• The impact of time allowances in an EAP reading-to-write argumentative essay assessment

      Bruce, Emma Louise (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-03)
      The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of time allowances on students’ source use, composing behaviour and performance, in a second language reading-to-write assessment context. Set within a language centre in a large Hong Kong university, this mixed-methods study incorporates quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative aspect focuses on an analysis of essay scores and lengths as well as reference types and uses, while the qualitative aspect incorporates retrospective questionnaires and discourse-based interviews to gain an understanding of students’ intentions, views and approach to composing. The synthesis of the countable data with students’ personal insights facilitated an understanding of the ways in which differences in source use and composing behaviour in the timed and extended conditions affected performance. The findings show that the majority of students preferred the extended condition as they valued the time to read the sources, think and reflect in a relaxed environment. Conversely, some students felt the time pressure elicited a heightened cognitive state, which enhanced their performance. Students tended to write over multiple sessions, engage more with the source texts and adopt a more recursive approach in the extended condition. In contrast, when composing under time pressure, students tended to reduce their engagement with the source texts in order to complete their essay. This rush to write the essay resulted in different reading strategies and a more knowledge-telling approach to composing. When students were given more time to write, mean word counts and mean essay scores were significantly higher. The top-performing students seemed to benefit most from the extra time. These writers experienced the biggest positive difference in essay length and scores, and displayed more instances of source-text use, but perhaps surprisingly they were more likely to embed their understanding of what they read into their own text without referencing the source material. The data suggest that, for higher-achieving students, the extra time resulted in an increased interaction with the source texts, which allowed them to take a more expert persona in their writing, impressing raters and leading to higher overall scores. The results have important implications for language teachers and test developers in EAP programmes. In particular, they demonstrate the paradox of implementing reading-to-write task types in an attempt to simulate the target language use context while failing to take account of the time required to engage in the appropriate academic literacy skills. Importantly, EAP curriculum and assessment designers should recognise that genuine academic writing requires time for students to engage with sources, to reflect and to construct new knowledge. This study suggests that essays produced in timed and extended conditions are two different manifestations of the dynamic reading-to-write construct and that, if both types of writing are indeed demanded in the wider university, EAP programmes should support students in acquiring the most appropriate and effective skills for achieving success in both contexts.
    • The effects of deductive, inductive and a combination of both types of grammar instruction in pre-sessional classes in higher education

      Giorgou Tzampazi, Stella (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-12)
      In recent years, debates continue about the efficiency of using different types of grammar instruction in language teaching contexts (Alzu‟ bi, 2015; Mahjoob, 2015; Brown, 2000; Ellis, 1997; Celce-Murcia, 1991; Krashen, 1982). Existing research is rather controversial and inconclusive and furthermore there is not any general agreement on how to approach grammar instruction: one basic dichotomy is connected with the processes of teaching grammar inductively (Krashen, 1985; Ke, 2008; Kuder, 2009; Scheffler, 2010; Gorat and Prijambodo, 2013; Alzu‟bi, 2015; Anani, 2017) versus deductively (Younie, 1974; Selinger, 1975; Pienemann, 1988; Anderson, 1990; Lee and VanPatten, 1995; Schmidt, 2001; Mountone, 2004; Nazari, 2012; Mallia, 2014; Sik, 2015; Amirghassemi, 2016). Some educators are in favour of the inductive grammar approach whereas others prefer the deductive approach (Ibid). University L2 pre-sessional students need to develop their understanding of EAP grammar which is essential for producing academic texts required for their studies and improve their score in ELAS writing exam. Having said that, which type of grammar instruction works better for university L2 students enrolled in pre-sessional classes: deductive, inductive, or combination of both? This study aimed at investigating the effectiveness of using deductive and inductive teaching models in teaching grammar needed for academic writing in terms of L2 pre-sessional students‟ grammar academic achievement. The current study, also, investigates university L2 pre-sessional students‟ perceptions and attitudes towards teaching grammar deductively and inductively. A quasi-experimental design and an ethnographic approach were used to collect data through the use of interviews, observations, questionnaires and diaries. Data analysis was performed using t-tests in order to analyse the relationship between different types of grammar instruction based on pre-post-tests. The results indicated that there were significant differences among the performances of each group in favour of the deductive approach. The results, also, revealed that university L2 pre-sessional students who were taught deductively or through the combination of the two types of grammar instruction performed slightly better as compared to those who were taught inductively. The study also contributed to the fact that teaching grammar through the use of both cognitive and prescriptive grammar may be the best solution in teaching contexts in higher education in EAP contexts.
    • Investigating the influence of tape application on static assessments of foot posture (clinical biomechanics)

      Stewart, Sarah Louise (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-12)
      The aim of this study is to investigate foot posture pre- and post-tape application using static assessments and pressure plate analysis. Fifteen healthy participants [male n= 9, female n= 6, 28.50 ± 11.00 years, 1.71 ± 0.10 m, 80.50 ± 18.00 kg] were conveniently sampled to take part in this study. Participants were assessed statically in a seated, bipedal and unipedal stance through pressure plate analysis and measurements of the navicular drop, medial longitudinal arch angle (MLA) and tibiocalcaneal angle (TCA). Measurements were taken pre- and post-tape applications which included no tape application, Sham, Zinc Oxide (Z/O), Elastic Adhesive Bandage (EAB) and two K-tape applications. There was a statistically significant difference between MLA and tape application [F (5,10) = 282.90, p=<.001, ηp2 = 0.122]. Significant increase in MLA was found between the following results; Zinc Oxide vs. K-tape 1 [p=<0.001], Zinc Oxide vs. K-tape 2 [p=<.001] and Sham vs K-tape 2 [p=0.022]. Whilst significant decrease in MLA was found between the following results; EAB vs. Zinc Oxide [p=<.001] and EAB vs Sham [p=0.025]. There were no statistically significant results found between MLA and change in body position [F (2,10) = 90.65, p=0.101, ηp2 = 0.016]. Additionally, there was a statistically significant difference between TCA and position [H (2) = 37.21, p=<.001] as well as TCA and tape application [H (5) = 27.79, p=<.001]. Significant decrease in TCA was found between the following results; Bipedal vs. Unipedal [p=<.045], ε2 = -0.337], Bipedal vs. Seated [p=<.001], EAB vs. No Tape [p=<.035], EAB vs. Sham [p=<.001] and EAB vs. Zinc Oxide [p=<.001]. There was a significant increase in TCA in the following conditions; Sham vs. K-tape 1 [p=<.026] and Zinc Oxide vs. K-tape 1 [p=0.032]. Furthermore, there was a statistically significant difference between total contact area and position [H (2) = 207.269, p=<.001]. Significant decrease in total contact area were found in the following conditions; Seated vs. Unipedal [p=<.001] and Bipedal vs. Unipedal [p=<.001]. Significant increase in total contact area was observed when comparing Bipedal vs. Seated [p=<.001]. In conclusion, the MLA results suggests that clinicians could justify the use Zinc Oxide tape application over other taping conditions due to the results showing that application typically increased the angle, indicating a better postural support being given which could assist individuals with a pronated foot posture. In contrast, EAB and K-tape applications were seen to reduce the angle of the MLA which justifies a clinician in using these tape applications for an individual with supinated foot posture over other applications, in order to reduce the MLA. Furthermore, the TCA seen across all conditions provided values which indicated a hindfoot valgus/pronated position, it could be suggested that EAB tape application reduces the TCA result and therefore brings the hindfoot angle more towards a neutral position. Additionally, results have also shown how the change in body position influence total contact area of the foot. These results provide clinicians with a greater understanding as to how the foot posture changes under different loading conditions based on body position which hasn’t previously been reported in literature.
    • History assisted energy efficient spectrum sensing in cognitive radio networks

      Syed, Tazeen Shabana (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-11-28)
      The ever-increasing wireless applications and services has generated a huge demand for the RF spectrum. The strict and rigid policy of spectrum management by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rendered spectrum a valuable resource. The disproportion in the usage of spectrum between the licensed primary users (PUs) and the enormous unlicensed secondary users (SUs) in the band has created spectrum scarcity. This imbalance can be alleviated by the Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) based on Cognitive Radio Network (CRN) paradigm by significantly improving the efficiency of spectrum utilisation of the wireless networking systems. DSA enables unlicensed secondary users (SUs) also known as cognitive radios (CRs) to sense the spectral environment and access the licensed spectrum opportunistically without causing any interference to the licensed primary users (PUs). Spectrum sensing is the most prominent capability of CRs to effectively detect the presence or absence of licensed primary users (PUs) in the band. Sensing provides protection to primary users (PUs) from interference and creates opportunities of spectrum access to secondary users (SUs). However, scanning the spectrum continuously is critical and power intensive. The high-power consumption in battery operated CR devices reduces device lifetime thereby affecting the network performance. Research is being carried out to improve energy efficiency and offer viable solutions for extending lifetime for wireless devices. In this thesis, the work focuses on the energy efficient spectrum sensing of CR networks. The main aim is to reduce the percentage of energy consumption in the CR system in possible ways. Primarily, the conventional energy detection (ED) and the cyclostationary feature detection (CFD) spectrum sensing mechanisms were employed to sense the spectrum. Aiming on energy efficiency, a novel history assisted spectrum sensing scheme has been proposed which utilises an analytical engine database (AED). It generates a rich data set of spectrum usage history that can be used by CRs to make efficient sensing decisions modelled using Markov chain model. The usage of sensing history in decision making, results in decreasing the frequency of spectrum scanning by the CRs thereby reducing the processing cost and the sensing related energy consumption. It shows 17% improvement in energy saving compared to the conventional sensing scheme. The key performance parameters such as probability of miss detection (PMD), probability of false alarm (PF) and probability of detection (PD) were investigated using ROC curves. Extensive performance analysis is carried out by implementing two traditional sensing schemes ED and CFD in terms of computational cost and energy consumption and shows 50% improvement in effective energy saved by using history assisted spectrum sensing mechanism. Further, to address the high energy consumption during communication between CRs / stations (STAs) and the base station (BS), a novel energy efficient Group Control Slot allocation (GCSA) mac protocol has been proposed. Publish/Subscribe (PUB-SUB) and point-to-point messaging models have been implemented for data communication between BS, STAs and AED. The proposed mac protocol increases the number of STAs to enter in to sleep mode thereby conserving the energy consumed during idle state. Furthermore, cluster based co-operative spectrum sensing (CSS) is considered for reducing the energy utilised for data communication between CRs and BS by electing a cluster head (CH) using fuzzy logic-based clustering algorithm. The cluster head (CH) collects, aggregates data from cluster members and it is only the CHs that communicate to the BS. Thus, there is no communication between individual non-CH CRs and BS, thereby significantly reducing the energy consumption and improving the network lifetime of the CR system. Extensive simulations were performed in MATLAB and results are presented for all the proposed schemes.
    • Prediction of a water quality index using online sensor data

      Anyachebelu, Tochukwu Kene (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-11)
      Surface water quality is a dynamic quantity to deal with. There are factors which affect the surface water quality. These factors include weather changes, anthropogenic activities and urbanization. There is an underlying problem with water quality monitoring and management around the world especially in developing countries. Pollution outbreak in a Luton town lake in 2012 which killed a lot of fishes is one instance of such devastating outbreak and the underlying effects. This thesis is aimed at utilising measured data values for certain physico chemical parameters in the determination of surface water quality through analysis, indexing and model prediction. The physical parameters measured are temperature, conductivity and turbidity while the chemical parameters are dissolved oxygen, pH and ammonium. These parameters are measured at two locations on the Luton Hoo Lake which is used as our research study site to monitor the water quality and possible sources of contamination. Data with regards to the values of the different parameters is collected with the help of multi parameter probe sensors that were installed at the site in form of a remote monitoring station. Manual sampling of the water and collection of parameter value readings is also used to substantiate the values derived from the remote monitoring stations. A preliminary analysis is carried out using descriptive Statistics and correlation analysis to determine the dependencies between the various parameters measured for water quality monitoring. We evaluate the relationship of the measured parameters to contamination sources and its impact on the water quality as it affects aquatic life. With the correlation analysis, it is discovered that some of the parameters exhibited the expected relationship whereas some could not relatively show any dependence. This led to the need for further analysis to help in the parameter selection since the aim of this work is to use minimal parameters to establish the water quality status. It is determined that dissolved oxygen is the most important parameter compared to other measured parameters. This was actualized through the use of principal component analysis to identified the major components. Multiple linear regression is used to establish the relationship between Dissolved oxygen and the other measured parameters. The two locations being monitored exhibit the same trend from the results of the box plot analysis that was carried out. Dissolved oxygen is inversely proportional to Temperature which confirms the same trend pattern as exhibited by the correlation analysis. Principal component analysis helps in the establishment of the hierarchy of the parameters measured and the level of importance which determines the input parameters for the water quality index. This research work looked at various water quality indices developed by various researchers and discovered that most available indices were limited by the fact that the data collection was done manually. This work adopted the use of a tailored Water quality index with three parameters which are Dissolved oxygen, Conductivity and Turbidity. These parameters were selected based on the results derived from the Principal components analysis. Water quality index is a good way of uniquely rating the overall water quality status of a water body using a single term. In this research study, we utilised available water quality indices that have been developed through expert opinions and modified them to suit our requirements. The results obtained were satisfactory and proved that the use of minimal parameters can give a good indication of the water quality in same way as the use of many parameters. The minimal Water Quality Index is recommended where faster and more economical approach is needed in decision making with regards to water quality monitoring. A hybrid neural network is finally proposed for the prediction of parameters for water quality index which can be tailored based on the location of the surface water and the primary use of the surface water for the end users. The major problem of identifying a low cost way of monitoring surface waters for developing countries is achieved through the use of minimal parameters and the availability of the sensor probes in the market is of great importance to the work.
    • Human systems in motion: exploring the application of systemic ideas in teams navigating change

      Rød, Anne (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-10-17)
      This thesis explores how teams can constructively lead, be in and with, emergence and change, given the challenges they are faced with in today’s complex environment. By helping teams view change and changing as something that naturally occurs in their environments, combined with their own experience of change, the teams may approach, and be with change, in different ways. The title, ‘Human Systems in Motion’ speaks to the very essence of human existence; the transformational, relational and emerging nature of our beings. The target audience is leaders, teams and other practitioners in the organisational field offering an alternative approach to emergence and change processes. The research is situated in a social constructionist perspective foregrounding the meaningmaking and sense-making activities in the teams engaged with, and what awareness and possible responses and actions emerge from these. Social constructionism depicts the relational, also known as systemic processes, where the co- creation of reality is taking place inside the human interaction. Through a parallel autoethnographical account, I share my ‘come from place’ that has shaped the lens through which I – as a long-standing practitioner in the field of organisational change – view, approach and explore change in teams and organisations. It provides an overview of some of the main contributors to the theories of change to create an understanding of how change is often conducted in organisations today. Emergent approaches to the topic are explored through perspectives on systems and systemic thinking. It investigates the relevance of these ideas to teams in change, and also looks into some of the obstacles encountered in the face of emergence. The result is a model: The Wheel of Systemic Ideas. I follow three different teams, operating in different contexts but facing some kind of emerging change. Through Participatory Action Research sessions, the teams’ perception of, engagement with, and responses to, change are explored. The main and final part of the research engages the teams with the Wheel of Systemic Ideas. Each team explores its focus points in the change process, and to what extent the systemic ideas can facilitate the emerging change process. The research indicate that the model can be applied to different change topics and contexts, enabling conversations which break up binary thinking and the questions preferences for linear and normative approaches to change.
    • A general practice intervention targeting registration on the NHS Organ Donor Register

      Penn-Jones, Catrin Pedder (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-10-15)
      Background: There is a shortage of organs for transplant in the UK. Family consent is a critical part of the organ donation pathway, and prior knowledge of a person’s wishes makes this decision easier for families. The most effective way to express organ donation wishes is through registration as an organ donor. General practice is an underutilised setting for organ donation interventions, and is the only NHS setting which can put people directly on the organ donor register. Therefore, interventions could be developed in this setting to maximise the opportunities for UK residents to register their request to donate their organs after death. This thesis aims to explore this by developing and evaluating the feasibility of a general practice intervention designed to increase organ donor register sign-up in the UK. Methods: A literature review, systematic review, and theoretical review were conducted to establish a basis for the intervention. Intervention Mapping was then used to develop it based on these empirical and theoretical findings. Based on the IIFF model of organ donation registration, the intervention consisted of three parts; staff training, asking patients in consultations if they wished to join the NHS Organ Donor Register (prompted choice) and the provision of leaflets and posters in the waiting room. A single practice feasibility study was conducted to assess five dimensions; recruitment, data collection materials, resources, acceptability, and intervention promise. Intervention mapping was revisited to refine the intervention based on the single practice study findings. Results: Staff conducted prompted choice on 12.4% of face to face consultations they had with patients over three months, with 214 patients joining the NHS ODR. Some staff found prompted choice both feasible and acceptable, with opinions dependent on staff professional role. Responses to the training sessions were positive; however, although leaflets and posters were found to be feasible and acceptable, the majority of patients did not notice them. Significant challenges to implementation were found with SystmONE the practice software, the NHS Ethics process (particularly the confidentiality advisory group) and recruitment of practices. These resulted in the ultimate abandonment of a planned multi-practice feasibility randomised controlled trial. Conclusion/Discussion: These findings were positive and indicated that general practice could be an acceptable location to provide the facility to join the NHS ODR in the UK verbally. However, due to implementation issues, consideration is required as to how best to test the intervention further for feasibility. Recommendations include conducting a larger feasibility randomised controlled trial with more resources (people and financial), to help aid recruitment and the implementation of the required SystmONE elements. Contribution to Knowledge: This is the first academically tested intervention allowing people to sign-up to the NHS ODR verbally, and one of the first organ donation interventions in UK general practice. It is also the second intervention internationally to use Intervention Mapping for organ donation behaviour, and this thesis adds to the evidence base in each of these areas.
    • Testing academic literacy in reading and writing for university admissions

      Holland, Martine (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-07)
      Currently university entrance decisions are heavily reliant on further education qualifications and language proficiency tests, with little focus on academic literacy skills that are required to succeed at university. This thesis attempts to define what academic literacy skills are and to what extent they correlate with three measures of university success. To answer these two research questions, I first investigated what academic literacy skills are through a survey of the literature, university study skills websites and existing academic literacy tests, and from these results drew up a checklist for academic literacy test validation. I then attempted to validate a new academic literacy test through a mixed methods study: first by calculating the correlations between performance in this test and university grades, self-assessment and tutor assessment, then through a case study approach to investigate these relationships in more detail. My tentative findings are that, within the humanities and social sciences, the academic literacy test is likely to correlate strongly with university grades, both in the overall results and in two of the four marking criteria: coherence and cohesion, and engagement with sources, with some possibility of correlation in the argument criterion. The fourth criterion – academic language use – did not correlate, but this may be an effect of this particular participant sample rather than the test itself. I also suggest two areas that may be difficult to elicit under timed exam conditions: eliciting appropriate source use when sources are provided, and eliciting synthesis of ideas across two or more given sources.
    • An evaluation of the implementation and practice of social prescribing

      Pescheny, Julia Vera (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-07)
      It is a current policy priority in the UK to break down the traditional divide between primary care and community services, in order to deliver continuous, integrated, and need-driven care and to provide opportunities for health professionals to respond to the wider determinants of health more effectively. Social prescribing is an example of an approach in primary care that promotes partnership working between the health and community and voluntary sector. It provides health professionals with a non-medical referral option to address the non-medical needs of patients, determining their health and wellbeing. Given that social prescribing is increasingly implemented across the UK, it is a key priority for commissioners and service providers to understand the implementation, uptake and adherence, and potential outcomes of social prescribing, as well as the existing evidence base. This study uses a mixed-methods design, reviewing previous evaluations on social prescribing to provide an overview of the evidence base. In addition, face-to-face semistructured interviews were conducted with health professionals, navigators, service providers, managers, and decision-makers to explore the facilitators and barriers to the implementation of the social prescribing programme in Luton. Face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were also held with service users of the Luton programme, to explore the factors affecting uptake and adherence to social prescribing, as well as the patient outcomes from a service user perspective. Lastly, secondary data from the Luton programme was reviewed, to analyse the change in energy expenditure and mental wellbeing for service users after the programme. The systematic literature review identified a range of service user outcomes and specific facilitators and barriers to the implementation of social prescribing, enabling increased and efficient access to available evidence. In addition, this study found that the implementation of the Luton programme was affected by operational processes, the evaluation process, communication, relationships, shared knowledge, and understanding among stakeholders, human resources, organisational readiness, and contextual factors. The uptake of social prescribing was affected by the trust in general practitioners, programme design, patient expectations, perceived need, and benefits, and fear of stigma of psychosocial problems. The support of navigators, the availability and accessibility of services, perceived benefits, and health and wellbeing of service users affected the adherence to the Luton programme. In addition, the study found that service users experienced improvements in their health related behaviours, mental wellbeing, and pain relief due to social prescribing. Lastly, the quantitative analysis showed that the Luton social prescribing programme has the potential to increase energy expenditure of participants and to activate sedentary patient groups. The iv analysis also found a statistically significant improvement in mental wellbeing postintervention. Findings of this study contribute to the development of an evidence base for social prescribing and can support policy-makers, decision-makers, and providers to improve the implementation, uptake, and adherence for social prescribing in the future. In addition, the identified gaps in the evidence base and the limitations of this study can inform future research in this field.
    • Writer-reader interaction: writer’s stance in English L1 and L2

      Darwish, Hosam (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-07)
      Stance refers to the ways academics annotate their texts to comment on the possible accuracy or creditability of a claim, the extent they want to commit themselves to it, or the attitude they want to convey to an entity, a proposition or the reader. Stance concerns writer-oriented features of interaction which can be presented by four interpersonal categories. These categories are boosters, e.g. ‘clearly’, hedges, e.g. ‘may’, self-mentions, e.g. ‘I’ and attitude markers, e.g. ‘interesting’. A big number of corpus-based studies have been conducted to analyse stance markers in both L1 and L2 writer’s transcripts from the view that texts are independent of specific contexts and outside the personal experiences of authors and audience. This view does not go along with the idea that texts are instances of interaction between the writer and their audience. Therefore, the current study sought to fill this gap in research by adopting a more subjective view through stressing the actions and perceptions of the text writers to better understand them. The aim of this study is to have a more complete picture of the writer-reader interaction by investigating the three elements of interaction: The text, the text writers and the audience. Adopting Hyland’s (2005b) Model of Interaction, a corpus of 80 discussion chapters written by both MA postgraduate Egyptian students (English L2) at Egyptian universities and their British student peers (English L1) at UK universities, were searched both electronically using the Text Inspector tool and manually by two raters to identify more than 200 stance markers in students’ academic scripts. Moreover, the study explored the perceptions of twenty of the text writers’ (both Egyptian and British) about the functions of certain stance markers and the factors that could affect their understanding and use of these linguistic features. Characteristics of successful stance-taking were suggested after interviewing four expert writers. The quantitative results found no statistically significant differences in the total number of stance markers, boosters and self-mentions used by students in the two writer groups, but the L1 corpus contained statistically significant more hedges and attitude markers than the L2 one. Furthermore, the L1 texts included noticeably more types of stance markers than the L2 scripts. vi The discourse-based interviews conducted indicated that both L1 and L2 writers were aware of the functions of stance markers. However, some of the interviewees (both L1 and L2) had narrow or even faulty conceptions of certain stance markers, e.g. possibility versus probability devices and other attitude markers, e.g. ‘important’ and ‘significant’. These features of academic discourse had not been made more conspicuous to them, and this could have affected their employment of these linguistic features. The findings revealed that in addition to the lingua-cultural aspect, writer’s personal linguistic preferences, supervisor’s and other lecturers’ feedback, previous education and instruction, and the writer’s self-confidence were key factors that have played a considerable role in students’ lexical decision-making. For instance, L2 students might have used fewer types of stance markers than L1 students due to their lack of confidence and their reluctance to use certain types of devices that they did not master or practised enough. The study, also, suggested that the higher density of stance markers is not absolutely an indication of a better ability in writing or a feature of a well-written academic text. The epistemological stance of the study and the contextual factors do play a significant role in the quantity and type of the stance markers used.
    • A multidimensional inquiry into Chinese outbound tourism to Western Europe: the visitation of Chinese millennial students to the Netherlands.

      De Vrieze-McBean, Ethel Rose (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-06-26)
      This research focuses on the multidimensionality of Chinese outbound tourism to Western Europe and particularly highlights the visitation of Chinese millennial students to the Netherlands. The contributions made to knowledge construction are first of all, to establish a propaedeutic research agenda for which this current research serves as a framework. Simultaneously, seven discernable dimensions have been identified as archetypal to the Chinese tourist, especially regarding their key interests and behaviour when visiting Western European destinations. These being competitive, demographic, economic, technological, cultural, natural and political. Within this construct, the researcher drew from Urry’s ‘The Tourist’s Gaze’, and Pearce et al., reconstruction of this, in their article in Tourism Recreation Research on “Puzzles in Understanding Chinese Tourist Behaviour: Towards a Triple-C Gaze”, to create the Quadruple-C Gaze in depicting the Chinese millennial tourist’s behaviour. (Quadruple-C is in reference to Confucianism, Capitalism, Communism, and Consumerism). The latter is a proposition for the establishment of a propaedeutic research agenda, which is derived from this study. In exercising an interpretative research methodology, the researcher attempted to gain a comprehensive understanding of the key interests of Chinese millennial tourists to the Netherlands and juxtapose them to Chinese millennial students as tourists to the Netherlands. At the same time, an investigation was carried out into the implications of these visits for the Dutch tourism industry as well as the Dutch higher education board. Semi-structured interviews were conducted among experts from the Dutch tourism industry as well as from the Dutch higher education board and experts from Dutch universities. Likewise, focus groups meetings were held among five different groups of Chinese millennial students from universities in the Netherlands as well as students from a university in China. Data was also generated from discourse analysis. The outcome of the thematic analysis performed resulted in seven pronounced themes, which are: the cultural values of Chinese millennial travellers; their motivations for visiting the Netherlands; the Netherlands and its higher educational institutes; Chinese millennial students in the Netherlands; the travel interests and behaviours of Chinese millennial students in/through Europe; the Chinese millennial students and their surroundings; and the implications of Chinese millennial students on their exhibited behaviour and on the Netherlands. A future propaedeutic research agenda is therefore proposed that examines “The Quadruple-C Gaze of Chinese outbound tourism and its relevance in defining the key interests and behaviour of the Chinese millennial tourists from second-and-third-tier VIII A Multidimensional Inquiry into Chinese Outbound Tourism to Western Europe: The Visitation of Chinese Millennial Students to The Netherlands cities in China”. In carrying out such a study, three relatively innovative methodologies are suggested: Complexity Theory, which is a set of concepts that attempts to explain a complex phenomenon not explainable by traditional or mechanic theories. The second is via Visual Analysis, which applies graphic prompts to assess the motivational considerations that guide visitors from different cultural backgrounds to select their travel destination(s). And thirdly, by way of Netnography - a current research method that uses online conversations as data. By applying one or more of the above-mentioned methodologies, a fresh insight will be gained into the quadruple-C gaze of Chinese millennial tourists from second and third-tier cities from Mainland China. Finally, when approaching China as a prospective source market for Chinese millennial tourists/students, both Dutch tourism providers and the Dutch higher education need to adopt a holistic approach to understanding the multi-dimensions postulated in this inquiry.
    • Smart cites forensics - evaluating the challenges of MK Smart City Forensics

      Okai, Ebenezer (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-06-18)
      The purpose of this research identifies what challenges are associated with MK Smart Data Hub forensics. MK Smart project holds its place as one of the Smart Cities’ projects in the United Kingdom and central to this project is the MK Data Hub which holds a vast amount of data from various data sources. The first phase of the project involves looking at the MK Smart project ultimately emphasising on the projects aims, objectives, achievements and some of the trial projects that have been carried on. The second phase involves in-depth research into the MK Data Hub which is the integral of the project. There will be an evaluation of data received from the different data sources such as sensors on the Data Hub. This will also examine how data is stored, types of data stored, data structure and finally evaluate these data with current digital forensic tools and techniques to see the challenges associated with MK Smart forensics. The project objectives are to perform detailed research into the MK Smart project focusing on the aims, current achievement, detailed research into the MK Data Hub which is the central infrastructure of the MK Project, analysis of different types of datasets available on the Data Hub, evaluation of the existing digital forensics tools and techniques and its limitations to Smart city forensics, evaluation of the current challenges facing Smart city forensics and evaluation of the MK Data hub and detailed research into its forensic investigation challenges. Once the objectives are met, a result will be generated to determine the proposed solution to forensically collect evidence from the MK Data Hub.
    • ‘How would a child see it?’ exploring the impact when a parent downloads IIOC

      Thornhill, Lisa Marie (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-05)
      This thesis explored the impact on children when their father is arrested for downloading indecent images of children (IIOC). There is existing research which identifies the risk posed by people who download IIOC, however there is no research which explores the risk fathers present to their biological children. There is limited guidance for practitioners responsible for risk management in a family setting. As such, there is a danger that families will receive inconsistent responses from intervening agencies. This is the first piece of research which specifically explored how children who have a parent who downloads IIOC are affected. An inductive thematic analysis was undertaken. Data collection involved qualitative interviews with nine fathers who had been arrested for downloading IIOC, three mothers who had children with a man arrested for downloading IIOC, one step mother in a relationship with a man who had downloaded IIOC and one 17-year-old girl whose father had been convicted of downloading IIOC. The adults in this study are connected (as a parent or step parent) with a combined total of 27 children, 19 of whom were under the age of 18. The research was underpinned by the following theoretical frameworks: resilience, risk, the social construction of childhood and symbolic interactionism. The research provides a unique insight into the journey of the child, starting from when their father is arrested, followed by exploration of what they are told (if anything) about their father’s offending and how the entire experience impacts on them. The data revealed a wide variety of risks to the child in this context, for example: the risk the child has been exposed to the images, the risk that they will be told about the offence in a way that is emotionally harmful to them, the risk either parent would attempt or commit suicide, the risk that the child has been sexually abused or will be in the future, the risk that the offence will feature in the media and the child will become isolated and bullied, the risk of harm caused by separation from their parent and the risk that the non-offending parent will not be able to cope. The families shared valuable insights about their experience of intervening agencies. The thesis concludes with recommendations for practice, policy, and the development of materials for children, as well as raising further questions which may be addressed in future research. ix policy, and the development of materials for children, as well as raising further questions which may be addressed in future research.
    • Theorising marketing communications practices in the context of small businesses in emerging markets

      Kuzmina, Ekaterina (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-05)
      As part of the main research contribution this study raises the substantive theory on Marketing Communications (MCs) in the novel context of the Russian market and small ‘organic’ skincare businesses by this building the foundations for further research studies in this area of SMEs with intangible attributes and markets with emerging marketing practices. This research explores how small businesses in organic skincare industry in Russia practice MCs; and specifically focuses on what contextual factors impact on ‘inside-out’ and ‘outside-in’ approaches to marketing communications. While the ‘inside-out’ approach represents a more company-controlled and brand-informed marketing, the ‘outside-in’ approach mainly focuses on a customer-centric and considering that MCs have mostly been investigated in the context of large scale companies with advanced marketing practices, it is worthwhile to provide more insight into how small businesses with emerging marketing practices understand MCs and implement its core principles of customer and brand orientation. In this sense a salient example is the Russian market, where marketing as a discipline initiated its development only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 90-ies. MCs will be investigated in the context of organic skincare products. Local skincare companies in Russia extensively label their brand ‘organic’ to gain a competitive advantage on the market. Despite that, there is a lack of insight into how the ‘organic’ concept and its characteristics are communicated to the local audience and whether they are consistent with a customer’s locally constructed perception of ‘organic’. In response to that, this research aims to fill in this gap and to shed the light on whether and how local small companies in the industry manage to create a consistent customer-centric brand identity. The research consists of two sets of data collection methods: the analysis of online consumers’ discourses on organic skincare (netnography) and the interviews with the small organic skincare companies in Russia, which respectively provide insight into a customer’s local perception of ‘organic’ in skincare and the company’s communicated ‘organic’ brand identity. The present study is informed by the grounded theory methodology with the social constructivist and symbolic interactionism dimensions that guide and support the subsequent substantive theory on MCs in the defined context. As part of the main contribution the research introduces the concept of the business self (the owner-manager’s perception of the business) as the main constituent that defines MCs practices. In the case of the ‘restricted business self’ the company describes itself as a business with restricted resources and limited ability to invest into customer-informed marketing practices. The main focus of the company is on communicating a consistent brand identity, which is however hardly supported by a customer insight. Thus, this practice demonstrates more of the brand orientation and the ‘inside-out’ MCs. Conversely, in the case of the ‘desired business self’, where the company envisions itself in a favourable market situation, it expresses the ‘desire’ to invest into rigorous primary customer research and customer relationship management (CRM) to achieve a higher level of customer centricity to inform its brand identity. Thus, the case of the ‘desired business self’ demonstrates the shifts towards the customer orientation and the practice of ‘outside-in’ MCs.
    • An investigation into assessing ESL learners pragmatic competence at B2-C2 levels

      Ficzere, Edit (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-04-30)
      As the number of overseas students and employees in English-speaking countries has increased exponentially over the last decade, the importance of pragmatic competence in the successful social integration of L2 speakers has been highlighted and the need for assessing it has become more pressing. Most currently available pragmatic tests are based on Speech Act Theory as a theoretical framework and use discourse completion tasks as test instruments. However, both of these have been criticized lately for overlooking the importance of the discursive side of pragmatics, which requires the use of on-line processing skills (see e.g. Roever, 2011). The aim of this research was, therefore, to contribute towards the assessment of B2-C2 level learners’ pragmatic competence in extended oral discourse by identifying some criterial features defining the level of B2-C2 ESL learners’ pragmatic competence and by examining the extent to which a monologic and a dialogic task format allows these learners to display aspects of their pragmatic competence. Data were collected from thirty international university students at B2-C2 levels with a range of L1 backgrounds, who performed four monologic and two dialogic test tasks. This was then followed by a semistructured interview to gain the participants’ perspectives on the given contexts. Performance of the tasks was video recorded, transcribed and analysed quantitatively, using selected coding categories from Blum-Kulka et al. (1989) and Barron (2003), as well as qualitatively using a Conversation Analytic framework. The results indicate that with increasing language competence ESL learners used a wider range of pragmalinguistic devices and used them more frequently. The data from the semi-structured interviews also highlighted that with increasing proficiency there was a greater depth of analysis of the different contexts. However, the comparison of participants’ evaluation of the contexts and their actual language use indicated that only C2 level participants had the capacity to adjust their language to reflect their pragmatic intentions.
    • Drivers' attitudes, perceptions and situation awareness in relation to driving and accident experience

      Cavendish, Paul James (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-03-31)
      Road traffic accidents are among the biggest contributors to mortality rates and injury, especially young people, in developed countries. Research investigating how the human factor of driving has contributed to these accidents and early research focused on the skill of the driver as a contributory cause. Later studies have shown that it is not a lack of driving skill that causes accidents, per se, but that driving style may play a bigger role. However, the apparent relationship between driving skill, self-reported driving style and accident involvement is hampered by research not controlling for exposure and determining culpability for accidents. Similarly, research is by no means unequivocally differentiating drivers on the basis of their type of accident involvement. Therefore, the continued investigation of these factors should provide further evidence to help determine this relationship. In addition, the role of situation awareness (SA) in driving has been of interest in recent years, and poor SA caused by factors such as distraction and inattention has been shown to be a contributory factor in road traffic accidents. Current measures of SA are administered either during or after a specific, simulated task and as such are limited in their applicability. To this end, a 20 item driving specific questionnaire was developed to record drivers’ self-reported levels of situation awareness in a driving context which has provided an original contribution to the field of SA in driving research. Despite the number of traffic accidents recorded each year, they are still, on a per driver basis, rare events and as such determining the effects of skill vs. style and SA factors can be a challenge. Near-misses (also referred to as near-accidents and close calls) have also been used in place of recorded accidents and as the frequency of near-misses while driving is much higher than actual accidents, should act as a useful proxy variable in place of them. The aim of Study One was to methodically determine culpability in drivers and investigate which factors best distinguish these culpable accident and near miss involved drivers from the non-culpable and non-involved drivers, once demographic and experience variables had been controlled for. Drivers were surveyed using online survey software and self-reported accident and near miss culpability was investigated using attribution theory. The results included an Exploratory factor Analysis (EFA) of the Driver Situation Awareness (DSA) questionnaire which identified four factors that distinguished drivers on the basis of their accident and near miss involvement. Culpable drivers were lower in self-reported attention, concentration and vigilance. Culpable drivers also reported worse driving styles and attitudes that favoured riskier driving behaviours, and were also high in extraversion. Study two was a follow up study which surveyed a sub set of drivers from Study one and the same factors of interest were investigated. The aims of Study Two were to investigate differences over time in the factors previously investigated in a subset of drivers from Study One, and to explore the accident and near miss history of the same drivers to see if the differences seen between these groups still existed on those same factors. The results revealed that those differences seen in Study One were not apparent in Study Two, most likely due to a much smaller sample size masking any significant effects. The primary aim of Study Three was to explore differences between accident involved drivers from Study Two on different types of hazard and their precursors on a driving simulator and recording eye movements. This was a replication and extension of the methodology of Crundall et al. (2012). The second aim investigated whether there were any differences between drivers on different types of hazard precursor when having previously been exposed to an active hazard of the same type. The third aim involved further validating the DSA on both objective and online measures of situation awareness, and to explore the contribution of the DSA in distinguishing drivers based on their accident involvement. While the results showed no differences between the driver groups on fixating the different types of hazard overall, non-accident involved drivers fixated on more behavioural predictor precursors than culpable drivers. Culpable drivers also fixated less on precursors following an active hazard of the same type. Finally, higher levels of attention and vigilance as measured by the DSA were related to fewer fixations on Dividing and Focusing precursors and faster fixations on Behavioural Predictor precursors. The results from these studies are discussed in light of current models of driving behaviour.
    • Factors of hypertension, metabolic syndrome and musculoskeletal injury risk in the Bedfordshire Police.

      Yates, James (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-03-22)
      Rationale: Compromises in individual’s health (Elliott-Davies et al., 2016) and absenteeism rate increases are resultant from reduced operational police numbers (Houdmont and Elliot-Davies, 2016). Performing police work is known to be deleterious to health due to the sudden bursts of high intensity activity performed (Kales et al. 2009). Reduced staff numbers places individuals under greater strain operationally (Arnott, Emmerson and Singer, 2001), and may also increase threats to health through longer working hours compromising lifestyle (Gu et al., 2012). By surveying the health status of a police organisation, it is possible to understand what impact reduced operational numbers may have had in order to critically inform future preventative interventions. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess Bedfordshire Police with particular focus on three main health themes; hypertension, metabolic syndrome and musculoskeletal injury risk. Method: 137 Bedfordshire police employees completed a variety of physiological, lifestyle and occupational measures. The sample was divided by gender and into non-operational and operational personnel, for comparisons between groups. Results: A significant main effect of gender existed for systolic blood pressure (P < 0.05). A significantly higher (P < 0.001, 95%CI: 8 to 25 mmHg) SBP was observed in males (136 ± 11 mmHg) compared with females (119 ± 13 mmHg) in non-operational personnel. No significant main effect of job type existed in systolic blood pressure. No significant main effect of job type or interaction effect existed between gender and job type in musculoskeletal injury, metabolic syndrome and diastolic blood pressure. Metabolic syndrome was significantly greater in males than females (P < 0.05). Conclusion: High prevalence of the main health themes existed. A significantly higher SBP was observed in males compared to females in non-operational personnel (P < 0.001). Increased trends of METSYN and MSK were observed in operational personnel although non-significant. Risk factors; HDL, WHR, PSQ-ORG and PSQ-OP were significantly different in operational personnel (P < 0.05). Future interventions should be focus on physical activity and dietary changes to improve body composition. Future research should be directed toward the impact of stress, shift work and dietary habits in this population.
    • Performance and practice in higher education: an ethnomethodological study of everyday academic work.

      Bolam, Caroline (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-03)
      It is widely accepted that Higher Education (HE) has gone through significant changes within the last sixty years. The effects of such phenomena as managerialism, marketization and performativity are well documented in the literature (Deem et al 2007, Molesworth et al 2011, Hussey and Smith 2010, Bell et al 2009). Often, such terms are introduced and accepted as truth without fully exploring what such phenomena really mean to the members of that community. However, policy and purpose (impact) may differ from practice, as illustrated by Weider (1974). This research uses ethnomethodology (EM) as its focus, to explore this issue further. EM is a method of inquiry which concentrates on the members’ methods to understand how they make meaning of their work environment through their daily practices. This research applies a documentary approach to lecturing, to see it as a document of accomplishment. It also draws on the method of conversation analysis (CA) and examines discussions with academic members of two post 1992 universities, which are seen to be the most affected by the neoliberal phenomena mentioned. This is to understand how they accomplish their performance of being an academic. The use of EM allows a greater appreciation of the shared understanding of the use of the social space of the university and how the organisational daily objectives are achieved by its members. Evidence from this research shows that performativity (Lyotard 1984) causes misunderstandings of purpose, and marketized approaches have increased assymetries in student-academic interactions.
    • Independent dancers and the choreographic process: a study into the working conditions of the 21st century dancer

      Farrer, Rachel (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-03)
      The UK independent dance sector is generating increasing interest from within the academic community, with a discourse emerging that is concerned with the work of those working in self-employed capacities as dancers. This role often involves varied responsibilities spanning performance, choreographic, teaching and project management work, and generally means dancers working on a project basis, as opposed to being employed by a single organisation or company. The aim of this research is to better understand the working conditions of the independent sector and how dancers operate to navigate themselves within it. It focuses on how dancers use their roles as performers within different choreographic projects to support this activity, in order to feed and sustain their careers. To examine this area, I draw upon existing research and literature about the independent dance communities, in addition to writing in the fields of sociology, economics, philosophy and dance science to anchor the study, and contextualise the conditions of independent dancers’ work. An in-depth autoethnographic study was undertaken, in which I worked with three professional dancers on two choreographic projects to experience and observe their practice. The findings were furthered during interviews with a separate group of independent dancers who were questioned about their careers in the sector. Together, they provide first-hand accounts of the work that independent dancers do, interpreted through my constructivist perspective as a dancer and academic. 4 The findings provide new evidence of working conditions in the contemporary dance sector, from the dancers’ perspective. From this, a model is distilled that articulates how the dancers in this study engaged with five key areas of practice to support their roles within different chorographic projects and navigate their world of work: Adaptation, Relationships, Continued learning, Identity and Exchange. In providing new insights into independent dancers’ work, this study forges a new direction for how their roles can be understood and valued within the wider contemporary sector.