Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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Hashim J.,University of Calicut | Areepattamannil S.,Emirates College for Advanced Education
Journal of Adolescence | Year: 2017

This study examined the internal consistency reliability, factorial, convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity, as well as gender invariance of the Brief Multidimensional Students' Life Satisfaction Scale (BMSLSS; Seligson, Huebner, & Valois, 2003) in a sample of 445 adolescents (Mage = 16.04 years) hailing from the southernmost state of India, Kerala. The study also examined the test-retest reliability (n = 392) of the BMSLSS. The Cronbach's alpha coefficient suggested that the BMSLSS was reliable. Confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated the factorial validity of the BMSLSS. Bivariate correlational analyses provided support for the convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity of the BMSLSS. The test-retest reliability coefficient indicated the temporal stability of the BMSLSS. Finally, multi-group confirmatory factor analysis provided support for the gender invariance of the BMSLSS. © 2017 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents

News Article | March 1, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

For 3-year-old Muhammad Aboud* and his family in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, life was a series of frustrating challenges. Muhammad had autism, and as in many foreign countries, diagnosis and effective treatment were not readily available. Muhammad faced daily struggles with activities such as brushing his teeth, communicating, and playing with friends. What is simple and effortless for most children is an obstacle for children like Muhammad. Muhammad’s plight is an all-too common story in many nations. As the prevalence of autism continues to rise—1 percent of the world’s population has the diagnosis, including 1 in 68 children—treatment remains scarce and inconsistent in quality. This leaves millions of children and families around the world coping with the daily struggle of living with autism, their lives filled with conflict, obstacles and isolation. Efforts by U.S. experts and schools to share best practices and collaborate internationally can help bring more effective autism treatment abroad. The New England Center for Children® (NECC®), a global leader in education and research for children with autism, has been doing just that. NECC announced today it has received the 2017 Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA), the peer academic organization of applied behavior analysis (ABA). The highly respected award is given to a person or organization demonstrating a significant and sustained contribution to the dissemination and development of ABA outside of the United States. In 2005, NECC also received the SABA award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions to Behavior Analysis. “All of us at The New England Center for Children are honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Vincent Strully, Jr., CEO and Founder of The New England Center for Children. “I would like to thank our many teachers, behavior analysts, and researchers whose dedication over the past 42 years has enabled NECC to help thousands of children with autism and their families.” In granting the prestigious award, SABA noted NECC’s four decades of work in ABA and its dedicated behavior analysts who have established programs and supported individuals and organizations around the world. “The SABA Board wishes to applaud NECC for its longstanding work providing behavior analysis services, training service providers, and establishing programs across five continents,” said Dr. Maria Malott, CEO of ABAI. “The reach and influence of NECC are truly inspiring, and the success of NECC Abu Dhabi in particular illustrates the impact of disseminating applied behavior analysis best practices. NECC has played a large part in making inroads for behavior analysis in the Middle East and worldwide.” Helping Muhammad and Touching Lives Abroad – The Power of ABA NECC has helped hundreds of children in the UAE through its Center and through consulting services in 20 schools. An important part of NECC’s international dissemination of ABA is the integration of local language and cultural and religious practices into the curriculum. In the case of Muhammad in the UAE, religious practices were important, as were local customs in toilet training, dining etiquette, interaction with male and female peers, and other skills and social nuances unique to Emirati culture. Guided by NECC’s ABA program, Muhammad achieved independence that enabled the challenged youth to grow into an accomplished and capable young man studying engineering at a respected university. Key to NECC’s mission is training and educating local staff to ensure knowledge transfer, program sustainability, and local growth of ABA programs. NECC trained the Emirate’s first Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and collaborates with Emirates College for Advanced Education to provide ABA training and internships to degree candidates. In addition to Abu Dhabi, NECC operates in Dubai in the UAE; Doha, Qatar; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Gurgaon, India; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and London, England, and employs more than 50 percent of the BCBAs in the entire Gulf Region. More schools and centers have followed suit in applying ABA practices, looking to achieve the results of NECC. “Parents in the United States are in a nightmare struggle with public school systems to get their children with autism the services they need. With the exception of the UAE, the situation abroad is worse – underfunded and underperforming if not absent altogether,” said Mr. Strully. “All too often children like Muhammad get lost between public schools, hospitals and psychiatrists. We must help spread internationally the proven techniques of ABA and establish best-in-class intervention and education services for children with autism. By empowering teachers worldwide with the knowledge and tools of applied behavior analysis, together we can create more success stories like Muhammad’s.” The Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA) was chartered in 1980 for the welfare, financial support, and advancement of the behavior analysis field. SABA is affiliated with the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), the primary membership organization for those interested in the philosophy, science, application, and teaching of behavior analysis. More information is available at http://saba.abainternational.org. The 2017 Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis will be presented to NECC at the 2017 ABAI Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado, on May 27, 2017. About The New England Center for Children The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) is a world leader in education, research, and technology for children with autism. For more than 40 years, our community of teachers, researchers and clinicians have been transforming lives and offering hope to children with autism and their families. NECC’s award-winning services include home-based, day, and residential programs; public school partnerships and consulting; the John and Diane Kim Autism Institute; and the ACE® ABA Software System used by more than 4,620 students in 24 states and nine countries. A 501c3 non-profit, The New England Center for Children is based in Southborough, MA, and also operates a center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. More information is available at http://www.necc.org. *Due to confidentiality policy, real names were not used.

Santos I.M.,Emirates College for Advanced Education | Bocheco O.,Federal University of Santa Catarina
Proceedings of 2014 International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning, ICL 2014 | Year: 2015

This paper presents preliminary results based on a survey administrated to students enrolled in an undergraduate course offered at a Higher Education Institution in the United Arab Emirates. The survey is part of larger project that sought to investigate student and instructor perceptions of mobile devices use in the classroom and policies to help minimize disruptions caused by those devices during class teaching. Findings reported in the paper focus on students' perceptions only. Eighteen Emiratis completed and returned the survey. Main results show an overall tendency to rare use of mobile devices during class time to perform both content and non-content related activities; however, none of the students had their mobile devices turned off. Results suggest that students' opinions need be taken into account when developing policies for mobile device usage in the classroom due to students' personal needs and expectations. Turning off mobile devices during class time does not seem an appropriate policy for this particular group of students. © 2014 IEEE.

Mansour S.,Alfaisal University | Karam J.,Emirates College for Advanced Education
29th International Conference on Computer Applications in Industry and Engineering, CAINE 2016 | Year: 2016

This paper presents a new and robust measuring mechanism to the least-squares approach used in Dynamic Matrix Control by minimizing distinctively upcoming errors. This approach entails individual recommendation in which a subsequent move is an average of all individual recommendations. This leads to control the set-point and zone where the differential equation yields an overdamped solution. This solution is then used to approximate the time constants and the analytical solution. Time constants are ultimately derived from the quadratic characteristic equation. Copyright ISCA, CAINE 2016.

Serhan D.,Emirates College for Advanced Education
2014 International Conference on Web and Open Access to Learning, ICWOAL 2014 | Year: 2015

Motivating students to learn mathematical concepts and assessing their performance and understanding in an adequate and timely manner are constant concerns for instructors of mathematics. Web-based systems provide an important, flexible instructional tool that can be used for any kind of learning at any time. Our goal here is to introduce and discuss two of the main web-based homework systems available today for mathematics courses Web Assign and MyMathLab. © 2014 IEEE.

O'Hara L.,Emirates College for Advanced Education | Taylor J.,University of The Sunshine Coast | Barnes M.,University of The Sunshine Coast
Health Promotion Journal of Australia | Year: 2015

Issue addressed The discipline of health promotion is responsible for implementing strategies within weight-related public health initiatives (WR-PHI). It is imperative that such initiatives be subjected to critical analysis through a health promotion ethics lens to help ensure ethical health promotion practice. Methods Multimedia critical discourse analysis was used to examine the claims, values, assumptions, power relationships and ideologies within Australian WR-PHI. The Health Promotion Values and Principles Continuum was used as a heuristic to evaluate the extent to which the WR-PHI reflected the ethical values of critical health promotion: active participation of people in the initiative; respect for personal autonomy; beneficence; non-maleficence; and strong evidential and theoretical basis for practice. Results Ten initiatives were analysed. There was some discourse about the need for participation of people in the WR-PHI, but people were routinely labelled as 'target groups' requiring 'intervention'. Strong evidence of a coercive and paternalistic discourse about choice was identified, with minimal attention to respect for personal autonomy. There was significant emphasis on the beneficiaries of the WR-PHI but minimal attention to the health benefits, and nothing about the potential for harm. Discourse about the evidence of need was objectivist, and there was no discussion about the theoretical foundations of the WR-PHI. Conclusion The WR-PHI were not reflective of the ethical values and principles of critical health promotion. So what? Health promotion researchers and practitioners engaged in WR-PHI should critically reflect on the extent to which they are consistent with the ethical aspects of critical health promotion practice. © Australian Health Promotion Association 2015.

Areepattamannil S.,Emirates College for Advanced Education | Melkonian M.,Emirates College for Advanced Education | Khine M.S.,Emirates College for Advanced Education
Journal of Adolescence | Year: 2015

The burgeoning immigrant population in major immigrant-receiving countries in North America and Europe has necessitated researchers and policymakers in these countries to examine the academic success of children of immigration and the factors contributing to their academic success. However, there is sparse research on the academic trajectories of children of immigration in other continents, such as Asia. Hence, the purpose of the present study was to examine first- and second-generation immigrant adolescents' mathematics achievement and dispositions towards mathematics in comparison to their native peers in one of the Middle Eastern countries in Asia, Qatar. The results of the study indicated that both first- and second-generation immigrant adolescents tended to have higher mathematics achievement, intrinsic motivation to learn mathematics, instrumental motivation to learn mathematics, mathematics self-efficacy, and mathematics self-concept than did their native counterparts. Moreover, immigrant adolescents tended to have lower mathematics anxiety than did their native peers. The study also revealed significant differences between first- and second-generation immigrant adolescents with respect to their mathematics achievement and dispositions towards mathematics. © 2015 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents.

Areepattamannil S.,Emirates College for Advanced Education
Journal of General Psychology | Year: 2014

The results of the fourth cycle of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) revealed that an unacceptably large number of adolescent students in two states in India - Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu - have failed to acquire basic skills in reading, mathematics, and science (Walker, 2011). Drawing on data from the PISA 2009 database and employing multivariate left-censored tobit regression as a data analytic strategy, the present study, therefore, examined whether or not the learning strategies - memorization, elaboration, and control strategies - of adolescent students in Himachal Pradesh (N = 1,616; Mean age = 15.81 years) and Tamil Nadu (N = 3,210; Mean age = 15.64 years) were linked to their performance on the PISA 2009 reading, mathematics, and science assessments. Tobit regression analyses, after accounting for student demographic characteristics, revealed that the self-reported use of control strategies was significantly positively associated with reading, mathematical, and scientific literacy of adolescents in Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. While the self-reported use of elaboration strategies was not significantly associated with reading literacy among adolescents in Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, it was significantly positively associated with mathematical literacy among adolescents in Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Moreover, the self-reported use of elaboration strategies was significantly and positively linked to scientific literacy among adolescents in Himachal Pradesh alone. The self-reported use of memorization strategies was significantly negatively associated with reading, mathematical, and scientific literacy in Tamil Nadu, while it was significantly negatively associated with mathematical and scientific literacy alone in Himachal Pradesh. Implications of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Khine M.S.,Emirates College for Advanced Education | Santos I.M.,Emirates College for Advanced Education
Proceedings of 2014 International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning, ICL 2014 | Year: 2015

Social presence is a key element in a collaborative learning environment to promote interaction and a sense of community among online students. The purpose of establishing social presence in online courses is to facilitate levels of comfort and assurance of safety among participants. Based on two distinct online graduate courses, this paper explores the interactions and evidence of social presence among students. The results discussed in this paper focus on the analysis of student and instructor messages. In-depth analysis of messages was based on the social presence model by Garrison and Anderson. Findings suggest, overall, low levels of social presence among the two groups. The paper discusses several factors affecting the creation of social presence within two courses. These include (i) profile of the students such as maturity, time availability and their own agenda, (ii) type of course, and (iii) workload. Strategies to improve social presence in online courses are discussed. © 2014 IEEE.

Santos I.M.,Emirates College for Advanced Education
Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference Mobile Learning 2010 | Year: 2010

This paper illustrates how an instructor found opportunities to use Short Message Service (SMS) to support class activities within an undergraduate course offered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While addressing the SMS implementation, it also discusses students' perceptions and learning as a result of participating in the activities. The study adopts a mixed method approach that includes two questionnaires and participant observation. Main findings reveal that opportunities to use SMS in the class emerged as the course progressed and was mainly used to encourage further thinking and exploration of course topics outside class time. Overall, students demonstrated a positive attitude towards the use of SMS which helped enhance their learning experience in the course. The study provides a practical example on how instructors may create meaningful learning opportunities by using SMS in teaching and learning. © 2010 IADIS.

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