20th Annual PKP Student Research and Fine Arts Conference: Oral Symposia IV
Georgia Blurr Stars in a New Musical: Classroom Anxiety in the Digital Age
Effects of Withholding Cell Phones on Students' Autonomic Arousal, State Anxiety, and Test ScoresApproximately 85% of Americans aged 18-29 have smartphones. Many people report that they get agitated when their phones are not immediately accessible.1,2Researchers studying the links between phone use and academic performance have focused on their disruptive nature (e.g., texting). No research has examined the effects of withholding phones during testing on test performance. The objective of this study was to assess whether withholding phones during testing affected students state anxiety, skin conductance (SC), and test scores. State anxiety is situationally determined, transitory, and associated with autonomic nervous system activation. SC (sweat gland secretions) is an index of sympathetic nervous system activation. We expected higher levels of self-reported state anxiety, higher levels of SC, and lower test performance among students who had their phones withheld compared with students who kept their phones. Eighty-six students participated. There were three conditions: phones withheld but kept in the same room as testing condition (n= 31), phones withheld but sequestered in a different room (n= 28), and control where students were not separated from their phones (n= 27). One-way MANOVA revealed no differences between the groups in state anxiety, SC or test scores. Data did reveal interesting trends we would like to discuss.
Blurred Lines within the Music Industry: A Different Perspective of Copyright Law and Sampling in the Digital AgeThis thesis focuses on the relationship of music and law. Throughout, the debated question is: should the laws of copyright be redefined? The case Williams v. Bridgeport Music, Inc., which focuses on the songs "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke and "Got to Give It Up" by Marvin Gaye is the trial central to this thesis. Following a brief history of sampling, Williams v. Bridgeport Music, Inc. is reexamined, challenging the substantiality of the evidence presented. The court proved that the songs have similarities on the surface, yet there is a notable structural difference among the songs. A proposed solution is given, advocating a revision of copyright laws and a substantive similarity test with emphasis on the expert listener rather than the lay listener.
Racial Dissimilarities as a Social Determinant of Health Outcomes: Evidence from Counties in the State of GeorgiaSocial determinants of health account for about 50 percent of health outcomes- more than any other category, yet is the most understudied, therefore warranting further investigation. We contend that within social determinants of health, analysis of racial segregation is of importance. Racial segregation is a structural form of racism, where people of similar race live in communities apart from people of other races. Prior studies have used a dissimilarity index to measure racial segregation and its impact on health outcomes, and has suggested that racial residential segregation has a negative impact on health outcomes, but none of these studies have focused on county level data or the State of Georgia in particular. Using a dataset from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, supplemented by other public health and demographic data for all counties in Georgia, we use regression analysis to model the relationship between segregation and various health outcomes. A variety of social determinants of health were analyzed ranging from factors of economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, and education, to aspects of the healthcare system. Initial results suggest that racial segregation relates to health outcomes, but it depends on the health outcomes being measured. Conclusions are pending further quantitative analysis.
The Proficiency-Based Classroom: Building on the StandardsProper communication is the most important element in any classroom, in particular, a foreign language classroom. Foreign language acquisition is essential, with many secondary schools and higher education institutions worldwide requiring foreign language studies in order to receive a degree. Students can learn foreign languages in many ways based on the ACTFL Standards: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. These standards expand the expectations of teaching methods as the guidelines in which a student is able to use the language outside of the classroom. The most important of these standards is Communication, which is the sending of a message from one individual to another. In this study, I will focus on the Communication standard, in particular, verbal communication in the classroom. Many students in the foreign language classroom struggle with the conversational aspect; therefore, teachers are focusing more on how to aid students in conversational learning. Furthermore, teachers incorporate cultural knowledge as a means to expand language acquisition in the classroom, giving language a context. In this presentation, I will study research on language acquisition and the ACTFL Standards; I will discuss proficiency-based projects I have done in addition to projects I plan on using in the classroom after graduation.