Good Saturday morning! We’re back to work with some Research in Progress presentations.

Rajeev Bukralia (DSU student, BHSU Dean of Academic Outreach), “Predictive Modeling to Improve Retention of Online Students”

  • Rajeev is looking into what variables influence retention of online students, predictors like high school GPA and ACT scores
  • focusing on course retention, not program retention or graduation
  • study looks at ACT, HS GOA, current college GPA, previous history of dropping course, credits completed, financial aid status, gender, age as indep. variables
  • dependent variable: final grade posted (did student complete course)
  • degree-seeking status, financial aid status, college GPA strong predictors
  • HS GPA and ACT not strong predictors in RB’s results! This contradicts previous published results on overall retention in terms of degree completion.
  • prev research hypothesized age would be important factor; RB’s results say nope!
  • Up next:
    • compare results with neural network model
    • include more variables
    • include other institutions
    • build and validate predictive model
    • develop system prototype to analyze incoming students and flag at-risk students, help advisors act proactively

Sheila Miller (presenting), Kristy Lauver, and Dawna Drum, “Is This What I Signed up for? Undergraduate and MBA Perspectives of Online Classes”

  • comparing student attitudes toward on-campus and online biz/MBA programs
  • why students select online classes, whether retention is worse
  • results so far: undergrads think online courses will be easier, take less time; MBA students like flexibility, have more classes offered only online

Ken Pinaire, “An Overview of Barriers to the Adoption of Electronic Medical Records”

  • Small practices (1-9 docs) account for 80% of all docs
  • EMR adoption rates much lower in small practices… which is a bummer, since it’s easier to get big orgs to adopt
  • Big barriers:
    • Cost
    • Privacy and security (but various studies find privacy and security are at the bottom of the concerns lists! Still, SD study finds deep consumer suspicion)
    • Patient education
    • Standardization issues
    • Training
    • Productivity and workflow issues

David Bixby, “Emotional and Social Intelligence in Project Management

  • Bixby is a PMI-certified project management professional with 24 years of experience (that means listen up!)
  • PMBOK is a 500-page document with just 5 pages dedicated to leadership issues; that got Bixby thinking
  • 20% of world GDP in 2009 will be project costs (that’s $12 trillion)
  • project failure rates (Standish 2009) down around 20%; Gartner 2008 finds 20-24% of projects cancelled
  • “human factors tend to drive non-determinism and variance” in project success (i.e., we screw things up)
  • emotions react faster than cognition; emotional intelligence is thus important to successful leadership
  • social intelligence: understanding and navigating human relationships; forms “open limbic system,” an emotional network among participants, shared emotions
  • 70% of communication is non-verbal; that’s why you need SI! (but if you hear that some UCLA study says 93% of communication effectiveness comes from non-verbals, be careful! that’s bogus!)

Peter Knight and Wei-Jun Zheng (presenting), “Factors Affecting the Effectiveness of e-Mentoring Program in Non-Profit Organizations”

  • (2nd most features)
  • (most features)
  • Mentor Scout
  • Insala
  • systematic understanding of factors influencing effective e-mentoring programs still lacking
  • important thing to look at: matching mentors and mentees
  • some findings: same-sex and same-race mentor relationships allow easier communication. Lit suggests similar personalities should also be positive factor, but that’s not so solidly confirmed.

Daniel Power, Susan Wurtz, Dale Cyphert, and Leslie Duclos, “Building Virtual Iowa in Second Life: A Case Study”

  • More info at YouTube and Iowa
  • inside spaces don’t work as well in Second Life! design open outdoor spaces
  • started in May 2007; established Decision Support World in summer 2007
  • Power bought the Iowa island March 2008
  • target audience is Iowans, former Iowans, and friends
  • bringing Iowa businesses in to meet; one biz interviews on SL!
  • “I spend too much time in Second Life, and my wife reminds me of that all the time.”
  • cost is problem; NSF does have grant program for virtual worlds
  • Iowa costs $1700 a year to maintain; adding/enhancing costs more in labor
  • university feels a bit weird about payign for virtual land… in Linden dollars
  • biggest issue: learning time, adult content
  • building started as 64cm x 64 cm whiteboard square. Island max: 256×256 cm
  • building a 3-D virtual space is very different from designing a website

Paul Weist, “An AHP-Based Decision-Making Framework for IT Service Design”

  • AHP: analytic hierarchy process; structures multiple criteria into hierarchy, prioritizes relative importance
  • decision table and decision tree require more subjective inputs
  • Paul hopes to dissert on this! Yahoo!

[Cool! Cory gets to chair a session! What fun!] (more…)