Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Study Provides Insights on Habits and Motivations of Burglars

From the Press Release:

The researchers delved into the decision-making processes and methods of 422 incarcerated male and female burglars selected at random from state prison systems in North Carolina, Kentucky and Ohio. This investigation explored offender motivation; target selection considerations; deterrence factors; burglars’ techniques; and gender differences in motivations, target selection and techniques.'
 Source: The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
 Read more of the findings: “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective

OpenSecrets.org launches Anomaly Tracker tool for researching government funding.

From the OpenSecrets blog:
For years, our researchers have analyzed and crunched numbers looking for outliers -- instances where a politician relies to an unusual degree on one group of donors, for instance, or contributors from one geographic area dominate a candidate's fundraising. Earlier this week we introduced a new tool so users of our site can join us in this search: the Anomaly Tracker.

The tracker will look for four different types of anomalies:
  1. Lawmakers sponsoring legislation that was lobbied by only one company or other organization whose employees or PAC also donated to the sponsoring lawmakers.
  2. Lawmakers receiving twice as much in contributions from their top donors as their next highest donors.
  3. Lawmakers receiving twice as much in contributions from their top donor industries as their next highest donor industries.
  4. Lawmakers receiving more than 50 percent of their itemized contributions from out of state.
Explore the  Anomaly Tracker.

Game-based learning: latest evidence and future directions

From the Press Release:

The role of video games in teaching and learning is a source of debate among many educators, researchers and in the popular press. Detractors and advocates have been discussing the influences and the potentials of video games for quite some time, and we feel that sound evidence and informed advice on these topics is still very much needed. Against this background, Futurelab at NFER felt that it was timely to provide practitioners, industry and researchers with an up-to-date account of what the evidence tells us about game-based learning and its potential impact on learning and teaching. The review aims to bridge academic and non academic domains, to provide insights that will be of interest to educators, educational researchers, industry and others seeking to engage in a more thoughtful debate about the types of educational values that can be attached to gaming. In particular, we provide accessible advice for practitioners, in the belief that innovation in education is always underpinned by informed and critical teaching.
Source: The National Foundation for Educational Research in England and Wales
Download pdf publication: Game-based learning: latest evidence and future directions

Evaluation of Internet Child Safety Materials Used by ICAC Task Forces in School and Community Settings

This project involves content and process evaluations of current internet safety education (ISE) program materials and their use by law enforcement presenters and schools. Despite a proliferation of internet safety programs over the last decade, there is little information that can guide law enforcement, policy makers or the public in determining which materials or delivery methods are most likely to increase children’s online safety.

 ISE content and process evaluation results indicated that the educational approach and messages of current ISE fail to incorporate critical elements of effective prevention education, including: 1) research-based messages; 2) skill-based learning objectives; 3) opportunities for youth to practice new skills; and 4) sufficient time for learning. Our analyses indicate that the ISE field has been slow to include research-based information on internet predators and online harassment and there is no research to support the assumption that many of the popular educational slogans/messages around privacy and digital reputation concerns (e.g., “Think Before You Click”) will lead to improved youth online behavior.

 The failure to define research-supported program logic means that most ISE is a highly speculative and experimental undertaking, whose success cannot be assumed. Recommendations are made for re-conceptualizing ISE and developing a more effective approach to helping protect youth.
Source: National Institute of Justice (U.S.)
For Download: