Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics

 ISSN: 1690-4524 (Online)


A Case Study of Synchronous Distance Learning Between Shih Chien University and Beijing Foreign Studies University
Yen-Fen Lo, Yen-Hsi Lo, Jung Hsiao
Pages: 1-5
Abstract | Full Text
Shih Chien University and Beijing Foreign Studies University collaboratively launched a project to offer synchronous distance learning courses on “Case Studies of Taiwanese Entrepreneurs” since February 2012. The three objectives of this study are: (1) to explore the Cross-Strait students’ motives for selecting the course; (2) to examine the students’ accommodation condition before and after completing the course; (3) to discuss the student’s level of satisfaction of the course. This study uses qualitative data from case study interviews conducted in the second year of the project based on the research focus of the Cross-Strait students’ motivation and satisfaction of the course. The research analysis tools are content analysis and theory triangulation. The findings are: (1) Cross-Strait students are motivated by their curiosity about the course, interest in the contents, and willingness to experience the novelty of distance learning to select the course; (2) the results of Cross-Strait students’ accommodation condition are correlated to their interactions with the professor, the familiarity with the materials, the quality of the communication equipment, and the clarity of the images; (3) Cross-Strait students all accept the method of synchronous distance learning; (4) the quality of communication equipment has the lowest level of satisfaction.

Effect of Shear Stress in Flow on Cultured Cell: Using Rotating Disk at Microscope
Haruka Hino, Shigehiro Hashimoto, Yusuke Takahashi, Masashi Ochiai
Pages: 6-12
Abstract | Full Text
An experimental system of the Couette type flow with a rotating disk has been designed to apply wall shear stress quantitatively on the cell culture at the microscopic observation in vitro. The shear stress on the wall is calculated with an estimated Couette type of the velocity profile between the rotating disk and the culture plate. The constant rotational speed (lower than 400 rpm) produces the wall shear stress lower than 2 Pa. The rotating disk system is mounted on the stage of an inverted phase contrast microscope to observe the behavior of cells adhered on the plate under the shear flow. Two kinds of cells were used in the test: C2C12 (mouse myoblast cell line), and MC3T3-E1 (mouse osteoblast precursor cell line). The experiments show that C2C12 tends to make orientation diagonal to the stream line, and that MC3T3-E1 tends to make orientation parallel to the stream line. Deformation and exfoliation of cells can be observed under controlled wall shear stress by the experimental system.

Implementing an Executive-Function Syllabus: Operational Issues
Russell Jay Hendel
Pages: 13-22
Abstract | Full Text
A recent approach to pedagogic challenge, contrastive to the hierarchy approach of Bloom, Anderson, Gagne, Van Hiele, Marzano, Webb and many others, identifies pedagogic challenge with executive function: Pedagogy is defined as challenging if it addresses executive function. Executive function, in turn, is defined by the presence of multiple modalities of topic approach and a multi-parameter development of the topic. This paper discusses operational issues in implementing a teaching methodology based on multi-parameter problems. This paper advocates teaching a multi-parameter topic using a step-by-step incremental approach, introducing one parameter at a time. Examples are presented from trigonometry, actuarial mathematics, statistics and (biblical) literary analysis. The paper also discusses the use of the incremental approach for problem creation and remediation.

A Paradigm for Systems Thinking as a Real-Time Approach for Human Adaptation in the 21st Century
Melissa J. Mills
Pages: 23-28
Abstract | Full Text
Contemporary neuroscientists, human anthropologists, biologists, and psychologists suggest that the human species is still evolving. The productivity of science, research, education and capital investment can be seen in the phenomenal growth of the human population. Yet the trajectories that have brought us to the present-day apex of material well-being and social health are not sustainable. How can we take the deep advances in distinct academic disciplines and bring them together in ways that inform and coordinate human ingenuity to meet and address the challenges of the 21st century? By taking contemporary research results from a broad range of disciplines and applying them to human dynamics through definable structures, humans are empowered to leverage their capacity to find solutions through joint intention.

Fostering Graduate Level Student Success: What Research Says and How to Apply it in the Classroom
Victoria Landu-Adams, Jeannette M. Dubyak
Pages: 29-34
Abstract | Full Text
The best instructors know how to engage their students from the first day of class and help them reach high levels of accomplishment in grasping difficult content, even in graduate level coursework. To create a positive learning environment, instructors must be proactive and anticipate challenges students are likely to face during the class. Whether we like to admit it or not, there are difficult courses for students to grasp within every program of study. Students’ ability to learn and retain difficult information is based on physiological, emotional, sociological, and psychological factors. Therefore, instructors need to consider incorporating appropriate classroom practices for a diversity of learners. Are you searching for innovative, quick and easy ideas to “bait” your students on the first day and “hook” them to be comfortable with anxiety-laden courses for the remainder of the course instruction? This paper will present hands-on activities that can easily be utilized in even the most difficult graduate-level subjects. These activities build positive learning environments to help ease anxiety from the first day. It will also include interactive activities that can be adapted to any subject matter at any instructional level in the higher educational setting.

An Innovative Approach to Standards Analysis: Center of Gravity Analysis for International Standards Published by ISO/IEC JTC1 SC 36 Information Technology for Learning, Education and Training
Bruce E. Peoples
Pages: 35-38
Abstract | Full Text
Standards make a positive contribution to the world we live in. They facilitate trade, spread knowledge, disseminate innovative advances in technology, and share good management and conformity assessment practices. There are a multitude of standard and standard consortia organizations producing market relevant standards, specifications, and technical reports in the domain of Information Communication Technology (ICT). With the number of ICT related standards and specifications numbering in the thousands, it is not readily apparent to users and developers how these standards inter-relate to form a basis of technical interoperability. There is a need to develop and document a process to identify how standards form a basis of interoperability in multiple contexts at a general horizontal technology level that covers all technology domains, and within specific vertical technology domains and sub-domains. By analyzing which standards inter-relate through normative referencing, key standards can be identified as technical center of gravity standards. These normatively referenced standards are specific standards required for the successful implementation of standards that normatively reference them, and form a basis for interoperability. This paper gives an overview of a methodology for determining center of gravity standards utilizing International Standards published by ISO/IEC JTC1 SC 36 Information Technology for Learning, Education and Training as a basis of analysis.

The Conception of Organizational Knowledge as a Complex System (Invited Paper)
Octavio Orozco y Orozco
Pages: 39-49
Abstract | Full Text
In this paper, it is argued that it is necessary a conception of organizational knowledge which is pertinent for seizing the business opportunity created by three national problems of Mexico. Then, diverse disciplinary domains are integrated to conceive organizational knowledge as a complex system of actions in execution displaying the emergent properties of reiterated effectiveness and efficiency in the accomplishment of organizational objectives. Next, the MACOSC-IASC® model which implements this conception is presented as well as two results of using it. The first one, is in the field of open source software development; the second one, is in the Collaboration Fund’s tripartite framework (CF) which is being designed to seize the business opportunity. To close this paper, the CF framework’s approach to develop the Mexican Industry of Software Development is contrasted with a public policy project named PROSOFT 3.0.

Early Forest Fire Detection Using Low Energy Hydrogen Sensors
Jürgen Müller, Jan-Eric Bienge, Werner Moritz, Kai Nörthemann
Pages: 50-54
Abstract | Full Text
The North-east German Lowlands is a region with one of the highest forest fire risks in Europe. In order to keep damage levels as low as possible, it is important to have an effective early warning system. Such a system is being developed on the basis of a hydrogen sensor, which makes it possible to detect a smouldering forest fire before the development of open flames.

The prototype hydrogen sensor produced at the Humboldt University Berlin has a metal/ solid electrolyte/insulator/ semiconductor (MEIS) structure, which allows cost-effective production.

Due to the low energy consumption, an autarchic working unit could be installed in the forest. Field trials have shown that it is possible to identify a forest fire in its early stages when hydrogen concentrations are still low. A significant change in the signal due to a fire was measured at a distance of about 100m. In view of the potential impacts of climate change, the innovative pre-ignition warning system is an important early diagnosis and monitoring module for the protection of the forests.

Customization of Project Management Techniques for the Construction of IT - Information Technology Systems with the Development Methodologies Known as Agile Processes
Altino José Mentzingen de Moraes
Pages: 55-60
Abstract | Full Text
The theory presented by PMBoK© - Project Management Book of Knowledge [1], edited and maintained by PMI - Project Management Institute, which deals with the issues of how to administrate a Project efficiently and planned, is already widely known and recognized by the world professional community as a strong orientation of best practices and effective working tool in this field.

The PMBoK© - Project Management Book of Knowledge directs the Phases and the Disciplines that must be addressed in leading a Project, whether it be, both to meet the construction of projects in Engineering Area or to meet the System Development Projects in the Area of IT - Information Technology.

In the latter Area, namely the area of IT - Information Technology, the theory presented by PMBoK© - Project Management Book of Knowledge is already intensively applied for some decades. However, the System Development Methodologies in IT - Information Technology area is being reviewed by the emergence of new technical resources and new visions of interpretation of the business by the Organizations.

In that way, this study intends to evaluate the current impact of these revisions (in System Development Methodologies in IT - Information Technology area) may result in new versions of the PMBoK© - Project Management Book of Knowledge, which, also implemented revisions and at this moment is in its 5th.Edition.

In conclusion, after some simulations in a practical environment, it is verified the usefulness of this paper (and its “Table of Definition of Specific Features of Project”, which try to support the decision about what is the best System Development Methodology in IT - Information Technology area to be applied to a specific Project) as an effective management and planning tool in corporate real world.

Financial Literacy of Latvian Citizens: Findings and Conclusions
Guna Ciemleja
Pages: 61-67
Abstract | Full Text
The global financial crisis and financial stability issues of the Eurozone countries have demonstrated that the total of financial knowledge and skills of the population that lets people make informed and efficient decisions is of utmost importance. Considering high social importance of financial education, it is necessary to develop a knowledge platform to increase the level of financial literacy. The results obtained in the process of assessment of the level of individual’s financial literacy provide information on the factors, which reduce financial efficiency and cause unnecessary costs. Despite a vast body of international experience in the field of financial literacy assessment, one of the main problems is to develop a measuring instrument, which can ensure valid results and can be adapted to the socio-economic and demographic conditions of a definite country. Therefore, in 2015, academic personnel of the Department of Finance, Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management of Riga Technical University conducted research within the project «Enhancing Latvian Citizens’ Securitability through Development of the Financial Literacy» and developed an instrument for assessment of the level of financial literacy, which can be used to evaluate financial knowledge of the Latvian citizens taking into consideration all components of financial literacy. The results are briefly described in the current paper.

An Agent-Based Dynamic Model of Politics, Fertility and Economic Development
Zining Yang
Pages: 68-72
Abstract | Full Text
In the political economy of development, government policy choices at a single point in time can dramatically affect a country’s development path by impacting fertility, economic and political decisions across generations. Combining system dynamics and agent-based modeling approaches in a complex adaptive system, a simulation framework of the Politics of Fertility and Economic Development (POFED) is formalized to understand the relationship between politics, economic, and demography change at both macro and micro levels. First, a new political capacity measurement is used; and the system dynamics model is validated with the latest data. Second, the endogenous attributes are fused with non-cooperative game theory in an agent-based framework to simulate the interactive political economic dynamics of individual intra-societal transactions. Finally, macro and micro levels are connected with policy levers of political capacity and political instability by merging system dynamics and agent-based components. This paper also explores the agent-based model’s behavioral dynamics via simulation methods to identify paths towards economic development and political stability. This model demonstrates micro level human agency can act, react and interact, thus driving macro level dynamics, while macro structures provide political, social and economic environments that constrain or incentivize micro level human behavior.

Searching for Socrates: How to Engage Online Students
William Swart, Ken MacLeod
Pages: 73-77
Abstract | Full Text
Our university enrolls over 500 students in its online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. In this paper we present tools that were developed to better engage students with their online learning environment. Over 85% of our students reported that individually and collectively these tools were more effective in helping them to understand the material.

Compensation of Disadvantages in University Examination Procedures
Ulrike Quapp, Klaus Holschemacher
Pages: 78-83
Abstract | Full Text
Active social participation of disabled people is one of the major tasks of modern society. That also includes access to the academic community by higher education. Universities all over the world work hard to give handicapped students a chance to graduate. In this context, compensation of disadvantages in examination procedures is an important matter. But, also chronic illness may impair the student’s examination performance. To ensure equal examination opportunities for all students, responsible university officials must be creative to find individual compensation solutions. The paper analyzes examination regulations at universities in different countries and offers solutions to compensate disabled and chronic ill students’ disadvantages. It discusses the necessity of compensation for different types of disability and chronic illness. Finally, an overview of current German case law and solutions for compensation problems are provided.

A Framework for a Multi-Faceted, Educational, Knowledge-Based Recommender System
John W. Coffey
Pages: 84-89
Abstract | Full Text
The literature on intelligent or adaptive tutoring systems generally has a focus on how to determine what resources to present to students as they make their way through a course of study. The idea of multi-faceted student modeling is that a variety of measures, both academic and non-academic, might be represented in student models in service of a broader educational context. This paper contains a framework for a multi-faceted, educational, knowledge-based recommender system, including a basic set of descriptors that the model contains, and a taxonomy of inferences that might be made over such models.