Beit Berl Academic College

Kfar Saba, Israel

Beit Berl Academic College

Kfar Saba, Israel

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Tibi M.H.,Beit Berl Academic College
International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society | Year: 2014

In order to perform a multi-aspect analysis of the progress and results of discussions, an instructor must obtain various information from asynchronous discussion forums. An instructor spends a lot of time and effort to perform this work. However, often this does not lead to desired results. A computer-mediated approach to provision of instructor with various information from asynchronous discussion forums is being suggested. This approach adapts information extraction from forums to information requirements of an instructor. The approach assumes sequential performance of the following major functions: presentation of instructor's information demand in a simplified format; building of forum's structure in accordance with information demand of the instructor; reduction of forum's structure by means of the most suitable algorithm; presentation of forum's extracts to the instructor. The approach is based on adaptation of forum structure to the changes in instructor's demands. It means that building of forum structure of a certain granularity level and the choice of a structure reduction algorithm are performed according to an information demand of the instructor. As a result, each extract corresponds to an instructor's information demand. Fragments of an extract can be taken out from one or several forums and can be presented on several granularity levels. The results of information extraction depend on changes in instructor information demands. The proposed approach is a constructive basis for development of an intelligent tool for adaptive extraction of information. © Common Ground, Oleg Tilchin, Moanes H. Tibi, All Rights Reserved.


Klieger A.,Beit Berl Academic College | Ben-Hur Y.,Davidson Institute for Science Education
Journal of Science Education and Technology | Year: 2010

The study examines the professional development of junior-high-school teachers participating in the Israeli "Katom" (Computer for Every Class, Student and Teacher) Program, begun in 2004. A three-circle support and training model was developed for teachers' professional development. The first circle applies to all teachers in the program; the second, to all teachers at individual schools; the third to teachers of specific disciplines. The study reveals and describes the attitudes of science teachers to the integration of laptop computers and to the accompanying professional development model. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight science teachers from the four schools participating in the program. The interviews were analyzed according to the internal relational framework taken from the information that arose from the interviews. Two factors influenced science teachers' professional development: (1) Introduction of laptops to the teachers and students. (2) The support and training system. Interview analysis shows that the disciplinary training is most relevant to teachers and they are very interested in belonging to the professional science teachers' community. They also prefer face-to-face meetings in their school. Among the difficulties they noted were the new learning environment, including control of student computers, computer integration in laboratory work and technical problems. Laptop computers contributed significantly to teachers' professional and personal development and to a shift from teacher-centered to student-centered teaching. One-to-One laptops also changed the schools' digital culture. The findings are important for designing concepts and models for professional development when introducing technological innovation into the educational system. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Balslev Y.J.,Tel Aviv University | Potchter O.,Tel Aviv University | Potchter O.,Beit Berl Academic College | Matzarakis A.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg
Building and Environment | Year: 2015

This paper examines how the first urban plan of Tel-Aviv (the Geddes Plan of 1925) [18] affected outdoor human thermal comfort in two periods: at the time of its implementation (1920-1930s) and in the present day (2010s). Additionally, this paper questions which of the two - shade or wind velocity - has greater influence on outdoor thermal sensation in the urban areas along the Israeli Mediterranean seashore. In order to examine the thermal sensation at street level during the 1920s and 1930s, a series of summer and winter climatological measurements were taken in the years 2010-2013 and compared to historical climatic data from the 1920s-1930s. The historical city structure was then reconstructed virtually and the climatological measurements for 2010-2013 were fed into the RayMan model to produce thermal comfort information (PET, Physiologically Equivalent Temperature). A main finding of the study is that in summer the duration of "hot" and "very hot" heat stress was double in eastwest oriented streets compared to north-south ones. Furthermore, in the winter, higher H/W ratios can increase cold thermal sensation in streets with the same orientation by up to 10 °C PET, due to shading. Finally, the results show that solar radiation has a greater effect on thermal sensation than wind velocity both in summer and winter seasons. Consequently, the Geddes Plan created improved thermal sensation in the main streets of Tel-Aviv, which are north-south oriented, and provided for greatly improved micro-climate conditions, in spite of the critique that Tel-Aviv "turned its back to the sea". © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Cohen P.,Tel Aviv University | Potchter O.,Tel Aviv University | Potchter O.,Beit Berl Academic College | Matzarakis A.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg
Applied Geography | Year: 2013

This research evaluates the perception of human thermal sensation in the Mediterranean climate in an attempt to calibrate the scale of human thermal sensation for this climate, by applying the Physiologically Equivalent Temperature (PET) index. A field survey was conducted in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel in several outdoor urban spaces during summers and winters of 2007-2011. Empirical data of climatic variables were collected by meteorological stations and accompanied by subjective thermal sensation questionnaires. The relations between the calculated PET values for the investigated sites and the Thermal Sensation Vote (TSV) were examined. Analytical results indicate that the " neutral" TSV range for the Mediterranean climate is between 20 and 25 °C PET, higher than that of the temperate climates and lower than that of the hot and humid climates. The PET boundaries for the cold classes of thermal perception in the Mediterranean are relatively high in comparison to Western/Middle Europe but are relatively low in comparison to Taiwan. However, the differences in PET boundaries for the hot classes of thermal perception decrease as the temperature values increase, toward an almost identical definition of " very hot" in Western/Middle Europe, the Mediterranean and Taiwan. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Rodriguez-Lazaro D.,Leon Institute of Technology | Cook N.,The Food and Environmental Research Agency FERA | Ruggeri F.M.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita | Sellwood J.,British Standards Institute | And 19 more authors.
FEMS Microbiology Reviews | Year: 2012

Numerous viruses of human or animal origin can spread in the environment and infect people via water and food, mostly through ingestion and occasionally through skin contact. These viruses are released into the environment by various routes including water run-offs and aerosols. Furthermore, zoonotic viruses may infect humans exposed to contaminated surface waters. Foodstuffs of animal origin can be contaminated, and their consumption may cause human infection if the viruses are not inactivated during food processing. Molecular epidemiology and surveillance of environmental samples are necessary to elucidate the public health hazards associated with exposure to environmental viruses. Whereas monitoring of viral nucleic acids by PCR methods is relatively straightforward and well documented, detection of infectious virus particles is technically more demanding and not always possible (e.g. human norovirus or hepatitis E virus). The human pathogenic viruses that are most relevant in this context are nonenveloped and belong to the families of the Caliciviridae, Adenoviridae, Hepeviridae, Picornaviridae and Reoviridae. Sampling methods and strategies, first-choice detection methods and evaluation criteria are reviewed. Virus hazards from food, water and the environment, their reservoirs and routes of transmission; Sampling methods and sampling strategies thereof, including the first choice test methods, and criteria for data evaluation are described. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.


Goldman D.,Beit Berl Academic College | Assaraf O.B.-Z.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | Shemesh J.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev
European Journal of Engineering Education | Year: 2014

While importance of environmental ethics, as a component of sustainable development, in preparing engineers is widely acknowledged, little research has addressed chemical engineers' environmental concerns. This study aimed to address this void by exploring chemical engineering students' values regarding human-nature relationships. The study was conducted with 247 3rd-4th year chemical engineering students in Israeli Universities. It employed the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP)-questionnaire to which students added written explanations. Quantitative analysis of NEP-scale results shows that the students demonstrated moderately ecocentric orientation. Explanations to the NEP-items reveal diverse, ambivalent ideas regarding the notions embodied in the NEP, strong scientific orientation and reliance on technology for addressing environmental challenges. Endorsing sustainability implies that today's engineers be equipped with an ecological perspective. The capacity of Higher Education to enable engineers to develop dispositions about human-nature interrelationships requires adaptation of curricula towards multidisciplinary, integrative learning addressing social-political-economic-ethical perspectives, and implementing critical-thinking within the socio-scientific issues pedagogical approach. © 2013 SEFI.


Potchter O.,Beit Berl Academic College | Goldman D.,Beit Berl Academic College | Iluz D.,Beit Berl Academic College | Kadish D.,Beit Berl Academic College
Journal of Arid Environments | Year: 2012

Most studies conducted on the desert oasis effect have focused on the summer season, while the winter has received less attention. This study aimed to determine existence of the oasis climatic effect in winter season and investigate influence of different vegetation types on its intensity and dynamics. Measurements were conducted during five consecutive years (2004-2009) at the peak of winter in a manmade oasis located in hyper-dry Arava Valley, Israel. Results obtained demonstrate that all types of vegetation had a cooling effect (up to 2 °C) limited to a few mid-day hours. In contrast, from nighttime throughout morning all vegetation types were up to 2 °C warmer than the surrounding desert. This effect was more pronounced with subtropical vegetation in comparison to local desert trees. The effect was most significant in calm, stable weather conditions characterized by low nighttime temperatures, while during unstable weather it was negligible. Influence of tree canopies on incoming and outgoing radiation is a major factor determining the influence of vegetation on local climate conditions in winter season. Since one characteristic of arid climates is extremely low nighttime temperatures during winter, warming created by the oasis has implications for human comfort and energy consumption in the desert environment. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Cohen P.,Tel Aviv University | Potchter O.,Tel Aviv University | Potchter O.,Beit Berl Academic College | Matzarakis A.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg
Building and Environment | Year: 2012

This study examines the daily and seasonal climatic behavior of various urban parks with different vegetation cover and its impact on human thermal sensation in the summer and winter in Tel Aviv, Israel. The study draws a comparison between the climatic conditions developed in various types of urban green open spaces, exposed open urban squares and street canyons near such sites.The results showed that an urban park with a dense canopy of trees has maximum cooling effect during summer and winter in daytime. In summer it reduces temperatures by up to 3.8°C and thermal comfort values by up to 18°C PET (Physiological Equivalent Temperature), while in winter it reduces temperatures by up to 2°C and thermal comfort by up to 10°C PET.The climatic variable that mostly affects human thermal comfort conditions is the Mean Radiant Temperature (T mrt) which is more dominant at exposed urban sites as compared to shady urban parks.These results emphasize the importance of treed open spaces as an effective tool for heat mitigation. The benefit of the cooling effect achieved by treed urban spaces is much stronger than the comparative disadvantage they create in winter. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Shilo G.,Beit Berl Academic College | Shilo L.,Tel Aviv University
International journal of medical education | Year: 2014

OBJECTIVE: The objective of the current study was to analyze written language of native Hebrew-speaking medical residents, as reflected in admission notes and discharge letters for patients admitted to medical wards in a 700-bed university hospital.METHODS: Twenty admission notes and 20 discharge letters written by 40 native Hebrew- speaking residents with at least one year experience were analyzed. The residents worked in the Internal medicine departments of a 700-bed university hospital. Admission notes and discharge letters were randomly chosen for the analysis which was carried out using predefined linguistic criteria and the extent to which English or Latin terms were incorporated into Hebrew medical language such as the structure of sentences and paragraphs. (Complete list of the linguistic criteria can be found in the methods and results sections).RESULTS: The most important findings were that the level of language was unexpectedly low. Many English or Latin medical terms were written using Hebrew letters. The creation of 'new' abbreviations was common. Sentences were telegraphic and lacked coherence, for example there were sentences written in internet language and short message service (SMS) messages. Texts were not organized and sometimes important details were missing.CONCLUSIONS: The writing style of medical residents should be improved substantially in order for them to be able to write coherently. One possible solution is to incorporate a course in writing into the medical school curriculum.


Ostreiher R.,Beit Berl Academic College | Pruett-Jones S.,University of Chicago | Heifetz A.,Open University of Israel
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology | Year: 2012

Hatching asynchrony of nestling birds leads to weight asymmetries, which in turn affect the nestlings' relative success when competing for feedings brought to the nest. We present a game theoretic model that predicts how weight asymmetry influences the nestlings' energy on securing feedings, thus determining the caloric value remaining for weight gain as well as the distribution of feedings obtained. The model has a unique Evolutionary Stable Strategy (ESS) profile, in which nestlings in more asymmetric nests exhibit less aggression and hence achieve larger weight gain per feeding. The impetus for this model was data from a long-term study of Arabian babblers (Turdoides squamiceps) that showed a surprising negative correlation between the number of feedings that a nest received and the overall weight gain in the nest. This finding is, however, entirely consistent with our model-in more symmetric nests, the individuals fight more and are consequently hungrier and beg for additional food, are fed more, but still gain less weight due to the higher energetic costs of fighting. The model provides a fundamental explanation also for related findings in other species, in which chicks in asynchronous broods were found to be heavier than those from synchronous broods. In addition, it supports the sibling rivalry hypothesis by which brood asynchrony may diminish aggressive interactions among nestlings, leading to more efficient use of resources. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

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