Western Governors University
  • Salt Lake City, United States
Recent publications
The existing literature has explored the role and importance of personality traits in leader prototypicality. However, limited research exists concerning the link between personality traits and leader emergence or prototypicality in ad hoc teams. Based on the relational leadership and attachment literature, we examine whether leader attachment orientations can serve as antecedents of leader prototypicality in ad hoc teams. Utilizing an ad hoc problem-solving task featuring a round-robin design in a sample of 197 participants, we find that individuals with a dominant avoidant attachment orientation were more likely to be perceived as leader-like or leader prototypical. In comparison, individuals with a dominant anxious attachment orientation were much less likely to emerge as leader prototypical. We interpret these findings in alignment with attachment theory and relational leadership and discuss the role of relational personality traits in ad hoc teams with no formally appointed leader.
Over the last 20 years an increasing number of districts have implemented weighted student funding (WSF) policies that distribute resources to schools in ways that more accurately reflect the level students may require and provide principals with expanded flexibility in the use of funds. This study uses an event study model to examine whether student academic performance trends for a sample of 18 districts between 2009 and 2016 outpaced those in districts that did not implement WSF. We find a positive relationship overall between the implementation of WSF and increased math and ELA test scores for the total student population, specifically for ELA in the first year after WSF implementation. We find similar results for black students. We also see that WSF implementation is related to a decline in the disparity in ELA and math scores between white and black students. These trends, however, are a continuation of results these districts had prior to the policy.
If securely attached individuals typically exhibit more desirable attributes, can insecure individuals be perceived positively when working in teams despite their interpersonal disadvantages? In an exploratory study, using both a vignette-based experimental research design (n = 636) and a round-robin study of professionals working on a team task for nine consecutive weeks (k = 648), we examined the evolving impressions of insecurely attached individuals over time. We find that while anxiously attached individuals are perceived more positively in initial interactions, this initial positive effect for anxious attachment disappeared over time as individuals within teams gained more relational knowledge about their team members. We also found a stable and negative effect of avoidant attachment. We discuss possible reasons for the temporal underpinnings of this effect and compare our findings to previous literature.
In an appeal to establish transformative learning’s (TL) boundaries, Kegan (2000) implored researchers to identify “what from transforms?” As a social psychologist, I am particularly drawn to theorists who identify the self as the form that transforms; however, I argue that a model of the self that specifies how it is represented in memory offers advantages to the prevailing models of the self-advanced by transformative learning theorists. Since a multiple self-framework specifies how the self is represented in memory, it is more specific than previous models and it is amenable to research methods beyond retrospective reports. Additionally, it offers several explanations of how transformation may occur and provides an alternative explanation for incomplete transformations. In doing so, it adds to theories attempting to identify the form that transforms.
Background and objectives: Health care organizations continue to respond to the COVID-19 global pandemic and an ongoing array of related mental health concerns. These pandemic-related challenges continue to be experienced by both the U.S. population and those abroad. Materials and methods: This systematic review queried three research databases to identify applicable studies related to protective and non-protective factors of mental health distress experienced during the pandemic within the United States. Results: Three primary factors were identified as protective factors, potentially helping to moderate the incidence of mental distress during the pandemic: demographics, personal support/self-care resources, and income/financial concerns. Researchers also identified these same three constructs of non-protective factors of mental health distress, as well as two additional variables: health/social status and general knowledge/government mistrust. Conclusions: This systematic review has identified protective and non-protective factors of mental health distress experienced in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic (to date) that can further assist medical providers in the U.S. and beyond as the pandemic and related mental health concerns continue at a global level.
Utilizing adolescents' drawings to investigate their perceptions of self has a long history in psychology. The methodological approach is particularly useful in places, such as Guatemala, where the population may have relatively lower levels of literacy and/or less experience engaging with Western-style research surveys. By asking adolescents to draw a picture of themselves and list five characteristics that they hope to have in 15 years, we were able to collect valuable data on issues such as the students' desires for the future and what they see as possible for themselves. Participants (N = 81, M age = 14.56 years, 49.4% cisgender girls, all from Jocotenango, Guatemala) provided five characteristics that they hoped to have 15 years in the future and then drew a self-portrait of themselves 15 years in the future. The drawings and characteristics underwent a process of thematic analysis to determine patterns and themes that are prevalent in the data. Common themes that emerged include jobs or specific professions they hope to have, owning a home or property such as a car, and having a family. In the drawings, the common themes are similar: mentioning specific careers, owning a home or property, and having a family. These data can help us determine what type of future these students hope for to ensure that schools and other institutions are providing the tools students will need for those futures.
Each summer families across the globe send their children to summer camps and daycares for what amounts to babysitting. This study takes the discussion beyond babysitting and explores a unique summer enrichment program offered to rising second through fifth grade students in a modified enrichment camp model. During the four-week program, students were engaged in standards-based academic instruction in reading, mathematics, and science designed to provide enrichment activities to better prepare them for academic success in the upcoming year. Students were pre-tested over standards from the first quarter of the upcoming year. Then, they were taught the standards and post-tested. Analysis of the pretest and posttest data suggests that the program was successful in increasing students’ content knowledge in each of the subject areas taught. The findings imply that summer programs intentionally offering standards-based academics in an enrichment camp environment can be used to provide learning opportunities that diminish academic opportunity gaps.
In this final article, we revisit the issue and present the common themes described throughout this issue. We conclude with recommendations for continued practice of solutions that serve all students.
This article describes Western Governors University's emergency management student support program in place prior to the pandemic and the challenge to adapt and address the unprecedented needs students faced due to COVID‐19. Included are key lessons learned in addressing the impact of COVID‐19 and evidence‐based learnings in response to the large‐scale student needs during the prolonged pandemic.
Semi-structured interviews (N = 34) were conducted with employees at a healthcare organization to explore their perspectives on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) inclusion in their workplace. When lacking both comfort and a vocabulary with which to discuss issues relevant to LGBT patients and staff, employees constructed comparisons by using other groups and events as stand-ins for experiences that were unfamiliar. From employees’ reflections, three dialectic tensions emerged: (1) desire for change and uncertainty about change; (2) preserving competent appearances and knowledge gap awareness; and (3) direct and indirect appraisals. The interplaying discourses that surfaced within the organization set the stage for impending inclusion initiatives. This study contributes to theorizing on dialectical tensions by examining the interplay of order and disorder activated by indirect appraisals and resistance by omission.
Background: Negative health behaviors are a significant risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and are responsible for 40-50% of the burden of disease in the US population. Physical therapists (PTs) have the capacity to effect behavior change in their patients to reduce their risk of disease and promote health. Competence in health behavior change is recommended for physical therapists. One way to achieve this competence is by learning and adopting a health coaching approach. Objectives: To provide a theoretical and practical approach to applying a health coaching approach in physical therapist clinical practice. Methods: 1) Describe a health coaching approach to facilitating behavior change; 2) present behavior change theories, communication strategies, and models underpinning health coaching; and 3) provide suggestions for ways PTs can integrate health coaching in clinical practice. Results: Health coaching is a dynamic and collaborative approach to health behavior change that harnesses the patient's or client's values and strengths to realize their goals for health. Conclusion: Adopting a health coaching approach may enhance adherence to physical therapists' recommendations as well as improve health outcomes.
Competency‐based institutions eager to improve student outcomes would be wise to consider research‐based measures, such as a course planning and learning tool (CPLT), as one step in the student life cycle. Recent research has indicated which assessment practices tend to be most successful in an online competency‐based environment while hinting at which specific study characteristics are likely to lead to superior performance. Our objective was to develop a more successful and scientifically measurable process than any other method that currently exists by reducing the gap between the uncertainty and subjective randomness that currently detracts from educating students and increasing institutions' ability to engage with students in a meaningful manner. We investigated students' prior Knowledge, Confidence level in completing the course, and Experience with course content, and their relationship to the use of online Learning Resources, frequency of Formative Assessment Practice, Formative Assessment Performance, frequency of Course Mentor interactions, and Course Pace. Results showed that students' Knowledge, Confidence, and Experience have notably different impacts on study behavior and performance outcomes. Specifically, students with higher Knowledge perform well despite less studying, students with higher Confidence also perform well, but students with high Experience struggle more with the course material and performance. Implications for academic planning in an asynchronous environment are discussed.
Students can be placed in more than one category at the start, middle, and end of their educational journey. These categories can be based on demographics (age, gender, sex, minority, disability, ethnicity), on behavior (procrastination, struggle, frustrated guessing, pathological re-reading), on individual attributes (help-seeking, locus of control, time management, optimism), on community (internet access, setting, average education and income), and on academic factors (previous grades and degrees). These categories are frequently used by faculty, designers, and leadership to seek a better understanding of students and their needs with the goal to personalize or adapt the learning environment in the hopes of leading to more effective learning and more successful student outcomes. In these analyses we seek to determine the relative value of different student categories – and how these can be combined to result in the most effective educational process. We find ourselves asking what attributes matter the most – and which interact with each other to increase or reduce the amount of relative value. It is worth noting that several of the categories – while they play a large role in our students’ holistic selves – are both highly sensitive (frequently protected) and static. If we can approach or match their value (educationally) in other categories which are less sensitive or more changeable, that will be a positive result. Because, while these attributes play a role in who the students are, they need not play a role in how the students are taught.
Research indicates that congresswomen are more effective at moving bills through the lawmaking process than their male counterparts. To investigate why, we discuss what legislative entrepreneurship involves and explain why it can serve as the basis for problem-solving and effective lawmaking in the U.S. Congress. We also examine the entrepreneurial work that members of Congress did on behalf of bills that they sponsored from 1973 to 2008. Among other findings, we observe that congresswomen, especially those in the minority party, are more entrepreneurial than their male colleagues. This finding enhances our understanding of why female lawmakers are more effective lawmakers.
The novel coronavirus has dramatically altered teaching and learning for the foreseeable future. In addition to economic and workforce effects, the present predicts gaps from learning deficiencies for all current K‐12 students (Education Journal, 2021). Therefore, the direct syllogism anticipates fewer numbers of qualified college applicants in the coming generation. Thus, bold action can mitigate negative potential future social disruption impacts. Virtual practitioner training, license and program reciprocity, and interdisciplinary studies can ensure quality practitioner mobility and the ability to meet the workforce needs of all fields across the nation—at local, state, regional, and national levels.
Ambulatory (outpatient) health care organizations continue to respond to the COVID-19 global pandemic using an array of initiatives to provide a continuity of care and related patient outcomes. Telehealth has quickly become an advantageous tool in assisting outpatient providers in this challenge, which has also come with an adaptation of U.S. government policy, procedures, and, as a result, organizational protocols surrounding the delivery of telehealth care. This systematic review identified three primary facilitators to the implementation and establishment of telehealth services for the outpatient segment of the United States health care industry: patient engagement, operational workflow and organizational readiness, and regulatory changes surrounding reimbursement parity for telehealth care. Additionally, researchers also identified three barriers impacting the implementation and use of telehealth resources: patient telehealth limitations, lack of clinical care telehealth guidelines, and training, technology, and financial considerations. This systematic review’s identified facilitators and barriers for telehealth implementation initiatives in the United States can assist future outpatient providers as the global pandemic and associated public health initiatives such as physical distancing continue.
The advent of COVID‐19 and subsequent social disruption has exacerbated existing nursing workforce shortages. As nursing education programs and healthcare providers struggle to meet the care needs of their respective communities, the ever‐present challenge of replenishing nursing candidates persists—particularly when those candidates face financial hardships to complete their education. In an effort to mitigate financial hardships, competency‐based education (CBE) nursing offers the opportunity for students to self‐pace their learning and potentially complete their education more quickly. In addition to CBE programs typically being more affordable that traditional “seat time” credit‐based programs, students can potentially yield even more significant savings. Therefore, considering some healthcare providers, accreditors, and candidates may be concerned with CBE program quality, this study assesses the merit of that assertion. Through a comparative of analysis of Western Governors University's (WGU) CBE Nursing Program to similar traditional education state nursing programs, this research finds that CBE nursing programs can reduce cost while maintaining or even improving program quality by a measure of NCLEX pass rates.
Performance assessments (PAs) offer a more authentic measure of higher order skills, which is ideal for competency‐based education (CBE) especially for students already in the workplace and striving to advance their careers. The goal of the current study was to examine the validity of undergraduate PA score interpretation in the college of IT at a CBE online, higher education institute by evaluating (a) the transparency of cognitive complexity or demands of the task as communicated through the task prompt versus expected cognitive complexity based on its associated rubric aspect and (b) the impact of cognitive complexity on task difficulty. We found that there is a discrepancy in the communicated versus expected cognitive complexity of PA tasks (i.e., prompt vs. rubric) where rubric complexity is higher, on average, than task prompt complexity. This discrepancy negatively impacts reliability but does not affect the difficulty of PA tasks. Moreover, the cognitive complexity of both the task prompt and the rubric aspect significantly impacts the difficulty of PA tasks based on Bloom's taxonomy but not Webb's DOK, and this effect is slightly stronger for the rubric aspect than the task prompt. Discussion centers on how these findings can be used to better inform and improve PA task writing and review procedures for assessment developers as well as customize PAs (their difficulty levels) to different course levels or individual students to improve learning.
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Eric T Lagally
  • College of Information Technology
Robert B Rawson
  • Biochemistry - College of Health Professions
Jan Jones-Schenk
  • College of Health Professions
Robin Throne
  • Academic Engagement AcE
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