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Items filtered by date: December 2013

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 12:58

Riordan

Riordan


Riordan, like EBay, Johnson and Mock house, has the potential to generate greater sales and margin so as to optimize its operations. The sales and product of the company has been successful previously through its pricing and selection of products. This has enabled the Riordan to sustain its strategic objects and goals. Riordan has also been able to increase and retain its customers by promoting customer satisfaction.  The company has employed a robust and exceptional customer services.  They have a specific target group as their customers.  The company has also strategized ways of generating target revenues through delivery of its product. The products are delivered efficiently and timely to clients.  


The products of the Riordan are also highly customized.   The company has expounded financial, sales and production goals that govern its operations.  One of their objectives is to use mass production and sale to increase the company’s revenue. The management of the company has devised ways of assessing and reviewing the performance of the company. Riordan has also managed to maintain a low employees turnover rates. This has ensured consistency in quality of staffs and efficiency in production


One of the competitive advantages that Riordan can use to increase and sustain its market in the world includes outsourcing for cheap raw materials from developing countries. This will enable the company to lower its production cost. The company can also strengthen its market share by investing on marker research to assess emerging consumer trends. This will enable Riordan to adjust its products to meet the preferences and tastes of its clients.  The company will also be able to identify potential markets, which may increase its market share.


Reference

Prashant Salwan (2007). Best practices for global competitiveness.  Sterling Publishers. New Delhi, India


Published in Business Studies
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 12:55

Semester Reflection

Semester Reflection


It is amazing how the within a short period of time my understanding, skills and knowledge of writing has been transformed from a naive writer to a professional writer. The short time I have undertaken the course has been one of the most informative and life changing period in terms of academics. It is through the work of this class that I have realized that even the most talented natural writers need some refinement for them to perfect their skills. The class has also taught me that, with concerted efforts, every can become a good writer. The course has offered me and other students an exposure that has expanded our horizon of thinking and writing. Right from the beginning, the class work opened us to a new way of thinking through not only the instructors’ insights but also the class material and textbooks.


The class helped me understand the basics of writing, which many writers assume. It also equipped me with exemplary skills in writing. It is no doubt that the class has changed the quality of my writing as evidenced by the pieces of writing I wrote before taking the class, and the one am writing now after taking the class. The transformation from a naïve writer to a proficient writer has helped me gain confidence in writing different materials. It has also created a good basis for me to further develop my writing skills. The class offered me an opportunity to improve my writing abilities It is through the class that I have come to master basic grammar rules and principles. The class has also triggered my imaginative world by offering brand new dimensions of looking at things.


In a short reflection, it is clear that the choice of material by our instructor was good. The instructor gave us relevant and up-to-date materials that contained relevant content. The materials were readily available, easy to use and written in a language that was friendly to the students. However, some of the books and reading material referred by the instructor were not available and when available contained information that was detailed for our level of study. The notes offered by the instructor were precise, clear and informative. The instructor did not over burden us with excess notes but offered us notes that were to the point. The instructor choice of examples was good. The examples helped us have a clear picture of all the concepts that the instructor was expounding.


 It also noteworthy to note the rate of instructor’s response not only to assignments but also to students’ inquiries and questions.  The instructor offered on-point response to questions from students and offered adequate consultation time.  However, many students did not utilize these chances because of valid reasons. It is, therefore, imperative for the department to study where consultation services are under utilized by students. The instructor also offered on-time response to the assignments and test. This helped us to reflect on the mistakes we made and areas of improvement.


In conclusion, although not without challenges, the semester and especially English 101, has been a success.  During the period, I have amassed knowledge and skills that have aided me improve my communication and writing skills. The semester’s content will serve as a base for furthering my skills in writing. English 101 is such a crucial class.


Published in Education
Unethical Behavior Occurred In Tyco International
Abstract 
Tyco International was founded in 1960 by Arthur J. Rosenberg where the company focuses on a wide product range of fire fighting apparatus, alarm monitoring services, electronic security services to its customers. Based on its huge potential establishment, Tyco has been able to develop and manage its operations in more than 100 countries. The company has managed to engage in aggressive acquisition endeavors with the successful acquisition of general surgical innovation, AFC (American Flexible Conduit Company) Cable Systems, Inc., Simplex Time Recorder Company among others. The paper is based on the evaluation of unethical behavior occurred in Tyco International. According to the Tyco’s internal investigation, results indicated that the top management engaged in several unethical behaviors such as awarding them with loans that were interest free plus huge pays, (Stephens, Vance, & Pettegrew, 2012). These loans were never paid by the top managers, and also the investigation indicated that ordinary bonuses were never repaid. The unethical culture cultivated by the leaders of Tyco International saw other employees, such as accountants and auditors ignore the financial breach that the executives were engaging in. It was after the entire saga the company operated in the right direction. 
The Price of Unethical Behavior
Evaluate the Price of Unethical Behavior
            “Founded in 1960 by Arthur J. Rosenberg” (Boostrom, 2011, p. 1) in Switzerland, an international company named Tyco International.  The company has a global customer base providing customers with a wide product range of electronic security, alarm monitoring, and fire fighting apparatus.  The headquarters of the company is at Schaffhausen, Switzerland whereas the location of operational department is in Princeton, New Jersey.  Tyco has been a company with huge potential because of its establishment.  It has managed to establish itself in more than 100 countries. 
            Tyco International has also managed to engage in aggressive acquisition endeavors with the successful acquisition of general surgical innovation, AFC (American Flexible Conduit Company) Cable Systems, Inc., Simplex Time Recorder Company, and many more.  The company also continued to realize positive returns at the end of each financial year.  Despite the growth and success of Tyco International, the accusations of fraud and unethical conduct shed light into the underlying problem that the company has been facing.  This paper is an evaluation of unethical behavior occurred in Tyco International.  The historic scenario, thoughts on spending and loans as well as the outcomes of the events, justifications, and ethical breaches will discuss.
Historical Scenario
            Tyco’s internal investigation, conducted by Tyco fraud information center revealed that the top management of the company had awarded themselves interest free loans or had significantly low interest rates.  The top management mentioned in the fraud case includes former CEO (Chief Executive Officer) L. Dennis Kozlowski, former CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Mark H. Swartz, and Mark A. Belnick, former CLO (Chief Legal Officer).  The compounded unethical element of these interest free loans was never approved by Tyco’s board of governors (Kaplan, 2009).  Another unethical aspect of these loans was that the loans were never repaid.  The top three officials are believed to have awarded themselves these loans in the form of bonus.  Ordinarily bonuses are never repaid and are considered a form of reward.  The three top officials thus rewarded themselves with hefty bonuses without the approval of the board members. 
            The former executives (Kozlowski, Swartz, and Belnick) were accused of using more than $600 million of Tyco International finances through unapproved bonuses, loans, and extravagant spending in the name of company expenses (Kaplan, 2009).  The rumor, for instance, was that Kozlowski threw a $2million birthday party for his wife using company funds.  Other than the extravagant spending, Kozlowski and Swartz as well as Belnick sold their company stock without notifying investors as the company protocol dictated.  Kozlowski and Swartz are believed to have sold more than 100 million of the company shares, but publicly indicated they were still holding these shares, thus misleading investors (Stephens, Vance, & Pettegrew, 2012).
Spending and Loans
            The extravagant spending and acquisition of free interest loans could go on for long because individuals involved in the fraud were top executives.  Kozlowski was the CEO of the company since 1992; he was also the chairperson of the board since 1993.  Kozlowski was the boss of Tyco International and was in control of all operations and business activities in the company (Kaplan, 2009).  The board would have had some authority to question Kozlowski’s lavish lifestyle, but he was conveniently the chairperson of the board.
            Kozlowski was involved in his embezzlement endeavors with the CFO Mark Swartz.  Swartz worked under Kozlowski, and the two worked together to embezzle company funds and work against shareholders and investors interests.  The fraud took long to uncover also because there was never an individual “whistle blower” that revealed the suspicious activities of Tyco’s executives.  A group was created to look into the welfare of shareholders and investors are those who noted something was improper with Tyco’s operations (Kaplan, 2009).  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for instance, realized something was amiss with Tyco’s accounting practices and began to investigate further leading to the shocking revelations of fraud.
Outcome of Events
            When it became public knowledge that the top management of Tyco International had embezzled funds worth more than $600 million, resignations and termination began to occur.  It is estimated that 220 top official in different departments in Tyco International were replaced for not detecting the fraud before a course of action or allowing it to happen without disclosing information on internal and external allegation of misconduct. After uncovering the fraudulent practices, Kozlowski, Swartz, and other suspected top executives had their jobs terminated and had court cases placed on them.  The court proceeding analyzed the conflict of interest that the executives and some board members faced. 
            Kozlowski and his “friend” gave priority to satisfying their selfish interests rather than considering the needs of the organization, the shareholder, investors, and employees.  The executives were also accused on breaching the principle of ends by embezzling company funds subsequently exploiting the company and its employees.  The court hearing the case against Kozlowski and Swartz found them at fault of fraud and grand theft for stealing company funds and manipulating company stocks.  The two executives are sentenced to serve eight and one third to 25 years in prison, and fined of $70 million and $35 million each respectively for Kozlowski and Swartz (Kaplan, 2009).  The two executives were also required to pay Tyco International $134 million (Wong, 2005).
Justification
            The punishments against the executives and other parties involved in the embezzlement and fraud was justified.  The executives had misused their authority and power and had embezzled millions of dollars of company funds and used them to satisfy their own needs.  The executives chose to ignore the interest of shareholders and stakeholders and satisfy their own interests.  The executives took large sums of money in the form of loans and bonus yet these funds could have been diverted to different beneficial projects for the company and its employees.  The punishments can, in fact, be said to be lenient considering the millions of dollars that the executives took and never repaid (Stephens, Vance, & Pettegrew, 2012).  The punishments also can be said to be lenient as continued embezzlement by the two executives could have resulted in the collapse of Tyco International.
Ethical Breaches in Organizations
            Ethical breaches are common in organizations; however, it is difficult for individuals to realize they are engaging in unethical practices until it is too late.  Individuals may find themselves involved in unethical practices in the organization because of the decision to adopt the corporate culture that they find.  Corporate culture determines how employees, act, behave, and think while undertaking different duties and responsibilities within the organization (Hellriegel, & Slocum, 2009).  The cultivated culture in an organization automatically determines the energy and attitude that employees will take.  When an organization culture turns out to be undesirable, it is an indication that it is not nurtured by effective strategies.  Generally, there is disconnecting between one’s beliefs and the eventual actions taken (Alvesson, 2002). 
            From the start, the executives at Tyco International did not emphasize an ethical corporate culture.  Kozlowski strategically positioned himself as the CEO and the board’s chairperson securing his position as the leader of the company.  Kozlowski operated strategically awarding different executives for performing certain tasks.  During the case hearing, it also emerged that Kozlowski had also engaged in bribery by awarding Frank Walsh, a former director of Tyco International, a $20 million for organizing the successful acquisition of CIT (Commercial Investment Trust) group.  
            It has been reported that the amount of $751,101 was received by Stephen Foss for successfully supplying Cessna Citation aircraft and pilot services (Kaplan, 2009; McCoy, 2008).  The executives received these monies oblivious of the ethical breaches they were overlooking.  Kozlowski successfully had managed to create a culture where individuals maximize their personal gains over the gains of the company.  The unethical culture cultivated by the leaders of Tyco International saw other employees, such as accountants and auditors ignore the financial breach that the executives were engaging in.  For years, the financial department, under the authority of Swartz, produced financial statements that indicated the false financial position of the organization.
Conclusion
            Prior to the 2001 scandal Tyco was a company that was headed toward greater success.  With operating revenues of over $30 billion, the company was in the right direction in terms of growth and profitability.  The entry of Kozlowski; however, saw the beginning of a culture of satisfying selfish interest over the gains of the organization. Unethical practices, such as bribery and ward off no interest loans and bonus became common among executives.  The CEO colluded with the CFO to hide the unscrupulous dealing from shareholders and stakeholders.
            When the malpractices were discovered, the two executives “bore the greatest brunt,” as they were fully aware of the unethical conduct they were participating in.  The harsh sentencing serves as a warning to executives that intend to engage in unethical practices in the organization.  Executives should lead employees by example directing the company toward success through encouraging the adoption of ethical practices.  Tyco’s fraud case is also a lesson to organizations to cultivate stringent checks and balances within the organization.  Employees should make it their responsibilities to raise the alarm if they notice any suspicious financial activities among the important officials of the organization.  Employee participation is essential and good corporate culture should enhance productivity, happiness, and general satisfaction.  In addition, effective leadership leads to organizational success
References
Alvesson, M. (2002). Understanding organizational culture (1st Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: 
        SAGE Publications, Inc.
Boostrom, R. (2011). Tyco International: Leadership crisis, pp. 9. Retrieved from 
Hellriegel, D. & Slocum, J. (2009). Organizational behavior (12th Ed), pp. 640. Cengage 
        Learning.
Kaplan, D. A. (2009). Koz makes his case. Fortune, 160(11), 14-16. Retrieved from 
        EBSCOhost.
McCoy, K. (2008). Directors’ firms on payroll at Tyco. USA Today. Retrieved from 
Stephens, W., Vance, C., & Pettegrew, L. (2012). Embracing ethics and morality. CPA Journal, 
        82(1), 16-21. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. 
Wong, G. (2005). Kozlowski gets up to 25 years. Retrieved from 
 
Published in Management

Patrick D. Miller. Interpretation Resources For The Use Of Scripture In The Church: The Ten Commandments Pages 48-115.


            Patrick D. Miller explores the Ten Commandments as antique document and as modern guide. With careful thought to each commandment in its original background, this book explains to the reader the modern significance of these basic main beliefs, in addition to how the ideas, of each commandment predisposed the New Testament. More than a scholar exercise,The Ten Commandmentsrelate to the call of the commandments to contemporary issues.


            The book introduces a thrilling new phase in the prominent Interpretation commentary series. Instead of centering on individual books of the Bible, these new additions to the lengthened series focus on the Bible’s most lasting passages and most fundamental themes, bringing to these topics the looming and faithful wisdom that are longtime feature of the Interpretation series.. For example, Miller confers how the commandment “You shall not kill” is linked to homicide, murder, execution, and warfare, and proposes that the story of Ruth may be read as an explanation on how to honor one’s father and mother. According to Miller, “thou shall not kill” is not just meant to be interpreted in a legal sense but as a vision/precautionary. This is the first series of other books   to come focusing on The Lord’s Prayer and the Sermon on the Mount, issues of hostility, wealth, and eschatology. The book addresses each commandment of the bible chapter by chapter.  The initial section explores the pentateuchal context of the first two commandments and off the basic meaning of the commandments.  After offering the basic meaning, Miller links the commandment with the Old Testament and New Testament.  Another classical example is how Miller shows the intents of Jesus sermon in the mountain, not as an intensification of Torah morality but a vision of the Torah.

            Miller gives a good insight in understanding an interpretation of the Ten Commandments.  His work is exemplary and relevant to the modern theology and Decalogue.


Work cited

Patrick D. Miller. Interpretation Resources for the use of Scripture in the church: The Ten Commandments pages 48-115.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013 12:42

Organizational Structure

 
Organizational Structure
Why is it necessary to have a match between the goods and services an organization is providing and the organizational structure? 
Organization structure has been defined differently, but one of the universally accepted definitions of organization structure is the formal system of tasks and reporting relationship that establishes how employees utilize assets to attain the goals of an organization. The structure of a business is determined by four factors that include the environment of the organization, the strategy adopted by the organization, the technology and the characteristics of the employees. According to Duane et al, to be successful, business –level strategies must not only math the needs of the market place; they also need to be implemented effectively. Organizational structure is an important dimension of implementing strategies.
An organizational structure specifies the firms’ formal reporting relationship, procedures, controls, and authority and decision making processes. Matching the right structure with the chosen strategy enhances firm performance.  Cost leadership strategy is one of the functional organizational structures that decentralize authority. This structure enables an organization to produce standardized goods and services.  It also enables the organization to produce at low costs with standard features. This structure increases efficiency of an organization through the creation of highly organized and specialized group. It also formalizes rules and procedures to ensure standardization of processes and procedures.
 In differentiated   strategy structure, an organization is able to put a lot of emphasizes on research and design. Research and design ensure that an organization is able to differentiate its products through innovations in product and designs that creates value for customers. The structure also creates a link between the customers and workers thus opening channel of communication between the organization and the market. The structure also encourages frequent inter-employees communication boosting coordinate among the employees.
You have started up a small durable medical equipment company.
Fortunately, it is doing well and growing. At what point do you need to consider putting in a formal organizational structure? What would be your initial start up design? Explain why 
According to Meyer and Rowan (2012), many formal organizational structures emerge as a reflection of streamlined institutional rules. These rules are a result of organization complexity in terms of employees, production activities, and size of the organization. These are the factors that would promote the introduction of a formal structure. An increasing number of employees and huge traffic of customers may demand the introduction of a systemized control of employees. The volume of sales may demand the introduction of well established procedures of ordering thus requiring the institution of departments such as purchases.
An organization structure can only be developed after taking a reflective point on the business (Eriksson Muller & Styhre, 2011). This process involves dividing the business into coherent divisions. This process involves grouping of related activities and formulating center of authority.
The initial design would develop an organizational chart from the reflection process. A complete organizational chart is the basic document that informs management and employees on how different activities are coordinated within an organization. It generally indicates the general lines of authority in an organization and gives some information about centralization and decentralization of activities.  Organizational chart shows the logic for grouping the business into units on different levels. Through an organization chart, a business is able to indicate the decision-making levels within the business. 
 References 
Eriksson U., Mullern T & Styhre A (2011). Organizational theory: A practice based approach. Oxford University Press. New York, USA.
Ireland D. Hoskisson & Hitt M (2009) Understanding business strategy: concept and cases. Cengage learning. South-western, USA.
Meyer J. & Rowan B. (2012). Institutionalized organizations: formal structure as myth and ceremony. Americal journal of sociology. Vol.  83  No. 2; Pg 340-363. Retrieved from http://faculty.washington.edu on 21/5/2013.
Published in Management
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 12:32

Research Proposal: Type II Diabetes

Research Proposal: Type II Diabetes


Research question

What is the significance of food choices in preventing type II diabetes, and could other factors play a role in incidence of type II diabetes?

Working Thesis

Improper food choices do not provide a sufficient explanation for the occurrence of Type II diabetes in all age-categories of the American population because it does not account for the increasing incidence of type II diabetes among infants and children and does not explain why the disease is varied in its prevalence across the racial and gender divide.


The Plan of Research

I am going to extract the ideas in the position paper and conduct an exploration using different, relevant electronic books and articles available at different e-libraries and resource databases including NetLibrary, EBSCOhost 2.0, and CQ Researcher. The timelines for completing the specific sections are outlined in the form of a timetable given. The research proposal and outline will be completed by the end of week 4 while an annotated bibliography incorporating the sources that will be obtained from the e-libraries and databases indicated will be completed within week 5. The draft of the research paper will be concluded by the end of week 6 while the second draft will be done by the end of week 7.  The final draft of the paper will be completed at the close of week 8, which makes the conclusion of the research project. This is summarized in the form of a schedule as shown.

Assignment

Description

Date & Time

Week 4

Research Proposal and Outline

 

Week 5

Annotated Bibliography

(List of sources and summaries)

 

Week 6

First Draft of Research Paper

 

Week 7

Second Draft of Research Paper

 

Week 8

Final Research Paper

 

Research Outline

PART I: Introduction

Incorrect food choices do not provide a sufficient explanation for the occurrence of Type II diabetes in all age categories of the American population for two reasons: it does not account for the increasing incidence of type II diabetes among infants and children and does not explain why the disease is varied in its prevalence across the racial and gender divide. Instead, in addition to access to sufficient nutrition information on healthy food choices, therapeutic actions should focus on the socioeconomic and genetic reasons which results in overweight and obesity, which are the precursors for type II diabetes.


PART II

First, efforts to prevent and treat diabetes based on the focus on food choices does not offer a solution relevant to children as young as 12 months of age who are also significantly affected type II diabetes.

PART III

Secondly, food choices do not explain why type II diabetes affects members of one race and gender more than the other.

PART IV

One solution is that medical personnel should investigate the role of socioeconomic factors in the onset of type II diabetes.


PART V

The second solution is that medical practitioners should consider the heredity of the genetic predisposition to the disease.

PART VI

In order to provide accurate information on the causes of type II diabetes and inform preventive and treatment measures, the role of socioeconomic and genetic factors must be acknowledged and incorporated in the conventional preventive and therapeutic plans that only focus on food choices.


Published in Education

The Merits and Shortcomings of Social Networking


Introduction

Social networking encompasses the use of different internet-based platforms like websites to interact, share, and connect with other people. Social networking has become extensively popular in the 21st Century as more people embrace technological innovations across the globe. Some of the commonest social networking websites include Twitter, Skype, and Google Plus among others. While social networking is widely considered as having beneficial implications on the society, it also has numerous demerits. This analysis narrows down on the topic of merits and shortcomings of social networking. Different pertinent attributes of social networking will form the basis of comparing and contrasting the positive and disadvantageous implications of social networking.


Point A: Information on Social Networks

Social networks are characterized by almost all kinds of information.  However, the information on the social networks can be useful or disadvantageous to the users. From the perspective of merits, the information on social networks serves as an essential platform for enlightening the users on numerous issues. Information such as breaking news is relayed instantly across the social networks. This is helpful for individuals who have insufficient time to watch news or even read newsprint (Fouts, 2009). However, the information on social networks can also form the basis of propaganda or defamatory statements. This is because of the rapid rates at which rumors spread in the social networking platforms. The information spread on the social networks can also form the basis of hate speech especially in countries which have high degrees of political volatility. Based on these perspectives, social networks can have both positive and disadvantageous implications.


Point B: Interactions with People

Social networking has the inherent ability to boost the quality of interactions among people. Through the different social networks, people can easily connect with each other. Even when people are separated by extensive geographical barriers, they can communicate easily through the social networks (Hunter, 2012). Consequently, social networking has significantly boosted the quality of interactions among people. From the perspective of shortcomings, social networks hamper face to face interactions. The virtual chats and instant messaging platforms have strongly dented face to face communications. This puts into perspective a disadvantageous implication of social networking from the perspective of interactions.


Point C: Time

Time is an essential dynamic with regard to social networking. From the perspective of merits, social networks help people to save time while communicating. For instance, an individual in South America can exchange information with his counterpart in Europe via the social networks (Lusted, 2011). Additionally, one can reach out to a lot of people at an instant via the social networking tools. From the perspective of shortcomings, people waste many hours while interacting on social networks. This affects almost all users. Employees can easily be at loggerheads with their respective employers for wasting too much time on social networks (Ryan, 2011). Additionally, young users spend a lot of time on the social networks at the expense of studies.


Conclusion

The different beneficial and disadvantageous implications of social networks have been put into perspective. Three different points have been employed in developing the analysis. Based on the essay, social networking is not only highly beneficial but also characterized by different shortcomings. Students can easily disregard studies in order to connect with friends on the different social networking platforms. Additionally, the social networks have strongly hampered face to face interactions in the society.


References

Fouts, J. (2009). Social media success: Practical advice and real world examples, Silicon   Valley, CA: Happy About

Hunter, N. (2012). Social networking: Big business on your computer, New York, NY:      Gareth Stevens Publishing

Lusted, M. (2011). Social networking, Edina, MN: ABDO Publishing

Ryan, P. (2011). Social networking, New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group


Assessment Plan For An Algebra End Of Unit Outcomes.


The overall goal of covering algebra unit was to develop knowledge and skills in algebra that are used in practical and abstract situations. The outcome partially covers fractions and differential equations. The student is expected to develop logic thinking in the future to answer algebraic questions. Learners who have success gone through the unit will be able to use mathematical skills associated to algebra. This is an introductory unit to algebra. The assessment will assess the core mathematics state code of standards (Khattri, Reeve & Kane, 1998).


Administration of the test

The test will be individually administered to the eligible students during the last week of the study period. The teacher will pass out student book-let containing the questions. Each student will receive instruction on the purpose of the assessment and emphasizes will but put on encouraging students to attempt all the questions. The students will also be encouraged to present work that is accomplished individually. The appropriate length of time will be forty five minutes. The students will receive individual report that will contain a scale of score, ranking of achievement and a brief description of the performance of the student.


The outcome and assessment standards

1. The student will portray excellent use of mathematical operation skills used in algebra. This outcome will be portrayed by the extent to which the students apply algebraic sills to partial fractions and technical of application of fractional skills.  The specific outcome of the first outcome also include: the student will be expected o offer evidence for each of the assessment standards drawn from the ability of the student to express a proper analysis of equations into sum of partial fractions.

2. The second outcome of the unit is to the development of learning skills, life skills and working skills among the students. The student are expected to gain a broad, generic skills throughout the unit and afterward.  The expected skill development throughout the unit is based on SQA skills framework.

3. The student has learned how to solve basic linear equations and develop linear equations from word problems.

4. The student has learned about percents and percent equations. The students can be able to use the concept to apply in real life problems.

The learners will also learn how to solve ratios and proportions.

5. The students are anticipated to develop skills in solving linear inequalities.

6. The student should demonstrate skills in algebraic modeling including drawing algebraic models to help sole word problems.


Assessment of students

Rubric of assessment

Each question will be graded based on a three point rubric evaluation

  • Choice of the right method to solve a particular question comprehensively (one point)
  • Analysis of the question by portraying legible work for each question (one point)
  • Accuracy of each answer to the questions (one point)
  • The students will also sit for a final essay that will be graded using a totally different 3-point rubric evaluation
  • Understanding of the questions significance to the assignment (one point)
  • Assessment of the question using the best judgment of the student (one point)
  • A clearly written and legible answer (one point)
  • Recognition of geometric patterns (one point)
  • Development of relevant algebraic equations (one point)

Grading of the students

  1. Minimal performance

Student will be graded on four different levels. Level 1 will represent students who score less than three points. This group of students will show evidence of struggling to make coherent attempt on questions. These students have difficulties in organizing their responses and lacks a directed approach to the questions.

  1. Below standard performance

 The second level (level 2) will comprise of students who score marks between 4 and 5. These students portray an understanding of the question, and they portray a coherent attempt to the question. However, these students lack progress in their work and require assistance.


  1. Standard performance

The third level of students will include students who score between 6 and 7 marks. These students portrays understanding of the concept, attack the questions coherently, and their responses are organized. However, their work has some errors of omission, which affect the quality of work.

  1. Above standard performance

This group of students scores 8-10 marks. They demonstrate an understanding of the concept being assessed; they have organized their work coherently and have shown a clear working/ procedure on how they realized their answers.


Constraints

The assessment will be constrained by time. The student will be expected to hand over their assignments in the following day. The students will also be a freedom to use their textbooks for reference.  The student will not be monitored to ensure they do not receive assistance from teachers, other students, fellow students and consultants. However, the student will be expected to show beyond any doubt that they have done the assignment. The students will also be at liberty to use electronic devises such calculators for summation. However, they will be expected to show stepwise methods they used to arrive at answers.


Test

Students will be expected to work out these questions within forty five minutes.

1. Simplify: 12x+3y-2y=

2. Simplify x4y6/x7y2

3. Solve:

2x2 -5x=4

4. Simplify:

X (2x-3) (x+4)

5. If y is directly proportion to x and y=2 when x=6, subsequently what is the value of y when x=12?

6. A number is decreased by a second number to result into 1. If the first number is increased by thrice the second number, the result is 15. Which is the two numbers is the smallest?

7. A farmer receives two thirds of his income from a retail shop. If the retail shop earns $ 20,000, what is the total income of the farmer?

8. An amount of $ 5000 is deposited in an account paying simple interest. After 6 months, the amount has earned $ 162.5 in interest. What is the annual interest rate for this account?

9. The local municipality is planning of develop the street along which you own a rectangular lot that is 500 feet deep and ahs an area of 10,000 square feet. To help pay for the new sewer system, each lot owner will be assessed $ 5.50 per foot of lot frontage.

A. Find the width of the frontage of your lot.

B. how much will you be assessed for the new sewer system?

10. A sail vessel has a triangular sail with an area of 108 square feet and a foot that is 16 feet long. What is the height of the sail?


References

Ron Larson (2010). Elementary algebra. Cengage learning. Maryland, USA.

Khattri N., Reeve L., Kane M (1998) Principles and practices of performance assessment. Lawrence Erlbaum  associates, Inc publishers. New jersey.


Published in Education

"Is Group Study More Effective Or Individual Study"?


Abstract

          A lot of scholar attention has been given on advantages of group learning.  Teachers and other education professions have held that group learning increases the absorption and retention rates of students, increases problem solving abilities, and increases reasoning of students. Group learning has been used and encouraged by many institutions on the basis of these advantages. However, there is lack of scientific justification of the recommendations. This study investigates whether there is any significant difference in performance between students in group and individualized learning. Fifty participations from El Camino math class were involved in the study.  A between class study using performance was conducted. Paired means t-test was conducted on the data obtained. According to the finding, there is a significant difference between score means of students who studied individually and those who studied in groups. 80% of the student in group scored total potential marks compared to only 16% of students who studied alone.


Introduction

The main objective of education is to impact knowledge to the students. In a classroom set up, teachers are faced with the challenge of meeting this noble goal by dealing with students who are different in various aspects.  Therefore, teachers have to employ valid strategies to ensure to achieve a holistic development of a student.  In order to realize this, teachers have to decide on the mode of delivering instructions in the classroom. Group studies and individual study are strategies commonly used in the classroom (Anna Trosbor, 2004).  A lot of investigative studies have been carried out on the effectiveness or benefit of group study in schools. Some of the benefits associated with group study includes include effective learning through social interaction and promotion dynamic learning between group members.  Scholars have argued that groups offer students a chance to verbalize the concept thereby increasing their retention rate and their understanding of the concepts. Groups are effective in developing problem solving abilities (http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au) because they offer an excellent feedback channel to students.  They also offer students a chance to view and argue a concept from different perspectives. However, issues on the effectiveness   of study groups have also been raised. It is imperative to understand that students have different learning style and may not all fit in a certain group. Study groups can also be turned into discussion groups that discuss thing out of education context.   Just like in any other group, there are chances of a group evolving into strata of leaders and followers. This may result into some students dominating others thereby derailing learning process.


Recommendations to use group work by many schools and colleges are based on research conducted several years ago. Most of these researches have been based on assessing the advantages of group study without highlighting whether there is any difference in performance between students who study individually and those who study in groups (Tiffany Depriter, 2008).  This research investigated the significance in the difference in performance between students who study individually and those who study in groups. Finding whether there are differences in performance between these two groups of students will offer the   teaching fraternity a good basis for recommending group study. The study was conducted at Camino School.


Methodology

A between group study was conducted. The study involved fifty students from El Camino math class. The fifty students were divided into two distinct groups each consisting twenty five students.  The entire class was introduced to a new mathematic concept (Logarithm) for thirty minutes together. Then the first group of twenty five students was left to go and study on their own for a period of two hours. The second group was divided into five small groups of five members each and allowed to discuss the concept on their own. The two groups were informed to that they would sit for a test after three hours of study. After the study period was over, the students were assigned a five questions test based on the same concept they had learnt. The students were graded and their mean performance compared using T-test. The test was meant to show any difference in performance between two groups


Results

Descriptive analysis

The table below show the number of questions answered correctly by students in individual and group study. According to the hypothesis, students in group studies were expected to show better performance compared to those who studied individually

Table 1

Average performance of students in the five groups

 

# of question answered correct (total 5)

Group #

 

1

5

2

5

3

5

4

4

5

5

The total number of students who were involved in the group study was twenty five. Each of the group consisted of five members.  Out of the five groups, four of them scored full marks in the five-mark test.  The fifth group scored four marks out of the possible five marks.  The mean performance of the group students was 4.8 marks out of the possible five marks. The standard deviation among the five groups was 0.44


Table 2

Marks earned by students in individual studies.

25 individual in order

#of question answered correct (total 5)

1

5

2

1

3

2

4

4

5

3

6

3

7

4

8

4

9

1

10

2

11

2

12

4

13

5

14

5

15

3

16

1

17

2

18

2

19

2

20

3

21

4

22

5

23

1

24

3

25

4

A total of twenty five students studied individually after the introduction of the concept.  The mean performance of the student is 3 marks out of five.

The standard deviation of the performance is 1.345. This represents a percentage of 26% deviation. 40% of the students performed below half the marks (25%). Only 16 % of the students answered all the questions correctly compared to 80% of students in group studies.


Inferential analysis

A t-test analysis was performed on the mean of the two groups of students.  the null hypothesis of the study was the mean of the two groups was equal while the alternative hypothesis was that the mean of the grouped  students was high.


            Paired Samples Test

 

Paired Diff.

t-statistic

df.

Significance. (two-tailed)

 
 

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

Confidence Interval (95%)

Mean

Standard. Deviation

Standarderror of Mean

 

Lower

Upper

Lower

Upper

Lower

Upper

Lower

Upper

 

Pair 1

VAR00026 - VAR00027

1.80000

1.47196

.29439

1.19240

2.40760

6.114

24

.000

 
                                     

At a confidence level of 0.05% there a significance difference between the mean of group students and individual students. The p-value of the analysis is 0.00.  This value is below the accepted level of o.oo5. Therefore, the null hypothesis is invalid, and the conclusion is that the mean of grouped students is significantly higher than that of individual students.


Discussion

The study findings agree with the hypothesis taken at the beginning of the study. Students in group studies performed exampatory better than students in individual studies. 80% of the students in groups scored the maximum scored compared to only 16% of the students who achieved the same marks.  The better performance of the students can be attributed to the various factors. Students in groups get a chance to discuss concepts in languages those themselves understand. They get ideas from different students. Groups offer students a chance to verbalize the concept thereby increasing their retention rate and their understanding of the concepts (Roy Killen, 2006). Groups are effective in developing problem solving abilities, which are crucial in solving mathematical problems. These results conflict findings of economic co-operation and development (OECD), which observed that, in most countries, students who spend more time engaged in individual study of science achieve higher scores than learners who do not engage time in individual study of science. However, this study had a limitation in the sample size of participants. The sampling method was also not as comprehensive, selective sampling was used.  The study did offer students a chance to choose to be included in group studies or in individualized studies. This could have impacted on the performance of students who understand concepts better in groups.


References

Alexander Smith (2006) Group work benefits students. Retrieved from Http://www.guardian.co.uk

Anna Trosbor(2004). Interlanguage pragmatics: requests, complaints, and apologies. Walter De Gruyter & co, Berlin, Germany

Christina Tilstone (1998) Promoting inclusive practice. Routledge.  California USA.

Roy Killen (2006). Effective teaching strategies: lessons from the research and practice. Routledge Publication. California, USA.

Tiffany Depriter (2008). Individual or collaborative learning: An investigation of teaching strategy in the distance learning mathematics. UMI, USA.


Published in Education
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 12:12

Market Leader

Market Leader


Task 1

Company policy

This company, Delaney, has to look for new ways of addressing the issue of absenteeism in the company. It is important for the call center company to acknowledge that people do get sick and at the same time understand how the impact of employee absence can affect clients and team members. Some of the company policies that can manage and reduce absenteeism range from the need to train managers in recognizing issues that may lead to absence. There is also need for having a positive work environment that encourages individuals to attend work. The company also has provided accommodation and early support to individuals facing health concerns and adopting back-to work programs that are successful.


 Call monitoring and recording

Call Evaluation and Monitoring are of benefit to the management team and staff members of this call centre. Some of the good practices of call monitoring and recording that are of benefit to supervisor, team leaders, reps, trainers and the call centre management is as follows. First is the need to define call monitoring and evaluation guidelines. These guidelines are based on the need for respecting of individuals working at the call centre. There is the need to train managers so as to improve their integrity and uniformity in the evaluation process of calls. There is also need to provide training and coaching programs related to the evaluation of calls. The training gives effective and relevant ways of dealing with real live calls. Last are the assessments of staff according to the quality production on customer experiences and call outcomes. This is instead of using the lengths of calls and number of calls as a means of assessment. This enables staff members be proud of their work and can share their achievement.


Performance targets and the bonus scheme

Reviewing on bonus scheme and performance targets aim to improve the attitude and motivation of employees in the workplace. It is essential to recognize especial individuals and to improve the overall motivational level of all employees. Some of the plans that this company can undertake include focusing of the individual efforts of employees such as the provision of quality and on time delivery of customer services, establishing a clear link between performance and pay, n supporting the ideals of stakeholders by enabling employees to share business success, encouraging change in the organization and creating desired culture of the workplace.


 Internal email policy

Internal email of the company will be monitored and controlled. This will help to protect the misuse of corporate assets, protect employees from being involved in unacceptable behavior and mitigation of corporate liability and risk. This policy will show the measures incurred by employees for compliance policy violation.


 Strategy

The six sigma approach will help to reduce employee turnover rate. This approach involves factors such as workload, management, motivation, organizational culture, organizational development and compensation.

 Persuade

The best way to persuade the client, a European car-hire company, is by aligning our supply strategy that of this car hire company. A positive relation with our client will start by organizing our supply function.


Task 2

Training programme

  1. Priorities

Need to recognize issues that cause absence

Ways of creating a positive work environment

Adoption of successful programs for back to work


  1. Goals and outcome the training.

Help managers know issues that cause absenteeism among employeesWays of creating a positive work environmentProviding early accommodation and support to people faced with health issuesestablishing successful programs for back to work.

Training

  1. Peers

Peer training will involve the training of new employees by those who have worked in the call centre longer enough. They will talk of their experiences, give guidance and hope with the goal of assisting other employees to be motivated and offer professional and valuable service. Peer training will involve strategies such as peer-run programs, mutual support and other services provided by peer support specialists.


Line manager

Line mangers play a critical role in training and development. They ensure that effective training is provided and committed to ensuring that employees learn their roles. This can be done through teamwork and association by providing guidance and coaching.

The IT department

The IT department can offer skills for the adoption of skills on human resource technology and practices. It has an impact on the adoption of service and productivity. The department is useful in providing cognitively demanding training programs (Tahey, and Stern, 1999).


 External training companies

External trainers will help in educating and developing the workforce and to have an impact to the organization by use of new skills. External trainers have great experience beyond that of this firm and this leads to new ways of doing things and thinking.

  1. short, intensive and extensive training

The short intensive training includes issues on targets, objectives and management methods. The curriculum presents various aspects of business process such as management ability, required skills, experiences and helping frontline mangers to understand their teams. They will also be trained about themselves so that they understand their teams better. Extensive training is done to meet the future goals and long-term goals of an organization. These are issues on leaderships, coping with future changes and future compliance issues to enable the business operate sensitivity and actively.

  1. Training

Face to face

Face to face training is intended to enable communication among people dynamic and productive. The experts will be involved in giving skills to participants on their ideas. This approach has a positive impact and gives participants confidence.


Online training

Participants take the main role in familiarizing themselves with various contents. Content for this includes online skills such as video clips, video fed information, slides, diagrams and animations. This type of learning gives an opportunity for participants to interact. It is less costly because one does not need to travel.


Blended training

A blended training combines both face to face and online. It is the best for it combines interactions and guidance as well as support the learning of IT skills

  1. training evaluation

Training is evaluated when the rate of employee turnover reduces and when the rate of absenteeism is reduced. This leads to productivity and increased customer satisfaction.


Reference

Athey S and Stern S (1999) information technology and training in emergency call centers. Retrieved from
Http://kuznets.fas.Harvard.edu/~athey/ATHEYSTERN_IRRA.pdf
on May 30, 2013


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