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Sample records for assessments improves links

  1. Linking Assessment for Learning, Improvement and Accountability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coates, Hamish; Seifert, Tricia

    2011-01-01

    Assessing student learning in ways that offer students, institutions and systems with sound information is a considerable challenge for higher education. Despite demonstrable progress, a disconnect remains between methods used for assessing learning, improvement and accountability. This muddled situation is illustrated through a review of…

  2. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Keeler, Bonnie L; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A; Johnson, Kris A; Finlay, Jacques C; O'Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-11-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting. PMID:23091018

  3. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Keeler, Bonnie L.; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A.; Johnson, Kris A.; Finlay, Jacques C.; O’Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-01-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting. PMID:23091018

  4. Linking Planning, Quality Improvement, and Institutional Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seymour, Daniel; Kelley, John M.; Jasinski, John

    2004-01-01

    External and internal forces are driving institutions not only to create departments and positions that specialize in planning, quality improvement, and institutional research but also to link them within a systems context.

  5. Linking community health improvement with clinical strategies.

    PubMed

    Hattis, P; Matheny, P

    2001-01-01

    In most health care organizations, there is a separation between community health improvement (CHI) efforts and other strategic goals--in particular, clinical care strategies. By carefully managing their approach to CHI, health care organizations can successfully link these areas and reap significant tangible and intangible rewards, including cost savings and better outcomes of care. PMID:11372277

  6. Linking Large-Scale Reading Assessments: Comment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanushek, Eric A.

    2016-01-01

    E. A. Hanushek points out in this commentary that applied researchers in education have only recently begun to appreciate the value of international assessments, even though there are now 50 years of experience with these. Until recently, these assessments have been stand-alone surveys that have not been linked, and analysis has largely focused on…

  7. The Missing Link: Standards, Assessment, "and" Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Douglas

    2005-01-01

    Over a two-year period, the teachers at John Adams Middle School wrote and administered eight common assessments across content areas and met to discuss the results of each. By linking standards, assessments, and instruction, teachers were able to identify areas of need for specific students and address those needs. Educators across the country…

  8. Improvements of HITS Algorithms for Spam Links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asano, Yasuhito; Tezuka, Yu; Nishizeki, Takao

    The HITS algorithm proposed by Kleinberg is one of the representative methods of scoring Web pages by using hyperlinks. In the days when the algorithm was proposed, most of the pages given high score by the algorithm were really related to a given topic, and hence the algorithm could be used to find related pages. However, the algorithm and the variants including Bharat's improved HITS, abbreviated to BHITS, proposed by Bharat and Henzinger cannot be used to find related pages any more on today's Web, due to an increase of spam links. In this paper, we first propose three methods to find “linkfarms,” that is, sets of spam links forming a densely connected subgraph of a Web graph. We then present an algorithm, called a trust-score algorithm, to give high scores to pages which are not spam pages with a high probability. Combining the three methods and the trust-score algorithm with BHITS, we obtain several variants of the HITS algorithm. We ascertain by experiments that one of them, named TaN+BHITS using the trust-score algorithm and the method of finding linkfarms by employing name servers, is most suitable for finding related pages on today's Web. Our algorithms take time and memory no more than those required by the original HITS algorithm, and can be executed on a PC with a small amount of main memory.

  9. Best Practices in Linking Assessment and Planning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aloi, Susan L.

    2005-01-01

    In autumn 2003, the author conducted a study of the best practices in linking assessment and strategic planning in higher education by visiting three institutions that represent models in integrating these processes. Information was gathered by interviewing faculty, staff, and administrators involved in the institutions' strategic planning or…

  10. Linking Assessment and Instruction Innovation Configuration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hosp, John L.

    2011-01-01

    This innovation configuration identifies the skills and competencies teachers need to make sound decisions about using assessment information to improve instruction and establishes a framework and justification for effective ways that teachers can collect and use assessment data to make instructional decisions. It is designed to provide a…

  11. An Accurate Link Correlation Estimator for Improving Wireless Protocol Performance

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zhiwei; Xu, Xianghua; Dong, Wei; Bu, Jiajun

    2015-01-01

    Wireless link correlation has shown significant impact on the performance of various sensor network protocols. Many works have been devoted to exploiting link correlation for protocol improvements. However, the effectiveness of these designs heavily relies on the accuracy of link correlation measurement. In this paper, we investigate state-of-the-art link correlation measurement and analyze the limitations of existing works. We then propose a novel lightweight and accurate link correlation estimation (LACE) approach based on the reasoning of link correlation formation. LACE combines both long-term and short-term link behaviors for link correlation estimation. We implement LACE as a stand-alone interface in TinyOS and incorporate it into both routing and flooding protocols. Simulation and testbed results show that LACE: (1) achieves more accurate and lightweight link correlation measurements than the state-of-the-art work; and (2) greatly improves the performance of protocols exploiting link correlation. PMID:25686314

  12. An accurate link correlation estimator for improving wireless protocol performance.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhiwei; Xu, Xianghua; Dong, Wei; Bu, Jiajun

    2015-01-01

    Wireless link correlation has shown significant impact on the performance of various sensor network protocols. Many works have been devoted to exploiting link correlation for protocol improvements. However, the effectiveness of these designs heavily relies on the accuracy of link correlation measurement. In this paper, we investigate state-of-the-art link correlation measurement and analyze the limitations of existing works. We then propose a novel lightweight and accurate link correlation estimation (LACE) approach based on the reasoning of link correlation formation. LACE combines both long-term and short-term link behaviors for link correlation estimation. We implement LACE as a stand-alone interface in TinyOS and incorporate it into both routing and flooding protocols. Simulation and testbed results show that LACE: (1) achieves more accurate and lightweight link correlation measurements than the state-of-the-art work; and (2) greatly improves the performance of protocols exploiting link correlation. PMID:25686314

  13. Improving personalized link prediction by hybrid diffusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jin-Hu; Zhu, Yu-Xiao; Zhou, Tao

    2016-04-01

    Inspired by traditional link prediction and to solve the problem of recommending friends in social networks, we introduce the personalized link prediction in this paper, in which each individual will get equal number of diversiform predictions. While the performances of many classical algorithms are not satisfactory under this framework, thus new algorithms are in urgent need. Motivated by previous researches in other fields, we generalize heat conduction process to the framework of personalized link prediction and find that this method outperforms many classical similarity-based algorithms, especially in the performance of diversity. In addition, we demonstrate that adding one ground node that is supposed to connect all the nodes in the system will greatly benefit the performance of heat conduction. Finally, better hybrid algorithms composed of local random walk and heat conduction have been proposed. Numerical results show that the hybrid algorithms can outperform other algorithms simultaneously in all four adopted metrics: AUC, precision, recall and hamming distance. In a word, this work may shed some light on the in-depth understanding of the effect of physical processes in personalized link prediction.

  14. Improving nonlinear modeling capabilities of functional link adaptive filters.

    PubMed

    Comminiello, Danilo; Scarpiniti, Michele; Scardapane, Simone; Parisi, Raffaele; Uncini, Aurelio

    2015-09-01

    The functional link adaptive filter (FLAF) represents an effective solution for online nonlinear modeling problems. In this paper, we take into account a FLAF-based architecture, which separates the adaptation of linear and nonlinear elements, and we focus on the nonlinear branch to improve the modeling performance. In particular, we propose a new model that involves an adaptive combination of filters downstream of the nonlinear expansion. Such combination leads to a cooperative behavior of the whole architecture, thus yielding a performance improvement, particularly in the presence of strong nonlinearities. An advanced architecture is also proposed involving the adaptive combination of multiple filters on the nonlinear branch. The proposed models are assessed in different nonlinear modeling problems, in which their effectiveness and capabilities are shown. PMID:26057613

  15. Improving interdependent networks robustness by adding connectivity links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Xingpei; Wang, Bo; Liu, Dichen; Chen, Guo; Tang, Fei; Wei, Daqian; Tu, Lian

    2016-02-01

    Compared with a single and isolated network, interdependent networks have two types of links: connectivity link and dependency link. This paper aims to improve the robustness of interdependent networks by adding connectivity links. Firstly, interdependent networks failure model and four frequently used link addition strategies are briefly reviewed. Furthermore, by defining inter degree-degree difference, two novel link addition strategies are proposed. Finally, we verify the effectiveness of our proposed link addition strategies by comparing with the current link addition strategies in three different network models. The simulation results show that, given the number of added links, link allocation strategies have great effects on the robustness of interdependent networks, i.e., the double-network link allocation strategy is superior to single-network link allocation strategy. Link addition strategies proposed in this paper excel the current strategies, especially for BA interdependent networks. Moreover, our work can provide guidance on how to allocate limited resources to an existing interdependent networks system and optimize its topology to avoid the potential cascade failures.

  16. Writing Assessment for Program Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kocher, A. Thel

    1984-01-01

    The writing assessment program in the Cherry Creek, Colorado, schools is described. Writing assessments for students in grades three, six, eight, and 10 have been developed. A holistic approach is used by teachers in scoring these instruments. Improvement of students' essay-writing ability indicates the value of the assessment program. (DWH)

  17. Improving performance through self-assessment.

    PubMed

    Pitt, D J

    1999-01-01

    Wakefield and Pontefract Community Health NHS Trust uses the European Business Excellence Model self-assessment for continuous improvement. An outline of the key aspects of the model, an approach to TQM, is presented. This article sets out the context that led to the adoption of the model in the Trust and describes the approach that has been taken to completing self-assessments. Use of the model to secure continuous improvement is reviewed against Bhopal and Thomson's Audit Cycle and consideration is given to lessons learned. The article concludes with a discussion on applicability of the model to health care organisations. It is concluded that, after an initial learning curve, the model has facilitated integration of a range of quality initiatives, and progress with continuous improvement. Critical to this was the linking of self-assessment to business planning and performance management systems. PMID:10537856

  18. Developing and Implementing an Assessment Technique to Measure Linked Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ye, Li; Oueini, Razanne; Lewis, Scott E.

    2015-01-01

    The links students make among chemistry content is considered essential for a robust, enduring understanding in multiple learning theories. This article describes the development and implementation of an assessment technique, termed a Measure of Linked Concepts, designed to inform instructors on students' understanding of linking content…

  19. The (Missing) Link between Instruction and Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gurvitch, Rachel; Lund, Jackie

    2011-01-01

    Many physical educators understand the important role formative assessment has on their teaching and student learning outcomes. However, when carefully examining different physical education settings they learn instruction is oftentimes disconnected from assessment. When talking about assessment, educators first need to distinguish between the two…

  20. Closing the Loop: Linking Planning and Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Middaugh, Michael F.

    2009-01-01

    Institutions often engage in elaborate assessment and planning processes that have little or no relationship to each other. Highly effective institutions are characterized by strategic planning activities that are intentionally informed by assessments of both student learning outcomes and the extent to which human and fiscal resources are being…

  1. Using Linked Data to Drive Education and Training Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2010

    2010-01-01

    To address key policy and programmatic questions and help improve student and system performance, states must work to link data across the early childhood, postsecondary and workforce (P-20/workforce) spectrum and share this information with appropriate stakeholders. This issue brief highlights current efforts in California, Florida, Indiana, and…

  2. Assessing and Improving Classroom Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thorp, Howard S.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Describes a convenient and economical questionnaire that science teachers can use to assess their students' perceptions of classroom environment and reports a case study of a science teacher's successful use of this questionnaire in guiding improvements in his classroom environment. (16 references) (Author)

  3. Improving Explanatory Inferences from Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diakow, Ronli Phyllis

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation comprises three papers that propose, discuss, and illustrate models to make improved inferences about research questions regarding student achievement in education. Addressing the types of questions common in educational research today requires three different "extensions" to traditional educational assessment: (1)…

  4. Linking Assessment and Instruction Using Ontologies. CSE Technical Report 693

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung, Gregory K. W. K.; Delacruz, Girlie C.; Dionne, Gary B.; Bewley, William L.

    2006-01-01

    In this study we report on a test of a method that uses ontologies to individualize instruction by directly linking assessment results to the delivery of relevant content. Our sample was 2nd Lieutenants undergoing entry-level training on rifle marksmanship. Ontologies are explicit expressions of the concepts in a domain, the links among the…

  5. Operative link for gastritis assessment vs operative link on intestinal metaplasia assessment

    PubMed Central

    Rugge, Massimo; Fassan, Matteo; Pizzi, Marco; Farinati, Fabio; Sturniolo, Giacomo Carlo; Plebani, Mario; Graham, David Y

    2011-01-01

    AIM: To compare the reliability of gastritis staging systems in ranking gastritis-associated cancer risk in a large series of consecutive patients. METHODS: Gastric mucosal atrophy is the precancerous condition in which intestinal-type gastric cancer (GC) most frequently develops. The operative link for gastritis assessment (OLGA) staging system ranks the GC risk according to both the topography and the severity of gastric atrophy (as assessed histologically on the basis of the Sydney protocol for gastric mucosal biopsy). Both cross-sectional and long-term follow-up trials have consistently associated OLGA stages III-IV with a higher risk of GC. A recently-proposed modification of the OLGA staging system (OLGIM) basically incorporates the OLGA frame, but replaces the atrophy score with an assessment of intestinal metaplasia (IM) alone. A series of 4552 consecutive biopsy sets (2007-2009) was retrieved and reassessed according to both the OLGA and the OLGIM staging systems. A set of at least 5 biopsy samples was available for all the cases considered. RESULTS: In 4460 of 4552 cases (98.0%), both the high-risk stages (III + IV) and the low-risk stages (0 +I + II) were assessed applying the OLGA and OLGIM criteria. Among the 243 OLGA high-risk stages, 14 (5.8%) were down-staged to a low risk using OLGIM. The 67 (1.5%) incidentally-found neoplastic lesions (intraepithelial or invasive) were consistently associated with high-risk stages, as assessed by both OLGA and OLGIM (P < 0.001 for both). Two of 34 intestinal-type GCs coexisting with a high-risk OLGA stage (stage III) were associated with a low-risk OLGIM stage (stage II). CONCLUSION: Gastritis staging systems (both OLGA and OLGIM) convey prognostically important information on the gastritis-associated cancer risk. Because of its clinical impact, the stage of gastritis should be included as a conclusive message in the gastritis histology report. Since it focuses on IM alone, OLGIM staging is less sensitive than

  6. Improving Linking from the Literature to On-line Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eichhorn, G.; Accomazzi, A.; Grant, C. S.; Henneken, E. A.; Kurtz, M. J.; Murray, S. S.

    2003-12-01

    The ADS, in close collaboration with the Astrophysics Data Centers Executive Committee (ADEC) and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) has been working on improving the linking between the literature and on-line data by allowing authors to specify data that were used in the research described in journal articles. We are working with the ADEC on identifying data sets in a consistent manner. The ADEC has agreed that all NASA data centers will use data set identifiers of the form: ADS/facility#identifier where facility specifies the telescope that acquired the data and identifier is a data center selected identifier for a particular data set. The ADS is providing a registration service for facility names that identify data collections at the various data centers, a verification service that allows authors and editors to verify the existence of data set identifiers, and a linking service that allows journals to use permanent URLs for links to data sets that may move between data centers. Current plans of the ADEC-AAS collaboration call for including data set identifiers in the LaTeX manuscripts by the authors. The data set identifiers will be provided by the data centers with all data delivered. The editorial process will verify all data set identifiers and include links to the on-line data from the on-line articles. The identifiers used in each article will be made available to the ADS for linking to the on-line data from the ADS system as well.

  7. Improving pandemic influenza risk assessment

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Colin A; Kasson, Peter M; Donis, Ruben O; Riley, Steven; Dunbar, John; Rambaut, Andrew; Asher, Jason; Burke, Stephen; Davis, C Todd; Garten, Rebecca J; Gnanakaran, Sandrasegaram; Hay, Simon I; Herfst, Sander; Lewis, Nicola S; Lloyd-Smith, James O; Macken, Catherine A; Maurer-Stroh, Sebastian; Neuhaus, Elizabeth; Parrish, Colin R; Pepin, Kim M; Shepard, Samuel S; Smith, David L; Suarez, David L; Trock, Susan C; Widdowson, Marc-Alain; George, Dylan B; Lipsitch, Marc; Bloom, Jesse D

    2014-01-01

    Assessing the pandemic risk posed by specific non-human influenza A viruses is an important goal in public health research. As influenza virus genome sequencing becomes cheaper, faster, and more readily available, the ability to predict pandemic potential from sequence data could transform pandemic influenza risk assessment capabilities. However, the complexities of the relationships between virus genotype and phenotype make such predictions extremely difficult. The integration of experimental work, computational tool development, and analysis of evolutionary pathways, together with refinements to influenza surveillance, has the potential to transform our ability to assess the risks posed to humans by non-human influenza viruses and lead to improved pandemic preparedness and response. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03883.001 PMID:25321142

  8. Improving pandemic influenza risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Russell, Colin A; Kasson, Peter M; Donis, Ruben O; Riley, Steven; Dunbar, John; Rambaut, Andrew; Asher, Jason; Burke, Stephen; Davis, C Todd; Garten, Rebecca J; Gnanakaran, Sandrasegaram; Hay, Simon I; Herfst, Sander; Lewis, Nicola S; Lloyd-Smith, James O; Macken, Catherine A; Maurer-Stroh, Sebastian; Neuhaus, Elizabeth; Parrish, Colin R; Pepin, Kim M; Shepard, Samuel S; Smith, David L; Suarez, David L; Trock, Susan C; Widdowson, Marc-Alain; George, Dylan B; Lipsitch, Marc; Bloom, Jesse D

    2014-01-01

    Assessing the pandemic risk posed by specific non-human influenza A viruses is an important goal in public health research. As influenza virus genome sequencing becomes cheaper, faster, and more readily available, the ability to predict pandemic potential from sequence data could transform pandemic influenza risk assessment capabilities. However, the complexities of the relationships between virus genotype and phenotype make such predictions extremely difficult. The integration of experimental work, computational tool development, and analysis of evolutionary pathways, together with refinements to influenza surveillance, has the potential to transform our ability to assess the risks posed to humans by non-human influenza viruses and lead to improved pandemic preparedness and response. PMID:25321142

  9. Investigating the Link between Learning Progressions and Classroom Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furtak, Erin Marie; Morrison, Deb; Kroog, Heidi

    2014-01-01

    An increasing number of researchers are calling for learning progressions to be used as interpretive frameworks for teachers conducting classroom assessment. The argument posits that by linking classroom assessments to learning progressions, teachers will have better resources to interpret and take instructional action on the basis of what…

  10. Automobile accessories: Assessment and improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Jackson, M.

    1995-11-01

    With mandates and regulatory policies to meet both the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), designing vehicles of the future will become a difficult task. As we look into the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, reduction of the required power demand by influential automobile components is necessary in order to obtain performance and range goals. Among those automobile components are accessories. Accessories have a profound impact on the range and mileage of future vehicles with limited amounts of energy or without power generating capabilities such as conventional vehicles. Careful assessment of major power consuming accessories helps us focus on those that need improvement and contributes to attainment of mileage and range goals for electric and hybrid vehicles.

  11. Improving Learning through Meta Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDonald, Betty

    2010-01-01

    Meta assessment goes beyond assessment in that it examines not only the elements of assessment but also the necessary and sufficient conditions as well as the needs of the assessment. Meta assessment in education tends to be the domain of course designers, planners and policy makers but rarely that of students. This article examines the role of…

  12. Assessing country-level efforts to link research to action.

    PubMed Central

    Lavis, John N.; Lomas, Jonathan; Hamid, Maimunah; Sewankambo, Nelson K.

    2006-01-01

    We developed a framework for assessing country-level efforts to link research to action. The framework has four elements. The first element assesses the general climate (how those who fund research, universities, researchers and users of research support or place value on efforts to link research to action). The second element addresses the production of research (how priority setting ensures that users' needs are identified and how scoping reviews, systematic reviews and single studies are undertaken to address these needs). The third element addresses the mix of four clusters of activities used to link research to action. These include push efforts (how strategies are used to support action based on the messages arising from research), efforts to facilitate "user pull" (how "one-stop shopping" is provided for optimally packaged high-quality reviews either alone or as part of a national electronic library for health, how these reviews are profiled during "teachable moments" such as intense media coverage, and how rapid-response units meet users' needs for the best research), "user pull" efforts undertaken by those who use research (how users assess their capacity to use research and how structures and processes are changed to support the use of research) and exchange efforts (how meaningful partnerships between researchers and users help them to jointly ask and answer relevant questions). The fourth element addresses approaches to evaluation (how support is provided for rigorous evaluations of efforts to link research to action). PMID:16917649

  13. Linking National and International Educational Assessments: NAEP and TIMSS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, Taslima

    2013-03-01

    In an increasingly global economy, comparisons of student achievement in the United States to student achievement in other countries are of interest to the nation. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports on mathematics and science achievement of 4th- and 8th-grade students for the all U.S. states and 60 countries. However, the reports are based on two separate assessments. Results for the U.S. states are based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and results for the other countries are based on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Further, unlike NAEP, TIMSS does not have an on-going state component. Thus, U.S. states cannot compare performance of their students with those of the students in other countries. To enable such comparisons, NCES launched a NAEP-TIMSS Linking study where the goal is to project TIMSS mathematics and science scores for the students in the 50 states that participated in NAEP. This linking study targeted eighth-grade students. NAEP assessments of mathematics and science were conducted in winter 2011 (January-March) and TIMSS assessments of mathematics and science were conducted in spring 2011 (April-June). Three approaches-- statistical moderation, calibration, and projection--are applied in linking the two scales. In this presentation, discussion will focus on the study design and approaches applied. In addition, results will be shared if released to the public by the NCES before March 2013. Otherwise results of earlier linking study conducted by the American Institutes for Research in 2007 using the statistical moderation technique will be shared.

  14. Parallel optics technology assessment for the versatile link project

    SciTech Connect

    Chramowicz, J.; Kwan, S.; Rivera, R.; Prosser, A.; /Fermilab

    2011-01-01

    This poster describes the assessment of commercially available and prototype parallel optics modules for possible use as back end components for the Versatile Link common project. The assessment covers SNAP12 transmitter and receiver modules as well as optical engine technologies in dense packaging options. Tests were performed using vendor evaluation boards (SNAP12) as well as custom evaluation boards (optical engines). The measurements obtained were used to compare the performance of these components with single channel SFP+ components operating at a transmission wavelength of 850 nm over multimode fibers.

  15. Towards the Improvement of the Student Experience of Assessment and Feedback in Construction Management Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Lloyd; Fortune, Chris

    2013-01-01

    It is widely accepted across Higher Education that assessment practices have a link with learning and a key factor in this link is formative assessment. Formative assessment is generally defined as taking place during a module/programme with the express purpose of improving and enhancing student learning. It is important to understand how…

  16. Assessing the weather monitoring capabilities of cellular microwave link networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fencl, Martin; Vrzba, Miroslav; Rieckermann, Jörg; Bareš, Vojtěch

    2016-04-01

    Using of microwave links for rainfall monitoring was suggested already by (Atlas and Ulbrich, 1977). However, this technique attracted broader attention of scientific community only in the recent decade, with the extensive growth of cellular microwave link (CML) networks, which form the backbone of today's cellular telecommunication infrastructure. Several studies have already shown that CMLs can be conveniently used as weather sensors and have potential to provide near-ground path-integrated observations of rainfall but also humidity or fog. However, although research is still focusing on algorithms to improve the weather sensing capabilities (Fencl et al., 2015), it is not clear how to convince cellular operators to provide the power levels of their network. One step in this direction is to show in which regions or municipalities the networks are sufficiently dense to provide/develop good services. In this contribution we suggest a standardized approach to evaluate CML networks in terms of rainfall observation and to identify suitable regions for CML rainfall monitoring. We estimate precision of single CML based on its sensitivity to rainfall, i.e. as a function of frequency, polarization and path length. Capability of a network to capture rainfall spatial patterns is estimated from the CML coverage and path lengths considering that single CML provides path-integrated rain rates. We also search for suitable predictors for regions where no network topologies are available. We test our approach on several European networks and discuss the results. Our results show that CMLs are very dense in urban areas (> 1 CML/km2), but less in rural areas (< 0.02 CML/km2). We found a strong correlation between a population and CML network density (e.g. R2 = 0.97 in Czech Republic), thus population could be a simple proxy to identify suitable regions for CML weather monitoring. To enable a simple and efficient assessment of the CML monitoring potential for any region worldwide

  17. Academic Improvement through Regular Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Patrick J.

    2007-01-01

    Media reports are rife with claims that students in the United States are overtested and that they and their education are suffering as result. Here I argue the opposite--that students would benefit in numerous ways from more frequent assessment, especially of diagnostic testing. The regular assessment of students serves critical educational and…

  18. Linking through Improved Design, Not Redefinition: Commentary on Newton

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Michael E.

    2010-01-01

    "Linking" is a term given to a general class of procedures by which one represents scores X on one test or measure in terms of scores Y on another test or measure. A recent taxonomy by Holland and Dorans (2006; Holland, 2007) organizes the various types of links into three broad categories: prediction, scale aligning, and equating. In his article…

  19. Assessment of cockpit interface concepts for data link retrofit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccauley, Hugh W.; Miles, William L.; Dwyer, John P.; Erickson, Jeffery B.

    1992-01-01

    The problem is examined of retrofitting older generation aircraft with data link capability. The approach taken analyzes requirements for the cockpit interface, based on review of prior research and opinions obtained from subject matter experts. With this background, essential functions and constraints for a retrofit installation are defined. After an assessment of the technology available to meet the functions and constraints, candidate design concepts are developed. The most promising design concept is described in detail. Finally, needs for further research and development are identified.

  20. Enriching and improving the quality of linked data with GIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwaniak, Adam; Kaczmarek, Iwona; Strzelecki, Marek; Lukowicz, Jaromar; Jankowski, Piotr

    2016-06-01

    Standardization of methods for data exchange in GIS has along history predating the creation of World Wide Web. The advent of World Wide Web brought the emergence of new solutions for data exchange and sharing including; more recently, standards proposed by the W3C for data exchange involving Semantic Web technologies and linked data. Despite the growing interest in integration, GIS and linked data are still two separate paradigms for describing and publishing spatial data on the Web. At the same time, both paradigms offer complementary ways of representing real world phenomena and means of analysis using different processing functions. The complementarity of linked data and GIS can be leveraged to synergize both paradigms resulting in richer data content and more powerful inferencing. The article presents an approach aimed at integrating linked data with GIS. The approach relies on the use of GIS tools for integration, verification and enrichment of linked data. The GIS tools are employed to enrich linked data by furnishing access to collection of data resources, defining relationship between data resources, and subsequently facilitating GIS data integration with linked data. The proposed approach is demonstrated with examples using data from DBpedia, OSM, and tools developed by the authors for standard GIS software.

  1. Improving pandemic influenza risk assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Assessing the pandemic risk posed by specific non-human influenza A viruses remains a complex challenge. As influenza virus genome sequencing becomes cheaper, faster and more readily available, the ability to predict pandemic potential from sequence data could transform pandemic influenza risk asses...

  2. Improving Writing: Resources, Strategies, Assessments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lenski, Susan Davis; Johns, Jerry L.

    Comprehensive and practical, this book provides resources, strategies, and assessments that seamlessly weave writing into everyday classroom routines. The resources in the book include reproducible student worksheets, transparency masters, teacher and student examples, and technology tips in the form of Web site addresses. Strategies throughout…

  3. Assessing and Improving Institutional Effectiveness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Kim S.

    Information to promote assessment of organizational effectiveness in colleges and universities is presented, along with an exercise to rank the effectiveness of 10 institutions. The exercise uses three types of criteria to indicate effectiveness: subjective ratings, data about students and activities, and institutional capacity and financial…

  4. Reflection: A Link between Receiving and Using Assessment Feedback

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sargeant, Joan M.; Mann, Karen V.; van der Vleuten, Cees P.; Metsemakers, Job F.

    2009-01-01

    Problem statement and background: Feedback is essential to learning and practice improvement, yet challenging both to provide and receive. The purpose of this paper was to explore reflective processes which physicians described as they considered their assessment feedback and the perceived utility of that reflective process. Methods: This is a…

  5. Orbiter fuel cell improvement assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, R. E.

    1981-01-01

    The history of fuel cells and the theory of fuel cells is given. Expressions for thermodynamic and electrical efficiencies are developed. The voltage losses due to electrode activation, ohmic resistance and ionic diffusion are discussed. Present limitations of the Orbiter Fuel Cell, as well as proposed enhancements, are given. These enhancements are then evaluated and recommendations are given for fuel cell enhancement both for short-range as well as long-range performance improvement. Estimates of reliability and cost savings are given for enhancements where possible.

  6. Improving Foreign Language Speaking through Formative Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tuttle, Harry Grover; Tuttle, Alan Robert

    2012-01-01

    Want a quick way to get your students happily conversing more in the target language? This practical book shows you how to use formative assessments to gain immediate and lasting improvement in your students' fluency. You'll learn how to: (1) Imbed the 3-minute formative assessment into every lesson with ease; (2) Engage students in peer formative…

  7. Improving Open Access through Prior Learning Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yin, Shuangxu; Kawachi, Paul

    2013-01-01

    This paper explores and presents new data on how to improve open access in distance education through using prior learning assessments. Broadly there are three types of prior learning assessment (PLAR): Type-1 for prospective students to be allowed to register for a course; Type-2 for current students to avoid duplicating work-load to gain…

  8. Improving Student Achievement through Alternative Assessments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durning, Jermaine; Matyasec, Maryann

    An attempt was made to improve students' academic grades and students' opinions of themselves as learners through the use of alternative assessments. The format of mastery learning using the direct instruction practice model was combined with performance-based assessment to increase achievement, self-esteem, and higher level thinking skills.…

  9. Feasibility assessment of optical technologies for reliable high capacity feeder links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Witternigg, Norbert; Schönhuber, Michael; Leitgeb, Erich; Plank, Thomas

    2013-08-01

    Space telecom scenarios like data relay satellite and broadband/broadcast service providers require reliable feeder links with high bandwidth/data rate for the communication between ground station and satellite. Free space optical communication (FSOC) is an attractive alternative to microwave links, improving performance by offering abundant bandwidth at small apertures of the optical terminals. At the same time Near-Earth communication by FSOC avoids interference with other services and is free of regulatory issues. The drawback however is the impairment by the laser propagation through the atmosphere at optical wavelengths. Also to be considered are questions of eye safety for ground personnel and aviation. In this paper we assess the user requirements for typical space telecom scenarios and compare these requirements with solutions using optical data links through the atmosphere. We suggest a site diversity scheme with a number of ground stations and a switching scheme using two optical terminals on-board the satellite. Considering the technology trade-offs between four different optical wavelengths we recommend the future use of 1.5 μm laser technology and calculate a link budget for an atmospheric condition of light haze on the optical path. By comparing link budgets we show an outlook to the future potential use of 10 μm laser technology.

  10. Linking Technology with Promising Practices To Improve Teaching and Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherry, Lorraine

    Many of today's teachers are receiving training to perfect their technology skills. One place to begin technology integration during preservice education is at the instructional design level, focusing on student performance assessments and alignment of school curricula with state standards. The Teachers' Internet Use Guide emphasizes alignment of…

  11. Value-based physician compensation: a link to performance improvement.

    PubMed

    Bunkers, Brian; Koch, Mark; Lubinsky, Jeanie; Weisz, Jeffrey A; Whited, Brian

    2016-03-01

    To prepare for the healthcare industry's transition to value-based care, Mayo Clinic Health System implemented a new, value-focused physician compensation plan as part of a larger initiative aimed at systemwide clinical integration. The plan uses three value-based metrics, focusing on outcomes, safety, and patient experience, that initially would determine 5 percent of a physician's compensation. Notable improvements achieved in the first year of the plan's implementation were strong indicators of the potential effectiveness of such a plan. PMID:27183759

  12. Linking quality improvement and energy efficiency/waste reduction

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, R.E.; Moore, N.L.

    1995-04-01

    For some time industry has recognized the importance of both energy efficiency/waste reduction (ee/wr) and quality/manufacturing improvement. However, industry has not particularly recognized that manufacturing efficiency is, in part, the result of a more efficient use of energy. For that reason, the energy efficiency efforts of most companies have involved admonishing employees to save energy. Few organizations have invested resources in training programs aimed at increasing energy efficiency and reducing waste. This describes a program to demonstrate how existing utility and government training and incentive programs can be leveraged to increase ee/wr and benefit both industry and consumers. Fortunately, there are a variety of training tools and resources that can be applied to educating workers on the benefits of energy efficiency and waste reduction. What is lacking is a method of integrating ee/wr training with other important organizational needs. The key, therefore, is to leverage ee/wr investments with other organizational improvement programs. There are significant strides to be made by training industry to recognize fully the contribution that energy efficiency gains make to the bottom line. The federal government stands in the unique position of being able to leverage the investments already made by states, utilities, and manufacturing associations by coordinating training programs and defining the contribution of energy-efficiency practices. These aims can be accomplished by: developing better measures of energy efficiency and waste reduction; promoting methods of leveraging manufacturing efficiency programs with energy efficiency concepts; helping industry understand how ee/wr investments can increase profits; promoting research on the needs of, and most effective ways to, reach the small and medium-sized businesses that so often lack the time, information, and finances to effectively use the hardware and training technologies available.

  13. Solar Power Satellite (SPS) fiber optic link assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    A feasibility demonstration of a 980 MHz fiber optic link for the Solar Power Satellite (SPS) phase reference distribution system was accomplished. A dual fiber-optic link suitable for a phase distribution frequency of 980 MHz was built and tested. The major link components include single mode injection laser diodes, avalanche photodiodes, and multimode high bandwidth fibers. Signal throughput was demonstrated to be stable and of high quality in all cases. For a typical SPS link length of 200 meters, the transmitted phase at 980 MHz varies approximately 2.5 degrees for every deg C of fiber temperature change. This rate is acceptable because of the link length compensation feature of the phase control design.

  14. Improving cumulative effects assessment in Alberta: Regional strategic assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Dallas Lalonde, Kim; McEachern, Menzie; Kenney, John; Mendoza, Gustavo; Buffin, Andrew; Rich, Kate

    2011-09-15

    The Government of Alberta, Canada is developing a regulatory framework to better manage cumulative environmental effects from development in the province. A key component of this effort is regional planning, which will lay the primary foundation for cumulative effects management into the future. Alberta Environment has considered the information needs of regional planning and has concluded that Regional Strategic Assessment may offer significant advantages if integrated into the planning process, including the overall improvement of cumulative environmental effects assessment in the province.

  15. Assessing Institutional Ineffectiveness: A Strategy for Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Kim S.

    1984-01-01

    Based on the theory that institutional change and improvement are motivated more by knowledge of problems than by knowledge of successes, a fault tree analysis technique using Boolean logic for assessing institutional ineffectiveness by determining weaknesses in the system is presented. Advantages and disadvantages of focusing on weakness rather…

  16. State Systems Improvement Self-Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mid-South Regional Resource Center (MSRRC), 2008

    2008-01-01

    This document was developed by the Mid-South Regional Resource Center (MSRRC) and is designed to be used as an assessment of State systems by State Part B and Part C staff and their stakeholders. It provides a detailed process for State Education Agencies (SEA) and Lead Agencies (LA) to follow that will guide improvement efforts relative to the…

  17. Inpatient Falls: Improving assessment, documentation, and management.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Eleanor; Reynolds, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    A frequently occurring job during on-call and out-of-hours shifts is reviewing a patient following a fall with this often being the responsibility of the most junior and inexperienced doctors. Following a pilot audit we identified inconsistencies in medical assessment and documentation, with 50% of expected data points not recorded. Failure to complete a thorough assessment can lead to missed injuries, prolonged length of stay, and litigation. Using the plan, do, study, act (PDSA) cycle model this project sought to address this through providing teaching to junior doctors and the development of a pro-forma. Three style cycles of data collection were performed; a formal baseline dataset, after delivering a teaching session to new junior doctors and following the trial of the new fall pro-forma. We selected 15 to 17 patient notes to review at random during a one month period for each data collection cycle and compared the medical assessment to the standards outlined by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) guidelines.[1] There were two key areas of improvement identified following the teaching session and introduction of the proforma. Documentation of a fall history was improved by nearly 30% being recorded in 100% of cases after the interventions. Documentation of a thorough musculoskeletal examination was improved from being recorded in just 54% of cases to 77% of cases; it was recorded in 100% of the cases where the proforma was used. The project demonstrated the need to improve documentation and assessment of a patient who has fallen. Initial data collection has shown that assessment and documentation were improved providing teaching to junior doctors and by use of the document. The pro-forma has since been incorporated into hospital policy and now forms the compulsory documentation expected of the doctors and nurses managing patients following a fall. Ensuring easy access to the proforma and re-auditing after editing the document will be the next steps. PMID

  18. Assessing the Falsifiability of Extreme Linking. Research Report. ETS RR-11-04

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Middleton, Kyndra; Dorans, Neil J.

    2011-01-01

    Extreme linkings are performed in settings in which neither equivalent groups nor anchor material is available to link scores on two assessments. Examples of extreme linkages include links between scores on tests administered in different languages or between scores on tests administered across disability groups. The strength of interpretation…

  19. Probabilistic method to assess insulating link performance for protection of crane workers

    SciTech Connect

    Karady, G.G.; Shah, M.; Dumora, D.

    1996-01-01

    Contact between cranes and transmission lines is the most frequent cause of accidents, which may lead to electrocution of an operator or rigger. This accident can be prevented by inserting an insulating link in the crane`s cable. This paper analyzes currents during accidents and proposes a modified test method for contaminated insulating links. A new and better insulating link is also introduced. Flashover probability of contaminated insulator links is measured. The tests results are evaluated with a new probabilistic method which leads to better assessment of link efficiency. The paper concludes that the risk of link failure cannot be determined without the new flashover probability measurement.

  20. Improving Social Security's Financial Capability Assessments.

    PubMed

    Appelbaum, Paul S; Birkenmaier, Julie; Norman, Marc

    2016-07-01

    When Social Security beneficiaries are incapable of managing their benefits, the agency can appoint a representative payee to administer benefits on their behalf. A committee of the Institute of Medicine was asked by the Social Security Administration to review the process by which financial capability determinations are made and to recommend improvements. The committee's conclusions and recommendations include the following: giving priority to real-world financial performance in assessing capability, providing clearer instructions to informants, developing systematic approaches to identifying beneficiaries at risk of incapability, exploring the use of a supervised direct payment option, and instituting regular data collection to assist in improving operations. PMID:27363351

  1. Assessing the threat of firearms: new threat formula, resources, and ontological linking algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hempelmann, Christian F.; Arslan, Abdullah N.; Attardo, Salvatore; Blount, Grady P.; Sirakov, Nikolay Metodiev

    2014-06-01

    The present work is part of an ongoing larger project.2, 3, 11, 12 The goal of this project is to develop a system capable of automatic threat assessment for instances of firearms use in public places. The main components of the system are: an ontology of firearms;1, 14 algorithms to create the visual footprint of the firearms,1, 14 to compare visual information,2, 3, 11, 12 to facilitate search in the ontology, and to generate the links between the conceptual and visual ontologies; as well as a formula to calculate the threat of individual firearms, firearms classes, and ammunition types in different environments. One part of the dual-level ontology for the properties of the firearms captures key visual features used to identify their type or class in images, while the other part captures their threat-relevant conceptual properties. The visual ontology is the result of image segmentation and matching methods, while the conceptual ontology is designed using knowledge-engineering principles and populated semi-automatically from Web resources. The focus of the present paper is two-fold. On the one hand, we will report on an update of the initial threat formula, based on the substantially increased population of the firearm ontology, including ammunition types and comparisons to actual incidents, and allowing for an overall more accurate assessment. On the other hand, the linking algorithms between the visual and conceptual ontologies are elaborated for faster transfer of information leading to an improvement in accuracy of the threat assessment.

  2. Improvements to NASA's Debris Assessment Software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Opiela, J.; Johnson, Nicholas L.

    2007-01-01

    NASA's Debris Assessment Software (DAS) has been substantially revised and expanded. DAS is designed to assist NASA programs in performing orbital debris assessments, as described in NASA s Guidelines and Assessment Procedures for Limiting Orbital Debris. The extensive upgrade of DAS was undertaken to reflect changes in the debris mitigation guidelines, to incorporate recommendations from DAS users, and to take advantage of recent software capabilities for greater user utility. DAS 2.0 includes an updated environment model and enhanced orbital propagators and reentry-survivability models. The ORDEM96 debris environment model has been replaced by ORDEM2000 in DAS 2.0, which is also designed to accept anticipated revisions to the environment definition. Numerous upgrades have also been applied to the assessment of human casualty potential due to reentering debris. Routines derived from the Object Reentry Survival Analysis Tool, Version 6 (ORSAT 6), determine which objects are assessed to survive reentry, and the resulting risk of human casualty is calculated directly based upon the orbital inclination and a future world population database. When evaluating reentry risks, the user may enter up to 200 unique hardware components for each launched object, in up to four nested levels. This last feature allows the software to more accurately model components that are exposed below the initial breakup altitude. The new DAS 2.0 provides an updated set of tools for users to assess their mission s compliance with the NASA Safety Standard and does so with a clear and easy-to-understand interface. The new native Microsoft Windows graphical user interface (GUI) is a vast improvement over the previous DOS-based interface. In the new version, functions are more-clearly laid out, and the GUI includes the standard Windows-style Help functions. The underlying routines within the DAS code are also improved.

  3. The Link between Accountability and Improvement: The Case of Reporting to Parents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Viviane; Timperley, Helen

    2000-01-01

    Discusses conditions under which educational accountability might prompt academic improvement, critiquing the logic linking the two; identifying processes influencing the validity of accountability judgment, acceptance of judgment, and probability that it motivates improvement; and analyzing 12 New Zealand primary schools' methods of informing…

  4. Understanding Student Voices about Assessment: Links to Learning and Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMillan, James H.; Turner, Amanda B.

    2014-01-01

    This qualitative study examined elementary and middle school students' perceptions of assessment. Individual interviews were conducted with 64 students, with questions focused on their emotional reactions and thinking about classroom and large-scale assessment as related to goal orientation, self-regulation, attributions, and self-efficacy.…

  5. Taking Teaching to (Performance) Task: Linking Pedagogical and Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chun, Marc

    2010-01-01

    Because most teaching is done in the classroom, most assessment of learning is done by faculty for their own courses. But since a college or university's collective learning goals, such as the development of higher-order thinking skills, are not the sole province of any single course or faculty member, the assessment of them needs to track the…

  6. Click Cross-Linking-Improved Waterborne Polymers for Environment-Friendly Coatings and Adhesives.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jianqing; Peng, Kaimei; Guo, Jinshan; Shan, Dingying; Kim, Gloria B; Li, Qiyao; Gerhard, Ethan; Zhu, Liang; Tu, Weiping; Lv, Weizhong; Hickner, Michael A; Yang, Jian

    2016-07-13

    Waterborne polymers, including waterborne polyurethanes (WPU), polyester dispersions (PED), and polyacrylate emulsions (PAE), are employed as environmentally friendly water-based coatings and adhesives. An efficient, fast, stable, and safe cross-linking strategy is always desirable to impart waterborne polymers with improved mechanical properties and water/solvent/thermal and abrasion resistance. For the first time, click chemistry was introduced into waterborne polymer systems as a cross-linking strategy. Click cross-linking rendered waterborne polymer films with significantly improved tensile strength, hardness, adhesion strength, and water/solvent resistance compared to traditional waterborne polymer films. For example, click cross-linked WPU (WPU-click) has dramatically improved the mechanical strength (tensile strength increased from 0.43 to 6.47 MPa, and Young's modulus increased from 3 to 40 MPa), hardness (increased from 59 to 73.1 MPa), and water resistance (water absorption percentage dropped from 200% to less than 20%); click cross-linked PED (PED-click) film also possessed more than 3 times higher tensile strength (∼28 MPa) than that of normal PED (∼8 MPa). The adhesion strength of click cross-linked PAE (PAE-click) to polypropylene (PP) was also improved (from 3 to 5.5 MPa). In addition, extra click groups can be preserved after click cross-linking for further functionalization of the waterborne polymeric coatings/adhesives. In this work, we have demonstrated that click modification could serve as a convenient and powerful approach to significantly improve the performance of a variety of traditional coatings and adhesives. PMID:27326894

  7. Assessing the need for service improvement.

    PubMed

    Carter, Helen; Price, Lynda

    In order to ensure the service they offer is of an appropriate standard, nurses need to know how to assess its quality, identify the need for change, and implement and evaluate that change. This two-part series offers practical guidance on how to bring about an evidence-based change in practice, and how to demonstrate the success, or otherwise, of that change. It uses the example of an initiative undertaken to improve medicines management in a hospice to illustrate the process. The article also illustrates how work undertaken in changing practice can form part of the evidence submitted in the nurse revalidation process. Part 1 considers how to determine when a change in practice is needed, how to assess and measure current practice, and identify gaps or weaknesses. Part 2 will discuss how to find out why the current practice is falling short of the desired level, and how to go about implementing improvements and measuring the effect of changes. PMID:27071238

  8. Improved Differential Ion Mobility Separations Using Linked Scans of Carrier Gas Composition and Compensation Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santiago, Brandon G.; Harris, Rachel A.; Isenberg, Samantha L.; Ridgeway, Mark E.; Pilo, Alice L.; Kaplan, Desmond A.; Glish, Gary L.

    2015-07-01

    Differential ion mobility spectrometry (DIMS) separates ions based on differences in their mobilities in low and high electric fields. When coupled to mass spectrometric analyses, DIMS has the ability to improve signal-to-background by eliminating isobaric and isomeric compounds for analytes in complex mixtures. DIMS separation power, often measured by resolution and peak capacity, can be improved through increasing the fraction of helium in the nitrogen carrier gas. However, because the mobility of ions is higher in helium, a greater number of ions collide with the DIMS electrodes or housing, yielding losses in signal intensity. To take advantage of the benefits of helium addition on DIMS separations and reduce ion losses, linked scans were developed. In a linked scan the helium content of the carrier gas is reduced as the compensation field is increased. Linked scans were compared with conventional compensation field scans with constant helium content for the protein ubiquitin and a tryptic digest of bovine serum albumin (BSA). Linked scans yield better separation of ubiquitin charge states and enhanced peak capacities for the analysis of BSA compared with compensation field scans with constant helium carrier gas percentages. Linked scans also offer improved signal intensity retention in comparison to compensation field scans with constant helium percentages in the carrier gas.

  9. Idea Generation in Student Writing: Computational Assessments and Links to Successful Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crossley, Scott A.; Muldner, Kasia; McNamara, Danielle S.

    2016-01-01

    Idea generation is an important component of most major theories of writing. However, few studies have linked idea generation in writing samples to assessments of writing quality or examined links between linguistic features in a text and idea generation. This study uses human ratings of idea generation, such as "idea fluency, idea…

  10. Improving Academic Program Assessment: A Mixed Methods Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodgers, Megan; Grays, Makayla P.; Fulcher, Keston H.; Jurich, Daniel P.

    2013-01-01

    Starting with the premise that better assessment leads to more informed decisions about student learning, we investigated the factors that lead to assessment improvement. We used "meta-assessment" (i.e., evaluating the assessment process) to identify academic programs in which the assessment process had improved over a two-year period.…

  11. Linking Assessment to Undergraduate Student Capabilities through Portfolio Examination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Sullivan, Anthony J.; Harris, Peter; Hughes, Chris S.; Toohey, Susan M.; Balasooriya, Chinthaka; Velan, Gary; Kumar, Rakesh K.; McNeil, H. Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Portfolios are an established method of assessment, although concerns do exist around their validity for capabilities such as reflection and self-direction. This article describes an e-portfolio which closely aligns learning and reflection to graduate capabilities, incorporating features that address concerns about portfolios. Students are…

  12. An improved approach for flight readiness assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, N. R.; Ebbeler, D. H.; Creager, M.

    1990-01-01

    An improved methodology for quantitatively evaluating failure risk for a spaceflight system in order to assess flight readiness is presented. This methodology is of particular value when information relevant to failure prediction, including test experience and knowledge of parameters used in engineering analyses of failure phenomena, is limited. In this approach, engineering analysis models that characterize specific failure modes based on the physics and mechanics of the failure phenomena are used in a prescribed probabilistic structure to generate a failure probability distribution that is modified by test and flight experience in a Bayesian statistical procedure. The probabilistic structure and statistical methodology are generally applicable to any failure mode for which quantitative engineering analysis can be employed to characterize the failure phenomenon and are particularly well suited for use under the constraints on information availability that are typical of such spaceflight systems as the Space Shuttle and planetary spacecraft.

  13. Caries assessment: establishing mathematical link of clinical and benchtop method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaechi, Bennett T.

    2009-02-01

    It is well established that the development of new technologies for early detection and quantitative monitoring of dental caries at its early stage could provide health and economic benefits ranging from timely preventive interventions to reduction of the time required for clinical trials of anti-caries agents. However, the new technologies currently used in clinical setting cannot assess and monitor caries using the actual mineral concentration within the lesion, while a laboratory-based microcomputed tomography (MCT) has been shown to possess this capability. Thus we envision the establishment of mathematical equations relating the measurements of each of the clinical technologies to that of MCT will enable the mineral concentration of lesions detected and assessed in clinical practice to be extrapolated from the equation, and this will facilitate preventitive care in dentistry to lower treatment cost. We utilize MCT and the two prominent clinical caries assessment devices (Quantitative Light-induced Fluorescence [QLF] and Diagnodent) to longitudinally monitor the development of caries in a continuous flow mixed-organisms biofilm model (artificial mouth), and then used the collected data to establish mathematical equation relating the measurements of each of the clinical technologies to that of MCT. A linear correlation was observed between the measurements of MicroCT and that of QLF and Diagnodent. Thus mineral density in a carious lesion detected and measured using QLF or Diagnodent can be extrapolated using the developed equation. This highlights the usefulness of MCT for monitoring the progress of an early caries being treated with therapeutic agents in clinical practice or trials.

  14. Vulnerability Assessment: The Seasons-to-Centuries Links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brenkert, A.; Malone, E. L.; Moss, R.

    2002-05-01

    Actors within societies must cope with climate variability all the time, for example, with the aftermath of a severe storm, a persistent drought, severe flooding or coastal erosion from storm-induced sea-level surges. Understanding the capacity to respond to these types of experiences is important in its own right, and also provides a baseline against which to measure adaptive responses to long-term changes to climate. Because the rate, magnitude, pattern, and potential for non-linear rapid future changes in climate remain uncertain, increasing resilience of systems to climate variability is an important first step in planning for adaptation to long-term changes. An important characteristic of analysis of vulnerability to climate variability is the need to integrate information on both environmental and socio-economic factors that affect the ability of different actors to mount an effective response. We developed a framework for considering responses to both climate variability and change that is relevant to analysis at a variety of geographic scales. Our Vulnerability-Resilience Assessment methodology is an indicator-based prototype model that calculates the overall vulnerability or resilience of an area to climate variability and change. The model integrates information on the climate sensitivity of five sectors or areas of activity (food security, water resources, human settlements, ecosystem services, and human health) with information on economic, human resources, and environmental capacity to cope or adapt to variability and change. The model can be used for both static assessment of vulnerability at a point in time as well as for assessing how vulnerability and resilience would evolve in the future under different assumptions of socio-economic and environmental change. When coupled with uncertainty analysis, the modeling system can be used to identify those factors that have the most influence on vulnerability and capacity to adapt to variability and change

  15. Avalanche risk assessment for the link Osh - Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nazarkulova, Kydyr

    2015-04-01

    The Bishkek-Osh road is main North-South ground transportation connection between the two major cities of Kyrgyzstan. One of the causes for frequent interruptions and closures between November and May is the avalanche risk due to local terrain characteristics and orographically induced precipitation maxima during winter. As a first step towards more effective prediction and implementation of mitigating measures the development of a digital avalanche inventory ('avalanche cadastre') has been initiated. This is aiming at modeling regional risk, and prioritizes the implementation of protective infrastructures in the most avalanche-prone zones. In addition, this helps with continuous monitoring of avalanche behaviour and the assessment of potential influence of climate change. For the parameterisation of models and support of decisions, details about avalanche incidences need to be collected. Historical data collected during Soviet time serve as an important baseline, complemented by more recent data. Overall, developing such a geo database shall be useful and effective for future planning at the Ministry of Emergency Services. This paper demonstrates important parameters to be collected and critical role of historical data as a baseline. Geodatabases are being developed on ArcGIS and used locally for planning preventive measures.

  16. Improving Assessment "of" Learning and "for" Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harlen, Wynne

    2009-01-01

    The focus of this article is recent work by the Assessment Reform Group (ARG) on the role of teachers' judgements in the summative use of assessment. A brief overview of the early work of the ARG is followed by discussion of the desirable properties of assessment for summative uses. The work of the ARG's Assessment Systems for the Future project…

  17. Microwave photonic link with improved phase noise using a balanced detection scheme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Jingjing; Gu, Yiying; Tan, Wengang; Zhu, Wenwu; Wang, Linghua; Zhao, Mingshan

    2016-07-01

    A microwave photonic link (MPL) with improved phase noise performance using a dual output Mach-Zehnder modulator (DP-MZM) and balanced detection is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. The fundamental concept of the approach is based on the two complementary outputs of DP-MZM and the destructive combination of the photocurrent in balanced photodetector (BPD). Theoretical analysis is performed to numerical evaluate the additive phase noise performance and shows a good agreement with the experiment. Experimental results are presented for 4 GHz, 8 GHz and 12 GHz transmission link and an 11 dB improvement of phase noise performance at 10 MHz offset is achieved compared to the conventional intensity-modulation and direct-detection (IMDD) MPL.

  18. Linking Quality Assurance to Performance Improvement to Produce a High Reliability Organization

    SciTech Connect

    Silvey, Andrea B.; Warrick, Louise H.

    2008-05-01

    Three basic change management models are currently used in healthcare to produce and sustain quality improvement. We have presented the context to determine where any particular organization stands within these paradigms. We also have introduced a change-management tool used to assess, plan, and monitor leadership effort and commitment to quality improvement and culture change activities, tracked as 'momentum for change.' This 'momentum' is measured at eight discrete levels, from recognizing a performance gap to officially implementing changes intended to improve quality.

  19. Improve Assessment Literacy Outside of Schools Too

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stiggins, Rick

    2014-01-01

    Educators need to become more assessment literate. When they do, they will be able to use assessments better to guide their teaching and communicate their expectations and results with students and the broader education stakeholders and audiences.

  20. Improved linearity in down-converted analog photonic link by polarization manipulation.

    PubMed

    Li, Peng; Yan, Lianshan; Zhou, Tao; Li, Wenliang; Chen, Zhiyu; Pan, Wei; Luo, Bin

    2014-05-01

    A method to improve the linearity of the down-converted analog photonic link is proposed and experimentally demonstrated, consisting of two phase modulators, a polarizer, and an optical filter. Down-conversion of a 10-GHz microwave signal to 100-MHz intermediate frequency is successfully achieved. By carefully optimizing the angles between the transverse-electric and transverse-magnetic modes, the third-order inter-modulation distortion (IMD3) is suppressed. The linearization method leads to a suppression of the IMD3 by more than 14 and 13 dB improvement of spurious-free dynamic range. PMID:24784066

  1. Assessing strategies for improved superfamily recognition

    PubMed Central

    Sillitoe, Ian; Dibley, Mark; Bray, James; Addou, Sarah; Orengo, Christine

    2005-01-01

    There are more than 200 completed genomes and over 1 million nonredundant sequences in public repositories. Although the structural data are more sparse (~13,000 nonredundant structures solved to date), several powerful sequence-based methodologies now allow these structures to be mapped onto related regions in a significant proportion of genome sequences. We review a number of publicly available strategies for providing structural annotations for genome sequences, and we describe the protocol adopted to provide CATH structural annotations for completed genomes. In particular, we assess the performance of several sequence-based protocols employing Hidden Markov model (HMM) technologies for superfamily recognition, including a new approach (SAMOSA [sequence augmented models of structure alignments]) that exploits multiple structural alignments from the CATH domain structure database when building the models. Using a data set of remote homologs detected by structure comparison and manually validated in CATH, a single-seed HMM library was able to recognize 76% of the data set. Including the SAMOSA models in the HMM library showed little gain in homolog recognition, although a slight improvement in alignment quality was observed for very remote homologs. However, using an expanded 1D-HMM library, CATH-ISL increased the coverage to 86%. The single-seed HMM library has been used to annotate the protein sequences of 120 genomes from all three major kingdoms, allowing up to 70% of the genes or partial genes to be assigned to CATH superfamilies. It has also been used to recruit sequences from Swiss-Prot and TrEMBL into CATH domain superfamilies, expanding the CATH database eightfold. PMID:15937274

  2. Improving Student Learning through Assessment and Evaluation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gibbs, Graham, Ed.

    This book contains 40 papers from an international symposium on improving the quality of higher education teaching and learning. Part 1 contains three papers on using research to improve student learning covering some Canadian projects, the use of research on student learning, and ways to evaluate and improve learning. Part 2 contains 10 papers on…

  3. Improving Qualitative Assessment in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russell, Chad W.

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation considers in turn the role education plays in civil, democratic society; the role assessment plays in education; and the role theoretical constructs and cultural contexts play in assessment. Then, through literature review, document analysis, and interviews, the analysis investigates, identifies, and recommends…

  4. Improving Teachers' Assessment Literacy through Professional Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koh, Kim H.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the effects of professional development on teachers' assessment literacy between two groups of teachers: (1) teachers who were involved in ongoing and sustained professional development in designing authentic classroom assessment and rubrics; and (2) teachers who were given only short-term, one-shot professional development…

  5. Improvement of dolichol-linked oligosaccharide biosynthesis by the squalene synthase inhibitor zaragozic acid.

    PubMed

    Haeuptle, Micha A; Welti, Michael; Troxler, Heinz; Hülsmeier, Andreas J; Imbach, Timo; Hennet, Thierry

    2011-02-25

    The majority of congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) are caused by defects of dolichol (Dol)-linked oligosaccharide assembly, which lead to under-occupancy of N-glycosylation sites. Most mutations encountered in CDG are hypomorphic, thus leaving residual activity to the affected biosynthetic enzymes. We hypothesized that increased cellular levels of Dol-linked substrates might compensate for the low biosynthetic activity and thereby improve the output of protein N-glycosylation in CDG. To this end, we investigated the potential of the squalene synthase inhibitor zaragozic acid A to redirect the flow of the polyisoprene pathway toward Dol by lowering cholesterol biosynthesis. The addition of zaragozic acid A to CDG fibroblasts with a Dol-P-Man synthase defect led to the formation of longer Dol-P species and to increased Dol-P-Man levels. This treatment was shown to decrease the pathologic accumulation of incomplete Dol pyrophosphate-GlcNAc(2)Man(5) in Dol-P-Man synthase-deficient fibroblasts. Zaragozic acid A treatment also decreased the amount of truncated protein N-linked oligosaccharides in these CDG fibroblasts. The increased cellular levels of Dol-P-Man and possibly the decreased cholesterol levels in zaragozic acid A-treated cells also led to increased availability of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor as shown by the elevated cell-surface expression of the CD59 protein. This study shows that manipulation of the cellular Dol pool, as achieved by zaragozic acid A addition, may represent a valuable approach to improve N-linked glycosylation in CDG cells. PMID:21183681

  6. Improvement of Dolichol-linked Oligosaccharide Biosynthesis by the Squalene Synthase Inhibitor Zaragozic Acid*

    PubMed Central

    Haeuptle, Micha A.; Welti, Michael; Troxler, Heinz; Hülsmeier, Andreas J.; Imbach, Timo; Hennet, Thierry

    2011-01-01

    The majority of congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) are caused by defects of dolichol (Dol)-linked oligosaccharide assembly, which lead to under-occupancy of N-glycosylation sites. Most mutations encountered in CDG are hypomorphic, thus leaving residual activity to the affected biosynthetic enzymes. We hypothesized that increased cellular levels of Dol-linked substrates might compensate for the low biosynthetic activity and thereby improve the output of protein N-glycosylation in CDG. To this end, we investigated the potential of the squalene synthase inhibitor zaragozic acid A to redirect the flow of the polyisoprene pathway toward Dol by lowering cholesterol biosynthesis. The addition of zaragozic acid A to CDG fibroblasts with a Dol-P-Man synthase defect led to the formation of longer Dol-P species and to increased Dol-P-Man levels. This treatment was shown to decrease the pathologic accumulation of incomplete Dol pyrophosphate-GlcNAc2Man5 in Dol-P-Man synthase-deficient fibroblasts. Zaragozic acid A treatment also decreased the amount of truncated protein N-linked oligosaccharides in these CDG fibroblasts. The increased cellular levels of Dol-P-Man and possibly the decreased cholesterol levels in zaragozic acid A-treated cells also led to increased availability of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor as shown by the elevated cell-surface expression of the CD59 protein. This study shows that manipulation of the cellular Dol pool, as achieved by zaragozic acid A addition, may represent a valuable approach to improve N-linked glycosylation in CDG cells. PMID:21183681

  7. Visible-Light Photocatalyzed Cross-Linking of Diacetylene Ligands by Quantum Dots to Improve Their Aqueous Colloidal Stability

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Ligand cross-linking is known to improve the colloidal stability of nanoparticles, particularly in aqueous solutions. However, most cross-linking is performed chemically, in which it is difficult to limit interparticle cross-linking, unless performed at low concentrations. Photochemical cross-linking is a promising approach but usually requires ultraviolet (UV) light to initiate. Using such high-energy photons can be harmful to systems in which the ligand–nanoparticle bond is fairly weak, as is the case for the commonly used semiconductor quantum dots (QDs). Here, we introduce a novel approach to cross-link thiolated ligands on QDs by utilizing the photocatalytic activity of QDs upon absorbing visible light. We show that using visible light leads to better ligand cross-linking by avoiding the problem of ligand dissociation that occurs upon UV light exposure. Once cross-linked, the ligands significantly enhance the colloidal stability of those same QDs that facilitated cross-linking. PMID:25036275

  8. Implementation. Improving caries detection, assessment, diagnosis and monitoring.

    PubMed

    Pitts, N B

    2009-01-01

    This chapter deals with improving the detection, assessment, diagnosis and monitoring of caries to ensure optimal personalized caries management. This can be achieved by delivering what we have (synthesized evidence and international consensus) better and more consistently, as well as driving research and innovation in the areas where we need them. There is a need to better understand the interrelated pieces of the jigsaw that makes up evidence-based dentistry, i.e. the linkages between (a) research and synthesis, (b) dissemination of research results and (c) the implementation of research findings which should ensure that research findings change practice at the clinician-patient level. The current situation is outlined; it is at the implementation step where preventive caries control seems to have failed in some countries but not others. Opportunities for implementation include: capitalizing on the World Health Organization's global policy for improvement of oral health, which sets out an action plan for health promotion and integrated disease prevention; utilizing the developments around the International Caries Detection and Assessment System wardrobe of options and e-learning; building on initiatives from the International Dental Federation and the American Dental Association and linking these to patients' preferences, the wider moves to wellbeing and health maintenance. Challenges for implementation include the slow pace of evolution around dental remuneration systems and some groups of dentists failing to embrace clinical prevention. In the future, implementation of current and developing evidence should be accompanied by research into getting research findings into routine practice, with impacts on the behaviour of patients, professionals and policy makers. PMID:19494687

  9. Making effective links to decision-making: Key challenges for health impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Elliott, Eva . E-mail: elliotte@cf.ac.uk; Francis, Sarah

    2005-10-15

    This paper draws on an exploratory research study to examine the effectiveness of health impact assessments in Wales. Through the review of five case study health impact assessments the research identified a number of benefits of the process in terms of skills and knowledge development amongst participants. The indirect contributions to decision-making were also evident including the way in which health impact assessment provided useful insights into the local community's perspective and raised awareness about the wider determinants of health. The process was also useful in establishing a dialogue between different stakeholders, which indirectly assisted decision-making and implementation. The direct links between health impact assessment and decision-making were more difficult to trace and this paper puts forward a number of suggestions for making those links more transparent. Suggestions include integrating decision-makers and clarifying the intended links to decision-making at the start of the health impact assessment process. Mainstreaming health impact assessment so that it is triggered as a routine part of all decision-making would help ensure it stands the best chance of informing decisions.

  10. Informal Writing Assessment Linked to Instruction: A Continuous Process for Teachers, Students, and Parents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romeo, Lynn

    2008-01-01

    This article presents a comprehensive model of daily, classroom informal writing assessment that is constantly linked to instruction and the characteristics of proficient writers. Methods for promoting teacher, student, and parent collaboration and their roles in dialoguing, conferencing, and reflection are discussed. Strategies for including…

  11. Assessments and skills improvement for endoscopists.

    PubMed

    Anderson, John T

    2016-06-01

    Different countries employ a range of assessment methods to monitor trainees from novice to independent practice. The optimal method to monitor and assess individuals' training in endoscopy has not been formally determined. The UK has developed a competency based assessment training and certification (credentialing) programme. The tools developed to provide endoscopy work based assessments (DOPS) have been validated and are used for trainees and independent endoscopists, providing formative feedback for targeted training. Summative assessments are used for trainee certification and independent colonoscopists wishing to provide part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. The UK was able to develop both clinical standards and an endoscopy training and certification process applied to all individuals and monitored by a single professional body. The supporting IT system enabled a structured and robust quality assurance process to be applied to all individuals and endoscopy units. Assessment of practising endoscopists relies on the development and measurement of surrogate measures, which represent key performance indicators for those individuals. These surrogates for performance are still evolving although they are now well established for colonoscopy practice. Monitoring of independent practice is dependent on clinical audit of these key performance indicators. Feedback of data to individuals helps benchmarking and identification of those with sub-optimal performance. Independent endoscopists now recognize the benefit of on-going training to help both skills development and to address sub-optimal performance. This chapter describes how the UK developed a web-based integrated training and certification system. PMID:27345651

  12. Multiple and sequential data acquisition method: an improved method for fragmentation and detection of cross-linked peptides on a hybrid linear trap quadrupole Orbitrap Velos mass spectrometer.

    PubMed

    Rudashevskaya, Elena L; Breitwieser, Florian P; Huber, Marie L; Colinge, Jacques; Müller, André C; Bennett, Keiryn L

    2013-02-01

    The identification and validation of cross-linked peptides by mass spectrometry remains a daunting challenge for protein-protein cross-linking approaches when investigating protein interactions. This includes the fragmentation of cross-linked peptides in the mass spectrometer per se and following database searching, the matching of the molecular masses of the fragment ions to the correct cross-linked peptides. The hybrid linear trap quadrupole (LTQ) Orbitrap Velos combines the speed of the tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) duty circle with high mass accuracy, and these features were utilized in the current study to substantially improve the confidence in the identification of cross-linked peptides. An MS/MS method termed multiple and sequential data acquisition method (MSDAM) was developed. Preliminary optimization of the MS/MS settings was performed with a synthetic peptide (TP1) cross-linked with bis[sulfosuccinimidyl] suberate (BS(3)). On the basis of these results, MSDAM was created and assessed on the BS(3)-cross-linked bovine serum albumin (BSA) homodimer. MSDAM applies a series of multiple sequential fragmentation events with a range of different normalized collision energies (NCE) to the same precursor ion. The combination of a series of NCE enabled a considerable improvement in the quality of the fragmentation spectra for cross-linked peptides, and ultimately aided in the identification of the sequences of the cross-linked peptides. Concurrently, MSDAM provides confirmatory evidence from the formation of reporter ions fragments, which reduces the false positive rate of incorrectly assigned cross-linked peptides. PMID:23301806

  13. RADIOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY DEVELOPMENT/IMPROVEMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The office is developing improved methodologies and guidance for evaluating human health risks associated with exposure to environmental radiological contaminants. These activities involve coordination with numerous federal agencies and the development and communication of vari...

  14. Improving patient flow in pre-operative assessment

    PubMed Central

    Stark, Cameron; Gent, Anne; Kirkland, Linda

    2015-01-01

    Annual patient attendances at a pre-operative assessment department increased by 24.8% from 5659 in 2009, to 7062 in 2012. The unit was staffed by administrative staff, nurses, and health care assistants (HCA). Medical review was accessed via on call medical staff, or notes were sent to anaesthetists for further review. With rising demand, patient waits increased. The average lead time for a patient (time from entering the department to leaving) was 79 minutes. 9.3% of patients attended within two weeks of their scheduled surgery date. 10% of patients were asked to return on a later day, as there was not sufficient capacity to undertake their assessment. There were nine routes of referral in to the department. Patients moved between different clinic rooms and the waiting area several times. Work patterns were uneven, as many attendances were from out-patient clinics which meant peak attendance times were linked to clinic times. There were substantial differences in the approaches of different nurses, making the HCA role difficult. Patients reported dissatisfaction with waits. Using a Lean quality improvement process with rapid PDSA cycles, the service changed to one in which patients were placed in a room, and remained there for the duration of their assessment. Standard work was developed for HCWs and nurses. Rooms were standardised using 5S processes, and set up improved to reduce time spent looking for supplies. A co-ordinator role was introduced using existing staff to monitor flow and to organise the required medical assessments and ECGs. Timing of booked appointments were altered to take account of clinic times. Routes in to the department were reduced from nine to one. Ten months after the work began, the average lead time had reduced to 59 minutes. The proportion of people attending within two weeks of their surgery decreased from 9.3% to 5.3%. Referrals for an anaesthetic opinion decreased from 30% to 20%, and in the month reviewed no one had to return to

  15. Improving patient flow in pre-operative assessment.

    PubMed

    Stark, Cameron; Gent, Anne; Kirkland, Linda

    2015-01-01

    Annual patient attendances at a pre-operative assessment department increased by 24.8% from 5659 in 2009, to 7062 in 2012. The unit was staffed by administrative staff, nurses, and health care assistants (HCA). Medical review was accessed via on call medical staff, or notes were sent to anaesthetists for further review. With rising demand, patient waits increased. The average lead time for a patient (time from entering the department to leaving) was 79 minutes. 9.3% of patients attended within two weeks of their scheduled surgery date. 10% of patients were asked to return on a later day, as there was not sufficient capacity to undertake their assessment. There were nine routes of referral in to the department. Patients moved between different clinic rooms and the waiting area several times. Work patterns were uneven, as many attendances were from out-patient clinics which meant peak attendance times were linked to clinic times. There were substantial differences in the approaches of different nurses, making the HCA role difficult. Patients reported dissatisfaction with waits. Using a Lean quality improvement process with rapid PDSA cycles, the service changed to one in which patients were placed in a room, and remained there for the duration of their assessment. Standard work was developed for HCWs and nurses. Rooms were standardised using 5S processes, and set up improved to reduce time spent looking for supplies. A co-ordinator role was introduced using existing staff to monitor flow and to organise the required medical assessments and ECGs. Timing of booked appointments were altered to take account of clinic times. Routes in to the department were reduced from nine to one. Ten months after the work began, the average lead time had reduced to 59 minutes. The proportion of people attending within two weeks of their surgery decreased from 9.3% to 5.3%. Referrals for an anaesthetic opinion decreased from 30% to 20%, and in the month reviewed no one had to return to

  16. Zwitterionic reagents for labeling, cross-linking and improving the performance of chemiluminescent immunoassays.

    PubMed

    Natrajan, Anand; Sharpe, David; Wen, David

    2012-03-01

    Improving reagent performance in immunoassays both to enhance assay sensitivity and to minimize interference are ongoing challenges in clinical diagnostics. We describe herein the syntheses of a new class of hydrophilic reagents containing sulfobetaine zwitterions and their applications. These zwitterionic reagents are potentially useful for improving the properties of immunoassay reagents. We demonstrate for the first time that zwitterion labeling is a general and viable strategy for reducing the non-specific binding of proteins to microparticles and, to improve the aqueous solubility of hydrophobic peptides. We also describe the synthesis of zwitterionic cross-linking reagents and demonstrate their utility for peptide conjugation. In automated, chemiluminescent immunoassays, improved assay performance was observed for a hydrophobic, small analyte (theophylline) using an acridinium ester conjugate with a zwitterionic sulfobetaine linker compared to a hexa(ethylene)glycol linker. Sandwich assay performance for a large analyte (thyroid stimulating hormone) was similar for the two acridinium ester labels. These results indicate that zwitterions are complementary to poly(ethylene)glycol in improving the aqueous solubility and reducing the non-specific binding of chemiluminescent acridinium ester conjugates. PMID:22278720

  17. Mechanically Stiff, Zinc Cross-Linked Nanocomposite Scaffolds with Improved Osteostimulation and Antibacterial Properties.

    PubMed

    Sehgal, Rekha R; Carvalho, Edmund; Banerjee, Rinti

    2016-06-01

    Nanocomposite scaffolds are studied widely due to their resemblance with the natural extracellular matrix of bone; but their use as a bone tissue engineered scaffold is clinically hampered due to low mechanical stiffness, inadequate osteoconduction, and graft associated infections. The purpose of the current study was the development of a mechanically stiff nanocomposite scaffold using biodegradable gellan and xanthan polymers reinforced with bioglass nanoparticles (nB) (Size: 20-120 nm). These nanocomposite scaffolds were cross-linked with zinc sulfate ions to improve their osteoconduction and antibacterial properties for the regeneration of a functional bone. The compressive strength and modulus of the optimized nanocomposite scaffold (1% w/v polymer reinforced with 4%w/v nB nanoparticles, cross-linked with 1.5 mM zinc sulfate) was 1.91 ± 0.31 MPa and 20.36 ± 1.08 MPa, respectively, which was comparable to the trabecular bone and very high compared to nanocomposite scaffolds reported in earlier studies. Further, in vitro simulated body fluid (SBF) study suggested deposition of biomimetic apatite on the surface of zinc cross-linked nanocomposite scaffolds confirming their bioactivity. MG 63 osteoblast-like cells cultured with the nanocomposite scaffolds responded to matrix stiffness with better adhesion, spreading and cellular interconnections compared to the polymeric gellan and xanthan scaffolds. Incorporation of bioglass nanoparticles and zinc cross-linker in nanocomposite scaffolds demonstrated 62% increment in expression of alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP) and 150% increment in calcium deposition of MG 63 osteoblast-like cells compared to just gellan and xanthan polymeric scaffolds. Furthermore, zinc cross-linked nanocomposite scaffolds significantly inhibited the growth of Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis (70% reduction) and Gram-negative Escherichia coli (81% reduction) bacteria. This study demonstrated a facile approach to tune the mechanical stiffness

  18. Oral Assessments: Improving Retention, Grades, and Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Mary A.

    2011-01-01

    This article reports on an innovative approach to teaching Calculus I which was initiated in a two-semester course designed for students at risk of failing Calculus I. The treatment consisted of voluntary oral assessments offered before every written examination. Analyses showed that the treatment students did significantly better than the control…

  19. Improving consideration of biodiversity in NEPA assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Hirsch, A. )

    1993-01-01

    Loss of biological diversity is a major national, as well as global, environmental problem. Several federal agencies have begun to develop strategies to conserve biodiversity, but most agencies have not done so. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) can play an important role in assessing losses and identifying mitigating measures. In most cases, environmental impact assessments have addressed components of biodiversity, such as endangered species, rather than provided the more comprehensive assessments that will be required over the long run. Strategies to conserve biodiversity must be developed on a regional, landscape, or ecosystem scale, taking into account cumulative effects of development. Such strategies can also provide the framework for project-specific NEPA assessments. Progress in applying the pragmatic methods, techniques, and strategies that are now emerging will be limited by the recognition and priority agencies are willing to assign to biodiversity conservation in their programs. Despite current efforts, a more specific legislative mandate probably will be needed to assure adequate action to minimize losses of biological resources.

  20. Psychoacoustic assessment to improve tinnitus diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Basile, Charles-Édouard; Fournier, Philippe; Hutchins, Sean; Hébert, Sylvie

    2013-01-01

    The diagnosis of tinnitus relies on self-report. Psychoacoustic measurements of tinnitus pitch and loudness are essential for assessing claims and discriminating true from false ones. For this reason, the quantification of tinnitus remains a challenging research goal. We aimed to: (1) assess the precision of a new tinnitus likeness rating procedure with a continuous-pitch presentation method, controlling for music training, and (2) test whether tinnitus psychoacoustic measurements have the sensitivity and specificity required to detect people faking tinnitus. Musicians and non-musicians with tinnitus, as well as simulated malingerers without tinnitus, were tested. Most were retested several weeks later. Tinnitus pitch matching was first assessed using the likeness rating method: pure tones from 0.25 to 16 kHz were presented randomly to participants, who had to rate the likeness of each tone to their tinnitus, and to adjust its level from 0 to 100 dB SPL. Tinnitus pitch matching was then assessed with a continuous-pitch method: participants had to match the pitch of their tinnitus to an external tone by moving their finger across a touch-sensitive strip, which generated a continuous pure tone from 0.5 to 20 kHz in 1-Hz steps. The predominant tinnitus pitch was consistent across both methods for both musicians and non-musicians, although musicians displayed better external tone pitch matching abilities. Simulated malingerers rated loudness much higher than did the other groups with a high degree of specificity (94.4%) and were unreliable in loudness (not pitch) matching from one session to the other. Retest data showed similar pitch matching responses for both methods for all participants. In conclusion, tinnitus pitch and loudness reliably correspond to the tinnitus percept, and psychoacoustic loudness matches are sensitive and specific to the presence of tinnitus. PMID:24349414

  1. Psychoacoustic Assessment to Improve Tinnitus Diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Hutchins, Sean; Hébert, Sylvie

    2013-01-01

    The diagnosis of tinnitus relies on self-report. Psychoacoustic measurements of tinnitus pitch and loudness are essential for assessing claims and discriminating true from false ones. For this reason, the quantification of tinnitus remains a challenging research goal. We aimed to: (1) assess the precision of a new tinnitus likeness rating procedure with a continuous-pitch presentation method, controlling for music training, and (2) test whether tinnitus psychoacoustic measurements have the sensitivity and specificity required to detect people faking tinnitus. Musicians and non-musicians with tinnitus, as well as simulated malingerers without tinnitus, were tested. Most were retested several weeks later. Tinnitus pitch matching was first assessed using the likeness rating method: pure tones from 0.25 to 16 kHz were presented randomly to participants, who had to rate the likeness of each tone to their tinnitus, and to adjust its level from 0 to 100 dB SPL. Tinnitus pitch matching was then assessed with a continuous-pitch method: participants had to match the pitch of their tinnitus to an external tone by moving their finger across a touch-sensitive strip, which generated a continuous pure tone from 0.5 to 20 kHz in 1-Hz steps. The predominant tinnitus pitch was consistent across both methods for both musicians and non-musicians, although musicians displayed better external tone pitch matching abilities. Simulated malingerers rated loudness much higher than did the other groups with a high degree of specificity (94.4%) and were unreliable in loudness (not pitch) matching from one session to the other. Retest data showed similar pitch matching responses for both methods for all participants. In conclusion, tinnitus pitch and loudness reliably correspond to the tinnitus percept, and psychoacoustic loudness matches are sensitive and specific to the presence of tinnitus. PMID:24349414

  2. Improving Flood Damage Assessment Models in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amadio, M.; Mysiak, J.; Carrera, L.; Koks, E.

    2015-12-01

    The use of Stage-Damage Curve (SDC) models is prevalent in ex-ante assessments of flood risk. To assess the potential damage of a flood event, SDCs describe a relation between water depth and the associated potential economic damage over land use. This relation is normally developed and calibrated through site-specific analysis based on ex-post damage observations. In some cases (e.g. Italy) SDCs are transferred from other countries, undermining the accuracy and reliability of simulation results. Against this background, we developed a refined SDC model for Northern Italy, underpinned by damage compensation records from a recent flood event. Our analysis considers both damage to physical assets and production losses from business interruptions. While the first is calculated based on land use information, production losses are measured through the spatial distribution of Gross Value Added (GVA). An additional component of the model assesses crop-specific agricultural losses as a function of flood seasonality. Our results show an overestimation of asset damage from non-calibrated SDC values up to a factor of 4.5 for tested land use categories. Furthermore, we estimate that production losses amount to around 6 per cent of the annual GVA. Also, maximum yield losses are less than a half of the amount predicted by the standard SDC methods.

  3. Assessing Engineering Competencies: The Conditions for Educational Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Musekamp, Frank; Pearce, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    Low-stakes assessment is supposed to improve educational practice by providing feedback to different actors in educational systems. However, the process of assessment from design to the point of a final impact on student learning outcomes is complex and diverse. It is hard to identify reasons for substandard achievement on assessments, let alone…

  4. Quality-guided phase unwrapping implementation: an improved indexed interwoven linked list.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Ming; Kemao, Qian

    2014-06-01

    Quality-guided phase unwrapping (QGPU) is a widely used technique, and an adjoin list plays a very important role in the QGPU process. Indexed interwoven linked list (I2L2) is a data structure for implementing the adjoin list. In this paper, we propose three improvements on the I2L2. The first improvement is resumed searching, which records the highest nonempty level in the I2L2 and reduces the computational redundancy; the second is an adaptive mapping between the quality values and the I2L2 levels, which reduces the effect of concentrated quality value distribution. Last, I2L2-H, a new variant of the I2L2 combining the advantages of both the I2L2 and heap, is developed. With these three improvements, the improved I2L2 is over 6 times faster than the original one in the best cases, and it can process large phase maps in almost real time. PMID:24922426

  5. Assessing and Improving Student Organizations: A Guide for Students. The Assessing and Improving Student Organization (AISO) Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruben, Brent D.; Nolfi, Tricia

    2010-01-01

    This "Assessing and Improving Student Organization" (AISO) program is intended as a guide for leaders of student-led college organizations. It is designed to promote the assessment of their organization by leaders and members, help them with planning and improvement, and assist them in responding to reviews by governing bodies and national…

  6. Mathematics Formative Assessment: 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeley, Page; Tobey, Cheryl Rose

    2011-01-01

    Award-winning author Page Keeley and mathematics expert Cheryl Rose Tobey apply the successful format of Keeley's best-selling "Science Formative Assessment" to mathematics. They provide 75 formative assessment strategies and show teachers how to use them to inform instructional planning and better meet the needs of all students. Research shows…

  7. Improved atmospheric transport for risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, D.; Kao, J.

    1998-12-01

    This is the final report of a two-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). To effectively respond to airborne chemical and biological warfare (CBW) attacks in urban settings, one must understand the vector of the threat, i.e., where is the effluent going and when will it get there. These answers are needed both in real time (who should be evacuated?) and afterwards (where should the cleanup be focused?). Certainly, advanced multiscale models are essential to this task. No model has value, however, until it is normalized and validated by measured data. Experience in atmospheric transport has demonstrated that the quality of model estimations is tightly coupled to the fidelity of the data and the effectiveness of its assimilation. The authors have started to quantify the improvement of accuracy of atmospheric transport and dispersion models that follows from enhanced remote sensing of meteorological parameters. The proper use of remote sensing data requires sophisticated assimilation techniques into advanced models, so the whole project emphasizes the synergy of the newest techniques for remote sensing observation, data analysis, data assimilation, and dynamic modeling. This work quantified the value of various levels of data for improving effluent tracking and prediction, and allows tradeoffs between the cost of data acquisition and its impact on accuracy.

  8. Using the Distractor Categories of Multiple-Choice Items to Improve IRT Linking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Jee-Seon

    2006-01-01

    Simulation and real data studies are used to investigate the value of modeling multiple-choice distractors on item response theory linking. Using the characteristic curve linking procedure for Bock's (1972) nominal response model presented by Kim and Hanson (2002), all-category linking (i.e., a linking based on all category characteristic curves…

  9. Informatics: essential infrastructure for quality assessment and improvement in nursing.

    PubMed Central

    Henry, S B

    1995-01-01

    In recent decades there have been major advances in the creation and implementation of information technologies and in the development of measures of health care quality. The premise of this article is that informatics provides essential infrastructure for quality assessment and improvement in nursing. In this context, the term quality assessment and improvement comprises both short-term processes such as continuous quality improvement (CQI) and long-term outcomes management. This premise is supported by 1) presentation of a historical perspective on quality assessment and improvement; 2) delineation of the types of data required for quality assessment and improvement; and 3) description of the current and potential uses of information technology in the acquisition, storage, transformation, and presentation of quality data, information, and knowledge. PMID:7614118

  10. Incorporating linked healthcare claims to improve confounding control in a study of in-hospital medication use

    PubMed Central

    Franklin, Jessica M; Eddings, Wesley; Schneeweiss, Sebastian; Rassen, Jeremy A

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The Premier Perspective hospital billing database provides a promising data source for studies of inpatient medication use. However, in-hospital recording of confounders is limited, and incorporating linked healthcare claims data available for a subset of the cohort may improve confounding control. We investigated methods capable of adjusting for confounders measured in a subset, including complete case analysis, multiple imputation of missing data, and propensity score (PS) calibration. Methods Methods were implemented in an example study of adults in Premier undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in 2004-2008 and exposed to either bivalirudin or heparin. In a subset of patients enrolled in UnitedHealth for at least 90 days before hospitalization, additional confounders were assessed from healthcare claims, including comorbidities, prior medication use, and service use intensity. Diagnostics for each method were evaluated, and methods were compared with respect to the estimates and confidence intervals of treatment effects on repeat PCI, bleeding, and in-hospital death. Results Of 210,268 patients in the hospital-based cohort, 3,240 (1.5%) had linked healthcare claims. This subset was younger and healthier than the overall study population. The linked subset was too small for complete case evaluation of 2 of the 3 outcomes of interest. Multiple imputation and PS calibration did not meaningfully impact treatment effect estimates and associated confidence intervals. Conclusions Despite more than 98% missingness on 24 variables, PS calibration and multiple imputation incorporated confounders from healthcare claims without major increases in estimate uncertainty. Additional research is needed to determine the relative bias of these methods. PMID:25935198

  11. Cross-linked sodium carboxymethylcellulose as a carrier for dissolution rate improvement of drugs.

    PubMed

    Sangalli, M E; Giunchedi, P; Colombo, P; Conte, U; Gazzaniga, A; La Manna, A

    1989-01-01

    The dissolution rate is often the limiting step in gastrointestinal absorption of water insoluble drugs from solid oral dosage forms. The aim of this work was to use a swellable polymer chosen among superdisintegrants, for improving the dissolution rate of a sparingly soluble drug, loaded on its surface. Nifedipine, which has a very low water solubility, was chosen as a model drug, while cross-linked sodium carboxymethylcellulose (Ac-Di-Sol) was chosen as the swellable polymer. The Nifedipine/Ac-Di-Sol systems were prepared using two different techniques: evaporation and spraying; in some preparations polyethylene glycol (PEG 1500), or sucrose palmitate (Sucrodet), or dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (Aerosol OT) were added. The results of the dissolution tests showed that the dissolution rate of Nifedipine from the systems prepared increases, particularly in the case of the preparation composed of Ac-Di-Sol plus surfactant agents. PMID:2611009

  12. Improving self-healing behavior of dually cross linked nanogels that encompass nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duki, Solomon; Kolmakov, German; Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof; Balazs, Anna

    2010-03-01

    Numerical studies of nanogels that are cross-linked by stable and labile bonds have shown that the material can withstand significantly high stresses before it undergoes fracture. The mechanical integrity of such materials is preserved through structural rearrangement of the nanogel particles; this structural rearrangement is facilitated by the making and breaking of the labile bonds. Apart from the bond properties, the stiffness and flexibility of the nanogel is crucial to determine the mechanical properties of these self healing novel materials. Our simulations show that the mechanical property of the entire sample is significantly improved by introducing hard core nanoparticles into the structural units. Through numerical modeling of hard core-soft shell nanogel material we identify the region of parameters (the nanogel size and core/shell ratio) at which the sample demonstrates optimal stability and self-healing behavior.

  13. Improving VTE risk assessment at point of admission to a tertiary centre cardiology ward.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Cardiology wards are generally high turnover units, which may receive primary PCI, high-risk NSTEMI patients, and other general cardiac admissions from a large geographical area. Many centres also provide national specialist services for rarer cardiac conditions for which admissions may be lengthy. Cardiac patients have significant risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE) as immobility may be due to systolic dysfunction, attachment to continuous monitoring and predisposition to chest pain, or cardiac syncope. It is recommended by NICE that an initial VTE risk assessment is undertaken at the time of patient admission, with reassessment within 24 hours. For this purpose a risk assessment tool is featured on the front of many Trust drug charts. It is noted that this risk assessment is electronic in other trusts. We undertook an audit into the drug chart documentation of VTE risk assessment on the cardiology ward and the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) at The Royal Free Hospital. It was evident that documentation of VTE risk assessment was poor. The audit interventions were; a teaching presentation to the cardiology department, an educational poster, several update emails to the department and the identification of a 'VTE risk assessment champion' to audit ongoing compliance. Following these measures the second audit round demonstrated that documentation of initial risk assessment was slightly improved, but significant improvement was seen in documentation of risk assessment at 24 hours post admission. Results from a third audit cycle indicated that the improvement in initial VTE risk assessment was sustained, and that there was a significant sustained improvement in risk assessment at 24 hours (p <0.05). Recommendations for sustained improvement included: redesigning the drug chart so that the VTE risk assessment tool was linked to the VTE prophylaxis prescription box, and designating the responsibility of the initial VTE risk assessment to the on call junior doctor who

  14. Improving VTE risk assessment at point of admission to a tertiary centre cardiology ward

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Cardiology wards are generally high turnover units, which may receive primary PCI, high-risk NSTEMI patients, and other general cardiac admissions from a large geographical area. Many centres also provide national specialist services for rarer cardiac conditions for which admissions may be lengthy. Cardiac patients have significant risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE) as immobility may be due to systolic dysfunction, attachment to continuous monitoring and predisposition to chest pain, or cardiac syncope. It is recommended by NICE that an initial VTE risk assessment is undertaken at the time of patient admission, with reassessment within 24 hours. For this purpose a risk assessment tool is featured on the front of many Trust drug charts. It is noted that this risk assessment is electronic in other trusts. We undertook an audit into the drug chart documentation of VTE risk assessment on the cardiology ward and the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) at The Royal Free Hospital. It was evident that documentation of VTE risk assessment was poor. The audit interventions were; a teaching presentation to the cardiology department, an educational poster, several update emails to the department and the identification of a ‘VTE risk assessment champion’ to audit ongoing compliance. Following these measures the second audit round demonstrated that documentation of initial risk assessment was slightly improved, but significant improvement was seen in documentation of risk assessment at 24 hours post admission. Results from a third audit cycle indicated that the improvement in initial VTE risk assessment was sustained, and that there was a significant sustained improvement in risk assessment at 24 hours (p <0.05). Recommendations for sustained improvement included: redesigning the drug chart so that the VTE risk assessment tool was linked to the VTE prophylaxis prescription box, and designating the responsibility of the initial VTE risk assessment to the on call junior doctor

  15. Core skills assessment to improve mathematical competency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, Michael; Bowe, Brian; Fhloinn, Eabhnat Ní

    2013-12-01

    Many engineering undergraduates begin third-level education with significant deficiencies in their core mathematical skills. Every year, in the Dublin Institute of Technology, a diagnostic test is given to incoming first-year students, consistently revealing problems in basic mathematics. It is difficult to motivate students to address these problems; instead, they struggle through their degree, carrying a serious handicap of poor core mathematical skills, as confirmed by exploratory testing of final year students. In order to improve these skills, a pilot project was set up in which a 'module' in core mathematics was developed. The course material was basic, but 90% or higher was required to pass. Students were allowed to repeat this module throughout the year by completing an automated examination on WebCT populated by a question bank. Subsequent to the success of this pilot with third-year mechanical engineering students, the project was extended to five different engineering programmes, across three different year-groups. Full results and analysis of this project are presented, including responses to interviews carried out with a selection of the students involved.

  16. Assessing evidence for a causal link between cannabis and psychosis: a review of cohort studies.

    PubMed

    McLaren, Jennifer A; Silins, Edmund; Hutchinson, Delyse; Mattick, Richard P; Hall, Wayne

    2010-01-01

    Over the past five years, the release of cohort studies assessing the link between cannabis and psychosis has increased attention on this relationship. Existing reviews generally conclude that these cohort studies show cannabis has a causal relationship to psychosis, or at least that one cannot be excluded. Few studies have evaluated the relative strengths and limitations of these methodologically heterogeneous cohort studies, and how their relative merits and weaknesses might influence the way the link between cannabis use and psychosis is interpreted. This paper reviews the methodological strengths and limitations of major cohort studies which have looked at the link between cannabis and psychosis, and considers research findings against criteria for causal inference. Cohort studies that assessed the link between cannabis and psychosis were identified through literature searches using relevant search terms and MEDline, PsycINFO and EMBASE. Reference lists of reviews and key studies were hand searched. Only prospective studies of general population cohorts were included. Findings were synthesised narratively. A total of 10 key studies from seven general population cohorts were identified by the search. Limitations were evident in the measurement of psychosis, consideration of the short-term effects of cannabis intoxication, control of potential confounders and the measurement of drug use during the follow-up period. Pre-existing vulnerability to psychosis emerged as an important factor that influences the link between cannabis use and psychosis. Whilst the criteria for causal association between cannabis and psychosis are supported by the studies reviewed, the contentious issue of whether cannabis use can cause serious psychotic disorders that would not otherwise have occurred cannot be answered from the existing data. Further methodologically robust cohort research is proposed and the implications of how evidence informs policy in the case of uncertainty is

  17. Flight assessment of a data-link-based navigation-guidance concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abbott, T. S.

    1983-01-01

    With the proposed introduction of a data-link provision into the Air-Traffic-control (ATC) system, the capability will exist to supplement the ground-air, voice (radio) link with digital, data-link information. Additionally, ATC computers could provide, via the data link guidance and navigation information to the pilot which could then be presented in much the same manner as conventional navigation information. The primary objective of this study was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of using 4-sec and 12-sec information updating to drive conventional cockpit-navigation-instrument formats for path-tracking guidance. A flight test, consisting of 19 tracking tasks, was conducted and, through the use of pilot questionnaires and performance data, the following results were obtained. From a performance standpoint, the 4-sec and 12-sec updating led to a slight degradation in path-tracking performance, relative to continuous updating. From the pilot's viewpoint, the 12-sec data interval was suitable for long path segments (greater than 2 min of flight time), but it was difficult to use on shorter segments because of higher work load and insufficient stabilization time. Overall, it was determined that the utilization of noncontinuous data for navigation was both feasible and acceptable for the prescribed task.

  18. Assessment and Improvement of Related Services (AIRS) Project. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McClelland, Robert A.; Hirata, Glenn T.

    The document presents the final report of the Assessment and Improvement of Related Services (AIRS) Project, an effort to assess the impact and effectiveness of special education related services in Hawaii. Each of the four project objectives focused on accomplishment of one of the evaluation types specified in the Context-Input-Process-Product…

  19. Using School Climate Assessments: An Approach to Collaborative School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donaldson, Gordon A., Jr.; Coladarci, Theodore

    While studies of school climate abound, conceptual frameworks have been ambiguous, and parent perceptions of climate are seldom considered. This paper describes a school improvement model employed in four rural Maine school districts in which (1) a school climate assessment is designed collaboratively with school staff; (2) the assessment is…

  20. Boron nitride nanotubes included thermally cross-linked gelatin-glucose scaffolds show improved properties.

    PubMed

    Şen, Özlem; Culha, Mustafa

    2016-02-01

    Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) are increasingly investigated for their medical and biomedical applications due to their unique properties such as resistance to oxidation, thermal and electrical insulation, and biocompatibility. BNNTs can be used to enhance mechanical strength of biomedical structures such as scaffolds in tissue engineering applications. In this study, we report the use of BNNTs and hydroxylated BNNTs (BNNT-OH) to improve the properties of gelatin-glucose scaffolds prepared with electrospinning technique. Human dermal fibroblast (HDF) cells are used for the toxicity assessment and cell seeding studies. It is found that the addition of BNNTs into the scaffold does not influence cell viability, decreases the scaffold degradation rate, and improves cell attachment and proliferation compared to only-gelatin scaffold. PMID:26642075

  1. Integrating Planning, Assessment, and Improvement in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherlock, Barbara J.

    2009-01-01

    Based on Penn State's popular "Innovation Insights" series, this book brings together in one handy reference nearly a decade of tried and true insights into continuous quality improvements in higher education. Their five-step model for integrating planning, assessment, and improvement moves plans off the shelf and into the weekly and daily…

  2. Using tsunami deposits to improve assessment of tsunami risk

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jaffe, B.E.; Gelfenbaum, G.

    2002-01-01

    In many places in the world the written record of tsunamis is too short to accurately assess the risk of tsunamis. Sedimentary deposits left by tsunamis can be used to extend the record of tsunamis to improve risk assessment. The two primary factors in tsunami risk, tsunami frequency and magnitude, can be addressed through field and modeling studies of tsunami deposits. Recent advances in identification of tsunami deposits and in tsunami sedimentation modeling increase the utility of using tsunami deposits to improve assessment of tsunami risk.

  3. Improvement of surface lubricity of polymers and metals by a glow-discharge plasma cross-linking process.

    PubMed

    Chen, Meng; Hsieh, Ting-Ting; Osaki, Shigemasa; Zamora, Paul O; Tsang, Ray

    2009-01-01

    A plasma cross-linking process was employed to improve the surface lubricity of different types of biomaterials, including stainless steel (SS), nitinol, polyethylene and nylon. To investigate the influence of monomers containing double bonds on top-layer cross-linking of poly(ethylene oxide) compound (PEOC), five different monomers, N-trimethylsilyl-allylamine (TMSAA), ethylene, propylene, allyl alcohol and ethane, were used in the study to produce a cross-linked coating layer on sample surfaces. Before the plasma cross-linking, samples underwent plasma treatment followed by wet chemical coating. The plasma treatment consists of plasma etching in NH(3)/O(2), Tetramethylcyclo-tetrasiloxane (TMCTS) coating and TMSAA grafting. The wet coating process includes dip-coating in a solution of poly(oxyethylene)-compound bis(1-hydroxy-benzotriazolyl carbonate) (HPEOC), then dip-coating in a solution of PEOC. By application of plasma processing, HPEOC and PEOC wet coating to sample surfaces, the lubricity was increased by 83% compared to clean samples. The plasmas of TMSAA, ethylene, propylene and allyl alcohol, all containing a C=C double bond, produced a cross-linking layer on the PEOC surface. Consequently the surface lubricity was improved by 20% to 37% in comparison to no cross-linking. The favorable condition for plasma cross-linking was found to be high power and long time. Ethane plasma also reduced the pulling force although it has no double bond in the molecular structure, which indicated a thin plasma coating from saturated hydrocarbons deposited on HPEOC or PEOC surfaces could also cause cross-linking and improve lubricity. It was found that the TMSAA cross-linking also worked on HPEOC and HEPOC/PEOC, even though the prior plasma coating process was skipped. PMID:19228451

  4. Morphological awareness assessment and intervention to improve language and literacy.

    PubMed

    Wolter, Julie A; Gibson, Frances E

    2015-02-01

    Morphological awareness positively influences language and literacy development and may be an ideal intervention focus for improving vocabulary, sight word reading, reading decoding, and reading comprehension in students with and without language and literacy deficits. This article will provide supporting theory, research, and strategies for implementing morphological awareness intervention with students with language and literacy deficits. Additionally, functional connections are explored through the incorporation and application of morphological awareness intervention in academic literacy contexts linked to Common Core State Standards. PMID:25633142

  5. Assessing and Improving Student Organizations: Resources for Facilitators CD-ROM. The Assessing and Improving Student Organization (AISO) Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nolfi, Tricia; Ruben, Brent D.

    2010-01-01

    This companion to the "Guide for Students" and "Student Workbook" includes the complete set of PowerPoint slides, a PDF of the Facilitator's Guide in PPT (PowerPoint) slide show format, and PDFs of all scoring sheets, handouts and project planning guides needed for the AISO (Assessing and Improving Student Organization) process. The Assessing and…

  6. Towards the improvement of the student experience of assessment and feedback in construction management education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Lloyd; Fortune, Chris

    2013-12-01

    It is widely accepted across Higher Education that assessment practices have a link with learning and a key factor in this link is formative assessment. Formative assessment is generally defined as taking place during a module/programme with the express purpose of improving and enhancing student learning. It is important to understand how lecturers in construction engineering education perceive their own roles and the roles of their students in using effective assessment strategies. An investigation into lecturers' perceptions of their roles and their conceptions related to the assessment process of students in those programmes is reported. An on-line survey was conducted with over 30 Irish academics involved in the area of construction management. Discussion is focused on a critical evaluation of the findings of the study and how it relates to the current literature on the roles of academics in the formative assessment process. Recommendations are made on how lecturers/teachers might better formulate appropriate assessment strategies that will encourage deep and effective learning.

  7. Improve Students' Awareness Of Linking The Experiment With Their Real Lives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huntula, Jiradawan; Chitaree, Ratchapak

    2010-07-01

    We surveyed 218 science students' from a Thai University for their views about what should be done to improve the introductory physics laboratory course. One of their responses strongly recommended that the real life application contents to the experiment should be indicated in the physics laboratory direction. The inclusions should give them a clear reason how the thing they learn from the experiment can probably be used in their lives. From our survey, about 83% of students agreed that the laboratory instruction should include an example of real life situation. Therefore, our initial goal was to find an appropriate way to improve students' awareness of linking what they learn from the experiment with their real life experiences. In the first semester of 2008, the first trial of modified physics laboratory direction was carried out with 18 second year physics students. The additional contents of physics applications were introduced as the prolog of the physics laboratory direction. Four out of twelve experiment directions were prepared to include this additional introduction. From our interview as a mean to evaluate the proposal, only 11% of students could explain but their answers disagreed with the examples of real life situations given within the experiment direction. This result made us realized that this was not only the matter of having or not having the application messages but also the matter of putting the massages in the right place. In the second semester of 2008, the second trial was carried out. This time, the application contents were blended into the theoretical part which was found from our separate survey to be one of the most interesting parts for students. Again, four out of twelve experiment directions were prepared in this proposed style. The students' responses showed that about 40% of students could clearly describe the application message relevant to experiments given in the direction.

  8. Linking Statistically- and Physically-Based Models for Improved Streamflow Simulation in Gaged and Ungaged Areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lafontaine, J.; Hay, L.; Archfield, S. A.; Farmer, W. H.; Kiang, J. E.

    2014-12-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed a National Hydrologic Model (NHM) to support coordinated, comprehensive and consistent hydrologic model development, and facilitate the application of hydrologic simulations within the continental US. The portion of the NHM located within the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCPO LCC) is being used to test the feasibility of improving streamflow simulations in gaged and ungaged watersheds by linking statistically- and physically-based hydrologic models. The GCPO LCC covers part or all of 12 states and 5 sub-geographies, totaling approximately 726,000 km2, and is centered on the lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley. A total of 346 USGS streamgages in the GCPO LCC region were selected to evaluate the performance of this new calibration methodology for the period 1980 to 2013. Initially, the physically-based models are calibrated to measured streamflow data to provide a baseline for comparison. An enhanced calibration procedure then is used to calibrate the physically-based models in the gaged and ungaged areas of the GCPO LCC using statistically-based estimates of streamflow. For this application, the calibration procedure is adjusted to address the limitations of the statistically generated time series to reproduce measured streamflow in gaged basins, primarily by incorporating error and bias estimates. As part of this effort, estimates of uncertainty in the model simulations are also computed for the gaged and ungaged watersheds.

  9. Dynamic range improvement of broadband microwave photonic links using a linearized single-sideband modulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xuan; Zhao, Shanghong; Zhu, Zihang; Li, Yongjun; Zhao, Jing; Liu, Yun

    2015-09-01

    A novel linearized single-sideband modulator is proposed and demonstrated to generate optical single-sideband (OSSB) signal and improve the dynamic range of microwave photonic links. The modulator is composed of a dual-electrode Mach-Zehnder modulator (DEMZM) lying on the top branch and a phase shifter (PS) lying on the bottom branch. By optimizing the optical power split ratio of the linearized modulator and the phase shift of the PS, the third-order inter-modulation distortion (IMD3) can be efficiently suppressed while the second-order distortion components are eliminated simultaneously. It is a multi-octave linearization technique which can be applied for broadband systems. Simulation results show that, the linearized modulator can provide a spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR) of 130 dB for a bandwidth of 1 Hz at the received optical power of 2 dBm assuming shot noise is the dominant noise contribution, which is 22 dB higher than the conventional DEMZM. The effects of the finite extinction ratio of modulator, the phase deviation of PS and the dispersion of fiber on the linearization performance are also investigated.

  10. Improved reliability analysis method based on the failure assessment diagram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yu; Zhang, Zheng; Zhong, Qunpeng

    2012-07-01

    With the uncertainties related to operating conditions, in-service non-destructive testing (NDT) measurements and material properties considered in the structural integrity assessment, probabilistic analysis based on the failure assessment diagram (FAD) approach has recently become an important concern. However, the point density revealing the probabilistic distribution characteristics of the assessment points is usually ignored. To obtain more detailed and direct knowledge from the reliability analysis, an improved probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) assessment method is proposed. By integrating 2D kernel density estimation (KDE) technology into the traditional probabilistic assessment, the probabilistic density of the randomly distributed assessment points is visualized in the assessment diagram. Moreover, a modified interval sensitivity analysis is implemented and compared with probabilistic sensitivity analysis. The improved reliability analysis method is applied to the assessment of a high pressure pipe containing an axial internal semi-elliptical surface crack. The results indicate that these two methods can give consistent sensitivities of input parameters, but the interval sensitivity analysis is computationally more efficient. Meanwhile, the point density distribution and its contour are plotted in the FAD, thereby better revealing the characteristics of PFM assessment. This study provides a powerful tool for the reliability analysis of critical structures.

  11. Community Health Needs Assessment: Potential for Population Health Improvement.

    PubMed

    Pennel, Cara L; McLeroy, Kenneth R; Burdine, James N; Matarrita-Cascante, David; Wang, Jia

    2016-06-01

    Derived from various health care policies and initiatives, the concept of population health has been newly adopted by health care and medicine. In particular, it has been suggested that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provision that requires nonprofit hospitals to conduct a community health needs assessment (CHNA) and implement strategies to address health priorities has the potential to improve population health. A mixed methods study design was used to examine the potential for population health improvements to occur through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-mandated nonprofit hospital CHNA and planning processes. Methods involved a 2-phased approach composed of (1) content analysis of 95 CHNA/implementation strategies reports and (2) interviews with key informants, consultants, and community stakeholders involved in CHNA and planning processes. Although this is a great opportunity for the nonprofit hospital assessment and planning processes to influence population health outcomes, the findings from the first 3-year assessment and planning cycle (2011-2013) suggest this is unlikely. As nonprofit hospitals begin the second 3-year assessment and planning cycle, this article offers recommendations to increase the potential for nonprofit hospitals to improve population health. These recommendations include clarifying the purpose of IRS CHNA regulations, engaging community stakeholders in collaborative assessment and planning, understanding disease etiology and identifying and addressing broader determinants of health, adopting a public health assessment and planning model, and emphasizing population health improvement. (Population Health Management 2016;19:178-186). PMID:26440370

  12. Assessing and improving cross-border chemical incident preparedness and response across Europe.

    PubMed

    Stewart-Evans, James; Hall, Lisbeth; Czerczak, Slawomir; Manley, Kevin; Dobney, Alec; Hoffer, Sally; Pałaszewska-Tkacz, Anna; Jankowska, Agnieszka

    2014-11-01

    Good practices in emergency preparedness and response for chemical incidents include practices specific to the different functions of exposure assessment (e.g., within the monitoring function, the use of mobile monitoring equipment; within the modelling function, the use of rapid dispersion models with integrated mapping software) and generic practices to engage incident response stakeholders to maximise exposure assessment capabilities (e.g., sharing protocols and pre-prepared information and multi-agency training and exercising). Such practices can optimise cross-border collaboration. A wide range of practices have been implemented across MSs during chemical incident response, particularly during incidents that have cross-border and trans-boundary impacts. This paper proposes a self-assessment methodology to enable MSs, or organisations within MSs, to examine exposure assessment capabilities and communication pathways between exposure assessors and public health risk assessors. Where gaps exist, this methodology provides links to good practices that could improve response, communication and collaboration across local, regional and national borders. A fragmented approach to emergency preparedness for chemical incidents is a major obstacle to improving cross-border exposure assessment. There is no one existing body or structure responsible for all aspects of chemical incident preparedness and response in the European Union. Due to the range of different organisations and networks involved in chemical incident response, emergency preparedness needs to be drawn together. A number of recommendations are proposed, including the use of networks of experts which link public health risk assessors with experts in exposure assessment, in order to coordinate and improve chemical incident emergency preparedness. The EU's recent Decision on serious cross-border threats to health aims to facilitate MSs' compliance with the International Health Regulations, which require

  13. Designing a Web-Based Assessment Environment for Improving Pre-Service Teacher Assessment Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Tzu-Hua; Wang, Kuo-Hua; Huang, Shih-Chieh

    2008-01-01

    Teacher assessment literacy is a key factor in the success of teaching, but some studies concluded that teachers lack it. The aim of this research is to propose the ''Practicing, Reflecting and Revising with WATA system (P2R-WATA) Assessment Literacy Development Model'' for improving pre-service teacher assessment literacy. WATA system offers…

  14. Fostering Continuous Improvement and Learning through Peer Assessment: Part of an Integral Model of Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Nancy T.; Kumtepe, Evrim Genc; Aydeniz, Mehmet

    2007-01-01

    Assessment is a critical component of educational practices and thus impacts educational reform efforts. This article reviews and considers assessment from 2 perspectives: a focus on accountability and a focus on continuous improvement. A class of preservice and practicing science teachers explored notions of assessment while experiencing peer…

  15. Linking environmental risk assessment and communication: An experiment in co-evolving scientific and social knowledge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graffy, E.A.; Booth, N.L.

    2008-01-01

    Dissemination of information to decision-makers and enhanced methods of public participation are often put forward as antidotes to a perceived disconnect between risk assessment and risk communication in the public domain. However, mechanisms that support both the provision of routine, timely and relevant technical knowledge to the public and meaningful opportunities for public participation in the evaluation and management of risk are few. We argue for the need to re-conceptualise the institutional context in which risk research and communication occur as one in which scientific knowledge and public understanding are co-evolutionary instead of independent or sequential. Here, we report on an experiment to promote coevolution of environmental risk assessment and risk communication through the instrumental use of a web-based platform that dynamically links expert and public discourses through common information sources, linked scenario evaluations, and opportunities for iterative dialogue. On the basis of technical feasibility, research value and public communication capacity, we conclude that there is potential for further refinement of the methodologies presented here. Copyright ?? 2008 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

  16. Improving the creep resistance and tensile property of UHMWPE sheet by radiation cross-linking and annealing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Honglong; Xu, Lu; Li, Rong; Hu, Jiangtao; Wang, Mouhua; Wu, Guozhong

    2016-08-01

    Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) sheet was cross-linked by γ irradiation in air with a dose of up to 300 kGy at a dose rate of 5 kGy/h and further treated by post-annealing at 120 °C for 4 h in vacuum. Variations in chemical structure, thermostability, crystallinity, creep resistance, and tensile properties were investigated and compared mainly by gel content, TGA, DSC, and creep and tensile measurements. Gel content measurements indicated that cross-linking was predominant over chain scission during irradiation and post-annealing. Radiation cross-linking resulted in an obvious improvement in the creep resistance and tensile properties of UHMWPE. Through cross-linking, the operational temperature and yield strength of the irradiated and subsequently annealed UHMWPE sheet were improved by more than 100 °C and 14%, respectively, at a dose of 300 kGy. Simultaneously, Young's modulus was increased to 1413 MPa, compared with 398 MPa of pristine UHMWPE. Annealing after irradiation further improved the creep resistance and Young's modulus. Highly cross-linked UHMWPE can even be maintained at 250 °C for a long time without any obvious deformation.

  17. Improving School Improvement: Development and Validation of the CSIS-360, a 360-Degree Feedback Assessment for School Improvement Specialists

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDougall, Christie M.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the mixed methods study was to develop and validate the CSIS-360, a 360-degree feedback assessment to measure competencies of school improvement specialists from multiple perspectives. The study consisted of eight practicing school improvement specialists from a variety of settings. The specialists nominated 23 constituents to…

  18. Communications and information research: Improved space link performance via concatenated forward error correction coding

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rao, T. R. N.; Seetharaman, G.; Feng, G. L.

    1996-01-01

    With the development of new advanced instruments for remote sensing applications, sensor data will be generated at a rate that not only requires increased onboard processing and storage capability, but imposes demands on the space to ground communication link and ground data management-communication system. Data compression and error control codes provide viable means to alleviate these demands. Two types of data compression have been studied by many researchers in the area of information theory: a lossless technique that guarantees full reconstruction of the data, and a lossy technique which generally gives higher data compaction ratio but incurs some distortion in the reconstructed data. To satisfy the many science disciplines which NASA supports, lossless data compression becomes a primary focus for the technology development. While transmitting the data obtained by any lossless data compression, it is very important to use some error-control code. For a long time, convolutional codes have been widely used in satellite telecommunications. To more efficiently transform the data obtained by the Rice algorithm, it is required to meet the a posteriori probability (APP) for each decoded bit. A relevant algorithm for this purpose has been proposed which minimizes the bit error probability in the decoding linear block and convolutional codes and meets the APP for each decoded bit. However, recent results on iterative decoding of 'Turbo codes', turn conventional wisdom on its head and suggest fundamentally new techniques. During the past several months of this research, the following approaches have been developed: (1) a new lossless data compression algorithm, which is much better than the extended Rice algorithm for various types of sensor data, (2) a new approach to determine the generalized Hamming weights of the algebraic-geometric codes defined by a large class of curves in high-dimensional spaces, (3) some efficient improved geometric Goppa codes for disk memory

  19. Improving Student Learning Through Integrated Assessment and Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nave, Gary; Bellamy, Peter

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this training manual is to provide teachers access to knowledge and skills to better implement classroom assessment practices that provide information to guide their instructional decisionmaking and, therefore, improve student learning. The primary training outcome is for teachers to learn how a standards-based educational framework…

  20. Continuous Curriculum Assessment and Improvement: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Art

    2007-01-01

    Many factors, including reduced teaching resources, higher student-to-teacher ratios, evolving teaching technologies, and increased emphasis on success skills, have made it necessary for many teaching faculties to become more deliberate about continuous curriculum assessment and improvement. An example is the evolution of food science education…

  1. Assessing and Improving the Psychosocial Environment of Mathematics Classrooms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fraser, Barry J.; And Others

    1989-01-01

    Describes the development and validation of a short form of the My Class Inventory (MCI) assessing classroom psychosocial environment. Reports a case study involving the use of the short form of MCI in attempts to improve a sixth-grade mathematics class. Provides all 25 items of the short version of MCI. (YP)

  2. Using Assessments for Instructional Improvement: A Literature Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Viki M.; Kim, Debbie H.

    2010-01-01

    The current educational reform policy discourse takes for granted the central role of using data to improve instruction. Yet whether and how data inform instruction depends on teachers' assessment practices, the data that are relevant and useful to them, the data they typically have access to, and their content and pedagogical knowledge. Moreover,…

  3. Validation of a National Teacher Assessment and Improvement System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taut, Sandy; Santelices, Maria Veronica; Stecher, Brian

    2012-01-01

    The task of validating a teacher assessment and improvement system is similar whether the system operates in the United States or in another country. Chile has a national teacher evaluation system (NTES) that is standards based, uses multiple instruments, and is intended to serve both formative and summative purposes. For the past 6 years the…

  4. A Peer Assessment System to Improve Student Team Experiences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anson, Robert; Goodman, James A.

    2014-01-01

    Groups are frequently used in courses, but there is substantial evidence that insufficient attention is paid to creating conditions for successful teamwork. One key condition is high-quality, individual, and team-level feedback. An online peer assessment system and team improvement process was developed for this test case based on three design…

  5. Gut microbiome composition is linked to whole grain-induced immunological improvements

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Inés; Lattimer, James M; Hubach, Kelcie L; Case, Jennifer A; Yang, Junyi; Weber, Casey G; Louk, Julie A; Rose, Devin J; Kyureghian, Gayaneh; Peterson, Daniel A; Haub, Mark D; Walter, Jens

    2013-01-01

    The involvement of the gut microbiota in metabolic disorders, and the ability of whole grains to affect both host metabolism and gut microbial ecology, suggest that some benefits of whole grains are mediated through their effects on the gut microbiome. Nutritional studies that assess the effect of whole grains on both the gut microbiome and human physiology are needed. We conducted a randomized cross-over trial with four-week treatments in which 28 healthy humans consumed a daily dose of 60 g of whole-grain barley (WGB), brown rice (BR), or an equal mixture of the two (BR+WGB), and characterized their impact on fecal microbial ecology and blood markers of inflammation, glucose and lipid metabolism. All treatments increased microbial diversity, the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio, and the abundance of the genus Blautia in fecal samples. The inclusion of WGB enriched the genera Roseburia, Bifidobacterium and Dialister, and the species Eubacterium rectale, Roseburia faecis and Roseburia intestinalis. Whole grains, and especially the BR+WGB treatment, reduced plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6) and peak postprandial glucose. Shifts in the abundance of Eubacterium rectale were associated with changes in the glucose and insulin postprandial response. Interestingly, subjects with greater improvements in IL-6 levels harbored significantly higher proportions of Dialister and lower abundance of Coriobacteriaceae. In conclusion, this study revealed that a short-term intake of whole grains induced compositional alterations of the gut microbiota that coincided with improvements in host physiological measures related to metabolic dysfunctions in humans. PMID:23038174

  6. Assessing local resources and culture before instituting quality improvement projects.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, C Matthew

    2014-12-01

    The planning phases of quality improvement projects are commonly overlooked. Disorganized planning and implementation can escalate chaos, intensify resistance to change, and increase the likelihood of failure. Two important steps in the planning phase are (1) assessing local resources available to aid in the quality improvement project and (2) evaluating the culture in which the desired change is to be implemented. Assessing local resources includes identifying and engaging key stakeholders and evaluating if appropriate expertise is available for the scope of the project. This process also involves engaging informaticists and gathering available IT tools to plan and automate (to the extent possible) the data-gathering, analysis, and feedback steps. Culture in a department is influenced by the ability and willingness to manage resistance to change, build consensus, span boundaries between stakeholders, and become a learning organization. Allotting appropriate time to perform these preparatory steps will increase the odds of successfully performing a quality improvement project and implementing change. PMID:25467724

  7. Natura 2000 appropriate assessment: Shortcomings and improvements in Finnish practice

    SciTech Connect

    Soederman, Tara

    2009-02-15

    The EU Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC requires impact assessments called Appropriate Assessments (AA) for plans and projects probably having adverse effects on the sites of European ecological importance, Natura 2000 sites. Seventy-three Appropriate Assessment reports and seventy official opinions given on them by regional environmental authorities from 1997 to 2005 were reviewed. The findings of the study demonstrate typical shortcomings of ecological impact assessment: a weak information basis for assessment outcomes and lack of proper cumulative impact assessment with respect to ecological structures and processes. The quality of reporting has improved over time with respect to direct impacts on individual habitat types and species and detailed mitigation measures. Regional environment centres considered one fifth of the AA reports to be inadequate because of lacking data. In most cases the regional environment centres demanded a change of plan or project, added mitigation measures, choice of only one alternative for further planning or a new completed assessment with additional information in order to be able to evaluate the significance of the effects. The study underlines the need for iterative planning practices in which the preparation of a plan or project with alternative options goes hand in hand with the impact assessment equipped with sufficient data.

  8. CART III: improved camouflage assessment using moving target indication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Thomas; Honke, Thomas; Müller, Markus

    2009-05-01

    In order to facilitate systematic, computer aided improvements of camouflage and concealment assessment methods, the software system CART (Camouflage Assessment in Real-Time) was built up for the camouflage assessment of objects in image sequences (see contributions to SPIE 2007 and SPIE 2008 [1], [2]). It works with visual-optical, infrared and SAR image sequences. The system comprises a semi-automatic annotation functionality for marking target objects (ground truth generation) including a propagation of those markings over the image sequence for static as well as moving scene objects, where the recording camera may be static or moving. The marked image regions are evaluated by applying user-defined feature extractors, which can easily be defined and integrated into the system via a generic software interface. This article presents further systematic enhancements made in the recent year and addresses particularly the task of the detection of moving vehicles by latest image exploitation methods for objective camouflage assessment in these cases. As a main topic, the loop was closed between the two natural opposites of reconnaissance and camouflage, which was realized by incorporating ATD (Automatic Target Detection) algorithms into the computer aided camouflage assessment. Since object (and sensor) movement is an important feature for many applications, different image-based MTI (Moving Target Indication) algorithms were included in the CART system, which rely on changes in the image plane from an image to the successive one (after camera movements are automatically compensated). Additionally, the MTI outputs over time are combined in a certain way which we call "snail track" algorithm. The results show that their output provides a valuable measurement for the conspicuity of moving objects and therefore is an ideal component in the camouflage assessment. It is shown that image-based MTI improvements lead to improvements in the camouflage assessment process.

  9. Global sensitivity analysis, probabilistic calibration, and predictive assessment for the data assimilation linked ecosystem carbon model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safta, C.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Sargsyan, K.; Debusschere, B.; Najm, H. N.; Williams, M.; Thornton, P. E.

    2015-07-01

    In this paper we propose a probabilistic framework for an uncertainty quantification (UQ) study of a carbon cycle model and focus on the comparison between steady-state and transient simulation setups. A global sensitivity analysis (GSA) study indicates the parameters and parameter couplings that are important at different times of the year for quantities of interest (QoIs) obtained with the data assimilation linked ecosystem carbon (DALEC) model. We then employ a Bayesian approach and a statistical model error term to calibrate the parameters of DALEC using net ecosystem exchange (NEE) observations at the Harvard Forest site. The calibration results are employed in the second part of the paper to assess the predictive skill of the model via posterior predictive checks.

  10. On Improving Higher Vocational College Education Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiang; Chen, Yan; Zhang, Jie; Wang, Yi

    Teaching quality assessment is a judgment process by using the theory and technology of education evaluation system to test whether the process and result of teaching have got to a certain quality level. Many vocational schools have established teaching quality assessment systems of their own characteristics as the basic means to do self-examination and teaching behavior adjustment. Combined with the characteristics and requirements of the vocational education and by analyzing the problems exist in contemporary vocational school, form the perspective of the content, assessment criteria and feedback system of the teaching quality assessment to optimize the system, to complete the teaching quality information net and offer suggestions for feedback channels, to make the institutionalization, standardization of the vocational schools and indeed to make contribution for the overall improvement of the quality of vocational schools.

  11. Operative link on gastritis assessment stage is an appropriate predictor of early gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Ying; Li, Hai-Yan; Zhang, Jing-Jing; Chen, Xiao-Yu; Ge, Zhi-Zheng; Li, Xiao-Bo

    2016-01-01

    AIM: To assess the predictive value of Operative Link on Gastritis Assessment (OLGA) and Operative Link on Gastric Intestinal Metaplasia Assessment (OLGIM) stages in gastric cancer. METHODS: A prospective study was conducted with 71 patients with early gastric cancer (EGC) and 156 patients with non-EGC. All patients underwent endoscopic examination and systematic biopsy. Outcome measures were assessed and compared, including the Japanese endoscopic gastric atrophy (EGA) classification method and the modified OLGA method as well as the modified OLGIM method. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) status was determined for all study participants. Stepwise logistic regression modeling was performed to analyze correlations between EGC and the EGA, OLGA and OLGIM methods. RESULTS: For patients with EGC and patients with non-EGC, the proportions of moderate-to-severe EGA cases were 64.8% and 44.9%, respectively (P = 0.005), the proportions of OLGA stages III-IV cases were 52.1% and 22.4%, respectively (P < 0.001), and the proportions of OLGIM stages III-IV cases were 42.3% and 19.9%, respectively (P < 0.001). OLGA stage and OLGIM stage were significantly related to EGA classification; specifically, logistic regression modeling showed significant correlations between EGC and moderate-to-severe EGA (OR = 1.95, 95% CI: 1.06-3.58, P = 0.031) and OLGA stages III-IV (OR = 3.14, 95%CI: 1.71-5.81, P < 0.001), but no significant correlation between EGC and OLGIM stages III-IV (P = 0.781). H. pylori infection rate was significantly higher in patients with moderate-to-severe EGA (75.0% vs 54.1%, P = 0.001) or OLGA/OLGIM stages III-IV (OLGA: 83.6% vs 55.8%, P < 0.001; OLGIM: 83.6% vs 57.8%, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: OLGA classification is optimal for EGC screening. A surveillance program including OLGA stage and H. pylori infection status may facilitate early detection of gastric cancer. PMID:27053859

  12. Peer Assessment with Online Tools to Improve Student Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atkins, Leslie J.

    2012-11-01

    Introductory physics courses often require students to develop precise models of phenomena and represent these with diagrams, including free-body diagrams, light-ray diagrams, and maps of field lines. Instructors expect that students will adopt a certain rigor and precision when constructing these diagrams, but we want that rigor and precision to be an aid to sense-making rather than meeting seemingly arbitrary requirements set by the instructor. By giving students the authority to develop their own models and establish requirements for their diagrams, the sense that these are arbitrary requirements diminishes and students are more likely to see modeling as a sense-making activity. The practice of peer assessment can help students take ownership; however, it can be difficult for instructors to manage. Furthermore, it is not without risk: students can be reluctant to critique their peers, they may view this as the job of the instructor, and there is no guarantee that students will employ greater rigor and precision as a result of peer assessment. In this article, we describe one approach for peer assessment that can establish norms for diagrams in a way that is student driven, where students retain agency and authority in assessing and improving their work. We show that such an approach does indeed improve students' diagrams and abilities to assess their own work, without sacrificing students' authority and agency.

  13. Improvement of Safety Assessment Methodologies for Near Surface Disposal Facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Batandjieva, B.; Torres-Vidal, C.

    2002-02-26

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Coordinated research program ''Improvement of Safety Assessment Methodologies for Near Surface Disposal Facilities'' (ISAM) has developed improved safety assessment methodology for near surface disposal facilities. The program has been underway for three years and has included around 75 active participants from 40 countries. It has also provided examples for application to three safety cases--vault, Radon type and borehole radioactive waste disposal facilities. The program has served as an excellent forum for exchange of information and good practices on safety assessment approaches and methodologies used worldwide. It also provided an opportunity for reaching broad consensus on the safety assessment methodologies to be applied to near surface low and intermediate level waste repositories. The methodology has found widespread acceptance and the need for its application on real waste disposal facilities has been clearly identified. The ISAM was finalized by the end of 2000, working material documents are available and an IAEA report will be published in 2002 summarizing the work performed during the three years of the program. The outcome of the ISAM program provides a sound basis for moving forward to a new IAEA program, which will focus on practical application of the safety assessment methodologies to different purposes, such as licensing radioactive waste repositories, development of design concepts, upgrading existing facilities, reassessment of operating repositories, etc. The new program will also provide an opportunity for development of guidance on application of the methodology that will be of assistance to both safety assessors and regulators.

  14. Application of immunomagnetic particles to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for improvement of detection sensitivity of HCG.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Hsiao-Ting; Yeh, Jay Z; Wu, Po-Hua; Jiang, Chii-Ming; Wu, Ming-Chang

    2012-01-01

    This investigation was aimed at using superparamagnetic particles to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (SPIO-ELISA) of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to enhance detection sensitivity of hCG. We found that N-(3-dimethyl aminopropyl)-N'-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) was the best cross-linking reagent to link anti hCG α antibody to superparamagnetic particle (SPIO-anti hCG α antibody immunomagnetic particle). To improve the specificity of the assay, a horse radish peroxidase (HRP)-labeled anti-hCG beta monoclonal antibody was used to detect captured hCG using double antibody sandwich ELISA assay. SPIO-ELISA application to determine hCG increased the sensitivity to 1 mIU/mL, which is a level of sensitivity enabling the diagnosis of pregnancy during the early gestational period. PMID:22963487

  15. Improved Enzyme Catalytic Characteristics upon Glutaraldehyde Cross-Linking of Alginate Entrapped Xylanase Isolated from Aspergillus flavus MTCC 9390

    PubMed Central

    Bhushan, Bharat; Pal, Ajay; Jain, Veena

    2015-01-01

    Purified fungal xylanase was entrapped in alginate beads. Its further cross-linking using glutaraldehyde resulted in large enzyme aggregates which may function as both a catalyst and a support material for numerous substrate molecules. Enzyme cross-linking presented a negative impact on enzyme leaching during repeated washings and recovery of enzyme activity was substantial after twelve cycles of usage. The entrapment followed by cross-linking doubled the total bound activity and also greatly improved the enzyme stability at extreme chemical environment. The wide pH stability, better thermo- and storage stability, lowered Km value, and protection from some metal ions are salient achievements of present immobilization. The study shows the efficacy, durability, and sustainability of immobilized catalytic system which could be efficiently used for various juice processing operations. PMID:26347814

  16. Informativeness Improvement of Hardness Test Methods for Metal Product Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osipov, S.; Podshivalov, I.; Osipov, O.; Zhantybaev, A.

    2016-06-01

    The paper presents a combination of theoretical suggestions, results, and observations allowing to improve the informativeness of hardness testing process in solving problems of metal product assessment while in operation. The hardness value of metal surface obtained by a single measurement is considered to be random. Various measures of location and scattering of the random variable were experimentally estimated for a number of test samples using the correlation analysis, and their close interaction was studied. It was stated that in metal assessment, the main informative characteristics of hardness testing process are its average value and mean-square deviation for measures of location and scattering, respectively.

  17. Enhancing Nurses' Pain Assessment to Improve Patient Satisfaction.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Diana L; Hoffman, Leslie A; Fioravanti, Marie; Medley, Deborah Poskus; Zullo, Thomas G; Tuite, Patricia K

    2016-01-01

    Patient satisfaction with pain management has increasing importance with Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores tied to reimbursement. Previous studies indicate patient satisfaction is influenced by staff interactions. This single-group pre/post design study aimed to improve satisfaction with pain management in older adults undergoing total joint replacement. This was a single-group pre-/posttest design. Nurse (knowledge assessment) and patient (American Pain Society Patient Outcomes Questionnaire Revised [APS-POQ-R], HCAHPS) responses evaluated pre- and postimplementation of the online educational program. Nurse focus group followed intervention. Nurses' knowledge improved significantly (p < .006) postintervention. HCAHPS scores (3-month average) for items reflecting patient satisfaction improved from 70.2 ± 9.5 to 73.9 ± 6.0. APS-POQ-R scores did not change. Focus group comments indicated need for education regarding linkages between pain management and patient satisfaction. Education on linkages between patient satisfaction and pain management can improve outcomes; education on strategies to further improve practice may enhance ability to achieve benchmarks. PMID:27028687

  18. Use of automated monitoring to assess behavioral toxicology in fish: Linking behavior and physiology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brewer, S.K.; DeLonay, A.J.; Beauvais, S.L.; Little, E.E.; Jones, S.B.

    1999-01-01

    We measured locomotory behaviors (distance traveled, speed, tortuosity of path, and rate of change in direction) with computer-assisted analysis in 30 day posthatch rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) exposed to pesticides. We also examined cholinesterase inhibition as a potential endpoint linking physiology and behavior. Sublethal exposure to chemicals often causes changes in swimming behavior, reflecting alterations in sensory and motor systems. Swimming behavior also integrates functions of the nervous system. Rarely are the connections between physiology and behavior made. Although behavior is often suggested as a sensitive, early indicator of toxicity, behavioral toxicology has not been used to its full potential because conventional methods of behavioral assessment have relied on manual techniques, which are often time-consuming and difficult to quantify. This has severely limited the application and utility of behavioral procedures. Swimming behavior is particularly amenable to computerized assessment and automated monitoring. Locomotory responses are sensitive to toxicants and can be easily measured. We briefly discuss the use of behavior in toxicology and automated techniques used in behavioral toxicology. We also describe the system we used to determine locomotory behaviors of fish, and present data demonstrating the system's effectiveness in measuring alterations in response to chemical challenges. Lastly, we correlate behavioral and physiological endpoints.

  19. Improving IRT Item Bias Detection with Iterative Linking and Ability Scale Purification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Park, Dong-Gun; Lautenschlager, Gary J.

    1990-01-01

    The effectiveness of two iterative methods of item response theory (IRT) item bias detection was examined in a simulation study. A modified form of the iterative item parameter linking method of F. Drasgow and an adaptation of the test purification procedure of F. M. Lord were compared. (SLD)

  20. Making Connections: Linking Cognitive Psychology and Intervention Research to Improve Comprehension of Struggling Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMaster, Kristen L.; Espin, Christine A.; van den Broek, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of reading comprehension interventions for struggling readers, including students with learning disabilities. Yet, some readers continue to struggle with comprehension despite receiving these interventions. In this article, we argue that an explicit link between cognitive psychology and intervention…

  1. Communications Technology Assessment for the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Control and Non-Payload Communications (CNPC) Link

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bretmersky, Steven C.; Bishop, William D.; Dailey, Justin E.; Chevalier, Christine T.

    2014-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center (GRC) is performing communications systems research for the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) Project. One of the goals of the communications element is to select and test a communications technology for the UAS Control and Non-Payload Communications (CNPC) link. The GRC UAS Modeling and Simulation (M/S) Sub Team will evaluate the performance of several potential technologies for the CNPC link through detailed software simulations. In parallel, an industry partner will implement a technology in hardware to be used for flight testing. The task necessitated a technical assessment of existing Radio Frequency (RF) communications technologies to identify the best candidate systems for use as the UAS CNPC link. The assessment provides a basis for selecting the technologies for the M/S effort and the hardware radio design. The process developed for the technical assessments for the Future Communications Study1 (FCS) was used as an initial starting point for this assessment. The FCS is a joint Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Eurocontrol study on technologies for use as a future aeronautical communications link. The FCS technology assessment process methodology can be applied to the UAS CNPC link; however the findings of the FCS are not directly applicable because of different requirements between a CNPC link and a general aeronautical data link. Additional technologies were added to the potential technologies list from the State of the Art Unmanned Aircraft System Communication Assessment developed by NASA GRC2. This document investigates the state of the art of communications as related to UAS. A portion of the document examines potential communications systems for a UAS communication architecture. Like the FCS, the state of the art assessment surveyed existing communications technologies. It did not, however, perform a detailed assessment of the

  2. Self-assessed performance improves statistical fusion of image labels

    PubMed Central

    Bryan, Frederick W.; Xu, Zhoubing; Asman, Andrew J.; Allen, Wade M.; Reich, Daniel S.; Landman, Bennett A.

    2014-01-01

    . Statistical fusion resulted in statistically indistinguishable performance from self-assessed weighted voting. The authors developed a new theoretical basis for using self-assessed performance in the framework of statistical fusion and demonstrated that the combined sources of information (both statistical assessment and self-assessment) yielded statistically significant improvement over the methods considered separately. Conclusions: The authors present the first systematic characterization of self-assessed performance in manual labeling. The authors demonstrate that self-assessment and statistical fusion yield similar, but complementary, benefits for label fusion. Finally, the authors present a new theoretical basis for combining self-assessments with statistical label fusion. PMID:24593721

  3. Self-assessed performance improves statistical fusion of image labels

    SciTech Connect

    Bryan, Frederick W. Xu, Zhoubing; Asman, Andrew J.; Allen, Wade M.; Reich, Daniel S.; Landman, Bennett A.

    2014-03-15

    . Statistical fusion resulted in statistically indistinguishable performance from self-assessed weighted voting. The authors developed a new theoretical basis for using self-assessed performance in the framework of statistical fusion and demonstrated that the combined sources of information (both statistical assessment and self-assessment) yielded statistically significant improvement over the methods considered separately. Conclusions: The authors present the first systematic characterization of self-assessed performance in manual labeling. The authors demonstrate that self-assessment and statistical fusion yield similar, but complementary, benefits for label fusion. Finally, the authors present a new theoretical basis for combining self-assessments with statistical label fusion.

  4. Scientists urge DHS to improve Bioterrorism Risk Assessment.

    PubMed

    Parnell, Gregory S; Borio, Luciana L; Brown, Gerald G; Banks, David; Wilson, Alyson G

    2008-12-01

    In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) completed its first Bioterrorism Risk Assessment (BTRA), intended to be the foundation for DHS's subsequent biennial risk assessments mandated by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 10 (HSPD-10). At the request of DHS, the National Research Council established the Committee on Methodological Improvements to the Department of Homeland Security's Biological Agent Risk Analysis to provide an independent, scientific peer review of the BTRA. The Committee found a number of shortcomings in the BTRA, including a failure to consider terrorists as intelligent adversaries in their models, unnecessary complexity in threat and consequence modeling and simulations, and a lack of focus on risk management. The Committee unanimously concluded that an improved BTRA is needed to provide a more credible foundation for risk-informed decision making. PMID:18976117

  5. CART IV: improving automatic camouflage assessment with assistance methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Thomas; Müller, Markus

    2010-04-01

    In order to facilitate systematic, computer aided improvements of camouflage and concealment assessment methods, the software system CART (Camouflage Assessment in Real-Time) was built up for the camouflage assessment of objects in multispectral image sequences (see contributions to SPIE 2007, SPIE 2008 and SPIE 2009 [1], [2], [3]). It comprises a semi-automatic marking of target objects (ground truth generation) including their propagation over the image sequence and the evaluation via user-defined feature extractors. The conspicuity of camouflaged objects due to their movement can be assessed with a purpose-built processing method named MTI snail track algorithm. This paper presents the enhancements over the recent year and addresses procedures to assist the camouflage assessment of moving objects for image data material with strong noise or image artefacts. This extends the evaluation methods significantly to a broader application range. For example, some noisy infrared image data material can be evaluated for the first time by applying the presented methods which fathom the correlations between camouflage assessment, MTI (moving target indication) and dedicated noise filtering.

  6. Improving the assessment of instream flow needs for fish populations

    SciTech Connect

    Sale, M.J. ); Otto, R.G. and Associates, Arlington, VA )

    1991-01-01

    Instream flow requirements are one of the most frequent and most costly environmental issues that must be addressed in developing hydroelectric projects. Existing assessment methods for determining instream flow requirements have been criticized for not including all the biological response mechanisms that regulate fishery resources. A new project has been initiated to study the biological responses of fish populations to altered stream flows and to develop improved ways of managing instream flows. 21 refs., 3 figs.

  7. Improvements to Emergy evaluations by using Life Cycle Assessment.

    PubMed

    Rugani, Benedetto; Benetto, Enrico

    2012-05-01

    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a widely recognized, multicriteria and standardized tool for environmental assessment of products and processes. As an independent evaluation method, emergy assessment has shown to be a promising and relatively novel tool. The technique has gained wide recognition in the past decade but still faces methodological difficulties which prevent it from being accepted by a broader stakeholder community. This review aims to elucidate the fundamental requirements to possibly improve the Emergy evaluation by using LCA. Despite its capability to compare the amount of resources embodied in production systems, Emergy suffers from its vague accounting procedures and lacks accuracy, reproducibility, and completeness. An improvement of Emergy evaluations can be achieved via (1) technical implementation of Emergy algebra in the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI); (2) selection of consistent Unit Emergy Values (UEVs) as characterization factors for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA); and (3) expansion of the LCI system boundaries to include supporting systems usually considered by Emergy but excluded in LCA (e.g., ecosystem services and human labor). Whereas Emergy rules must be adapted to life-cycle structures, LCA should enlarge its inventory to give Emergy a broader computational framework. The matrix inversion principle used for LCAs is also proposed as an alternative to consistently account for a large number of resource UEVs. PMID:22489863

  8. Link between cognitive neuroscience and education: the case of clinical assessment of developmental dyscalculia

    PubMed Central

    Rubinsten, Orly

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, cognitive neuroscience research has identified several biological and cognitive features of number processing deficits that may now make it possible to diagnose mental or educational impairments in arithmetic, even earlier and more precisely than is possible using traditional assessment tools. We provide two sets of recommendations for improving cognitive assessment tools, using the important case of mathematics as an example. (1) neurocognitive tests would benefit substantially from incorporating assessments (based on findings from cognitive neuroscience) that entail systematic manipulation of fundamental aspects of number processing. Tests that focus on evaluating networks of core neurocognitive deficits have considerable potential to lead to more precise diagnosis and to provide the basis for designing specific intervention programs tailored to the deficits exhibited by the individual child. (2) implicit knowledge, derived from inspection of variables that are irrelevant to the task at hand, can also provide a useful assessment tool. Implicit knowledge is powerful and plays an important role in human development, especially in cases of psychiatric or neurological deficiencies (such as math learning disabilities or math anxiety). PMID:26074805

  9. Link between cognitive neuroscience and education: the case of clinical assessment of developmental dyscalculia.

    PubMed

    Rubinsten, Orly

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, cognitive neuroscience research has identified several biological and cognitive features of number processing deficits that may now make it possible to diagnose mental or educational impairments in arithmetic, even earlier and more precisely than is possible using traditional assessment tools. We provide two sets of recommendations for improving cognitive assessment tools, using the important case of mathematics as an example. (1) neurocognitive tests would benefit substantially from incorporating assessments (based on findings from cognitive neuroscience) that entail systematic manipulation of fundamental aspects of number processing. Tests that focus on evaluating networks of core neurocognitive deficits have considerable potential to lead to more precise diagnosis and to provide the basis for designing specific intervention programs tailored to the deficits exhibited by the individual child. (2) implicit knowledge, derived from inspection of variables that are irrelevant to the task at hand, can also provide a useful assessment tool. Implicit knowledge is powerful and plays an important role in human development, especially in cases of psychiatric or neurological deficiencies (such as math learning disabilities or math anxiety). PMID:26074805

  10. Utilizing Mobile-Phone-Link Data to Improve Rainfall Monitoring over Cyprus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lange, Manfred; Alpert, Pinhas; David, Noam

    2013-04-01

    There is a need for spatially denser and temporally more detailed observations of precipitation in most countries, including Cyprus. Traditionally, rainfall is measured with rain gauges that are either read manually once a day or automatically at higher temporal frequencies. However, these are point measurements with poor spatial representativeness due to the small sampling area. In Cyprus rain gauges are typically installed close to populated communities and built-up areas, leaving substantial parts of the country only sparsely covered. On the other hand, wireless communication networks are widely spread across the terrain, at heights of only a few tens of meters off the surface. The microwave links, used in these networks, are deployed by cellular providers for backhaul communication between base stations. Since these links operate at frequencies of tens of GHz, atmospheric conditions and particularly rainfall affect the electromagnetic channel causing attenuations to the microwave signals between the radio masts. Cellular networks infrastructures can therefore be regarded as relatively high-precision atmospheric observation system offering fairly dense spatial coverage and high temporal resolution. The principal feasibility of rainfall delineation by microwave attenuation between commercial radio links has been shown by Messer et al. (2006). In the meantime, the group of P. Alpert and H. Messer at Tel Aviv University, and additional groups around the world (e.g. Leijnse et al 2010; Chwala et al., 2012; Wang et al., 2012 ) have further developed the methodology. The objectives of the current project, which is still being implemented, can be summarized as follows: i. to carry out a feasibility study on the utilization of mobile-phone-link-data for rainfall observations in Cyprus; ii. to evaluate, adapt and implement the analysis methodology/software developed and used at TAU at the Energy, Environment and Water Research Center of The Cyprus Institute; iii. to

  11. Link calibration against receiver calibration: an assessment of GPS time transfer uncertainties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rovera, G. D.; Torre, J.-M.; Sherwood, R.; Abgrall, M.; Courde, C.; Laas-Bourez, M.; Uhrich, P.

    2014-10-01

    We present a direct comparison between two different techniques for the relative calibration of time transfer between remote time scales when using the signals transmitted by the Global Positioning System (GPS). Relative calibration estimates the delay of equipment or the delay of a time transfer link with respect to reference equipment. It is based on the circulation of some travelling GPS equipment between the stations in the network, against which the local equipment is measured. Two techniques can be considered: first a station calibration by the computation of the hardware delays of the local GPS equipment; second the computation of a global hardware delay offset for the time transfer between the reference points of two remote time scales. This last technique is called a ‘link’ calibration, with respect to the other one, which is a ‘receiver’ calibration. The two techniques require different measurements on site, which change the uncertainty budgets, and we discuss this and related issues. We report on one calibration campaign organized during Autumn 2013 between Observatoire de Paris (OP), Paris, France, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (OCA), Calern, France, and NERC Space Geodesy Facility (SGF), Herstmonceux, United Kingdom. The travelling equipment comprised two GPS receivers of different types, along with the required signal generator and distribution amplifier, and one time interval counter. We show the different ways to compute uncertainty budgets, leading to improvement factors of 1.2 to 1.5 on the hardware delay uncertainties when comparing the relative link calibration to the relative receiver calibration.

  12. Improving Power System Modeling. A Tool to Link Capacity Expansion and Production Cost Models

    SciTech Connect

    Diakov, Victor; Cole, Wesley; Sullivan, Patrick; Brinkman, Gregory; Margolis, Robert

    2015-11-01

    Capacity expansion models (CEM) provide a high-level long-term view at the prospects of the evolving power system. In simulating the possibilities of long-term capacity expansion, it is important to maintain the viability of power system operation in the short-term (daily, hourly and sub-hourly) scales. Production-cost models (PCM) simulate routine power system operation on these shorter time scales using detailed load, transmission and generation fleet data by minimizing production costs and following reliability requirements. When based on CEM 'predictions' about generating unit retirements and buildup, PCM provide more detailed simulation for the short-term system operation and, consequently, may confirm the validity of capacity expansion predictions. Further, production cost model simulations of a system that is based on capacity expansion model solution are 'evolutionary' sound: the generator mix is the result of logical sequence of unit retirement and buildup resulting from policy and incentives. The above has motivated us to bridge CEM with PCM by building a capacity expansion - to - production cost model Linking Tool (CEPCoLT). The Linking Tool is built to onset capacity expansion model prescriptions onto production cost model inputs. NREL's ReEDS and Energy Examplar's PLEXOS are the capacity expansion and the production cost models, respectively. Via the Linking Tool, PLEXOS provides details of operation for the regionally-defined ReEDS scenarios.

  13. Ambroxol improves lysosomal biochemistry in glucocerebrosidase mutation-linked Parkinson disease cells

    PubMed Central

    McNeill, Alisdair; Magalhaes, Joana; Shen, Chengguo; Chau, Kai-Yin; Hughes, Derralyn; Mehta, Atul; Foltynie, Tom; Cooper, J. Mark; Abramov, Andrey Y.; Gegg, Matthew

    2014-01-01

    Gaucher disease is caused by mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene, which encodes the lysosomal hydrolase glucosylceramidase. Patients with Gaucher disease and heterozygous glucocerebrosidase mutation carriers are at increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Indeed, glucocerebrosidase mutations are the most frequent risk factor for Parkinson’s disease in the general population. Therefore there is an urgent need to understand the mechanisms by which glucocerebrosidase mutations predispose to neurodegeneration to facilitate development of novel treatments. To study this we generated fibroblast lines from skin biopsies of five patients with Gaucher disease and six heterozygous glucocerebrosidase mutation carriers with and without Parkinson’s disease. Glucosylceramidase protein and enzyme activity levels were assayed. Oxidative stress was assayed by single cell imaging of dihydroethidium. Glucosylceramidase enzyme activity was significantly reduced in fibroblasts from patients with Gaucher disease (median 5% of controls, P = 0.0001) and heterozygous mutation carriers with (median 59% of controls, P = 0.001) and without (56% of controls, P = 0.001) Parkinson’s disease compared with controls. Glucosylceramidase protein levels, assessed by western blot, were significantly reduced in fibroblasts from Gaucher disease (median glucosylceramidase levels 42% of control, P < 0.001) and heterozygous mutation carriers with (median 59% of control, P < 0.001) and without (median 68% of control, P < 0.001) Parkinson’s disease. Single cell imaging of dihydroethidium demonstrated increased production of cytosolic reactive oxygen species in fibroblasts from patients with Gaucher disease (dihydroethidium oxidation rate increased by a median of 62% compared to controls, P < 0.001) and heterozygous mutation carriers with (dihydroethidium oxidation rate increased by a median of 68% compared with controls, P < 0.001) and without (dihydroethidium oxidation rate increased

  14. The Climate Services Partnership: Linking Efforts to Improve Climate Services Worldwide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zebiak, S. E.

    2012-12-01

    Throughout the world, climate services are required to address urgent needs for climate-informed decision-making, policy and planning. These needs were explored in detail at the first International Conference on Climate Services (ICCS-1), held in New York in October 2011. After deliberating on needs, capabilities, and opportunities, the conference culminated in the creation of the Climate Services Partnership (CSP). The CSP is an informal interdisciplinary network of climate information users, providers, donors and researchers interested in improving the provision and development of climate services worldwide. Members of the Climate Services Partnership work together to share knowledge, accelerate learning, develop new capacities, and establish good practices. These collaborative efforts also inform and support the evolution and implementation of the UN-led Global Framework for Climate Services. To date, the work of the CSP has focused on three areas: - encouraging and sustaining connections between climate information providers, users, donors, and researchers - gathering, synthesizing and disseminating current knowledge on climate services by way of an online knowledge management platform - generating new knowledge on critical topics in climate service development and provision, through the creation of focused working groups on specific topics Connections are being fostered through outreach at major international conferences and professional societies. CSP maintains a website and a monthly newsletter, which serve as a resource for those interested in climate services. CSP also sponsored the second International Conference on Climate Services (Brussels, Sept. 2012), which focused especially on public-private partnerships to support climate services. Over the past year, CSP has focused knowledge capture efforts around an initial set of more than 40 case studies, and several in-depth evaluations of climate services activities. CSP additionally has created an online

  15. Ambroxol improves lysosomal biochemistry in glucocerebrosidase mutation-linked Parkinson disease cells.

    PubMed

    McNeill, Alisdair; Magalhaes, Joana; Shen, Chengguo; Chau, Kai-Yin; Hughes, Derralyn; Mehta, Atul; Foltynie, Tom; Cooper, J Mark; Abramov, Andrey Y; Gegg, Matthew; Schapira, Anthony H V

    2014-05-01

    Gaucher disease is caused by mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene, which encodes the lysosomal hydrolase glucosylceramidase. Patients with Gaucher disease and heterozygous glucocerebrosidase mutation carriers are at increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease. Indeed, glucocerebrosidase mutations are the most frequent risk factor for Parkinson's disease in the general population. Therefore there is an urgent need to understand the mechanisms by which glucocerebrosidase mutations predispose to neurodegeneration to facilitate development of novel treatments. To study this we generated fibroblast lines from skin biopsies of five patients with Gaucher disease and six heterozygous glucocerebrosidase mutation carriers with and without Parkinson's disease. Glucosylceramidase protein and enzyme activity levels were assayed. Oxidative stress was assayed by single cell imaging of dihydroethidium. Glucosylceramidase enzyme activity was significantly reduced in fibroblasts from patients with Gaucher disease (median 5% of controls, P = 0.0001) and heterozygous mutation carriers with (median 59% of controls, P = 0.001) and without (56% of controls, P = 0.001) Parkinson's disease compared with controls. Glucosylceramidase protein levels, assessed by western blot, were significantly reduced in fibroblasts from Gaucher disease (median glucosylceramidase levels 42% of control, P < 0.001) and heterozygous mutation carriers with (median 59% of control, P < 0.001) and without (median 68% of control, P < 0.001) Parkinson's disease. Single cell imaging of dihydroethidium demonstrated increased production of cytosolic reactive oxygen species in fibroblasts from patients with Gaucher disease (dihydroethidium oxidation rate increased by a median of 62% compared to controls, P < 0.001) and heterozygous mutation carriers with (dihydroethidium oxidation rate increased by a median of 68% compared with controls, P < 0.001) and without (dihydroethidium oxidation rate increased by a

  16. Cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs) of Pencilluim notatum lipase enzyme with improved activity, stability and reusability characteristics.

    PubMed

    Rehman, Saima; Bhatti, Haq Nawaz; Bilal, Muhammad; Asgher, Muhammad

    2016-10-01

    Cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs) are considered as an effective tool for the immobilization of enzyme. In this study, Pencillium notatum lipase (PNL) was immobilized as carrier free cross-linked enzyme aggregates using glutaraldehyde (GLA) and Ethylene glycol-bis [succinic acid N-hydroxysuccinimide] (EG-NHS) as cross-linking agents. The optimal conditions for the synthesis of an efficient lipase CLEAs such as precipitant type, the nature and amount of cross-linking reagent, and cross-linking time were optimized. The recovered activities of CLEAs were considerably dependent on the concentration of GLA; however, the activity recovery was not severely affected by EG-NHS as a mild cross-linker. The EG-NHS aggregates displayed superior hydrolytic (52.08±2.52%) and esterification (64.42%) activities as compared to GLA aggregates which showed 23.8±1.86 and 34.54% of hydrolytic and esterification activity, respectively. Morphological analysis by fluorescence and scanning electron microscope revealed that EG-NHS aggregates were smaller in size with larger surface area compared to GLA aggregates. The pH optima of both types of CLEAs were displaced to slightly alkaline region and higher temperature as compared to native enzyme. Highest enzyme activity of CLEAs was achieved at the pH of 9.0 and 42°C temperature. Moreover, a significant improvement in the thermal resistance was also recorded after immobilization. After ten reusability cycles in aqueous medium, GLA and EG-NHS cross-linked lipase CLEAs preserved 63.62% and 70.9% of their original activities, respectively. The results suggest that this novel CLEA-lipase is potentially usable in many industrial applications. PMID:27365121

  17. Linking geology and health sciences to assess childhood lead poisoning from artisanal gold mining in Nigeria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Durant, James T.; Morman, Suzette A.; Neri, Antonio; Wolf, Ruth E.; Dooyema, Carrie A.; Hageman, Philip L.; Lowers, Heather; Fernette, Gregory L.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Benzel, William M.; Driscoll, Rhonda L.; Berry, Cyrus J.; Crock, James G.; Goldstein, Harland L.; Adams, Monique; Bartrem, Casey L.; Tirima, Simba; Behrooz, Behbod; von Lindern, Ian; Brown, Mary Jean

    2013-01-01

    Background: In 2010, Médecins Sans Frontières discovered a lead poisoning outbreak linked to artisanal gold processing in northwestern Nigeria. The outbreak has killed approximately 400 young children and affected thousands more. Objectives: Our aim was to undertake an interdisciplinary geological- and health-science assessment to clarify lead sources and exposure pathways, identify additional toxicants of concern and populations at risk, and examine potential for similar lead poisoning globally. Methods: We applied diverse analytical methods to ore samples, soil and sweep samples from villages and family compounds, and plant foodstuff samples. Results: Natural weathering of lead-rich gold ores before mining formed abundant, highly gastric-bioaccessible lead carbonates. The same fingerprint of lead minerals found in all sample types confirms that ore processing caused extreme contamination, with up to 185,000 ppm lead in soils/sweep samples and up to 145 ppm lead in plant foodstuffs. Incidental ingestion of soils via hand-to-mouth transmission and of dusts cleared from the respiratory tract is the dominant exposure pathway. Consumption of water and foodstuffs contaminated by the processing is likely lesser, but these are still significant exposure pathways. Although young children suffered the most immediate and severe consequences, results indicate that older children, adult workers, pregnant women, and breastfed infants are also at risk for lead poisoning. Mercury, arsenic, manganese, antimony, and crystalline silica exposures pose additional health threats. Conclusions: Results inform ongoing efforts in Nigeria to assess lead contamination and poisoning, treat victims, mitigate exposures, and remediate contamination. Ore deposit geology, pre-mining weathering, and burgeoning artisanal mining may combine to cause similar lead poisoning disasters elsewhere globally.

  18. Linking Geological and Health Sciences to Assess Childhood Lead Poisoning from Artisanal Gold Mining in Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Durant, James T.; Morman, Suzette A.; Neri, Antonio; Wolf, Ruth E.; Dooyema, Carrie A.; Hageman, Philip L.; Lowers, Heather A.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Benzel, William M.; Driscoll, Rhonda L.; Berry, Cyrus J.; Crock, James G.; Goldstein, Harland L.; Adams, Monique; Bartrem, Casey L.; Tirima, Simba; Behbod, Behrooz; von Lindern, Ian; Brown, Mary Jean

    2013-01-01

    Background: In 2010, Médecins Sans Frontières discovered a lead poisoning outbreak linked to artisanal gold processing in northwestern Nigeria. The outbreak has killed approximately 400 young children and affected thousands more. Objectives: Our aim was to undertake an interdisciplinary geological- and health-science assessment to clarify lead sources and exposure pathways, identify additional toxicants of concern and populations at risk, and examine potential for similar lead poisoning globally. Methods: We applied diverse analytical methods to ore samples, soil and sweep samples from villages and family compounds, and plant foodstuff samples. Results: Natural weathering of lead-rich gold ores before mining formed abundant, highly gastric-bioaccessible lead carbonates. The same fingerprint of lead minerals found in all sample types confirms that ore processing caused extreme contamination, with up to 185,000 ppm lead in soils/sweep samples and up to 145 ppm lead in plant foodstuffs. Incidental ingestion of soils via hand-to-mouth transmission and of dusts cleared from the respiratory tract is the dominant exposure pathway. Consumption of water and foodstuffs contaminated by the processing is likely lesser, but these are still significant exposure pathways. Although young children suffered the most immediate and severe consequences, results indicate that older children, adult workers, pregnant women, and breastfed infants are also at risk for lead poisoning. Mercury, arsenic, manganese, antimony, and crystalline silica exposures pose additional health threats. Conclusions: Results inform ongoing efforts in Nigeria to assess lead contamination and poisoning, treat victims, mitigate exposures, and remediate contamination. Ore deposit geology, pre-mining weathering, and burgeoning artisanal mining may combine to cause similar lead poisoning disasters elsewhere globally. PMID:23524139

  19. An improved user interface for ASSESS/Neutralization

    SciTech Connect

    Paulus, W.K.; Mondragon, J.; Sedam, M.

    1993-07-01

    The ASSESS Neutralization Analysis module (Neutralization) is part of Analytic System and Software for Evaluation of Safeguards and Security, ASSESS, a vulnerability assessment tool. Neutralization models a fire fight engagement between security inspectors (SIs) and adversaries. Since version 1.0 of Neutralization was released in 1989, experience has shown that several features of the user interface should be improved. This report describes the improvements that have been implemented, which simplify operation by consolidating all capabilities under a single mode of operation, remove many restrictions on editing, and concentrate more information into fewer types of printed reports. Every adversary and SI combatant is named and described individually. Time to communicate orders is specified for each SI combatant. Adversaries and SIs can be reinforced. SI posting as well deployment destination is labeled. Scenario details can be revised without losing all completed event information. New on-screen summaries spell out characteristics, minimizing abbreviations. Neutralization will read files created by the previous version and permit the user to enter the additional labels supported in the new version. As described here, Neutralization now has an interface that handles more information, but is easier and faster to use.

  20. Improving college science teaching through peer coaching and classroom assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Sode, J.R.

    1994-12-31

    Peer coaching involves the observation of one teacher by another. This observation is accompanied by open and honest reflective discussion. The three main components of peer coaching are pre conference (for setting observation guidelines and building trust), observation (the sytematic collection of classroom data), and post conference (a non evaluative examination and discussion of the classroom). The non-evaluative post conference involves an examination of the teaching/learning process that occurred during the observation phase. In effective assessment, information on what and how well students are learning is used to make decisions about overall program improvement and to implement continuous classroom improvement. During peer coaching and assessment neither the instructor nor the students are formally evaluated. This session presents a sequential process in which the peer coaching steps of pre conference, observation, and post conference are combined with assessment to provide instructional guidance. An actual cast study, using the student complaint, {open_quotes}Lectures are boring and useless,{close_quotes} is used to demonstrate the process.

  1. IMPROVING CONSISTENCY OF PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS IN THE DOE COMPLEX

    SciTech Connect

    Seitz, R; Elmer Wilhite, E

    2009-01-20

    The low-level waste (LLW) performance assessment (PA) process has been traditionally focused on disposal facilities at a few United States Department of Energy (USDOE) sites and commercial disposal facilities. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the scope of the use of PA-like modeling approaches, involving multiple activities, facilities, contractors and regulators. The scope now includes, for example: (1) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessments, (2) CERCLA disposal cells, (3) Waste Determinations and High-Level Waste (HLW) Closure activities, (4) Potential on-site disposal of Transuranic (TRU) waste, and (5) In-situ decommissioning (including potential use of existing facilities for disposal). The dramatic increase in the variety of activities requiring more detailed modeling has resulted in a similar increase in the potential for inconsistency in approaches both at a site and complexwide scale. This paper includes a summary of USDOE Environmental Management (EM) sponsored initiatives and activities for improved consistency. New initiatives entitled the Performance Assessment Community of Practice and Performance Assessment Assistance Team are also introduced.

  2. A new quality assessment and improvement system for print media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Mohan; Konya, Iuliu; Nandzik, Jan; Flores-Herr, Nicolas; Eickeler, Stefan; Ndjiki-Nya, Patrick

    2012-12-01

    Print media collections of considerable size are held by cultural heritage organizations and will soon be subject to digitization activities. However, technical content quality management in digitization workflows strongly relies on human monitoring. This heavy human intervention is cost intensive and time consuming, which makes automization mandatory. In this article, a new automatic quality assessment and improvement system is proposed. The digitized source image and color reference target are extracted from the raw digitized images by an automatic segmentation process. The target is evaluated by a reference-based algorithm. No-reference quality metrics are applied to the source image. Experimental results are provided to illustrate the performance of the proposed system. We show that it features a good performance in the extraction as well as in the quality assessment step compared to the state-of-the-art. The impact of efficient and dedicated quality assessors on the optimization step is extensively documented.

  3. Metrics for assessing improvements in primary health care.

    PubMed

    Stange, Kurt C; Etz, Rebecca S; Gullett, Heidi; Sweeney, Sarah A; Miller, William L; Jaén, Carlos Roberto; Crabtree, Benjamin F; Nutting, Paul A; Glasgow, Russell E

    2014-01-01

    Metrics focus attention on what is important. Balanced metrics of primary health care inform purpose and aspiration as well as performance. Purpose in primary health care is about improving the health of people and populations in their community contexts. It is informed by metrics that include long-term, meaning- and relationship-focused perspectives. Aspirational uses of metrics inspire evolving insights and iterative improvement, using a collaborative, developmental perspective. Performance metrics assess the complex interactions among primary care tenets of accessibility, a whole-person focus, integration and coordination of care, and ongoing relationships with individuals, families, and communities; primary health care principles of inclusion and equity, a focus on people's needs, multilevel integration of health, collaborative policy dialogue, and stakeholder participation; basic and goal-directed health care, prioritization, development, and multilevel health outcomes. Environments that support reflection, development, and collaborative action are necessary for metrics to advance health and minimize unintended consequences. PMID:24641561

  4. Links for Academic Learning (LAL): A Conceptual Model for Investigating Alignment of Alternate Assessments Based on Alternate Achievement Standards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flowers, Claudia; Wakeman, Shawnee; Browder, Diane M.; Karvonen, Meagan

    2009-01-01

    This article describes an alignment procedure, called Links for Academic Learning (LAL), for examining the degree of alignment of alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) to grade-level content standards and instruction. Although some of the alignment criteria are similar to those used in general education…

  5. Assessing anaerobic co-digestion of pig manure with agroindustrial wastes: the link between environmental impacts and operational parameters.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Verde, Ivan; Regueiro, Leticia; Carballa, Marta; Hospido, Almudena; Lema, Juan M

    2014-11-01

    Anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) is established as a techno-economic profitable process by incrementing biogas yield (increased cost-efficiency) and improving the nutrient balance (better quality digestate) in comparison to mono-digestion of livestock wastes. However, few data are available on the environmental consequences of AcoD and most of them are mainly related to the use of energy crops as co-substrates. This work analysed the environmental impact of the AcoD of pig manure (PM) with several agroindustrial wastes (molasses, fish, biodiesel and vinasses residues) using life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. For comparative purposes, mono digestion of PM has also been evaluated. Four out of six selected categories (acidification, eutrophication, global warming and photochemical oxidation potentials) showed environmental impacts in all the scenarios assessed, whereas the other two (abiotic depletion and ozone layer depletion potentials) showed environmental credits, remarking the benefit of replacing fossil fuels by biogas. This was also confirmed by the sensitivity analysis applied to the PM quality (i.e. organic matter content) and the avoided energy source demonstrating the importance of the energy recovery step. The influence of the type of co-substrate could not be discerned; however, a link between the environmental performance and the hydraulic retention time, the organic loading rate and the nutrient content in the digestate could be established. Therefore, LCA results were successfully correlated to process variables involved in AcoD, going a step further in the combination of techno-economic and environmental feasibilities. PMID:25150742

  6. Assessment to Improve Learning in Higher Education: The BEAR Assessment System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Mark; Scalise, Kathleen

    2006-01-01

    This paper discusses how assessment practices in higher education can improve or hinder learning. An example is given to illustrate some common educational practices that may be contributing to underpreparation and underperformance of students. Elements of effective learning environments that may better address underlying metacognitive issues are…

  7. The development of a four-way linking framework in Egypt: an example of the FAO, OIE and WHO joint activities to facilitate national risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Forcella, Simona; El-din El Tantawy, Nasr; Yilma, Jobre; AbdelNabi, Amira; Claes, Filip; Dauphin, Gwenaelle; Mumford, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Cross-sectoral assessment of health risks arising or existing at the human-animal interface is crucial to identifying and implementing effective national disease control measures. This requires availability of information from 4 functional information 'streams' - epidemiological, laboratory, animal, and human health. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/ World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)/ World Health Organization (WHO) Four-Way Linking (4WL) project promotes the establishing of a national-level joint framework for data sharing, risk assessment, and risk communication, in order to both improve communications within and among governmental public health and animal health influenza laboratories, epidemiology offices, national partners, with the aim of strengthening the national capacity to detect, report and assess risks arising from emerging influenza viruses. The project is currently being implemented in countries where H5N1 avian influenza is endemic and where human cases have been reported. The project is comprised of two main activities at country level: a 'review mission', which is the project launch in the country and has the objective to assess the existing situation; and a 'scenario based workshop', with the scope to bring together key national partners and build relationships among people working in the 4 information streams and to improve understanding of national strengths and gaps. During the workshop the delegates engaged in interactive sessions on basic risk assessment and devoted to specify the needs and roles of the 4 different streams. The participants work through a mock influenza outbreak scenario, which practically illustrates how risk assessment and communication of an emergency at the animal-human interface is more effective when there is linking of the 4 streams, collaboration, communication, and coordinated action. In 2010, Egypt was the first country where the project was successfully implemented

  8. A hybrid framework for assessing socioeconomic drought: Linking climate variability, local resilience, and demand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehran, Ali; Mazdiyasni, Omid; AghaKouchak, Amir

    2015-08-01

    Socioeconomic drought broadly refers to conditions whereby the water supply cannot satisfy the demand. Most previous studies describe droughts based on large-scale meteorological/hydrologic conditions, ignoring the demand and local resilience to cope with climate variability. Reservoirs provide resilience against climatic extremes and play a key role in water supply and demand management. Here we outline a unique multivariate approach as a measure of socioeconomic drought, termed Multivariate Standardized Reliability and Resilience Index (MSRRI). The model combines information on the inflow and reservoir storage relative to the demand. MSRRI combines (I) a "top-down" approach that focuses on processes/phenomena that cannot be simply controlled or altered by decision makers, such as climate change and variability, and (II) a "bottom-up" methodology that represents the local resilience and societal capacity to respond or adapt to droughts. MSRRI is based on a nonparametric multivariate distribution function that links inflow-demand reliability indicator to water storage resilience indicator. These indicators are used to assess socioeconomic drought during the Australian Millennium drought (1998-2010) and the 2011-2014 California drought. The results show that MSRRI is superior to univariate indices because it captures both early onset and persistence of water stress over time. The suggested framework can be applied to both individual reservoirs and a group of reservoirs in a region, and it is consistent with the currently available standardized drought indicators. MSRRI provides complementary information on socioeconomic drought development and recovery based on reservoir storage and demand that cannot be achieved from the commonly used drought indicators.

  9. A peptide-linked recombinant glucocerebrosidase for targeted neuronal delivery: Design, production, and assessment.

    PubMed

    Gramlich, Paul A; Westbroek, Wendy; Feldman, Ricardo A; Awad, Ola; Mello, Nicholas; Remington, Mary P; Sun, Ying; Zhang, Wujuan; Sidransky, Ellen; Betenbaugh, Michael J; Fishman, Paul S

    2016-03-10

    Although recombinant glucocerebrosidase (GCase) is the standard therapy for the inherited lysosomal storage disease Gaucher's disease (GD), enzyme replacement is not effective when the central nervous system is affected. We created a series of recombinant genes/proteins where GCase was linked to different membrane binding peptides including the Tat peptide, the rabies glycoprotein derived peptide (RDP), the binding domain from tetanus toxin (TTC), and a tetanus like peptide (Tet1). The majority of these proteins were well-expressed in a mammalian producer cell line (HEK 293F). Purified recombinant Tat-GCase and RDP-GCase showed similar GCase protein delivery to a neuronal cell line that genetically lacks the functional enzyme, and greater delivery than control GCase, Cerezyme (Genzyme). This initial result was unexpected based on observations of superior protein delivery to neurons with RDP as a vector. A recombinant protein where a fragment of the flexible hinge region from IgA (IgAh) was introduced between RDP and GCase showed substantially enhanced GCase neuronal delivery (2.5 times over Tat-GCase), suggesting that the original construct resulted in interference with the capacity of RDP to bind neuronal membranes. Extended treatment of these knockout neuronal cells with either Tat-GCase or RDP-IgAh-GCase resulted in an >90% reduction in the lipid substrate glucosylsphingosine, approaching normal levels. Further in vivo studies of RDP-IgAh-GCase as well as Tat-GCase are warranted to assess their potential as treatments for neuronopathic forms of GD. These peptide vectors are especially attractive as they have the potential to carry a protein across the blood-brain barrier, avoiding invasive direct brain delivery. PMID:26795355

  10. The role of ecological models in linking ecological risk assessment to ecosystem services in agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Galic, Nika; Schmolke, Amelie; Forbes, Valery; Baveco, Hans; van den Brink, Paul J

    2012-01-15

    Agricultural practices are essential for sustaining the human population, but at the same time they can directly disrupt ecosystem functioning. Ecological risk assessment (ERA) aims to estimate possible adverse effects of human activities on ecosystems and their parts. Current ERA practices, however, incorporate very little ecology and base the risk estimates on the results of standard tests with several standard species. The main obstacles for a more ecologically relevant ERA are the lack of clear protection goals and the inherent complexity of ecosystems that is hard to approach empirically. In this paper, we argue that the ecosystem services framework offers an opportunity to define clear and ecologically relevant protection goals. At the same time, ecological models provide the tools to address ecological complexity to the degree needed to link measurement endpoints and ecosystem services, and to quantify service provision and possible adverse effects from human activities. We focus on the ecosystem services relevant for agroecosystem functioning, including pollination, biocontrol and eutrophication effects and present modeling studies relevant for quantification of each of the services. The challenges of the ecosystem services approach are discussed as well as the limitations of ecological models in the context of ERA. A broad, multi-stakeholder dialog is necessary to aid the definition of protection goals in terms of services delivered by ecosystems and their parts. The need to capture spatio-temporal dynamics and possible interactions among service providers pose challenges for ecological models as a basis for decision making. However, we argue that both fields are advancing quickly and can prove very valuable in achieving more ecologically relevant ERA. PMID:21802704

  11. Assessment of Dextran Antigenicity of Intravenous Iron Preparations with Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)

    PubMed Central

    Neiser, Susann; Koskenkorva, Taija S.; Schwarz, Katrin; Wilhelm, Maria; Burckhardt, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    Intravenous iron preparations are typically classified as non-dextran-based or dextran/dextran-based complexes. The carbohydrate shell for each of these preparations is unique and is key in determining the various physicochemical properties, the metabolic pathway, and the immunogenicity of the iron-carbohydrate complex. As intravenous dextran can cause severe, antibody-mediated dextran-induced anaphylactic reactions (DIAR), the purpose of this study was to explore the potential of various intravenous iron preparations, non-dextran-based or dextran/dextran-based, to induce these reactions. An IgG-isotype mouse monoclonal anti-dextran antibody (5E7H3) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were developed to investigate the dextran antigenicity of low molecular weight iron dextran, ferumoxytol, iron isomaltoside 1000, ferric gluconate, iron sucrose and ferric carboxymaltose, as well as isomaltoside 1000, the isolated carbohydrate component of iron isomaltoside 1000. Low molecular weight iron dextran, as well as dextran-based ferumoxytol and iron isomaltoside 1000, reacted with 5E7H3, whereas ferric carboxymaltose, iron sucrose, sodium ferric gluconate, and isolated isomaltoside 1000 did not. Consistent results were obtained with reverse single radial immunodiffusion assay. The results strongly support the hypothesis that, while the carbohydrate alone (isomaltoside 1000) does not form immune complexes with anti-dextran antibodies, iron isomaltoside 1000 complex reacts with anti-dextran antibodies by forming multivalent immune complexes. Moreover, non-dextran based preparations, such as iron sucrose and ferric carboxymaltose, do not react with anti-dextran antibodies. This assay allows to assess the theoretical possibility of a substance to induce antibody-mediated DIARs. Nevertheless, as this is only one possible mechanism that may cause a hypersensitivity reaction, a broader set of assays will be required to get an understanding of the mechanisms that may

  12. Quantitative Assessment of UVA-Riboflavin Corneal Cross-Linking Using Nonlinear Optical Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Chai, Dongyul; Gaster, Ronald N.; Roizenblatt, Roberto; Juhasz, Tibor; Brown, Donald J.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. Corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) by the use of riboflavin and ultraviolet-A light (UVA) is a promising and novel treatment for keratoconus and other ectatic disorders. Since CXL results in enhanced corneal stiffness, this study tested the hypothesis that CXL-induced stiffening would be proportional to the collagen autofluorescence intensity measured with nonlinear optical (NLO) microscopy. Methods. Rabbit eyes (n = 50) were separated into five groups including: (1) epithelium intact; (2) epithelium removed; (3) epithelium removed and soaked in riboflavin, (4) epithelium removed and soaked in riboflavin, with 15 minutes of UVA exposure; and (5) epithelium removed and soaked in riboflavin, with 30 minutes of UVA exposure. Corneal stiffness was quantified by measuring the force required to displace the cornea 500 μm. Corneas were then fixed in paraformaldehyde and sectioned, and the collagen autofluorescence over the 400- to 450-nm spectrum was recorded. Results. There was no significant difference in corneal stiffness among the three control groups. Corneal stiffness was significantly and dose dependently increased after UVA (P < 0.0005). Autofluorescence was detected only within the anterior stroma of the UVA-treated groups, with no significant difference in the depth of autofluorescence between different UVA exposure levels. The signal intensity was also significantly increased with longer UVA exposure (P < 0.001). Comparing corneal stiffness with autofluorescence intensity revealed a significant correlation between these values (R2 = 0.654; P < 0.0001). Conclusions. The results of this study indicate a significant correlation between corneal stiffening and the intensity of collagen autofluorescence after CXL. This finding suggests that the efficacy of CXL in patients could be monitored by assessing collagen autofluorescence. PMID:21508101

  13. From Kindergarten readiness to fourth-grade assessment: longitudinal analysis with linked population data.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Jennifer E V; Hertzman, Clyde

    2009-01-01

    Early child development (ECD)--the development of physical, social-emotional, and language-cognitive capacities in the early years--is a foundation of health, well-being, learning, and behaviour across the life course. Consequently, the capacity to monitor ECD is an important facet of a modern society. This capacity is achieved by having in place an ongoing flow of high-quality information on the state of early child development, its determinants, and long-term developmental outcomes. Accordingly, there remains a considerable need for research that merges community-centred, longitudinal, and linked-data approaches to monitoring child development. The current paper addresses this need by introducing one method of summarising and quantifying the developmental trajectories of British Columbian children at the neighbourhood- or district-level: computing the Community Index of Child Development (CICD) for each geographic area. A simple index that describes change in children's developmental trajectories at the aggregate level, the CICD is computable because of our capacity to conduct individual-level linkage of two population data sets: the Early Development Instrument (EDI), a holistic measure of children's readiness for school which is administered at Kindergarten, and the British Columbia Ministry of Education's Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA), a Grade 4 measure of academic skills. In this paper, we demonstrate: (a) wide variation in the CICDs according to the children's district of residence in Kindergarten; (b) an association of the CICDs with an indicator of the socioeconomic character of the neighbourhoods; and (c) contrasting patterns of neighbourhood convergence and divergence in two different school districts--such that, in some areas, children from high vulnerability neighbourhoods tend to catch up between Kindergarten and Grade 4 whereas, in other areas, they tend to fall further behind. PMID:18986743

  14. Teacher Leadership and Professional Development: Examining Links between Two Concepts Central to School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poekert, Philip E.

    2012-01-01

    Teacher leadership has gained attention in recent years as a plausible means by which educational reform and instructional improvement can be accomplished through ongoing, site-based professional development for teachers. This article reviews and draws conclusions across the research literature on professional development and teacher leadership to…

  15. Missing Link: Integrated Individual Leadership Development, Employee Engagement, and Customer Value-Added Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heldenbrand, Lois; Simms, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Long-term care is a key public issue that affects all of us in some way at some time of our lives. Nowhere is performance improvement and quality management more imperative. Through an 8-month field study and follow-up case study, we discuss how using an integrated approach to individual leadership development, employee engagement, and customer…

  16. Faculty development in assessment: the missing link in competency-based medical education.

    PubMed

    Holmboe, Eric S; Ward, Denham S; Reznick, Richard K; Katsufrakis, Peter J; Leslie, Karen M; Patel, Vimla L; Ray, Donna D; Nelson, Elizabeth A

    2011-04-01

    As the medical education community celebrates the 100th anniversary of the seminal Flexner Report, medical education is once again experiencing significant pressure to transform. Multiple reports from many of medicine's specialties and external stakeholders highlight the inadequacies of current training models to prepare a physician workforce to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and aging population. This transformation, driven by competency-based medical education (CBME) principles that emphasize the outcomes, will require more effective evaluation and feedback by faculty.Substantial evidence suggests, however, that current faculty are insufficiently prepared for this task across both the traditional competencies of medical knowledge, clinical skills, and professionalism and the newer competencies of evidence-based practice, quality improvement, interdisciplinary teamwork, and systems. The implication of these observations is that the medical education enterprise urgently needs an international initiative of faculty development around CBME and assessment. In this article, the authors outline the current challenges and provide suggestions on where faculty development efforts should be focused and how such an initiative might be accomplished. The public, patients, and trainees need the medical education enterprise to improve training and outcomes now. PMID:21346509

  17. Linking local vulnerability to climatic hazard damage assessment for integrated river basin management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Hung-Chih; Liu, Yi-Chung; Chien, Sung-Ying

    2015-04-01

    1. Background Major portions of areas in Asia are expected to increase exposure and vulnerability to climate change and weather extremes due to rapid urbanization and overdevelopment in hazard-prone areas. To prepare and confront the potential impacts of climate change and related hazard risk, many countries have implemented programs of integrated river basin management. This has led to an impending challenge for the police-makers in many developing countries to build effective mechanism to assess how the vulnerability distributes over river basins, and to understand how the local vulnerability links to climatic (climate-related) hazard damages and risks. However, the related studies have received relatively little attention. This study aims to examine whether geographic localities characterized by high vulnerability experience significantly more damages owing to onset weather extreme events at the river basin level, and to explain what vulnerability factors influence these damages or losses. 2. Methods and data An indicator-based assessment framework is constructed with the goal of identifying composite indicators (including exposure, biophysical, socioeconomic, land-use and adaptive capacity factors) that could serve as proxies for attributes of local vulnerability. This framework is applied by combining geographical information system (GIS) techniques with multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) to evaluate and map integrated vulnerability to climatic hazards across river basins. Furthermore, to explain the relationship between vulnerability factors and disaster damages, we develop a disaster damage model (DDM) based on existing disaster impact theory. We then synthesize a Zero-Inflated Poisson regression model with a Tobit regression analysis to identify and examine how the disaster impacts and vulnerability factors connect to typhoon disaster damages and losses. To illustrate the proposed methodology, the study collects data on the vulnerability attributes of

  18. The improved electrochemical performance of cross-linked 3D graphene nanoribbon monolith electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vineesh, Thazhe Veettil; Alwarappan, Subbiah; Narayanan, Tharangattu N.

    2015-04-01

    Technical advancement in the field of ultra-small sensors and devices demands the development of novel micro- or nano-based architectures. Here we report the design and assembly of cross-linked three dimensional graphene nanoribbons (3D GNRs) using solution based covalent binding of individual 2D GNRs and demonstrate its electrochemical application as a 3D electrode. The enhanced performance of 3D GNRs over individual 2D GNRs is established using standard redox probes - [Ru(NH3)6]3+/2+, [Fe(CN)6]3-/4- and important bio-analytes - dopamine and ascorbic acid. 3D GNRs are found to have high double layer capacitance (2482 μF cm-2) and faster electron transfer kinetics; their exceptional electrocatalytic activity towards the oxygen reduction reaction is indicative of their potential over a wide range of electrochemical applications. Moreover, this study opens a new platform for the design of novel point-of-care devices and electrodes for energy devices.Technical advancement in the field of ultra-small sensors and devices demands the development of novel micro- or nano-based architectures. Here we report the design and assembly of cross-linked three dimensional graphene nanoribbons (3D GNRs) using solution based covalent binding of individual 2D GNRs and demonstrate its electrochemical application as a 3D electrode. The enhanced performance of 3D GNRs over individual 2D GNRs is established using standard redox probes - [Ru(NH3)6]3+/2+, [Fe(CN)6]3-/4- and important bio-analytes - dopamine and ascorbic acid. 3D GNRs are found to have high double layer capacitance (2482 μF cm-2) and faster electron transfer kinetics; their exceptional electrocatalytic activity towards the oxygen reduction reaction is indicative of their potential over a wide range of electrochemical applications. Moreover, this study opens a new platform for the design of novel point-of-care devices and electrodes for energy devices. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c

  19. A qualitative method proposal to improve environmental impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Toro, Javier; Requena, Ignacio; Duarte, Oscar; Zamorano, Montserrat

    2013-11-15

    In environmental impact assessment, qualitative methods are used because they are versatile and easy to apply. This methodology is based on the evaluation of the strength of the impact by grading a series of qualitative attributes that can be manipulated by the evaluator. The results thus obtained are not objective, and all too often impacts are eliminated that should be mitigated with corrective measures. However, qualitative methodology can be improved if the calculation of Impact Importance is based on the characteristics of environmental factors and project activities instead on indicators assessed by evaluators. In this sense, this paper proposes the inclusion of the vulnerability of environmental factors and the potential environmental impact of project activities. For this purpose, the study described in this paper defined Total Impact Importance and specified a quantification procedure. The results obtained in the case study of oil drilling in Colombia reflect greater objectivity in the evaluation of impacts as well as a positive correlation between impact values, the environmental characteristics at and near the project location, and the technical characteristics of project activities. -- Highlights: • Concept of vulnerability has been used to calculate the importance impact assessment. • This paper defined Total Impact Importance and specified a quantification procedure. • The method includes the characteristics of environmental and project activities. • The application has shown greater objectivity in the evaluation of impacts. • Better correlation between impact values, environment and the project has been shown.

  20. Disulphide cross linked pullulan based cationic polymer for improved gene delivery and efflux pump inhibition.

    PubMed

    S, Priya S; R, Rekha M

    2016-10-01

    Multidrug resistance is a hurdle to successful cancer chemotherapy. Over expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is a prime contributing factor for drug resistance. In this study, a disulphide cross-linked pullulan-based cationic polymer (PPSS) was synthesized to act simultaneously as gene delivery vehicle and efflux pump inhibitor. The PPSS nanoplexes were of size <200nm with the zeta potential of +15 to +20mV. The cytotoxicity studies using C6 and L929 cells showed that PPSS polymers are non-toxic even at high polymer concentrations. The PPSS/pDNA nanoplex showed superior uptake in confocal microscopy with 97% uptake by flow cytometry. The efficacy of efflux pump inhibition by the PPSS nanoplex was established by the enhanced intracellular retention of DOX. The enhanced cell death by p53/PPSS/DOX nanoplexes was attributed to the synergistic effect of P-gp inhibition and p53 transfection efficiency. Therefore, this multifunctional polymeric system may have significant promise for therapeutic application against cancer drug resistance. PMID:27459414

  1. Software Process Improvement: Supporting the Linking of the Software and the Business Strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albuquerque, Adriano Bessa; Rocha, Ana Regina; Lima, Andreia Cavalcanti

    The market is becoming more and more competitive, a lot of products and services depend of the software product and the software is one of the most important assets, which influence the organizations’ businesses. Considering this context, we can observe that the companies must to deal with the software, developing or acquiring, carefully. One of the perspectives that can help to take advantage of the software, supporting effectively the business, is to invest on the organization’s software processes. This paper presents an approach to evaluate and improve the processes assets of the software organizations, based on internationally well-known standards and process models. This approach is supported by automated tools from the TABA Workstation and is part of a wider improvement strategy constituted of three layers (organizational layer, process execution layer and external entity layer). Moreover, this paper presents the experience of use and their results.

  2. Assessing customer satisfaction for improving NOAA's climate products and services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyers, J. C.; Hawkins, M. D.; Timofeyeva, M. M.

    2009-12-01

    NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Climate Services Division (CSD) is developing a comprehensive climate user requirements process with the ultimate goal of producing climate services that meet the needs of NWS climate information users. An important part of this effort includes engaging users through periodical surveys conducted by the Claes Fornell International (CFI) Group using the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The CFI Group conducted a Climate Services Satisfaction (CSS) Survey in May of 2009 to measure customer satisfaction with current products and services and to gain insight on areas for improvement. The CSS Survey rates customer satisfaction on a range of NWS climate services data and products, including Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlooks, drought monitoring, and ENSO monitoring and forecasts, as well as NWS local climate data services. In addition, the survey assesses the users of the products to give the NWS insight into its climate customer base. The survey also addresses specific topics such as NWS forecast category names, probabilistic nature of climate products, and interpretation issues. The survey results identify user requirements for improving existing NWS climate services and introducing new ones. CSD will merge the survey recommendations with available scientific methodologies and operational capabilities to develop requirements for improved climate products and services. An overview of the 2009 survey results will be presented, such as users' satisfaction with the accuracy, reliability, display and functionality of products and services.

  3. Community-based primary care: improving and assessing diabetes management.

    PubMed

    Gannon, Meghan; Qaseem, Amir; Snow, Vincenza

    2010-01-01

    Morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes make it a prime target for quality improvement research. Quality gaps and racial/gender disparities persist throughout this population of patients necessitating a sustainable improvement in the clinical management of diabetes. The authors of this study sought (1) to provide a population perspective on diabetes management, and (2) to reinforce evidence-based clinical guidelines through a Web-based educational module.The project also aimed to gain insight into working remotely with a community of rural physicians. This longitudinal pre-post intervention study involved 18 internal medicine physicians and included 3 points of medical record data abstraction over 24 months. A Web-based educational module was introduced after the baseline data abstraction. This module contained chapters on clinical education, practice tools, and self-assessment. The results showed a sustained improvement in most clinical outcomes and demonstrated the effectiveness of using Web-based mediums to reinforce clinical guidelines and change physician behavior. PMID:19786594

  4. Linking Mission, Strategy and Student Outcomes Assessment: A Cost-Effective Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holoviak, Stephen J.; Verney, Thomas P.; Weigle, Jerry A.; Holoviak, Justin S.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this paper was to provide a demonstration of the assessment methods and processes that are used by the John L. Grove College of Business to assess student outcomes and how these assessments relate to mission and strategy.

  5. Preliminary Experiments for the Assessment of VW-Band Links for Space-Earth Communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nessel, James A.; Acosta, Roberto J.; Miranda, Felix A.

    2013-01-01

    Since September 2012, NASA Glenn Research Center has deployed a microwave profiling radiometer at White Sands, NM, to estimate atmospheric propagation effects on communications links in the V and W bands (71-86GHz). Estimates of attenuation statistics in the millimeter wave due to gaseous and cloud components of the atmosphere show good agreement with current ITU-R models, but fail to predict link performance in the presence of moderate to heavy rain rates, due to the inherent limitations of passive radiometry. Herein, we discuss the preliminary results of these measurements and describe a design for a terrestrial link experiment to validaterefine existing rain attenuation models in the VW-bands.

  6. Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) links biodiversity conservation with sustainable improvements in livelihoods and food production

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Dale; Bell, Samuel D.; Fay, John; Bothi, Kim L.; Gatere, Lydiah; Kabila, Makando; Mukamba, Mwangala; Matokwani, Edwin; Mushimbalume, Matthews; Moraru, Carmen I.; Lehmann, Johannes; Lassoie, James; Wolfe, David; Lee, David R.; Buck, Louise; Travis, Alexander J.

    2011-01-01

    In the Luangwa Valley, Zambia, persistent poverty and hunger present linked challenges to rural development and biodiversity conservation. Both household coping strategies and larger-scale economic development efforts have caused severe natural resource degradation that limits future economic opportunities and endangers ecosystem services. A model based on a business infrastructure has been developed to promote and maintain sustainable agricultural and natural resource management practices, leading to direct and indirect conservation outcomes. The Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) model operates primarily with communities surrounding national parks, strengthening conservation benefits produced by these protected areas. COMACO first identifies the least food-secure households and trains them in sustainable agricultural practices that minimize threats to natural resources while meeting household needs. In addition, COMACO identifies people responsible for severe natural resource depletion and trains them to generate alternative income sources. In an effort to maintain compliance with these practices, COMACO provides extension support and access to high-value markets that would otherwise be inaccessible to participants. Because the model is continually evolving via adaptive management, success or failure of the model as a whole is difficult to quantify at this early stage. We therefore test specific hypotheses and present data documenting the stabilization of previously declining wildlife populations; the meeting of thresholds of productivity that give COMACO access to stable, high-value markets and progress toward economic self-sufficiency; and the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices by participants and other community members. Together, these findings describe a unique, business-oriented model for poverty alleviation, food production, and biodiversity conservation. PMID:21873184

  7. Linked color imaging improves endoscopic diagnosis of active Helicobacter pylori infection

    PubMed Central

    Dohi, Osamu; Yagi, Nobuaki; Onozawa, Yuriko; Kimura-Tsuchiya, Reiko; Majima, Atsushi; Kitaichi, Tomoko; Horii, Yusuke; Suzuki, Kentaro; Tomie, Akira; Okayama, Tetsuya; Yoshida, Naohisa; Kamada, Kazuhiro; Katada, Kazuhiro; Uchiyama, Kazuhiko; Ishikawa, Takeshi; Takagi, Tomohisa; Handa, Osamu; Konishi, Hideyuki; Naito, Yuji; Itoh, Yoshito

    2016-01-01

    Background and study aims: Linked color imaging (LCI) is a new image-enhanced endoscopy technique using a laser light source to enhance slight differences in mucosal color. The aim of this study was to compare the usefulness of LCI and conventional white light imaging (WLI) endoscopy for diagnosing Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Patients and methods: We retrospectively analyzed images from 60 patients examined with WLI and LCI endoscopy between October 2013 and May 2014. Thirty patients had H. pylori infections, and other thirty patients tested negative for H. pylori after eradication therapy. Four endoscopists evaluated the 2 types of images to determine which was better at facilitating a diagnosis of H. pylori infection. Results: H. pylori infection was identified with LCI by enhancing the red appearance of the fundic gland mucosa. The accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity for diagnosing H. pylori infection using WLI were 74.2 %, 81.7 %, and 66.7 %, respectively, while those for LCI were 85.8 %, 93.3 %, and 78.3 %, respectively. Thus, the accuracy and sensitivity for LCI were significantly higher than those for WLI (P = 0.002 and P = 0.011, respectively). The kappa values for the inter- and intraobserver variability among the 4 endoscopists were higher for LCI than for WLI. Conclusions: H. pylori infection can be identified by enhancing endoscopic images of the diffuse redness of the fundic gland using LCI. LCI is a novel image-enhanced endoscopy and is more useful for diagnosing H. pylori infection than is WLI. PMID:27556101

  8. Enhancing student performance: Linking the geography curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the English-speaking Caribbean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collymore, Jennifer C.

    In a 21st century knowledge society individuals are expected to use their knowledge and skills to think critically, problem solve, make decisions, comprehend new ideas, communicate, and collaborate effectively with others. Helping students achieve this level of performance is no easy task and it brings into focus the fact that the effectiveness of any education system rests on the systemic coordination or alignment of three crucial components: curriculum, instruction and assessment (referred to as the CIA). These components must work in concert to facilitate and enhance student performance. However, educational reform typically targets these components in isolation, often treating only one component, rather than the system as a whole. The misalignment of these components can adversely affect student performance in any discipline. When the CIA components are out of alignment, it is difficult to evaluate student and system performance and achieve improvement in an educational system. Therefore, using geography education in Trinidad & Tobago as a case study, this study examined the nature of the alignment among the CIA components in the advanced geography system in the English- Speaking Caribbean and the extent to which the alignment may be affecting student performance. The study sought to determine the possible sources and causes of misalignment, the challenges to achieving alignment, and ways of achieving greater coordination among the CIA components of the system. The methodology employed in the study involved the use of classroom observations, interviews, and the Surveys of Enacted Curriculum Alignment Model which uses content analyses and surveys. The results showed that there were varying degrees of alignment among the components. There was acceptable alignment (Alignment Index ≥ 0.25) between the curriculum and assessment. However, the alignment between curriculum and instruction or assessment and instruction was poor (Alignment Index ≤ 0.12). The baseline

  9. Vacuum structure revealed by over-improved stout-link smearing compared with the overlap analysis for quenched QCD

    SciTech Connect

    Ilgenfritz, E.-M.; Leinweber, D.; Moran, P.; Koller, K.; Schierholz, G.; Weinberg, V.

    2008-04-01

    A detailed comparison is made between the topological structure of quenched QCD as revealed by the recently proposed over-improved stout-link smearing in conjunction with an improved gluonic definition of the topological density on one hand and a similar analysis made possible by the overlap-fermionic topological charge density both with and without variable ultraviolet cutoff {lambda}{sub cut}. The matching is twofold, provided by fitting the density-density two-point functions on one hand and by a point-by-point fitting of the topological densities according to the two methods. We point out the similar cluster structure of the topological density for moderate smearing and 200 MeV<{lambda}{sub cut}<600 MeV, respectively. We demonstrate the relation of the gluonic topological density for extensive smearing to the location of the overlap zero modes and the lowest overlap nonzero mode as found for the unsmeared configurations.

  10. European river flow regimes: assessing space-time dynamics and links to large-scale climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hannah, D. M.; Kingston, D. G.; Laize, C.; Lavers, D. A.; Wilson, D.

    2011-12-01

    Given heightened concerns about climate change/ variability and human impacts on hydrology, there is a pressing need for research to quantify temporal variability and spatial structure in river flow regimes, and to establish hydroclimatological (climate-flow) associations as a basis for predicting future water stress. This paper draws together findings from studies undertaken at the UK and pan-European scale (using datasets of >100 stations with time series >25 years) and aims: (1) to demonstrate the utility of classification schemes for identifying space-time patterns in river flow regimes and (2) to explore the hydroclimatological relationships between large-scale atmospheric circulation and river flow response. Often, classification is undertaken prior to detailed analysis of large-scale patterns in river flow. In this paper, a suite of novel cluster analysis based methods are presented that identify hydrological regions as well as inter-annual river flow regime variation within regions. Statistical characteristics of the emergent classifications are analysed including geographical expression, teleconnections and presence of time-series trends. Results show that classification provides a useful general organising framework for large-scale hydrological research and facilitates systematic testing of hypotheses about drivers of hydrological variation across wide spatial domains. To investigate climate controls on space-time river flow variation, three methods for characterising atmospheric influences are considered: air-mass types, large-scale climate indices and gridded re-analyses (ECMWF ERA-40). A new air-mass classification for Europe (Spatial Synoptic Classification 2) is presented that classifies daily air-masses. Data are pooled by long-term flow regime regions to assess air-mass - flow regime (shape and magnitude) class associations across Europe; and multiple discriminant function analysis (MDFA) is used to model links between the categorical data. The

  11. Long-term reductions in anthropogenic nutrients link to improvements in Chesapeake Bay habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruhl, H.A.; Rybicki, N.B.

    2010-01-01

    Great effort continues to focus on ecosystem restoration and reduction of nutrient inputs thought to be responsible, in part, for declines in estuary habitats worldwide. The ability of environmental policy to address restoration is limited, in part, by uncertainty in the relationships between costly restoration and benefits. Here, we present results from an 18-y field investigation (1990-2007) of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) community dynamics and water quality in the Potomac River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. River and anthropogenic discharges lower water clarity by introducing nutrients that stimulate phytoplankton and epiphyte growth as well as suspended sediments. Efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay are often viewed as failing. Overall nutrient reduction and SAV restoration goals have not been met. In the Potomac River, however, reduced in situ nutrients, wastewater-treatment effluent nitrogen, and total suspended solids were significantly correlated to increased SAV abundance and diversity. Species composition and relative abundance also correlated with nutrient and water-quality conditions, indicating declining fitness of exotic species relative to native species during restoration. Our results suggest that environmental policies that reduce anthropogenic nutrient inputs do result in improved habitat quality, with increased diversity and native species abundances. The results also help elucidate why SAV cover has improved only in some areas of the Chesapeake Bay.

  12. Long-term reductions in anthropogenic nutrients link to improvements in Chesapeake Bay habitat.

    PubMed

    Ruhl, Henry A; Rybicki, Nancy B

    2010-09-21

    Great effort continues to focus on ecosystem restoration and reduction of nutrient inputs thought to be responsible, in part, for declines in estuary habitats worldwide. The ability of environmental policy to address restoration is limited, in part, by uncertainty in the relationships between costly restoration and benefits. Here, we present results from an 18-y field investigation (1990-2007) of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) community dynamics and water quality in the Potomac River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. River and anthropogenic discharges lower water clarity by introducing nutrients that stimulate phytoplankton and epiphyte growth as well as suspended sediments. Efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay are often viewed as failing. Overall nutrient reduction and SAV restoration goals have not been met. In the Potomac River, however, reduced in situ nutrients, wastewater-treatment effluent nitrogen, and total suspended solids were significantly correlated to increased SAV abundance and diversity. Species composition and relative abundance also correlated with nutrient and water-quality conditions, indicating declining fitness of exotic species relative to native species during restoration. Our results suggest that environmental policies that reduce anthropogenic nutrient inputs do result in improved habitat quality, with increased diversity and native species abundances. The results also help elucidate why SAV cover has improved only in some areas of the Chesapeake Bay. PMID:20823243

  13. Assessing risk of hospital readmissions for improving medical practice.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Parimal; Smith, L Douglas; Woeltje, Keith F

    2016-09-01

    We compare statistical approaches for predicting the likelihood that individual patients will require readmission to hospital within 30 days of their discharge and for setting quality-control standards in that regard. Logistic regression, neural networks and decision trees are found to have comparable discriminating power when applied to cases that were not used to calibrate the respective models. Significant factors for predicting likelihood of readmission are the patient's medical condition upon admission and discharge, length (days) of the hospital visit, care rendered during the hospital stay, size and role of the medical facility, the type of medical insurance, and the environment into which the patient is discharged. Separately constructed models for major medical specialties (Surgery/Gynecology, Cardiorespiratory, Cardiovascular, Neurology, and Medicine) can improve the ability to identify high-risk patients for possible intervention, while consolidated models (with indicator variables for the specialties) can serve well for assessing overall quality of care. PMID:25876516

  14. A cluster randomized trial of an organizational process improvement intervention for improving the assessment and case planning of offenders: a Study Protocol

    PubMed Central

    Shafer, Michael S; Prendergast, Michael; Melnick, Gerald; Stein, Lynda A; Welsh, Wayne N

    2014-01-01

    Background The Organizational Process Improvement Intervention (OPII), conducted by the NIDA-funded Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies consortium of nine research centers, examined an organizational intervention to improve the processes used in correctional settings to assess substance abusing offenders, develop case plans, transfer this information to community-based treatment agencies, and monitor the services provided by these community based treatment agencies. Methods/Design A multi-site cluster randomized design was used to evaluate an inter-agency organizational process improvement intervention among dyads of correctional agencies and community based treatment agencies. Linked correctional and community based agencies were clustered among nine (9) research centers and randomly assigned to an early or delayed intervention condition. Participants included administrators, managers, and line staff from the participating agencies; some participants served on interagency change teams while other participants performed agency tasks related to offender services. A manualized organizational intervention that includes the use of external organizational coaches was applied to create and support interagency change teams that proceeded through a four-step process over a planned intervention period of 12 months. The primary outcome of the process improvement intervention was to improve processes associated with the assessment, case planning, service referral and service provision processes within the linked organizations. Discussion Providing substance abuse offenders with coordinated treatment and access to community-based services is critical to reducing offender recidivism. Results from this study protocol will provide new and critical information on strategies and processes that improve the assessment and case planning for such offenders as they transition between correctional and community based systems and settings. Further, this study extends current

  15. Portfolio Assessment: Missing Link in Student Evaluation. Trends and Issues Alerts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Bettina Lankard

    Portfolio assessment is an alternative form of assessment that is particularly attractive to adult, career, and vocational educators because it includes the assessment of active learning and performance rather than the mere recall of memorized facts. Portfolio assessment serves the interests of business and industry by forging a connection between…

  16. "What We Breathe Impacts Our Health: Improving Understanding of the Link between Air Pollution and Health".

    PubMed

    West, J Jason; Cohen, Aaron; Dentener, Frank; Brunekreef, Bert; Zhu, Tong; Armstrong, Ben; Bell, Michelle L; Brauer, Michael; Carmichael, Gregory; Costa, Dan L; Dockery, Douglas W; Kleeman, Michael; Krzyzanowski, Michal; Künzli, Nino; Liousse, Catherine; Lung, Shih-Chun Candice; Martin, Randall V; Pöschl, Ulrich; Pope, C Arden; Roberts, James M; Russell, Armistead G; Wiedinmyer, Christine

    2016-05-17

    Air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of millions of people each year around the world, and air quality problems are growing in many developing nations. While past policy efforts have succeeded in reducing particulate matter and trace gases in North America and Europe, adverse health effects are found at even these lower levels of air pollution. Future policy actions will benefit from improved understanding of the interactions and health effects of different chemical species and source categories. Achieving this new understanding requires air pollution scientists and engineers to work increasingly closely with health scientists. In particular, research is needed to better understand the chemical and physical properties of complex air pollutant mixtures, and to use new observations provided by satellites, advanced in situ measurement techniques, and distributed micro monitoring networks, coupled with models, to better characterize air pollution exposure for epidemiological and toxicological research, and to better quantify the effects of specific source sectors and mitigation strategies. PMID:27010639

  17. One-year metreleptin improves insulin secretion in patients with diabetes linked to genetic lipodystrophic syndromes.

    PubMed

    Vatier, C; Fetita, S; Boudou, P; Tchankou, C; Deville, L; Riveline, Jp; Young, J; Mathivon, L; Travert, F; Morin, D; Cahen, J; Lascols, O; Andreelli, F; Reznik, Y; Mongeois, E; Madelaine, I; Vantyghem, Mc; Gautier, Jf; Vigouroux, C

    2016-07-01

    Recombinant methionyl human leptin (metreleptin) therapy was shown to improve hyperglycaemia, dyslipidaemia and insulin sensitivity in patients with lipodystrophic syndromes, but its effects on insulin secretion remain controversial. We used dynamic intravenous (i.v.) clamp procedures to measure insulin secretion, adjusted to insulin sensitivity, at baseline and after 1 year of metreleptin therapy, in 16 consecutive patients with lipodystrophy, diabetes and leptin deficiency. Patients, with a mean [± standard error of the mean (s.e.m.)] age of 39.2 (±4) years, presented with familial partial lipodystrophy (n = 11, 10 women) or congenital generalized lipodystrophy (n = 5, four women). Their mean (± s.e.m.) BMI (23.9 ± 0.7 kg/m(2) ), glycated haemoglobin levels (8.5 ± 0.4%) and serum triglycerides levels (4.6 ± 0.9 mmol/l) significantly decreased within 1 month of metreleptin therapy, then remained stable. Insulin sensitivity (from hyperglycaemic or euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamps, n = 4 and n = 12, respectively), insulin secretion during graded glucose infusion (n = 12), and acute insulin response to i.v. glucose adjusted to insulin sensitivity (disposition index, n = 12), significantly increased after 1 year of metreleptin therapy. The increase in disposition index was related to a decrease in percentage of total and trunk body fat. Metreleptin therapy improves not only insulin sensitivity, but also insulin secretion in patients with diabetes attributable to genetic lipodystrophies. PMID:26584826

  18. Value impact assessment: A preliminary assessment of improvement opportunities at the Quantico Central Heating Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Brambley, M.R.; Weakley, S.A.

    1990-09-01

    This report presents the results of a preliminary assessment of opportunities for improvement at the US Marine Corps (USMC) Quantico, Virginia, Central Heating Plant (CHP). This study is part of a program intended to provide the CHP staff with a computerized Artificial Intelligence (AI) decision support system that will assist in a more efficient, reliable, and safe operation of their plant. As part of the effort to provide the AI decision support system, a team of six scientists and engineers from the Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) visited the plant to characterize the conditions and environment of the CHP. This assessment resulted in a list of potential performance improvement opportunities at the CHP. In this report, 12 of these opportunities are discussed and qualitatively analyzed. 70 refs., 7 figs., 6 tabs.

  19. Improved facial outcome assessment using a 3D anthropometric mask.

    PubMed

    Claes, P; Walters, M; Clement, J

    2012-03-01

    The capacity to process three-dimensional facial surfaces to objectively assess outcomes of craniomaxillofacial care is urgently required. Available surface registration techniques depart from conventional facial anthropometrics by not including anatomical relationship in their analysis. Current registrations rely on the manual selection of areas or points that have not moved during surgery, introducing subjectivity. An improved technique is proposed based on the concept of an anthropometric mask (AM) combined with robust superimposition. The AM is the equivalent to landmark definitions, as used in traditional anthropometrics, but described in a spatially dense way using (∼10.000) quasi-landmarks. A robust superimposition is performed to align surface images facilitating accurate measurement of spatial differences between corresponding quasi-landmarks. The assessment describes magnitude and direction of change objectively and can be displayed graphically. The technique was applied to three patients, without any modification and prior knowledge: a 4-year-old boy with Treacher-Collins syndrome in a resting and smiling pose; surgical correction for hemimandibular hypoplasia; and mandibular hypoplasia with staged orthognathic procedures. Comparisons were made with a reported closest-point (CP) strategy. Contrasting outcomes were found where the CP strategy resulted in anatomical implausibility whilst the AM technique was parsimonious to expected differences. PMID:22103995

  20. Soccer-specific video simulation for improving movement assessment.

    PubMed

    Cortes, Nelson; Blount, Elaine; Ringleb, Stacie; Onate, James A

    2011-03-01

    The improvement of ecological validity of laboratory research studies has recently come to the forefront of technology with virtual reality scenarios. The purpose of this study was to assess differences between unanticipated and anticipated lower extremity biomechanics while performing a sidestep cutting task. A visualization software was developed for this purpose, which would recreate a soccer game situation for use in a laboratory setting. Thirteen participants volunteered for this study. Lower extremity biomechanical data were collected with a VICON motion analysis system and two force plates, under anticipated and unanticipated conditions while performing a sidestep cutting task. Paired t-tests were conducted to assess possible differences between conditions. Alpha level was set a priori at 0.05. We found an increased knee adduction angle (unanticipated: -7.2 +/- 5.30 degrees; anticipated: -4.0 +/- 5.3 degrees), and knee internal rotation (unanticipated: 8.1 +/- 4.7 degrees; anticipated: 5.2 +/- 6.5 degrees) when performing the unanticipated condition (p < 0.05). The methodological approaches for studies investigating the factors possibly associated with ACL injury may need to take into account the laboratory environment and how the task(s) are presented to the participants. PMID:21560749

  1. Is the Link from Working Memory to Analogy Causal? No Analogy Improvements following Working Memory Training Gains

    PubMed Central

    Richey, J. Elizabeth; Phillips, Jeffrey S.; Schunn, Christian D.; Schneider, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Analogical reasoning has been hypothesized to critically depend upon working memory through correlational data [1], but less work has tested this relationship through experimental manipulation [2]. An opportunity for examining the connection between working memory and analogical reasoning has emerged from the growing, although somewhat controversial, body of literature suggests complex working memory training can sometimes lead to working memory improvements that transfer to novel working memory tasks. This study investigated whether working memory improvements, if replicated, would increase analogical reasoning ability. We assessed participants’ performance on verbal and visual analogy tasks after a complex working memory training program incorporating verbal and spatial tasks [3], [4]. Participants’ improvements on the working memory training tasks transferred to other short-term and working memory tasks, supporting the possibility of broad effects of working memory training. However, we found no effects on analogical reasoning. We propose several possible explanations for the lack of an impact of working memory improvements on analogical reasoning. PMID:25188356

  2. Reduction of ferulate ether cross links in maize stover due to selection for low ferulate ester concentrations in seedlings improves cell wall digestibility

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We hypothesized that ferulate-mediated cross links between lignin and hemicellulose in the cell walls of grasses could be reduced by inhibition of ferulate ester biosynthesis. Further, a reduction in cross linking should lead to improved digestibility of cell wall polysaccharides. We report here tha...

  3. Assessment of ecological risks linked to the discharge of saline industrial effluent into a river.

    PubMed

    Perrodin, Yves; Volatier, Laurence; Bazin, Christine; Boisson, Jean-Claude

    2013-03-01

    Discharges of saline effluents into rivers can lead to risks for local aquatic ecosystems. A specific ecological risk assessment methodology has been developed to propose a management tool to organisations responsible for managing rivers and industrial companies producing saline effluents. This methodology involves the detailed description of the spatiotemporal system concerned, the choice of ecological targets to be preserved, and the performance of bioassays adapted to each of the compartments of the river. Following development, it was applied to an industrial effluent in eastern France. For the scenario studied, results obtained suggest a high risk for the organisms of the water column and a low risk for the organisms of the periphyton. This difference can be explained by the structure of the latter which integrate extracellular polymers secreted by the organisms of the biofilm, forming a gel with a porous structure that acts as a barrier to diffusion. The methodology formulated permitted identifying the critical points of the spatiotemporal system studied and then using them as the basis for making well-grounded proposals for management. Lastly, proposals to improve the methodology itself are made, especially concerning the integration of the sediment compartment in the version formulated initially. PMID:22684878

  4. Impairment assessment of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing over dispersion-managed links in backbone and backhaul networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamilarasan, Ilavarasan; Saminathan, Brindha; Murugappan, Meenakshi

    2016-04-01

    The past decade has seen the phenomenal usage of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) in the wired as well as wireless communication domains, and it is also proposed in the literature as a future proof technique for the implementation of flexible resource allocation in cognitive optical networks. Fiber impairment assessment and adaptive compensation becomes critical in such implementations. A comprehensive analytical model for impairments in OFDM-based fiber links is developed. The proposed model includes the combined impact of laser phase fluctuations, fiber dispersion, self phase modulation, cross phase modulation, four-wave mixing, the nonlinear phase noise due to the interaction of amplified spontaneous emission with fiber nonlinearities, and the photodetector noises. The bit error rate expression for the proposed model is derived based on error vector magnitude estimation. The performance analysis of the proposed model is presented and compared for dispersion compensated and uncompensated backbone/backhaul links. The results suggest that OFDM would perform better for uncompensated links than the compensated links due to the negligible FWM effects and there is a need for flexible compensation. The proposed model can be employed in cognitive optical networks for accurate assessment of fiber-related impairments.

  5. Real-time in Situ Signal-to-noise Ratio Estimation for the Assessment of Operational Communications Links

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manning, Robert M.

    2002-01-01

    The work presented here formulates the rigorous statistical basis for the correct estimation of communication link SNR of a BPSK, QPSK, and for that matter, any M-ary phase-modulated digital signal from what is known about its statistical behavior at the output of the receiver demodulator. Many methods to accomplish this have been proposed and implemented in the past but all of them are based on tacit and unwarranted assumptions and are thus defective. However, the basic idea is well founded, i.e., the signal at the output of a communications demodulator has convolved within it the prevailing SNR characteristic of the link. The acquisition of the SNR characteristic is of the utmost importance to a communications system that must remain reliable in adverse propagation conditions. This work provides a correct and consistent mathematical basis for the proper statistical 'deconvolution' of the output of a demodulator to yield a measure of the SNR. The use of such techniques will alleviate the need and expense for a separate propagation link to assess the propagation conditions prevailing on the communications link. Furthermore, they are applicable for every situation involving the digital transmission of data over planetary and space communications links.

  6. Mitochondrial Hormesis links nutrient restriction to improved metabolism in fat cell.

    PubMed

    Barbato, Daniele Lettieri; Tatulli, Giuseppe; Aquilano, Katia; Ciriolo, Maria R

    2015-10-01

    Fasting promotes longevity by reprogramming metabolic and stress resistance pathways. However, although the impact on adipose tissue physiology through hormonal inputs is well established, the direct role of fasting on adipose cells is poorly understood. Herein we show that white and beige adipocytes, as well as mouse epididymal and subcutaneous adipose depots, respond to nutrient scarcity by acquiring a brown-like phenotype. Indeed, they improve oxidative metabolism through modulating the expression of mitochondrial- and nuclear-encoded oxidative phosphorylation genes as well as mitochondrial stress defensive proteins (UCP1, SOD2). Such adaptation is placed in a canonical mitohormetic response that proceeds via mitochondrial reactive oxygen species ((mt)ROS) production and redistribution of FoxO1 transcription factor into nucleus. Nuclear FoxO1 ((n)FoxO1) mediates retrograde communication by inducing the expression of mitochondrial oxidative and stress defensive genes. Collectively, our findings describe an unusual white/beige fat cell response to nutrient availability highlighting another health-promoting mechanism of fasting. PMID:26540513

  7. Mitochondrial Hormesis links nutrient restriction to improved metabolism in fat cell

    PubMed Central

    Barbato, Daniele Lettieri; Tatulli, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Fasting promotes longevity by reprogramming metabolic and stress resistance pathways. However, although the impact on adipose tissue physiology through hormonal inputs is well established, the direct role of fasting on adipose cells is poorly understood. Herein we show that white and beige adipocytes, as well as mouse epididymal and subcutaneous adipose depots, respond to nutrient scarcity by acquiring a brown-like phenotype. Indeed, they improve oxidative metabolism through modulating the expression of mitochondrial-and nuclear-encoded oxidative phosphorylation genes as well as mitochondrial stress defensive proteins (UCP1, SOD2). Such adaptation is placed in a canonical mitohormetic response that proceeds via mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) production and redistribution of FoxO1 transcription factor into nucleus. Nuclear FoxO1 (nFoxO1) mediates retrograde communication by inducing the expression of mitochondrial oxidative and stress defensive genes. Collectively, our findings describe an unusual white/beige fat cell response to nutrient availability highlighting another health-promoting mechanism of fasting. PMID:26540513

  8. Linking the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Reading to the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Gary W.

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a statistical linking between the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Grade 4 reading and the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) in Grade 4 reading. The primary purpose of the linking study is to obtain a statistical comparison between NAEP (a national assessment) and PIRLS (an…

  9. Moving Upstream: Evaluating Adverse Upstream Endpoints for Improved Risk Assessment and Decision-Making

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background: Assessing adverse effects from environmental chemical exposure is integral to public health policies. Toxicology assays identifying early biological changes from chemical exposure are increasing our ability to evaluate links between early biological disturbances and ...

  10. 42 CFR 438.240 - Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement... HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement Measurement and Improvement Standards § 438.240 Quality assessment and...

  11. The Reliability of In-Training Assessment when Performance Improvement Is Taken into Account

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Lohuizen, Mirjam T.; Kuks, Jan B. M.; van Hell, Elisabeth A.; Raat, A. N.; Stewart, Roy E.; Cohen-Schotanus, Janke

    2010-01-01

    During in-training assessment students are frequently assessed over a longer period of time and therefore it can be expected that their performance will improve. We studied whether there really is a measurable performance improvement when students are assessed over an extended period of time and how this improvement affects the reliability of the…

  12. Preliminary Experiments for the Assessment of V/W-band Links for Space-Earth Communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nessel, James A.; Acosta, Roberto J.; Miranda, Felix A.

    2013-01-01

    Since September 2012, NASA Glenn Research Center has deployed a microwave profiling radiometer at White Sands, NM, to estimate atmospheric propagation effects on communications links in the V and W bands (71-86GHz). Estimates of attenuation statistics in the millimeter wave due to gaseous and cloud components of the atmosphere show good agreement with current ITU-R models, but fail to predict link performance in the presence of moderate to heavy rain rates, due to the inherent limitations of passive radiometry. Herein, we discuss the preliminary results of these measurements and describe a design for a terrestrial link experiment to validate/refine existing rain attenuation models in the V/Wbands.

  13. Finding the Connections: Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Curriculum in Elementary Mathematics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moon, C. Jean; Schulman, Linda

    This book provides practitioners with an introduction to alternative assessment that is comprehensive, practical, and to the degree allowed by the printed page, interactive. Theoretical and practical aspects of assessment are discussed in a way that suggests the process-oriented nature of alternative assessment rather than a fixed end point.…

  14. Feedback as Dialogue: Exploring the Links between Formative Assessment and Social Software in Distance Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatzipanagos, Stylianos; Warburton, Steven

    2009-01-01

    The paper explores the relationship between formative assessment and social software. Formative assessment practices though beneficial for student learning become marginalised and constrained in open and distance learning environments in higher education. Feedback is a key factor in formative assessment and learners can benefit from the deployment…

  15. Linking Literacy Teaching with Assessment: A Continuing Professional Development Initiative for Secondary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Douglas; Lapp, Diane; Flood, James; Moore, Kelly

    2006-01-01

    As part of a professional development initiative helping secondary school teachers use assessment data to guide their instruction, teachers in this study changed their knowledge, skills and dispositions. Over time, they were able to identify assessments, administer these assessments, interpret the results and plan instruction. As a result, the…

  16. Linking HIV & family planning services to improve dual methods of contraception among women infected with HIV in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Beena; Velhal, Gajanan; Chauhan, Sanjay; Kulkarni, Ragini; Begum, Shahina

    2016-01-01

    Background & objectives: Preventing unintended pregnancies among people living with HIV (PLHIV) is one of the strategies of WHO for preventing parent-to-child transmission (PPTCT). Given the limitation of only condom use, the objective of this study was to improve use of dual contraceptive methods among HIV infected women. Methods: An experimental study among HIV positive women was conducted at two tertiary care level hospitals in Mumbai. Linking HIV with family planning services was the focus of intervention at one site and standard level of care was maintained at the control site. At each site, 150 HIV+ve women attending counselling and testing centres, who did not intend to get pregnant in the next one year and were eligible to use dual methods, were enrolled and followed up to one year. Results: At the end of one year, 60 per cent women in the intervention group reached Family Planning Centres compared to eight per cent in the control group. There was three times more acceptance and continuation of use of dual methods along with increase in consistent use of condoms and less number of unplanned pregnancies in the intervention group than the control group. Interpretation & conclusions: The study findings demonstrate that linking HIV and family planning services may facilitate the uptake of dual methods of contraception without reducing consistent condom use among HIV infected women. The PPTCT programmes need to focus on the component of Prong 2 of PPTCT which aims to prevent unintended pregnancies among HIV positive women. PMID:27377503

  17. A new assessment of the alleged link between element 115 and element 117 decay chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsberg, U.; Rudolph, D.; Fahlander, C.; Golubev, P.; Sarmiento, L. G.; Åberg, S.; Block, M.; Düllmann, Ch. E.; Heßberger, F. P.; Kratz, J. V.; Yakushev, A.

    2016-09-01

    A novel rigorous statistical treatment is applied to available data (May 9, 2016) from search and spectroscopy experiments on the elements with atomic numbers Z = 115 and Z = 117. The present analysis implies that the hitherto proposed cross-reaction link between α-decay chains associated with the isotopes 293117 and 289115 is highly improbable.

  18. A Cross-Cultural Assessment of Maternal-Child Interaction: Links to Health and Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oberg, Charles N.; And Others

    Twenty-four mother-toddler dyads, 12 each from the Hmong and Caucasian communities of the Twin Cities, took part in a cross-cultural study of maternal-child interaction and its links to health and development. Findings showed that the Hmong mothers were rated as more attentive, expressive, sensitive, responsive, and patient in childrearing than…

  19. Linking Early Life Stages: The First Step towards Lifecourse Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The abstract is the overview of a workshop proposed for inclusion in 2015 Society of Toxicology annual meeting program. The workshop will introduce the audience to lifecourse theory and speakers will provide examples of using PBPK models to link exposures and outcomes resulting ...

  20. PUBLIC HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT LINKED TO CLIMATIC AND ECOLOGICAL CHANGE. (R824995)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    Disturbances of climatic and ecological systems can present risks to human health, which are becoming more evident from health studies linked to climate variability, landuse change and global climate change. Waterborne disease agents, such as Giardia cy...

  1. Improving Site-Specific Radiological Performance Assessments - 13431

    SciTech Connect

    Tauxe, John; Black, Paul; Catlett, Kate; Lee, Robert; Perona, Ralph; Stockton, Tom; Sully, Mike

    2013-07-01

    An improved approach is presented for conducting complete and defensible radiological site-specific performance assessments (PAs) to support radioactive waste disposal decisions. The basic tenets of PA were initiated some thirty years ago, focusing on geologic disposals and evaluating compliance with regulations. Some of these regulations were inherently probabilistic (i.e., addressing uncertainty in a quantitative fashion), such as the containment requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 40 CFR 191, Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level and Transuranic Radioactive Wastes, Chap. 191.13 [1]. Methods of analysis were developed to meet those requirements, but at their core early PAs used 'conservative' parameter values and modeling approaches. This limited the utility of such PAs to compliance evaluation, and did little to inform decisions about optimizing disposal, closure and long-term monitoring and maintenance, or, in general, maintaining doses 'as low as reasonably achievable' (ALARA). This basic approach to PA development in the United States was employed essentially unchanged through the end of the 20. century, principally by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Performance assessments developed in support of private radioactive waste disposal operations, regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its agreement states, were typically not as sophisticated. Discussion of new approaches to PA is timely, since at the time of this writing, the DOE is in the midst of revising its Order 435.1, Radioactive Waste Management [2], and the NRC is revising 10 CFR 61, Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste [3]. Over the previous decade, theoretical developments and improved computational technology have provided the foundation for integrating decision analysis (DA) concepts and objective-focused thinking, plus a Bayesian approach to

  2. Remarkable Improvement in the Mechanical Properties and CO2 Uptake of MOFs Brought About by Covalent Linking to Graphene.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ram; Raut, Devaraj; Ramamurty, Upadrasta; Rao, C N R

    2016-06-27

    Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are exceptional as gas adsorbents but their mechanical properties are poor. We present a successful strategy to improve the mechanical properties along with gas adsorption characteristics, wherein graphene (Gr) is covalently bonded with M/DOBDC (M=Mg(2+) , Ni(2+) , or Co(2+) , DOBDC=2,5-dioxido-1,4-benzene dicarboxylate) MOFs. The surface area of the graphene-MOF composites increases up to 200-300 m(2)  g(-1) whereas the CO2 uptake increases by ca. 3-5 wt % at 0.15 atm and by 6-10 wt % at 1 atm. What is significant is that the composites exhibit improved mechanical properties. In the case of Mg/DOBDC, a three-fold increase in both the elastic modulus and hardness with 5 wt % graphene reinforcement is observed. Improvement in both the mechanical properties and gas adsorption characteristics of porous MOFs on linking them to graphene is a novel observation and suggests a new avenue for the design and synthesis of porous materials. PMID:27282430

  3. Rest improves performance, nature improves happiness: Assessment of break periods on the abbreviated vigilance task.

    PubMed

    Finkbeiner, Kristin M; Russell, Paul N; Helton, William S

    2016-05-01

    The abbreviated vigilance task can quickly generate vigilance decrements, which has been argued is due to depletion of cognitive resources needed to sustain performance. Researchers suggest inclusion of rest breaks within vigilance tasks improve overall performance (Helton & Russell, 2015; Ross, Russell, & Helton, 2014), while different types of breaks demonstrate different effects. Some literature suggests exposure to natural movements/stimuli helps restore attention (Herzog, Black, Fountaine, & Knotts, 1997; Kaplan, 1995). Participants were randomly assigned to one experimental condition: dog video breaks, robot video breaks, countdown breaks or continuous vigilance. We assessed task performance and subjective reports of stress/workload. The continuous group displayed worst performance, suggesting breaks help restore attention. The dog videos did not affect performance, however, decreased reports of distress. These results support the importance of rest breaks and acknowledge the benefit of natural stimuli for promoting wellbeing/stress relief, overall suggesting performance and wellbeing may be independent, which warrants future studies. PMID:27089530

  4. Characterizing Variability and Uncertainty in Exposure Assessments Improves links to Environmental Decision-Making

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental Decisions often rely upon observational data or model estimates. For instance, the evaluation of human health or ecological risks often includes information on pollutant emission rates, environmental concentrations, exposures, and exposure/dose-response data. Whet...

  5. An improved probability mapping approach to assess genome mosaicism

    PubMed Central

    Zhaxybayeva, Olga; Gogarten, J Peter

    2003-01-01

    Background Maximum likelihood and posterior probability mapping are useful visualization techniques that are used to ascertain the mosaic nature of prokaryotic genomes. However, posterior probabilities, especially when calculated for four-taxon cases, tend to overestimate the support for tree topologies. Furthermore, because of poor taxon sampling four-taxon analyses suffer from sensitivity to the long branch attraction artifact. Here we extend the probability mapping approach by improving taxon sampling of the analyzed datasets, and by using bootstrap support values, a more conservative tool to assess reliability. Results Quartets of orthologous proteins were complemented with homologs from selected reference genomes. The mapping of bootstrap support values from these extended datasets gives results similar to the original maximum likelihood and posterior probability mapping. The more conservative nature of the plotted support values allows to focus further analyses on those protein families that strongly disagree with the majority or plurality of genes present in the analyzed genomes. Conclusion Posterior probability is a non-conservative measure for support, and posterior probability mapping only provides a quick estimation of phylogenetic information content of four genomes. This approach can be utilized as a pre-screen to select genes that might have been horizontally transferred. Better taxon sampling combined with subtree analyses prevents the inconsistencies associated with four-taxon analyses, but retains the power of visual representation. Nevertheless, a case-by-case inspection of individual multi-taxon phylogenies remains necessary to differentiate unrecognized paralogy and shared phylogenetic reconstruction artifacts from horizontal gene transfer events. PMID:12974984

  6. Identifying improvement potentials in cement production with life cycle assessment.

    PubMed

    Boesch, Michael Elias; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2010-12-01

    Cement production is an environmentally relevant process responsible for 5% of total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and 7% of industrial fuel use. In this study, life cycle assessment is used to evaluate improvement potentials in the cement production process in Europe and the USA. With a current fuel substitution rate of 18% in Europe and 11% in the USA, both regions have a substantial potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save virgin resources by further increasing the coprocessing of waste fuels. Upgrading production technology would be particularly effective in the USA where many kiln systems with very low energy efficiency are still in operation. Using best available technology and a thermal substitution rate of 50% for fuels, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 9% for Europe and 18% for the USA per tonne of cement. Since clinker production is the dominant pollution producing step in cement production, the substitution of clinker with mineral components such as ground granulated blast furnace slag or fly ash is an efficient measure to reduce the environmental impact. Blended cements exhibit substantially lower environmental footprints than Portland cement, even if the substitutes feature lower grindability and require additional drying and large transport distances. The highest savings in CO(2) emissions and resource consumption are achieved with a combination of measures in clinker production and cement blending. PMID:21047057

  7. Classroom Developmental Assessment: The Link Between Testing and Teaching. Interim Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caplan, Arna; McAfee, Oralie

    This paper presents a concise non-technical explanation of the process of classroom developmental assessment, a child-centered, classroom-centered multi-dimensional assessment process designed to help teachers find out as much as possible about individual children so that appropriate educational experiences can be planned for each child. A…

  8. Intervention Validity of Social Behavior Rating Scales: Features of Assessments that Link Results to Treatment Plans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elliott, Stephen N.; Gresham, Frank M.; Frank, Jennifer L.; Beddow, Peter A., III

    2008-01-01

    The term "intervention validity" refers to the extent to which assessment results can be used to guide the selection of interventions and evaluation of outcomes. In this article, the authors review the defining attributes of rating scales that distinguish them from other assessment tools, assumptions regarding the use of rating scales to measure…

  9. Assessing Ongoing Electronic Resource Purchases: Linking Tools to Synchronize Staff Workflows

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, Jeffrey D.; Major, Colleen; O'Neal, Nada; Tofanelli, John

    2012-01-01

    Ongoing electronic resource purchases represent a substantial proportion of collections budgets. Recognizing the necessity of systematic ongoing assessment with full selector engagement, Columbia University Libraries appointed an Electronic Resources Assessment Working Group to promote the inclusion of such resources within our current culture of…

  10. Does Computer-Aided Formative Assessment Improve Learning Outcomes?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hannah, John; James, Alex; Williams, Phillipa

    2014-01-01

    Two first-year engineering mathematics courses used computer-aided assessment (CAA) to provide students with opportunities for formative assessment via a series of weekly quizzes. Most students used the assessment until they achieved very high (>90%) quiz scores. Although there is a positive correlation between these quiz marks and the final…

  11. Water-Food-Nutrition-Health Nexus: Linking Water to Improving Food, Nutrition and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe; Chibarabada, Tendai; Modi, Albert

    2016-01-01

    Whereas sub-Saharan Africa's (SSA) water scarcity, food, nutrition and health challenges are well-documented, efforts to address them have often been disconnected. Given that the region continues to be affected by poverty and food and nutrition insecurity at national and household levels, there is a need for a paradigm shift in order to effectively deliver on the twin challenges of food and nutrition security under conditions of water scarcity. There is a need to link water use in agriculture to achieve food and nutrition security outcomes for improved human health and well-being. Currently, there are no explicit linkages between water, agriculture, nutrition and health owing to uncoordinated efforts between agricultural and nutrition scientists. There is also a need to develop and promote the use of metrics that capture aspects of water, agriculture, food and nutrition. This review identified nutritional water productivity as a suitable index for measuring the impact of a water-food-nutrition-health nexus. Socio-economic factors are also considered as they influence food choices in rural communities. An argument for the need to utilise the region's agrobiodiversity for addressing dietary quality and diversity was established. It is concluded that a model for improving nutrition and health of poor rural communities based on the water-food-nutrition-health nexus is possible. PMID:26751464

  12. Enzyme replacement therapy rescues weakness and improves muscle pathology in mice with X-linked myotubular myopathy

    PubMed Central

    Lawlor, Michael W.; Armstrong, Dustin; Viola, Marissa G.; Widrick, Jeffrey J.; Meng, Hui; Grange, Robert W.; Childers, Martin K.; Hsu, Cynthia P.; O'Callaghan, Michael; Pierson, Christopher R.; Buj-Bello, Anna; Beggs, Alan H.

    2013-01-01

    No effective treatment exists for patients with X-linked myotubular myopathy (XLMTM), a fatal congenital muscle disease caused by deficiency of the lipid phosphatase, myotubularin. The Mtm1δ4 and Mtm1 p.R69C mice model severely and moderately symptomatic XLMTM, respectively, due to differences in the degree of myotubularin deficiency. Contractile function of intact extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and soleus muscles from Mtm1δ4 mice, which produce no myotubularin, is markedly impaired. Contractile forces generated by chemically skinned single fiber preparations from Mtm1δ4 muscle were largely preserved, indicating that weakness was largely due to impaired excitation contraction coupling. Mtm1 p.R69C mice, which produce small amounts of myotubularin, showed impaired contractile function only in EDL muscles. Short-term replacement of myotubularin with a prototypical targeted protein replacement agent (3E10Fv-MTM1) in Mtm1δ4 mice improved contractile function and muscle pathology. These promising findings suggest that even low levels of myotubularin protein replacement can improve the muscle weakness and reverse the pathology that characterizes XLMTM. PMID:23307925

  13. Water-Food-Nutrition-Health Nexus: Linking Water to Improving Food, Nutrition and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe; Chibarabada, Tendai; Modi, Albert

    2016-01-01

    Whereas sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) water scarcity, food, nutrition and health challenges are well-documented, efforts to address them have often been disconnected. Given that the region continues to be affected by poverty and food and nutrition insecurity at national and household levels, there is a need for a paradigm shift in order to effectively deliver on the twin challenges of food and nutrition security under conditions of water scarcity. There is a need to link water use in agriculture to achieve food and nutrition security outcomes for improved human health and well-being. Currently, there are no explicit linkages between water, agriculture, nutrition and health owing to uncoordinated efforts between agricultural and nutrition scientists. There is also a need to develop and promote the use of metrics that capture aspects of water, agriculture, food and nutrition. This review identified nutritional water productivity as a suitable index for measuring the impact of a water-food-nutrition-health nexus. Socio-economic factors are also considered as they influence food choices in rural communities. An argument for the need to utilise the region’s agrobiodiversity for addressing dietary quality and diversity was established. It is concluded that a model for improving nutrition and health of poor rural communities based on the water-food-nutrition-health nexus is possible. PMID:26751464

  14. Assessment of dehydrothermally cross‐linked collagen membrane for guided bone regeneration around peri-implant dehiscence defects: a randomized single-blinded clinical trial

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The aim of this study was to determine the clinical feasibility of using dehydrothermally cross‐linked collagen membrane (DCM) for bone regeneration around peri-implant dehiscence defects, and compare it with non-cross-linked native collagen membrane (NCM). Methods Dehiscence defects were investigated in twenty-eight patients. Defect width and height were measured by periodontal probe immediately following implant placement (baseline) and 16 weeks afterward. Membrane manipulation and maintenance were clinically assessed by means of the visual analogue scale score at baseline. Changes in horizontal thickness at 1 mm, 2 mm, and 3 mm below the top of the implant platform and the average bone density were assessed by cone-beam computed tomography at 16 weeks. Degradation of membrane was histologically observed in the soft tissue around the implant prior to re-entry surgery. Results Five defect sites (two sites in the NCM group and three sites in the DCM group) showed soft-tissue dehiscence defects and membrane exposure during the early healing period, but there were no symptoms or signs of severe complications during the experimental postoperative period. Significant clinical and radiological improvements were found in all parameters with both types of collagen membrane. Partially resorbed membrane leaflets were only observed histologically in the DCM group. Conclusions These findings suggest that, compared with NCM, DCM has a similar clinical expediency and possesses more stable maintenance properties. Therefore, it could be used effectively in guided bone regeneration around dehiscence-type defects. PMID:26732806

  15. Improved assessment of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization

    PubMed Central

    Toma, Hassanain S.; Barnett, Joshua M.; Penn, John S.; Kim, Stephen J.

    2011-01-01

    The primary objective of this study was to develop and evaluate new methods of analyzing laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV), in order to make recommendations for improving the reporting of experimental CNV in the literature. Six laser burns of sufficient power to rupture Bruch's membrane were concentrically placed in each eye of 18 adult Norway rats. Eyes received intravitreal injections of either triamcinolone acetonide, ketorolac, or balanced salt solution (BSS). Fluorescein angiography (FA) was performed 2 and 3 weeks after injection, followed by choroidal flat mount preparation. Vascular leakage on FAs and vascular budding on choroidal mounts were quantified by measuring either the cross-sectional area of each CNV lesion contained within the best-fitting polygon using Adobe Photoshop (Lasso Technique or Quick Selection Technique), or the area of bright pixels within a lesion using Image-Pro Plus. On choroidal mounts, the Lasso Technique and Image-Pro Plus detected a significant difference in lesion size between either ketorolac or triamcinolone when compared to BSS, while the Quick Selection Technique did not (Lasso Technique, 0.78 and 0.64; Image-Pro Plus, 0.77 and 0.65). On FA, the Lasso Technique and Quick Selection Technique detected a significant difference in lesion size between either ketorolac or triamcinolone when compared to BSS, while Image-Pro Plus did not (Lasso Tool, 0.81 and 0.54; Quick Selection Tool, 0.76 and 0.57). Choroidal mounts and FA are both valuable for imaging experimental CNV. Adobe Photoshop and Image-Pro Plus are both able to detect subtle differences in CNV lesion size, when images are not manipulated. The combination of choroidal mounts and FA provides a more comprehensive assessment of CNV anatomy and physiology. PMID:20553963

  16. Application of an Improved Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Method for Serological Diagnosis of Canine Leishmaniasis ▿

    PubMed Central

    Santarém, Nuno; Silvestre, Ricardo; Cardoso, Luís; Schallig, Henk; Reed, Steven G.; Cordeiro-da-Silva, Anabela

    2010-01-01

    Accurate diagnosis of canine leishmaniasis (CanL) is essential toward a more efficient control of this zoonosis, but it remains problematic due to the high incidence of asymptomatic infections. In this study, we present data on the development of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-based techniques for the detection of antibodies against the recombinant protein Leishmania infantum cytosolic tryparedoxin peroxidase (LicTXNPx) and a comparison of the results with those employing soluble Leishmania antigens from promastigote or amastigote forms and the homologue recombinant protein L. infantum mitochondrial TXNPx (LimTXNPx). Moreover, we offer an evaluation of the diagnostic potential of rK39 for CanL in the Portuguese canine population and propose an improvement to the existing ELISA-based serological techniques by combining the LicTXNPx and rK39 antigens as a Leishmania antigen mixture (LAM). The data demonstrated that ELISAs based on soluble promastigote or amastigote antigens had generally higher levels of sensitivity for detection of antibodies in symptomatic or asymptomatic dogs than for detection of those against isolated recombinant proteins. Nevertheless, the specificities were found to be similar for all target antigens used. Importantly, the LAM-ELISA methodology improved the overall sensitivity, maintaining a high overall level of specificity. In addition, it was demonstrated that the detection of anti-LAM IgG2 can increase the accuracy of the serological diagnosis. Overall, the obtained results showed that the strategy of combining two well-defined Leishmania antigens, LicTXNPx and rK39, proved to be a sensitive and specific improvement to current serological diagnosis of CanL, being a useful tool for the detection of both clinical and subclinical forms of canine Leishmania infection. PMID:20164286

  17. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... the health and safety of a PACE participant. (b) Quality assessment and performance improvement...) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Internal quality assessment and...

  18. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... the health and safety of a PACE participant. (b) Quality assessment and performance improvement...) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460... 42 Public Health 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Internal quality assessment and...

  19. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... the health and safety of a PACE participant. (b) Quality assessment and performance improvement...) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460... 42 Public Health 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Internal quality assessment and...

  20. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... the health and safety of a PACE participant. (b) Quality assessment and performance improvement...) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460... 42 Public Health 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Internal quality assessment and...

  1. Engaging Faculty in the Assessment and Improvement of Students' Critical Thinking Using the Critical Thinking Assessment Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stein, Barry; Haynes, Ada

    2011-01-01

    Many assessment experts believe it is essential to develop faculty-driven assessment tools in order to engage faculty in meaningful assessment that can improve student learning. Tennessee Technological University (TTU) has been involved in an extended effort during the last ten years to develop, refine, and nationally disseminate an instrument to…

  2. Assessing Hepatitis C Burden and Treatment Effectiveness through the British Columbia Hepatitis Testers Cohort (BC-HTC): Design and Characteristics of Linked and Unlinked Participants

    PubMed Central

    Janjua, Naveed Zafar; Kuo, Margot; Chong, Mei; Yu, Amanda; Alvarez, Maria; Cook, Darrel; Armour, Rosemary; Aiken, Ciaran; Li, Karen; Mussavi Rizi, Seyed Ali; Woods, Ryan; Godfrey, David; Wong, Jason; Gilbert, Mark; Tyndall, Mark W.; Krajden, Mel

    2016-01-01

    Background The British Columbia (BC) Hepatitis Testers Cohort (BC-HTC) was established to assess and monitor hepatitis C (HCV) epidemiology, cost of illness and treatment effectiveness in BC, Canada. In this paper, we describe the cohort construction, data linkage process, linkage yields, and comparison of the characteristics of linked and unlinked individuals. Methods The BC-HTC includes all individuals tested for HCV and/or HIV or reported as a case of HCV, hepatitis B (HBV), HIV or active tuberculosis (TB) in BC linked with the provincial health insurance client roster, medical visits, hospitalizations, drug prescriptions, the cancer registry and mortality data using unique personal health numbers. The cohort includes data since inception (1990/1992) of each database until 2012/2013 with plans for annual updates. We computed linkage rates by year and compared the characteristics of linked and unlinked individuals. Results Of 2,656,323 unique individuals available in the laboratory and surveillance data, 1,427,917(54%) were included in the final linked cohort, including about 1.15 million tested for HCV and about 1.02 million tested for HIV. The linkage rate was 86% for HCV tests, 89% for HCV cases, 95% for active TB cases, 48% for HIV tests and 36% for HIV cases. Linkage rates increased from 40% for HCV negatives and 70% for HCV positives in 1992 to ~90% after 2005. Linkage rates were lower for males, younger age at testing, and those with unknown residence location. Linkage rates for HCV testers co-infected with HIV, HBV or TB were very high (90–100%). Conclusion Linkage rates increased over time related to improvements in completeness of identifiers in laboratory, surveillance, and registry databases. Linkage rates were higher for HCV than HIV testers, those testing positive, older individuals, and females. Data from the cohort provide essential information to support the development of prevention, care and treatment initiatives for those infected with HCV

  3. Need for an "integrated safety assessment" of GMOs, linking food safety and environmental considerations.

    PubMed

    Haslberger, Alexander G

    2006-05-01

    Evidence for substantial environmental influences on health and food safety comes from work with environmental health indicators which show that agroenvironmental practices have direct and indirect effects on human health, concluding that "the quality of the environment influences the quality and safety of foods" [Fennema, O. Environ. Health Perspect. 1990, 86, 229-232). In the field of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Codex principles have been established for the assessment of GM food safety and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety outlines international principles for an environmental assessment of living modified organisms. Both concepts also contain starting points for an assessment of health/food safety effects of GMOs in cases when the environment is involved in the chain of events that could lead to hazards. The environment can act as a route of unintentional entry of GMOs into the food supply, such as in the case of gene flow via pollen or seeds from GM crops, but the environment can also be involved in changes of GMO-induced agricultural practices with relevance for health/food safety. Examples for this include potential regional changes of pesticide uses and reduction in pesticide poisonings resulting from the use of Bt crops or influences on immune responses via cross-reactivity. Clearly, modern methods of biotechnology in breeding are involved in the reasons behind the rapid reduction of local varieties in agrodiversity, which constitute an identified hazard for food safety and food security. The health/food safety assessment of GM foods in cases when the environment is involved needs to be informed by data from environmental assessment. Such data might be especially important for hazard identification and exposure assessment. International organizations working in these areas will very likely be needed to initiate and enable cooperation between those institutions responsible for the different assessments, as well as for exchange and analysis of

  4. Improving uncertainty analysis in European Union risk assessment of chemicals.

    PubMed

    Verdonck, Frederik A M; Souren, Astrid; van Asselt, Marjolein B A; Van Sprang, Patrick A; Vanrolleghem, Peter A

    2007-07-01

    Handling uncertainty in curren European Union (EU) risk assessment of new and existing substances is problematic for several reasons. The known or quantifiable sources of uncertainty are mainly considered. Uncertainty is insufficiently, explicitly communicated to risk managers and decision makers but hidden and concealed in risk quotient numbers that appear to be certain and, therefore, create a false sense of certainty and protectiveness. The new EU chemical policy legislation, REACH, is an opportunity to learn from interdisciplinary thinking in order to evolve to smart risk assessment: an assessment in which awareness and openness to uncertainty is used to produce better characterizations and evaluations of risks. In a smart risk assessment context, quantifying uncertainty is not an aim but just a productive means to refine the assessment or to find alternative solutions for the problem at stake. Guidance and examples are given on how to differentiate, assess, and use uncertainty. PMID:17695106

  5. Linking Assessment to Decision Making in Water Resources Planning - Decision Making Frameworks and Case Study Evaluations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broman, D.; Gangopadhyay, S.; Simes, J.

    2015-12-01

    Climate assessments have become an accepted and commonly used component of long term water management and planning. There is substantial variation in the methods used in these assessments; however, managers and decision-makers have come to value their utility to identify future system limitations, and to evaluate future alternatives to ensure satisfactory system performance. A new set of decision-making frameworks have been proposed, including robust decision making (RDM), and decision scaling, that directly address the deep uncertainties found in both future climate, and non-climatic factors. Promising results have been obtained using these new frameworks, offering a more comprehensive understanding of future conditions leading to failures, and identification of measures to address these failures. Data and resource constraints have limited the use of these frameworks within the Bureau of Reclamation. We present here a modified framework that captures the strengths of previously proposed methods while using a suite of analysis tool that allow for a 'rapid climate assessment' to be performed. A scalable approach has been taken where more complex tools can be used if project resources allow. This 'rapid assessment' is demonstrated through two case studies on the Santa Ana and Colorado Rivers where previous climate assessments have been completed. Planning-level measures are used to compare how decision making is affected when using this new decision making framework.

  6. A Hertzian contact mechanics based formulation to improve ultrasound elastography assessment of uterine cervical tissue stiffness.

    PubMed

    Briggs, Brandi N; Stender, Michael E; Muljadi, Patrick M; Donnelly, Meghan A; Winn, Virginia D; Ferguson, Virginia L

    2015-06-25

    Clinical practice requires improved techniques to assess human cervical tissue properties, especially at the internal os, or orifice, of the uterine cervix. Ultrasound elastography (UE) holds promise for non-invasively monitoring cervical stiffness throughout pregnancy. However, this technique provides qualitative strain images that cannot be linked to a material property (e.g., Young's modulus) without knowledge of the contact pressure under a rounded transvaginal transducer probe and correction for the resulting non-uniform strain dissipation. One technique to standardize elastogram images incorporates a material of known properties and uses one-dimensional, uniaxial Hooke's law to calculate Young's modulus within the compressed material half-space. However, this method does not account for strain dissipation and the strains that evolve in three-dimensional space. We demonstrate that an analytical approach based on 3D Hertzian contact mechanics provides a reasonable first approximation to correct for UE strain dissipation underneath a round transvaginal transducer probe and thus improves UE-derived estimates of tissue modulus. We validate the proposed analytical solution and evaluate sources of error using a finite element model. As compared to 1D uniaxial Hooke's law, the Hertzian contact-based solution yields significantly improved Young's modulus predictions in three homogeneous gelatin tissue phantoms possessing different moduli. We also demonstrate the feasibility of using this technique to image human cervical tissue, where UE-derived moduli estimations for the uterine cervix anterior lip agreed well with published, experimentally obtained values. Overall, UE with an attached reference standard and a Hertzian contact-based correction holds promise for improving quantitative estimates of cervical tissue modulus. PMID:26003483

  7. Improved Insulin Sensitivity After Exercise Training is Linked to Reduced Plasma C14:0 Ceramide in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Kasumov, Takhar; Solomon, Thomas P.J.; Hwang, Calvin; Huang, Hazel; Haus, Jacob M.; Zhang, Renliang; Kirwan, John P.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To assess the effect of exercise training on insulin sensitivity and plasma ceramides in obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Methods Twenty-four adults with obesity and normal glucose tolerance (NGT, n=14), or diabetes (n=10) were studied before and after a 12-week supervised exercise-training program (5 d/wk, 1 hr/d, 80–85% of maximum heart rate). Changes in body composition were assessed using hydrostatic weighing and computed tomography. Peripheral tissue insulin sensitivity was assessed by a 40 mU/m2/min hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp. Plasma ceramides (C14:0, C16:0, C18:0, C18:1, C20:0, C24:0 and C24:1) were quantified using electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry after separation with HPLC. Results Plasma ceramides were similar for the obese NGT and subjects with diabetes, despite differences in glucose tolerance. Exercise significantly reduced body weight and adiposity, and increased peripheral insulin sensitivity in both groups (P<0.05). In addition, plasma C14:0, C16:0, C18:1, and C24:0 ceramide levels were reduced in all subjects following the intervention (P<0.05). Decreases in total (r=-0.51, P=0.02) and C14:0 (r=-0.56, P=0.009) ceramide were negatively correlated with the increase in insulin sensitivity. Conclusion Ceramides are linked to exercise training-induced improvements in insulin sensitivity, and plasma C14:0 ceramide may provide a specific target for investigating lipid-related insulin resistance in obesity and T2D. PMID:25966363

  8. Education Reforms and Innovations to Improve Student Assessment Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McAfee, Wade J.

    2014-01-01

    International assessments such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) have exhibited United States students specifically in the fourth and eighth grades, are not performing well when compared to their international peers. Educational stakeholders including…

  9. An Effective Assessment Model for Implementing Change and Improving Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mince, Rose; Ebersole, Tara

    2008-01-01

    Assessment at Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) involves asking the right questions and using data to determine what changes should be implemented to enhance student learning. Guided by a 5-stage design, CCBC's assessment program is faculty-driven, risk-free, and externally validated. Curricular and pedagogical changes have resulted in…

  10. Peer Assessment as a Method of Improving Student Engagement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, Debbi; Esposto, Alexis

    2012-01-01

    To encourage increased student attendance and engagement in a third-year economics unit, the curriculum was redesigned to incorporate continuous assessment throughout the semester. A component of group project marks were allocated to peer assessment, in an attempt to address concerns about free-riding colleagues sharing a common mark. This study…

  11. Institutional Assessment: Between Political Pressing Needs and School Improvement Needs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Méndez, Juan Manuel Álvarez

    2014-01-01

    This article presents, through a critical analysis, a reflection on a noticeable change that focuses on some aspects related to the assessment of different parts of the educational system. In particular, it concentrates on the assessment of teaching institutions which has been considered by authorities that are distant from the school life and…

  12. Assessment for Learning: Understanding Theory to Improve Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taras, Maddalena

    2007-01-01

    The assessment for learning framework in education has become big business: huge quantities of time, money and energy have been invested in England, Wales and more recently the USA. This article shows that the assessment for learning theory is inefficient and often contradictory. Black and Wiliam's earlier work provides much of the theoretical…

  13. A Linked Physical and Biological Framework to Assess Biogeochemical Dynamics in a Shallow Estuarine Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buzzelli, C. P.; Wetzel, R. L.; Meyers, M. B.

    1999-12-01

    The littoral zone of Chesapeake Bay contains a mosaic of shallow vegetated and nonvegetated habitats with biotic components that are sensitive to changes in biological and physical driving factors. Static and dynamic modelling frameworks provide an integrative way to study complex hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes in linked estuarine habitats. In this study we describe a spatial simulation model developed and calibrated relative to a specific littoral zone, estuarine ecosystem. The model consisted of four distinct habitats that contained phytoplankton, sediment microalgae, Zostera marina (eelgrass), and Spartina alterniflora. There was tidal exchange of phytoplankton, particulate and dissolved organic carbon and dissolved inorganic nitrogen between the littoral zone ecosystem and the offshore channel. Physical exchange and biogeochemical transformations within the habitats determined water column concentrations in each habitat. Predicted subtidal water column concentrations and Z. marina and S. alterniflora biomass were within the variability of validation data and the predicted annual rates of net primary production were similar to measured rates. Phytoplankton accounted for 17%, sediment microalgae 46%, the Z. marina community 24% and S. alterniflora 13% of the annual littoral zone primary production. The linked habitat model provided insights into producer, habitat and ecosystem carbon and nitrogen properties that might not have been evident with stand-alone models. Although it was an intra-ecosystem sink for particulate carbon, the seagrass habitat was a DOC source and responsible for over 30% of the littoral zone carbon and nitrogen primary production. The model predicted that the Goodwin Islands littoral zone was a sink of channel derived POC, but a source of DOC to the surrounding estuary. The framework created in this study of estuarine ecosystem dynamics is applicable to many different aquatic systems over a range of spatial and temporal scales.

  14. Linking changes at sub-individual and population levels in Donax trunculus: assessment of marine stress.

    PubMed

    Tlili, Sofiène; Métais, Isabelle; Boussetta, Hamadi; Mouneyrac, Catherine

    2010-10-01

    Research in ecotoxicology currently focuses to fill the gap existing between sub-organismal responses (e.g. biomarkers) to toxicants and effects occurring at higher levels of biological organisation (e.g. population). The intra-sedimentary bivalve Donax trunculus commonly found in West Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts is a sentinel species useful for biomonitoring studies in sandy beaches. The objective of this work was to link responses at the infra-individual level (core biomarkers as early and sensitive tools) to supra-individual level (population for its ecological relevance). D. trunculus, originating from a polluted site (Radès Méliane) and a comparatively reference site (Sidi Jehmi) in the Gulf of Tunis (Tunisia), were collected bimonthly from November 2008 to October 2009. An increase in catalase activities was usually observed in bivalves from the polluted site compared to the reference site whereas no differences in TBARs were depicted. The anti-oxydant enzyme (catalase) could be able to prevent the deleterious effect on the lipid membranes. Usually GST activities were decreased in the polluted site. Significantly high inhibition in AChE activities in bivalves from the polluted site suggested neurotoxicity disturbances to their in situ exposure to compounds such as organophosphate and carbamates pesticides, heavy metals. Size-distribution of populations of D. trunculus from the polluted Radès Méliane site consisted of four cohorts whereas five cohorts were depicted in the comparatively reference Sidi Jehmi site. The mean total length size and the growth rate of cohorts were significantly reduced in the impacted site compared to the reference site. In conclusion, it may be suggested that disturbances in responses to chemical stress at the infra-individual level could be linked to the responses observed at the population level. PMID:20728199

  15. Brief Report: Improving the Validity of Assessments of Adolescents' Feelings of Privacy Invasion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laird, Robert D.; Marrero, Matthew D.; Melching, Jessica; Kuhn, Emily S.

    2013-01-01

    Studies of privacy invasion have relied on measures that combine items assessing adolescents' feelings of privacy invasion with items assessing parents' monitoring behaviors. Removing items assessing parents' monitoring behaviors may improve the validity of assessments of privacy invasion. Data were collected from 163 adolescents (M age 13 years,…

  16. Teacher Performance and Student Learning: Linking Evidence from Two National Assessment Programmes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taut, Sandy; Valencia, Edgar; Palacios, Diego; Santelices, Maria V.; Jiménez, Daniela; Manzi, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    This paper investigates the validity of a national, standards-based teacher evaluation programme by examining the relationship between teachers' evaluation results and their students' learning progress. We used census achievement data that assessed the same cohort of students at the end of 8th and 10th grade. We applied multilevel modelling and…

  17. Equilibrium Partitioning Approach for Assessing Toxicity of Contaminants in Sediments: Linking Measured Concentrations to Effects

    EPA Science Inventory

    A variety of approaches exist for assessing the degree, extent and/or risk of metals contamination in sediments. Selection of the “correct” approach depends on the nature of the question being asked (e.g., the degree of metals contamination in marine sediments may be estimated by...

  18. The Link between Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs) and Behavioral Intervention Plans (BIPs). ERIC Digest E592.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jolivette, Kristine; Scott, Terrance M.; Nelson, C. Michael

    This Digest discusses provisions in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that require functional behavioral assessments (FBAs) and behavioral intervention plans (BIPs) to be conducted prior to a change in placement or suspension for more than 10 days, based on inappropriate behaviors for students with disabilities. It presents…

  19. Linking School and Work: Roles for Standards and Assessment. First Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Resnick, Lauren B., Ed.; Wirt, John G., Ed.

    This book contains 12 papers commissioned by the Secretary's Commission for Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) to develop the SCANS recommendations concerning the role of standards and assessment in the transition from school to work. "The Changing Workplace" (Lauren B. Resnick, John G. Wirt) offers a summary of the 12 papers. "Skills Standards,…

  20. Computer Use and Science Achievement: Linking Science Standards and the Assessments. Monograph Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller-Whitehead, Marie

    This study examined state and national benchmarks and standards for K-12 science instruction, curricular goals, and objectives for K-12 science, state, and national assessments that measure student achievement in science and student use of computers and technology for science in grades K-12. The study used survey data and student achievement…

  1. Link Data to Learning Goals: Common District Assessments Connect Teaching Effectiveness to Student Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Psencik, Kay; Baldwin, Rhonda

    2012-01-01

    In 2010, district leaders of Douglas County Public Schools, Douglasville, Georgia, launched an ambitious initiative to ensure that teachers set goals that focus on increasing their effectiveness and show student growth. To achieve this goal, the district leadership team focused on common district assessments to establish common learning…

  2. Linking a Learning Progression for Natural Selection to Teachers' Enactment of Formative Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furtak, Erin Marie

    2012-01-01

    Learning progressions, or representations of how student ideas develop in a domain, hold promise as tools to support teachers' formative assessment practices. The ideas represented in a learning progression might help teachers to identify and make inferences about evidence collected of student thinking, necessary precursors to modifying…

  3. Improved In-gel Reductive β-Elimination for Comprehensive O-linked and Sulfo-glycomics by Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Nix, David B.; Kumagai, Tadahiro; Katoh, Toshihiko; Tiemeyer, Michael; Aoki, Kazuhiro

    2016-01-01

    Separation of proteins by SDS-PAGE followed by in-gel proteolytic digestion of resolved protein bands has produced high-resolution proteomic analysis of biological samples. Similar approaches, that would allow in-depth analysis of the glycans carried by glycoproteins resolved by SDS-PAGE, require special considerations in order to maximize recovery and sensitivity when using mass spectrometry (MS) as the detection method. A major hurdle to be overcome in achieving high-quality data is the removal of gel-derived contaminants that interfere with MS analysis. The sample workflow presented here is robust, efficient, and eliminates the need for in-line HPLC clean-up prior to MS. Gel pieces containing target proteins are washed in acetonitrile, water, and ethyl acetate to remove contaminants, including polymeric acrylamide fragments. O-linked glycans are released from target proteins by in-gel reductive β-elimination and recovered through robust, simple clean-up procedures. An advantage of this workflow is that it improves sensitivity for detecting and characterizing sulfated glycans. These procedures produce an efficient separation of sulfated permethylated glycans from non-sulfated (sialylated and neutral) permethylated glycans by a rapid phase-partition prior to MS analysis, and thereby enhance glycomic and sulfoglycomic analyses of glycoproteins resolved by SDS-PAGE. PMID:25489664

  4. Improved fiber-optic link for the phase reference distribution system for the TESLA technology based projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czuba, Krzysztof; Felber, Matthias

    2005-09-01

    The UV Free-Electron Laser (UVFEL) [1], The X-Ray Free-Electron Laser (XFEL) [2] and The International Linear Accelerator (ILC) [9] projects will require phase synchronization of various RF frequency subsystems on kilometer distances with accuracy better than 1ps. To fulfill these requirements, a phase reference distribution system concept was proposed and a prototype was developed for tests in the TESLA Test Facility 2 (TTF2). An important part of the phase reference system is the fiber-optic phase stable, long distance link described in this paper. An interferometrical scheme with feedback on phase, suppressing long term phase drifts induced by temperature changes was developed and tested in laboratory and under accelerator conditions. A motorized optical delay line was used in the system to compensate for phase errors. Described are error considerations and most important project issues like the hardware development and the real time phase controller software. The presented measurement results satisfy the design requirements. Experience gained during the experiments yielded proposals for system improvements.

  5. Assessing Program Learning Objectives to Improve Undergraduate Physics Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menke, Carrie

    2014-03-01

    Our physics undergraduate program has five program learning objectives (PLOs) focusing on (1) physical principles, (2) mathematical expertise, (3) experimental technique, (4) communication and teamwork, and (5) research proficiency. One PLO is assessed each year, with the results guiding modifications in our curriculum and future assessment practices; we have just completed our first cycle of assessing all PLOs. Our approach strives to maximize the ease and applicability of our assessment practices while maintaining faculty's flexibility in course design and delivery. Objectives are mapped onto our core curriculum with identified coursework collected as direct evidence. We've utilized mostly descriptive rubrics, applying them at the course and program levels as well as sharing them with the students. This has resulted in more efficient assessment that is also applicable to reaccreditation efforts, higher inter-rater reliability than with other rubric types, and higher quality capstone projects. We've also found that the varied quality of student writing can interfere with our assessment of other objectives. This poster outlines our processes, resources, and how we have used PLO assessment to strengthen our undergraduate program.

  6. Applying a Continuous Quality Improvement Model To Assess Institutional Effectiveness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Keith

    This handbook outlines techniques and processes for improving institutional effectiveness and ensuring continuous quality improvement, based on strategic planning activities at Wisconsin's Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). First, institutional effectiveness is defined and 17 core indicators of effectiveness developed by the Wisconsin…

  7. Ecotoxicological risk assessment linked to infilling quarries with treated dredged seaport sediments.

    PubMed

    Perrodin, Yves; Donguy, Gilles; Bazin, Christine; Volatier, Laurence; Durrieu, Claude; Bony, Sylvie; Devaux, Alain; Abdelghafour, Mohammed; Moretto, Robert

    2012-08-01

    The dredged sediments of polluted seaports now raise complex management problems since it is no longer possible to discharge them into the sea. This results in the need to manage them on land, raising other types of technical, economic and environmental problems. Regarding the technical and economic dimensions, traditional waste treatment methods have proved to be poorly adapted, due to very high costs and low absorbable volumes. In this context, filling quarries in coastal areas with treated sediments could represent an interesting alternative for these materials. Nevertheless, for the environmental dimension, it is necessary to demonstrate that this possibility is harmless to inland ecosystems. Consequently, a specific ecotoxicological risk assessment methodology has been formulated and tested on three sediments taken from seaboards of France, in view to providing an operational and usable tool for the prior validation of any operation to fill quarries with treated seaport sediments. This method incorporates the formulation of a global conceptual model of the scenario studied and the definition of protocols for each of its steps: the characterisation of exposures (based on a simulation of sediment deposit), the characterisation of effects (via the study of sediments ecotoxicity), and the final ecotoxicological risk assessment performed as a calculation of a risk quotient. It includes the implementation in parallel of two types of complementary approach: the "substances" approach derived from the European methodology for assessing new substances placed on the market, and the "matrix" approach which is similar to methods developed in France to assess ecological risks in other domains (waste management, polluted site management, …). The application of this dual approach to the three sediments tested led to conclude with reliability that the project to deposit sediments "1" and "2" presented a low risk for the peripheral aquatic ecosystems while sediment "3

  8. Meeting Report: Moving Upstream—Evaluating Adverse Upstream End Points for Improved Risk Assessment and Decision-Making

    PubMed Central

    Woodruff, Tracey J.; Zeise, Lauren; Axelrad, Daniel A.; Guyton, Kathryn Z.; Janssen, Sarah; Miller, Mark; Miller, Gregory G.; Schwartz, Jackie M.; Alexeeff, George; Anderson, Henry; Birnbaum, Linda; Bois, Frederic; Cogliano, Vincent James; Crofton, Kevin; Euling, Susan Y.; Foster, Paul M.D.; Germolec, Dori R.; Gray, Earl; Hattis, Dale B.; Kyle, Amy D.; Luebke, Robert W.; Luster, Michael I.; Portier, Chris; Rice, Deborah C.; Solomon, Gina; Vandenberg, John; Zoeller, R. Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Background Assessing adverse effects from environmental chemical exposure is integral to public health policies. Toxicology assays identifying early biological changes from chemical exposure are increasing our ability to evaluate links between early biological disturbances and subsequent overt downstream effects. A workshop was held to consider how the resulting data inform consideration of an “adverse effect” in the context of hazard identification and risk assessment. Objectives Our objective here is to review what is known about the relationships between chemical exposure, early biological effects (upstream events), and later overt effects (downstream events) through three case studies (thyroid hormone disruption, antiandrogen effects, immune system disruption) and to consider how to evaluate hazard and risk when early biological effect data are available. Discussion Each case study presents data on the toxicity pathways linking early biological perturbations with downstream overt effects. Case studies also emphasize several factors that can influence risk of overt disease as a result from early biological perturbations, including background chemical exposures, underlying individual biological processes, and disease susceptibility. Certain effects resulting from exposure during periods of sensitivity may be irreversible. A chemical can act through multiple modes of action, resulting in similar or different overt effects. Conclusions For certain classes of early perturbations, sufficient information on the disease process is known, so hazard and quantitative risk assessment can proceed using information on upstream biological perturbations. Upstream data will support improved approaches for considering developmental stage, background exposures, disease status, and other factors important to assessing hazard and risk for the whole population. PMID:19057713

  9. Evaluating a model linking assessed parent factors to four domains of youth risky driving.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Sarah; Morrongiello, Barbara A; Colwell, Scott R

    2014-08-01

    Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death in youth aged 15-19. Research has consistently shown that driver education programs do not result in safer youth driving. Indeed, the biggest predictor of collisions involving youth is parental history of collisions. The current study examined how parental modeling of and teaching about risky driving behaviors related to youth practices within four domains of risky driving (aggressive, substance use, distracted, moving violations), and evaluated whether the Prototype-Willingness Model explains links from parent to teen driving practices. Participants (N=432) were undergraduate students (mean age 18 years, age range 17-22 years) who had obtained their G2 driver's license within the past year; the G2 driver's license allows youth to drive alone on all municipal roads, with some restrictions on their blood alcohol level and the number of passengers they can carry. Results revealed that parental modeling was more predictive than parental teaching for all domains of risky driving examined. Youth whose parents modeled risky driving behaviors were found to be more likely to have engaged in those risky driving behaviors in the past, as well as to be more willing to engage in the behaviors in the future. The Prototype-Willingness Model was not a good fit to explain these relations. Findings from this study highlight the role parents play in the development of youth risky driving practices. PMID:24797085

  10. Integrating fluorescence and interactance measurements to improve apple maturity assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fluorescence and interactance are promising techniques for measuring fruit quality and condition. Our previous research showed that a hyperspectral imaging technique integrating fluorescence and reflectance could improve predictions of selected quality parameters compared to single sensing technique...

  11. Assessment of Wireless Link Budget in a Satellite by Modelling Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gineste, P.-N.; Herlem, Y.; Outay, A.; Pelissou, P.

    2012-05-01

    The present study is related to the ESA/ASTRIUM contract n°4500082825 entitled "Wireless Intra- Spacecraft communications", whose objectives cover the design, development and validation of a RF wireless communications system for use in spacecraft Assembly Integration and Verification (AIV). This paper presents the main outcomes of this study, whose main objective was to assess, by modelling techniques, the possibility of using wireless communication inside satellite for AIT (Assembly, Integration and Tests) purposes. Comparisons with tests have been done in order to validate the numerical model and statistic data have been established.

  12. Reduced ferulate cross link concentration is associated with improved fiber digestibility of corn stover at silage maturity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ferulate cross linking of lignin to arabinoxylan is correlated with fiber digestibility in perennial cool-season grasses; however, similar data have not been reported for warm-season grasses. Our objective was to determine if ferulate cross links are associated with fiber digestibility in corn stove...

  13. Assessing the Pleistocene hemispheric climate links through correlating loess, marine and ice-core records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Near continuous loess-soil records in China cover the past 22 million years. Here, we compare various independent climate proxies from the terrestrial, marine and ice-core domains to re-evaluate the regional and global significance of the China loess with special emphases to the Quaternary portion. The results confirm that the intensity of loess deposition in China is closely coupled with the northern high latitude climate from the over-orbital to millennial scales, and that loess accumulation rates (LAR) and loess particle-size reflect many features of the northern high latitude ice conditions. Consequently, correlating the loess and marine records could offer the possibility for addressing the hemispheric climate links. Our loess-marine correlations show that both records are broadly coupled during the Pleistocene. However, numerous decoupled features exist between the two records. Marine oxygen isotope record shows a general trend of increased ice-volume during the Pleistocene. This trend has no clear reflection in the loess LAR and grain-size data. A prominent change at ~ 430 ka, referred to as the Mid-Brunhes Event (MBE), is clearly documented in both marine and EPICA ice records while its reflections in loess are rather ambiguous. Both marine and EPICA data show a cooler-than-average interglacial for the marine-oxygen isotope stage 13 (MIS-13) while a series of terrestrial records show a warm-extreme interglacial for the northern hemisphere. During a number of glacial intervals, such as MIS-16, MIS 14, MIS-12 and MIS-3, interglacial-level of loess grain-size are observed while they have no obvious reflections in the marine and EPICA ice records. Based on a multi-proxy approach, we argue that these decoupled features between the loess and marine records are attributable to the asymmetrical behaviors of the Pleistocene climates between the southern and northern hemispheres.

  14. Inter-Basin Water Transfer Impact Assessment on Environment of Pennar to Cauvery Link Canal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajesh, S. V. J. S. S.; Prakasa Rao, B. S.; Niranjan, K.

    2016-07-01

    Owing to its striking differences in its climatic conditions, India is frequently facing with extremities such as heavy rain fall in some regions where as some other regions endure little rainfall. The regions receiving heavy precipitation are facing floods resulting in huge amount of water runs into the sea. Contrarily, the regions, without adequate rainfall are suffering from persistent droughts. To overcome such disparities in the distribution of water, National Water Development Agency (NWDA) put a proposal to transfer water through link canals between rivers. The current study is limited to two river basins, Pennar and Cauvery. The present study is confined to Pennar (somasila) to Cauvery (Grand Anicut) whose length is 483 km. The study consist of10 km. buffer on either side of the canal and it occupies 17,215.68 sq. km. out of these 10,105.96 sq.km.is proposed command area which falls in Chittoor, Chengalpattu, North Arcott and South Arcott districts. Using IRS-P6, LISS-III data the characteristics of the rocks, lineaments, drainage, settlements and land use/land cover are mapped for better analysis and the environmental impact. The study indicated that Current fallow land of 5340.14 km2 and 6307.98 km2 of cropland will be brought under cultivation which is more than what is NWDA estimated land that will be benefited. The canal will provide water for irrigation and drinking to 4597 villages and 244 villages to be rehabilitated. 119 culverts/canal bridges and 24 aqueducts have to be constructed across the canal.

  15. Service Learning: A Strategy for Rural School Improvement and Community Revitalization. (Benefits)[Squared]: The Exponential Results of Linking School Improvement and Community Development, Issue Number Two.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boethel, Martha

    The future of rural schools is inextricably linked to the future of their surrounding communities, and service learning is a powerful tool for capitalizing on those links. Service learning makes students active participants in service projects that respond to community needs while furthering the academic goals of students. Service learning…

  16. Efficient nuclear drug translocation and improved drug efficacy mediated by acidity-responsive boronate-linked dextran/cholesterol nanoassembly.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jing-Yi; Lei, Qi; Yang, Bin; Jia, Hui-Zhen; Qiu, Wen-Xiu; Wang, Xuli; Zeng, Xuan; Zhuo, Ren-Xi; Feng, Jun; Zhang, Xian-Zheng

    2015-06-01

    The present study reported a lysosome-acidity-targeting bio-responsive nanovehicle self-assembled from dextran (Dex) and phenylboronic acid modified cholesterol (Chol-PBA), aiming at the nucleus-tropic drug delivery. The prominent advantage of this assembled nanoconstruction arose from its susceptibility to acidity-labile dissociation concurrently accompanied with the fast liberation of encapsulated drugs, leading to efficient nuclear drug translocation and consequently favorable drug efficacy. By elaborately exploiting NH4Cl pretreatment to interfere with the cellular endosomal acidification progression, this study clearly evidenced at a cellular level the strong lysosomal-acidity dependency of nuclear drug uptake efficiency, which was shown to be the main factor influencing the drug efficacy. The boronate-linked nanoassembly displayed nearly no cytotoxicity and can remain structural stability under the simulated physiological conditions including 10% serum and the normal blood sugar concentration. The cellular exposure to cholesterol was found to bate the cellular uptake of nanoassembly in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting a cholesterol-associated mechanism of the intracellular internalization. The in vivo antitumor assessment in xenograft mouse models revealed the significant superiority of DOX-loaded Dex/Chol-PBA nanoassembly over the controls including free DOX and the DOX-loaded non-sensitive Dex-Chol, as reflected by the more effective tumor-growth inhibition and the better systematic safety. In terms of the convenient preparation, sensitive response to lysosomal acidity and efficient nuclear drug translocation, Dex/Chol-PBA nanoassembly derived from natural materials shows promising potentials as the nanovehicle for nucleus-tropic drug delivery especially for antitumor agents. More attractively, this study offers a deeper insight into the mechanism concerning the contribution of acidity-responsive delivery to the enhanced chemotherapy performance. PMID

  17. Computer technology futures for the improvement of assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, Eva L.; O'Neil, Harold F.

    1995-03-01

    With a focus on the interaction between computer technology and assessment, we first review the typical functions served by technology in the support of various assessment purposes. These include efficiencies in person and item sampling and in administration, analysis, and reporting. Our major interest is the extent to which technology can provide unique opportunities to understand performance. Two examples are described: a tool-based knowledge representation approach to assess content understanding and a team problem-solving task involving negotiation. The first example, using HyperCard as well as paper-and-pencil variations, has been tested in science and history fields. Its continuing challenge is to determine a strategy for creating and validating scoring criteria. The second example, involving a workforce readiness task for secondary school, has used expert-novice comparisons to infer performance standards. These examples serve as the context for the exploration of validity, equity, and utility.

  18. Assessment of Dioxin-Like Soil Contamination in Mexico by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay

    PubMed Central

    Nichkova, M.; Yáñez, L.; Costilla-Salazar, R.; Torres-Dosal, A.; Gee, S. J.; Hammock, B. D.; Juárez-Santacruz, L.; Díaz-Barriga, F.

    2011-01-01

    In this work, we describe the results of a preliminary soil assessment program for the detection of dioxins at different sites in Mexico performed by immunoassay. We studied five different sectors considered relevant sources of dioxins: Anaversa and Tekchem industrial areas where organochlorine pesticides were manufactured and released by accidental explosions, secondary smelters, brick kilns, and rural dwellings. In the context of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) guidelines, only the brick kilns sites can be considered as low-risk areas. The dioxin concentrations detected in the vicinity of the Anaversa and Tekchem chemical plants and secondary smelters exceed the screening level of 0.05 ppb set by the ATSDR, and therefore further site-specific studies are needed. The dioxin levels found in all soot samples from indigenous dwellings where wood is used for indoor cooking were above the evaluation level. Considering that the studied areas are representative examples of dioxin sources in less developed countries, our work demonstrates the useful application of dioxin immunoassays as a tool for dioxin screening for environmental assessment programs in developing countries. PMID:20091164

  19. Linking physiological approaches to marine vertebrate conservation: using sex steroid hormone determinations in demographic assessments

    PubMed Central

    Labrada-Martagón, Vanessa; Zenteno-Savín, Tania; Mangel, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Sex, age and sexual maturation are key biological parameters for aspects of life history and are fundamental information for assessing demographic changes and the reproductive viability and performance of natural populations under exploitation pressures or in response to environmental influences. Much of the information available on the reproductive condition, length at sexual maturity and sex determinations of endangered species has been derived from direct examination of the gonads in dead animals, either intentionally or incidentally caught, or from stranded individuals. However, morphological data, when used alone, do not provide accurate demographic information in sexually monomorphic marine vertebrate species (e.g. sharks, sea turtles, seabirds and cetaceans). Hormone determination is an accurate and non-destructive method that provides indirect information about sex, reproductive condition and sexual maturity of free-ranging individuals. Correlations between sex steroid concentrations and biochemical parameters, gonadal development and state, reproductive behaviour and secondary external features have been already demonstrated in many species. Different non-lethal approaches (e.g. surgical and mark–recapture procedures), with intrinsic advantages and disadvantages when applied on free-ranging organisms, have been proposed to asses sex, growth and reproductive condition. Hormone determination from blood samples will generate valuable additional demographic information needed for stock assessment and biological conservation. PMID:27293619

  20. The Mathematics Assessment Collaborative: Performance Testing to Improve Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, David; Noyce, Pendred

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the authors describe a collaborative effort involving 30 school districts in California's Silicon Valley that are seeking to overcome the ill effects of mandatory high-stakes standardized testing in mathematics. These districts administer, score, and analyze a common set of performance assessments in mathematics in a way that…

  1. APPLICATION OF METABOLOMICS FOR IMPROVING ECOLOGICAL EXPOSURE AND RISK ASSESSMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We have developed a research program in metabolomics that involves numerous partners across EPA, other federal labs, academia, and the private sector. A primary goal is to develop metabolite-based markers that can be used by EPA in ecological exposure and risk assessments. We are...

  2. Using Formative Assessment and Metacognition to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hudesman, John; Crosby, Sara; Flugman, Bert; Issac, Sharlene; Everson, Howard; Clay, Dorie B.

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes a multistep Enhanced Formative Assessment Program (EFAP) that features a Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) component. The program, which teaches students to become more effective learners, has been applied in a wide range of academic disciplines. In this paper we report on how the EFAP-SRL model can be applied to the area of…

  3. Disaggregating Assessment to Close the Loop and Improve Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rawls, Janita; Hammons, Stacy

    2015-01-01

    This study examined student learning outcomes for accelerated degree students as compared to conventional undergraduate students, disaggregated by class levels, to develop strategies for then closing the loop with assessment. Using the National Survey of Student Engagement, critical thinking and oral and written communication outcomes were…

  4. Energy Assessment Helps Kaiser Aluminum Save Energy and Improve Productivity

    SciTech Connect

    2008-07-01

    The Kaiser Aluminum plant in Sherman, Texas, adjusted controls and made repairs to a furnace for a simple payback of 1 month. Kaiser adopted DOE's Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST) software as the corporate diagnostic tool and has used it to evaluate process heating systems at five other aluminum plants.

  5. Leverage Points for Improving Educational Assessment. CSE Technical Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mislevy, Robert J.; Steinberg, Linda S.; Almond, Russell G.; Haertel, Geneva D.; Penuel, William R.

    Advances in cognitive psychology deepen the understanding of how students gain and use knowledge. Advances in technology make it possible to capture more complex performances in assessment settings, by including, for example, simulation, interactivity, collaboration, and constructed response. The challenge is in knowing just how to put this new…

  6. How pharmacokinetic modeling could improve a risk assessment for manganese

    EPA Science Inventory

    The neurotoxicity of manganese (Mn) is well established, yet the risk assessment of Mn is made complex by certain enigmas. These include apparently greatertoxicity via inhalation compared to oral exposure and greater toxicity in humans compared to rats. In addition, until recentl...

  7. Improving College Instruction: The Formative Assessment of College Teaching (FACT).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herr, Gregory; Cohen, Peter A.

    It is evident that there is an existing need for a process-oriented assessment instrument which can be used to provide instructors with specific diagnostic feedback that can be utilized in the college classroom. The goal of the present study was to develop and validate a multidimensional student rating instrument which would provide such…

  8. Clinical Vignettes Improve Performance in Anatomy Practical Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ikah, December S. K.; Finn, Gabrielle M.; Swamy, Meenakshi; White, Pamela M.; McLachlan, John C.

    2015-01-01

    Although medical curricula now adopt an integrated teaching approach, this is not adequately reflected in assessment of anatomy knowledge and skills. In this study, we aimed to explore the impact of the addition of clinical vignette to item stems on students' performance in anatomy practical examinations. In this study, 129 undergraduate medical…

  9. Assessment of Student Professional Outcomes for Continuous Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keshavarz, Mohsen; Baghdarnia, Mostafa

    2013-01-01

    This article describes a method for the assessment of professional student outcomes (performance-type outcomes or soft skills). The method is based upon group activities, research on modern electrical engineering topics by individual students, classroom presentations on chosen research topics, final presentations, and technical report writing.…

  10. [The significance of sex-linked differences for the assessment of somatosensory evoked potentials (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Strenge, H; Hedderich, J; Tackmann, W

    1981-09-01

    In 45 healthy volunteers (22 males and 23 females with the same age structure) the peak latencies and inter-peak differences of the cervical and early cortical components of the somatosensory evoked potential were measured. The distribution of the values of the variables and their relationship with arm length were investigated both for the sample as a whole and for each sex separately. Significantly higher average values of the latencies and arm lengths were found in men. The correlations between arm length and latency had consistently higher values for the female sample. On the basis of these results it is concluded that a sufficient assessment of the latencies is only possible with the help of sex-specific normal values. PMID:6795015

  11. Stratospheric ion and aerosol chemistry and possible links with cirrus cloud microphysics - A critical assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohnen, Volker A.

    1990-01-01

    Aspects of stratospheric ion chemistry and physics are assessed as they relate to aerosol formation and the transport of aerosols to upper tropospheric regions to create conditions favorable for cirrus cloud formation. It is found that ion-induced nucleation and other known phase transitions involving ions and sulfuric acid vapor are probably not efficient processes for stratospheric aerosol formation, and cannot compete with condensation of sulfuric acid on preexisting particles of volcanic or meteoritic origin which are larger than about 0.15 micron in radius. Thus, galactic cosmic rays cannot have a significant impact on stratospheric aerosol population. Changes in the stratospheric aerosol burden due to volcanos are up to two orders of magnitude larger than changes in ion densities. Thus, volcanic activity may modulate the radiative properties of cirrus clouds.

  12. Bridging Multiple Lines Of Evidence To Quantify Plant Phenology And Assess Links To Dryland Ecosystem Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browning, D. M.; Tweedie, C. E.; Vivoni, E. R.; Maynard, J. J.; Karl, J.

    2015-12-01

    The clear and pressing need to reliably identify and predict shifts in plant phenology at landscape scales requires a critical link between mechanistic understanding of climate drivers and broad scale forecasts of plant responses to climate change. A multi-scale phenology study co-located with two eddy covariance towers was initiated on the Jornada Basin LTER in New Mexico in 2010 to bridge phenology patterns at the plant level with those representing aggregated signals at the landscape level. The study integrates phenology observations collected in the field along with those collected via remotely using imagery from phenocams, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and satellite sensors along with estimates of carbon flux. We applied the Breaks for Additive Seasonal and Trend (BFAST) time series algorithm to MODIS 250-m NDVI greenness index values to partition the NDVI signal into components representing the long-term trend, seasonal periodicity, and residuals and identified significant shifts in the NDVI signal (i.e., "breaks"). Previous work verified breaks representing significant deviations from the BFAST seasonal and trend models using field-estimated plant biomass collected between 2000 and 2014. We subsequently examine estimates of fractional cover by functional group derived from UAV images acquired 2010 through 2015. At a mixed grassland site, the BFAST algorithm detected four breaks in the trend model denoting significant increases in NDVI in May 2004, July 2006, and March 2010 and a significant decrease in May 2012. The 2004 and 2006 breaks corresponded to herbaceous vegetation responses to rainfall following prolonged periods of drought. The 2012 decrease in NDVI corresponded to the marked reduction of herbaceous biomass following an exceptionally dry period in late 2010-2011. Seasonal breaks representing changes in the timing and magnitude of NDVI identified in July 2006 and September 2008 coincide with rapid increases in production of annual species in

  13. Bayesian reclassification statistics for assessing improvements in diagnostic accuracy.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhipeng; Li, Jialiang; Cheng, Ching-Yu; Cheung, Carol; Wong, Tien-Yin

    2016-07-10

    We propose a Bayesian approach to the estimation of the net reclassification improvement (NRI) and three versions of the integrated discrimination improvement (IDI) under the logistic regression model. Both NRI and IDI were proposed as numerical characterizations of accuracy improvement for diagnostic tests and were shown to retain certain practical advantage over analysis based on ROC curves and offer complementary information to the changes in area under the curve. Our development is a new contribution towards Bayesian solution for the estimation of NRI and IDI, which eases computational burden and increases flexibility. Our simulation results indicate that Bayesian estimation enjoys satisfactory performance comparable with frequentist estimation and achieves point estimation and credible interval construction simultaneously. We adopt the methodology to analyze a real data from the Singapore Malay Eye Study. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26875442

  14. Developing and assessing initiatives designed to improve clinical teaching performance.

    PubMed

    Khandelwal, Sorabh; Bernard, Aaron W; Wald, David A; Manthey, David E; Fisher, Jonathan; Ankel, Felix; Williams, Sarah R; Szyld, Demian; Riddle, Janet; Anders Ericsson, K

    2012-12-01

    To improve the teaching performance of emergency physicians, it is necessary to understand the attributes of expert teachers and the optimal methods to deliver faculty development. A working group of medical educators was formed to review the literature, summarize what is known on the topic, and provide recommendations for future research. This occurred as a track of the 2012 Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM) consensus conference "Education Research in Emergency Medicine: Opportunities, Challenges, and Strategies for Success." The group concluded that the current state of research on these topics is limited. Improvement in understanding will come through research focusing on Kirkpatrick's higher levels of evaluation (behavior and results). PMID:23216823

  15. 42 CFR 438.240 - Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement program. 438.240 Section 438.240 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement Measurement...

  16. Interim Assessments as a Strategy for Improvement: Easier Said than Done

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goren, Paul

    2010-01-01

    This essay provides an overview of the papers contained in this issue of the "Peabody Journal of Education." In it, the author notes for policymakers especially issues and concerns that emerge from the use of formative assessments geared towards education improvement. While the intent of such assessments is to lead to improved overall instruction…

  17. 42 CFR 438.240 - Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement program. 438.240 Section 438.240 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement Measurement...

  18. Improving Performance in Very Small Firms through Effective Assessment and Feedback

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lorenzet, Steven J.; Cook, Ronald G.; Ozeki, Cynthia

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to improve assessment and feedback processes in the training practices of very small firms, thereby improving the firms' human capital. Design/methodology/approach: The paper reviews research and practice on effective assessment and feedback. Findings: Based on this paper, human resources are increasingly seen…

  19. Developing Student Assessment Related to a Workplacement: A Bridge between Practice and Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vuoskoski, Pirjo; Poikela, Sari

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores the ways in which student assessment can be developed in higher education and work-related contexts to form a strong bridge between practice and improvement. Our aim is to provide a starting point for evaluation and improvement of assessment practices, which benefits the learners, instructors, and designers of the curricula, as…

  20. The Early Grade Reading Assessment: Applications and Interventions to Improve Basic Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gove, Amber, Ed.; Wetterberg, Anna, Ed.

    2011-01-01

    This book highlights the experience of Liberia in both assessing and improving reading in primary schools. As a result of an Early Grade Reading Assessment, the Ministry of Education and partners, including the United States Agency for International Development, came together to identify and develop strategies for improving reading in schools.…

  1. Linking RESRAD-OFFSITE and HYDROGEOCHEM Model for Performance Assessment of Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility - 13429

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Wen-Sheng; Yu, Charley; Cheng, Jing-Jy; Kamboj, Sunita; Gnanapragasam, Emmanuel; Liu, Chen-Wuing; Li, Ming-Hsu

    2013-07-01

    Performance assessments are crucial steps for the long-term radiological safety requirements of low-level waste (LLW) disposal facility. How much concentration of radionuclides released from the near-field to biosphere and what radiation exposure levels of an individual can influence on the satisfactory performance of the LLW disposal facility and safety disposal environment. Performance assessment methodology for the radioactive waste disposal consists of the reactive transport modeling of safety-concerned radionuclides released from the near-field to the far-field, and the potential exposure pathways and the movements of radionuclides through the geosphere, biosphere and man of which the accompanying dose. Therefore, the integration of hydrogeochemical transport model and dose assessment code, HYDROGEOCHEM code and RESRAD family of codes is imperative. The RESRAD family of codes such as RESRAD-OFFSITE computer code can evaluate the radiological dose and excess cancer risk to an individual who is exposed while located within or outside the area of initial (primary) contamination. The HYDROGEOCHEM is a 3-D numerical model of fluid flow, thermal, hydrologic transport, and biogeochemical kinetic and equilibrium reactions in saturated and unsaturated media. The HYDROGEOCHEM model can also simulate the crucial geochemical mechanism, such as the effect of redox processes on the adsorption/desorption, hydrogeochemical influences on concrete degradation, adsorption/desorption of radionuclides (i.e., surface complexation model) between solid and liquid phase in geochemically dynamic environments. To investigate the safety assessment of LLW disposal facility, linking RESRAD-OFFSITE and HYDROGEOCHEM model can provide detailed tools of confidence in the protectiveness of the human health and environmental impact for safety assessment of LLW disposal facility. (authors)

  2. A SYSTEMATIC ASSESSMENT OF LINKING GENE EXPRESSION WITH GENETIC VARIANTS FOR PRIORITIZING CANDIDATE TARGETS

    PubMed Central

    FAN-MINOGUE, HUA; CHEN, BIN; SIKORA-WOHLFELD, WERONIKA; SIROTA, MARINA; BUTTE, ATUL J

    2014-01-01

    Gene expression and disease-associated variants are often used to prioritize candidate genes for target validation. However, the success of these gene features alone or in combination in the discovery of therapeutic targets is uncertain. Here we evaluated the effectiveness of the differential expression (DE), the disease-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the combination of the two in recovering and predicting known therapeutic targets across 56 human diseases. We demonstrate that the performance of each feature varies across diseases and generally the features have more recovery power than predictive power. The combination of the two features, however, has significantly higher predictive power than each feature alone. Our study provides a systematic evaluation of two common gene features, DE and SNPs, for prioritization of candidate targets and identified an improved predictive power of coupling these two features. PMID:25592598

  3. Fuzzy Multiple Metrics Link Assessment for Routing in Mobile Ad-Hoc Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soo, Ai Luang; Tan, Chong Eng; Tay, Kai Meng

    2011-06-01

    In this work, we investigate on the use of Sugeno fuzzy inference system (FIS) in route selection for mobile Ad-Hoc networks (MANETs). Sugeno FIS is introduced into Ad-Hoc On Demand Multipath Distance Vector (AOMDV) routing protocol, which is derived from its predecessor, Ad-Hoc On Demand Distance Vector (AODV). Instead of using the conventional way that considering only a single metric to choose the best route, our proposed fuzzy decision making model considers up to three metrics. In the model, the crisp inputs of the three parameters are fed into an FIS and being processed in stages, i.e., fuzzification, inference, and defuzzification. Finally, after experiencing all the stages, a single value score is generated from the combination metrics, which will be used to measure all the discovered routes credibility. Results obtained from simulations show a promising improvement as compared to AOMDV and AODV.

  4. Promoting Physicians' Self-Assessment and Quality Improvement: The ABIM Diabetes Practice Improvement Module

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holmboe, Eric S.; Meehan, Thomas P.; Lynn, Lorna; Doyle, Paula; Sherwin, Tierney; Duffy, F. Daniel

    2006-01-01

    Introduction: The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) recognized that certification and recertification must be based on an assessment of performance in practice as well as an examination of medical knowledge. Physician self-assessment of practice performance is proposed as one method that certification boards may use to evaluate competence…

  5. Assessing and Improving Early Social Engagement in Infants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koegel, Lynn Kern; Singh, Anjileen K.; Koegel, Robert L.; Hollingsworth, Jessica R.; Bradshaw, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    Empirical studies have documented a variety of social abnormalities in infancy that indicate risk for later social and behavioral difficulties. There is very little research illustrating the presence of such behavioral vulnerabilities with frequent repeated measures, and the feasibility of designing interventions for improving social engagement in…

  6. Are Clinicians' Assessments of Improvements in Children's Functioning "Global"?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Los Reyes, Andres; Alfano, Candice A.; Beidel, Deborah C.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the authors examined the relations among clinician ratings of treatment improvement and discrepancies between parent and blinded laboratory rater reports of child social functioning administered before and after treatment for social anxiety disorder. Participants included a clinic sample of 101 children (7-16 years old; M = 11.67,…

  7. Alternative Assessment: A Monthly Portfolio Project Improves Student Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Valdez, Penelope S.

    2001-01-01

    Describes the use of monthly portfolio projects to track student progress and improve science performance in a 7th grade life science course. Students explain concepts they have learned, produce products to present what they have learned, and use the concepts to critique magazine articles, advertisements, or news stories. Provides an evaluation…

  8. Cyberbullying: Assessment of Student Experience for Continuous Improvement Planning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strom, Paris S.; Strom, Robert D.; Wingate, Julius J.; Kraska, Marie F.; Beckert, Troy E.

    2012-01-01

    This study examines the use of polling students to improve conditions of learning in their school. Students from three schools (N = 2,006) in Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 completed an online poll about how cyberbullying affects their personal lives. Principals' impressions about the benefits of student polling are explained along with the Cyberbullying…

  9. Assessing effectiveness of winter cover crops to improve water quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Winter cover crops are an important conservation practice with potential to improve water quality by reducing excess nitrogen (N), remaining during the winter/early spring in soil, from leaching, runoff, and sediment loss into surface waters after harvest of summer crops. Throughout the Chesapeake B...

  10. Assessment of gully erosion by linking photogrammetric methods and field measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kluibenschädl, Florian; Strohmeier, Stefan; Klik, Andreas

    2013-04-01

    In the Ethiopian Highlands, numerous processes lead to land degradation thus decreasing soil productivity. The objective of this study is to assess the gully erosion in an agriculturally used watershed in the northern Amhara region of Ethiopia. The study uses two different methods to measure the development of four active gully reaches within one system: 1) manual recording of various cross sections using tape measurements and 2) application of close range photogrammetry. Fieldwork was conducted from June to September 2012. Overlapping photographs, taken with a non-metric digital camera, were taken as input data for a detailed photogrammetric analysis. The goal was to assess the applicability of this rather new remote sensing method in the given domain. In addition, the total soil loss due to gully erosion was evaluated for different reaches of the gully system in a catchment of 34 ha. In order to provide comparison and backup data, as well as for verification purposes, the field work was designed to incorporate manual plumb line and tape cross section measurements. Both methods where applied at the beginning, the middle and at the end of the rainy season. The work uses geo-referenced buried stones to retrace the location of 22 cross sections at four gully reaches. These marks were also necessary to add a consistent outer orientation to the dense surface point clouds resulting from photogrammetric analysis. The control points are then excluded from the photogrammetric reconstruction process and used for error estimation. The software package Photomodeller Scanner® allows for the derivation of surface models from point clouds. Comparing the surfaces from different points in time for a specific gully reach reveals the volumetric soil loss in this area. The manual measurements of 22 cross sections show an increase in area of up to 136%. At the top most active gully reaches this relates to a soil loss of greater than 17 m3 within a 21 m long gully segment. The

  11. Towards improved socio-economic assessments of ocean acidification's impacts.

    PubMed

    Hilmi, Nathalie; Allemand, Denis; Dupont, Sam; Safa, Alain; Haraldsson, Gunnar; Nunes, Paulo A L D; Moore, Chris; Hattam, Caroline; Reynaud, Stéphanie; Hall-Spencer, Jason M; Fine, Maoz; Turley, Carol; Jeffree, Ross; Orr, James; Munday, Philip L; Cooley, Sarah R

    2013-01-01

    Ocean acidification is increasingly recognized as a component of global change that could have a wide range of impacts on marine organisms, the ecosystems they live in, and the goods and services they provide humankind. Assessment of these potential socio-economic impacts requires integrated efforts between biologists, chemists, oceanographers, economists and social scientists. But because ocean acidification is a new research area, significant knowledge gaps are preventing economists from estimating its welfare impacts. For instance, economic data on the impact of ocean acidification on significant markets such as fisheries, aquaculture and tourism are very limited (if not non-existent), and non-market valuation studies on this topic are not yet available. Our paper summarizes the current understanding of future OA impacts and sets out what further information is required for economists to assess socio-economic impacts of ocean acidification. Our aim is to provide clear directions for multidisciplinary collaborative research. PMID:24391285

  12. Health risk assessment linked to filling coastal quarries with treated dredged seaport sediments.

    PubMed

    Perrodin, Yves; Donguy, Gilles; Emmanuel, Evens; Winiarski, Thierry

    2014-07-01

    Dredged seaport sediments raise complex management problems since it is no longer possible to discharge them into the sea. Traditional waste treatments are poorly adapted for these materials in terms of absorbable volumes and cost. In this context, filling quarries with treated sediments appears interesting but its safety regarding human health must be demonstrated. To achieve this, a specific methodology for assessing health risks has been developed and tested on three seaport sediments. This methodology includes the development of a conceptual model of the global scenario studied and the definition of specific protocols for each of its major steps. The approach proposed includes in particular the use of metrological and experimental tools that are new in this context: (i) an experimental lysimeter for characterizing the deposit emissions, and (ii) a geological radar for identifying potential preferential pathways between the sediment deposit and the groundwater. The application of this approach on the three sediments tested for the scenario studied showed the absence of health risk associated with the consumption of groundwater for substances having a "threshold effect" (risk quotient <1), and an acceptable risk for substances having a "non-threshold effect", with the notable exception of arsenic (individual risk equal to 3.10(-6)). PMID:24742547

  13. Incorporating the Last Four Digits of Social Security Numbers Substantially Improves Linking Patient Data from De-identified Hospital Claims Databases

    PubMed Central

    Naessens, James M; Visscher, Sue L; Peterson, Stephanie M; Swanson, Kristi M; Johnson, Matthew G; Rahman, Parvez A; Schindler, Joe; Sonneborn, Mark; Fry, Donald E; Pine, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Objective Assess algorithms for linking patients across de-identified databases without compromising confidentiality. Data Sources/Study Setting Hospital discharges from 11 Mayo Clinic hospitals during January 2008–September 2012 (assessment and validation data). Minnesota death certificates and hospital discharges from 2009 to 2012 for entire state (application data). Study Design Cross-sectional assessment of sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV) for four linking algorithms tested by identifying readmissions and posthospital mortality on the assessment data with application to statewide data. Data Collection/Extraction Methods De-identified claims included patient gender, birthdate, and zip code. Assessment records were matched with institutional sources containing unique identifiers and the last four digits of Social Security number (SSNL4). Principal Findings Gender, birthdate, and five-digit zip code identified readmissions with a sensitivity of 98.0 percent and a PPV of 97.7 percent and identified postdischarge mortality with 84.4 percent sensitivity and 98.9 percent PPV. Inclusion of SSNL4 produced nearly perfect identification of readmissions and deaths. When applied statewide, regions bordering states with unavailable hospital discharge data had lower rates. Conclusion Addition of SSNL4 to administrative data, accompanied by appropriate data use and data release policies, can enable trusted repositories to link data with nearly perfect accuracy without compromising patient confidentiality. States maintaining centralized de-identified databases should add SSNL4 to data specifications. PMID:26073819

  14. Development of Improved Caprock Integrity and Risk Assessment Techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Bruno, Michael

    2014-09-30

    GeoMechanics Technologies has completed a geomechanical caprock integrity analysis and risk assessment study funded through the US Department of Energy. The project included: a detailed review of historical caprock integrity problems experienced in the natural gas storage industry; a theoretical description and documentation of caprock integrity issues; advanced coupled transport flow modelling and geomechanical simulation of three large-scale potential geologic sequestration sites to estimate geomechanical effects from CO₂ injection; development of a quantitative risk and decision analysis tool to assess caprock integrity risks; and, ultimately the development of recommendations and guidelines for caprock characterization and CO₂ injection operating practices. Historical data from gas storage operations and CO₂ sequestration projects suggest that leakage and containment incident risks are on the order of 10-1 to 10-2, which is higher risk than some previous studies have suggested for CO₂. Geomechanical analysis, as described herein, can be applied to quantify risks and to provide operating guidelines to reduce risks. The risk assessment tool developed for this project has been applied to five areas: The Wilmington Graben offshore Southern California, Kevin Dome in Montana, the Louden Field in Illinois, the Sleipner CO₂ sequestration operation in the North Sea, and the In Salah CO₂ sequestration operation in North Africa. Of these five, the Wilmington Graben area represents the highest relative risk while the Kevin Dome area represents the lowest relative risk.

  15. Improving antenatal risk assessment in women exposed to high risks.

    PubMed

    Perry, Natasha; Newman, Louise K; Hunter, Mick; Dunlop, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    Antenatal substance use and related psychosocial risk factors are known to increase the likelihood of child protection involvement; less is known about the predictive nature of maternal reflective functioning (RF) in this population. This preliminary study assessed psychosocial and psychological risk factors for a group of substance dependent women exposed to high risks in pregnancy, and their impact on child protection involvement. Pregnant women on opiate substitution treatment (n = 11) and a comparison group (n = 15) were recruited during their third trimester to complete measures of RF (Pregnancy Interview), childhood trauma, mental health and psychosocial assessments. At postnatal follow-up, RF was reassessed (Parent Development Interview - Revised Short Version) and mother-infant dyads were videotaped to assess emotional availability (EA). Child protection services were contacted to determine if any concerns had been raised for infant safety. Significant between-group differences were observed for demographics, psychosocial factors, trauma and mental health symptoms. Unexpectedly, no significant differences were found for RF or EA between groups. Eight women in the 'exposed to high risks' group became involved with child protection services. Reflective functioning was not significantly associated with psychosocial risk factors, and therefore did not mediate the outcome of child protection involvement. Women 'exposed to high risks' were equally able to generate a model of their own and their infants' mental states and should not be seen within a deficit perspective. Further research is required to better understand the range of risk factors that predict child protection involvement in high risk groups. PMID:23982989

  16. The Link between Unit Size and Performance Quality Assessments of Teaching and Administrative Faculty: A Case Study of the Ariel University Center of Samaria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davidovitch, Nitza; Soen, Dan

    2010-01-01

    This paper explores the association between faculty and department size at the Ariel University Center, and assessment scores granted by students to members of the administrative and teaching staff. The main research question relates to any link between unit size and assessment scores. Furthermore, this study seeks an answer to the question of…

  17. A Design to Improve Internal Validity of Assessments of Teaching Demonstrations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartsch, Robert A.; Engelhardt Bittner, Wendy M.; Moreno, Jesse E., Jr.

    2008-01-01

    Internal validity is important in assessing teaching demonstrations both for one's knowledge and for quality assessment demanded by outside sources. We describe a method to improve the internal validity of assessments of teaching demonstrations: a 1-group pretest-posttest design with alternative forms. This design is often more practical and…

  18. Improving Student Performance through Computer-Based Assessment: Insights from Recent Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ricketts, C.; Wilks, S. J.

    2002-01-01

    Compared student performance on computer-based assessment to machine-graded multiple choice tests. Found that performance improved dramatically on the computer-based assessment when students were not required to scroll through the question paper. Concluded that students may be disadvantaged by the introduction of online assessment unless care is…

  19. DNA Methylation Assessed by SMRT Sequencing Is Linked to Mutations in Neisseria meningitidis Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Sater, Mohamad R. Abdul; Lamelas, Araceli; Wang, Guilin; Clark, Tyson A.; Röltgen, Katharina; Mane, Shrikant; Korlach, Jonas; Pluschke, Gerd; Schmid, Christoph D.

    2015-01-01

    The Gram-negative bacterium Neisseria meningitidis features extensive genetic variability. To present, proposed virulence genotypes are also detected in isolates from asymptomatic carriers, indicating more complex mechanisms underlying variable colonization modes of N. meningitidis. We applied the Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing method from Pacific Biosciences to assess the genome-wide DNA modification profiles of two genetically related N. meningitidis strains, both of serogroup A. The resulting DNA methylomes revealed clear divergences, represented by the detection of shared and of strain-specific DNA methylation target motifs. The positional distribution of these methylated target sites within the genomic sequences displayed clear biases, which suggest a functional role of DNA methylation related to the regulation of genes. DNA methylation in N. meningitidis has a likely underestimated potential for variability, as evidenced by a careful analysis of the ORF status of a panel of confirmed and predicted DNA methyltransferase genes in an extended collection of N. meningitidis strains of serogroup A. Based on high coverage short sequence reads, we find phase variability as a major contributor to the variability in DNA methylation. Taking into account the phase variable loci, the inferred functional status of DNA methyltransferase genes matched the observed methylation profiles. Towards an elucidation of presently incompletely characterized functional consequences of DNA methylation in N. meningitidis, we reveal a prominent colocalization of methylated bases with Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) detected within our genomic sequence collection. As a novel observation we report increased mutability also at 6mA methylated nucleotides, complementing mutational hotspots previously described at 5mC methylated nucleotides. These findings suggest a more diverse role of DNA methylation and Restriction-Modification (RM) systems in the evolution of

  20. Landslide risk assessment and landslide disaster risk management: on the missing link between scientific knowledge, decision making and practice (Sergey Soloviev Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcántara-Ayala, Irasema

    2016-04-01

    Different investigations have been developed to address the uncertainty and quality evaluations leading to improve landslide hazard and risk assessment. With no doubt, and by using a wide range of scientific and technical approaches, they have contributed to a major extent to the understanding of the dynamics of landslide processes at different scales. Nonetheless, in a similar fashion than other hazards, it has been rather difficult to assess in a precise manner the multi-dimensions of their associated vulnerability and what is more, to effectively link risk assessments with disaster risk management. Owing to the double-character of landslide events, as natural and socio-natural hazards, mass movements turn out to be very complex processes, as their occurrence is also enhanced by population growth, socio-economic inequality, urbanization processes, land-degradation, unsustainable practices and mounting hazard exposure. Disaster Risk Management rope in the actions to attain Disaster Risk Reduction. The latter aims at decreasing existing hazard, vulnerability, and exposure, in addition to strengthening resilience, and very importantly, avoiding the construction of future disaster risk (UNISDR, 2015a). More specifically, and along the same line of ideas, the new-fangled Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030 (UNISDR, 2015b) points towards reducing disaster risk and losses by engaging in a series of actions at local, national and global levels. Among them and of utterly significance are those initiatives related to the need of moving from risk assessment into disaster risk management. Consequently, and beyond championing scientific and technical capacity to strengthen landslide knowledge to assess vulnerability, hazard exposure and disaster risks, the challenge remains in the realm of promoting and improving permanent communication, dialogue and partnership among the science and technology communities, policymakers and other stakeholders

  1. A nutrition intervention is effective in improving dietary components linked to cardiometabolic risk in youth with first-episode psychosis.

    PubMed

    Teasdale, Scott B; Ward, Philip B; Rosenbaum, Simon; Watkins, Andrew; Curtis, Jackie; Kalucy, Megan; Samaras, Katherine

    2016-06-01

    Severe mental illness is characterised by a 20-year mortality gap due to cardiometabolic disease. Poor diet in those with severe mental illness is an important and modifiable risk factor. The present study aimed to (i) examine baseline nutritional intake in youth with first-episode psychosis (FEP), (ii) evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of nutritional intervention early in FEP and (iii) to evaluate the effectiveness of early dietary intervention on key nutritional end points. Participants were recruited over a 12-month period from a community-based programme specifically targeting young people aged 15-25 years with newly diagnosed FEP. Individual dietetic consultations and practical group sessions were offered as part of a broader lifestyle programme. Dietary assessments were conducted before and at the end of the 12-week intervention. Participants exceeded recommended energy and Na intakes at baseline. Retention within the nutrition intervention was 67 %, consistent with other interventions offered to FEP clients. There was a 47 % reduction in discretionary food intake (-94 g/d, P<0·001) and reductions in daily energy (-24 %, P<0·001) and Na (-26 %, P<0·001) intakes. Diet quality significantly improved, and the mean change was 3·6 (95 % CI 0·2, 6·9, P<0·05), although this finding was not significant after Bonferroni's correction. Increased vegetable intake was the main factor contributing to improved diet quality. Nutrition intervention delivered shortly after initiation of antipsychotic medication is feasible, acceptable and effective in youth with FEP. Strategies to prevent weight gain and metabolic decline will contribute to prevent premature cardiometabolic disease in this vulnerable population. PMID:27153205

  2. Linking agricultural crop management and air quality models for regional to national-scale nitrogen assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooter, E. J.; Bash, J. O.; Benson, V.; Ran, L.

    2012-10-01

    While nitrogen (N) is an essential element for life, human population growth and demands for energy, transportation and food can lead to excess nitrogen in the environment. A modeling framework is described and implemented to promote a more integrated, process-based and system-level approach to the estimation of ammonia (NH3) emissions which result from the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers to agricultural soils in the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model is used to simulate plant demand-driven fertilizer applications to commercial cropland throughout the continental US. This information is coupled with a process-based air quality model to produce continental-scale NH3 emission estimates. Regional cropland NH3 emissions are driven by the timing and amount of inorganic NH3 fertilizer applied, soil processes, local meteorology, and ambient air concentrations. Initial fertilizer application often occurs when crops are planted. A state-level evaluation of EPIC-simulated, cumulative planted area compares well with similar USDA reported estimates. EPIC-annual, inorganic fertilizer application amounts also agree well with reported spatial patterns produced by others, but domain-wide the EPIC values are biased about 6% low. Preliminary application of the integrated fertilizer application and air quality modeling system produces a modified geospatial pattern of seasonal NH3 emissions that improves current simulations of observed atmospheric particle nitrate concentrations. This modeling framework provides a more dynamic, flexible, and spatially and temporally resolved estimate of NH3 emissions than previous factor-based NH3 inventories, and will facilitate evaluation of alternative nitrogen and air quality policy and adaptation strategies associated with future climate and land use changes.

  3. Linking agricultural crop management and air quality models for regional to national-scale nitrogen assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooter, E. J.; Bash, J. O.; Benson, V.; Ran, L.

    2012-05-01

    While nitrogen (N) is an essential element for life, human population growth and demands for energy, transportation and food can lead to excess nitrogen in the environment. A modeling framework is described and implemented, to promote a more integrated, process-based and system-level approach to the estimation of ammonia (NH3) emissions resulting from the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers to agricultural soils in the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model is used to simulate plant demand-driven fertilizer applications to commercial cropland throughout the continental US. This information is coupled with a process-based air quality model to produce continental-scale NH3 emission estimates. Regional cropland NH3 emissions are driven by the timing and amount of fertilizer applied, local meteorology, and ambient air concentrations. An evaluation of EPIC-simulated crop management activities associated with fertilizer application at planting compared with similar USDA state-level event estimates shows temporally progressive spatial patterns that agree well with one another. EPIC annual inorganic fertilizer application amounts also agree well with reported spatial patterns produced by others, but domain-wide the EPIC values are biased about 6 % low. Preliminary application of the integrated fertilizer application and air quality modeling system produces a modified geospatial pattern of seasonal NH3 emissions that improves current simulations of observed atmospheric nitrate concentrations. This modeling framework provides a more dynamic, flexible, and spatially and temporally resolved estimate of NH3 emissions than previous factor-based NH3 inventories, and will facilitate evaluation of alternative nitrogen and air quality policy and adaptation strategies associated with future climate and land use changes.

  4. Stepping backward to improve assessment of PCB congener toxicities.

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, L G

    1998-01-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous global contaminants that have been intensively investigated for three decades. They are broad-acting toxicants occurring in complex mixtures and accurate risk assessment has proven to be elusive. Focusing on a limited set of end points and emphasizing a fixed set of congeners have led to more streamlined data sets that are meant to expedite hazard characterization and risk assessment for the most potent congeners--aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists. Unfortunately, this has made it impossible to confirm or deny significant contributions from the more prevalent components of the mixtures. PCBs may be only coincidentally present, rather than causal, in some diseases. Still, attempts to determine associations with incomplete residue data may lead to erroneous conclusions and make accurate risk assessment even more elusive. Responses not mediated through the AhR are presented and emphasize large data gaps. Dissimilar analytical reports emphasize that selection of analytes is not consistent. Collectively, these data confirm that AhR-focused objectives unintentionally created the impression that nonplanar PCBs have little if any potential for hazards to humans and wildlife. Near steady-state exposure of healthy adults are probably of minor consequence except for emerging correlations with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; however, pulses of exposure to more labile mixtures may contribute to developmental effects without leaving a residue record. More broadly based criteria are suggested and harmonization of data collection and presentation are desirable. A more comprehensive list of PCB congeners is proposed that would provide more adequate data upon which to base associations with adverse outcomes. PMID:9539012

  5. Improving the effectiveness of environmental assessment in the World Bank

    SciTech Connect

    Rees, C. . Environment Dept.)

    1999-05-01

    Environmental assessment (EA) has been a standard procedure for the preparation and implementation of World Bank projects since 1989. The experience with using EA procedures was the subject of two internal reviews in 1995 and 1996. This article presents the main findings and recommendations of these reviews, emphasizing that whereas considerable progress has been made in integrating EA into Bank practice, much remains to be achieved both upstream (through the development of sectoral and regional EAs) and downstream (through the preparation and more effective use of environmental management plans).

  6. Improving the care of cancer patients: holistic needs assessment.

    PubMed

    Young, Jenny; Cund, Audrey; Renshaw, Marian; Quigley, Angela; Snowden, Austyn

    This discussion paper presents a review of holistic needs assessments (HNAs) in the care of patients with cancer. HNAs entail a structured review of patient needs as articulated by the patient. This discussion then leads to a care plan grounded in issues pertinent to that patient. Despite policy guidance advocating its use, there are barriers to overcome in order to integrate HNAs into routine care. This article discusses what role communication skills and clinician confidence may have on the use of HNAs in practice, and suggests a strategy to support HNAs becoming the norm. PMID:25723367

  7. Assessing the link between coastal urbanization and the quality of nekton habitat in mangrove tidal tributaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krebs, Justin M.; Bell, Susan S.; McIvor, Carole C.

    2014-01-01

    To assess the potential influence of coastal development on habitat quality for estuarine nekton, we characterized body condition and reproduction for common nekton from tidal tributaries classified as undeveloped, industrial, urban or man-made (i.e., mosquito-control ditches). We then evaluated these metrics of nekton performance, along with several abundance-based metrics and community structure from a companion paper (Krebs et al. 2013) to determine which metrics best reflected variation in land-use and in-stream habitat among tributaries. Body condition was not significantly different among undeveloped, industrial, and man-made tidal tributaries for six of nine taxa; however, three of those taxa were in significantly better condition in urban compared to undeveloped tributaries. Palaemonetes shrimp were the only taxon in significantly poorer condition in urban tributaries. For Poecilia latipinna, there was no difference in body condition (length–weight) between undeveloped and urban tributaries, but energetic condition was significantly better in urban tributaries. Reproductive output was reduced for both P. latipinna (i.e., fecundity) and grass shrimp (i.e., very low densities, few ovigerous females) in urban tributaries; however a tradeoff between fecundity and offspring size confounded meaningful interpretation of reproduction among land-use classes for P. latipinna. Reproductive allotment by P. latipinna did not differ significantly among land-use classes. Canonical correspondence analysis differentiated urban and non-urban tributaries based on greater impervious surface, less natural mangrove shoreline, higher frequency of hypoxia and lower, more variable salinities in urban tributaries. These characteristics explained 36 % of the variation in nekton performance, including high densities of poeciliid fishes, greater energetic condition of sailfin mollies, and low densities of several common nekton and economically important taxa from urban tributaries

  8. Doctor Who? A Quality Improvement Project to Assess and Improve Patients' Knowledge of Their Inpatient Physicians.

    PubMed

    Broderick-Forsgren, Kathleen; Hunter, Wynn G; Schulteis, Ryan D; Liu, Wen-Wei; Boggan, Joel C; Sharma, Poonam; Thomas, Steven; Zaas, Aimee; Bae, Jonathan

    2016-05-01

    Background Patient-physician communication is an integral part of high-quality patient care and an expectation of the Clinical Learning Environment Review program. Objective This quality improvement initiative evaluated the impact of an educational audit and feedback intervention on the frequency of use of 2 tools-business cards and white boards-to improve provider identification. Methods This before-after study utilized patient surveys to determine the ability of those patients to name and recognize their physicians. The before phase began in July 2013. From September 2013 to May 2014, physicians received education on business card and white board use. Results We surveyed 378 patients. Our intervention improved white board utilization (72.2% postintervention versus 54.5% preintervention, P < .01) and slightly improved business card use (44.4% versus 33.7%, P = .07), but did not improve physician recognition. Only 20.3% (14 of 69) of patients could name their physician without use of the business card or white board. Data from all study phases showed the use of both tools improved patients' ability to name physicians (OR = 1.72 and OR = 2.12, respectively; OR = 3.68 for both; P < .05 for all), but had no effect on photograph recognition. Conclusions Our educational intervention improved white board use, but did not result in improved patient ability to recognize physicians. Pooled data of business cards and white boards, alone or combined, improved name recognition, suggesting better use of these tools may increase identification. Future initiatives should target other barriers to usage of these types of tools. PMID:27168887

  9. An improved image sharpness assessment method based on contrast sensitivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Li; Tian, Yan; Yin, Yili

    2015-10-01

    An image sharpness assessment method based on the property of Contrast Sensitivity Function (CSF) was proposed to realize the sharpness assessment of unfocused image. Firstly, image was performed the two-dimensional Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), and intermediate frequency coefficients and high frequency coefficients are divided into two parts respectively. Secondly the four parts were performed the inverse Discrete Fourier Transform (IDFT) to obtain subimages. Thirdly, using Range Function evaluates the four sub-image sharpness value. Finally, the image sharpness is obtained through the weighted sum of the sub-image sharpness value. In order to comply with the CSF characteristics, weighting factor is setting based on the Contrast Sensitivity Function. The new algorithm and four typical evaluation algorithm: Fourier, Range , Variance and Wavelet are evaluated based on the six quantitative evaluation index, which include the width of steep part of focusing curve, the ration of sharpness, the steepness, the variance of float part of focusing curve, the factor of local extreme and the sensitivity. On the other hand, the effect of noise, and image content on algorithm is analyzed in this paper. The experiment results show that the new algorithm has better performance of sensitivity, anti-nose than the four typical evaluation algorithms. The evaluation results are consistent with human visual characteristics.

  10. Improving remote sensing flood assessment using volunteered geographical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnebele, E.; Cervone, G.

    2013-03-01

    A new methodology for the generation of flood hazard maps is presented fusing remote sensing and volunteered geographical data. Water pixels are identified utilizing a machine learning classification of two Landsat remote sensing scenes, acquired before and during the flooding event as well as a digital elevation model paired with river gage data. A statistical model computes the probability of flooded areas as a function of the number of adjacent pixels classified as water. Volunteered data obtained through Google news, videos and photos are added to modify the contour regions. It is shown that even a small amount of volunteered ground data can dramatically improve results.

  11. Joining Forces for Food Security - Linking Earth Observation and Crowd-sourcing for improved Decision-support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enenkel, M.; Dorigo, W.; See, L. M.; Vinck, P.; Papp, A.

    2014-12-01

    Droughts statistically exceed all other natural disasters in complexity, spatio-temporal extent and number of people affected. Triggered by crop failure, food insecurity is a major manifestation of agricultural drought and water scarcity. However, other socio-economic precursors, such as chronically low levels of disaster preparedness, hampered access to food security or a lack of social safety nets are equally important factors. We will present the first results of the SATIDA (Satellite Technologies for Improved Drought-Risk Assessment) project, which advances three complementary developments. First, an existing drought indicator is enhanced by replacing in-situ measurements on rainfall and surface air temperature with satellite-derived datasets. We identify the vegetation status via a new noise-corrected and gap-filled vegetation index. In addition, we introduce a soil moisture component to close the gap between rainfall deficiencies, extreme temperature and the first visible impacts of atmospheric anomalies on vegetation. Second, once calibrated, the index is forced with seasonal forecasts to quantify their uncertainty and added value in the regions of interest. Third, a mobile application is developed to disseminate relevant visualizations to decision-makers in affected areas, to collect additional information about socio-economic conditions and to validate the output of the drought index in real conditions. Involving Doctors without Borders (MSF) as a key user, SATIDA aims at decreasing uncertainties in decision-making via a more holistic risk framework, resulting in longer lead times for disaster logistics in the preparedness phase.

  12. A Link between the Increase in Electroencephalographic Coherence and Performance Improvement in Operating a Brain-Computer Interface.

    PubMed

    Angulo-Sherman, Irma Nayeli; Gutiérrez, David

    2015-01-01

    We study the relationship between electroencephalographic (EEG) coherence and accuracy in operating a brain-computer interface (BCI). In our case, the BCI is controlled through motor imagery. Hence, a number of volunteers were trained using different training paradigms: classical visual feedback, auditory stimulation, and functional electrical stimulation (FES). After each training session, the volunteers' accuracy in operating the BCI was assessed, and the event-related coherence (ErCoh) was calculated for all possible combinations of pairs of EEG sensors. After at least four training sessions, we searched for significant differences in accuracy and ErCoh using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multiple comparison tests. Our results show that there exists a high correlation between an increase in ErCoh and performance improvement, and this effect is mainly localized in the centrofrontal and centroparietal brain regions for the case of our motor imagery task. This result has a direct implication with the development of new techniques to evaluate BCI performance and the process of selecting a feedback modality that better enhances the volunteer's capacity to operate a BCI system. PMID:26290661

  13. Assessing, Analyzing, and Adapting: Improving a Graduate Student Instruction Program through Needs Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roszkowski, Beth; Reynolds, Gretchen

    2013-01-01

    This article highlights an assessment of library instruction needs among graduate students in the social sciences. The article addresses the development and implementation of the assessment and the application of assessment results to an established set of library instruction workshops. The article provides a detailed summary of assessment…

  14. Improving Assessment: Creating a Culture of Assessment with a Change Management Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lane, Michael R.; Lane, Peggy L.; Rich, John; Wheeling, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    For more than twenty years accrediting agencies have required assessment as part of their initial accreditation or reaffirmation processes. During that period of time thousands of institutions have successfully prepared plans to achieve or maintain their accreditation. Why then does a culture of assessment not exist? And why is assessment still an…

  15. New Assessments, Better Instruction? Designing Assessment Systems to Promote Instructional Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Faxon-Mills, Susannah; Hamilton, Laura S.; Rudnick, Mollie; Stecher, Brian M.

    2013-01-01

    The Hewlett Foundation commissioned RAND to review research about the effects of assessment and to summarize what is known about assessment as a lever for reform. To explore the likely influence of new assessments on teaching practice and the conditions that moderate that relationship, researchers conducted a series of literature reviews. The…

  16. The links between agriculture and health: an intersectoral opportunity to improve the health and livelihoods of the poor.

    PubMed Central

    Hawkes, Corinna; Ruel, Marie

    2006-01-01

    Agriculture and health are linked in many ways. First, agriculture is essential for good health: it produces the world's food, fibre and materials for shelter; in many countries it is also an important source of livelihood among the poor. At the same time, agriculture can be linked with poor health, including malnutrition, malaria, foodborne illnesses, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), livestock-related diseases, chronic diseases and occupational ill-health. Health also affects agriculture: people's health status influences the demand for agricultural outputs, and in agricultural communities, poor health reduces work performance, reducing income and productivity and perpetuating a downward spiral into ill-health. This paper presents an overview of the bidirectional links between agriculture and health with a focus on the developing world. It develops a conceptual framework that brings together the various links between agriculture and health into a single broad framework. The framework comprises the core components of the agricultural supply chain (producers, systems and outputs), key health concerns and the mechanisms of common interaction between the agricultural and health components: income, labour, environment and access -- all key social determinants of health. These links between agriculture and health present an opportunity for the two sectors to work together to find solutions to each other's problems. Yet the health and agricultural sectors remain poorly coordinated. Leadership from global health and agricultural institutions is needed to build policies and good governance to facilitate integration, while capacity building is needed at all levels to help translate the conceptual links into comprehensive action on the ground. Health and agricultural researchers likewise need to work more closely together to achieve common goals. PMID:17242835

  17. Assessment of two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests marketed for detection of ruminant proteins in finished feed.

    PubMed

    Myers, Michael J; Yancy, Haile F; Farrell, Dorothy E; Washington, Jewell D; Deaver, Christine M; Frobish, Russell A

    2007-03-01

    The performance characteristics of two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test kits, ELISA Technologies' MELISA-Tek test and Tepnel BioSystems' BioKit for (Cooked) Species Identification test, designed to detect ruminant proteins in animal feed, were evaluated. The test kits were evaluated by using acceptance criteria developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine Office of Research for evaluating selectivity, sensitivity, ruggedness, and specificity. The acceptance criteria for determining success used a statistical approach requiring a 90% probability of achieving the correct response within a 95% confidence interval. In practice, this measure requires the test to achieve the correct response 58 times for every 60 samples evaluated, or a 96.7% accuracy rate. A minimum detection level of 0.1% bovine meat and bone meal (BMBM) was required, consistent with the sensitivity of the analytical methods presently used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Selectivity was assessed by testing 60 dairy feed samples that contained no added animal proteins; sensitivity was determined by evaluating 60 samples (per level of fortification) of this same feed that contained 0.025, 0.05, 0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 1, or 2% BMBM. The MELISA-Tek test passed the acceptance set-point criteria for selectivity assessment but failed the sensitivity assessment at all levels except at the 2% level. The MELISA-Tek test came close to passing at the 1% level, detecting true-positive findings at a rate of 93%, but failed at lower levels, in spite of the label claim of 0.5% sensitivity. The BioKit for (Cooked) Species Identification test detected only 2 of 17 samples fortified at the 2% BMBM level and failed to detect any other BMBM-fortified samples. The results of this evaluation indicate that neither test is adequate for regulatory use. PMID:17388061

  18. Linking hydrologic, physical and chemical habitat environments for the potential assessment of fish community rehabilitation in a developing city

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Liu, C. M.; Dou, T. W.; Yang, Z. L.; Yang, Z. Y.; Liu, X. L.; Xiang, H.; Nie, S. Y.; Zhang, J. L.; Mitrovic, S. M.; Yu, Q.; Lim, R. P.

    2015-04-01

    Aquatic ecological rehabilitation is increasingly attracting considerable public and research attention. An effective method that requires less data and expertise would help in the assessment of rehabilitation potential and in the monitoring of rehabilitation activities as complicated theories and excessive data requirements on assemblage information make many current assessment models expensive and limit their wide use. This paper presents an assessment model for restoration potential which successfully links hydrologic, physical and chemical habitat factors to fish assemblage attributes drawn from monitoring datasets on hydrology, water quality and fish assemblages at a total of 144 sites, where 5084 fish were sampled and tested. In this model three newly developed sub-models, integrated habitat index (IHSI), integrated ecological niche breadth (INB) and integrated ecological niche overlap (INO), are established to study spatial heterogeneity of the restoration potential of fish assemblages based on gradient methods of habitat suitability index and ecological niche models. To reduce uncertainties in the model, as many fish species as possible, including important native fish, were selected as dominant species with monitoring occurring over several seasons to comprehensively select key habitat factors. Furthermore, a detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) was employed prior to a canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) of the data to avoid the "arc effect" in the selection of key habitat factors. Application of the model to data collected at Jinan City, China proved effective reveals that three lower potential regions that should be targeted in future aquatic ecosystem rehabilitation programs. They were well validated by the distribution of two habitat parameters: river width and transparency. River width positively influenced and transparency negatively influenced fish assemblages. The model can be applied for monitoring the effects of fish assemblage restoration

  19. Improved transmission performance of adaptively modulated optical OFDM signals over directly modulated DFB laser-based IMDD links using adaptive cyclic prefix.

    PubMed

    Giacoumidis, E; Wei, J L; Jin, X Q; Tang, J M

    2008-06-23

    The impact of Adaptive Cyclic Prefix (ACP) on the transmission performance of Adaptively Modulated Optical OFDM (AMOOFDM) is explored thoroughly in directly modulated DFB laser-based, IMDD links involving Multimode Fibres (MMFs)/Single-Mode Fibres (SMFs). Three ACP mechanisms are identified, each of which can, depending upon the link properties, affect significantly the AMOOFDM transmission performance. In comparison with AMOOFDM having a fixed cyclic prefix duration of 25%, AMOOFDM with ACP can not only improve the transmission capacity by a factor of >2 (>1.3) for >1000 m MMFs (<80 km SMFs) with 1 dB link loss margin enhancement, but also relax considerably the requirement on the DFB bandwidth. PMID:18575513

  20. Assessing and improving the robustness of shock ignition targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atzeni, Stefano; Marocchino, A.; Schiavi, A.; Temporal, M.

    2010-11-01

    Shock ignition is a promising approach to inertial confinement fusion. Like fast ignition, it separates the stages of compression and ignition, but does not require ultraintense lasers. In addition, it may allow for relatively simple spherical targets. Here, we report studies concerning a simple all D-T target and a target with CH ablator, which could be tested at the National Ignition facility. They achieve (1D) gain in the range 60-100 at laser energy 0.5 -- 1 MJ. These targets are driven by shaped laser pulses preceded by an an adiabat-shaping picket, which (according to our 2D simulations) is required to reduce both RMI and RTI growth at the ablation front. We have performed a wide 1D scan of performance sensitivity to changes in pulse shaping and target parameters (including initial temperature). By 2D simulations we have then studied how irradiation nonuniformities associated to the beam configuration, as well as to beam imbalance and mispointing and to target mispositioning degrade target performance. We discuss how robustness to such errors can be improved by optimizing beam configuration and target design.

  1. Assessing and improving student understanding of quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2006-02-01

    We developed a survey to probe student understanding of quantum mechanics concepts at the beginning of graduate instruction. The survey was administered to 202 graduate students in physics enrolled in first-year quantum mechanics courses from seven different universities at the beginning of the first semester. We also conducted one-on-one interviews with fifteen graduate students or advanced undergraduate students who had just finished a course in which all the content on the survey was covered. We find that students share universal difficulties about fundamental quantum mechanics concepts. The difficulties are often due to over-generalization of concepts learned in one context to other contexts where they are not directly applicable and difficulty in making sense of the abstract quantitative formalism of quantum mechanics. Instructional strategies that focus on improving student understanding of these concepts should take into account these difficulties. The results from this study can sensitize instructors of first-year graduate quantum physics to the conceptual difficulties students are likely to face.

  2. A novel system identification technique for improved wearable hemodynamics assessment.

    PubMed

    Wiens, Andrew D; Inan, Omer T

    2015-05-01

    Recent advances have led to renewed interest in ballistocardiography (BCG), a noninvasive measure of the small movements of the body due to cardiovascular events. A broad range of platforms have been developed and verified for BCG measurement including beds, chairs, and weighing scales: while the body is coupled to such a platform, the cardiogenic movements are measured. Wearable BCG, measured with an accelerometer affixed to the body, may enable continuous, or more regular, monitoring during the day; however, the signals from such wearable BCGs represent local or distal accelerations of skin and tissue rather than the whole body. In this paper, we propose a novel method to reconstruct the BCG measured with a weighing scale (WS BCG) from a wearable sensor via a training step to remove these local effects. Preliminary validation of this method was performed with 15 subjects: the wearable sensor was placed at three locations on the surface of the body while WS BCG measurements were recorded simultaneously. A regularized system identification approach was used to reconstruct the WS BCG from the wearable BCG. Preliminary results suggest that the relationship between local and central disturbances is highly dependent on both the individual and the location where the accelerometer is placed on the body and that these differences can be resolved via calibration to accurately measure changes in cardiac output and contractility from a wearable sensor. Such measurements could be highly effective, for example, for improved monitoring of heart failure patients at home. PMID:25561589

  3. Improved Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay To Reveal Mycoplasma agassizii Exposure: a Valuable Tool in the Management of Environmentally Sensitive Tortoise Populations▿

    PubMed Central

    Wendland, Lori D.; Zacher, Laurie A.; Klein, Paul A.; Brown, Daniel R.; Demcovitz, Dina; Littell, Ramon; Brown, Mary B.

    2007-01-01

    The precarious status of desert (Gopherus agassizii) and gopher (Gopherus polyphemus) tortoises has resulted in research and conservation efforts that include health assessments as a substantial component of management decision-making. Therefore, it is critical that available diagnostic tests for diseases impacting these species undergo rigorous standardization and validation. Since 1992, analysis of exposure of tortoises to Mycoplasma agassizii, an etiological agent of upper respiratory tract disease, has relied on the detection of specific M. agassizii antibody by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We report here substantive refinements in the diagnostic assay and discuss the implications of its use in wildlife conservation and management. The ELISA has been refined to include more stringent quality control measures and has been converted to a clinically more meaningful titer reporting system, consistent with other diagnostic serologic tests. The ELISA results for 5,954 desert and gopher tortoises were plotted, and a subset of these serum samples (n = 90) was used to determine end-point titers, to establish an optimum serum dilution for analyzing samples, and to construct a standard curve. The relationship between titer and A405 was validated using 77 serum samples from known positive (n = 48) and negative (n = 29) control tortoises from prior transmission studies. The Youden index, J, and the optimal cut point, c, were estimated using ELISA results from the 77 control sera. Based on this evaluation, the refinement has substantially improved the performance of the assay (sensitivity of 0.98, specificity of 0.99, and J of 0.98), thus providing a clinically more reliable diagnostic test for this important infection of tortoises. PMID:17626160

  4. Improved enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to reveal Mycoplasma agassizii exposure: a valuable tool in the management of environmentally sensitive tortoise populations.

    PubMed

    Wendland, Lori D; Zacher, Laurie A; Klein, Paul A; Brown, Daniel R; Demcovitz, Dina; Littell, Ramon; Brown, Mary B

    2007-09-01

    The precarious status of desert (Gopherus agassizii) and gopher (Gopherus polyphemus) tortoises has resulted in research and conservation efforts that include health assessments as a substantial component of management decision-making. Therefore, it is critical that available diagnostic tests for diseases impacting these species undergo rigorous standardization and validation. Since 1992, analysis of exposure of tortoises to Mycoplasma agassizii, an etiological agent of upper respiratory tract disease, has relied on the detection of specific M. agassizii antibody by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We report here substantive refinements in the diagnostic assay and discuss the implications of its use in wildlife conservation and management. The ELISA has been refined to include more stringent quality control measures and has been converted to a clinically more meaningful titer reporting system, consistent with other diagnostic serologic tests. The ELISA results for 5,954 desert and gopher tortoises were plotted, and a subset of these serum samples (n = 90) was used to determine end-point titers, to establish an optimum serum dilution for analyzing samples, and to construct a standard curve. The relationship between titer and A405 was validated using 77 serum samples from known positive (n = 48) and negative (n = 29) control tortoises from prior transmission studies. The Youden index, J, and the optimal cut point, c, were estimated using ELISA results from the 77 control sera. Based on this evaluation, the refinement has substantially improved the performance of the assay (sensitivity of 0.98, specificity of 0.99, and J of 0.98), thus providing a clinically more reliable diagnostic test for this important infection of tortoises. PMID:17626160

  5. Improving the accuracy of the k-shell method by removing redundant links: From a perspective of spreading dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ying; Tang, Ming; Zhou, Tao; Do, Younghae

    2015-01-01

    Recent study shows that the accuracy of the k-shell method in determining node coreness in a spreading process is largely impacted due to the existence of core-like group, which has a large k-shell index but a low spreading efficiency. Based on the analysis of the structure of core-like groups in real-world networks, we discover that nodes in the core-like group are mutually densely connected with very few out-leaving links from the group. By defining a measure of diffusion importance for each edge based on the number of out-leaving links of its both ends, we are able to identify redundant links in the spreading process, which have a relatively low diffusion importance but lead to form the locally densely connected core-like group. After filtering out the redundant links and applying the k-shell method to the residual network, we obtain a renewed coreness ks for each node which is a more accurate index to indicate its location importance and spreading influence in the original network. Moreover, we find that the performance of the ranking algorithms based on the renewed coreness are also greatly enhanced. Our findings help to more accurately decompose the network core structure and identify influential nodes in spreading processes. PMID:26277903

  6. Toward an Improved Regional Delivery System for Special Education Support Services in Massachusetts: Resource Linking System. Concept Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lavin, Richard J.; And Others

    Proposed is a regional (Northeast) model to stimulate and draw together local and state services in a Resource Linking System for special education. It is explained that the model would provide the following five functions: appraisal of teachers' training needs, management and development of materials, field-based inservice training for teachers…

  7. Stabilization of collagen nanofibers with l-lysine improves the ability of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membranes to preserve limbal epithelial progenitor cells

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Jui-Yang; Wang, Pei-Ran; Luo, Li-Jyuan; Chen, Si-Tan

    2014-01-01

    To overcome the drawbacks associated with limited cross-linking efficiency of carbodiimide modified amniotic membrane, this study investigated the use of l-lysine as an additional amino acid bridge to enhance the stability of a nanofibrous tissue matrix for a limbal epithelial cell culture platform. Results of ninhydrin assays and zeta potential measurements showed that the amount of positively charged amino acid residues incorporated into the tissue collagen chains is highly correlated with the l-lysine-pretreated concentration. The cross-linked structure and hydrophilicity of amniotic membrane scaffolding materials affected by the lysine molecular bridging effects were determined. With an increase in the l-lysine-pretreated concentration from 1 to 30 mM, the cross-linking density was significantly increased and water content was markedly decreased. The variations in resistance to thermal denaturation and enzymatic degradation were in accordance with the number of cross-links per unit mass of amniotic membrane, indicating l-lysine-modulated stabilization of collagen molecules. It was also noteworthy that the carbodiimide cross-linked tissue samples prepared using a relatively high l-lysine-pretreated concentration (ie, 30 mM) appeared to have decreased light transmittance and biocompatibility, probably due to the influence of a large nanofiber size and a high charge density. The rise in stemness gene and protein expression levels was dependent on improved cross-link formation, suggesting the crucial role of amino acid bridges in constructing suitable scaffolds to preserve limbal progenitor cells. It is concluded that mild to moderate pretreatment conditions (ie, 3–10 mM l-lysine) can provide a useful strategy to assist in the development of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membrane as a stable stem cell niche for corneal epithelial tissue engineering. PMID:25395849

  8. Cardiovascular simulator improvement: pressure versus volume loop assessment.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Jeison; Andrade, Aron; Nicolosi, Denys E C; Biscegli, José F; Leme, Juliana; Legendre, Daniel; Bock, Eduardo; Lucchi, Julio Cesar

    2011-05-01

    This article presents improvement on a physical cardiovascular simulator (PCS) system. Intraventricular pressure versus intraventricular volume (PxV) loop was obtained to evaluate performance of a pulsatile chamber mimicking the human left ventricle. PxV loop shows heart contractility and is normally used to evaluate heart performance. In many heart diseases, the stroke volume decreases because of low heart contractility. This pathological situation must be simulated by the PCS in order to evaluate the assistance provided by a ventricular assist device (VAD). The PCS system is automatically controlled by a computer and is an auxiliary tool for VAD control strategies development. This PCS system is according to a Windkessel model where lumped parameters are used for cardiovascular system analysis. Peripheral resistance, arteries compliance, and fluid inertance are simulated. The simulator has an actuator with a roller screw and brushless direct current motor, and the stroke volume is regulated by the actuator displacement. Internal pressure and volume measurements are monitored to obtain the PxV loop. Left chamber internal pressure is directly obtained by pressure transducer; however, internal volume has been obtained indirectly by using a linear variable differential transformer, which senses the diaphragm displacement. Correlations between the internal volume and diaphragm position are made. LabVIEW integrates these signals and shows the pressure versus internal volume loop. The results that have been obtained from the PCS system show PxV loops at different ventricle elastances, making possible the simulation of pathological situations. A preliminary test with a pulsatile VAD attached to PCS system was made. PMID:21595711

  9. A Novel System Identification Technique for Improved Wearable Hemodynamics Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, Andrew D.; Inan, Omer T.

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances have led to renewed interest in ballistocardiography (BCG), a non-invasive measure of the small reaction forces on the body from cardiovascular events. A broad range of platforms have been developed and verified for BCG measurement including beds, chairs, and weighing scales: while the body is coupled to such a platform, the cardiogenic movements of the center-of-mass (COM) are measured. Wearable BCG, measured with an accelerometer affixed to the body, may enable continuous, or more regular, monitoring during the day; however, the signals from such wearable BCGs represent local or distal accelerations of skin and tissue rather than the displacement of the body's COM. In this paper we propose a novel method to reconstruct the COM BCG from a wearable sensor via a training step to remove these local effects. Preliminary validation of this method was performed with fifteen subjects: the wearable sensor was placed at three locations on the surface of the body while COM BCG measurements were recorded simultaneously with a modified weighing scale. A regularized system identification approach was used to reconstruct the COM BCG from the wearable signal. Preliminary results suggest that the relationship between local and central forces is highly dependent on both the individual and the location where the wearable sensor is placed on the body and that these differences can be resolved via calibration to accurately measure changes in cardiac output and contractility from a wearable sensor. Such measurements could be highly effective, for example, for improved monitoring of heart failure patients at home. PMID:25561589

  10. Assessing an improved protocol for plasma microRNA extraction.

    PubMed

    Moret, Inés; Sánchez-Izquierdo, Dolors; Iborra, Marisa; Tortosa, Luis; Navarro-Puche, Ana; Nos, Pilar; Cervera, José; Beltrán, Belén

    2013-01-01

    The first step in biomarkers discovery is to identify the best protocols for their purification and analysis. This issue is critical when considering peripheral blood samples (plasma and serum) that are clinically interesting but meet several methodological problems, mainly complexity and low biomarker concentration. Analysis of small molecules, such as circulating microRNAs, should overcome these disadvantages. The present study describes an optimal RNA extraction method of microRNAs from human plasma samples. Different reagents and commercially available kits have been analyzed, identifying also the best pre-analytical conditions for plasma isolation. Between all of them, the column-based approaches were shown to be the most effective. In this context, miRNeasy Serum/Plasma Kit (from Qiagen) rendered more concentrated RNA, that was better suited for microarrays studies and did not require extra purification steps for sample concentration and purification than phenol based extraction methods. We also present evidences that the addition of low doses of an RNA carrier before starting the extraction process improves microRNA purification while an already published carrier dose can result in significant bias over microRNA profiles. Quality controls for best protocol selection were developed by spectrophotometry measurement of contaminants and microfluidics electrophoresis (Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer) for RNA integrity. Selected donor and patient plasma samples and matched biopsies were tested by Affymetrix microarray technology to compare differentially expressed microRNAs. In summary, this study defines an optimized protocol for microRNA purification from human blood samples, increasing the performance of assays and shedding light over the best way to discover and use these biomarkers in clinical practice. PMID:24376572

  11. Improving Assessment Methods in University Science Education with Negotiated Self- and Peer-Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poon, Wai-Yin; McNaught, Carmel; Lam, Paul; Kwan, H. S.

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether, in the Hong Kong context, self- and peer-assessment promote students' self-reflection and enable students to understand their own strengths and weaknesses better. A three-stage assessment strategy was employed in three Science courses at The Chinese University of Hong Kong: (1) students developing…

  12. Assessment for Improvement in Higher Education: Faculty Perception of and Participation in Program Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emil, Serap

    2011-01-01

    Driven by issues of accountability, the assessment movement in higher education has gained significant momentum in recent years. However, successful implementation of assessment processes varies radically across institutions and organizational units. A key issue is faculty engagement. This qualitative case study explored factors that impact…

  13. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.132...

  14. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.132...

  15. IMPROVING EMISSION INVENTORIES FOR EFFECTIVE AIR-QUALITY MANAGMENT ACROSS NORTH AMERICA - A NARSTO ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The NARSTO Ozone and Particulate Matter Assessments emphasized that emission inventories are critical to the success of air quality management programs and that emissions inventories in Canada, Mexico, and the United States need improvement to meet expectations for quality, timel...

  16. (AWMA) IMPROVING EMISSION INVENTORIES FOR EFFECTIVE AIR-QUALITY MANAGEMENT ACROSS NORTH AMERICA - A NARSTO ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The NARSTO Ozone and Particulate Matter Assessments emphasized that emission inventories are critical to the success of air quality management programs and that emissions inventories in Canada, Mexico, and the United States need improvement to meet expectations for quality, timel...

  17. Critical Assessment of Protein Cross-Linking and Molecular Docking: An Updated Model for the Interaction Between Photosystem II and Psb27

    PubMed Central

    Cormann, Kai U.; Möller, Madeline; Nowaczyk, Marc M.

    2016-01-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) is a large membrane-protein complex composed of about 20 subunits and various cofactors, which mediates the light-driven oxidation of water and reduction of plastoquinone, and is part of the photosynthetic electron transfer chain that is localized in the thylakoid membrane of cyanobacteria, algae, and plants. The stepwise assembly of PSII is guided and facilitated by numerous auxiliary proteins that play specific roles in this spatiotemporal process. Psb27, a small protein localized in the thylakoid lumen, appears to associate with an intermediate PSII complex that is involved in assembly of the Mn4CaO5 cluster. Its precise binding position on the PSII intermediate remains elusive, as previous approaches to the localization of Psb27 on PSII have yielded contradictory results. This was our motivation for a critical assessment of previously used methods and the development of an improved analysis pipeline. The combination of chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry (CX-MS) with isotope-coded cross-linkers was refined and validated with reference to the PSII crystal structure. Psb27 was localized on the PSII surface adjacent to the large lumenal domain of CP43 on the basis of a cross-link connecting Psb27-K91 to CP43-K381. Additional contacts associating Psb27 with CP47 and the C-termini of D1 and D2 were detected by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy. This information was used to model the binding of Psb27 to the PSII surface in a region that is occupied by PsbV in the mature complex. PMID:26925076

  18. Linking HIV-positive Jail Inmates to Treatment, Care, and Social Services After Release: Results from a Qualitative Assessment of the COMPASS Program

    PubMed Central

    Cornwall, Alexandra; Fu, Jeannia; Bazerman, Lauri; Loewenthal, Helen; Beckwith, Curt

    2010-01-01

    Approximately 17% of individuals living with HIV/AIDS pass through the correctional system each year. Jails provide a unique opportunity to diagnose and treat HIV infection among high-risk, transient populations with limited access to medical services. In 2007, the US Health Resources and Services Administration funded a multi-site demonstration project entitled Enhancing Linkages to HIV Primary Care in Jail Settings that aims to improve diagnosis and treatment services for HIV-positive jail detainees and link them to community-based medical care and social services upon release. We performed an evaluation of the Rhode Island demonstration site entitled Community Partnerships and Supportive Services for HIV-Infected People Leaving Jail (COMPASS). Through in-depth qualitative interviews among 20 HIV-positive COMPASS participants in Rhode Island, we assessed how COMPASS impacted access to health care and social services utilization. Most individuals were receiving HIV treatment and care services upon enrollment, but COMPASS enhanced linkage to medical care and follow-up visits for HIV and other co-morbidities for most participants. Several participants were successfully linked to new medical services as a result of COMPASS, including one individual newly diagnosed with HIV and another who had been living with HIV for many years and was able to commence highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). While many individuals reported that COMPASS support prevented substance abuse relapse, ongoing substance abuse nevertheless remained a challenge for several participants. Most participants enrolled in one or more new social services as a result of COMPASS, including Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, food assistance, and housing programs. The primary unmet needs of COMPASS participants were access to mental health services and stable housing. Intensive case management of HIV-positive jail detainees enhances access to medical and social support services and helps

  19. Critical Assessment of Protein Cross-Linking and Molecular Docking: An Updated Model for the Interaction Between Photosystem II and Psb27.

    PubMed

    Cormann, Kai U; Möller, Madeline; Nowaczyk, Marc M

    2016-01-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) is a large membrane-protein complex composed of about 20 subunits and various cofactors, which mediates the light-driven oxidation of water and reduction of plastoquinone, and is part of the photosynthetic electron transfer chain that is localized in the thylakoid membrane of cyanobacteria, algae, and plants. The stepwise assembly of PSII is guided and facilitated by numerous auxiliary proteins that play specific roles in this spatiotemporal process. Psb27, a small protein localized in the thylakoid lumen, appears to associate with an intermediate PSII complex that is involved in assembly of the Mn4CaO5 cluster. Its precise binding position on the PSII intermediate remains elusive, as previous approaches to the localization of Psb27 on PSII have yielded contradictory results. This was our motivation for a critical assessment of previously used methods and the development of an improved analysis pipeline. The combination of chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry (CX-MS) with isotope-coded cross-linkers was refined and validated with reference to the PSII crystal structure. Psb27 was localized on the PSII surface adjacent to the large lumenal domain of CP43 on the basis of a cross-link connecting Psb27-K91 to CP43-K381. Additional contacts associating Psb27 with CP47 and the C-termini of D1 and D2 were detected by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy. This information was used to model the binding of Psb27 to the PSII surface in a region that is occupied by PsbV in the mature complex. PMID:26925076

  20. Independent assessment to continue improvement: Implementing statistical process control at the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, T.A.; Lo, J.C.

    1994-11-01

    A Quality Assurance independent assessment has brought about continued improvement in the PUREX Plant surveillance program at the Department of Energy`s Hanford Site. After the independent assessment, Quality Assurance personnel were closely involved in improving the surveillance program, specifically regarding storage tank monitoring. The independent assessment activities included reviewing procedures, analyzing surveillance data, conducting personnel interviews, and communicating with management. Process improvement efforts included: (1) designing data collection methods; (2) gaining concurrence between engineering and management, (3) revising procedures; and (4) interfacing with shift surveillance crews. Through this process, Statistical Process Control (SPC) was successfully implemented and surveillance management was improved. The independent assessment identified several deficiencies within the surveillance system. These deficiencies can be grouped into two areas: (1) data recording and analysis and (2) handling off-normal conditions. By using several independent assessment techniques, Quality Assurance was able to point out program weakness to senior management and present suggestions for improvements. SPC charting, as implemented by Quality Assurance, is an excellent tool for diagnosing the process, improving communication between the team members, and providing a scientific database for management decisions. In addition, the surveillance procedure was substantially revised. The goals of this revision were to (1) strengthen the role of surveillance management, engineering and operators and (2) emphasize the importance of teamwork for each individual who performs a task. In this instance we believe that the value independent assessment adds to the system is the continuous improvement activities that follow the independent assessment. Excellence in teamwork between the independent assessment organization and the auditee is the key to continuing improvement.

  1. An agenda for assessing and improving conservation impacts of sustainability standards in tropical agriculture.

    PubMed

    Milder, Jeffrey C; Arbuthnot, Margaret; Blackman, Allen; Brooks, Sharon E; Giovannucci, Daniele; Gross, Lee; Kennedy, Elizabeth T; Komives, Kristin; Lambin, Eric F; Lee, Audrey; Meyer, Daniel; Newton, Peter; Phalan, Ben; Schroth, Götz; Semroc, Bambi; Van Rikxoort, Henk; Zrust, Michal

    2015-04-01

    Sustainability standards and certification serve to differentiate and provide market recognition to goods produced in accordance with social and environmental good practices, typically including practices to protect biodiversity. Such standards have seen rapid growth, including in tropical agricultural commodities such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans, and tea. Given the role of sustainability standards in influencing land use in hotspots of biodiversity, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, much could be gained from efforts to evaluate and increase the conservation payoff of these schemes. To this end, we devised a systematic approach for monitoring and evaluating the conservation impacts of agricultural sustainability standards and for using the resulting evidence to improve the effectiveness of such standards over time. The approach is oriented around a set of hypotheses and corresponding research questions about how sustainability standards are predicted to deliver conservation benefits. These questions are addressed through data from multiple sources, including basic common information from certification audits; field monitoring of environmental outcomes at a sample of certified sites; and rigorous impact assessment research based on experimental or quasi-experimental methods. Integration of these sources can generate time-series data that are comparable across sites and regions and provide detailed portraits of the effects of sustainability standards. To implement this approach, we propose new collaborations between the conservation research community and the sustainability standards community to develop common indicators and monitoring protocols, foster data sharing and synthesis, and link research and practice more effectively. As the role of sustainability standards in tropical land-use governance continues to evolve, robust evidence on the factors contributing to effectiveness can help to ensure that such standards are designed and

  2. Quantitative metrics of net proliferation and invasion link biological aggressiveness assessed by MRI with hypoxia assessed by FMISO-PET in newly diagnosed glioblastomas.

    PubMed

    Szeto, Mindy D; Chakraborty, Gargi; Hadley, Jennifer; Rockne, Russ; Muzi, Mark; Alvord, Ellsworth C; Krohn, Kenneth A; Spence, Alexander M; Swanson, Kristin R

    2009-05-15

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) are aggressive and uniformly fatal primary brain tumors characterized by their diffuse invasion of the normal-appearing parenchyma peripheral to the clinical imaging abnormality. Hypoxia, a hallmark of aggressive tumor behavior often noted in GBMs, has been associated with resistance to therapy, poorer survival, and more malignant tumor phenotypes. Based on the existence of a set of novel imaging techniques and modeling tools, our objective was to assess a hypothesized quantitative link between tumor growth kinetics [assessed via mathematical models and routine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)] and the hypoxic burden of the tumor [assessed via positron emission tomography (PET) imaging]. Our biomathematical model for glioma kinetics describes the spatial and temporal evolution of a glioma in terms of concentration of malignant tumor cells. This model has already been proven useful as a novel tool to dynamically quantify the net rates of proliferation (rho) and invasion (D) of the glioma cells in individual patients. Estimates of these kinetic rates can be calculated from routinely available pretreatment MRI in vivo. Eleven adults with GBM were imaged preoperatively with (18)F-fluoromisonidazole (FMISO)-PET and serial gadolinium-enhanced T1- and T2-weighted MRIs to allow the estimation of patient-specific net rates of proliferation (rho) and invasion (D). Hypoxic volumes were quantified from each FMISO-PET scan following standard techniques. To control for tumor size variability, two measures of hypoxic burden were considered: relative hypoxia (RH), defined as the ratio of the hypoxic volume to the T2-defined tumor volume, and the mean intensity on FMISO-PET scaled to the blood activity of the tracer (mean T/B). Pearson correlations between RH and the net rate of cell proliferation (rho) reached significance (P < 0.04). Moreover, highly significant positive correlations were found between biological aggressiveness ratio (rho/D) and both

  3. Applying an improved rapid impact assessment matrix method to strategic environmental assessment of urban planning in China

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Wei Xie, Yuanbo Hao, Fanghua

    2014-04-01

    Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) has become an increasingly important decision-support tool for providing information on the environmental implications of a policy, plan, or program. The goal is to safeguard the environment and promote sustainable development at the strategic level. Despite major progress in implementing SEA practices internationally, developing countries, such as China, often lag behind in applying SEA methodology. Lack of available data and time constraints arising from tight schedules create problems. The rapid impact assessment matrix (RIAM) is a potential resource for breaking through such difficulties. Our analysis of RIAM applications suggested that it could become a tool for evaluating strategic alternatives because of its applicability in interdisciplinary settings, its transparency, and its short implementation timeframe. To make it more suitable for the SEA context, we have developed two major improvements to the conventional RIAM process: assignment of weights to assessment indicators and the development of an integrated environmental assessment score (IES). The improved RIAM process was employed in an SEA of the development plan for the Nansha District in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong Province in China. It was used to assess five alternatives for development in Wanqingsha (WQS), a subunit of Nansha, where important ecological resources are located and where industrial development could impact the air quality in the neighboring Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The evaluation identified WQS-A04 as the preferred alternative. This alternative involved a minimal amount of industrial development – 10% compared with the most intense development alternative – and included important wetland preservation plans. The assessment results have been incorporated into the officially approved development plan for Nansha. The improved RIAM methodology is well adapted to the technical aims of SEA and decision

  4. "What Do I Do with the Data Now?": Analyzing Assessment Information for Accountability and Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pieper, Suzanne L.; Fulcher, Keston H.; Sundre, Donna L.; Erwin, T. Dary

    2008-01-01

    Most colleges and universities have implemented an assessment program of some kind in an effort to respond to calls for accountability from stakeholders as well as to continuously improve student learning on their campuses. While institutions administer assessment instruments to students and receive reports, many campuses do not reap the maximum…

  5. Improving Institutional Effectiveness through Programmatic Assessment. Professional File Number 109, Fall 2008

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Dina

    2008-01-01

    This article identifies concrete steps used at Argosy University/Orange County (Argosy or AUOC) to integrate assessment in daily institutional operations and utilize assessment data for educational and organizational improvements. Additionally, the article addresses the role of an institutional effectiveness committee in facilitating the…

  6. Assessing Cognitive Load Theory to Improve Student Learning for Mechanical Engineers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Impelluso, Thomas J.

    2009-01-01

    A computer programming class for students of mechanical engineering was redesigned and assessed: Cognitive Load Theory was used to redesign the content; online technologies were used to redesign the delivery. Student learning improved and the dropout rate was reduced. This article reports on both attitudinal and objective assessment: comparing…

  7. Differential Improvement in Student Understanding of Mathematical Principles following Formative Assessment Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phelan, Julia; Choi, Kilchan; Vendlinski, Terry; Baker, Eva; Herman, Joan

    2011-01-01

    The authors describe results from a study of a middle school mathematics formative assessment strategy. They employed a randomized, controlled design to address the following question: Does using our strategy improve student performance on assessments of key mathematical ideas relative to a comparison group? Eighty-five teachers and 4,091 students…

  8. Federal Workforce Quality: Measurement and Improvement. Report of the Advisory Committee on Federal Workforce Quality Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Office of Personnel Management, Washington, DC.

    The Advisory Committee on Federal Workforce Quality Assessment was chartered to examine various work force quality assessment efforts in the federal government and provide advice on their adequacy and suggestions on their improvement or expansion. Objective data in recent research suggested that a universal decline in work force quality might not…

  9. Using Scaffolded Rubrics to Improve Peer Assessment in a MOOC Writing Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashton, Scott; Davies, Randall S.

    2015-01-01

    This study explored the value of using a "guided rubric" to enable students participating in a massive open online course in writing to produce more reliable assessments of their fellow students' writing. To test the assumption that training students to assess will improve their ability to provide quality feedback, a multivariate…

  10. Evidence-Based Assessment in Case Management to Improve Abnormal Cancer Screen Follow-Up

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vourlekis, Betsy; Ell, Kathleen; Padgett, Deborah

    2005-01-01

    The authors describe an evidence-based assessment protocol for intensive case management to improve screening diagnostic follow-up developed through a research project in breast and cervical cancer early detection funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three components of an evidence-based approach to assessment are presented…

  11. Harnessing Assessment: Pulling Together, Administrators, Faculty, and Staff Can Improve Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karlberg, Anne Marie

    2008-01-01

    Assessment is a powerful tool that can support tribal colleges in serving their communities and accomplishing their missions by improving student learning through applied research. Assessment is not about evaluating individual student performance, but evaluates the overall achievement of a group of students in order to provide feedback to…

  12. Expectations of Improved Student Learning: General Education Assessment in AQIP Community Colleges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Brien, Alyssa Renee

    2012-01-01

    This qualitative multi-case study identified institutional structures and assessment processes that support general education learning outcomes assessment initiatives at three community colleges accredited by the Higher Learning Commission under the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). In support of this purpose, data collection involved…

  13. The Viability of Readiness Assessment in Contributing to Improved Career Services: Response to Jepsen (2000).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sampson, James P., Jr.; Peterson, Gary W.; Reardon, Robert C.; Lenz, Janet G.

    2000-01-01

    Responds to Jepsen's (this issue [2000]) commentary on Sampson et al.'s theory-based approach to using readiness assessment to improve career services. Three topics are included: the reliability and utility of using readiness assessment measures; verbal ability and the use of cognitive information-processing theory in practice; and the potential…

  14. Validation of a Method for Assessing Resident Physicians’ Quality Improvement Proposals

    PubMed Central

    Leenstra, James L.; Beckman, Thomas J.; Reed, Darcy A.; Mundell, William C.; Thomas, Kris G.; Krajicek, Bryan J.; Cha, Stephen S.; Kolars, Joseph C.

    2007-01-01

    BACKGROUND Residency programs involve trainees in quality improvement (QI) projects to evaluate competency in systems-based practice and practice-based learning and improvement. Valid approaches to assess QI proposals are lacking. OBJECTIVE We developed an instrument for assessing resident QI proposals—the Quality Improvement Proposal Assessment Tool (QIPAT-7)—and determined its validity and reliability. DESIGN QIPAT-7 content was initially obtained from a national panel of QI experts. Through an iterative process, the instrument was refined, pilot-tested, and revised. PARTICIPANTS Seven raters used the instrument to assess 45 resident QI proposals. MEASUREMENTS Principal factor analysis was used to explore the dimensionality of instrument scores. Cronbach’s alpha and intraclass correlations were calculated to determine internal consistency and interrater reliability, respectively. RESULTS QIPAT-7 items comprised a single factor (eigenvalue = 3.4) suggesting a single assessment dimension. Interrater reliability for each item (range 0.79 to 0.93) and internal consistency reliability among the items (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.87) were high. CONCLUSIONS This method for assessing resident physician QI proposals is supported by content and internal structure validity evidence. QIPAT-7 is a useful tool for assessing resident QI proposals. Future research should determine the reliability of QIPAT-7 scores in other residency and fellowship training programs. Correlations should also be made between assessment scores and criteria for QI proposal success such as implementation of QI proposals, resident scholarly productivity, and improved patient outcomes. PMID:17602270

  15. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and... Health Care Institutions-Benefits, Conditions of Participation, and Payment § 403.732 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain...

  16. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and... Health Care Institutions-Benefits, Conditions of Participation, and Payment § 403.732 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain...

  17. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and... Health Care Institutions-Benefits, Conditions of Participation, and Payment § 403.732 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain...

  18. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and... Health Care Institutions-Benefits, Conditions of Participation, and Payment § 403.732 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain...

  19. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and... Health Care Institutions-Benefits, Conditions of Participation, and Payment § 403.732 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain...

  20. Using ePortfolios to Assess and Improve the General Education Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ring, Gail L.; Waugaman, Chelsea; Brackett, Robert; Jackson, Debra Broadwell

    2015-01-01

    The article provides a comprehensive examination of the use of ePortfolios to assess and improve the General Education Program in a public university in the southeastern United States. The implementation process, six years of assessment data, findings from the recent reaffirmation of accreditation conducted by the Southern Association of Colleges…

  1. Record of Assessment Moderation Practice (RAMP): Survey Software as a Mechanism of Continuous Quality Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Genevieve Marie

    2015-01-01

    In higher education, assessment integrity is pivotal to student learning and satisfaction, and, therefore, a particularly important target of continuous quality improvement. This paper reports on the preliminary development and application of a process of recording and analysing current assessment moderation practices, with the aim of identifying…

  2. The link between assimilation and below-ground processes - stable isotopes as tools to assess carbon transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gessler, A.; Wingate, L.; Ogeé, J.; Offermann, C.; Kodama, N.

    2011-12-01

    At present, there is lack of knowledge on how plant physiological processes, the transfer of carbon within the plant, carbon storage and remobilization in the plant tissues as well as the release of carbon from the roots to the soil interact with ecosystem-scale processes. On the background of global climate change, we need to mechanistically link plant physiology, CO2 net exchange between ecosystems and the atmosphere and plant biomass accumulation. This is the basis for predicting productivity of forests as well as their carbon sequestration potential in future. This paper will give an overview on how stable isotope studies can give insights into the fate of newly assimilated carbon transported within trees and transferred to the soil and atmosphere. The paper includes assessments characterizing temporal and spatial variation in the natural abundance of carbon and oxygen isotopes or applying isotopically enriched tracers. In addition, it highlights the fact that the stable isotope composition of assimilates transported within the plant contains important time integrated information on environmental conditions, leaf physiology, and post-photosynthetic metabolism. The paper on the one hand focuses on the fast turn over carbon pools, which fuel plant respiration and soil microbial activity and on the other hand explores the transfer of the isotope information to long-lived compounds in plant archives such as tree rings.

  3. Experimental assessment of snow-induced attenuation on an Earth-space link operating at Ka-band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaya, César; García-Rubia, José-Miguel; Bouchard, Pierre; Nguyen, Tu

    2014-10-01

    This investigation assesses the attenuation induced by snowfall on an experimental slant-path link that monitors the 20.199 GHz beacon signal of the Anik F2 satellite. Beacon data collected at Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) in Ottawa over 2 years, including the winters of 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, were analyzed as part of this study. The antenna of one of the two receivers used in the propagation campaign with Anik F2 was shielded, the first year under a tent and the second year under the roof of a building, in order to prevent degradations on the measured beacon signal due to snow or ice accumulation on the parabolic reflector surface. One of the main challenges of the study was the unambiguous identification of snow events. Information provided by several weather sensors, a profiling radiometer, and meteorological reports were used to help identify the type of precipitation. Events of wet and dry snow along with freezing rain are presented and discussed. Radiometric measurements of sky noise temperature were particularly useful to detect light snowfall events and to estimate event durations. Statistics of snow attenuation were derived for the winter months of the study. It is found that snow attenuation is modest at 20.2 GHz; however, modest attenuation may be important for small-margin communication systems.

  4. Improving Marking Reliability of Scientific Writing with the Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bird, Fiona L.; Yucel, Robyn

    2013-01-01

    The Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning (DUAL) programme was developed with the dual aims of improving both the quality and consistency of feedback students receive and the students' ability to use that feedback to improve. DUAL comprises a range of processes (including marking rubrics, sample reports, moderation discussions and…

  5. Improving Social Skills Assessment of Children with Disabilities: Construct Development and Applications of Technology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Irvin, Larry K.; Walker, Hill M.

    1993-01-01

    This article describes a prototype videodisc method of assessing social competence, knowledge, and perception in children with disabilities. It notes major hardware features (Macintosh IIx computer), software features (using SuperCard), improved examinee response modes, and improved data entry techniques. (DB)

  6. 42 CFR 418.58 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... collected to do the following: (i) Monitor the effectiveness and safety of services and quality of care. (ii..., patient safety, and quality of care. (2) Performance improvement activities must track adverse patient...: Patient Care § 418.58 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement....

  7. 42 CFR 418.58 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... collected to do the following: (i) Monitor the effectiveness and safety of services and quality of care. (ii..., patient safety, and quality of care. (2) Performance improvement activities must track adverse patient...: Patient Care § 418.58 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement....

  8. Reliable Multihop Broadcast Protocol with a Low-Overhead Link Quality Assessment for ITS Based on VANETs in Highway Scenarios

    PubMed Central

    Galaviz-Mosqueda, Alejandro; Villarreal-Reyes, Salvador; Galeana-Zapién, Hiram; Rubio-Loyola, Javier; Covarrubias-Rosales, David H.

    2014-01-01

    Vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs) have been identified as a key technology to enable intelligent transport systems (ITS), which are aimed to radically improve the safety, comfort, and greenness of the vehicles in the road. However, in order to fully exploit VANETs potential, several issues must be addressed. Because of the high dynamic of VANETs and the impairments in the wireless channel, one key issue arising when working with VANETs is the multihop dissemination of broadcast packets for safety and infotainment applications. In this paper a reliable low-overhead multihop broadcast (RLMB) protocol is proposed to address the well-known broadcast storm problem. The proposed RLMB takes advantage of the hello messages exchanged between the vehicles and it processes such information to intelligently select a relay set and reduce the redundant broadcast. Additionally, to reduce the hello messages rate dependency, RLMB uses a point-to-zone link evaluation approach. RLMB performance is compared with one of the leading multihop broadcast protocols existing to date. Performance metrics show that our RLMB solution outperforms the leading protocol in terms of important metrics such as packet dissemination ratio, overhead, and delay. PMID:25133224

  9. Reliable multihop broadcast protocol with a low-overhead link quality assessment for ITS based on VANETs in highway scenarios.

    PubMed

    Galaviz-Mosqueda, Alejandro; Villarreal-Reyes, Salvador; Galeana-Zapién, Hiram; Rubio-Loyola, Javier; Covarrubias-Rosales, David H

    2014-01-01

    Vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs) have been identified as a key technology to enable intelligent transport systems (ITS), which are aimed to radically improve the safety, comfort, and greenness of the vehicles in the road. However, in order to fully exploit VANETs potential, several issues must be addressed. Because of the high dynamic of VANETs and the impairments in the wireless channel, one key issue arising when working with VANETs is the multihop dissemination of broadcast packets for safety and infotainment applications. In this paper a reliable low-overhead multihop broadcast (RLMB) protocol is proposed to address the well-known broadcast storm problem. The proposed RLMB takes advantage of the hello messages exchanged between the vehicles and it processes such information to intelligently select a relay set and reduce the redundant broadcast. Additionally, to reduce the hello messages rate dependency, RLMB uses a point-to-zone link evaluation approach. RLMB performance is compared with one of the leading multihop broadcast protocols existing to date. Performance metrics show that our RLMB solution outperforms the leading protocol in terms of important metrics such as packet dissemination ratio, overhead, and delay. PMID:25133224

  10. Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs) Derived from Interchain Cysteine Cross-Linking Demonstrate Improved Homogeneity and Other Pharmacological Properties over Conventional Heterogeneous ADCs.

    PubMed

    Behrens, Christopher R; Ha, Edward H; Chinn, Lawrence L; Bowers, Simeon; Probst, Gary; Fitch-Bruhns, Maureen; Monteon, Jorge; Valdiosera, Amanda; Bermudez, Abel; Liao-Chan, Sindy; Wong, Tiffany; Melnick, Jonathan; Theunissen, Jan-Willem; Flory, Mark R; Houser, Derrick; Venstrom, Kristy; Levashova, Zoia; Sauer, Paul; Migone, Thi-Sau; van der Horst, Edward H; Halcomb, Randall L; Jackson, David Y

    2015-11-01

    Conventional antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are heterogeneous mixtures of chemically distinct molecules that vary in both drugs/antibody (DAR) and conjugation sites. Suboptimal properties of heterogeneous ADCs have led to new site-specific conjugation methods for improving ADC homogeneity. Most site-specific methods require extensive antibody engineering to identify optimal conjugation sites and introduce unique functional groups for conjugation with appropriately modified linkers. Alternative nonrecombinant methods have emerged in which bifunctional linkers are utilized to cross-link antibody interchain cysteines and afford ADCs containing four drugs/antibody. Although these methods have been shown to improve ADC homogeneity and stability in vitro, their effect on the pharmacological properties of ADCs in vivo is unknown. In order to determine the relative impact of interchain cysteine cross-linking on the therapeutic window and other properties of ADCs in vivo, we synthesized a derivative of the known ADC payload, MC-MMAF, that contains a bifunctional dibromomaleimide (DBM) linker instead of a conventional maleimide (MC) linker. The DBM-MMAF derivative was conjugated to trastuzumab and a novel anti-CD98 antibody to afford ADCs containing predominantly four drugs/antibody. The pharmacological properties of the resulting cross-linked ADCs were compared with analogous heterogeneous ADCs derived from conventional linkers. The results demonstrate that DBM linkers can be applied directly to native antibodies, without antibody engineering, to yield highly homogeneous ADCs via cysteine cross-linking. The resulting ADCs demonstrate improved pharmacokinetics, superior efficacy, and reduced toxicity in vivo compared to analogous conventional heterogeneous ADCs. PMID:26393951

  11. A Comparison between Robust z and 0.3-Logit Difference Procedures in Assessing Stability of Linking Items for the Rasch Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huynh, Huynh; Rawls, Anita

    2011-01-01

    There are at least two procedures to assess item difficulty stability in the Rasch model: robust z procedure and "0.3 Logit Difference" procedure. The robust z procedure is a variation of the z statistic that reduces dependency on outliers. The "0.3 Logit Difference" procedure is based on experiences in Rasch linking for tests developed by…

  12. Dependable Trend Measurement Is Not Just IRT Scaling: Commentary on "Linking Large-Scale Reading Assessments: Measuring International Trends over 40 Years"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mullis, Ina V. S.; Martin, Michael O.

    2016-01-01

    Linking IEA's international reading assessments across 40 years is an interesting endeavor from several perspectives. Being able to examine trends in reading achievement at the 4th grade over such a long period and relate these to policy changes during that time span is an attractive idea. However, this work brings to the fore many thorny issues…

  13. Creating a faculty community that values curricular assessment and improvement: one DNP program's experience.

    PubMed

    Meek, Julie A; Runshe, Debra; Young, Judith; Embree, Jennifer; Riner, Mary Beth

    2015-01-01

    Developing faculty ownership of ongoing curricular improvement presents educational and management challenges for schools of nursing, yet little has been published about which components help build a faculty community that values curricular assessment and improvement. The purpose of this case study was to describe key features of and faculty satisfaction with one school of nursing's doctor of nursing practice curricular assessment process, with a description of key considerations for developing an ePortfolio-supported curricular assessment process. ePortfolio matrices were used as a curricular organizing structure for mapping and scoring each completed student assignment to an American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essential descriptor using a rubric that measured evidence of student learning. Faculty satisfaction with the process was also evaluated. First-year results indicated high levels of faculty satisfaction with the assessment process. The initial findings led to four actions for curricular improvement and agreement to continue the assessment process biannually. The curricular assessment was successful in generating faculty satisfaction, identifying needed areas to improve the curriculum, and obtaining faculty agreement to continue the process. A faculty community supportive of curricular assessment is essential to a transformational learning environment that prepares future nursing leaders. PMID:25601241

  14. Improving Family Medicine Residents’ Written Communication Using a Self-assessment Process

    PubMed Central

    François, José

    2012-01-01

    Background Although competency in written communication is a core skill, written communication is seldom the focus of formal instruction in medical education. The objective of this intervention was to implement a self-assessment strategy to assist learners in improving their letter writing skills and then to evaluate its feasibility, reliability and potential educational value. Methods Eight first-year family medicine residents from two teaching sites completing a six month family medicine rotation used a self-assessment process which included a self-study module and an assessment tool for letters. Each resident applied the self-assessment tool to eight to ten consecutive consult/referral request letters. Participants submitted initial and redrafted letters for independent rating. Results Analysis of the content, style and global ratings of the initial 77 draft letters showed multiple deficiencies in the content of their letters. It was confirmed that by using the self-assessment tool, residents were able to reliably assess the quality of their letters. Residents’ assessments and those of the expert closely correlated (Pearson correlation 0.861, p < 0.0001). Over the course of the study the residents’ overall performance improved and the difference in total scores between the initial drafts and the rewritten letters narrowed. Conclusion A self-assessment process of written communication significantly improves the quality and completeness of routine consult/referral request letters. PMID:26451174

  15. Links between teacher assessment and child self-assessment of mental health and behavior among children affected by HIV/AIDS.

    PubMed

    Du, Hongfei; Li, Xiaoming; Weinstein, Traci L; Chi, Peilian; Zhao, Junfeng; Zhao, Guoxiang

    2015-01-01

    Teachers are considered to be one of the most important influences in the lives of students. Teachers' assessments of students may be a primary source of information on children's mental and behavioral health; however, this topic has received little attention in research. We examined this issue through linking teachers' ratings of students and mental and behavioral outcomes of children affected by HIV. The hypothesis is that teacher ratings will be predictive of specific child mental and behavioral health outcomes. A quantitative cross-sectional design with self-administered paper-and-pencil instruments was used. The sample included 1221 children (aged 6-18, grades 1-11) affected by HIV including 755 orphans who lost one or both parents to AIDS and 466 vulnerable children living with HIV-infected parents in a central province of China. The corresponding teacher sample included 185 participants. Each child completed an assessment inventory of demographic information and mental and behavioral health measures. Teachers completed a questionnaire about children's school performance. SEM analyses revealed a good model fit according to all fit indices: comparative fit index = 0.93, root mean square error of approximation = 0.07, and standardized root mean square residual = 0.04. Structural equation modeling revealed that problem ratings by teachers were positively associated with child loneliness and behavioral problems, social competence ratings by teachers were negatively related to child depression, and personal growth and social interaction ratings by teachers were negatively related to child loneliness, depression, and trauma. The current study represents a unique contribution to the field in that it recognizes that teachers can be a valuable source of information on children's psychological health. Results from this study have implications for health prevention and intervention for children and families suffering from HIV/AIDS. PMID:25703050

  16. Linking large scale landscape change to water quality and quantity response in the lower Athabasca River, Canada: toward Cumulative Effects Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seitz, N. E.; Westbrook, C. J.; Dubé, M.; Squires, A.

    2010-12-01

    Fast-paced watershed change, driven by anthropogenic development, is threatening the sustainability of freshwater resources across the globe. The accumulation of multiple landscape stressors that interact over space and time are defined as cumulative effects and are subject to Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA), the process of evaluating the impact a development project may have on the ecological surroundings, under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. One of the shortcomings of CEA for river systems is determining appropriate indicators of ecosystem health. The Athabasca River is amongst the most stressed river systems in Canada. The lower reaches of the Athabasca River (88,000 km2) were chosen for study because they have been subject to development of a diverse range of land uses. Our objectives were to: i) evaluate land use change in the lower reaches of the Athabasca River Basin from 1976-2006 and ii) identify appropriate CEA indicators by evaluating whether any anthropogenic land use changes can be linked to observed changes in river water quality and quantity in the form of stressor- and- effect- based relationships. Landscape change was quantified with datasets describing forest harvest, forest fires, census of agriculture, census of population, and water consumption, and satellite imagery. River response was quantified with concentration data for six solutes, specific conductance and turbidity, and discharge and river stage data. Linkages between landscape change and river response were evaluated using correlation analyses and step-wise, multiple regression. Notable landscape changes include increased industrial development (particularly expansion of oil sands mining) and forest cut-blocks, made evident from the satellite imagery and supporting ancillary datasets. Preliminary results suggest appropriate CEA indicators for discharge and water quality in this river may be water abstraction and forest harvest, respectively. The results highlight the

  17. DC-DC Type High-Frequency Link DC for Improved Power Quality of Cascaded Multilevel Inverter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadikin, Muhammad; Senjyu, Tomonobu; Yona, Atsushi

    2013-06-01

    Multilevel inverters are emerging as a new breed of power converter options for power system applications. Recent advances in power switching devices enabled the suitability of multilevel inverters for high voltage and high power applications because they are connecting several devices in series without the need of component matching. Usually, a transformerless battery energy storage system, based on a cascaded multilevel inverter, is used as a measure for voltage and frequency deviations. System can be reduced in size, weight, and cost of energy storage system. High-frequency link circuit topology is advantageous in realizing compact and light-weight power converters for uninterruptible power supply systems, new energy systems using photovoltaic-cells, fuel-cells and so on. This paper presents a DC-DC type high-frequency link DC (HFLDC) cascaded multilevel inverter. Each converter cell is implemented a control strategy for two H-bridge inverters that are controlled with the same multicarrier pulse width modulation (PWM) technique. The proposed cascaded multilevel inverter generates lower voltage total harmonic distortion (THD) in comparison with conventional cascaded multilevel inverter. Digital simulations are carried out using PSCAD/EMTDC to validate the performance of the proposed cascaded multilevel inverter.

  18. Medical net cost of low alcohol consumption - a cause to reconsider improved health as the link between alcohol and wage?

    PubMed Central

    Jarl, Johan; Gerdtham, Ulf G; Selin, Klara Hradilova

    2009-01-01

    Background Studies have found a positive effect of low/moderate alcohol consumption on wages. This has often been explained by referring to epidemiological research showing that alcohol has protective effects on certain diseases, i.e., the health link is normally justified using selected epidemiological information. Few papers have tested this link between alcohol and health explicitly, including all diseases where alcohol has been shown to have either a protective or a detrimental effect. Aim Based on the full epidemiological information, we study the effect of low alcohol consumption on health, in order to determine if it is reasonable to explain the positive effect of low consumption on wages using the epidemiological literature. Methods We apply a non-econometrical cost-of-illness approach to calculate the medical care cost and episodes attributable to low alcohol consumption. Results Low alcohol consumption carries a net cost for medical care and there is a net benefit only for the oldest age group (80+). Low alcohol consumption also causes more episodes in medical care then what is saved, although inpatient care for women and older men show savings. Conclusion Using health as an explanation in the alcohol-wage literature appears invalid when applying the full epidemiological information instead of selected information. PMID:19852776

  19. Improving Educational Assessment: A Computer-Adaptive Multiple Choice Assessment Using NRET as the Scoring Method

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sie Hoe, Lau; Ngee Kiong, Lau; Kian Sam, Hong; Bin Usop, Hasbee

    2009-01-01

    Assessment is central to any educational process. Number Right (NR) scoring method is a conventional scoring method for multiple choice items, where students need to pick one option as the correct answer. One point is awarded for the correct response and zero for any other responses. However, it has been heavily criticized for guessing and failure…

  20. Assessing the Relationship of Knowledge Management Effectiveness and Assessment Quality Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ringhand, Darlene Gail

    2009-01-01

    Administrators at post-secondary institutions have found that national or regional accreditation is necessary to remain competitive in the higher education market with evidence of assessment considered a positive measure for accreditation. This quantitative study examined the correlation between the ranked levels of knowledge management within…

  1. Microencapsulation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG by Transglutaminase Cross-Linked Soy Protein Isolate to Improve Survival in Simulated Gastrointestinal Conditions and Yoghurt.

    PubMed

    Li, Chun; Wang, Chun-Ling; Sun, Yu; Li, Ai-Li; Liu, Fei; Meng, Xiang-Chen

    2016-07-01

    Microencapsulation is an effective way to improve the survival of probiotics in simulated gastrointestinal (GI) conditions and yoghurt. In this study, microencapsulation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) was prepared by first cross-linking of soy protein isolate (SPI) using transglutaminase (TGase), followed by embedding the bacteria in cross-linked SPI, and then freeze-drying. The survival of microencapsulated LGG was evaluated in simulated GI conditions and yoghurt. The results showed that a high microencapsulation yield of 67.4% was obtained. The diameter of the microencapsulated LGG was in the range of 52.83 to 275.16 μm. Water activity did not differ between free and microencapsulated LGG after freeze-drying. The survival of microencapsulated LGG under simulated gastric juice (pH 2.5 and 3.6), intestinal juice (0.3% and 2% bile salt) and storage at 4 °C were significantly higher than that of free cells. The survival of LGG in TGase cross-linked SPI microcapsules was also improved to 14.5 ± 0.5% during storage in yoghurt. The microencapsulation of probiotics by TGase-treated SPI can be a suitable alternative to polysaccharide gelation technologies. PMID:27228279

  2. Effects of porogen and cross-linking agents on improved properties of silica-supported macroporous chitosan membranes for enzyme immobilization.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wen-Yi; Thirumavalavan, Munusamy; Lee, Jiunn-Fwu

    2015-04-01

    A series of silica-supported macroporous chitosan membranes (CM15, CM20, and CM25) was prepared by varying the ratio of 70-230-μm-sized silica particles. These synthesized membranes were further cross-linked using different cross-linking agents for covalent immobilization of biological macromolecules especially enzymes and in this study, Bovine serum albumin and laccase. Effects of silica particle and cross-linking agents on their flow rates, surface properties, and chemical and biological properties were explored. Pore size of as-synthesized membranes was 0.1192, 0.1268, and 0.1623 μm, respectively, for CM15, CM20, and CM25. The effect of various parameters such as temperature and pH on the relative activity of both free and immobilized enzymes was studied in details. The relative enzyme activity upon immobilization was greatly enhanced several folds of its original activity. The stability of enzymes over a range of temperature and pH was significantly improved by immobilization. The optimum temperature and pH were determined to be 50 °C and pH 3, respectively, for both the free and the immobilized enzymes. The immobilized enzyme possessed good operational stability and reusability properties that support its potentiality for practical applications. Among three membranes, CM25 is confirmed to be efficient candidate due to its improved characteristics. PMID:25432857

  3. Improving venous thromboembolism risk assessment compliance using the electronic tool in admitted medical patients

    PubMed Central

    Taha, Haytham; Raji, Salama J.; Ellahham, Samer; Bashir, Nihal; Al hanaee, Manar; Boharoon, Hessa; AlFalahi, May

    2015-01-01

    Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) in Abu Dhabi is the main tertiary care referral hospital in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 560 bed capacity that is fully occupied most of the time. SKMC senior management has made a commitment to make quality and patient safety a top priority. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk assessment has been identified as a critical patient safety measure and key performance indicator. The electronic VTE risk assessment form a computerized decision support tool was introduced to improve adherence with deep venous thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis recommendations. A multidisciplinary task force team was formed and led this quality improvement project. The purpose of this publication is to indicate the quality improvement interventions implemented to enhance compliance with VTE risk assessment and the outcomes of those interventions. We chose to conduct the pilot study in General Medicine as it is the busiest department in the hospital. The study period was from April 2014 till August 2015.The lessons learned were disseminated throughout the hospital. Our aim was to improve VTE risk assessment compliance by using the electronic form in order to ensure patient safety and reduce preventable harm. VTE risk assessment compliance improved in general medicine from 4% to 98%, and overall SKMC compliance from 21% to above 90%. PMID:26734399

  4. Improving venous thromboembolism risk assessment compliance using the electronic tool in admitted medical patients.

    PubMed

    Taha, Haytham; Raji, Salama J; Ellahham, Samer; Bashir, Nihal; Al Hanaee, Manar; Boharoon, Hessa; AlFalahi, May

    2015-01-01

    Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) in Abu Dhabi is the main tertiary care referral hospital in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 560 bed capacity that is fully occupied most of the time. SKMC senior management has made a commitment to make quality and patient safety a top priority. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk assessment has been identified as a critical patient safety measure and key performance indicator. The electronic VTE risk assessment form a computerized decision support tool was introduced to improve adherence with deep venous thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis recommendations. A multidisciplinary task force team was formed and led this quality improvement project. The purpose of this publication is to indicate the quality improvement interventions implemented to enhance compliance with VTE risk assessment and the outcomes of those interventions. We chose to conduct the pilot study in General Medicine as it is the busiest department in the hospital. The study period was from April 2014 till August 2015.The lessons learned were disseminated throughout the hospital. Our aim was to improve VTE risk assessment compliance by using the electronic form in order to ensure patient safety and reduce preventable harm. VTE risk assessment compliance improved in general medicine from 4% to 98%, and overall SKMC compliance from 21% to above 90%. PMID:26734399

  5. Health impact assessment: assessing opportunities and barriers to intersectoral health improvement in an expanded European Union.

    PubMed

    Lock, Karen; McKee, Martin

    2005-05-01

    On 1 May 2004 the European Union (EU) underwent unprecedented enlargement, from 15 to 25 countries, increasing its population by 20% to over 450 million. Although EU law has limited specific competence in the area of health, its influence on other policy sectors such as agriculture, trade, and employment has wide ranging implications for health. Yet with the exception of provisions on communicable disease control and food safety, public health considerations have played little part in negotiations on EU accession. This paper argues for an intersectoral public health approach in the expanded EU. It reviews the legal basis for assessing the health impacts of policy in the EU and, using health impact assessment as a case study, it examines how well the new member states may be prepared to tackle intersectoral public health action within the constraints imposed by EU policy. PMID:15831682

  6. Covalently linked hopanoid-lipid A improves outer-membrane resistance of a Bradyrhizobium symbiont of legumes.

    PubMed

    Silipo, Alba; Vitiello, Giuseppe; Gully, Djamel; Sturiale, Luisa; Chaintreuil, Clémence; Fardoux, Joel; Gargani, Daniel; Lee, Hae-In; Kulkarni, Gargi; Busset, Nicolas; Marchetti, Roberta; Palmigiano, Angelo; Moll, Herman; Engel, Regina; Lanzetta, Rosa; Paduano, Luigi; Parrilli, Michelangelo; Chang, Woo-Suk; Holst, Otto; Newman, Dianne K; Garozzo, Domenico; D'Errico, Gerardino; Giraud, Eric; Molinaro, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) are major components of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria and are essential for their growth and survival. They act as a structural barrier and play an important role in the interaction with eukaryotic hosts. Here we demonstrate that a photosynthetic Bradyrhizobium strain, symbiont of Aeschynomene legumes, synthesizes a unique LPS bearing a hopanoid covalently attached to lipid A. Biophysical analyses of reconstituted liposomes indicate that this hopanoid-lipid A structure reinforces the stability and rigidity of the outer membrane. In addition, the bacterium produces other hopanoid molecules not linked to LPS. A hopanoid-deficient strain, lacking a squalene hopene cyclase, displays increased sensitivity to stressful conditions and reduced ability to survive intracellularly in the host plant. This unusual combination of hopanoid and LPS molecules may represent an adaptation to optimize bacterial survival in both free-living and symbiotic states. PMID:25355435

  7. Efficiency Improvement of Action Acquisition in Two-Link Robot Arm Using Fuzzy ART with Genetic Algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotani, Naoki; Taniguchi, Kenji

    An efficient learning method using Fuzzy ART with Genetic Algorithm is proposed. The proposed method reduces the number of trials by using a policy acquired in other tasks because a reinforcement learning needs a lot of the number of trials until an agent acquires appropriate actions. Fuzzy ART is an incremental unsupervised learning algorithm in responce to arbitrary sequences of analog or binary input vectors. Our proposed method gives a policy by crossover or mutation when an agent observes unknown states. Selection controls the category proliferation problem of Fuzzy ART. The effectiveness of the proposed method was verified with the simulation of the reaching problem for the two-link robot arm. The proposed method achieves a reduction of both the number of trials and the number of states.

  8. Improving Responses to Individual and Family Crises. Secondary Learning Guide 10. Project Connect. Linking Self-Family-Work.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Inc., Hartford, CT.

    This competency-based secondary learning guide on improving responses to crises is part of a series that are adaptations of guides developed for adult consumer and homemaking education programs. The guides provide students with experiences that help them learn to do the following: make decisions; use creative approaches to solve problems;…

  9. The Clash of Evaluations: In Search of the Missing Link between School Accountability and School Improvement--Experiences from Cyprus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brauckmann, Stefan; Pashiardis, Petros

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The main purpose of this paper is to examine more closely the tension between, on the one hand, forms of internal school improvement based on internal evaluation measures and, on the other hand, control and legitimisation needs grounded on external evaluation measures. Design/methodology/approach: The clash of these forms of evaluation is…

  10. Improving Individual, Child, and Family Nutrition, Health and Wellness. Secondary Learning Guide 8. Project Connect. Linking Self-Family-Work.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Inc., Hartford, CT.

    This competency-based secondary learning guide on improving individual, child, and family nutrition is part of a series that are adaptations of guides developed for adult consumer and homemaking education programs. The guides provide students with experiences that help them learn to do the following: make decisions; use creative approaches to…

  11. Limitations of A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) and suggestions for improvement.

    PubMed

    Burda, Brittany U; Holmer, Haley K; Norris, Susan L

    2016-01-01

    A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) is a commonly used tool to assess the quality of systematic reviews; however, modifications are needed to improve its usability, reliability, and validity. In this commentary, we summarize our experience and the experiences of others who have used AMSTAR and provide suggestions for its improvement. We propose that AMSTAR should modify a number of individual items and their instructions and responses to make them more congruent with an assessment of the methodologic quality of systematic reviews. We recommend adding new items and modifying existing items to assess the quality of the body of evidence and to address subgroup and sensitivity analyses. More detailed instructions are needed for scoring individual items across multiple reviewers, and we recommend that a total score should not be calculated. These suggestions need to be empirically tested prior to implementation. PMID:27072548

  12. Hybrid robust model based on an improved functional link neural network integrating with partial least square (IFLNN-PLS) and its application to predicting key process variables.

    PubMed

    He, Yan-Lin; Xu, Yuan; Geng, Zhi-Qiang; Zhu, Qun-Xiong

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, a hybrid robust model based on an improved functional link neural network integrating with partial least square (IFLNN-PLS) is proposed. Firstly, an improved functional link neural network with small norm of expanded weights and high input-output correlation (SNEWHIOC-FLNN) was proposed for enhancing the generalization performance of FLNN. Unlike the traditional FLNN, the expanded variables of the original inputs are not directly used as the inputs in the proposed SNEWHIOC-FLNN model. The original inputs are attached to some small norm of expanded weights. As a result, the correlation coefficient between some of the expanded variables and the outputs is enhanced. The larger the correlation coefficient is, the more relevant the expanded variables tend to be. In the end, the expanded variables with larger correlation coefficient are selected as the inputs to improve the performance of the traditional FLNN. In order to test the proposed SNEWHIOC-FLNN model, three UCI (University of California, Irvine) regression datasets named Housing, Concrete Compressive Strength (CCS), and Yacht Hydro Dynamics (YHD) are selected. Then a hybrid model based on the improved FLNN integrating with partial least square (IFLNN-PLS) was built. In IFLNN-PLS model, the connection weights are calculated using the partial least square method but not the error back propagation algorithm. Lastly, IFLNN-PLS was developed as an intelligent measurement model for accurately predicting the key variables in the Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) process and the High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) process. Simulation results illustrated that the IFLNN-PLS could significant improve the prediction performance. PMID:26685746

  13. Ultrasound Microbubble-Mediated Delivery of Integrin-Linked Kinase Gene Improves Endothelial Progenitor Cells Dysfunction in Pre-Eclampsia

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Kai; Yan, Ting; Luo, Qingqing; Zheng, Yanfang; Liu, Xiaoxia; Huang, Xiaoyu

    2014-01-01

    Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a specific vascular complication in pregnancy whose precise mechanism is still unclear. We hypothesized that endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), the precursor of endothelial cells, might be impaired in patients with PE and hold a great promise for the treatment of PE. In the present study, we analyzed the EPCs number and expression of integrin-linked kinase (ILK) in PE patients. We confirmed that both EPCs number and ILK expression were diminished in PE patients. Next, we transfected EPCs with ILK gene using ultrasonic microbubble technique (UMT) for the first time, as UMT is a novel type of gene transfer technology showing promising applications in stem cells apart from EPCs. To further investigate the transfection efficiency of UMT, RT-PCR analysis and western blot were used to examine the messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein level of ILK. After transfection of the ILK gene, EPCs function was tested to illustrate the role of ILK in cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and secretion. The results of the in vitro study suggested that UMT, a novel gene delivery system, could be considered a potent physical method for EPCs transfection. Moreover, the growth and angiogenetic properties of EPCs are enhanced by introducing ILK. This study may afford a new trend for EPCs transfection and gene therapy in PE. PMID:24564279

  14. Linking Reproduction and Survival Can Improve Model Estimates of Vital Rates Derived from Limited Time-Series Counts of Pinnipeds and Other Species

    PubMed Central

    Battaile, Brian C.; Trites, Andrew W.

    2013-01-01

    We propose a method to model the physiological link between somatic survival and reproductive output that reduces the number of parameters that need to be estimated by models designed to determine combinations of birth and death rates that produce historic counts of animal populations. We applied our Reproduction and Somatic Survival Linked (RSSL) method to the population counts of three species of North Pacific pinnipeds (harbor seals, Phoca vitulina richardii (Gray, 1864); northern fur seals, Callorhinus ursinus (L., 1758); and Steller sea lions, Eumetopias jubatus (Schreber, 1776))—and found our model outperformed traditional models when fitting vital rates to common types of limited datasets, such as those from counts of pups and adults. However, our model did not perform as well when these basic counts of animals were augmented with additional observations of ratios of juveniles to total non-pups. In this case, the failure of the ratios to improve model performance may indicate that the relationship between survival and reproduction is redefined or disassociated as populations change over time or that the ratio of juveniles to total non-pups is not a meaningful index of vital rates. Overall, our RSSL models show advantages to linking survival and reproduction within models to estimate the vital rates of pinnipeds and other species that have limited time-series of counts. PMID:24324541

  15. Fault2SHA- A European Working group to link faults and Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment communities in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scotti, Oona; Peruzza, Laura

    2016-04-01

    The key questions we ask are: What is the best strategy to fill in the gap in knowledge and know-how in Europe when considering faults in seismic hazard assessments? Are field geologists providing the relevant information for seismic hazard assessment? Are seismic hazard analysts interpreting field data appropriately? Is the full range of uncertainties associated with the characterization of faults correctly understood and propagated in the computations? How can fault-modellers contribute to a better representation of the long-term behaviour of fault-networks in seismic hazard studies? Providing answers to these questions is fundamental, in order to reduce the consequences of future earthquakes and improve the reliability of seismic hazard assessments. An informal working group was thus created at a meeting in Paris in November 2014, partly financed by the Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety, with the aim to motivate exchanges between field geologists, fault modellers and seismic hazard practitioners. A variety of approaches were presented at the meeting and a clear gap emerged between some field geologists, that are not necessarily familiar with probabilistic seismic hazard assessment methods and needs and practitioners that do not necessarily propagate the "full" uncertainty associated with the characterization of faults. The group thus decided to meet again a year later in Chieti (Italy), to share concepts and ideas through a specific exercise on a test case study. Some solutions emerged but many problems of seismic source characterizations with people working in the field as well as with people tackling models of interacting faults remained. Now, in Wien, we want to open the group and launch a call for the European community at large to contribute to the discussion. The 2016 EGU session Fault2SHA is motivated by such an urgency to increase the number of round tables on this topic and debate on the peculiarities of using faults in seismic hazard

  16. Angiopoietin-2 Serum Levels Improve Noninvasive Fibrosis Staging in Chronic Hepatitis C: A Fibrogenic-Angiogenic Link

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Bartolomé, Ángel; López-Rodríguez, Rosario; Rodríguez-Muñoz, Yolanda; Martín-Vílchez, Samuel; Borque, María Jesús; García-Buey, Luisa; González-Moreno, Leticia; Real, Yolanda; Moreno-Otero, Ricardo; Sanz-Cameno, Paloma

    2013-01-01

    Aims Accurate liver fibrosis staging is crucial for the management of chronic hepatitis C (CHC). The invasiveness and cost burden of liver biopsy have driven the search for new noninvasive biomarkers of fibrosis. Based on the link between serum angiopoietin-1 and 2 levels and CHC progression, we aimed to determine the value of these angiogenic factors as noninvasive biomarkers of liver fibrosis. Methods Serum levels of angiopoietin-1 and -2 were measured by ELISA in 108 CHC patients who underwent pretreatment liver biopsy. The correlation between angiopoietins and clinical and demographic variables with liver fibrosis was analyzed by univariate regression. Significant factors were then subjected to multivariate analysis, from which we constructed a novel noninvasive liver fibrosis index (AngioScore), whose performance was validated in an independent series of 71 CHC patients. The accuracy of this model was compared with other documented fibrosis algorithms by De Long test. Results Angiopoietins correlated significantly with hepatic fibrosis; however, only angiopoietin-2 was retained in the final model, which also included age, platelets, AST, INR, and GGT. The model was validated and behaved considerably better than other fibrosis indices in discriminating all, significant, moderate and severe liver fibrosis (0.886, 0.920, 0.923). Using clinically relevant cutoffs, we classified CHC patients by discarding significant fibrosis and diagnosing moderate and severe fibrosis with greater accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity. Conclusions Our novel noninvasive liver fibrosis model, based on serum angiopoietin-2 levels, outperforms other indices and should help substantially in managing CHC and monitoring long-term follow-up prognosis. PMID:23823085

  17. Applying Transactional Analysis and Personality Assessment to Improve Patient Counseling and Communication Skills

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Lesa

    2007-01-01

    Objective To teach pharmacy students how to apply transactional analysis and personality assessment to patient counseling to improve communication. Design A lecture series for a required pharmacy communications class was developed to teach pharmacy students how to apply transactional analysis and personality assessment to patient counseling. Students were asked to apply these techniques and to report their experiences. A personality self-assessment was also conducted. Assessment After attending the lecture series, students were able to apply the techniques and demonstrated an understanding of the psychological factors that may affect patient communication, an appreciation for the diversity created by different personality types, the ability to engage patients based on adult-to-adult interaction cues, and the ability to adapt the interactive patient counseling model to different personality traits. Conclusion Students gained a greater awareness of transactional analysis and personality assessment by applying these concepts. This understanding will help students communicate more effectively with patients. PMID:17786269

  18. Assessing Future Changes in Extreme Precipitation Conditions over Greece: An Investigation of their Links with Circulation Types.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolika, K.; Anangostopoulou, C.; Tegoulias, I.; Vafiadis, M.

    2010-09-01

    The relationship between the extreme precipitation events and the prevailing circulation types during their occurrence is analyzed in the present study, for four of the biggest cities in Greece (Athens, Thessaloniki, Patra and Heraklio). Daily precipitation data covering the time period 1958-2000 are utilized and the extreme rainfall events are defined using the 95% percentile index. A new automatic classification was applied for the computation of the daily calendar of the circulation types. The main improvements of this classification are the number of the circulation types, which are reduced now to twelve (12) and the fact that the scheme is flexible all over the Mediterranean. The 500hPa geopotential data (2.5 o x 2.5o spatial resolution) from the NCEP/NCAR were employed, covering a large spatial window over the whole European region, for the development of the daily circulation type’s calendar. From the first results of the study it was found that two cyclonic types were the prevailing ones during extreme rainfall conditions. Further more grid point daily precipitation data (the ones closer to the four stations) derived from the most updated regional climate models were also applied in the study for a reference period 1961-1990. The simulated extreme precipitation events were evaluated in comparison to the observational data and a new circulation type calendar was computed this time using the RCMs 500hPa data. Overall, changes both in the magnitude and in the frequency of occurrence of the extreme events were detected. The final goal of the study was to asses the future changes of rainfall extremes as well as the changes of their links with the circulation types as a consequence of the enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations until the end of the 21st century. The aforementioned methodology was applied using the RCM output, both daily precipitation and geopotentials at 500hPa level, (forced by the emission scenario A1B), for the last thirty years of the

  19. Assessment of Instructional and Administrative Strategies Applied by Principals to Improve Academic Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akiri, Agharuwhe A.

    2014-01-01

    The study is based on the assessment of instructional and administrative strategies applied by principals to improve academic performance of students in schools. This simply means that the individual talents of everyone in school needs to be maximized for the effective benefit of the school, students, parents, and the society at large. It is…

  20. Assessing and Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Teaching in China: The Course Experience Questionnaire

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yin, Hongbiao; Wang, Wenlan

    2015-01-01

    Assessing and improving the quality of undergraduate teaching is an important issue in China. Using the Course Experience Questionnaire, this study examined the quality of undergraduate teaching by investigating the relationships between students' course experience, the learning outcomes demonstrated by the students and the learning environment.…

  1. Evaluating and Improving Student Achievement in Business Programs: The Effective Use of Standardized Assessment Tests

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Black, H. Tyrone; Duhon, David L.

    2003-01-01

    Having made "continuous improvement" the theme of its accreditation process a decade ago, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is poised to make "assurance of learning" the current focus of the faculty/student exchange. In this article, the authors discuss how to use standardized assessment tests appropriately and…

  2. 42 CFR 486.348 - Condition: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Condition: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI). 486.348 Section 486.348 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION CONDITIONS FOR COVERAGE OF SPECIALIZED SERVICES FURNISHED BY...

  3. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement plan. 460.132 Section 460.132 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE)...

  4. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities. 460.136 Section 460.136 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE...

  5. 42 CFR 460.134 - Minimum requirements for quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Minimum requirements for quality assessment and performance improvement program. 460.134 Section 460.134 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE...

  6. 42 CFR 486.348 - Condition: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Condition: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI). 486.348 Section 486.348 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION CONDITIONS FOR COVERAGE OF SPECIALIZED SERVICES FURNISHED BY...

  7. 42 CFR 482.96 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI). 482.96 Section 482.96 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION FOR HOSPITALS Requirements...

  8. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement plan. 460.132 Section 460.132 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE)...

  9. 42 CFR 482.96 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI). 482.96 Section 482.96 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION FOR HOSPITALS Requirements...

  10. Improving the Memory Sections of the Standardized Assessment of Concussion Using Item Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McElhiney, Danielle; Kang, Minsoo; Starkey, Chad; Ragan, Brian

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to improve the immediate and delayed memory sections of the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) by identifying a list of more psychometrically sound items (words). A total of 200 participants with no history of concussion in the previous six months (aged 19.60 ± 2.20 years; N?=?93 men, N?=?107 women)…

  11. Assessing and Improving Learning in Business Schools: Direct and Indirect Measures of Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weldy, Teresa G.; Turnipseed, David L.

    2010-01-01

    Institutions of higher education are scrambling to make program changes to improve the quality of learning and assessment of learning in the face of pressure from multiple constituencies. Business educators are incorporating various active learning techniques to enhance learning and application of skills and knowledge to real-world situations.…

  12. Improving Student Learning in Engineering Discipline Using Student- and Lecturer-Led Assessment Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Imam, Boulent; Rafiq, M. Imran; Kumar, Prashant

    2011-01-01

    This article investigates the effectiveness of two distinct formative assessment methods for promoting deep learning and hence improving the performance amongst engineering students. The first method, applied for undergraduate students, employs a lecturer-led approach whereas the second method uses a student-led approach and e-learning for…

  13. QUEST: An Integrated Approach for Institutional Planning, Assessment and Quality Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pensacola Junior Coll., FL. Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.

    This is a report on the Qualitative Use of Evaluative Systems and Techniques (QUEST) program used by Pensacola Junior College (PJC) (Florida) to assess, integrate, and improve institutional effectiveness. The program focuses on 12 major institutional functions: strategic planning, academic programming, facilities planning, college operations,…

  14. Improving the Effectiveness of Feedback by Use of Assessed Reflections and Withholding of Grades

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Maria; Marks, Leah

    2016-01-01

    We wished to improve levels of student engagement with feedback within the context of our postgraduate masters-level programme, and therefore evaluated the use of two interventions: assessed reflections on feedback and grade-withholding. In questionnaires students reported more engagement with feedback after the interventions, with 77% in favour…

  15. The Ticket to Retention: A Classroom Assessment Technique Designed to Improve Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Divoll, Kent A.; Browning, Sandra T.; Vesey, Winona M.

    2012-01-01

    Classroom assessment techniques (CATs) or other closure activities are widely promoted for use in college classrooms. However, research on whether CATs improve student learning are mixed. The authors posit that the results are mixed because CATs were designed to "help teachers find out what students are learning in the classroom and how well…

  16. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... or maintain the delivery of services and patient care. (2) Develop and implement plans of action to... 42 Public Health 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement plan. 460.132 Section 460.132 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF...

  17. Improve Oral Training: The Method of Innovation Assessment on English Speaking Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Li-Jyu; Chang, Hung-Fan

    2011-01-01

    The advantages of portfolios come from observing the student learning process and recording feedback. Students utilized their own learning portfolios to do learning assessment and self-correction. The research that has been done in Taiwan has shown that using a portfolio is effective in improving English speaking performances (ESP). The purpose of…

  18. Assessment of the Effectiveness of an Online Learning System in Improving Student Test Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buttner, E. Holly; Black, Aprille Noe

    2014-01-01

    Colleges and universities, particularly public institutions, are facing higher enrollments and declining resources from state and federal governments. In this resource-constrained environment, faculty are seeking more efficient and effective teaching strategies to improve student learning and test performance. The authors assessed an online…

  19. Quality Improvement Awards and Vocational Education Assessment. ERIC Digest No. 182.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Bettina Lankard

    Quality system awards offer blueprints for assessing quality in vocational education as well as in business and industry. The three most prestigious awards recognizing quality improvement in business and industry are the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award, Deming Application Prize, and ISO 9000 Registration. When comparing standards for the quality…

  20. 42 CFR 418.58 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... collected to do the following: (i) Monitor the effectiveness and safety of services and quality of care. (ii..., patient safety, and quality of care. (2) Performance improvement activities must track adverse patient... Participation: Patient Care § 418.58 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance...

  1. 42 CFR 418.58 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... collected to do the following: (i) Monitor the effectiveness and safety of services and quality of care. (ii..., patient safety, and quality of care. (2) Performance improvement activities must track adverse patient... Participation: Patient Care § 418.58 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance...

  2. Music Education for Life: Music Assessment, Part 2--Instructional Improvement and Teacher Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shuler, Scott C.

    2012-01-01

    Educators are professionals. One important attribute of professionals is their constant quest for personal growth. Great music educators are lifelong learners who draw on a variety of sources to improve their expertise and effectiveness. In the first part of this topic, the author listed the primary purposes of student assessment, and focused on…

  3. Using the Madeline Hunter Direct Instruction Model to Improve Outcomes Assessments in Marketing Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steward, Michelle D.; Martin, Gregory S.; Burns, Alvin C.; Bush, Ronald F.

    2010-01-01

    This study introduces marketing educators to the Madeline Hunter Direct Instruction Model (HDIM) as an approach to significantly and substantially improve student learning through course-embedded assessment. The effectiveness of the method is illustrated in three different marketing courses taught by three different marketing professors. The…

  4. 42 CFR 416.43 - Conditions for coverage-Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 3 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Conditions for coverage-Quality assessment and performance improvement. 416.43 Section 416.43 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICARE PROGRAM (CONTINUED) AMBULATORY SURGICAL SERVICES Specific Conditions for Coverage §...

  5. 42 CFR 416.43 - Conditions for coverage-Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 3 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Conditions for coverage-Quality assessment and performance improvement. 416.43 Section 416.43 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICARE PROGRAM (CONTINUED) AMBULATORY SURGICAL SERVICES Specific Conditions for Coverage §...

  6. 42 CFR 416.43 - Conditions for coverage-Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 3 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Conditions for coverage-Quality assessment and performance improvement. 416.43 Section 416.43 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICARE PROGRAM (CONTINUED) AMBULATORY SURGICAL SERVICES Specific Conditions for Coverage §...

  7. 42 CFR 416.43 - Conditions for coverage-Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 3 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Conditions for coverage-Quality assessment and performance improvement. 416.43 Section 416.43 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICARE PROGRAM AMBULATORY SURGICAL SERVICES Specific Conditions for Coverage § 416.43...

  8. Evaluability Assessment of the Title II Basic Skills Improvement Program: Implications for State-Level Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Aurelia C.; Bourexis, Patricia S.

    The implications of the lessons learned through an evaluability assessment (EA) of the Title II Basic Skills Improvement Program (BSIP) for State Education Agency (SEA) support of model demonstration programs are discussed. The purposes, methodology and uses of the EA process are presented. Also included is a discussion of the details of the…

  9. USING PROTEOMICS TO IMPROVE RISK ASSESSMENT OF HUMAN EXPOSURE TO ENVIRONMENTAL AGENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Using Proteomics to Improve Risk Assessment of Human Exposure to Environmental Agents.
    Authors: Witold M. Winnik
    Key Words (4): Proteomics, LC/MS, Western Blots, 1D and 2D gel electrophoresis, toxicity

    The goal of this project is to use proteomics for the character...

  10. Emergency department triage: a program assessment using the tools of continuous quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Cook, S; Sinclair, D

    1997-01-01

    An assessment was undertaken in the emergency department of a busy tertiary care center to illustrate the role of continuous quality improvement in the evaluation of an emergency triage program that utilizes the emergency medical attendant to provide triage. An evaluation team interviewed triage staff, charge nurses, internal customers, risk management, and the patient representative. A detailed review of staff job descriptions, organization charts, orientation manual, and physical facilities was conducted. A chart audit was completed on 100 triage notes. Direct observation was undertaken on nine occasions. An evaluation of the data gathered was performed using the tools of continuous quality improvement, and resulted in specific recommendations being made to improve the process of care. It was concluded that emergency medical attendants function very well in an emergency medicine triage system and the tools of continuous quality improvement can be applied to a clinical service to improve the quality of care. PMID:9404811

  11. Performance Improvement in 503A Compounding Pharmacies: A PLAN FOR ASSESSMENT, IMPLEMENTATION, AND SUSTAINED SUCCESS.

    PubMed

    Pritchett, Jon; Mixon, William; O'Connell, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    Performance improvement is the continual effort to objectively assess current performance and then restructure the practices that support it to more closely achieve desired performance. A plan for performance improvement, unlike other approaches to correcting problems in job fulfillment, is a systematic method used to first find the root causes of areas of concern and then apply corrections to remedy those deficits. Implementing a performance improvement plan that can be easily adapted to ensure compliance with evolving and increasingly complex state and federal regulations is crucial to a successful compounding practice. In this article, we discuss the need for performance improvement in 503A compounding pharmacies, list the steps necessary to develop such a plan, and present three case reports of performance improvement plans in differing compounding settings. PMID:27125054

  12. Link between K absorption edges and thermodynamic properties of warm dense plasmas established by an improved first-principles method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Shen; Zhao, Shijun; Kang, Wei; Zhang, Ping; He, Xian-Tu

    2016-03-01

    A precise calculation that translates shifts of x-ray K absorption edges to variations of thermodynamic properties allows quantitative characterization of interior thermodynamic properties of warm dense plasmas by x-ray absorption techniques, which provides essential information for inertial confinement fusion and other astrophysical applications. We show that this interpretation can be achieved through an improved first-principles method. Our calculation shows that the shift of K edges exhibits selective sensitivity to thermal parameters and thus would be a suitable temperature index to warm dense plasmas. We also show with a simple model that the shift of K edges can be used to detect inhomogeneity inside warm dense plasmas when combined with other experimental tools.

  13. White light-emitting diode based wireless orthogonal frequency division multiplexing link with improved transmission capacity using Bayesian compressive sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Won, Yong-Yuk; Seo, Dong-Sun; Yoon, Sang Min

    2016-04-01

    We propose a technique that improves the channel capacity of an optical wireless orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) transmission, which employs a visible light-emitting diode. An OFDM waveform encoded by quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) or 16-quadrature amplitude modulation is compressed and then transformed into a sparse waveform using a proposed advanced systematic sampling. At the optical wireless receiver, the original waveform is recovered by L1-minimization based on a Bayesian compressive sensing. Our experimental results show the significant increase in the channel capacity from 31.12 to 51.87 Mbit/s at forward error correction limit (i.e., error vector magnitude of 32%) in case of QPSK symbols.

  14. Lessons learned: Needs for improving human health risk assessment at USDOE Sites

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, L.D.; Holtzman, S.; Meinhold, A.F.; Morris, S.C.; Rowe, M.D.; Daniels, J.I.; Layton, D.W.; Anspaugh, L.R.

    1993-09-01

    Realistic health risk assessments were performed in a pilot study of three U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) sites. These assessments, covering a broad spectrum of data and methods, were used to identify needs for improving future health risk assessments at USDOE sites. Topics receiving specific recommendations for additional research include: choice of distributions for Monte Carlo simulation; estimation of risk reduction; analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Database on food and nutrient intakes; investigations on effects of food processing on contaminant levels; background food and environmental concentrations of contaminants; method for handling exposures to groundwater plumes, methods for analyzing less than lifetime exposure to carcinogens; and improvement of bioaccumulation factors.

  15. FIM FRAME: a method for assessing and improving emergency plans for floods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lumbroso, D. M.; Di Mauro, M.; Tagg, A. F.; Vinet, F.; Stone, K.

    2012-05-01

    Over the past decade Europe has been hit by a number of severe flood events. Reviews of recent large flood events in England and France have indicated that there is room for improvement in the emergency planning for floods. Methods that can be used for the systematic assessment and improvement of emergency plans are extensively documented in readily available literature. However, those that do exist are often limited to appraising the content of the plans rather than the process that the plan should guide. This paper describes research to develop a systematic method for assessing and improving emergency plans, which is called the FIM FRAME method. The development of the method was informed by research carried out with stakeholders in France, the Netherlands and England, as well as an appraisal of available tools that can be used to develop and improve plans, and an analysis of a selection of flood emergency plans from the three countries. One of the fundamental requirements of the FIM FRAME method was that it should be able to be applied by the relevant stakeholders to a range of emergency plans that mainly focus on flooding. The method comprises a series of steps (known as Appraise, Tackle and Implement) that can assist stakeholders with assessing and improving emergency plans. The method was piloted in the three countries and then refined following feedback from end users. This paper describes the development of the FIM FRAME method and its application in three case studies affected by different types of floods.

  16. Discussion of skill improvement in marine ecosystem dynamic models based on parameter optimization and skill assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Chengcheng; Shi, Honghua; Liu, Yongzhi; Li, Fen; Ding, Dewen

    2015-12-01

    Marine ecosystem dynamic models (MEDMs) are important tools for the simulation and prediction of marine ecosystems. This article summarizes the methods and strategies used for the improvement and assessment of MEDM skill, and it attempts to establish a technical framework to inspire further ideas concerning MEDM skill improvement. The skill of MEDMs can be improved by parameter optimization (PO), which is an important step in model calibration. An efficient approach to solve the problem of PO constrained by MEDMs is the global treatment of both sensitivity analysis and PO. Model validation is an essential step following PO, which validates the efficiency of model calibration by analyzing and estimating the goodness-of-fit of the optimized model. Additionally, by focusing on the degree of impact of various factors on model skill, model uncertainty analysis can supply model users with a quantitative assessment of model confidence. Research on MEDMs is ongoing; however, improvement in model skill still lacks global treatments and its assessment is not integrated. Thus, the predictive performance of MEDMs is not strong and model uncertainties lack quantitative descriptions, limiting their application. Therefore, a large number of case studies concerning model skill should be performed to promote the development of a scientific and normative technical framework for the improvement of MEDM skill.

  17. Discussion of skill improvement in marine ecosystem dynamic models based on parameter optimization and skill assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Chengcheng; Shi, Honghua; Liu, Yongzhi; Li, Fen; Ding, Dewen

    2016-07-01

    Marine ecosystem dynamic models (MEDMs) are important tools for the simulation and prediction of marine ecosystems. This article summarizes the methods and strategies used for the improvement and assessment of MEDM skill, and it attempts to establish a technical framework to inspire further ideas concerning MEDM skill improvement. The skill of MEDMs can be improved by parameter optimization (PO), which is an important step in model calibration. An efficient approach to solve the problem of PO constrained by MEDMs is the global treatment of both sensitivity analysis and PO. Model validation is an essential step following PO, which validates the efficiency of model calibration by analyzing and estimating the goodness-of-fit of the optimized model. Additionally, by focusing on the degree of impact of various factors on model skill, model uncertainty analysis can supply model users with a quantitative assessment of model confidence. Research on MEDMs is ongoing; however, improvement in model skill still lacks global treatments and its assessment is not integrated. Thus, the predictive performance of MEDMs is not strong and model uncertainties lack quantitative descriptions, limiting their application. Therefore, a large number of case studies concerning model skill should be performed to promote the development of a scientific and normative technical framework for the improvement of MEDM skill.

  18. Toward improving patient safety through voluntary peer-to-peer assessment.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Daniel W; Holzmueller, Christine G; Pronovost, Peter J; Gianci, Sebastiana J; Pate, Zack T; Wahr, Joyce; Heitmiller, Eugenie S; Thompson, David A; Martinez, Elizabeth A; Marsteller, Jill A; Gurses, Ayse P; Lubomski, Lisa H; Goeschel, Christine A; Pham, Julius Cuong

    2012-01-01

    Health care has primarily used retrospective review approaches to identify and mitigate hazards, with little evidence of measurable and sustained improvements in patient safety. Conversely, the nuclear power industry has used a prospective peer-to-peer (P2P) assessment process grounded in open information exchange and cooperative organizational learning to realize substantial and sustainable improvements in safety. In comparing approaches, it is evident that health care's sluggish progress stems from weaknesses in hazard identification and mitigation and in organizational learning. This article proposes creating and implementing a structured prospective P2P assessment model in health care, similar to that used in the nuclear power industry, to accelerate improvements in patient safety. PMID:22202557

  19. Lameness and hock injuries improve on farms participating in an assessment program.

    PubMed

    Chapinal, N; Weary, D M; Collings, L; von Keyserlingk, M A G

    2014-12-01

    Lameness and hock injuries are recognized welfare and production problems in the dairy industry. The objective of this study was to describe changes in the prevalence of these ailments in 15 freestall herds in the Northeastern United States that participated in an on-farm assessment program. Prevalence was assessed in a high-producing pen in each herd. A confidential report was delivered to each of the farms showing prevalence in relation to other herds assessed within the same region. The average (±SD) period between visits was 11.5 ± 4.4 months (range, 8-25 months). The prevalence of lameness decreased in most herds after the first assessment (mean difference ± SE [range] = -17 ± 4 % [-43 to 6]). An even larger improvement was seen in the prevalence of hock injuries with all farms showing a decrease (-38 ± 6% [-1 to -87]). The degree of improvement observed at the second assessment was greatest for those farms that had higher lameness prevalence when first assessed, but this was not the case for hock injuries. The changes in prevalence of clinical lameness and overall hock lesions were, however, correlated (ρ = 0.62). These results suggest that monitoring and reporting the prevalence of lameness and hock injuries to farmers can motivate changes in facilities and management targeted to address these ailments. PMID:25447801

  20. Joining forces for food security - Linking earth observation and crowd-sourcing for improved decision-support to aid organizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enenkel, M.; Dorigo, W.; See, L. M.; Vinck, P.; Pham, P.

    2013-12-01

    Droughts statistically exceed all other natural disasters in spatio-temporal extent, number of people affected or financial loss. Triggered by crop failure, food insecurity is a major manifestation of agricultural drought and water scarcity. However, other socio-economic precursors, such as chronically low levels of disaster preparedness, hampered access to food security or a lack of social safety nets are equally important factors. Consequently, this study is focused on two complementary developments - a new satellite-derived agricultural drought index and a mobile phone application. The Combined Drought Index (CDI) is enhanced by replacing field measurements of temperature and rainfall modelled/assimilated data. The vegetation component is replaced by a smoothed NDVI dataset. A soil moisture component is introduced to close the gap between rainfall deficiencies and the first visible impacts of atmospheric anomalies on vegetation. The mobile phone application enables the validation of drought index outputs and gives aid organizations an opportunity to increase the speed of socio-economic vulnerability assessments. Supported by Doctors without Borders (MSF) this approach aims at decreasing uncertainties in decision-making via a more holistic risk framework.

  1. Completing the Link between Exposure Science and Toxicology for Improved Environmental Health Decision Making: The Aggregate Exposure Pathway Framework.

    PubMed

    Teeguarden, Justin G; Tan, Yu-Mei; Edwards, Stephen W; Leonard, Jeremy A; Anderson, Kim A; Corley, Richard A; Kile, Molly L; Simonich, Staci M; Stone, David; Tanguay, Robert L; Waters, Katrina M; Harper, Stacey L; Williams, David E

    2016-05-01

    Driven by major scientific advances in analytical methods, biomonitoring, computation, and a newly articulated vision for a greater impact in public health, the field of exposure science is undergoing a rapid transition from a field of observation to a field of prediction. Deployment of an organizational and predictive framework for exposure science analogous to the "systems approaches" used in the biological sciences is a necessary step in this evolution. Here we propose the aggregate exposure pathway (AEP) concept as the natural and complementary companion in the exposure sciences to the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) concept in the toxicological sciences. Aggregate exposure pathways offer an intuitive framework to organize exposure data within individual units of prediction common to the field, setting the stage for exposure forecasting. Looking farther ahead, we envision direct linkages between aggregate exposure pathways and adverse outcome pathways, completing the source to outcome continuum for more meaningful integration of exposure assessment and hazard identification. Together, the two frameworks form and inform a decision-making framework with the flexibility for risk-based, hazard-based, or exposure-based decision making. PMID:26759916

  2. Improved cellular infiltration into nanofibrous electrospun cross-linked gelatin scaffolds templated with micrometer sized polyethylene glycol fibers

    PubMed Central

    Skotak, Maciej; Ragusa, Jorge; Gonzalez, Daniela; Subramanian, Anuradha

    2011-01-01

    Gelatin-based nanofibrous scaffolds with a mean fiber diameter of 300 nm were prepared with and without micrometer-sized polyethylene glycol (PEG) fibers that served as sacrificial templates. Upon fabrication of the scaffolds via electrospinning, the gelatin fibers were crosslinked with glutaraldehyde, and the PEG templates were removed using tert-butanol to yield nanofibrous scaffolds with pore diameters ranging from 10 to 100 µm, as estimated with mercury intrusion porosimetry. Non-templated gelatin-based nanofibrous matrices had an average pore size of 1 µm. Fibroblasts were seeded onto both types of the gelatin-based nanfibrous surfaces and cultured for 14 days. For comparative purposes, chitosan-based and polyurethane (PU)-based macroporous scaffolds with pore sizes of 100 µm and 170 µm, respectively, also were included. The number of cells as a function of the depth into the scaffold was judged and quantitatively assessed using nuclei staining. Cell penetration up to a depth of 250 µm and 90 µm was noted in gelatin scaffolds prepared with sacrificial templates and gelatin-only nanofibrous scaffolds. Noticeably, scaffold preparation protocol presented here allowed the structural integrity to be maintained even with high template content (95 %) and can be easily extended towards other classes of electrospun polymer matrices for tissue engineering. PMID:21931195

  3. Completing the Link between Exposure Science and Toxicology for Improved Environmental Health Decision Making: The Aggregate Exposure Pathway Framework

    PubMed Central

    Teeguarden, Justin. G.; Tan, Yu-Mei; Edwards, Stephen W.; Leonard, Jeremy A.; Anderson, Kim A.; Corley, Richard A.; Harding, Anna K; Kile, Molly L.; Simonich, Staci M; Stone, David; Tanguay, Robert L.; Waters, Katrina M.; Harper, Stacey L.; Williams, David E.

    2016-01-01

    Synopsis Driven by major scientific advances in analytical methods, biomonitoring, computational tools, and a newly articulated vision for a greater impact in public health, the field of exposure science is undergoing a rapid transition from a field of observation to a field of prediction. Deployment of an organizational and predictive framework for exposure science analogous to the “systems approaches” used in the biological sciences is a necessary step in this evolution. Here we propose the Aggregate Exposure Pathway (AEP) concept as the natural and complementary companion in the exposure sciences to the Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) concept in the toxicological sciences. Aggregate exposure pathways offer an intuitive framework to organize exposure data within individual units of prediction common to the field, setting the stage for exposure forecasting. Looking farther ahead, we envision direct linkages between aggregate exposure pathways and adverse outcome pathways, completing the source to outcome continuum for more efficient integration of exposure assessment and hazard identification. Together, the two pathways form and inform a decision-making framework with the flexibility for risk-based, hazard-based, or exposure-based decision making. PMID:26759916

  4. Completing the link between exposure science and toxicology for improved environmental health decision making: The aggregate exposure pathway framework

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Teeguarden, Justin G.; Tan, Yu -Mei; Edwards, Stephen W.; Leonard, Jeremy A.; Anderson, Kim A.; Corley, Richard A.; Kile, Molly L.; Simonich, Staci M.; Stone, David; Tanguay, Robert L.; et al

    2016-01-13

    Here, driven by major scientific advances in analytical methods, biomonitoring, computation, and a newly articulated vision for a greater impact in public health, the field of exposure science is undergoing a rapid transition from a field of observation to a field of prediction. Deployment of an organizational and predictive framework for exposure science analogous to the “systems approaches” used in the biological sciences is a necessary step in this evolution. Here we propose the aggregate exposure pathway (AEP) concept as the natural and complementary companion in the exposure sciences to the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) concept in the toxicological sciences.more » Aggregate exposure pathways offer an intuitive framework to organize exposure data within individual units of prediction common to the field, setting the stage for exposure forecasting. Looking farther ahead, we envision direct linkages between aggregate exposure pathways and adverse outcome pathways, completing the source to outcome continuum for more meaningful integration of exposure assessment and hazard identification. Together, the two frameworks form and inform a decision-making framework with the flexibility for risk-based, hazard-based, or exposure-based decision making.« less

  5. Investigation of Cross-Linked and Additive Containing Polymer Materials for Membranes with Improved Performance in Pervaporation and Gas Separation

    PubMed Central

    Hunger, Katharina; Schmeling, Nadine; Jeazet, Harold B. Tanh; Janiak, Christoph; Staudt, Claudia; Kleinermanns, Karl

    2012-01-01

    Pervaporation and gas separation performances of polymer membranes can be improved by crosslinking or addition of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Crosslinked copolyimide membranes show higher plasticization resistance and no significant loss in selectivity compared to non-crosslinked membranes when exposed to mixtures of CO2/CH4 or toluene/cyclohexane. Covalently crosslinked membranes reveal better separation performances than ionically crosslinked systems. Covalent interlacing with 3-hydroxypropyldimethylmaleimide as photocrosslinker can be investigated in situ in solution as well as in films, using transient UV/Vis and FTIR spectroscopy. The photocrosslinking yield can be determined from the FTIR-spectra. It is restricted by the stiffness of the copolyimide backbone, which inhibits the photoreaction due to spatial separation of the crosslinker side chains. Mixed-matrix membranes (MMMs) with MOFs as additives (fillers) have increased permeabilities and often also selectivities compared to the pure polymer. Incorporation of MOFs into polysulfone and Matrimid® polymers for MMMs gives defect-free membranes with performances similar to the best polymer membranes for gas mixtures, such as O2/N2 H2/CH4, CO2/CH4, H2/CO2, CH4/N2 and CO2/N2 (preferentially permeating gas is named first). The MOF porosity, its particle size and content in the MMM are factors to influence the permeability and the separation performance of the membranes. PMID:24958427

  6. Wind power: Addressing wildlife impacts, assessing effects on tourism, and examining the link between climate change perceptions and support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lilley, Meredith Blaydes

    As the world's most rapidly growing source of energy, wind power has vast potential for mitigating climate change and advancing global environmental sustainability. Yet, the challenges facing wind energy remain both complex and substantial. Two such challenges are: 1) wildlife impacts; and 2) perceived negative effects on tourism. This dissertation examines these challenges in a multi-paper format, and also investigates the role that climate change perceptions play in garnering public support for wind power. The first paper assesses optimal approaches for addressing wind power's wildlife impacts. Comparative analysis reveals that avian mortality from turbines ranks far behind avian mortality from a number of other anthropogenic sources. Additionally, although bats have recently emerged as more vulnerable to wind turbines than birds, they are generally less federally protected. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) protects over 800 bird species, regardless of their threatened or endangered status. Moreover, it criminalizes the incidental take of birds without a permit and simultaneously grants no permits for such incidental take, thereby creating a legal conundrum for the wind industry. An examination of the legislative and case history of the MBTA, however, reveals that wind operators are not likely to be prosecuted for incidental take if they cooperate with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and take reasonable steps to reduce siting and operational impacts. Furthermore, this study's analysis reveals modest wildlife impacts from wind power, in comparison with numerous other energy sources. Scientific-research, legal, and policy recommendations are provided to update the present legal and regulatory regime under the MBTA and to minimize avian and bat impacts. For instance, FWS should: establish comprehensive federal guidelines for wind facility siting, permitting, monitoring, and mitigation; and promulgate regulations under the MBTA for the issuance of

  7. Assessing Activity Limitations in Patients with Neuromuscular Diseases: Is the ACTIVLIM Questionnaire Linked to ICF and ICF-CY?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raggi, Alberto; Leonardi, Matilde

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to explore to what extent the ACTIVLIM questionnaire, designed to evaluate limitations in activities involving upper and lower limbs in adults and children with neuromuscular diseases, is linked to the domains of the Activities and Participation of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and…

  8. Linking Exposure Science to Current and Future Pesticide Risk Assessment: From Biomonitoring to PBPK Modeling to High Throughput Screens

    EPA Science Inventory

    Organophosphate (OP) and pyrethroid (PYR) pesticides are amongst the most widely used insecticides. While useful in their ability to control and remove insects from cattle, crops, and homes, they are inherently linked to varying degrees of toxicity as a result of their actions on...

  9. The Well-Being of Children Born to Teen Mothers: Multiple Approaches to Assessing the Causal Links. JCPR Working Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levine, Judith A.; Pollack, Harold

    This study used linked maternal-child data from the 1997-1998 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to explore the wellbeing of children born to teenage mothers. Two econometric techniques explored the causal impact of early childbearing on subsequent child and adolescent outcomes. First, a fixed-effect, cousin-comparison analysis controlled for…

  10. Expansion of the Multi-Link Frontier™ Coronary Bifurcation Stent: Micro-Computed Tomographic Assessment in Human Autopsy and Porcine Heart Samples

    PubMed Central

    Kralev, Stefan; Haag, Benjamin; Spannenberger, Jens; Lang, Siegfried; Brockmann, Marc A.; Bartling, Soenke; Marx, Alexander; Haase, Karl-Konstantin; Borggrefe, Martin; Süselbeck, Tim

    2011-01-01

    Background Treatment of coronary bifurcation lesions remains challenging, beyond the introduction of drug eluting stents. Dedicated stent systems are available to improve the technical approach to the treatment of these lesions. However dedicated stent systems have so far not reduced the incidence of stent restenosis. The aim of this study was to assess the expansion of the Multi-Link (ML) Frontier™ stent in human and porcine coronary arteries to provide the cardiologist with useful in-vitro information for stent implantation and selection. Methodology/Principal Findings Nine ML Frontier™ stents were implanted in seven human autopsy heart samples with known coronary artery disease and five ML Frontier™ stents were implanted in five porcine hearts. Proximal, distal and side branch diameters (PD, DD, SBD, respectively), corresponding opening areas (PA, DA, SBA) and the mean stent length (L) were assessed by micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). PD and PA were significantly smaller in human autopsy heart samples than in porcine heart samples (3.54±0.47 mm vs. 4.04±0.22 mm, p = 0.048; 10.00±2.42 mm2 vs. 12.84±1.38 mm2, p = 0.034, respectively) and than those given by the manufacturer (3.54±0.47 mm vs. 4.03 mm, p = 0.014). L was smaller in human autopsy heart samples than in porcine heart samples, although data did not reach significance (16.66±1.30 mm vs. 17.30±0.51 mm, p = 0.32), and significantly smaller than that given by the manufacturer (16.66±1.30 mm vs. 18 mm, p = 0.015). Conclusions/Significance Micro-CT is a feasible tool for exact surveying of dedicated stent systems and could make a contribution to the development of these devices. The proximal diameter and proximal area of the stent system were considerably smaller in human autopsy heart samples than in porcine heart samples and than those given by the manufacturer. Special consideration should be given to the stent deployment procedure (and to the follow-up) of dedicated

  11. Linking top-down and bottom-up approaches for assessing the vulnerability of a 100 % renewable energy system in Northern-Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borga, Marco; Francois, Baptiste; Hingray, Benoit; Zoccatelli, Davide; Creutin, Jean-Dominique; brown, Casey

    2016-04-01

    Due to their variable and un-controllable features, integration of Variable Renewable Energies (e.g. solar-power, wind-power and hydropower, denoted as VRE) into the electricity network implies higher production variability and increased risk of not meeting demand. Two approaches are commonly used for assessing this risk and especially its evolution in a global change context (i.e. climate and societal changes); top-down and bottom-up approaches. The general idea of a top-down approach is to drive analysis of global change or of some key aspects of global change on their systems (e.g., the effects of the COP 21, of the deployment of Smart Grids, or of climate change) with chains of loosely linked simulation models within a predictive framework. The bottom-up approach aims to improve understanding of the dependencies between the vulnerability of regional systems and large-scale phenomenon from knowledge gained through detailed exploration of the response to change of the system of interest, which may reveal vulnerability thresholds, tipping points as well as potential opportunities. Brown et al. (2012) defined an analytical framework to merge these two approaches. The objective is to build, a set of Climate Response Functions (CRFs) putting in perspective i) indicators of desired states ("success") and undesired states ("failure") of a system as defined in collaboration with stakeholders 2) exhaustive exploration of the effects of uncertain forcings and imperfect system understanding on the response of the system itself to a plausible set of possible changes, implemented a with multi-dimensionally consistent "stress test" algorithm, and 3) a set "ex post" hydroclimatic and socioeconomic scenarios that provide insight into the differential effectiveness of alternative policies and serve as entry points for the provision of climate information to inform policy evaluation and choice. We adapted this approach for analyzing a 100 % renewable energy system within a region

  12. Optimising outcome assessment to improve quality and efficiency of stroke trials.

    PubMed

    McArthur, Kate; Fan, Yuhua; Pei, Zhong; Quinn, Terry

    2014-02-01

    Substantial progress has been made in treatment of stroke and much of this has been driven by large scale, multi-centre, randomised controlled trials. Although stroke is a frequent cause of mortality, stroke-related disability and functional decline is of equal or greater concern to patients and carers. Thus, to prove efficacy of an intervention for stroke, we need robust methods of describing recovery. Various functional assessment scales are available, the tool recommended as trial end point by many specialist societies and regulatory authorities is the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). We will use the mRS as exemplar to discuss contemporary research around functional assessment for stroke trials, including recent work around structured assessments, assessor training and end point adjudication panels. We will present an overview and critique of these studies and give examples where strategies to improve mRS assessment are impacting on the quality of stroke clinical trials. PMID:24350886

  13. Assessment Model of Ecoenvironmental Vulnerability Based on Improved Entropy Weight Method

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xianqi; Wang, Chenbo; Li, Enkuan; Xu, Cundong

    2014-01-01

    Assessment of ecoenvironmental vulnerability plays an important role in the guidance of regional planning, the construction and protection of ecological environment, which requires comprehensive consideration on regional resources, environment, ecology, society and other factors. Based on the driving mechanism and evolution characteristics of ecoenvironmental vulnerability in cold and arid regions of China, a novel evaluation index system on ecoenvironmental vulnerability is proposed in this paper. For the disadvantages of conventional entropy weight method, an improved entropy weight assessment model on ecoenvironmental vulnerability is developed and applied to evaluate the ecoenvironmental vulnerability in western Jilin Province of China. The assessing results indicate that the model is suitable for ecoenvironmental vulnerability assessment, and it shows more reasonable evaluation criterion, more distinct insights and satisfactory results combined with the practical conditions. The model can provide a new method for regional ecoenvironmental vulnerability evaluation. PMID:25133260

  14. Assessment and improvement of biotransfer models to cow's milk and beef used in exposure assessment tools for organic pollutants.

    PubMed

    Takaki, Koki; Wade, Andrew J; Collins, Chris D

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this study was to assess and improve the accuracy of biotransfer models for the organic pollutants (PCBs, PCDD/Fs, PBDEs, PFCAs, and pesticides) into cow's milk and beef used in human exposure assessment. Metabolic rate in cattle is known as a key parameter for this biotransfer, however few experimental data and no simulation methods are currently available. In this research, metabolic rate was estimated using existing QSAR biodegradation models of microorganisms (BioWIN) and fish (EPI-HL and IFS-HL). This simulated metabolic rate was then incorporated into the mechanistic cattle biotransfer models (RAIDAR, ACC-HUMAN, OMEGA, and CKow). The goodness of fit tests showed that RAIDAR, ACC-HUMAN, OMEGA model performances were significantly improved using either of the QSARs when comparing the new model outputs to observed data. The CKow model is the only one that separates the processes in the gut and liver. This model showed the lowest residual error of all the models tested when the BioWIN model was used to represent the ruminant metabolic process in the gut and the two fish QSARs were used to represent the metabolic process in the liver. Our testing included EUSES and CalTOX which are KOW-regression models that are widely used in regulatory assessment. New regressions based on the simulated rate of the two metabolic processes are also proposed as an alternative to KOW-regression models for a screening risk assessment. The modified CKow model is more physiologically realistic, but has equivalent usability to existing KOW-regression models for estimating cattle biotransfer of organic pollutants. PMID:26143401

  15. Angiotensin II and the transcription factor Rel/NF-kappaB link environmental water shortage with memory improvement.

    PubMed

    Frenkel, L; Freudenthal, R; Romano, A; Nahmod, V E; Maldonado, H; Delorenzi, A

    2002-01-01

    One of the essential requirements even in the most ancient life forms is to be able to preserve body fluid medium. In line with such requirement, animals need to perform different behaviors to cope with water shortages. As angiotensin II (ANGII) is involved on a widespread range of functions in vertebrates, including memory modulation, an integrative role, in response to an environmental water shortage, has been envisioned. Previous work on the semi-terrestrial and brackish-water crab Chasmagnathus granulatus showed that endogenous ANGII enhanced an associative long-term memory and, in addition, that high salinity environment induces both an increase of brain ANGII levels and memory improvement. Here, we show that in the crab Chasmagnathus air exposure transiently increases blood sodium concentration, significantly increases brain ANGII immunoreactivity, and has a facilitatory effect on memory that is abolished by a non-selective ANGII receptor antagonist, saralasin. Furthermore, Rel/NF-kappaB, a transcription factor activated by ANGII in mammals and during memory consolidation in Chasmagnathus brain, is induced in the crab's brain by air exposure. Moreover, nuclear brain NF-kappaB is activated by ANGII, and this effect is reversed by saralasin. Our results constitute the first demonstration in an invertebrate that cognitive functions are modulated by an environmental stimulus through a neuropeptide and give evolutionary support to the role of angiotensins in memory processes. Moreover, these results suggest that angiotensinergic system is preserved across evolution not only in its structure and molecular mechanisms, but also in its capability of coordinating specific adaptative responses. PMID:12453481

  16. Repeat Cardiovascular Risk Assessment after Four Years: Is There Improvement in Risk Prediction?

    PubMed Central

    Chamnan, Parinya; Simmons, Rebecca K.; Sharp, Stephen J.; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Griffin, Simon J.

    2016-01-01

    Background Framingham risk equations are widely used to predict cardiovascular disease based on health information from a single time point. Little is known regarding use of information from repeat risk assessments and temporal change in estimated cardiovascular risk for prediction of future cardiovascular events. This study was aimed to compare the discrimination and risk reclassification of approaches using estimated cardiovascular risk at single and repeat risk assessments Methods Using data on 12,197 individuals enrolled in EPIC-Norfolk cohort, with 12 years of follow-up, we examined rates of cardiovascular events by levels of estimated absolute risk (Framingham risk score) at the first and second health examination four years later. We calculated the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (aROC) and risk reclassification, comparing approaches using information from single and repeat risk assessments (i.e., estimated risk at different time points). Results The mean Framingham risk score increased from 15.5% to 17.5% over a mean of 3.7 years from the first to second health examination. Individuals with high estimated risk (≥20%) at both health examinations had considerably higher rates of cardiovascular events than those who remained in the lowest risk category (<10%) in both health examinations (34.0 [95%CI 31.7–36.6] and 2.7 [2.2–3.3] per 1,000 person-years respectively). Using information from the most up-to-date risk assessment resulted in a small non-significant change in risk classification over the previous risk assessment (net reclassification improvement of -4.8%, p>0.05). Using information from both risk assessments slightly improved discrimination compared to information from a single risk assessment (aROC 0.76 and 0.75 respectively, p<0.001). Conclusions Using information from repeat risk assessments over a period of four years modestly improved prediction, compared to using data from a single risk assessment. However, this

  17. Coordinating ecological restoration options analysis and risk assessment to improve environmental outcomes.

    PubMed

    Kapustka, Lawrence A; Bowers, Keith; Isanhart, John; Martinez-Garza, Cristina; Finger, Susan; Stahl, Ralph G; Stauber, Jenny

    2016-04-01

    Ecological risk assessment as currently practiced has hindered consideration of ecosystem services endpoints and restoration goals in the environmental management process. Practitioners have created barriers between procedures to clean up contaminated areas and efforts to restore ecosystem functions. In this article, we examine linkages between contaminant risk assessment approaches and restoration efforts with the aim of identifying ways to improve environmental outcomes. We advocate that project managers and other stakeholders use an ecological planning framework, with restoration options included upfront in the risk assessment. We also considered the opportunities to incorporate ecosystem services as potential assessment endpoints in the Problem Formulation stages of a risk assessment. Indeed, diverse perspectives of stakeholders are central to understand the relevance of social, cultural, economic, and regional ecology as influences on future use options for the landscape being restored. The measurement endpoints used to characterize the existing ecological conditions for selected ecosystem services can also be used to evaluate restoration success. A regional, landscape, or seascape focus is needed throughout the risk assessment process, so that restoration efforts play a more prominent role in enhancing ecosystem services. In short, we suggest that practitioners begin with the question of "how can the ecological risk assessment inform the decision on how best to restore the ecosystem?" PMID:26077395

  18. Defining and Assessing Quality Improvement Outcomes: A Framework for Public Health

    PubMed Central

    McLees, Anita W.; Nawaz, Saira; Thomas, Craig; Young, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    We describe an evidence-based framework to define and assess the impact of quality improvement (QI) in public health. Developed to address programmatic and research-identified needs for articulating the value of public health QI in aggregate, this framework proposes a standardized set of measures to monitor and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public health programs and operations. We reviewed the scientific literature and analyzed QI initiatives implemented through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Public Health Improvement Initiative to inform the selection of 5 efficiency and 8 effectiveness measures. This framework provides a model for identifying the types of improvement outcomes targeted by public health QI efforts and a means to understand QI’s impact on the practice of public health. PMID:25689185

  19. Assessing and improving data quality from community health workers: a successful intervention in Neno, Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Admon, A. J.; Bazile, J.; Makungwa, H.; Chingoli, M. A.; Hirschhorn, L. R.; Peckarsky, M.; Rigodon, J.; Herce, M.; Chingoli, F.; Malani, P. N.

    2013-01-01

    Setting: A community health worker (CHW) program was established in Neno District, Malawi, in 2007 by Partners In Health in support of Ministry of Health activities. Routinely generated CHW data provide critical information for program monitoring and evaluation. Informal assessments of the CHW reports indicated poor quality, limiting the usefulness of the data. Objectives: 1) To establish the quality of aggregated measures contained in CHW reports; 2) to develop interventions to address poor data quality; and 3) to evaluate changes in data quality following the intervention. Design: We developed a lot quality assurance sampling-based data quality assessment tool to identify sites with high or low reporting quality. Following the first assessment, we identified challenges and best practices and followed the interventions with two subsequent assessments. Results: At baseline, four of five areas were classified as low data quality. After 8 months, all five areas had achieved high data quality, and the reports generated from our electronic database became consistent and plausible. Conclusion: Program changes included improving the usability of the reporting forms, shifting aggregation responsibility to designated assistants and providing aggregation support tools. Local quality assessments and targeted interventions resulted in immediate improvements in data quality. PMID:25767750

  20. An innovative method to assess negotiation skills necessary for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Varkey, Prathibha; Gupta, Priyanka; Bennet, Kevin E

    2008-01-01

    Quality improvement (QI) initiatives require leaders who can facilitate change through negotiation. Although a few education programs teach these skills, there is no published literature on methods to assess competency in negotiation. This study's purpose was to determine the psychometric properties of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) to assess negotiation skills. The OSCE uses an actor trained to respond to the learner in a standardized fashion. The negotiation station was part of an 8-station QI OSCE piloted in the Mayo Clinic Endocrinology and Preventive Medicine fellowship programs. External experts judged the content validity to be excellent. Interrater reliability was outstanding for the global competency assessment (0.80) and moderate for checklist scores (0.53). All participating faculty strongly agreed (33.3%) or agreed (66.7%) that the OSCE station was an authentic assessment tool. Further research is needed to study the predictive validity of such an OSCE and its application to assessing other quality improvement competencies. PMID:18820139