• Tourist destination reputation: an empirical definition

      Darwish, Alyaa; Burns, Peter; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2019-01-07)
      Tourism is a reputation-dependent industry; on the demand side, potential travellers without previous experience of a destination face certain risks when determining their travel options. An accurate perception of the destination’s reputation helps minimise risk of unsatisfactory travel experiences. On the supply side, a favourable tourist destination reputation enhances the destination’s competitive advantage, and helps it to compete for visitors, investments, and skilled human resources. Despite the importance of tourist destination reputation, attempts at developing a definition have been somewhat limited by an over-reliance on theories of corporate reputation. The present study suggests a comprehensive definition of tourist destination reputation based on empirical study, by applying a Delphi research with a group of ten professional and academic tourism experts. Consensus was reached after conducting two-rounds of the Delphi process, resulted in an agreed definition for tourist destination reputation that takes account of professional insights.
    • Towards 'creative media literacy'

      Connolly, Steve M.; Readman, Mark (Routledge, 2017-04-21)
      In this chapter, perhaps counterintuitively, we begin by challenging the orthodoxies of two key terms in media education (creativity and literacy) and then suggest that by bringing them together in a new way we can provide a framework for media production work that is critical, reflective and student-centred. We understand that production work takes place in a variety of educational contexts, some of which are explicitly vocational, but we suggest here that, if claims for production work are to be made as part of a wider project of literacy, some of the assumptions about the affordances of such work must be addressed and subjected to scrutiny. We propose, ultimately, the concept of ‘creative literacy’ – a critically oriented set of attributes with which students practise a systematic interrogation of their own productive processes and the meanings attributed to them. Through a philosophically grounded critical framework and examples of pedagogic practice drawn from a three year study of student production work we show how creative literacy can be recognised, developed and how the conditions of possibility for its emergence may be created.
    • Towards 5G: a reinforcement learning-based scheduling solution for data traffic management

      Comşa, Ioan-Sorin; Zhang, Sijing; Aydin, Mehmet Emin; Kuonen, Pierre; Lu, Yao; Trestian, Ramona; Ghinea, Gheorghiţă; Brunel University; University of Bedfordshire; University of the West of England; et al. (IEEE, 2018-08-06)
      Dominated by delay-sensitive and massive data applications, radio resource management in 5G access networks is expected to satisfy very stringent delay and packet loss requirements. In this context, the packet scheduler plays a central role by allocating user data packets in the frequency domain at each predefined time interval. Standard scheduling rules are known limited in satisfying higher Quality of Service (QoS) demands when facing unpredictable network conditions and dynamic traffic circumstances. This paper proposes an innovative scheduling framework able to select different scheduling rules according to instantaneous scheduler states in order to minimize the packet delays and packet drop rates for strict QoS requirements applications. To deal with real-time scheduling, the Reinforcement Learning (RL) principles are used to map the scheduling rules to each state and to learn when to apply each. Additionally, neural networks are used as function approximation to cope with the RL complexity and very large representations of the scheduler state space. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed framework outperforms the conventional scheduling strategies in terms of delay and packet drop rate requirements.
    • Towards a contextual response to peer-on-peer abuse : research and resources from MsUnderstood local site work 2013-2016

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Curtis, George; Fritz, Danielle; Olaitan, Paul; Latchford, Lia; Lloyd, Jenny; Larasi, Ikamara; University of Bedfordshire; MsUnderstood; Imkaan (University of Bedfordshire, 2016-09-01)
      In 2013 the University of Bedfordshire, Imkaan and the Girls against Gangs Project formed the MsUnderstood Partnership (MSU) to support the development of responses to peer-on-peer abuse specifically, and young people’s experiences of inequality, more broadly. The partnership sought to bring academic rigour, partnerships with practitioners and young people’s voices to the fore of the debate, and generate practice-based evidence to support the development of responses that engaged with young people’s lived realities of violence and abuse. We achieved this through: • A programme of work with local multi-agency partnerships to audit and develop their responses to peer-on-peer abuse (Local Site Work) • A paid internship and young people’s engagement programme • Engagement in policy consultation and influencing • The dissemination of research, practice learning and young people’s voice This report chronicles the findings and resources generated by MSU over the past three years, with specific reference to the tools and knowledge created alongside professionals through local site work.
    • Towards a contextual response to peer-on-peer abuse: research and resources from MsUnderstood local site work 2013-2016

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Curtis, George; Fritz, Danielle; Olaitan, Paul; Latchford, Lia; Lloyd, Jenny; Larasi, Ikamara; Contextual Safeguarding Network (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2016-06-20)
      This report chronicles the findings and resources on peer-on-peer abuse generated by the MsUnderstood Partnership over the past three years, with specific reference to the tools and knowledge created alongside professionals through local site work. The programme of work was funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Samworth Foundation and Trust for London.
    • Towards a family justice outcomes framework: a working paper

      Munro, Emily; Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre (Loughborough University, 2014-07-01)
      The Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre was commissioned to undertake a small-scale feasibility study to explore approaches to developing a more robust child outcomes framework for the family justice system (in both public and private law). This involved a preliminary mapping exercise to identify: the numbers of children involved in key processes; explore what data one would ideal want to collect and compare this with what is currently collected and/or published. Guided conversations with nine experts, including members of the FJB, academics, policy makers from the Department for Education and Ministry of Justice and CAFCASS young people’s board were also conducted, to ascertain their views on what an ideal family justice framework could look like. In addition, an expert advisory group have offered feedback on a preliminary output. The paper offers some initial suggestions on potential ways forward which require further debate and refinement based upon feedback from the judiciary, lawyers and socio-legal and social work academics and practitioners.  
    • Towards a model of multi-dimensional performance of C1 level speakers assessed in the Aptis Speaking Test

      Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo; Tavakoli, Parveneh; Awwad, Anas; British Council; University of Bedfordshire; University of Reading; Isra University, Jordan (British Council, 2019-09-14)
      This is a peer-reviewed online research report in the British Council Validation Series (https://www.britishcouncil.org/exam/aptis/research/publications/validation). Abstract The current study draws on the findings of Tavakoli, Nakatsuhara and Hunter’s (2017) quantitative study which failed to identify any statistically significant differences between various fluency features in speech produced by B2 and C1 level candidates in the Aptis Speaking test. This study set out to examine whether there were differences between other aspects of the speakers’ performance at these two levels, in terms of lexical and syntactic complexity, accuracy and use of metadiscourse markers, that distinguish the two levels. In order to understand the relationship between fluency and these other aspects of performance, the study employed a mixed-methods approach to analysing the data. The quantitative analysis included descriptive statistics, t-tests and correlational analyses of the various linguistic measures. For the qualitative analysis, we used a discourse analysis approach to examining the pausing behaviour of the speakers in the context the pauses occurred in their speech. The results indicated that the two proficiency levels were statistically different on measures of accuracy (weighted clause ratio) and lexical diversity (TTR and D), with the C1 level producing more accurate and lexically diverse output. The correlation analyses showed speed fluency was correlated positively with weighted clause ratio and negatively with length of clause. Speed fluency was also positively related to lexical diversity, but negatively linked with lexical errors. As for pauses, frequency of end-clause pauses was positively linked with length of AS-units. Mid-clause pauses also positively correlated with lexical diversity and use of discourse markers. Repair fluency correlated positively with length of clause, and negatively with weighted clause ratio. Repair measures were also negatively linked with number of errors per 100 words and metadiscourse marker type. The qualitative analyses suggested that the pauses mainly occurred a) to facilitate access and retrieval of lexical and structural units, b) to reformulate units already produced, and c) to improve communicative effectiveness. A number of speech exerpts are presented to illustrate these examples. It is hoped that the findings of this research offer a better understanding of the construct measured at B2 and C1 levels of the Aptis Speaking test, inform possible refinements of the Aptis Speaking rating scales, and enhance its rater training programme for the two highest levels of the test.
    • Towards a profile of the academic listener

      Field, John; University of Bedfordshire (2018-03-14)
    • Towards an epistemology of media education: confronting the problems of knowledge presented by Social Realism

      Connolly, Steve M.; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2020-04-27)
      Recent debates about the status of knowledge in the school curriculum have seen the emergence of attempts to connect curriculum reform to the ideas about "powerful knowledge" articulated by Michael Young and other sociologists. This article argues that for the case of media education, and specifically its application in secondary schools - in the form of Media Studies - these ideas are not adequate to explain the epistemological principles upon which the project of media education is built. The paper takes a threefold approach to developing an epistemology of media education; firstly, by outlining existing work on the nature of knowledge in media education; secondly, by examining social realist arguments about the way that knowledge is manifested in things like school subjects and canonical knowledge and arguing that media education does not fit these manifestations; and finally by offering some alternative ideas upon which an epistemology of media education may be built
    • Towards DR inventor: a tool for promoting scientific creativity

      O’Donoghue, D.P.; Saggion, H.; Dong, Feng; Hurley, D.; Abgaz, Y.; Zheng, X.; Corcho, O,; Zhang, J.J.; Careil, J.M.; Mahdian, B.; et al. (Jozef Stefan Institute, 2014-12-31)
      We propose an analogy-based model to promote creative scientific reasoning among its users. Dr Inventor aims to find novel and potentially useful creative analogies between academic documents, presenting them to users as potential research questions to be explored and investigated. These novel comparisons will thereby drive its users’ creative reasoning. Dr Inventor is aimed at promoting Big-C Creativity and the H-creativity associated with true scientific creativity.
    • Towards geographies of child protection

      Disney, Tom; Lloyd, Jenny (Wiley, 2020-09-20)
      The emergence of current and historic cases of child abuse across the globe has, in recent years, dominated the news, political agendas and popular discourse surrounding children. From serious case reviews to exploitation in post-conflict zones, from sexual abuse of children by groups to trafficking of drugs across countries, the importance of protecting children is an increasing concern in many countries. Key to, and inherent in, all of these processes and phenomena are child protection systems, working in varying degrees of effectiveness. While geographic interest has touched upon many of these areas, the role of child protection systems, and the practitioners that work within these, do not explicitly feature within this work. In this article, we seek to develop an introduction to geographies of child protection, producing an initial critical review which points to future research avenues in this field. We adopt a Foucauldian approach and review four themes to illustrate the ways in which geographical approaches might yield important insights. Drawing primarily on England as a context, we consider the historical geographies and origins of child protection, relational practices in contemporary child protection, the impact of austerity and finally we consider what future directions might require a geographical approach.
    • Towards new avenues for the IELTS Speaking Test: insights from examiners’ voices

      Inoue, Chihiro; Khabbazbashi, Nahal; Lam, Daniel M. K.; Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo (IELTS Partners, 2021-02-19)
      This study investigated the examiners’ views on all aspects of the IELTS Speaking Test, namely, the test tasks, topics, format, interlocutor frame, examiner guidelines, test administration, rating, training and standardisation, and test use. The overall trends of the examiners’ views of these aspects of the test were captured by a large-scale online questionnaire, to which a total of 1203 examiners responded. Based on the questionnaire responses, 36 examiners were carefully selected for subsequent interviews to explore the reasons behind their views in depth. The 36 examiners were representative of a number of differing geographical regions and a range of views and experiences in examining and giving examiner training. While the questionnaire responses exhibited generally positive views from examiners on the current IELTS Speaking Test, the interview responses uncovered various issues that the examiners experienced and suggested potentially beneficial modifications. Many of the issues (e.g. potentially unsuitable topics, rigidity of interlocutor frames) were attributable to the huge candidature of the IELTS Speaking Test, which has vastly expanded since the test’s last revision in 2001, perhaps beyond the initial expectations of the IELTS Partners. This study synthesized the voices from examiners and insights from relevant literature, and incorporated guidelines checks we submitted to the IELTS Partners. This report concludes with a number of suggestions for potential changes in the current IELTS Speaking Test, so as to enhance its validity and accessibility in today’s ever globalising world.
    • Towards safeguarding Creole intangible cultural heritage : keynote at the Creole Fest: Building Bridges Across Borders Symposium 10 November 2018

      Weedon, Alexis (2018-11-21)
      In 2003 at the UNESCO general conference  voted in favour of the Convention on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. With the onslaught of globalization, ubiquitous and often commercialized branded identities can supplant the local. The UNESCO convention highlights the fragility of indigenous living cultural traditions and their importance for preserving diversity under such pressures. Intangible cultural heritage is a repository of a community’s creativity. It is a source of inspiration for new cultural expressions. This talk explores the intellectual work which the Convention brings to us as cultural historians, curators and researchers. It argues that we must address our unconscious bias in the selection of what we preserve, and must record all contextualising variables to assess their relevance. It reviews current research and its relevance to the AHRC networking project of safeguarding Creole ICH, and proposes a programme of research and publications, in addition to the continuation of the performance of the tradition that underpins ICH inscriptions as an agenda of any research network. Finally it highlights examples of digital classification, public participation, and creative re-presentation which document the ICH tradition and also seek to understand the factors that have sustained it and will influence its future as a living tradition.  
    • Towards sparse characterisation of on-body ultra-wideband wireless channels

      Yang, Xiaodong; Ren, Aifeng; Zhang, Zhiya; Ur-Rehman, Masood; Abbasi, Qammer Hussain; Alomainy, Akram; Xidian University; University of Bedfordshire; Texas A&M University at Qatar (IET, 2015-07-01)
      With the aim of reducing cost and power consumption of the receiving terminal, compressive sensing (CS) framework is applied to on-body ultra-wideband (UWB) channel estimation. It is demonstrated in this Letter that the sparse on-body UWB channel impulse response recovered by the CS framework fits the original sparse channel well; thus, on-body channel estimation can be achieved using low-speed sampling devices.
    • Towards the glocalisation of complementary and alternative medicine: homeopathy, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine practice and regulation in Brazil and Portugal

      Almeida, Joana; Siegel, Pâmela; de Barros, Nelson Felice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-03-27)
      Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been presented in the sociological literature as a global phenomenon. Yet CAM has simultaneously been shaped by different ‘civic epistemologies’, or national cultures, and re-embedded into local contexts. This ‘glocalism’ of CAM, in turn, is a result of intercultural exchanges over time. This chapter compares CAM practice and regulation in two countries with a long-standing relationship—Brazil and Portugal. Homeopathy, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine have been chosen as case studies. We show how Brazil and Portugal, despite their participation in CAM’s global culture, have presented differing national projects on the subject, as well as how these projects have resulted from intercultural hybridism over time. This chapter highlights the glocalism and interculturalism of CAM, a perspective largely absent from its sociological analysis to date.
    • Tracking human motion direction with commodity wireless networks

      Rahaman, Habibur; Dyo, Vladimir; University of Bedfordshire (IEEE, 2021-09-07)
      Detecting when a person leaves a room, or a house is essential to create a safe living environment for people suffering from dementia or other mental disorders. The approaches based on wearable devices, e.g. GPS bracelets may detect such events require periodic maintenance to recharge or replace batteries, and therefore may not be suitable for certain types of users. On the other hand, camera-based systems require illumination and raise potential privacy concerns. In this paper, we propose a device-free walking direction detection approach based on RF-sensing, which does not require a person to wear any equipment. The proposed approach monitors the signal strength fluctuations caused by the human body on ambient wireless links and analyses its spatial patterns using a convolutional neural network to identify the walking direction. The approach has been evaluated experimentally to achieve up to 98% classification accuracy depending on the environment.
    • Tracking objects robot for healthcare environments

      Kanjaruek, Saranya; Li, Dayou; Khon Kaen University, Thailand; University of Bedfordshire (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2018-02-01)
      There are many elder who are affected from Alzheimer's disease. Memory problems, confusion and forgetting objects, recent conversations or places are example of Alzheimer symptoms. Nursing home needs medical devices or robot to provide service for patients. Tracking Objects Robot traces and locates objects for the Alzheimer's patients to find objects in environment. This paper uses frequency and recency technique in order to locate the location of objects in dynamic environment by associating semantic knowledge of object with instance in ontology.
    • ‘Traffickers and their victims’: anti-trafficking policy in the United Kingdom

      Sharapov, Kiril; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE Publications Ltd, 2015-08-20)
      This paper relies upon the ‘what’s the problem represented to be?’ approach to policy analysis to interrogate key representations of human trafficking implicit in the UK government’s anti-trafficking policy. It identifies six policy vectors, or representations, of human trafficking embedded within the policy, including organized crime, ‘illegal’ immigration, and victim assistance as three primary vectors; sexual exploitation/prostitution, poverty in countries of victims’ origin, and isolated instances of labour law infringements as three secondary vectors. In addition, a series of assumptions, which underlie the current interpretation of trafficking, are also identified. By exploring what the problem of human trafficking is represented to be, the paper also provides an insight into what remains obscured within the context of the dominant policy frameworks. In doing so, it highlights the role of state-capital entanglements in normalizing exploitation of trafficked, smuggled and ‘offshored’ labour, and critiques the UK’s anti-trafficking policy for manufacturing doubt as to the structural causes of human trafficking within the context of neoliberalism.