Abstract: In this global era, critical thinking has become crucial for educators and learners. The purpose of this research was to explore how modifying a dialogical strategy in asynchronous online discussion forums impacted Chinese learners’ critical thinking. Due to the Chinese cultural impact of social harmony, the majority of learners tend to maintain silent and avoid critical discussions in instructional settings. The author deployed an affectively supportive model in a modified dialogical strategy to structure Chinese EFL learners’ asynchronous critical postings by probing and questioning while requiring labeling of each cross-referencing posting as Agree/Disagree/Challenge/New Perspective. The participants were two cohorts of similar cultural background but under different political systems in China and Taiwan, here engaged together in cultural interactions. This study employed two research methods: standardized critical thinking tests, and focus groups. Findings reveal that learners in both cohorts indicated some improvement in their critical thinking skills. Nevertheless, there remain affective and cultural issues. Future studies are thus recommended to further investigate the potential of an adaptive model to engage critical discussions with English native speakers and optimize critical thinking for Chinese learners in an EFL environment.
Abstract: Decision support tools exist for oncologic follow up. Their main interest is to help physicians improve their oncologic readings but this theoretical benefit has to be quantified by concrete evidence. The purpose of the study was to evaluate and quantify the impact of using dedicated software on RECIST readings. A comparison was made between RECIST readings without dedicated application vs. readings using dedicated software (Myrian® XL-Onco, Intrasense, France) with specific functionalities such as 3D elastic target matching and automated calculation of tumoral response. A retrospective database of 40 patients who underwent a CT scan follow up was used (thoracic/abdominal lesions). The reading panel was composed of two radiologists. Reading times, intra/inter-operator reproducibility of measurements and RECIST response misclassifications were evaluated. On average, reading time was reduced by 49.7% using dedicated software. A more important saving was observed for lung lesions evaluations (63.4% vs. 36.1% for hepatic targets). Inter and intra-operator reproducibility of measurements was excellent for both reading methods. Using dedicated software prevented misclassifications on 10 readings out of 120 (eight due to calculation errors). The use of dedicated oncology software optimises RECIST evaluation by decreasing reading times significantly and avoiding response misclassifications due to manual calculation errors or approximations.
Abstract: Electronic learning platforms are evolving and their evaluation is becoming more complex and challenging with time. Yet, the evaluation of electronic learning services is intrinsically linked to improving the performance of documentation services. In this paper, I describe my perspectives on the design, use and evaluation of an electronic learning platform using a lens of a practitioner from a third world country. I further delineate the challenges and constraints I encountered as a student learning about e-learning platforms and using e-learning platform services at an institution of higher learning in Sweden. In particular, the Ping Pong system at the University of Boras, Sweden, and the electronic print in the Library and Information Science (E-LIS), one of the services from the bulletin board for libraries (BUBL) Link information gateway, will be evaluated. It is anticipated that this experiential evaluation will provide designers of e-learning platforms with insights and strategies for refining the e-learning platform to facilitate teaching activities and promote students’ learning efficiency and satisfaction.
Abstract: In this paper we report findings of the first phase of an investigation, which explored the experience of learning amongst high-level managers, project leaders and visitors in Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) “Cube”. “The Cube” is a giant, interactive, multi-media display; an award-winning configuration that hosts several interactive projects. The research team worked with three groups of participants to understand the relationship between: (a) the learning experiences that were intended in the establishment phase; (b) the learning experiences that were enacted through the design and implementation of specific projects; and (c) the lived experiences of learning of visitors interacting with the system. We adopted phenomenography as a research approach, to understand variation in people’s understandings and lived experiences of learning in this environment. The project was conducted within the first twelve months of The Cube being open to visitors.
Abstract: As we move into the big data era, data grows not just in size, but also in complexity, containing a rich set of attributes, including location and time information, such as data from mobile devices (e.g., smart phones), natural disasters (e.g., earthquake and hurricane), epidemic spread, etc. We are motivated by the rising challenge and build a visualization tool for exploring generic spatiotemporal data, i.e., records containing time location information and numeric attribute values. Since the values often evolve over time and across geographic regions, we are particularly interested in detecting and analyzing the anomalous changes over time/space. Our analytic tool is based on geographic information system and is combined with spatiotemporal data mining algorithms, as well as various data visualization techniques, such as anomaly grids and anomaly bars superimposed on the map. We study how effective the tool may guide users to find potential anomalies through demonstrating and evaluating over publicly available spatiotemporal datasets. The tool for spatiotemporal anomaly analysis and visualization is useful in many domains, such as security investigation and monitoring, situation awareness, etc.
Abstract: Molecular imaging by definition is the visualization of molecular and cellular processes within a given system. The modalities and reagents described here represent a diverse array spanning both pre-clinical and clinical applications. Innovations in probe design and technologies would greatly benefit therapeutic outcomes by enhancing diagnostic accuracy and assessment of acute therapy. Opportunistic pathogens continue to pose a worldwide threat, despite advancements in treatment strategies, which highlights the continued need for improved diagnostics. In this review, we present a summary of the current clinical protocol for the imaging of a suspected infection, methods currently in development to optimize this imaging process, and finally, insight into endocarditis as a model of infectious disease in immediate need of improved diagnostic methods.