4 results for Wang, Yi, Thesis

  • Constructing Learner Autonomy Through Control Shift: Sociocultural Implications of Teacher Cognition and Practice in a Chinese Secondary School

    Wang, Yi (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Recognised as an educationally desirable goal, the development of learner autonomy (LA) has been extensively implemented and researched in various settings. Many have advocated that the goal can be achieved in a conventional school environment through control shifts from school managers to teachers and from teachers to students. However, few empirical studies have closely examined the actual practices of managers and teachers in this regard, and their perceptions on their own practices as well as the nature of autonomy. This is the research gap that stimulated the current study to seek to explore ways in which learner autonomy might be developed through the shift of control between school administrators, teachers, and students. The study was conducted in the context of EFL instruction in a Chinese private secondary school, where LA was being promoted through a school-based curricular innovation. The participants comprised the school principal, the executive director, and all nine English Department teachers, which constituted an institutional case study, as well as individual cases. The overriding research question was: How might the findings of the present study contribute to a refined academic understanding of the role of control shift in the development of learner autonomy? To address this issue, four subsidiary questions were formulated: How was learner autonomy interpreted in a Chinese secondary school? In what ways was learner autonomy developed through control shifts in the school? In what ways did the administrators’ and the teachers’ beliefs converge with or diverge from their practices? How should the convergences and divergences be explained in the wider sociocultural context? Taking an interpretive naturalistic paradigm, the study deployed a multi-method approach to data collection, conducted over an academic semester of five months. Data gathered included twenty-two classroom observations, sixteen post-lesson discussion sessions, eleven interviews, and numerous field and reflective notes, school documents and classroom materials. The collected data were subjected to a process of grounded analysis, through which important themes were identified by open and axial coding, constant comparison and contrast, and iterative checking. The findings revealed a great diversity in both the teachers’ practice and their cognition with respect to fostering LA through the transfer of control to students. Both practice and cognition could be viewed as points along parallel continua. One end of the practice continuum showed signs of comprehensive control release to students genuinely supporting LA, while the other displayed evidence of false control relinquishment, merely “paying lip service” to LA development. Similarly, in the cognitive dimension, one extreme suggested a teacher’s deep understanding of the nature of LA and explicit awareness of her LA-oriented practice, whereas the other exposed another teacher’s ill-defined interpretation of LA and unawareness of how her actions constrained learner autonomy. With numerous episodes at different points of the continua and changing over time, the teachers’ practice and cognition exhibited a complex and dynamic range of convergences and divergences. Such complex and dynamic convergences and divergences were also reflected in the guidelines that the school managers provided for the teachers and the actual measures they took in relation to the promotion of LA in the school. Among the many factors that affected the implementation of LA development in the given context, three prominent ones were: the administrators’ and the teachers’ understanding of the meaning of LA; their beliefs and trust in learners’ ability to take control; and their awareness of the LA-facilitating or hindering nature of the actions that they took in this regard. The study concludes that Cultural Historical Activity Theory (Cole & Engeström, 1993) is conducive to illuminating the complexity and dynamics of the LA-oriented practice and cognition in the school. Although the findings of such a case study cannot be generalised to other contexts, the study makes an original contribution to comprehending the promotion of LA in Chinese secondary schools. In addition, it offers practical implications for researchers, policy makers, school administrators and teachers who are interested in and committed to adopting LA as a worthwhile educational goal.

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  • Corporate financial reporting on the internet: Evidence from New Zealand companies

    Wang, Yi (2003-09)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    In this thesis, I examine companies that list on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and distribute financial information via the Internet. The types of financial information published on the Internet by these companies are identified, and the influence of firm size, financial performance, leverage, ownership spread, industry type, and the degree of internationalisation on the disclosure level of Internet financial reporting are investigated, based on the theoretical arguments of prior studies on this topic. It is found that, in general, companies place an electronic version of their printed material and some reorganised information on their websites. The results indicate that only firm size is significantly associated with the disclosure level of Internet financial reporting.

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  • Production and characterization of salivaricin MPS-like inhibitory activity from streptococcus uberis strain NY42

    Wang, Yi (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Streptococcus salivarius, a predominant bacterial species found in the human oral cavity, is increasingly studied for its production of bacteriocin-like activity. Much of the interest in the study of S. salivarius is driven by the perceived potential probiotic applications. The preliminary characterization of salivaricin MPS (salMPS), a bacteriocin produced by S. salivarius strain MPS revealed a large antimicrobial molecule with specific inhibitory activity against Streptococcus pyogenes, a potential human pathogen. In the present study, the production of salivaricin MPS was evaluated from its original producer strain MPS using various growth media. Contrary to previous findings, it was almost impossible to detect any inhibitory activity when the producer was grown in liquid THB (Todd-Hewitt broth) medium, with or without supplement. The additional inhibitory activity of strain MPS towards non-S. pyogenes indicators and presumed two-component inhibitor system (from two salMPS genes) further complicated the production scenario. In comparison, Streptococcus uberis strain NY42 which was selected from the screening study as an alternative salMPS producer demonstrated a more specific anti-S. pyogenes salMPS-like inhibitor activity while containing only one of the two salMPS genes found in strain MPS. Recovery of salMPS-like activity from strain NY42 was mainly achieved by freeze thaw method extraction of cultures grown on blood agar. The biggest challenge during the enrichment of the inhibitory activity using ammonium sulfate precipitation was the interference by large amounts of haemoglobin from the blood agar that associated with the inhibitory activity. Attempts at removing the haemoglobin from the inhibitory activity using guanidine hydrochloride and urea did not succeed. Fractionation of the NY42 freeze thaw sample using gel permeation HPLC (high pressure liquid chromatography) did indicate the presence of the putative salMPS-like inhibitor within the active fractions, supported by the SDS-PAGE (sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacylamide gel electrophoresis) and mass spectrometry analysis results, although data from online database searching was less significant due to the lack of suitable library entries. The effect of blood and saliva as well as uv-irradiation on the production of inhibitory activity by several P-type 226 producer strains was also investigated in this study. In addition, the possibility of using S. pyogenes cells to bind salMPS-like activity, followed by an attempt to release the inhibitory activity was also assessed. Despite all the difficulties with the original producer S. salivarius strain MPS, the study of strain NY42 discovered an alternative producer capable of producing a similar but more specific inhibitory activity compared to strain MPS. Purification of salMPS-like inhibitor using HPLC, combined with 1D (one dimension) -PAGE and mass spectrometry analysis further demonstrated the possibility of using strain NY42 as a favorable salMPS producer.

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  • Design and Evaluation of a Mobile Photo Gallery in TIP

    Wang, Yi (2007)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    As a part of the Tourist Information Provider (TIP) system, this project focuses on creating a photo gallery service in the TIP system, which allows users to share, browse and categorize their photos. The core of this project is to provide users a location-based photo browsing. The system provides photos which are taken in the current user's location. We considered privacy control on photos that users uploaded. A photo owner is able to sign an access level to each of their photos and permit different users to access them. We also considered reusing resources. The system allows a user to use an URL of a photo in the system in stead of uploading the photo from the local computer. The system also provides a URL of each photo in order to use the photo on other web places, e.g., Blogs. We use tags and photo metadata Eixf to categorize photos.

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