Illinois University (illinois + university)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The nature of technology-mediated interaction in globalized distance education

Charalambos Vrasidas
The purpose of this paper is to discuss technology-mediated communication and interaction in globalized distance education. We will briefly present the context, methods, findings, and implications of a research and development program we have been running for the last five years at Western Illinois University in collaboration with other institutions in the US, Mexico, and Cyprus (Intercollege). The emphasis will be on discussing the differences between face-to-face (F2F) and technology-mediated interaction. Online interaction may be slower and ,lacking' in continuity, richness, and immediacy, when compared to F2F interaction; however, in some ways online interaction may be as good as or even superior to F2F interaction. We will use selected findings from our work to theorize the nature of interaction in online distance education in a globalized world. Our argument is that despite differences between F2F and online distance education, the latter should not be considered as second best, because there are significant qualities of online education that are often ignored. [source]

Starting salaries for agribusiness graduates from an AASCARR institution: The case of Southern Illinois University

Kim Harris
Starting salaries for agribusiness economics graduates from a non-land grant (AASCARR) institution, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), are examined and compared to those documented for land grant agriculture programs. Factors such as advanced degrees, grade point average, gender, rural backgrounds, and community college transfers are found to significantly influence earnings. SIUC graduates' starting salary and its determining factors are found to be comparable to those of land grant universities. The results suggest that non-land grant agribusiness graduates are competitive in the national labor market. Furthermore, the results are consistent with previous findings that show increasing students' grade point averages can increase marketability and starting salary. This is important information for students, their advisors, and agribusiness hiring mangers bidding for their services. [EconLit citations: J310, J430.] 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Agribusiness 21: 65,80, 2005. [source]

Using dew points to estimate savings during a planned cooling shutdown

Matthew T. Friedlein
In an effort to save money during the summer of 2003, Northern Illinois University (NIU) administrators instituted a four-day working week and stopped air conditioning buildings for the three-day weekends (Friday through Sunday). Shutting down the air conditioning systems caused a noticeable drop in electricity usage for that part of the campus that features in our study, with estimated total electricity savings of 1,268,492 kilowatt-hours or 17% of the average usage during that eight-week period. NIU's air conditioning systems, which relied on evaporative cooling to function, were sensitive to dew point levels. Greatest savings during the shutdown period occurred on days with higher dew points. An examination of the regional dew point climatology (1959,2003) indicated that the average summer daily dew point for 2003 was 14.9C(58.8F), which fell in the lowest 20% of the distribution. Based on the relationship between daily average dew points and electrical usage, a predictive model that could estimate electrical daily savings was created. This model suggests that electrical savings related to any future three-day shutdowns over summer could be much greater in more humid summers. Studies like this demonstrate the potential value of applying climatological information and of integrating this information into practical decision-making. Copyright 2005 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Reproductive challenges of a rare grass, Calamagrostis porteri subsp. insperata (Swallen) C. Greene: implications for habitat restoration

David J. Gibson
Abstract Background: Habitat management for reproductively challenged rare species is a problem when there is insufficient knowledge of their autecology. This study investigated reproductive failure in the rare grass Calamagrostis porteri ssp. insperata (Swallen) C. Greene (Reed bentgrass). Does the management recommendation of high light stimulate clonal growth, flowering, and seed production? Location: Shawnee National Forest, IL, USA, and in a greenhouse and an experimental garden at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA. Methods: Clones obtained from the three known Illinois populations were grown in a glasshouse under experimental light and soil moisture treatments. After 3 years, plants from the high light treatment were planted outside in an experimental garden where the light treatments were maintained for two more years. In the field, vegetative and flowering tiller density, canopy cover, and associated biotic and abiotic variables including abundance of co-occurring plant species were monitored for 5 years. The overhead tree canopy was cleared over a portion of one population. Results: In the glasshouse, plants increased in size under high light and moist soil, and there were size differences among populations. Sixty-six per cent (20 of 30) of the genets flowered when planted outdoors under full sunlight but did not produce seed. In the field, flowering only occurred in Calamagrostis growing in the cleared area, but no seed were produced. The plants in the flowering population were smaller than plants in the other two populations. The herbaceous community associated with Calamagrostis in the open diverged from the communities remaining under the shade. Conclusions: This study highlights the difficulty of managing reproductively challenged rare species. Calamagrostis populations can be managed to enhance clonal growth, but establishment of new populations would require translocation of vegetative material as it is highly unlikely that seed can be obtained. [source]