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  • L2 writing assessment: an evolutionary perspective

    Green, Anthony (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022-12-08)
    This book tackles three choices that face developers of L2 writing assessments: defining L2 writing abilities; collecting evidence of those abilities (usually by getting L2 writers to write something); and judging their performance (usually by assigning a score or grade to it). It takes a historical view of how assessment developers have made those choices, how contemporary practices emerged, and of alternative techniques that have risen and fallen over time. The three sections each tackle one of these choices. The first considers the social functions that define L2 writing and assessment; the second relates how assessment tasks have adapted to changing conceptions of languages, writing, and assessment; and the third explores how scoring systems have evolved. Each section brings the reader up to date with current issues confronting writing assessment (both in large-scale testing and in language classrooms) before considering the new opportunities and challenges of the digital age. This book will be of interest to students, scholars and practitioners in language assessment, language education, and applied linguistics.
  • Recycling and resistance to change in physical education: the informal recruitment of physical education teachers in schools

    Flemons, Michelle; Hill, Joanne; O'Donovan, Toni; Chater, Angel M.; University of Bedfordshire (Human Kinetics, 2023-02-06)
    Purpose: Physical education (PE) teachers’ interactions with students were explored to examine self- selection for PE teaching as a career option during school. Method: Semi – structured life story interviews were conducted with 29 PE teachers at different career stages. Complementing occupational socialisation, Bourdieu’s habitus, capital, field and practice were adopted as thinking tools to inform thematic analysis. Results: 3 key themes were identified: a) Acceptance into the inner sanctum based on physical competence, effort and enthusiasm for the traditional curriculum, b) Opportunities provided to students accepted into the inner sanctum, and c) Outside the inner sanctum: Mismatched habitus and self-selection for PE teaching. Conclusion: Students exchanged competence, effort and enthusiasm in the traditional curriculum for acceptance and opportunities to encourage self – selection for teaching PE. Without acceptance, individuals experienced challenges gaining career support. Dominated by a homogenous group resistant to change, PE needs independent careers information to promote change through heterogeneity.
  • Integrated transcriptome and methylome analyses reveal the molecular regulation of drought stress in wild strawberry (Fragaria nilgerrensis).

    Cao, Qiang; Huang, Lin; Li, Jiamin; Qu, Peng; Tao, Pang; Crabbe, M. James C.; Zhang, Ti-Cao; Qiao, Qin (BMC, 2022-12-28)
    Background: Fragaria nilgerrensis, which is a diploid wild strawberry with excellent drought-resistance, would provide useful candidate genes for improving drought resistance of cultivated strawberry. So far, its molecular regulatory networks involved in drought stress are unclear. We therefore investigated the drought response regulatory networks of F. nilgerrensis based on the integrated analysis of DNA methylation, transcriptome and physiological traits during four time points under drought stress. Results: The most differentially expressed genes and the physiological changes were found at 8 days (T8) compared with 0 day (T0, control). Methylome analysis revealed slight dynamic changes in genome-wide mC levels under drought conditions, while the most hypomethylated and hypermethylated regions were identified at T4 and T8. Association analysis of the methylome and transcriptome revealed that unexpressed genes exhibited expected hypermethylation levels in mCHG and mCHH contexts, and highly expressed genes exhibited corresponding hypomethylation levels in the gene body, but mCG contexts showed the opposite trend. Then, 835 differentially methylated and expressed genes were identified and grouped into four clustering patterns to characterize their functions. The genes with either negative or positive correlation between methylation and gene expression were mainly associated with kinases, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) synthesis, scavenging, and the abscisic acid (ABA) signal pathway. Consistently, weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) revealed Hub genes including NCED, CYP707A2, PP2Cs and others that play important roles in the ABA signaling pathway. Conclusion: F. nilgerrensis drought is dominated by ABA-dependent pathways, possibly accompanied by ABA-independent crosstalk. DNA methylation may affect gene expression, but their correlation was more subtleand multiple types of association exist. Maintaining the balance between ROS regeneration and scavenging is an important factor
  • Moving from ‘what we know works’ to ‘what we do in practice’: an evidence overview of implementation and diffusion of innovation in transition to adulthood for care experienced young people

    Alderson, Hayley; Smart, Deborah; Kerridge, Gary; Currie, Graeme; Johnson, Rebecca; Kaner, Eileen; Lynch, Amy; Munro, Emily; Swan, Jacky; McGovern, Ruth (Wiley, 2023-02-01)
    Global research has shown that most young people who are care experienced are not prepared to transition to independent living at 18 years of age and require support into early adulthood. We used rigorous systematic methods to identify English-based peer reviewed and grey literature describing innovations relevant to care experienced youngpeople as they transition into adulthood, with a focus upon lessons for their implementation and diffusion. We synthesised the evidence narratively and organise data linked to seven key areas important to the transition to adulthood: (1) Health and well-being;(2) relationships; (3) education and training; (4) employment; (5) participation in society;(6) accommodation; (7) other. Twenty-five papers met our inclusion criteria. This review has found that, whilst there are a broad spectrum of innovations taking place within the social care environment for care experienced young people to support their transition into adulthood, there exists limited insight into how best to support implementation and diffusion of evidence-based innovation. We drew upon the ‘ConsolidatedFramework for Implementation Research’, developed in the setting of clinical service delivery, to highlight challenges in implementing and diffusing evidence-based innovation for care experienced young people transitioning into adulthood.
  • 'Wrong treatment': doctors’ take on medical futility in a low-resource ICU

    Onyeka, Tonia; Okonkwo, Ikem; Aniebue, Uzochukwu; Ugwu, Innocent; Chukwuneke, Felix; Agom, David; University of Nigeria; Ebonyi State University (University of Toronto, 2019-08-31)
    Background: Health caregivers in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in developed countries have documented accounts of futile care for patients admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). But, evidence gaps exist in medical literature from developing countries on futility. While costs of establishing and running ICUs are astronomical in resource-poor countries, administration of medically futile care can further compound problems for ICU patients, family caregivers, health caregivers and hospital establishments. We sought and analysed the opinions of anaesthetists working in ICUs, highlighting the concept of medically futile care as perceived by health caregivers in low-middle income ICUs. Materials & Methods: Using a phenomenological framework, this study involved face-to-face in-depth interviews conducted with 15 resident doctors working in two ICUs of a tertiary health institution in South-East Nigeria. Transcripts were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Results: Five core themes emerged: Unnecessary procedures and interventions; intrinsic and extrinsic factors of medically futile care; family caregiver influences; negative notions of medical futility; ICU outcomes. One participant was of the view that not intervening medically might be best for some patients admitted into the ICU. Other participants described cases where patients received care which participants considered futile, noted possible causes of futile treatments and proffered strategies to correct such situations. Conclusion: The surveyed doctors commonly view care to be futile in low-resource ICUs. Several factors are implicated including lack of goals in patient care, poor communication, lack of specialist training in intensive care and lack of protocols. Medical futility, in the opinion of these doctors, may contribute substantially to the challenges of running an ICU. This calls for multiple strategies for its reduction so as to ensure efficient use of scarce resources and improved outcomes in ICUs located in resource-limited settings.

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