review of the gender gap in school enrolment, the national curriculum for mathematics, homework policy, the role of regional languages as a medium of instruction in schools, the provision of school resources, and learning aids in schools.

Originality/value

The paper shows that the estimated models were successful in explaining the variation in average achievement in terms of proportion of variance explained and significance of estimates of the effects.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article

E.R. Venter and M. Stiglingh

South African companies have, in the past, not recognised an asset for unused Secondary Tax on Companies (“STC”) credits. AC 501, Accounting for “Secondary Tax on…

Abstract

South African companies have, in the past, not recognised an asset for unused Secondary Tax on Companies (“STC”) credits. AC 501, Accounting for “Secondary Tax on Companies (STC)”, which is effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2004, now requires South African companies to recognise a deferred tax asset for unused STC credits, to the extent that it is probable that an entity will declare dividends of its own, against which the unused STC credits can be utilised. In terms of AC 501 and IAS 12 (AC 102), Income Taxes (the local and international accounting standard on income taxes), the recognition of a liability to pay STC has to be postponed until the declaration of a dividend. Some accounting commentators have indicated that they find it anomalous to recognise a deferred tax asset in respect of unused STC credits, while no liability is recognised for the STC that would be payable on the future distribution of retained earnings. The objective of the study is to consider whether it is conceptually anomalous to recognise a deferred tax asset for unused STC credits while no liability is raised for the STC that would become payable on future dividend declarations on profits already recognised in the financial statements. The study concludes that it is conceptually anomalous to recognise a deferred tax asset for unused STC credits when no corresponding liability is raised.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1022-2529

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Article

Kajani Sivathasan and Jill Davies

The aims of this study are to assess the prevalence and timings of heartburn symptoms in a Sri Lankan population living in the UK and to identify diet and lifestyle…

Abstract

Purpose

The aims of this study are to assess the prevalence and timings of heartburn symptoms in a Sri Lankan population living in the UK and to identify diet and lifestyle symptom triggers.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 60 Sri Lankan adults, aged between 18 and 66 years completed a background questionnaire and a nine‐item gastro‐oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) impact scale.

Findings

Application of the GORD impact scale verified that all participants experienced heartburn symptoms on a weekly basis. Episodes of heartburn tend to occur post‐prandially. Diet and lifestyle factors were found to trigger heartburn symptoms particularly consuming spicy foods.

Research limitations/implications

The incidence of heartburn in Sri Lankans may be due to the process of acculturation to the Western diet and lifestyle.

Originality/value

This paper shows that Sri Lankans are susceptible to symptoms of heartburn.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article

Ping Li

To introduce a cognitive approach – cognitive task analysis (CTA) – for the usability evaluation of evidence‐based nursing (EBN) websites.

Abstract

Purpose

To introduce a cognitive approach – cognitive task analysis (CTA) – for the usability evaluation of evidence‐based nursing (EBN) websites.

Design/methodology/approach

With the justification of the need for new evaluation methodologies for the usability of EBN websites and the provision of the theoretical framework and implications of CTA, the author proposes detailed steps for the usability evaluation of EBN websites.

Findings

CTA is a new approach that can be used for the evaluation of the usability of EBN websites. It has the advantages that conventional evaluation methods lack in characterizing the aspects of websites useful to nurses in carrying out evidence‐based practices.

Originality/value

This paper, with the introduction of a new cognitive approach, helps ensure the effective evaluation of the EBN websites, which can then be improved to adequately meet the requirements and information processing needs of the nurses practising evidence‐based nursing.

Details

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-075X

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Article

Jessy El-Hayek Fares, Sibelle Al-Hayek, Jaafar Jaafar, Nathalie Djabrayan and Antoine G. Farhat

This study aims to examine the effect of socio-demographic, lifestyle and dietary factors on body composition among students from a private Lebanese University.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the effect of socio-demographic, lifestyle and dietary factors on body composition among students from a private Lebanese University.

Design/methodology/approach

In this cross-sectional study, socio-demographic and lifestyle variables were collected. Height and waist circumference were measured. Inbody 720 (Biospace, Korea) was used to assess body composition (percentage body fat [PBF], visceral fat area [VFA], skeletal muscle mass [SMM]) and fitness score. Diet was assessed using the MEDFICTS (meats, eggs, dairy, fried foods, fat in baked goods, convenience foods, fats added at the table and snacks) questionnaire.

Findings

Out of 392 students, 3.1 per cent were underweight, 59 per cent were normal and 40 per cent were overweight and obese. In women,10.5 per cent adhered to the therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC) compared to men (2.5 per cent), while 52.5 per cent of men needed dietary changes compared to 39.5 per cent of women, (p < 0.01). The most important predictors of PBF were being a woman, older age, lower fitness score and lower MEDFICTS score. The predictors of VFA were being a man, older age, less sleep time and lower fitness score. Being a man, smoking, higher fitness score and higher MEDFICTS score were predictors of SMM.

Practical implications

Upon university acceptance and as part of usual health screenings in universities, the authors’ study recommends screening of lifestyle and dietary habits of students, identifying students at risk and providing appropriate health interventions tailored to students’ needs.

Originality/value

This study is the first, in Lebanon, to assess the effects of sleep, stress, fitness and dietary habits on body composition of Lebanese university students.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article

Ulla Hoppu, Hanna Lagström and Mari Sandell

Polymorphisms in taste receptor genes may be associated with taste sensitivity and possibly with food consumption and body weight. Previous studies relating bitter taste…

Abstract

Purpose

Polymorphisms in taste receptor genes may be associated with taste sensitivity and possibly with food consumption and body weight. Previous studies relating bitter taste sensitivity to body mass index (BMI) had inconsistent findings. This paper aims to investigate the weight and body composition indicators among the TAS2R38 bitter taste receptor genotype groups.

Design/methodology/approach

Adults participating in the STEPS study (steps to the healthy development and well-being of children) cohort in Southwest Finland have been investigated. DNA has been extracted from buccal cell samples, and alleles of the gene TAS2R38 have been determined. Measurements at the follow-up visit include weight and height to calculate BMI, waist circumference (WC) and body composition with bioimpedance (women n = 757, men n = 714).

Findings

The mean BMI was 25.3 (SD 5.4) kg/m2 among women and 26.7 (SD 3.9) kg/m2 among men. BMI, WC and body fat percentage did not differ significantly between the TAS2R38 genotype groups in either gender. The proportion of subjects classified as overweight (BMI ≥ 25) did not vary significantly between the genotype groups.

Originality/value

The TAS2R38 genotype is not associated with being overweight in this cohort. Determinants of body weight are complex, and the role of other taste genotypes and phenotypes should be investigated in the future.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 48 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article

Hadyn Ingram, Saloomeh Tabari and Wanthanee Watthanakhomprathip

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between political instability upon destination image and perception and tourism consumer behavior.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between political instability upon destination image and perception and tourism consumer behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes a case study approach and uses cross‐sectional and qualitative methods to measure and contrast the perceptions of respondents who have and have not, visited Thailand.

Findings

The study affirms the power of image as a subjectively‐held, but important lever of consumer behavior. The findings reinforce the popularity of Thailand as a tourist destination, by both those who have and have not visited, and suggest that its image is a strong one.

Practical implications

The paper concludes that destination managers need to work with governments to ensure political stability, which can lead to continued tourism revenues.

Originality/value

The paper suggests that the effects of adverse publicity on political instability to tourism receipts may be temporary, providing a destination has a strong perceived image (such as Thailand) and the disruption does not last too long.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

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Article

Yang Liu

The purpose of this paper is to study the users’ willingness for acceptance of background music service in university libraries based on intelligent campus and to improve…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the users’ willingness for acceptance of background music service in university libraries based on intelligent campus and to improve the intelligence level of university libraries and provide a reference for the atmosphere.

Design/methodology/approach

The research method of combining theory with practice is applied, and field distribution method and network survey method are used. An algorithm model is established to investigate relevant users, and statistical analysis of the data obtained is made.

Findings

The results show that in the questionnaire survey, girls are more inclined to study in the environment of library than boys; for grade, sophomores and juniors are more inclined to go to library than other grades; through model analysis, the target users are more inclined to choose light music as background music, accounting for 65 percent. Heavy metals and other users have fewer choices, accounting for only 8 percent.

Research limitations/implications

This questionnaire is mainly filled out in paper form on site, so it only selects some nearby students as the survey objects. However, the condition of university libraries across the country must be different due to regional differences, disciplinary differences and funding differences, so the representative sample may be insufficient. Therefore, in the follow-up research, the scope of the survey should be expanded, especially the geographical scope. It should collect as much data as possible for students of different types and genders, so as to expand the applicable scope and explanatory power of the model.

Practical implications

Starting from the library scene, this research studies the acceptance intention of users of background music service in the library, which provides reference for the improvement of the intellectualization of university libraries and their atmosphere. Although different university libraries have different operation modes and service characteristics, the conclusions of this study have certain practical significance for the library industry because the library industry has many commonalities.

Originality/value

At present, the research on the background music service of University Library based on the smart campus is relatively rare and limited to the theoretical stage. Few people have deeply explored the background music service of the library, and no scholars have quantitatively studied it. In this study, based on the questionnaire and from the perspective of users, the acceptance intention of background music service users is investigated, which provides a reference for the improvement of the intellectualization of university libraries and its atmosphere. It is a research topic of great practical significance.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

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