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USJ Theses and Dissertations

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  • This study covers the limited research on how experiences with nature can foster Chinese students’ pro-environmental identity and behavior. The relevant literature outlines five areas – identity, human behavior, experiences, nature and transformation – in understanding how the Chinese culture of ‘face’ (lain/mian) shapes Chinese students’ identity and behavior today and why experience with nature can help to transform Chinese students’ values, beliefs and norms, and shapes someone who manifests an environmentally sensitive behavior. Past research studies environmental behavior in various dimensions, including the correlation between environmental knowledge and positive environmental attitudes and behavior. Yet surveys of how students’ experience with nature fosters a pro-environmental identity and behavior, especially amongst Chinese students, are rare. The qualitative case study in this thesis seeks to find out whether senior students in the Design Department of IPM’s School of Arts who experienced nature in Southern Thailand show a stronger pro-environmental identity and behavior compared to those not in the experiential learning program. A survey which includes the Environmental Identity Survey (Clayton, 2003) and the Environmentally Responsible Behaviors Index (Smith-Sebasto & D’Acosta, 1995) was administered to all senior students, and an in-depth interview with students who had experience with nature in Southern Thailand was conducted. The findings suggest that a rainforest experience not merely fosters pro-environmental identity and behavior, but student all rounded development especially as a step towards internationalization. The findings also indicate to what extent the programmatic factors of the experience were important in changing Chinese students’ values, beliefs and norms in thinking and behaving environmentally, as well as in student personal development. Keywords: nature, experiential learning, pro-environmental identity, pro-environmental behavior

  • The current research study embraced the objectives to investigate the transformation of accounting in Macau from the first set of accounting legislations in 1970s, through the first set of accounting standards in 1983, until a year after the first application of international accounting standards, by 2008. From the transformation, the role taken by accounting in the economy and the factors that have influenced the transformation were intended to identify. Through the historical picture, findings have supported and expanded the theoretical concepts that accounting was taking both active and passive roles in the economy. Furthermore, they also supported the theoretical concepts that culture, economic environment, political environment and education influenced the transformation of accounting. The objectives have been structured through three research issues identified from the analysis of past literatures. Five qualitative and quantitative research studies have been carried out, using primary and secondary data from both primary and secondary sources. In-depth interviews on 13 representative respondents of the government, the profession, the industry and the academia, directly or in-directly related with accounting have been done. A case study on a company doing business in Macau since 1970s was included to enrich, supplement and evaluate the findings on the accounting practice of Macau. Based on the findings, a model has been constructed that represented the interaction between accounting and the different factors of the economy. Contributions from the research findings have enriched the research literatures on the area of accounting history. Implications from the findings have generated better insights for the business and economic histories of Macau

  • Vehicles solely powered by electricity are a major technological innovation that combines individual transportation needs and environmental sustainability, yet their market penetration is low. Research has traditionally indicated factors such as the vehicle’s purchasing price, driving range, and charging time as the main barriers to adoption. However, the decision to adopt a technology also depends on what the technology represents to the user; therefore, other factors may be important to explain individuals’ behavior. This study is a quantitative and cross-sectional look at the behavioral intention to adopt battery electric vehicles (BEVs) technology in the context of Macau. The research builds on the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology 2 (UTAUT 2) (Venkatesh et. al., 2012) to explain the characteristics of the local consumers. Besides the addition of image and environmental concern to the theoretical model, the study also put forward and evaluate the construct of technology show-off, an original measure of the visible and experiential characteristics of a technology. A sample of 236 Macau residents was analyzed by structural equation modeling (SEM). The analysis of the data supported the explanatory and predictive power of our model and helped to describe the idiosyncrasies of local residents. The results provide insights related to individual technology acceptance that could be useful in designing more accurate strategies and fostering the uptake of BEVs in Macau or markets that share similarities

  • The purpose of this research is to analyse the nexus between foreign aid and poverty reduction. In this research, aid provided by traditional and (re)emerging donors, China and France, was compared to understand their strategies toward poverty reduction and the impact of their aid in improving the conditions of their beneficiaries. Guinea, a Least Developed Country, was used as unit of comparison and assessment. Qualitative research methodology was used to collect data about the two aid donors, China and France. Among other research tools used, there are documents’ analysis (official documents from donors and recipients, declarations, scholarly works, media articles, etc.), interviews with various stakeholders, site visits and observation. As for main findings, this research found similarities and differences between China and France’s aid strategies in general and in Guinea in particular. There are similarities in the ways they integrate poverty reduction into their aid policies, motives and partly in their geographical and sectoral allocation systems. In terms of differences, they use different instruments and conditions to deliver their aid for poverty reduction. Regarding the impact of their aid, both donors have to some extent contributed to improving the access of the poor population in Guinea to basic services such as education, health, water and sanitation, etc. Finally, contrary to those who have denied the importance of foreign aid as a financial tool to reduce poverty, this research posits that aid is still a relevant tool to address poverty. However, more work needs to be done at donor, recipient and direct beneficiaries’ levels to ensure its effectiveness. On the other hand, it posits that the divide between traditional and (re)-emerging donors is becoming blurred as their strategies to address poverty are becoming increasingly alike

  • A combination of assessment, operational forecast, and future perspective was thoroughly explored to provide an overview of the existing air quality problems in Macao. The levels of air pollution in Macao often exceed those recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). In order for the population to take precautionary measures and avoid further health risks during high pollution episodes, it is important to develop a reliable air quality forecast. Statistical models based on linear multiple regression (MLR) and classification and regression trees (CART) analysis were successfully developed for Macao, to predict the next day concentrations of NO2, PM10, PM2.5, and O3. Meteorological variables were selected from an extensive list of possible variables, including geopotential height, relative humidity, atmospheric stability, and air temperature at different vertical levels. Air quality variables translate the resilience of the recent past concentrations of each pollutant and usually are maximum and/or the average of latest 24-hour levels. The models were applied in forecasting the next day average daily concentrations for NO2 and PM and maximum hourly O3 levels for five air quality monitoring stations. The results are expected to support an operational air iv quality forecast for Macao. The work involved two phases. On a first phase, the models utilized meteorological and air quality variables based on five years of historical data, from 2013 to 2017. Data from 2013 to 2016 were used to develop the statistical models and data from 2017 was used for validation purposes. All the developed models were statistically significantly valid with a 95% confidence level with high coefficients of determination (from 0.78 to 0.93) for all pollutants. On a second phase, these models were used with 2019 validation data, while a new set of models based on a more extended historical data series, from 2013 to 2018, were also validated with 2019 data. There were no significant differences in the coefficients of determination (R2) and minor improvements in root mean square errors (RMSE), mean absolute errors (MAE) and biases (BIAS) between the 2013 to 2016 and the 2013 to 2018 data models. In addition, for one air quality monitoring station (Taipa Ambient), the 2013 to 2018 model was applied for two days ahead (D2) forecast and the coefficient of determination (R2) was considerably less accurate to the one day ahead (D1) forecast, but still able to provide a reliable air quality forecast for Macao. To understand if the prediction model was robust to extreme variations in v pollutants concentration, a test was performed under the circumstances of a high pollution episode for PM2.5 and O3 during 2019, and a low pollution episode during 2020. Regarding the high pollution episode, the period of the Chinese National Holiday of 2019 was selected, in which high concentration levels were identified for PM2.5 and O3, with peaks of daily concentration for PM2.5 levels exceeding 55 μg/m3 and the maximum hourly concentration for O3 levels exceeding 400 μg/m3. For the low pollution episode, the 2020 period of implementation of the preventive measures for COVID-19 pandemic was selected, with a low record of daily concentration for PM2.5 levels at 2 μg/m3 and maximum hourly concentration for O3 levels at 50 μg/m3. The 2013 to 2018 model successfully predicted the high pollution episode with high coefficients of determination (0.92 for PM2.5 and 0.82 for O3). Likewise, the low pollution episode was also correctly predicted with high coefficients of determination (0.86 and 0.84 for PM2.5 and O3, respectively). Overall, the results demonstrate that the statistical forecast model is robust and able to correctly reproduce extreme air pollution events of both high and low concentration levels. Machine learning methods maybe adopted to provide significant improvements in combination of multiple linear regression (MLR) and classification and regression vi tree (CART) to further improve the accuracy of the statistical forecast. The developed air pollution forecasting model may be combined with other measures to mitigate the impact of air pollution in Macao. These may include the establishment of low emission zones (LEZ), as enforced in some European cities, license plate restrictions and lottery policy, as used in some Asian, tax exemptions on electric vehicles (EVs) and exclusive corridors for public transportations. Keywords: Air pollution; Particulate Matter; Ozone; Macao; Statistical air quality forecast; Pollution episodes; Chinese national holiday; COVID-19

  • This research intends to analyze how the social, political, economical and cultural transformations of the retrocession of Macao S.A.R. to China influenced the contemporary grassroots artistic production, namely their response to the issue of One Country, Two Systems policy. This transitional state of these places in-between creates a somehow ambivalent situation where some of the core values of identity and heritage are fading away due to the forces of the current development. In this sense, it urges to consider the ways in which artists in the post-retrocession era in their lived experiences, form their own sense of community and consciousness of place, time and belonging and, by doing so, can contribute to the preservation of some of the local and specific characteristics, enhancing the cultural vitality of the region. The growing interest by the artists in the issues of preservation and engagement with the locality, trough memory and history, manifested in ‘alternative’ modes of production, is providing a different model of ‘place making’ and a narrative that contrasts and complements some of the top-down cultural policies. Since the focus of development in these territories has been on the idea of creative industries, entertainment and tourism as possible realities for the pressing economical diversification, these grassroots models, functioning as the ‘second system’ open up complexity, providing different questions and answers to the future of artistic production. Finally, departing from these examples, we analyze the possibility of a new image for these kinds of artistic practices, through their incorporation into the possibility of relational aesthetics ‘with Chinese characteristics’, within the perspective of integration, and as emergent features in the field of contemporary art

  • Esta dissertação reporta uma investigação realizada com o objectivo de se compreender a persistente dificuldade de integração sentida no patamar transnacional de um projeto educacional europeu Comenius, de parceria entre escolas. A Grounded Theory foi a metodologia selecionada para orientar a recolha e análise de dados. Os dados empíricos primários foram extraídos de entrevistas abertas, não estruturadas, realizadas aos professores europeus envolvidos nas atividades do projeto. Identificou-se, como principal fator obstrutivo da unidade operacional a esse nível no projeto, a existência de significativas barreiras à comunicação entre os diferentes parceiros europeus, latentes, pouco compreensíveis, mas extraordinariamente operativas. Implicações do estudo e sugestões para esforços subsequentes visando evitar ou, pelo menos, contornar o mesmo tipo de problema, ou problemas similares, estão incluídas

  • This thesis introduces, implements and evaluates an innovative concept for assessing driving behavior in public transportation through Mobile Crowd Sensing (MCS), under the field of Advanced Public Transportation System (APTS) - a sub-group of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). Aggressive driving behavior is known to be a cause of avoidable accidents and to increase fuel consumption. In public transportations, it is also a case for costumers’ dissatisfaction. Monitoring the quality of driving behavior is a key element to overcome this issue and to improve road safety and customer satisfaction. In this research project, a software application (app) for mobile devices was developed as an experimental tool / proof-of-concept, to monitor aggressive driving behavior in bus drivers, collecting data coming from mobile device’s accelerometer and passengers’ qualitative evaluation. The experimental procedure took place in public transportation in Macau (bus only) and consisted of data collection of drivers’ aggressive driving behavior using the developed application. The analysis of collected data suggests that MCS is a viable way to assess drivers’ behavior in public transportation, thus contributing to the improvement of the service and increase of road safety. Although the methodology has been tailor-made for Macau public transportation, it is believed that the same concept can be applied to other cities, leading them towards the goal of becoming smarter cities. Keywords: driving behavior; mobile crowd sensing; crowdsourcing; smart city; advanced public transportation system; intelligent transportation system; road safety; mobile device accelerometer

  • This research examines the relationship between banking competition and efficiency using relevant data of Macau banking industry from 1999 to 2016. The key finding of this research is to demonstrate a clear causality between competition and efficiency in Macau’s banking industry throughout the study period. The interaction between two vital factors of the banking industry provides a solid empirical evidence for the practitioners and policymakers to make sound decisions accordingly. The most recent data show that there is a wide variation of key operational indicators of different banks in 2016. However, this study finds no evidence that the size of operations in terms of total bank loans would impact banks’ efficiency. Economies of scale or market share doesn’t necessarily bring cost efficiency in Macau’s banking industry

  • Kruger and Dunning (1992) found that unskilled people were typically unaware of their own performance and ability. In this context, unskilled performers were shown to overestimate their performance and ability, whereas skilled performers often accurately predicted their own performance and ability. Such miscalibration in self-assessment is usually attributed to a lack of so-called metacognitive skills necessary for performance evaluation. However, it remains unknown to what extent the miscalibration of performance judgment and optimistic bias is observed in the Chinese culture. This thesis examines patterns of miscalibration of performance judgment and specific optimistic bias. This thesis also builds on a range of previous studies of performance judgment and optimistic bias. In order to investigate the performance judgment and optimistic bias in this context, two studies were conducted as part of the research aspect of this thesis. In the first study, participants were given a reasoning task on which they had to predict their performance before completing the task and estimate their performance upon completion of the task. The second study followed similar methodology, with two additional tasks – Institute For Tourism Studies (IFT) module and the respective midterm examination. Results from both studies indicate that biases in performance judgment occur in the Chinese culture, and may yield negative consequences to those persons who exhibit such judgments. Although metacognitive ability provides some explanation for the miscalibration of performance judgment, the results of the current study indicate that task optimistic bias provides another, equally viable explanation for the miscalibration of performance judgment. The findings presented in this thesis suggest that inaccurate judgments of performance occur within various domains (general and specific iii performance contexts) and that there are a range of implications associated with these biases. Keywords: Miscalibration of performance judgment, optimistic bias, absolute optimistic bias, comparative optimistic bias, overestimation, overplacement, underestimation, underplacement

  • This study focuses on curriculum development for competency-based training of advanced practice nursing and smoking cessation in Macao. The aims of this thesis are: (a) to link the core competencies of Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) to curriculum development; (b) to make recommendations for improved specialist nurse training to address current problems of nursing; and (c) to gather data to indicate the scope and the severity of the issues related to nurse training in Macao. The thesis presents a comprehensive literature review of theoretical frameworks of competency-based nursing curricula, curriculum development and design, quality assurance, best practice in competency based models of nursing education, theories of change and innovation, needs analysis and stakeholder satisfaction. The thesis develops and implements a needs analysis and situational analysis of nursing education in Macao, using a „mixed methods‟ approach that integrates quantitative and qualitative data to identify the needs for, and perception of, core competencies in Community Health APNs by the health professionals and clients of the community. This includes an empirical survey of stakeholders, semi-structured interviews with professionals in the field of nursing and nurse training, structured questionnaires from clients, observational data on training and implementation of competency-based curricula, and evaluation of a piece of curriculum implementation of an APN training program on smoking cessation. Through action research cycles, the thesis synthesizes a range of literature and empirical data, and, from these, gains feedback for improvement and refinement of the new curriculum to be implemented. As well as conducting client satisfaction surveys of the primary health care provision and services in Macau and how these could be improved, the thesis provides the framework for a competency-based curriculum for nursing education in Macau. The thesis argues that, in order to keep abreast with current developments in nurse training and practice worldwide, it is essential for APN education and training to adopt a competency-based approach and for curricula to be framed in terms of competencies and outcomes. It indicates that these are currently under-developed in Macao, and that there is an urgent need for them to be addressed, in terms of general, core and specific competencies (e.g. smoking cessation). The thesis argues that, for such developments to iii happen, fundamental changes will be required to curricula and to APN nursing practice, as, even though there may be changes to curricula, the opportunity to put general and specific competencies into practice by APNs is currently severely restricted because of a range of constraints in Macao. The thesis argues that there is an urgent need for APNs to receive competency-based training and practice for smoking cessation, and the opportunity to put this training into practice. It indicates that even short workshops and training programs can be effective. The thesis argues that current obstacles to such practice can be identified, but that overcoming them presents serious challenges to the current system, and will require action on many fronts, including revisions to local legislation, nurse credentialing, facilitation by senior managers of the health service, and an increase in the supply of nurses. The thesis indicates that there is a strong and united will for changes to be made to bring about competency-based training, curricula and practice in Macao, but that there are many practical barriers to be overcome in order to bring about these changes

  • This thesis articulates the development of a holistic approach to enhance learning and teaching in an object-oriented programming course. Starting with the premise that it is not possible to improve teaching without understanding how students learn programming, this thesis embodies the processes and reflections experienced while applying knowledge of how students learn programming, to design a learning environment that enhances learning outcomes. First, a theoretically based framework for the teaching of the course is developed. A holistic approach using a plurality of pedagogic theories, taxonomies, and instructional designs is employed to bridge the gaps between the bodies of knowledge relating to the ways that students approach programming and the application of this knowledge to design the course. Second, in two cycles of action research, the course is implemented and the analysis of its outcome is conducted using mixed methods data collection techniques. The evaluation is integrative and seeks multiple forms of evidence for student engagement and improved learning. The original contributions from this research in the form of new initiatives, perceptions, and understandings, as well as implications for theory and practice are described. A claim to knowledge is established by explaining the significance of the research to student learning, personal practice and beliefs, institutional influence, and potential for influence on computing education research. Quality criteria are applied to assess the validity and rigor of the action research project, and the research is appraised as a scholarly enquiry and a transformative process that led to innovative forms of thinking and acting

  • As societies globalize, mastery of a second or multiple languages has become an important index to enhance interaction in the society. In that English is a is a widely used medium of communication globally for engagement in international business, commerce, science, technology and governance, the benefits of an efficacious English language teaching force to facilitate the English acquisition process of students in classrooms around the world is highly valued. For the purpose of this study, the English language teacher efficacy instrument (ELTEI) was adapted to the local context to measure the professional efficacy of the English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher participants. The objective of the research was to investigate the degree of relationship between antecedent conditions and specific teacher efficacy in Macao. A mixed-method approach in a sequential phase design was adopted to explore the efficacy of English language teachers serving Chinese medium schools in a non-English speaking region in Asia. Phase-one employed a qualitative approach to contextualize the measurement instrument and to ascertain important characteristics of the target population. Phase-two ensured a quantitative approach to yield understanding regarding the influence of key antecedent conditions on the efficacy of English language teachers in Macao. As evidenced through multiple linear regressions and structural equation modeling, openness, neuroticism, and perceived school support were significant predictors for teacher’s self-efficacy in English teaching. Recommendations for the school management to enhance and sustain the efficacy of EFL teachers in Macao were discussed

  • This thesis investigates the Language Learning Strategies (LLS) used by English as a Foreign Language (EFL) nursing students of higher education in Macao and the effectiveness related to students’ learning outcomes by Strategy Instruction (SI). To date there has been no literature in the area of SI among the Macao Chinese EFL higher education students on teaching all LLS groups, and on four main English skills to look at its effects on learning processes and outcomes at the same time, and this study starts to fill the gap. The research uses an embedded mixed methods research design in phase one and an embedded mixed methods quasi-experimental design in phase two. Phase one aimed to identify students’ LLS use. The findings revealed that students’ cognitive, metacognitive and compensatory strategies were used more than affective, memory-related and social strategies, and overall they used a medium to low level of LLS. In phase two, the effects of SI on students’ changes of LLS use, their proficiency and English learning processes were identified. After SI, students used LLS both more widely and frequently in all four main English skills. Most students’ motivation and self-confidence were enhanced. After SI the affective group of strategies in the treatment group statistically significantly improved, with a moderate effect size, from that of the comparison group. It was found that the widely used Strategy Inventory for Language Learning questionnaires by Oxford (1989c) had limited statistical power and some conceptual confusion. Recommendations are made for policy and practice of EFL instruction

  • This thesis aims to explore how learning accounting for non-accounting major students could be enhanced through a comprehensive framework connecting individual attributes and learning approaches. While accounting is considered an important and mandatory discipline for business students, it is also considered a difficult subject which deters students’ engagement in the subject. Although the issue has been widely recognized, there are relatively less discussions on possible remedies. Learning accounting is a dynamic process that go beyond the traditional one-to-many learning and teaching settings, all factors revolving the students’ learning environment and process, altogether determine and affect the learning efficiencies. A meta-analysis was first performed to understand the standings of accounting education and to identify gaps within existing literatures in the field of management, accounting, tourism and general education researches. A documentary review on the curricula of all Macau HEI programs involving compulsory accounting courses was also conducted to understand the role and significance of accounting courses for non-accounting college students in Macau. Based on the literature review, this study borrows constructs from theory of planned behavior (TPB) models in its research framework. It attempts to provide a comprehensive framework to understand how students learn accounting efficiently by delving into individual learning styles of the students and their perceived helpfulness and self-efficacy, in respective to different learning techniques. Due to its exploratory nature, a mixed method of qualitative and quantitative methodology is adopted, where both focus group discussions and in-depth interviews are performed with non-accounting students to elicit understandings on student’s difficulties in learning accounting and their preferences for different learning styles. Then, a full-scale quantitative survey is conducted in a Macau higher education institute to assess the learning efficiencies of accounting in different situations. A triangulation with feedback from faculties and administrators are also elicited to provide alternate dimensions on the issues. With no surprise, there is no one best 3 teaching style or method for all students, this thesis contributes to accounting education research by provide a comprehensive diagnosis on the all-round learning stimulus and hindrance in learning accounting. At the end, recommendations are provided for accounting educators to emphasize on the uniqueness of students and to encourage a more dynamic and open environment for learning. Limitations of the studies are also discussed

  • Two billion users make Facebook of academic interest. This thesis creates a Facebook Divide Index, the delineated categories of Facebook Native, Facebook Immigrant, and Facebook Isolate, and develops Facebook inequality concepts. Macau has a fast- growing number of Facebook Immigrants who benefit from using the online social network. Data from participation-observation and surveys demonstrate social capital gain by Facebook Immigrants, with older generation Facebook users relatively happier than their younger counterparts. The thesis concludes that society needs to equip and empower the older generation or Facebook Isolates, so that they can benefit from online social network usage

Last update from database: 12/8/22, 3:39 PM (UTC)