• Validating a set of Japanese EFL proficiency tests: demonstrating locally designed tests meet international standards

      Dunlea, Jamie (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-12)
      This study applied the latest developments in language testing validation theory to derive a core body of evidence that can contribute to the validation of a large-scale, high-stakes English as a Foreign Language (EFL) testing program in Japan. The testing program consists of a set of seven level-specific tests targeting different levels of proficiency. This core aspect of the program was selected as the main focus of this study. The socio-cognitive model of language test development and validation provided a coherent framework for the collection, analysis and interpretation of evidence. Three research questions targeted core elements of a validity argument identified in the literature on the socio-cognitive model. RQ 1 investigated the criterial contextual and cognitive features of tasks at different levels of proficiency, Expert judgment and automated analysis tools were used to analyze a large bank of items administered in operational tests across multiple years. RQ 2 addressed empirical item difficulty across the seven levels of proficiency. An innovative approach to vertical scaling was used to place previously administered items from all levels onto a single Rasch-based difficulty scale. RQ 3 used multiple standard-setting methods to investigate whether the seven levels could be meaningfully related to an external proficiency framework. In addition, the study identified three subsidiary goals: firstly, toevaluate the efficacy of applying international standards of best practice to a local context: secondly, to critically evaluate the model of validation; and thirdly, to generate insights directly applicable to operational quality assurance. The study provides evidence across all three research questions to support the claim that the seven levels in the program are distinct. At the same time, the results provide insights into how to strengthen explicit task specification to improve consistency across levels. This study is the largest application of the socio-cognitive model in terms of the amount of operational data analyzed, and thus makes a significant contribution to the ongoing study of validity theory in the context of language testing. While the study demonstrates the efficacy of the socio-cognitive model selected to drive the research design, it also provides recommendations for further refining the model, with implications for the theory and practice of language testing validation.
    • Validating aspects of a model of academic reading

      Krishnan, Sarojani Devi (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2010-09)
      In the past, the focus in language testing, teaching and research has largely been on careful reading while expeditious (quick, efficient and selective) reading has been largely ignored. However, some research suggests that careful reading ability alone is inadequate for students to meet the demands of undergraduate academic reading. In the main English for Academic Purposes (EAP), test instruments have been previously based on careful reading models which assume reading to be unicomponential. If this is not the case, the issue for language testing is whether the construct of academic reading can be validly measured by a focus on careful reading alone. The aims of this study were to investigate the types of academic reading required of firstyear undergraduates based on Urquhart and Weir's (1998) four-cell matrix of reading types which also forms an important part of Khalifa and Weir's (2009) reading model. Based on this, a valid academic reading test battery for undergraduate students was developed and used to examine the divisibility of the academic reading construct. The literature review on reading models suggested that current models were nearly all premised on careful reading and expeditious reading had in the main been ignored. The findings of a pilot and main questionnaire survey with undergraduates suggested that both careful and expeditious reading were important in accomplishing academic reading tasks at the undergraduate level. Accordingly, the empirical data generated by these surveys validated Urquhart and Weir's (2009) reading matrix and aspects of the reading model by Khalifa and Weir (2009). Based on this matrix and aspects of the model, a valid reading test was developed and administered to first-year undergraduate students. The performance of undergraduates across the different parts of the reading test confirmed that academic reading was a divisible construct. The findings of this study add to the literature on EAL academic reading by lending empirical support to a componential approach to the teaching and testing of reading. The componential model and the test design methodology employed should help test designers develop valid academic reading tests embracing both careful and expeditious reading types. The results from such tests might usefully inform pedagogical practice leading to more efficient reading practice at undergraduate level.
    • The value of tourism degrees: an investigation of the tourist industry’s views on tourism degrees and tourism graduates

      Petrova, Petia (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2008-09)
      The rapid expansion of tourism degrees over the last 30 years has been fuelled by the expansion of Higher Education, the popularity of tourism as an area of study, and the attraction of tourism careers. However, the tourism industry has not always been involved in these developments, nor appreciative of tourism degrees. Tourism employers have suggested that tourism graduates do not meet their needs, and voiced concern about the relevance of tourism degrees. Yet, there has not been a comprehensive study which explores employers' perceptions of the value of tourism degrees. This thesis aims to address this by providing an in-depth exploration of how tourism employers perceive the value of tourism degrees. To achieve this aim, a mixed method approach was adopted. A qualitative approach to this study was employed in its first stage. The findings from this stage were used to inform the second quantitative stage. The results indicate that the perceived value of tourism degrees is based on both its employment relevance and academic status. From an employment perspective, the majority of jobs available to graduates are entry level jobs which do not require holding a degree. These jobs are often customer facing, with what employers term as 'personality' being considered a key requirement. Tourism degrees are not seen to contribute to graduates meeting this requirement. Rather, they are seen to contribute to gaining knowledge of the industry, which incidentally is low on the employers' list of requirements. The importance of relevant work experience where skills such as customer-service skills can be developed and demonstrated should thus not be overlooked. Work experience schemes based on cooperation between universities and the industry could also have a positive effect on graduates' employability not only by expanding their work experience, but also because such cooperation is often linked to a more positive view ofthe value of tourism degrees. Where jobs which do require holding a degree are concerned, employers indicated that tourism degrees do not provide an advantage. They associated tourism degrees with new universities, and perceive graduates from new universities to exhibit deficiencies in higher level graduate skills. This suggests that although the expansion of HE was designed to meet the needs of the economy, employers may not be convinced of its benefits. The results indicate that regardless of whether the tourism degrees provide good, sound academic base, if employers associate them with former polytechnics and lower academic standards they will still opt for graduates from elite institutions and more traditional degree subjects.
    • Variations of practising corporate social responsibility in a context with strong Islamic beliefs

      Koleva, Petya Milhaylova (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-08)
      Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a global phenomenon receiving increased interest from scholars and professionals, resulting in a significant body of literature on and for its use. However, the literature generated around CSR is often criticized for being biased towards the Western countries and their contextual specifications. This study suggests that the contextual dynamics associated with developing countries require careful examination of the phenomenon within the realm of its implementation, especially when executed in a region with strong religious dominance. Using a constructive grounded theory strategy, sixty-three intensive interviews were conducted with directors of for-profit, governmental and non-governmental organisations. Data from secondary sources were utilised as well. The information was rigorously analysed through a systematic process of coding, categorisation and theoretical construction to identify results grounded in respondents’ voice and experience with the phenomenon of investigation. These results indicate that the specification of the Middle Eastern region exerts significant pressure on the CSR activities of the organisations by resulting in the implementation of four distinct approaches to CSR. Largely, organisations are driven by coercive pressures to become involved in CSR, as their forms of CSR activity are used to mitigate contextual dynamics associated with the local environment. As result of these dynamics, stakeholder power obtains different dimensions that translate to community-focused forms of CSR activity. The findings also suggest that contrary to the Western CSR approach closely aligned with traditional corporate practice, the Middle Eastern practice of CSR is largely shaped by religious postulates identified in Islam. That translates to individual level motivations to become involved in CSR that consequently shape organisational behaviour and CSR conduct. This study contributes to expanding the theoretical scope of Western CSR literature, literature on CSR in developing and Middle Eastern countries, as well as in relation to stakeholder theory. Also, the study makes a significant contribution to the practice of CSR in the examined region by identifying potential areas of improvement and development for practitioners.
    • The viability of some helminth parasites in sewage sludges applied to agricultural land

      Dean, R. Ann (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1981-09)
      The public health and veterinary significance of sewage transmissible helminth infections is largely underestimated. Since land application is the ultimate destination of mu.ch of the sludge produced, this study was designed to investigate the longevity of helminth parasites in such material. The initial aim of the investigation was to develop reliable and quantitative isolation techniques. After determining specific gravity values for the ova of Taenia and Ascaris, several methods of isolating these were compared and modified to improve the efficiency of recovery. The effectiveness of sewage treatment for the removal of these ova was examined by measuring sedimentation rates. These values indicated that the retention times currently used in treatment plants must often be inadequate • .Anaerobic mesophilic digestion had no observable effect on the removal of ova. A number of criteria for judging the viability of ova were used to investigate the persistance of helminth ova stored in raw, digested and dried-cake sludge. Treated sludges were found to provide the leas:t favourable conditions for egg survival. The influence of ultraioletv light, temperature and humidity on egg survival was studied. Of these, humidity had the most detrimental effect. In situ lysimeter experiments were conducted to examine both persistance and viability of helminth ova under field conditions. Under the cirumstances tested Ascaris ova were found to persist longer than Taenia ova. Calves were infected. experimentally with ova recovered from raw sludge in order to obtain conclusive proof that such eggs were infective; ova retained infectivity upto 3 months. This work contributes to the understanding of the fate of animal parasites in sludges a:p:plied to agricultural land and may therefore be used to assist in the drafting of responsible policies for the safe use of sludge in agriculture.
    • Vision and achievement : an investigation into the foundation of the modern Hospice Movement to identify the role of corporate vision in the non-profit and voluntary sector

      Johnson, Martin (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1998-04)
      This investigation examines the management concept of corporate vision in organisations. The study includes an investigation of the etymology and definitions of vision, and considers existing views of its application in management theory. Research was carried out into the foundation of independent voluntary hospices in Britain, using case studies, interviews, hospice histories, and a questionnaire survey. Information was obtained from 11 case studies and from questionnaires responses of 140 founders of seventy-two separate hospices. The principal finding is that corporate vision is a valid concept in organisations, and a definition of successful corporate vision is derived from the evidence obtained. The content of successful vision was shown to admit detailed analysis, and a feasibility test was devised which was then applied to a number of projects. The feasibility test showed a clear correlation between feasibility scoring and project time to completion. It is also shown that there are several common elements between hospice visions and the activity of a small number of successful visionary individuals both in business and charitable work. A relationship is demonstrated between leadership and corporate vision which shows that the leader is subordinate to the vision. Team structure and behaviour in hospice founding groups is shown to be at variance with those commonly found in business organisations. Hospice founders do not appear to use relative measures either for progress or success, and accept substantial changes to financial targets largely without concern. The only common factor related to failure of hospice projects is shown to be visions that were defective at the outset, in that they were not shared. The context of corporate vision is considered, and it is concluded that corporate vision as a concept is not necessarily applicable to all types of organisation.
    • Vision-based neural network classifiers and their applications

      Li, Mengxin (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2005-09)
      Visual inspection of defects is an important part of quality assurance in many fields of production. It plays a very useful role in industrial applications in order to relieve human inspectors and improve the inspection accuracy and hence increasing productivity. Research has previously been done in defect classification of wood veneers using techniques such as neural networks, and a certain degree of success has been achieved. However, to improve results in tenus of both classification accuracy and running time are necessary if the techniques are to be widely adopted in industry, which has motivated this research. This research presents a method using rough sets based neural network with fuzzy input (RNNFI). Variable precision rough set (VPRS) method is proposed to remove redundant features utilising the characteristics of VPRS for data analysis and processing. The reduced data is fuzzified to represent the feature data in a more suitable foml for input to an improved BP neural network classifier. The improved BP neural network classifier is improved in three aspects: additional momentum, self-adaptive learning rates and dynamic error segmenting. Finally, to further consummate the classifier, a uniform design CUD) approach is introduced to optimise the key parameters because UD can generate a minimal set of uniform and representative design points scattered within the experiment domain. Optimal factor settings are achieved using a response surface (RSM) model and the nonlinear quadratic programming algorithm (NLPQL). Experiments have shown that the hybrid method is capable of classifying the defects of wood veneers with a fast convergence speed and high classification accuracy, comparing with other methods such as a neural network with fuzzy input and a rough sets based neural network. The research has demonstrated a methodology for visual inspection of defects, especially for situations where there is a large amount of data and a fast running speed is required. It is expected that this method can be applied to automatic visual inspection for production lines of other products such as ceramic tiles and strip steel.
    • A visual analytics approach for visualisation and knowledge discovery from time-varying personal life data

      Parvinzamir, Farzad (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-01)
      Today, the importance of big data from lifestyles and work activities has been the focus of much research. At the same time, advances in modern sensor technologies have enabled self-logging of a signi cant number of daily activities and movements. Lifestyle logging produces a wide variety of personal data along the lifespan of individuals, including locations, movements, travel distance, step counts and the like, and can be useful in many areas such as healthcare, personal life management, memory recall, and socialisation. However, the amount of obtainable personal life logging data has enormously increased and stands in need of effective processing, analysis, and visualisation to provide hidden insights owing to the lack of semantic information (particularly in spatiotemporal data), complexity, large volume of trivial records, and absence of effective information visualisation on a large scale. Meanwhile, new technologies such as visual analytics have emerged with great potential in data mining and visualisation to overcome the challenges in handling such data and to support individuals in many aspects of their life. Thus, this thesis contemplates the importance of scalability and conducts a comprehensive investigation into visual analytics and its impact on the process of knowledge discovery from the European Commission project MyHealthAvatar at the Centre for Visualisation and Data Analytics by actively involving individuals in order to establish a credible reasoning and effectual interactive visualisation of such multivariate data with particular focus on lifestyle and personal events. To this end, this work widely reviews the foremost existing work on data mining (with the particular focus on semantic enrichment and ranking), data visualisation (of time-oriented, personal, and spatiotemporal data), and methodical evaluations of such approaches. Subsequently, a novel automated place annotation is introduced with multilevel probabilistic latent semantic analysis to automatically attach relevant information to the collected personal spatiotemporal data with low or no semantic information in order to address the inadequate information, which is essential for the process of knowledge discovery. Correspondingly, a multi-signi ficance event ranking model is introduced by involving a number of factors as well as individuals' preferences, which can influence the result within the process of analysis towards credible and high-quality knowledge discovery. The data mining models are assessed in terms of accurateness and performance. The results showed that both models are highly capable of enriching the raw data and providing significant events based on user preferences. An interactive visualisation is also designed and implemented including a set of novel visual components signifi cantly based upon human perception and attentiveness to visualise the extracted knowledge. Each visual component is evaluated iteratively based on usability and perceptibility in order to enhance the visualisation towards reaching the goal of this thesis. Lastly, three integrated visual analytics tools (platforms) are designed and implemented in order to demonstrate how the data mining models and interactive visualisation can be exploited to support different aspects of personal life, such as lifestyle, life pattern, and memory recall (reminiscence). The result of the evaluation for the three integrated visual analytics tools showed that this visual analytics approach can deliver a remarkable experience in gaining knowledge and supporting the users' life in certain aspects.
    • Vocabulary acquisition through extensive reading of unsimplified English material in a Saudi Arabian tertiary context

      Sivardeen, Hussain Ziya Zaeem; University of Bedfordshire (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2016-10)
      A number of studies seem to indicate that Extensive Reading (ER) enhances language proficiency in general and vocabulary knowledge in particular. However none of those surveyed focused on poorly motivated lower level language learners in a normal course of study that incorporated ER of unsimplified material, and few addressed partial vocabulary gain and the other factors that could have affected this. In this study the participants were young adult male Saudi Arabians, who were elementary English language learners and who were not used to reading for pleasure even in Arabic. Tests were used to gauge their partial vocabulary acquisition when they engaged in ER involving an open choice of simplified and unsimplified English material during a regular English preparatory course of just one semester. If ER could be linked to improved vocabulary acquisition in such difficult but natural conditions, the case for ER‘s wider implementation could be strengthened. The study also used diaries, surveys and interviews to delve into the reading habits, academic background and cultural context that could also explain any observed vocabulary gain. The results showed there were few statistically significant partial vocabulary gains after the ER programme, and although the experimental cohort that received the ER programme showed greater gains than the control in most of these cases, the difference was not large in terms of the absolute number of words. The diaries, surveys and interviews gave a rich profile of the participants with a level of detail that surpassed that of any other surveyed study, offering several possible reasons for their modest vocabulary gains and yielding unanticipated findings, such as an exposition of their motivations for academic study. It is concluded that a greater awareness of the learners‘ context is essential when applying ER, which in this particular context leads to the view that pure ER may not be suitable for vocabulary learning, and instead a significantly modified version could be more appropriate. These modifications include selecting appropriate books for the students and adding explicit vocabulary learning activities, and they even include linking the reading to the students‘ final grade. Further research is needed to gauge the effectiveness of such modifications, while a more inductive approach is also important when investigating ER and vocabulary acquisition to give the opportunity for unforeseen results to emerge.
    • Vocabulary size and reading comprehension in elementary level Emirati learners of English

      Kinsella, Laurence (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-09)
      The overall aim of this mixed methods study based on a sequential explanatory design was to provide new knowledge and understanding regarding vocabulary learning and reading comprehension among elementary level Emirati learners of English. The low vocabulary sizes and poor reading performances of these learners are well documented (Davidson, Atkinson & Spring, 2011; O’Sullivan, 2009). It is also widely accepted that students with low vocabulary size are will not read efficiently (Laufer & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010; Nation, 2006; Schmitt, Jiang & Grabe, 2011). However, there is still considerable debate on how best low level students might quickly develop their vocabulary and how any increase in vocabulary size impacts on reading comprehension skills (Schmitt, 2010b). Further, much of the research carried out in this area has been in the context of cross sectional studies in experimental conditions rather than in classrooms (Nation & Webb, 2011). The present study aimed to address these gaps through a longitudinal classroom based study on the effect of word cards on receptive vocabulary size development. The quantitative experimental element of the design included an intervention using word cards with the experimental groups. The control groups followed the institutions prescribed vocabulary course which did not include the use of word cards. Additionally, this researcher found no studies seeking the views of Arab learners on the usefulness of word cards. This gap in the literature was addressed through soliciting the students’ perceptions during focus group interviews and a survey questionnaire. The three specific objectives were to:(1) Investigate how decontextualised vocabulary study, using word cards and translation, contributed to a gain in receptive vocabulary for elementary iv level Emirati learners of English; (2) Investigate how vocabulary size is correlated with reading comprehension scores among elementary level Emirati learners of English, and (3): Explore the perceptions of elementary level Emirati learners of English regarding the teaching and learning of vocabulary and its relationship to reading comprehension. The philosophical stance of the researcher was vindicated, because the mixed methods research design, underpinned by constructive realism or pragmatism, provided quantitative data that was enriched and corroborated by qualitative data. Despite its limitations, the main conclusions were that (a) decontextualised vocabulary study, using word cards and translation, contributed a more rapid gain in receptive vocabulary for elementary level Emirati learners of English than a similar teaching programme lacking this element; (b) the size of the receptive vocabulary appeared to correlate with reading comprehension scores. This correlation was especially strong in the case of the Preliminary English Test (PET); and (c) the participants in the experimental group perceived that word cards and translation was a very effective approach to learning vocabulary. The practical implications were that decontextualised vocabulary study, using word cards and translation, could potentially be introduced into curriculum, in order to contribute to a gain in receptive vocabulary for elementary level Emirati learners of English. The findings of this study underline the importance of improving vocabulary size in the case of elementary learners and that the learners are likely to engage better with strategies they believe in.
    • Voiced and non-voiced consumer responses to primary dissatisfaction: a uni-dimensional and multi-dimensional study

      Boote, Jonathan (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2003)
      It is proposed by scholars of consumer complaining behaviour that dissatisfaction occurs at two levels: (1) the primary level resulting from product or service failure; and (2) the secondary level resulting from an unsuccessful attempt at complaint resolution with the company held responsible. This thesis provides an integrated analysis of the triggers of voiced and non-voiced consumer responses to the level of primary dissatisfaction. A deductively derived two-factor taxonomy of consumer responses to dissatisfaction was developed out of the extant literature, to identify those responses to dissatisfaction analogous with both primary and secondary dissatisfaction. Based on this taxonomy, a deductively derived typology of consumer responses to primary dissatisfaction, together with two truncated alternatives, was also proposed. The proposed typologies facilitated two levels of analysis: (1) the unidimensional level relating to whether or not the dissatisfaction was voiced to the company held responsible; and (2) the multi-dimensional level of response style engaged in. At each level of analysis, the contribution to total explained variance of six trigger sets was assessed: pre-dissatisfaction situation, post-dissatisfaction situation, company/consumer relationship, marketplace/consumer relationship, psychographics and demographics. The validity of both the proposed two-factor taxonomy and the three typologies was examined through a cross-sectional survey of 1000 dissatisfied consumers across eight product and service categories. Findings supported the deductive basis of the taxonomy, where it was found that whilst exit behaviours and private negative word-of-mouth are analogous with the level of primary dissatisfaction, the incidence of public negative word-of-mouth, third party action and grudge holding was significantly greater among consumers experiencing secondary dissatisfaction. These findings also supported the deductive basis of the proposed typologies of responses to primary dissatisfaction, by empirically identifying those responses analogous with this level of dissatisfaction. At the unidimensional level of analysis, the trigger sets explained 54% ofthe variance between a voiced and a non-voiced instance of primary dissatisfaction. At the multidimensional level of the response style, 63% of variance was explained between response styles in the truncated typology with the most practical use for suppliers. On the basis of these findings, recommendations are made to practitioners on how to encourage supplier-friendly consumer response styles following primary dissatisfaction, and to discourage less friendly styles. The empirically supported truncated typology -distinguishing between passive, private responses, telling, and telling + private responses -represents an important strategic tool for suppliers to monitor and benchmark responses to primary dissatisfaction among their customer base.
    • The volcanic geology of the southern wall of the Valle Del Bove, Mount Etna, Sicily

      McGuire, William Joseph (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1980-08)
      The Valle del Bove is a horse-shoe shaped depression, 8km long and 5km wide, cut into the eastern flanks of Mount Etna, Sicily. In the southern cliff walls there are exposed the lavas and pyroclastics erupted by six ancient centres of activity which existed in the vicinity of the site now occupied by the Valle del Bove. The majority of these volcanics originated at a centre, Trifoglietto II, which occupied a position on the site of the southern Valle del Bove, and which was still erupting lavas at 25,000 ys BP. A reconstruction of the topography which previously existed within the Valle del Bove, is accomplished by extrapolating preserved contours on the northern and southern walls of the depression. Reconstruction of the Trifoglietto II centre shows that its summit was probably between 2500m and 2600m above present sea-level, and that it consisted of a cone constructed predominantly from pyroclastic materials, overlain on its southern and eastern flanks by lavas. A stratigraphy is constructed for the southern wall. The Trifoglietto II lavas rest unconformably upon the eroded remnants of an older centre, and are themselves overlain by the products of younger centres. All the lavas exposed in the southern wall are of alkalic affinity, and comprise a trachybasaltic suite ranging from hawaiite to benmoreite. Variation in the chemistry of most of the lavas can be explained by their differentiation at high levels in the crust, from a more basic magma of alkalibasalt/hawaiite composition. Chemical variation in the Trifoglietto II lavas, however, can best be explained as a result of generation by the partial melting of garnet-peridotite material at upper mantle depths and pressures. A study has been made of the numerous dykes exposed in the walls of the Valle del Bove., the alignments of which parallel trends which are important on Etna at the present time. It is proposed that the Valle del Bove was formed by phreatic or phreato-magmatic eruptions which destroyed the Trifoglietto II centre, some 15-17,000 ys BP, following magmatic extinction at the centre. The eruptions produced lahars which are evident to the east of the depression, and extensive air-fall ashes. Subsequent enlargement of the Valle del Bove was accomplished by fluvial erosion.
    • The volcaniclastic deposits of the main caldera and the evolution of the Galluccio Tuff of Roccamonfina volcano, Southern Italy

      Cole, Paul David (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1990-07)
      The south-west portion of the main caldera was mapped and a stratigraphy for the caldera-fill was constructed. The exact timing of formation of the main caldera is unclear; However, caldera collapse either predates or was synchronous with the eruption of the Campagnola Tuff. The proximal facies of the Campagnola Tuff exists as a complex relation of ignimbrite, lithic breccia and pyroclastic surge deposits. Overlying this the Galluccio Tuff a compound ignimbrite, ~6 km3 D.R.E, forms the base of the exposed caldera fill. Caldera lakes then became well established and following activity was predominantly phreatomagmatic. Pyroclastic surge deposits possess sand wave structures of several types and their migration direction was apparently controlled by the velocity/flow regime of the surge rather than the moisutre content. The morphology of juvenile clasts from phreatomagmatic deposits indicates that the eruptions were driven by a combination of vesiculation and magma/water interaction. The uppermost pyroclastic deposits are thought to represent the early phase of dome building where water still had access to the vent. The construction of the lava domes brought activity to a close within the main caldera. The Galluccio Tuff on the flanks of the volcano may be divided into three compositionally distinct eruptive units. The Lower Galluccio Tuff, correlated with the bulk of the Galluccio Tuff filling the main caldera. The Middle Galluccio Tuff commenced with the eruption of pumice-rich pyroclastic flows followed by flows enriched in both the size and amount of lithic fragments forming lithic-rich ignimbrite and co-ignimbrite lithic breccias of which several types exist. The Upper Galluccio Tuff is composed of lithic-rich ignimbrite which possess dense pumice fragments and are thought to be the product of a combination of both vesiculation and magma water interaction. Field relations indicate that pyroclastic flows were sometimes generated in quick succession and may have overrun earlier slower moving flows. Occasionally internal shear may have caused the overriding of portions of the same flow, these often coincide with lithic breccias and represent the climax of the eruptive phases. The grading of lithic fragments indicates that the expansion and fluidization decreased and yield strength increased with time in a pyroclastic flow.
    • Volunteering for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games: visions, policies and capitals

      Zhuang, Juan (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2011-01)
      This research examines the use of volunteering at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games for the creation of human, social and political capital at individual, organisational and societal levels. Despite a long tradition of Olympic volunteering, this has not been investigated so far. The concept of volunteerism at Beijing 2008, in fact, was constructed upon multiple contexts including the Olympic Movement, Chinese society and an international understanding of the ternl (BOCOG, 2005). Hence, volunteerism as an under-investigated concept is firstly studied individually in each of these contexts. The frameworks underpinning this research include Getz's (2005) human resource planning process which explains how specific policies for managing event volunteers are formulated for fulfilling its vision(s); and theories of social, human and political capital as developed by Putnam (2000), Bourdieu (1986; 1991) and Coleman (1988) respectively. Multiple qualitative case study strategy is adopted for this investigation, following a constructivist paradigm. The subjective and interactive epistemology is constructed upon the knowledge and experiences of a total of fifty-seven infoIDlants, most of whom were directly involved in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Volunteer Programme. The research findings illustrate that the Chinese state and BOCOG's interpretation of the concept of volunteerisrn was manifested in organisational visions for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Volunteer Programme. These visions were accomplished through a range of management policies, which in fact placed volunteerism at Beijing 2008 in line with the maturity stage of volunteerism in the Olympic Movement. During the course of the management practices, social, human and political capital were created in varying degrees at all of the three levels. It was also evident that participation and training were the critical processes in the creation of different forms of capital. Moreover, the findings suggest that the created social, human and political capital have both positive and negative effects on those involved, while full possible long-term effects are yet to become apparent. This research makes distinctive contributions to the body of knowledge. It adds six-dimensional conceptual frameworks for both volunteerism in general and Olympic volunteerism in specific. Investigation into how volunteering for the Beijing Games has been used for the creation of social, human and political capital at individual, organisational and societal levels is deemed to be original. Research findings will contribute to the development of volunteerism in the Olympic Movement and future Olympic volunteer programmes. Suggestions for future research are also proposed to investigate on further issues of issue of the use of volunteering for the creation of social, human and political capital at future Olympic Games as well as other mega events.
    • Washback effects of speaking assessment of teaching English in Sri Lankan schools

      Umashankar, Singanayagam; University of Bedfordshire (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2017-08)
      Washback is a concept commonly used in applied linguistics to refer to the influence of testing on teaching and learning. The purpose of this study was to investigate the washback effect of a new system of English language speaking assessment in Sri Lanka. The new assessment was introduced with the intention of promoting the teaching and learning of English speaking skills in schools as part of a Presidential educational initiative called the English as a Life Skill Programme. The study examined the washback effect of the introduction of speaking assessments at both National and school levels from the perspectives of participants at three levels of the education system: the decision making level, intervening level (teacher trainers and in-service advisors), and implementing level (teachers and students). For this purpose, a mixed methods research approach was employed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants at the decision making level and intervening level to examine whether there were any important gaps in translating policy intentions to the implementing level participants (teachers and students). A questionnaire survey was conducted with teachers and students to investigate their perceptions of the assessment change and its effects on teaching and learning speaking in the classroom. Classroom observations were conducted to gain insights into actual classroom practices in relation to teaching and learning speaking, along with follow-up interviews to seek teachers’ accounts of their classroom practices. The study found that the assessment change did influence teachers’ and students’ perceptions of teaching and learning speaking in the classroom, as well as teachers’ instructional practices. Therefore, some of the policymakers’ intended aims were achieved. However, the intensity and direction of washback were shown to be influenced by several mediating factors such as teachers’ training and contextual factors such as the availability of classroom resources. The findings of this study suggest that assessment reforms can be used to promote change both in what is taught in the classroom and how it is taught, but to different degrees. The study indicated that washback does occur in this context, but it operates in a complex manner associated with many other variables besides the assessment itself. The findings of this study have implications for the improvement of future assessment policies in Sri Lanka, highlighting the importance of timely implementation of reforms and of monitoring them. The findings suggest that it is especially important to listen to key stakeholders’ (teachers’ and students’) voices in the initial planning and feasibility study phases of reform.
    • Water deficit responses of non-nodulated and nodulated Vicia faba (broad bean) when supplied with various forms on concentrations of medium nitrogen nutrition

      McCabe, Victoria B. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2000-03)
      V. faba fixes nitrogen effectively (Richards & Soper, 1979), however nitrogen fixation is reportedly energetically expensive and water deficit sensitive. Research was designed to determine whether medium nitrogen applications would result in increased productivities in V. faba, particularly during water deficits. Non-nodulated and nodulated V. faba were subjected to gradual water deficit imposition, and were supplied with a variety of medium nitrogen nutrition. Nitrogen fixing V. faba exhibited greater productivities than V. faba which were supplied with low medium nitrate concentrations (0.8 roM N), even during water deficits. Plant performance parameters (growth; net photosynthesis; nitrogen assimilatory enzyme activities; osmotic adjustment) were greater in nodulated than in non-nodulated 'no nitrate' supplied V. faba throughout water deficits, inferring water deficit tolerance for nitrogen fixation. However significantly greater plant performance paramaters were exhibited in V. faba when supplied with increasingly concentrated medium nitrogen nutrition (> 0.8 roM N) than when reliant on nitrogen fixation. In contrast to the bulk of previous literature, NR activities were maintained in V. faba until water deficits became severe, inferring a role for nitrate assimilation in nitrogenous osmotica production. Medium ammonia additions resulted in the exhibition of significantly increased root biomasses; cumulative leaf areas (important for a green manure crop); heights; and nitrogen assimilation in V. faba throughout water deficits, and accordingly in increased osmotic adjustment (including compatible solute accumulation), protein concentrations and vegetative yields. Greater plant productivities in v. faba when supplied with medium ammonia additions were attributed in part to lower associated assimilatory costs for ammonia than nitrate nutrition (Raven, 1992). Results indicated increased metabolism as opposed to storage of medium ammonia, and therefore potentially alleviated 'sink size' feedback inhibition of photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism in V. faba when supplied with medium ammonia additions. Furthermore ammonia supplied V. faba may have been predisposed towards water deficit tolerance. In summary V. faba exhibited significantly greater nitrogen assimilation; osmotic adjustment; net photosynthesis; and growth when supplied with increasingly concentrated medium nitrogen nutrition (and particularly with medium ammonia additions) than when reliant on nitrogen fixation, both during periods of adequate irrigation and during water deficits.
    • Water quality investigations of the River Lea (NE London)

      Patroncini, Deborah (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013-01)
      The Lea Navigation in the north-east of London, a canalised reach of the River Lea, is affected by episodes of very low levels of dissolved oxygen. The problem was detected by the Environment Agency in the stretch from the confluence with Pymmes Brook (which receives the final effluent of Deephams sewage treatment works) to the Olympic area (Marshgate Lane, Stratford). In this project, possible causes and sources of the poor water quality in the Lea Navigation have been investigated using a multi-parameter approach. A study of physico-chemical parameters, obtained from Environment Agency automated monitoring stations, gave a clear picture of the poor river water quality at three sites in this reach. River water ecotoxicity to the freshwater alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata was determined by algal growth inhibition tests, following the OECD guidelines. Moreover, a novel protocol was developed which involved the use of E. coli biosensors (CellSense) operating at a lower potential than the standard protocol and using pre-concentrated river water samples. This protocol is promising and it has the potential to be a useful tool to determine the toxicity of contaminants at environmental concentrations. Furthermore, the developed protocol is a rapid, easy to perform bioassay, with potential application in achieving the aims of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). In addition to the data from the Environment Agency automatic monitoring stations and the laboratory-based tests, two in situ monitoring approaches were performed: 1) a detailed spatial seasonal monitoring of physico-chemical parameters of river water at twenty-three sites, and 2) algal growth inhibition tests, with algae entrapped in alginate beads, at seven monitoring stations. Results showed chronic pollution, and identified polar compounds in the river water and high bacterial concentrations as possible causes of low dissolved oxygen levels. This study confirmed the negative impact of Deephams STW (throughout Pymmes Brook) on the water quality of the Lea Navigation. However, there was evidence of other sources of pollution, in particular Stonebridge Brook was identified as uncontrolled source of pollution and untreated wastewater. Other possible sources include Old Moselle Brook, diffuse pollution from surface runoff, boat discharges and other undetected misconnections. Finally, in the light of the WFD, this project provides a case study on the investigation of river water quality, providing evidence that the multiparameter approach is reliable, and low cost approach for the monitoring of freshwater bodies.
    • Welfare and responsibility: a qualitative study of the demise of social morality and the rise of personal ethics in welfare discourses

      Doheny, Shane D. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2004-08)
      Much attention has been devoted in the social sciences to the reorganisation of the moral order of society (Smart, 1999). This reorganisation means that responsibility for welfare is now located with the individual. In spite of the salience given to privately held responsibility for welfare in social policy, little work has been carried out on the discourses underpinning this way of distributing responsibility (Finch and Mason, 1993, Duncan and Edwards, 1999, Rowlingson, 2002). Work on this issue is especially timely as New Labour continues the privatisation of responsibility for welfare in a way that, many people believe, neglects a moral dimension. Instead, New Labour favours a more ethical construction that exhorts the individual to do her duty by which they mean she should work for her own betterment and well-being (Levitas, 1998, Giddens, 1998, Jordan, 1998, Lund, 1999). This work begins by situating responsibility as a historically variable and discursive construction, uncovering how the understanding of responsibility changed as the problem focusing the minds of social engineers altered from one of poverty to one of security in the 1970s. While responsibility has only recently been identified as a particular issue for social policy academics (Roche, 1992, Dwyer, 1998, Dean et aI., 2004) philosophers and sociologists have paid close attention to responsibility over the past decade (Bauman, 1993, 1995, Habermas, 1990, 1995, Apel, 1989, 1996, Etzioni, 1995, Schmidtz, 1998, Goodin, 1998). Building on the issues raised by these authors, this work presents a qualitative study of government press releases, interviews with benefits recipients, members of the general public, welfare advisors and welfare benefits administrators to explore the rational structure of the discourses of responsibility for welfare. As a result, I develop the argument that while the reconfigured moral order promotes a private acceptance of responsibility for welfare, people still want a way of interpreting responsibility taking in a more public way.
    • What are the issues involved in using e-portfolios as a pedagogical tool?

      Mills, Jeanette Marie (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013-11)
      In Initial Teacher Training (ITT), one of the technologies rapidly being adopted to support the development of trainee teachers is the e-portfolio. Research into successful use of e-portfolios beyond their function as a repository has been scanty to date. The purpose of the current study was to extend the boundaries of understanding of e-portfolios beyond this function. This was undertaken through two in-depth case studies where e-portfolios were used as a pedagogical tool intended to support the development of reflective practice on a one year postgraduate ITT course, during two years of investigation in one university A mixed-methods approach was adopted to capture the richness of participants’ self reports of their experiences, statistical data regarding interactions on the e-portfolios and analysis of reflective writing. Data were collected and analysed from questionnaires, student and tutor interviews and interactions with the e-portfolio together with analysis of the content of reflective e-journals, with a special emphasis on the place and depth of reflection. What emerged was a rich contextual understanding of e-portfolio use by trainee teachers and tutors and the problematic nature of conceptualising and assessing reflective thinking, together with the extent to which the development and depth of their reflective thinking had been supported by e-portfolio use. The results confirm previous concerns related to the training requirements of users and also the time needed for students and tutors to engage in interactions. Further they imply that the prerequisites of successful use of e-portfolios, as a pedagogical tool, to support the development of reflective thinking include common agreement about what constitutes reflection and reflective thinking embedded within a strong, rigorous and well theorised conceptualisation of course structure and content. Implied also is the need for a well understood and transparent framework to assess the depth of reflective thinking that should complement the competencies that underpin Standards, and support the professional development of teachers.
    • What is resilience and how can it be assessed and enhanced in social workers?

      Grant, Louise Jane (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-08)
      The outputs chosen for inclusion for this PhD by publication comprise seven articles published in peer reviewed journals, two book chapters, one research paper and two resource guides commissioned by professional bodies. These outputs explore two major themes. The first concerns the nature of resilience in social workers and identifies the inter- and intra-individual competencies associated with the concept. The second concerns how resilience and its underpinning competencies can be enhanced in social work education, both pre and post qualification. The report begins by contextualising the research within the existing literature, outlining my epistemological and methodological position and highlighting the importance of a pragmatic mixed-methods approach to research design, data collection and analysis. A critique of the outputs is subsequently provided together with a discussion of how I developed as a social work academic and a researcher during the research programme. Finally, the significance of the contribution to the body of social work knowledge provided by these outputs is demonstrated by identifying how the research has enhanced understanding of improving wellbeing in social workers though the development of a tool box of strategies to manage stress and foster resilience in social work training and practice.