Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics
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 ISSN: 1690-4524 (Online)




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TABLE OF CONTENTS





A Proposed Model for Tracking the University Interdisciplinary Projects
Rafael Melgarejo, Paulina Cadena
Pages: 1-2
Abstract | Full Text | Video
ABSTRACT:
Interdisciplinary is the concrete interaction between two or more knowledge fields, leading to a transformation of any of the involved disciplines. It is proposed that the way to measure if an interdisciplinary project is successful is to show the transformation of the key concept(s). The model proposes to establish an initial conceptual basis for each discipline, and a crossing matrix of the same or similar concepts from all disciplines used in a research project. At the conclusion of the project, the reformulated concepts are verified into the matrix.


Enhancing Teaching, Adaptability and Presentation Skills through Improvisational Theater
Thomas J. Marlowe
Pages: 3-7
Abstract | Full Text | Video
ABSTRACT:
Improvisational theater, creative role-playing and open-ended scenarios are increasingly being used as ways to emphasize the importance of combining planning with flexibility and evolution to respond to changes in context. These skills and capabilities are extremely valuable in teaching, especially for strengthening communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the capacity for critical thinking and problem solving. Further, this combination of planning with flexibility is also a major theme of agile software development and a number of other problem-solving domains, and in the collaborative development of intellectual property in technical areas. With improvisation, the plan becomes less of a fixed framework, and more of a guideline. In software engineering, it becomes a mutable structure on which to hang goals and objectives, progress, processes, artifacts, and properties. In this submission, we explore the ramifications of this approach.


Interprofessional Collaborative Practice to Improve Patient Outcomes: A Pilot Study
Jennifer Styron, Catherine Dearman, Sheila Whitworth, Henrietta Brown
Pages: 8-13
Abstract | Full Text | Video
ABSTRACT:
This project focused on a pilot project implemented during the 2013-2014 academic year. The overall purpose was to facilitate interprofessional collaborative practice innovations through the development of leadership, core competencies, and the use of technology, especially among nurses. Nursing, medicine, and physician assistant students were educated on the IOM competencies for interprofessional teams and the core competencies identified by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel [1] to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to practice in the collaborative practice environments. The project addressed four goals: Develop faculty expertise and leadership in interprofessional collaborative practice to provide a current, high quality education to nursing, physician assistant, and medical students; Implement a culturally responsive and respectful collaborative interprofessional practice curriculum to prepare nurses, physician assistants, and medical students to deliver high quality, efficient, team-based care in a dynamically evolving environment; Focus interprofessional collaborative practice education on models and practices that lead to improvement in patient outcomes; and Evaluate the program and disseminate best practices. Findings from this pilot include strategies to engage different health professions’ students and faculty, partnering with community agencies, building an effective interprofessional team to guide the project, and seeking funding for extension and expansion of the offerings.


Using a Common Pedagogy across Multiple Disciplines to Improve Student Learning
Ronald A. Styron, Jr., Jennifer L. Styron
Pages: 14-16
Abstract | Full Text | Video
ABSTRACT:
This study includes findings from a university-wide instructional improvement project conducted across multiple disciplines in undergraduate and graduate courses. The project was constructed around a common pedagogy, Michaelsen’s Team-Based Learning [1]. The purpose of the project was to improve several outcomes based on the constructs of critical thinking, collaboration, engagement and persistence. Data indicated a positive impact on each of these outcomes with a number of statistically significant findings.

[1] Michaelsen, L. K., Knight, A. B., & Fink, L. D. (2004). Team-Based Learning: A transformative use of small groups in college teaching. Sterling, VA: Stylus.


Enhancing Writing through Strengthened Executive Function
Russell Jay Hendel
Pages: 17-22
Abstract | Full Text | Video
ABSTRACT:
We explore aspects of essay writing requiring high-level organizational capacity and executive function. The literature supports the approach that specific and focused writing-skill mastery leads to reduced anxiety and increased self-efficacy which correlates with improved writing skills. Although essay writing is a complex multi-dimensional task, two particular strategies, tree-diagram and reference methods, specifically address the organizational skills characteristic of executive function. The tree and reference methods presented in this paper address the flow of information, not content, and consequently, the methods presented in this paper apply to mathematics and English as well as to K-12 and college level.



Using Interdisciplinary and Active Research to Encourage Higher Resolution Research and Prototyping in Design
Adream Blair-Early, Frankie Flood
Pages: 23-27
Abstract | Full Text | Video
ABSTRACT:
University art and design programs are branching out and creating interdisciplinary programs and research centers that connect design students and faculty across various disciplines such as business, engineering, architecture, information studies, health sciences and education.

A human-centered, problem-based approach to design research looks to position industry and academic leaders to work alongside students, community leaders, artists and non-profits to develop creative and innovative solutions to the challenges facing contemporary society. But product design benefits even more from practices that engage users throughout the entire design process, often called participatory design. Participatory design process utilizes user feedback throughout the design process to spur innovation and improve design quality.

It is possible in the classroom to engage in participatory design and participatory prototyping through the use of inexpensive 3D printers and laser cutters as well as traditional hand tools, requiring only mastery of a few simple techniques and technology readily available on laptop computers. The class research being presented was conceived as part of a new interdisciplinary classroom research space call the Digital Craft Research Lab (DCRL) housed within the department of Art and Design. Courses taught within the DCRL offer students, researchers and faculty continual access to both low resolution and high-resolution prototyping machinery and materials.

This paper looks at the role of action and participatory research in a design course that created printed hand innovations in collaboration with a nine-year-old female user. Students were asked to work on modeling new designs as well as capturing the progress in a final open source book and models.

This paper asks the question can the use of classroom collaboration, action research and work spaces encourage creativity, innovation, and critical thinking in student and professional designers?


Integration of Education: Using Social Media Networks to Engage Students
Risa Blair, Tina M. Serafini
Pages: 28-31
Abstract | Full Text | Video
ABSTRACT:
Any educator today will tell you that the strategies used in the classroom have evolved and changed with the access everyone has to technology. In a world with constant changes and shifts because of immediate access to information, the way course content is delivered must evolve and adjust to the new ways students learn.

Engagement of students in course content and reaching learning objectives are the key elements educators strive for in every course. Enter social media networks and the ability to leverage the user activity with these applications in education. Now, educators can provide content which engages students and meets learning objectives the way students want to learn. By reviewing social media networks: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Blogs, Twitter, and Evernote, educators can position themselves to be as technology-savvy as today’s students.


Management, Resources and Reproductive Biology
Bernard Wallner, Martin Fieder
Pages: 32-33
Abstract | Full Text | Video
ABSTRACT:
This work presents a relationship between environmental conditions and reproductive performance in modern humans. Birth rates and sex ratio (SRB) at birth were analyzed from large data scales. The results include data from people working or living under different job respectively socio-economic conditions, such as employees working in the academic field, employees under supervisory or hire and fire conditions, and people who have better access to resources. The results show that employees who have better jobs and earn more money do have more children and females under better socio-economic conditions do give birth to more sons. In conclusion, it is suggested that different socio-economic environmental conditions may have an impact on female and male birth rates and SRBs, which may be related to stress perception rates.


Effectiveness and Utility of a Case-Based Model for Delivering Engineering Ethics Professional Development Units
Heidi Ann Hahn
Pages: 34-39
Abstract | Full Text | Video
ABSTRACT:
This article describes an action research project conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to resolve a problem with the ability of licensed and/or certified engineers to obtain the ethics-related professional development units or hours (PDUs or PDHs) needed to maintain their credentials. Because of the recurring requirement and the static nature of the information, an initial, in-depth training followed by annually updated refresher training was proposed. A case model approach, with online delivery, was selected as the optimal pedagogical model for the refresher training. In the first two years, the only data that was collected was throughput and information retention. Response rates indicated that the approach was effective in helping licensed professional engineers obtain the needed PDUs. The rates of correct responses suggested that knowledge transfer regarding ethical reasoning had occurred in the initial training and had been retained in the refresher. In FY13, after completing the refresher, learners received a survey asking their opinion of the effectiveness and utility of the course, as well as their impressions of the case study format vs. the typical presentation format. Results indicate that the courses have been favorably received and that the case study method supports most of the pedagogical needs of adult learners as well as, if not better than, presentation-based instruction. Future plans for improvement are focused on identifying and evaluating methods for enriching online delivery of the engineering ethics cases.


Informing via Research: Methods, Challenges and Success when Using a Multi-Disciplinary Team and Reverse Engineering Analysis Processes to Answer a 200 Year Old Question
Melinda H. Connor, Sallyanne Payton
Pages: 40-47
Abstract | Full Text | Video
ABSTRACT:
The goal of this study was to develop the foundation for the creation of a 21st century spiritual which could be used to mitigate the effects of stress and violence. Using a multi-disciplinary team and basing the work in the music of the antebellum Negro Spiritual (a group of 6000 works), reverse engineering, extensive use of engineering principles and utilization of existing databases was done to aid in the analysis of the neurological and physiological impact of the musical form and development of an applicable theory.