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International Journal
of
Learning, Teaching
And
Educational Research
p-ISSN:
1694-2493
e-ISSN:
1694-2116
IJLTER.ORG
Vol.20 No.10
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
(IJLTER)
Vol. 20, No. 10 (October 2021)
Print version: 1694-2493
Online version: 1694-2116
IJLTER
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research (IJLTER)
Vol. 20, No. 10
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Foreword
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VOLUME 20 NUMBER 10 October 2021
Table of Contents
Exploring Instances of Deleuzian Rhizomatic Patterns in Students’ Writing and in Online Student Interactions ...1
Tlatso Nkhobo, Chaka Chaka
Quality is Never an Accident: A Survey on the Total Quality-Management Practices amongst Selected Higher
Education Institutions in the Philippines .......................................................................................................................... 23
Glenn S. Cabacang
Is Robotics Education and Training Gender Dependent? A Suggestive Robotics Syllabus for Teacher Training...42
G S Prakasha, Joseph Varghese Kureethara, Anthony Kenneth, Peter Varkey Muttungal, Trent Grundmeyer
A Methodological Analysis for the Development of a Circular-Motion Concept Inventory in a Ugandan Context
by Using the Delphi Technique........................................................................................................................................... 61
Kent Robert Kirya, K. K. Mashood, Lakhan Lal Yadav
The Significance of Self-directed Learning Readiness, Academic Self-efficacy, and Problem-solving Ability
Among Filipino Nursing Students .....................................................................................................................................83
Johnny J. Yao Jr.
Cognitive Assessment of Knowledge Consolidation in a Course on the Diagnostic Evaluation of Learning
Disorders in Psychology Students......................................................................................................................................95
Guadalupe Elizabeth Morales-Martinez, Yanko Norberto Mezquita-Hoyos, Maria Isolde Hedlefs-Aguilar, Miriam Sanchez-
Monroy
How to Become Experienced? The Practice of Novice Lecturer Professional Development at A Public University
............................................................................................................................................................................................... 117
Hong Yu, Arnida Abdullah, Soaib Asimiran, Mohd Mokhtar Muhamad
Life Sciences Teachers’ Views on Teaching Socio-Scientific Issues in Genetics using an Inquiry Approach......... 133
Portia Ngwenya, Lydia Mavuru
The Capability and Social Justice Theories: Developing a Second-Generation Model for Enhancing
Epistemological Access in Flood-Prone Schools in Kenya ............................................................................................ 154
Gloria Erima, Felix Maringe
Enhancing Vocabulary Memorization and Retention through LMS and MultiEx Game Platforms among Thai
Tertiary Students.................................................................................................................................................................173
Woralak Bancha, Nattapong Tongtep
Definitional Skills of Learners with and without Developmental Language Disorder............................................. 193
Ifigeneia Dosi, Zoe Gavriilidou, Chrysoula Dourou
Teaching 4.0 Competency in Higher Learning Institutions: A Systematic Mapping Review ..................................217
Melor Masdoki, Rosseni Din, Mohd Effendi @ Ewan Mohd. Matore
Beyond Play: Conceptualising the Capability of a Good Digital Game to Stimulate Interest in STEM .................. 232
Shahrul Affendi Ishak, Rosseni Din, Umi Azmah Hasran
The Students’ Mathematics Communication Skill Performance After GeoGebra-Assisted EPIC-R Learning
Implementation................................................................................................................................................................... 256
Mujiasih Mujiasih, Budi Waluyo, Kartono Kartono, Scolastika Mariani
Perceptions of Student Teachers on Collaborative Relationships Between University and Inclusive Elementary
Schools: A Case Study in Indonesia .................................................................................................................................274
Rasmitadila ., Megan Asri Humaira, Reza Rachmadtullah, Rusi Rusmiati Aliyyah
A Visual Pattern of Two Decades of Literature on Mobile Learning: A Bibliometric Analysis ............................... 291
Siti Zuraidah Md Osman, Ro’azeah Md Napeah
Effect of Teachers’ Corrective Feedback on Learners’ Oral Accuracy in English Speaking Lessons....................... 313
Huong Thanh Nhac
Teacher Training Needs and their Influencing Factors: A Case Study of 13 Chinese Border School Teachers...... 331
Qian Fu, Jiali Yao, Qinyi Tan, Runjin Gui
1
©Authors
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0
International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Vol. 20, No. 10, pp. 1-22, October 2021
https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.20.10.1
Received Aug 02, 2021; Revised Oct 03, 2021; Accepted Oct 14, 2021
Exploring Instances of Deleuzian Rhizomatic
Patterns in Students’ Writing and in Online
Student Interactions
Tlatso Nkhobo and Chaka Chaka*
University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3851-822X
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3558-4141
Abstract. Globally, it is a standard practice to study students’ academic
writing by using linear academic-writing models. This study
investigated instances of Deleuzian rhizomatic patterns in students’
writing and in online student interactions at an open and distance e-
learning (ODeL) institution in South Africa. A convenience sample of 13
students’ paragraph writing samples and of 370 first-year students was
used. All the participants were enrolled in a level-one module,
ENG1503, in the second semester of 2020. The study followed a mixed-
method approach, and utilized AntConc and AntMover to analyse the
students’ writing samples, as well as Microsoft Power Business
Intelligence (MS Power BI) and Gephi, in order to analyse and visualise
online student interactions. When students’ writing samples were
analysed in terms of keywords (e.g., key themes) by using the software
applications employed in this study, various rhizomatic patterns were
detected in the students’ text files. For example, the key-word
frequencies of key themes, such as religion and cult, showed that these
two key themes were used differently at the end of each concordance
spectrum, thereby underscoring their varying rhizomatic patterns of
usage in students’ respective text files. Online student interactions on
both myUnisa’s ODF and MS Teams were visualized rhizomatically. The
findings of this study underscore the importance of investigating and
analysing students’ writing – not only from linear models, but also from
non-linear perspectives, such as a rhizomatic approach. Additionally,
they underline the significance of leveraging the opportunities offered
by students’ writing analysis technologies, such as those employed in
this study.
Keywords: students’ writing; rhizomatic patterns; online student
interactions; ODeL institution
*
Corresponding author: Chaka Chaka, chakachaka8@gmail.com
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1. Introduction
Most English as a second language (ESL) students enrol in open-distance
learning universities with different levels of competence in written English (Du
Toit, 2020; Karavas & Zorbas, 2019; Manyike, 2017; Mashile et al., 2020; Niyibizi
et al., 2019; Ouma, 2019; Turmudi, 2020). Conventionally, many of these
universities base students’ writing on linear-academic writing models (Lea &
Street, 1998; Lillis, 2003). Linear-academic writing approaches treat students as if
they learn how to write in the same way; and as though they develop their
writing skills at the same pace, which is not the case, as argued in the current
study. Most universities tend to use Euro-American-Australian (EAA) models of
academic writing, as being universally applicable to all students, irrespective of
their different educational and socio-cultural backgrounds. In this case, teaching
and learning academic writing in an open and distance e-learning (ODeL) model
is a challenge for institutions and students alike, especially for first-year ESL
students (Boyle et al., 2019; Çelik, 2020; Flowerdew, 2019; Graham, 2019;
Mitchell et al., 2021).
Linear-academic writing models do not recognise and affirm the literacies that
students bring to higher educational institutions (HEIs). As a result, most
students in HEIs are expected to master and model their academic writing on
linear-academic writing approaches. However, the current study explored
student writing from a rhizomatic perspective. It did so, in order to contribute to
the area of academic writing in an ODeL environment. A rhizome is a concept
that was introduced by Deleuze and Guatarri (1987). These two scholars used
the concept of a rhizome to critique authoritarian practices and hierarchical
structures in academia (Bozkurt et al., 2016; Cormier, 2008; Brailas, 2020a, 2020b;
Hanley, 2019; Kairienė & Mažeikienė, 2021; Kinchin & Gravett, 2020); Mackness
et al., 2016; Tillmanns & Filho, 2020; Webb, 2009). A rhizome is a botanical term
referring to the roots of a plant growing from and spreading in different
directions (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987; Ko & Bal, 2019; Tagata & Ribas, 2021). In
this study, a rhizome was conceptualized in the same way, with reference to
students’ writing. Therefore, instances of Deleuzian rhizomatic patterns were
explored in samples of students’ academic writing (short paragraphs), and in
student-engagement interactions on two online platforms, namely, myUnisa’s
online discussion forum (ODF) and Microsoft (MS) Teams.
The value of a rhizomatic approach to academic writing lies in its potential to
view writing as consisting of patterns of sentences and of ideas in non-linear
directions on a given topic. It is an approach that searches for thought patterns
manifested by students’ writing that are not necessarily linear in nature
(Leander & Boldt, 2013; Kairienė & Mažeikienė, 2021; Tagata & Ribas, 2021;
Turmudi, 2020; Webb, 2009). Students’ academic writing, as viewed from a
rhizomatic perspective conceptualizes writing as a phenomenon that grows
from different focal points. In addition, it discourages the reproduction of
written texts, as is the case with linear models (Amorim & Ryan, 2005;
Smagorisnky et al., 2006). Furthermore, a rhizomatic perspective regards student
writing as messy and destabilised at the beginning; and consequently, it rejects
linear, hierarchical models of students’ writing. Most importantly, a rhizomatic
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approach to students’ writing views students’ writing as being in the process of
becoming (Brailas, 2020a; Kairienė & Mažeikienė, 2021; Tagata & Ribas, 2021;
Turmudi, 2020 Amorim & Ryan, 2005; Guerin, 2013).
On this basis, the overriding aim of the current study was to explore the
instances of Deleuzian rhizomatic patterns in the academic writing samples of
thirteen first-year ENG1503 students (at the University of South Africa), with a
view to identifying the rhizomatic patterns in such writing samples displayed.
Allied to this aim, was an attempt to discover the types of interaction patterns a
cohort of 370 ENG1503 students exhibited when they interacted on two online
platforms, myUnisa’s ODF and MS Teams. The study had three research
questions (RQs):
• RQ1 - What rhizomatic writing patterns does a cohort of first-year ENG1503
students display in their assignment paragraph responses, according to key
themes (categorized by keyword frequencies, concordance, and concordance
plot) and linking adverbials, as represented by the AntConc, AntMover and
Gephi software applications?
• RQ2 - What rhizomatic structural moves does this cohort of students display
in its assigned paragraph responses, as represented by the AntMover
software application?
• RQ3 - What forms of engagement patterns do first-year ENG1503 students
manifest, when they interact on MS Teams and on myUnisa’s ODF in terms
of their message posts and the frequencies of their online interactions,
according to MS Power BI and Gephi visualizations?
2. The Literature Review
2.1 Traditional Student-Writing Approaches
Traditional student-writing approaches came into being from various parts of
the world, particularly from Europe, North America, and Australia. They were
introduced in these regions, in order to assist a growing number of international
students who had enrolled for university education. These were students who
were referred to as English second-language (ESL) speakers. Consequently,
academic writing studies mushroomed, but with different approaches. For
example, in Europe, Boyle et al. (2019), Flowerdew (2016), and Wingate and
Tribble (2012) employed the academic-literacy approach; since the focus was on
inducting students into the kinds of academic literacies practised in HEIs and on
socializing them into academia
In North America, literacy studies developed as compositions and rhetoric
writing within disciplines (Boyle et al., 2019; Ganobcsik-Williams, 2006; Graham,
2019). These studies focused on teaching students’ writing that is applicable to,
or practised in various communities of practice of the students concerned. In
addition, students were taught English for specific purposes; because they were
expected to know a discipline-based English discourse used in specific fields of
studies. These approaches were, one could argue, remedial; because students
could not easily emulate academic discourse practices envisaged by HEIs in
their knowledge of academic literacy.
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On that account, there is a gap between the way students are taught writing in
their pre-university or school stages, and the academic-writing requirements set
by universities. Students were seen to be struggling because they could not
adapt to their new sense of being, or to their new identities expected by the
universities. These developments are significant for this study; since it seeks to
challenge these views by arguing, instead, that there are rhizomatic patterns in
students’ writing, regardless of how disjointed they may appear to be at first.
Several such studies have also been conducted in Australia, with a specific focus
on genre (Elashri & Ibrahim, 2013; Iyer, 2018; Seaboyer & Barnett, 2019; Tuan,
2011). These studies were concerned with socializing students into the type of
texts used in their respective fields of studies, so that they would then be able to
emulate such texts in their own writing. Much of this work was based on
systemic functional linguistics, which is concerned with the correct usage of
language features for a particular communicative purpose and register (Gardner
et al., 2019; Schlepegrell & Achugar, 2003; Schlepegrell & Go, 2007).
All these approaches view student writing as deficient, and as not meeting the
required standards set by HEIs. As such, they fail to recognize and acknowledge
what the students bring to academia. The approaches discussed above are still
currently being used in various versions, in order to teach academic literacy in
HEIs for different types of students in South Africa (Du Toit, 2020; Manyike,
2017; Van Rooyen & Coetzee-Van Rooyen, 2015). Students’ academic literacy
abilities are still regarded as being deficient in HEIs. For that reason, the present
study adopted a different standpoint, which views and studies students’ writing
rhizomatically.
2.2 Rhizomatic Literacy Practices
Studies have been conducted in recent years, in which a rhizomatic perspective
has been implemented to transform the binary literacy practices in teaching and
learning. These studies include those of Cormier (2008), Brailas (2020a, 2020b),
Cumming (2015), Honan (2009), Hanley (2019), Johnson (2014), Johnston (2018),
Kairienė and Mažeikienė (2021), Ko and Bal (2019), Mackness et al. (2016),
Martin and Strom (2017), Masny (2012), and Webb (2009). Webb’s (2009) study,
especially, paved the way on how academic writing could be taught in schools
through the rhizomatic approach, as suggested by Deleuze and Guattari (1987).
His study focused on introducing innovative and new ways of how to teach
research and writing.
He adopted Cormier’s (2008) model of a rhizome, in order to design his own
models that could be used in composition classrooms, such as preparing and
writing lesson plans, and writing assessment models. His study is one of the few
that has explicitly provided models that teachers can use in their classrooms, in
order to conduct rhizomatic teaching and learning. However, Webb (2009)
cautioned that he would not dictate the way in which teachers should conduct
teaching and learning; as this would be advancing the culture of linear and rigid
literacy practices. He argues that literacy-instruction models are informed by
historical circumstances. Moreover, he contends that for a change to happen,
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composition classrooms should adopt a paradigm shift; and students should be
allowed to construct their own writing-lesson plans and their own writing maps.
For his part, Johnston (2018) investigated the literacy practices of students in a
seventh-grade English classroom at a New York City’s middle school in Harlem.
He argued that the conventional literacy practices do not allow students to be
creative; and they do not consider what students bring to HEIs. He collected
data by means of observations, interviews, verbal and written conversations,
artifacts, and a researcher journal. He used a rhizomatic perspective to study
how students deviated from the normal literacy practices. He maintains that
students are, mostly, tested against predetermined norms and standards, which
do not accommodate what students bring to the schooling environment.
Students who possess different literacy practices are often deemed to be
incompetent and deficient. Viewing literacy practices differently, and from a
rhizomatic viewpoint, would enable us to leverage the affordances brought
about by rhizomatic literacies.
Furthermore, the aim of Honan’s (2009) study was to investigate those patterns
of academic literacy that emerged from four classrooms. He wanted to
understand the kind of digital texts used in impoverished schools for teaching
and learning. He, then, argued that classrooms are rhizomatic in nature, in that
there are different and complex processes unfolding in each classroom. In this
case, he acknowledged that conventional academic-literacy practices are hard to
get rid of, even when teachers try to implement creativity into their teaching and
learning practices.
In this study, Honan (2009) suggested the use of post-structural pedagogies,
even in the process of teaching and learning via traditional texts. He was aware
that students used various digital texts, which contributed to their learning
outside school. However, such texts were not used in the classrooms to facilitate
teaching and learning. He found that teachers could not comprehend the way in
which students used “out-of-school” literacies, something that calls into
question our teaching and learning practices, as bearers and distributors of
knowledge.
3. The Research Methodology
3.1 The Study Design
This study was an exploratory research (Heigham & Croker, 2009; Riazi, 2016)
because it focused mainly on exploring instances of Deleuzian rhizomatic
patterns in students’ writing samples and in students’ engagement patterns on
both of the MS Teams and on myUnisa’s ODF. Riazi (2016, p. 115) states that
exploratory research “is conducted, when the object of the study is new and has
not been studied much before”. This description of exploratory research
resonates with this current study, in that there are very few studies that have
explored rhizomatic manifestations in students’ writing samples, especially at
the institution under study. The study adopted a mixed-method approach
(Christensen et al., 2015; Richards et al., 2012), which, in turn, comprised the
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qualitative and the quantitative approaches (Richards et al., 2012; Riazi, 2016).
The reason for choosing a mixed-method approach was that the data collected
for the study consisted of written paragraphs, whose sentences and whose
keywords, linking adverbials, and structural moves were subjected to
concordance frequencies and concordance plots. Additionally, the data
comprised online student-engagement patterns, which were worked out from
student-message posts and from message frequencies.
3.2 Sampling
The study employed convenience sampling, in order to select thirteen students’
writing samples and three hundred-and-seventy (370) first-year students (males
= 165; females = 205) to participate in the myUnisa’s ODF (n = 150) and on MS
Teams (n = 220). These students were enrolled in a level-one module, ENG1503,
in the second semester of 2020. All of them were invited to participate on the
two online platforms through an announcement on myUnisa, which is UNISA’s
learning-management system. Prior to the study being conducted, an ethical
clearance was granted by the UNISA’s College of Human Sciences Research
Ethics Committee, with a certificate number: 2017-CHS-026.
3.3 The-Data Collection Procedure
The study consisted of two datasets. The first dataset comprised 13 students’
writing samples, and it consisted of 13 paragraph responses to the assignment
question. These writing samples belonged to 13 volunteer students. The
assignment question had two topics that required short-paragraph responses
consisting of 100 words each. These two topics were, “Read chapter 16 of the
prescribed book (from page 224) and summarize the developmental stages of
religion in your own words”, and “Compare and contrast a theocratic
government with a democratic government”.
A copy of the assignment question was emailed to the 13 volunteer students, for
them to write their responses to it during their spare time. The students were
given 5 days to complete the assignment and to email their written responses to
one of the authors of this paper.
The second dataset comprised two sub-data sets: the student engagement
patterns of 370 ENG1503 students, who interacted on both the myUnisa’s ODF
and the MS Teams during the second semester of 2020. For myUnisa, the student
interactions were made up of messages that 150 students posted on the online
discussion forum (ODF) during the first two weeks of August, 2020. The
messages were related to a topic that was discussed during these two weeks.
Concerning MS Teams, the student interactions consisted of messages that 220
students had posted in the chat facility during one of the virtual classes offered
to them on the MS Teams in September 2020. All of this was informed by Chaka
and Nkhobo’s (2019) and Conde’s et al. (2015) studies that investigated online
student-engagement patterns.
3.4 The Data Analysis
Students’ writing samples in the form of short paragraphs and online student
interactions were analysed through Rhizo analysis. Rhizo analysis has been used
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by scholars, such as Bangou (2019), Brailas (2020a), Kairienė and Mažeikienė
(2021), Ko and Bal (2019), Sellers (2015), and Sherbine (2019). Then, the datasets
were further analysed through the Corpus-software applications, AntConc and
AntMover; and thereafter, they were visualized by Microsoft Power-Business
Intelligence (MS Power BI) and Gephi. AntConc represents the text files through
keyword frequencies, a concordance, and concordance plots.
For short paragraphs, the units of analysis were keywords (key themes), linking
adverbials, and (rhizomatic) structural moves, while for the online student-
engagement patterns, message posts and frequencies were the units of analysis.
4. The Results
4.1 AntConc Analysis: Assignment’s Keyword Frequencies,
Concordance, and Concordance Plots
Five rhizomatic keywords were identified from the 13 responses to the
assignment. These were used to trace and map the key word in context (KWIC)
in relation to the assignment question’s requirement. Rhizomatic keywords that
were deemed to be relevant for this assignment were: become, cult, members,
religion, and sect. The rhizomatic frequencies of the chosen keywords were
analysed, and then ranked, as shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Assignment 1 keywords as extracted from AntConc
Keywords’ become cult members religion sect
Frequencies 18 23 19 25 25
In this table, both religion and sect had the highest joint hits, with become having
the lowest hits across the 13 responses. For example, the listing of religion in
terms of its KWIC format is displayed in Figure 1.
Figure 1: KWIC concordance of religion, as it appears in the corpus of the 13 responses
to the assignment question
In this figure, religion as a key word, which is in the centre and which has 25 hits,
it has a list of files that were used to search for it on its left-hand side. In the
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centre, its KWIC concordance display is arranged, according to the words with
which it occurs on either side of each concordance line. On the far-right hand
side, the hits for religion have been ranked sequentially (with each hit appearing
in its corresponding concordance line), whereas on the far right-hand side are
listed the file numbers. Additionally, it co-occurred with words, such as
dominant (n = 2) and (n = 2), and with phrases like stages of (n = 2) and cults
become (n = 2). All of these immediately preceded it. Moreover, it co-occurred
with phrases, such as starts as a cult, starts when it is still a Cult, and beliefs, and
practice, and also with miscellaneous words (e.g., evolves, functions, and fully), all
of which immediately followed it.
Figure 2: Concordance plot of religion, as it appears in the corpus of the 13 responses
to the assignment question
In its rhizomatic-concordance plot, religion appeared in 11 assignment responses,
with 4 hits in 2 assignments responses, and 1 hit each in 4 assignment responses
(Figure 2). The manner in which the rhizomatic key theme, religion, was
portrayed in context revealed the rhizomatic nature in which this key theme was
used and presented itself across multiple students’ files, thereby displaying
rhizomatic variations in each text file. Files 01 and 92 shared a joint top ranking,
followed by files 78, 69, and 31. In file 01, religion was used four times in
different paragraphs; in file 92, it was used four times in multiple paragraphs. In
files, 78, 69, and 31, it was used three times in each file.
In this context, religion was used to explain how cults became religion,
stages/types of religion, as well as modernity; and this was evident in the
interconnectivity shown across multiple text files. Figure 3 further demonstrates
the dominant and the superordinate nature of religion, as a key theme.
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Figure 3: Visualization of key themes, become, cult, members, religion, and sect
Figure 4: KWIC concordance of become, as it appears in the corpus of the 13 responses
to the assignment question
Another keyword, become, is (together with its KWIC concordance) displayed in
Figure 4. In this context, it co-occurs with words, such as to (n = 3) and can (n =
2), and with phrases like how cults (n = 7), all of which immediately preceded it.
It also co-occurred with words, such as religion(s) (n = 8), and with phrases like a
sect that immediately followed it. In its rhizomatic concordance plot, become was
used in 8 assignments, but, unlike religion, it was used five times in one file (77).
In addition, it had 2 hits in 4 files, and one hit in each of 2 files (Figure 5).
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Figure 5: Concordance plot of become, as it appears in the corpus of the 13 responses to
the assignment question
4.2 AntMover Results for the Assignment Question: Structural Moves
The rhizomatic structural moves were analysed in the 13 assignment responses
at a sentence level, when using the AntMover software application. The
Response-text files were processed and analysed accordingly. The text files were
sorted in classes (Figure 6).
Figure 6: AntMover structural moves for the Assignment Question
For example, Class 10 (announcing the principal findings) was the highest class
used (n = 30 occurrences) that was prevalent in the 13 responses. For instance, in
text file 31, Class 10 was used five times. However, there was a marginal
difference in its usage in text files 48, 77, and 01, all of which shared it four times,
as opposed to text file 31. Text files 69, 92, and 95 followed closely, as they each
used Class 10 three times. By contrast, in text files 20, 51, 91, and 78, Class 10 was
not used at all; since it scored a zero occurrence.
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
T20 T48 T67 T51 T91 T69 T92 T77 T95 T78 T01 T79 T31 Total
Number
of
occurrences
Text file numbers
AntMover resuslts: Assignment
Class 2 Class 11 Class 10 Class 9
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Class 2 (making topic generalisations) was the second highest class used with
the overall usage of 27 instances spread across the 13 responses. For example,
text files 31, and 67 had the highest usage (4 and 3 respectively) of Class 2 in
each response, while in text files 20, 48, 51, 69, 92, 77, and 01, it was used twice in
each response. The lowest usage of Class 2 (n = 1 occurrence) was in text files 95,
78, and 79. On the other side, Class 9 (announcing present research) was the
least-used class across the 13 responses, with an overall total of 3 occurrence
instances. Text files 91, 69, and 01 had one instance of Class 9 usage in each
response. Finally, the remaining text files did not use Class 9.
4.3 AntConc Results for the Assignment Question: Linking Adverbials
Celce-Murcia and Larsen-Freeman’s (1998) framework was utilized to select the
rhizomatic-linking adverbials (additives, adversatives, causals, and sequentials)
in the 13 responses to the assignment question. The 13 responses were loaded
onto AntConc in separate text files that were used to trace and explore the
rhizomatic manifestations of linking adverbials in each response. In all of the 13
responses, two rhizomatic additive linking adverbials (also and that) were used
(Figure 7).
One of the linking adverbials also was used twice in text file 69. On the contrary,
there was no trace of the other linking adverbials in all of the other text files. The
second rhizomatic additive linking adverbial, that, appeared twice in text files 31
and 69.
Figure 7: Some of the linking adverbials used in the 13 responses, as analysed by
AntConc
Rhizomatic adversative linking adverbials were traced across the 13 responses;
and, actually, was the only one that was mapped in the text file 31. No evidence
of the other adversative linking adverbials was discovered in the other text files.
Four causal linking adverbials, consequently, otherwise, then, and therefore, were
found in some of the text files. Consequently appeared in the text 51 times only;
and, similarly, otherwise, appeared in the text file 92 times only. Then was the
most used linking adverbial across the 13 responses; and it appeared twice in
text file 20, and once in text files 92, 67, 31, 48, and 78. Therefore was another
linking adverbial that was traced once in text file 51. In all the 13 text files, two
sequential linking adverbials were identified. One such example was, first, that
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was used once in text file 78. Lastly, then was the second linking adverbial that
was used once each in the text files 20, 92, 67, 31, 48, 78, and 20.
4.4 myUnisa’s Online Discussion Forum (ODF) and MS Teams’ Interactions
Student interactions related to student module queries on the myUnisa’s ODF
were collated and converted into text files. The text files were uploaded onto
AntConc, in order to trace the key themes, according to the keywords. One
hundred and fifty keywords were generated by AntConc, in the form of key
themes. Thereafter, they were inputted into both Microsoft Power BI and Gephi
software tools for visualization purposes. Five of the highest key themes were
assignment, good, find, results, and MCQ (Figure 8).
Figure 8: Power BI and Gephi visualizations of students’ myUnisa’s ODF interactions
The key theme, assignment, was ranked fifth (n = 46 hits). It was followed by good
at the sixth spot (n = 39 hits). Find (n= 16 hits), results (n= 12 hits), and MCQ (n=
10 hits), each of which, was ranked twenty-sixth, forty-first, and forty-sixth,
respectively.
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Figure 9: Power BI and Gephi visualizations of student-instructor interactions MS
Teams
There were also student-instructor interactions, based on an MS Team’s virtual
classroom that was created in the second semester of 2020. These interactions
were extracted; and, they were then processed through MS Power BI and Gephi,
in order to create their visualizations (Figure 9). As shown in Figure 9, in terms
of student posts, a participant with the greatest number of posts (n = 6) was
Noa†; and this was followed by Ane (n = 5 posts). The other participants, such as
Ela, Ezi, Kwa, Lan, Af, and Log had 3 posts each; while Gwe, Apo, Si, Nya, and
Iso, had one post each. By contrast, participants like Azi, Iti, Eni, Tul, and Uli
had no posts.
In terms of instructor’s replies, Ane had the most replies (n = 14) to student
queries. Second and third were Kek and Gam with 10 and 5 replies, apiece. Most
participants, for example, Ngu, Uta, Ezi, Ini, and Lis posted only one reply.
From a different angle, Ran made 5 reactions, with Tlh, Abe and Kol having a tie
of 4 reactions, each. Most participants, namely, Sie, Low, An, and Xe, posted 2
reactions, apiece. On the other hand, participants, such as Osi, Nya, Bo, Ema,
and La posted no reactions.
5. The Discussion
5.1 AntConc, Keyword Frequencies, Concordance, and Concordance Plots
For the assignment question, students were required to “Read chapter 16 of the
prescribed book (from page 224) and summarize the developmental stages of
religion in your own words”, and “Compare and contrast a theocratic
government with a democratic government”. The results demonstrated that the
students used similar key themes (become, cult, members, religion, and sect), but in
a rhizomatic manner. The rhizomatic frequencies of the identified key themes
indicated that religion and cult were used differently at the end of each
concordance spectrum. The highest key theme, religion, was used almost in the
same manner in 11 of the assignment responses. However, it displayed
†
All the names assigned to participants are pseudonyms.
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rhizomatic variations of use in each assignment response. For example, it was
used mostly in text files 01 and 92, but in different paragraphs that portrayed
rhizomatic patterns of usage in each text file. In the identified text files, religion
was used to explain how cults became religion, stages/types of religion, as well
as modernity.
This was evident in the interconnectivity displayed across multiple text files. In
contrast, the key theme, cult, was used almost identically in different
paragraphs. It was also shown that the rhizomatic frequencies of the key theme,
cult, were largely evident in text files 20 (n= 5 hits) and 31 (n = 4 hits). By
contrast, cult was used to explain the process of becoming religious, which is
dependent on a number of followers, in order to affirm a religion’s status.
Although the writing samples demonstrated that students used similar key
themes, nonetheless, their use of such key themes differed in each sample; and
this was evident in the concordance plot, and in the rhizomatic frequencies
visualized in Figure 3.
A considerable number of studies have been conducted, in which AntConc was
used to investigate the lexical bundles and/or phraseology in the written tasks,
and to compare the writing patterns of native and non-native speakers of
English. Three of these studies are those of Yazıcı and Çıraklı (2019), Ulfa and
Muthalib (2020), and Zhang and Pan (2020). These studies have investigated the
writing patterns in student writing, even though they did not do so from a
rhizomatic perspective.
For example, Yazıcı and Çıraklı (2019) examined writers’ linguistic preferences
and their use of repeated verbal cues in their written texts. They discovered that
the play Come and Go had a prevalence of proper nouns and words that referred
to a human body. In addition, they found that the word silence, left and right
were highly repeated.
Zhang and Pan’s (2020) study compared the keywords generated by WordCloud
and TF-IDF-LDA investigated the sentiments of the abstracts generated by
SnowNLP and TextBlob, which were verified by the use of AntConc. They also
examined whether authorial interactions could be improved by self-mentions.
They found that the keywords generated by these software programs were
reliable. Furthermore, according to Zhang and Pan (2020), high-frequency words
together with keywords can lead to finding the key information in a text; and
these could help writers produce keywords for their papers. Even though the
three studies cited here did not investigate any rhizomatic patterns in their
respective areas of focus, the major similarities between them and the current
study is that they are all advancing the idea that there are variations in students’
academic writing.
Another study, which advances the same notion of rhizomatic learning is that of
Bozkurt et al. (2016). This study contends that learning in a networked
environment serves as a springboard to “rhizomatic-learning practices” (p. 20);
and it also accommodates “nomadic learners” (p. 8).
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5.2 AntMover and Structural Moves
The rhizomatic structural moves portrayed by AntMover, which were discovered
during the analysis of the 13 assignment responses, were as follows:
• Announcing principal findings.
• Making topic generalisations.
• Announcing present research.
The results revealed that even though students used similar structural moves in
their responses to the assignment question, nevertheless, the rhizomatic
occurrence frequencies of such structural moves differed in each text file.
Announcing the principal findings (Class 10) was the highest-used class (n = 30
occurrences) that was apparent in the responses to the assignment. However, it
was used in the rhizomatic variations in each case. It enjoyed the highest
rhizomatic usage (5 occurrences) in text file 31. In contrast, it displayed a variant
rhizomatic usage (2 times) in text files (20, 48, 51, 69, 92, 77, and 01).
The extreme end of the results reflected the other variables’ usage of Class 10
that was portrayed in text files (95, 78, and 79). Furthermore, the results showed
that Class 9 (announcing the present research) was the least-used class in the
responses to the assignment question. This class was used in three rhizomatic
instances (files 91, 69, and 01) in all the responses. The rhizomatic patterns in
student writing in relation to Class 9 demonstrated that some of the students did
not support their essays with current research. Again, this showed that some
students employed different approaches to writing their essays; some used their
lived experiences, whilst others depended on research only.
Some of the studies conducted on rhizomatic structural moves that have used
AntMover, have mainly focused on the writing of abstracts for research articles.
Examples here are Abarghooeinezhad and Simin (2015), Bhatti et al. (2019), and
Gustina (2020). In contrast, other studies have focused on either structural
moves related to the findings and discussion sections (Alvi et al., 2017; Lubis,
2020), introductions in research articles (Pashapour et al., 2018; Pendar & Cotos,
2008), or conclusions in the research papers (Zamani & Ebadi, 2016). As in the
previous section, most of these studies did not adopt a rhizomatic perspective in
the manner in which the current study did. However, they, too, argued for
variable writing patterns that were evident in the written samples.
For instance, Gustina’s (2020) study investigated the rhetorical moves and
linguistic features in thesis abstracts and research-article abstracts written by
undergraduate students. The study found variations in the manner in which
undergraduate students wrote their theses and research-article abstracts. It
further observed that Move 3, referred to as the Method, was the most prevalent
move used in both of the written samples. In addition, the study discovered that
students who participated in it often excluded Move 5 (Conclusion) in their
written samples. Further observations in Gustina’s (2020) study indicate that no
move was obligatory, except Move 1 (Introduction) and Move 3 (Method),
which reached obligatory status. Alvi et al. (2017) studied the structural moves
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of a sub-genre prevalent in the discussion section of Pakistani research
oscholars’ doctoral theses registered in Education, Economics, Geography,
Sociology, Statistics and Psychology. They found that no structural move was
obligatory. For instance, two moves (Findings – Move 3 and Recommendation –
Move 9) were highly frequent or had a 66% occurrence frequency, each. Move 6
(Explanation) followed closely with 60%, Move 5 (Previous research), and Move
8 (Limitations) had a 56% occurrence frequency. The lowest move that was
recorded was that of Move 4 (Unexpected outcome), which had a 30%
occurrence frequency.
5.3 AntConc and Linking Adverbials
The results showed the rhizomatic mapping and manifestation of linking
adverbials across the 13 responses to the assignment. It was demonstrated that
two additive-linking adverbials (also and that) were used twice. Also was used
twice in text file 69; and that appeared twice in text files 31 and 69. Four causal
linking adverbials (consequently, otherwise, then, and therefore) were identified.
Then produced the most rhizomatic frequencies, appearing twice in text file 20,
and, once in text files 92, 67, 31, 48, and 78. However, therefore occurred once in
text file 51, and first also featured once in text file 78. Overall, the findings,
therefore, indicated that students used additive and causal linking adverbials
more frequently than other types of linking adverbials.
A significant number of studies have been conducted, in which AntConc has
been used to reveal the linking adverbials prevalent in the written samples.
Among these studies are Bikelienė’s (2017), Diamante’s (2020), Dutra’s et al.
(2017), and Karatay’s (2019) studies. In Karatay’s (2019) study, it was found that
students tend to use linking adverbials more often in timed essays than in
untimed essays. This study also discovered that students used fewer linking
adverbials under the sequential and additive linking adverbials. In addition, it
found that adversative linking adverbial, nevertheless, appeared with the
frequency of 0.08 on timed versus the frequency of 0.19 on untimed essays.
Moreover, the study discovered that causal linking of the adverbial, consequently,
scored 0.7 on timed versus 0.11 on untimed essays.
5.4 myUnisa’s ODF and MS Teams’ Interactions
As pointed out in the results section, student interactions in relation to
myUnisa’s ODF manifested five key rhizomatic themes in their posts: assignment,
good, find, results, and MCQ. Among these, assignment ranked highly, followed
by results. By contrast, in Chaka and Nkhobo’s (2019) study, it was found that
the instructor was more active than the students; since he was the one asking
more questions, which were intended to guide the students to the correct
answers. In a different, but related context, Bagarinao’s (2015) study found that
students portrayed different patterns in their online interactions. Similarly, the
study conducted by Estacio and Raga Jr. (2017) discovered that students
presented different online interactions.
In respect of MS Teams, the results showed the participants with the most, least,
and zero rhizomatic posts. Onah et al. (2014) discovered that the use of online
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forums encouraged students to participate in such forums and contributed
towards their academic success. The same can be said in the study conducted by
Buchal and Songsore (2019). This study recorded positive reactions by students
when the MS Teams was used for teaching and learning purposes. It also found
that the majority of students had fewer difficulties, when making use of this
online platform.
6. Conclusions
When student writing samples were analysed in terms of keywords (e.g., key
themes) by using the software applications employed in this study, varying
rhizomatic patterns were detected in the students’ text files. This was in terms of
keyword frequencies, concordance, and concordance plots of the keywords used
in these writing samples that were subjected to AntMover. For instance, the
keyword frequencies of key themes, such as religion and cult, showed that these
two key themes were used differently at the end of each concordance spectrum,
thereby underscoring their varying rhizomatic patterns of usage in their
respective text files.
With reference to structural moves, the analysis demonstrated that while
students employed similar structural moves in their responses to the
assignment, but the rhizomatic occurrence frequencies of these structural moves
differed in each text file. Concerning linking adverbials, it emerged that additive
and causal linking adverbials were used rhizomatically more than the other
types of linking adverbials, such as adversatives. Furthermore, online student
interactions on both myUnisa’s ODF and MS Teams were visualized
rhizomatically. Therefore, it is clear that online student-engagement patterns, of
whatever type and nature, can also be represented in rhizomatic visualizations,
as was the case with this study.
7. Recommendations and Limitations
The findings of this study underscore the importance of investigating and
analysing students’ writing not only from linear models, but also from non-
linear perspectives, such as a rhizomatic approach. They also underline the
significance of leveraging the affordances offered by student writing analysis
technologies, such as AntConc, AntMover, and Gephi, which were employed in
this study. This is more so, firstly, since the HE sector across the globe seems to
be a melting pot of cultures and traditions in terms of its student populations.
Secondly, this is even more evident; as the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic
is forcing HEIs to pivot more than ever than before; in order to facilitate online
teaching and learning.
The first manifest limitation of this study is the fewer student-writing samples
that were used. This makes the findings non-generalizable, but, rather, context-
bound. The second limitation of the study is that it is module-bound: its findings
relate to the module, which is being investigated. But even then, its findings only
apply to the writing practices of the students, who volunteered to participate in
it, even though instances abound, in which one student’s writing practices are
investigated. The third limitation is that the results are technology-bound: the
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results are based on the datasets that were generated through AntConc,
AntMover, Gephi, and MS Power BI as the specific technologies that were
employed in this study. Therefore, anyone who is not able to utilize these
technologies may not be able to assess the student-writing approach used in the
study.
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©Author
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0
International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Vol. 20, No. 10, pp. 23-41, October 2021
https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.20.10.2
Received June 26, 2021; Revised Sep 27, 2021; Accepted Oct 15, 2021
Quality is Never an Accident: A Survey on the Total
Quality-Management Practices amongst Selected
Higher Education Institutions in the Philippines
Glenn S. Cabacang, DBA
De La Salle - College of St. Benilde / Polytechnic University of the Philippines -
College of Business Administration Graduate Studies / Ascendens Asia
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9963-3128
Abstract. Total Quality Management (TQM) is regarded as a gauge of
university management, in order to maintain global standards. This study
examined Total Quality-Management (TQM) implementation and the
practices of higher education institutions in the Philippines. It utilized a
cross-sectional survey-study design to 347 respondents recruited from the
total population of 3847 administrators and academic members of nine
selected institutions in the Philippines. The measure of TQM adoption
and practices was extracted from several sources of previous TQM
researches. This study was done for six months. The analyzation and
interpretation of the data were done by using descriptive and inferential
statistics. The results indicated that participating Filipino HEIs had a high
degree of adoption on top-management commitment, Teaching and
Learning Delivery Modes, campus amenities, system and process
management, customer satisfaction, and linkages. In contrast, the HEIs
have a modest degree of acceptance in strategic planning and Data
Management. The test of differences indicated that strong confirmation
to top management commitment and strategic planning as indicators of
TQM is significantly more evident in private-type HEIs; and it was placed
at the university level, when compared to those of the provincial and
national HEIs. The findings provide some practical implications to further
enhance Filipino HEIs in the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Keywords: Total Quality Management; TQM; Higher Education
Institutions; practices; Philippines; survey; High-Quality Education
1. Introduction
Changes may happen exceptionally and rapidly in the current corporate world.
Throughout the framework of global competitiveness in the economic
environment, companies have to adapt, in order to cope with the quick changes
correctly. The colleges and higher education institutions have three major
responsibilities in the education sector: instruction, research, and community
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service (Ellahi et al., 2019). The Total Quality Management (TQM) of university
education provides a clear commitment that should mobilize institutions,
improve employee engagement, or enhance nearly any system that it includes
(Aminbeidokhti et al., 2016, Psomas & Antony, 2017, Sahney, 2016). With this
urgent problem, higher education institutions of the globe place their priorities
and plans on their framework and shape TQM practices (Khan et al., 2019,
Manatos et al., 2017, Mendes & Dias, 2018, Arcinas, 2021, Sabarre et al., 2021,
Charernnit et al., 2021, De Souza et al., 2021).
Total quality-management (TQM) is regarded as a new organizational philosophy
that depends on a lot of modern views and theories, based on a mix of
conventional managerial methods, creative initiatives, and advanced technical
knowledge, in order to increase performance, and also to achieve continuous
improvement (Li et al., 2018, Psomas & Anthony, 2017, Magulod, 2019, Nuncio et
al, 2020, Rocha & Arcinas, 2020, Do et al., 2017, Fundin et al., 2018, Tolentino &
Arcinas, 2020, Arcinas et al., 2020). TQM impacts educational institutions, and
they are expected to boost returns, in order to become productive, profitable, and
client-oriented, in order to improve their competitiveness (Grudzień & Hamrol,
2016).
TQM is a procedure that can assist in this educational progress. It is a theory of
continuous development that may provide various skills and analytical resources
that should satisfy the needs and the expectations of any higher education
institution (Shams & Belyaeva, 2019, Tasopoulou & Tsiotras, 2017, De Vincenzi et
al., 2018, Magulod, 2017). Within the new global economy, which is marked by
accelerated technological transition, intensive knowledge transfers and increasing
competition through the elimination of trade barriers and commerce, the
universities around the world are compelled to gradually evolve as enterprises
that are guided by the competitive necessity of market mechanisms, despite the
common issues and problems that they all have to face (Baptista et al., 2019, Brint,
2019, Costandi et al., 2019, Taylor et al., 2019).
In this era of transition, it has become essential for a university to enhance its
ability to adapt to its environment through ground-breaking approaches and
professional academic leadership. The literature on the TQM analysis of higher
education is based mainly on psychology or on the behavioural sciences, and less
on administration and management as a whole (Carvalho, 2011, Dias, 2015,
Pennock et al., 2015). Performance issues in HEIs include: instruction, study,
facilities, and basic strategies (Cardoso et al., 2016, Stensaker et al., 2011). Studies
on quality management have affirmed a positive relationship between quality-
management practices and competitive advantage (Brem et al., 2016, Delery &
Roumpi, 2017, Elshaer & Augustyn, 2016, O’Neill et al., 2016, Ross, 2017).
The quality management of higher education institutions is reflected in the
following indicators, namely top-management commitment, strategic planning,
customer satisfaction, data management, system and operational management,
infrastructure, the teaching and learning-delivery systems, and on the linkages
(Abbas, 2020, Abu Amuna et al., 2017, Arda et al., 2019, Bromiley & Rau, 2016,
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Deshpande, 2020, Mahdi et al., 2019, Ross, 2017, Ruben, 2018, Saiz-Alvarez, 2020,
Shams & Belyaeva, 2019, Tatoglu et al., 2020, Yu et al., 2020).
As to the research context, Filipino higher education has undergone a drastic
increase. Depicting the fast growth of the higher education system, quality
management is currently becoming a key focus in many countries throughout the
last decade (Liu & Liu, 2017). With this background, several attempts have been
made to establish efficient quality-management systems for university education.
It is, therefore, essential to analyse such quality-assurance systems that are being
applied among the Philippine universities. Although there is a plethora of studies
relating to TQM, most of the research projects have been preliminary, theoretical,
and conceptual, whether concentrating on adapting the strategies of management
of tertiary institutions, or by incorporating the expertise from other countries
(Aljuhani, 2019, Alzafari & Kratzer, 2019, Cudney et al., 2020, Kumar et al., 2018,
Murmura et al., 2016, Nurcahyo et al., 2019, Olcay & Bulu, 2017, Wen et al., 2018).
Some of the TQM studies were found to be relating to business firms, such as
foods and non-food manufacturing and production (Cho et al., 2017, Ding et al.,
2019, Florkowski & Jiang, 2017, Kong et al., 2016, Liao et al., 2018). Among the
studies conducted that relate to TQM among universities is that of Song (2018),
who identified the strategies and the impacts of a world-class research university.
It was reported that linking and institutional policies on international students are
those TQM factors required to achieved world-class Filipino universities. At the
same time, Yan et al. (2019) considered the TQM synergy and collaboration among
universities and enterprises. Meanwhile, Wang (2019) recommended using UK
and Filipino quality-assurance systems in one university, as the factor of TQM.
Hou et al. (2018) attempted to develop an internal quality-assurance mechanism
for universities in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and South Korea. They
reported that external quality-assurance approaches should comply with
international certification, validation, and global credentialing.
Previously, Filipino institutions concentrated mainly on quality assurance by
implementing the whole idea of quality management. Hence, this study
investigates the quality-management systems of Filipino higher education
institutions. In this study, the gap in the literature has been addressed by
performing a cross-sectional survey on adopting the eight TQM criteria among
the selected institutions in the Philippines. This study gives administrators and
faculty members the much-needed practical consequences they require, in order
to extend their knowledge on the ongoing improvement of the TQM ideas. The
selected higher education institutions would also gain from the inputs into this
analysis, for their strategy and policy creation and execution of the development
plan concerned, together with a constant improvement of the TQM concept.
Objectives of the Study
This study has generally aimed to ascertain Total Quality Management (TQM)
among the selected universities in the Philippines. Accordingly, it specifically
aims to answer the following research questions: (1) What is the level of TQM
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adoption of the Select Filipino Universities in the eight areas? (2) Is there a
significant difference in TQM adoption, when grouped, according to the types of
the selected HEIs?
2. The Method
The Research Design
The study is a descriptive cross-sectional survey research project, which
investigates the level of adoption and the practices of the HEIs in the TQM areas.
The self-reported cross-sectional survey design was used to collect the data from
the respondents. The use of a cross-sectional survey has been a form of
observational study, which examines the information from a community or from
a sample group at a specific point in time (Bryman, 2006, Coughlan et al., 2007,
Nardi, 2018).
The Research Participants, Sampling Procedure, and Ethical Considerations
The respondents of the survey comprise 347 samples from the total population of
3847 administrators and the academic members of nine selected institutions in the
Philippines. A list of institutions was acquired from the data repository of the
Commission on Higher Education. To allow more accessible access to the
respondents, the poll was performed via an online survey. In addition, the
security elements of the online study were added, such as providing a security
code to responding institutions, in order to avoid anybody who could just fill out
the survey.
The major respondents of the survey were the administrators and the faculty
members. The inquiry started in June 2019; and it finished in August 2019. Two
stages of the survey were utilized, and a total of 347 questionnaires were gathered.
Since these might not necessarily be significant, the representation of the
respondents was appropriate and extremely inclusive, as a result of the use of a
multi-stage stratified-sampling technique, in which the stages were based on the
findings of Breslow and Weiss (2018). Raosoft was used to calculate the sampling
size for a 347-item collection with a 5% margin of error, a 95% degree of
confidence, and a 50% response distribution.
The online software from Raosoft was accessed via the following URL:
http://www.raosoft.com/samplesize.html. Raosoft's sampling package offers
power values for a given sample size and alpha level, thereby allowing for the
evasion of Type I and Type II mistakes (Cuenca-Amigo & Makua, 2017, Wilson,
2016).
Table 1 presents the frequency and the percentage representation of the samples.
As regards the types of HEIs, the majority of the completed online questionnaires
were sourced from provincial HEIs (37%), followed by National HEIs (32%), and
the private HEIs (30%). This investigation was guided by the following ethical
issues. Initially, the university's ethics committee approved the data privacy and
the informed consent forms, and, in order to maintain the respondents' and
institution's confidentiality, no names were mentioned.
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Table 1. Distribution of Samples
Variables Category Frequency
Distribution
(n=347)
Percentage
Distribution (%)
Types of HEIs National 112 32
Provincial 130 37
Private 105 30
The Research Instruments
The measure of TQM Adoption and practices
The standard of TQM adoption and that of the methodologies was lifted from
diverse sources of previous TQM research. It focuses on the eight aspects of TQM
(Yaakub & Samsudin, 2019). The 72 elements were adapted from previous studies
noting, however, that TQM has different meanings. The eight areas were namely:
the top-management’s commitment (Vouzas & Psychogios, 2007), which
consisted of items 1-9, strategic planning (Hu et al., 2018), for details 10-18,
customer satisfaction (Bouranta et al., 2017) for details 19-27, data management
(Yusr et al., 2017) items 28-36, system and process management (Suarez et al.,
2016) contains the item numbers 45-54, teaching and learning (Martínez-Caro et
al., 2015) for the items 55-63, and Benchmark (Sweis et al., 2016) for the questions
64-72. The instrument has a calculated Cronbach-alpha coefficient of 0.83.
The Procedure
Generally, this study was done for six months. The procedure of obtaining study
data lasted for three months. Before the formal gathering time, the authority's
consent and authorization to perform the study was requested of the Commission
on Higher Education. The second week began with the issuance of a notice to
proceed with the research. After acquiring the proper authorization, the
researcher identified the respondents by using the inclusive criteria stated in this
study. Then, the design and the creation of a questionnaire, which will be
uploaded online, were done. The researcher properly followed the ethical
research considerations. After gathering the students' replies, they were coded
and submitted to data cleaning and statistical analysis for one month. Finally, the
findings’ analysis, interpretation, and report-writing were done for another
month.
The Data Analysis
To evaluate the study's quantitative findings, basic descriptive statistics, such as
frequency count, percentage distribution, weighted mean, and standard deviation
were employed, in order to understand correctly the sample background of the
respondents. The descriptive statistical results of the TQM were attained, by using
the five-point Likert scale. These were interpreted with the scale range and
description: Strongly Agree/ Very High a (4.20-5.00), Agree/ High b (3.40-4.19),
Undecided/ Moderate c (2.60-3.39), Disagree/ Low d (1.80-2.59), strongly
Disagree/ Very Low e (1.00-1.79). Moreover, inferential statistics, such as the one-
way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used to examine the differences in the
adoption of the practice of TQM. The Post Hoc Tukey Honest Significant
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Difference (HSD) test was used to assess whether the significant differences in the
respondents’ TQM adoption and practices were taken into consideration; since
this would tell exactly where the differences are to be found (Abdi & Williams,
2010).
3. The Results
Research Question 1. What is the level of TQM adoption of the Select Filipino
Universities in the eight areas?
Table 2 shows the level of adoption of the eight TQM areas identified in the study,
and that the select HEIs have a high level of TQM adoption, as demonstrated by
the grand mean of 3.96. It is also worth noting that they routinely receive a high
degree of approval from top-management’s dedication (M=4.12, SD=.966),
Teaching and Learning Delivery Modes (M=4.12, SD=0.75), campus facilities
(M=4.24, SD=0.865), system and process management (M=4.12, SD=0.894),
customer satisfaction (M=3.48, SD= 0.959), and linkages (M=4.10, SD=0.456). In
contrast, the HEIs have a moderate level of adoption on strategic planning
(M=3.37, SD=0.867) and Data Management (M=3.36, SD=0.910).
Table 2. Level of Adoption on the Different Areas of TQM
Areas Mean
(n=347)
SD Descriptive
Interpretation
Level of
Adoption
Top Management
Commitment
4.12 0.966 Agree High
Strategic Planning 3.37 0.867 Undecided Moderate
Customer Satisfaction
Focus
3.48 0.959 Agree High
Data Management 3.36 0.910 Undecided Moderate
System and Processes
Management
4.12 0.894 Agree High
Campus Facilities 4.24 0.865 Agree High
Teaching and Learning
Delivery Modalities
4.12 0.754 Agree High
Benchmarking 4.10 0.456 Agree High
Grand Mean 3.86 Agree High
Legend: Strongly Agree/ Very High a (4.20-5.00), Agree/ High b (3.40-4.19), Undecided/ Moderate
c (2.60-3.39), Disagree/ Low d (1.80-2.59), strongly Disagree/ Very Low e (1.00-1.79)
The high level of the assessment provided to top management’s commitment
revealed that the Filipino HEIs had positive leadership aspects, which comprise
the administration in respect of quality-management principles. This implies that
the upper management of the different HEIs have active leadership and
participation in developing and maintaining consumer attention, defining and
providing ideas, principles, objectives consistently, as well as high expectations,
and a governance structure that would encourage the consistency of the results.
They are capable of highlighting the fact that the internal systems and
organizational practices influence students and staff, as well as the population
and the creation of connections with business, stakeholders, and the public in
general.
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Marin et al. (2019), in their study on the framework of quality management,
reported that management and leadership are predictors of TQM. Previous
studies have reported similar findings that quality assurance includes the four
primary parameters of quality assurance: human competence, process & method
competence, conceptual and experiential competence (Chen et al., 2020, Clay-
Williams et al., 2020, Johansson & Wallo, 2019, Teoman & Ulengin, 2018, Tiwari &
Kumar Sharma, 2017). Consequently, management leadership is an important
factor of TQM.
Meanwhile, university facilities have been scored high by the respondents,
demonstrating thereby that the HEIs have high esteem in the prevision of
convenience among students and other stakeholders, notably the students. The
conclusion suggests that the HEIs must see to it that they place their priorities on
the growth of school services and education, as well as on the learning facilities.
The academic institution is provided with a range of services, including a library,
a lecture theatre, a cafeteria, a student hostel, and many more. Similarly, campus
amenities are the infrastructure supplied by the university that may bring comfort
and convenience to university students and to the staff. This category outlines the
amenities provided and delivered by the firms to their internal or external
clientele.
Studies have indicated that these facilities are regarded as the indications of TQM
among colleges, which is a factor that influences customers loyalty and service
quality (Kasiri et al., 2017, Meesala & Paul, 2018, Nyadzayo & Khajehzadeh, 2016.
Successively, the Filipino HEIs also ranked their system and process management
as the TQM indications being high, thereby suggesting that they can recognise the
possible features of systems integration, such as students’ curriculum design,
instructional implementation, program, and business operations. They have a
high estimation of how the critical process is intended to be creative, efficiently
regulated, and to be continuously enhanced. This specifies students’ performance
and improvement via the utilization of essential processes and metrics.
This topic outlines the cycle of institutional help and tactical preparation for
economic management and planning, in order to increase operational efficiency.
Previous studies have confirmed that institutional processes and systems are the
bridging factors towards TQM (Ferdousi et al., 2018, Helleno, 2017, Suarez et al.,
2016).
In a similar way, high appraisal has been provided to the customers’ satisfaction
focus by the HEIs. This area indicates that the HEIs may establish how the
universities recognise the expectations, requirements, wants, and preferences of
learners, partners, and the industrial emphasis. This includes establishing the
multiple metrics of success, as well as how these goals may be met. The HEIs can
also adopt various indications of progress, which would be created on the basis
of the teaching-quality polls, school meetings and discussion meetings, business
needs or feedback surveys, and the assessment of learning and teaching efficacy.
It further examines how higher education develops relationships with the
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students and with the stakeholders; and it identifies the essential elements that
attract talent and provide them to the advantage of students and stakeholders.
Previous studies also showed that there is a structural relationship between TQM
practices and customer satisfaction (Chen et al., 2017, Lee et al., 2010, Moreno‐
Luzon et al., 2013, Ooi et al., 2013, Phan et al., 2011).
Moreover, the teaching and learning modes were evaluated as being high by the
HEI respondents, demonstrating the great importance of instruction, as a
collaborative activity of the students and the instructors. They created a high
conviction that learning is a circle of interaction among teachers and learners; so
that the knowledge and awareness mastering process could occur. The provision
of teaching and learning is an activity that involves the exchange of information
between teachers and undergraduates, which is performed elsewhere. This
indicator describes the systems of learning and teaching done inside an
institution. The range of learning modes should help the school. Studies suggest
that teachers and students are the advocates of TQM, where quality standards
start in the classroom (Baig et al., 2015, Bunglowala & Asthana, 2016, Chen et al.,
2017, Rampa, 2010, Shroff, 2019).
Benchmarking, as a TQM indicator, has been evaluated highly by the HEIs,
demonstrating thereby that they are capable of coping with the dynamic changes
effectively. In this event, the educational establishment compares its facilities and
activities with those of their commercial colleagues, in order to increase the level
of efficiency via benchmarking. To meet the market’s needs constantly, higher
education institutions have to evaluate their programs and methods by assessing
their major counterparts in the same sector, as well as in any other sectors that
employ the same technique. Benchmarking has been regarded as an essential
factor of TQM among HEIs in the world (Al-Zoubi, 2012, Kern Pipan et al., 2014,
Levy & Ronco, 2012, Rolstadås, 2012, Sweis et al., 2015).
Furthermore, the HEIs also exhibited a modest level of adoption of strategic
planning and data management, as the markers of TQM. The conclusion shows
that the HIEs cannot reach the best practice of effective strategic management and
data management, as indicators of TQM. Strategic planning outlines how the
institution sets out its future orientation and establishes its strategic goals, in order
to guide and increase the quality of all organizations. This category further
indicates how well the organization transforms strategic objectives into risk
assessments; and how the institution works out a series of strategic goals and
plans, at all stages of the institution. Effective strategic management improves the
implementation of TQM among HIEs (Bromiley & Rau, 2014, Calvo-Mora et al.,
2014, Chen et al., 2017, Moldovan, 2012, Rahimnia & Kargozar, 2016).
The moderate degree of data-management practice of the HEIs, demonstrates that
they have a satisfactory technique of knowledge management, as an element of
TQM. Data-management elements and expertise should define the execution and
the efficiency of data usage, and the necessary resources needed to enhance the
overall task-related success and excellence. Furthermore, it should assure the
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security and the availability of both the key information needed for day-to-day
general administration. This should, therefore, concentrate on evaluating the facts
and the information, as well as reacting effectively and efficiently to the
circumstances (Calvo-Mora et al., 2015, Chang et al., 2011, Corredor & Goñi, 2011,
Mehralian et al., 2013, Roldán et al., 2012, Valmohammadi & Roshanzamir, 2015).
In general, the study showed that the participating Filipino HEIs have a high level
of adoption on top management’s commitment, Teaching and Learning Delivery
Modes, campus facilities, system and process management, customer satisfaction,
and linkages. In contrast, the HEIs have only a moderate level of adoption in
strategic planning and in Data Management.
Research Question 2. Is there a significant difference in TQM adoption, when
grouped according to the types and the levels of the select HEIs?
Table 3 shows the test of the differences in the practice and adoption of TQM when
grouped, according to the types and levels of the HEIs. When taken to the types
of HEIs, significant differences showed in top management’s commitment
(p=0.00**) and strategic planning (p=0.004**). It shows that the national and
private HEIs have better adoption and practices on top management’s
commitment and strategic planning than do the Philippines' other counterparts.
Consequently, as to the levels of HEIs, strategic planning (P=0.000***) and high
management commitment (p=0.046*) were seen to be significant. Consequently,
this study showed a considerable difference in the level of adoption and the
practices on TQM, when grouped, according to the types and standards used by
the select universities.
Table 3. Test of Differences on the adoption of TQM, when grouped according to the
Types and Levels of HEIs
Areas Types Levels
Top Management’s Commitment 0.000** 0.046 *
Strategic Planning 0.004** 0.000 **
Customer Satisfaction 0.543 ns 0.768 ns
Data Management 0.897ns 0.765 ns
System and Processes Management 0.123ns 0.768 ns
Campus Facilities 0.459ns 0.476 ns
Teaching and Learning Delivery
Modalities
0.343 ns 0.344 ns
Benchmark 0.567 ns 0.176 ns
Note: * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.00
ns= not significant
The results suggest that national HEIs and their university status level
demonstrated more vital acceptance and practices to TQM. Hence, this study
provides practical suggestions for Filipino HEIs to improve their implementation
of TQM further. In the framework of this study, four elements have been
discovered to spelling variations in the adoption of TQM, including strategic
planning, data management, teaching and learning-delivery styles, as well as
benchmarking. These criteria have been identified for participating in significant
32
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colleges in the Philippines. Their significant attention on these issues has
contributed to their quality-management structure.
Looking at the context of top management’s commitment, as a component of TQM
that is favoured by the private colleges in the Philippines, Calvo-Mora et al. (2014)
stated that leadership is an essential element in the success of TQM. Therefore,
management should demonstrate its dedication via effective resource-allocation,
in order to support the fulfilment of all the procedural goals and of the
development thereof. Haffer and Kristensen (2010) emphasised that management
is liable for the engagement and involvement of all their employees; and,
consequently, management must encourage workers to engage in outcome-
making, and to improve their operations.
In summary, the right direction of human capital should influence the
appropriate execution and the development of the organization's operations,
leading to improved outcomes. Likewise, strategic management should also be
developed as a significant topic to be examined by universities on their TQM
application. This study has indicated that Private HEIs are innovative and
intervention-oriented; and they need to establish a proper balance throughout the
strategic planning process. Compared to their public counterparts, Filipino
private HEIs feel that profit-making comprises a part of their motivation.
Filipino private colleges were primarily supported by their tuition fees, rather
than via government money or charity contributions. As a result, private
institutions depend more on customers’ (students’) experiences in their strategic
planning, due to financial differences. Hayhoe et al. (2012) affirmed that the
managers in private institutions are, therefore, distinct from their specified-term
equivalents in public institutions, given that they often view the organization as
their lifetime enterprise; and they, consequently, have a greater sense of purpose.
Moreover, strategic planning is an important performance indicator of HEIs,
when TQM is taken into consideration (Li, 2012, Mok & Jiang,2016, Yonezawa et
al., 2016).
4. Conclusion
This study has examined the implementation of Total Quality Management
(TQM), as well as the practices of selected higher education institutions in the
Philippines. It has utilized a cross-sectional survey-research approach with a total
of 347 respondents. The results have indicated that the participating Filipino HEIs
have had a high degree of adoption on the commitment of top management,
Teaching and Learning Delivery Modes, campus amenities, system and process
management, customer satisfaction, and linkages. In contrast, the HEIs have a
modest degree of acceptance in strategic planning and Data Management. A test
of the differences indicates that the strong confirmation to top management’s
commitment and strategic planning, as indicators of TQM, is significantly more
evidential to private type HEIs and those placed at the university level, when
compared to those of the provincial and national HEIs.
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The findings provide some practical implications to further enhance Filipino HEIs
in the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Practical Teaching and Learning Implications
The results of this study indicate numerous implications for the policies and the
practices among higher educational institutions in the globe, in general, and the
Filipino environment in particular. Firstly, there is a need to enhance further the
Filipino institutions' strategic planning and their data-management skills, in order
to get the maximum advantages of the Total Quality-Management (TQM)
techniques. Secondly, partnerships with private HEIs could facilitate learning
more about their management commitment and strategic framework. This is a
strong foundation for other Filipino HEIs on which to embark. It was discovered
that private HEIs place a high priority on these characteristics.
Thirdly, the universities should become more dynamic and adaptive to changes,
in order to cope with the difficulties of Education 4.0 effectively. Fourthly, there
is a need for Filipino HEIs to become more flexible and inventive in the following
areas: top management’s commitment, Teaching, and Learning Delivery Modes,
campus amenities, system and process management, customer satisfaction, and
connections, in order to become successful. They should be able to assist in
creating new ideas to adapt to the ever-changing environment of university
education in the Philippines.
Limitations and a Future-Research Direction
As with any research, this has some constraints and limitations. Future study
should, therefore, expand upon this approach, by repeating the procedure across
other types of institutions. A sampling approach of responses from a vast number
of colleges would decrease any bias in the selection process. The study focuses on
the eight aspects of TQM. The development of questions that dive further into the
features of all HEIs in consideration could produce more studies. Alternatively, it
might be helpful to interview those individuals, who have had this institution in
the deciding set; and eventually, they have opted to attend a university. More
study is needed, in order to offer a complete explanation that considers the
comprehension of the various stakeholders.
5. References
Abbas, J. (2020). Impact of total quality management on corporate sustainability through
the mediating effect of knowledge management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 244,
118806.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959652619336765
Abdi, H., & Williams, L. J. (2010). Tukey’s honestly significant difference (HSD)
test. Encyclopaedia of research design, 3(1), 1-5.
Abu Amuna, Y. M., Al Shobaki, M. J., Abu-Naser, S. S., & Badwan, J. J. (2017).
Understanding Critical Variables for Customer-Relationship Management in
Higher Education Institutions from Employees’ Perspective.
http://dstore.alazhar.edu.ps/xmlui/handle/123456789/407
Aljuhani, A. (2019). Challenges to Successful Total Quality-Management (TQM)
Implementation in Saudi Higher Education Institutions. Indiana State University.
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IJLTER.ORG Vol 20 No 10 October 2021

  • 1. International Journal of Learning, Teaching And Educational Research p-ISSN: 1694-2493 e-ISSN: 1694-2116 IJLTER.ORG Vol.20 No.10
  • 2. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research (IJLTER) Vol. 20, No. 10 (October 2021) Print version: 1694-2493 Online version: 1694-2116 IJLTER International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research (IJLTER) Vol. 20, No. 10 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically those of translation, reprinting, re-use of illustrations, broadcasting, reproduction by photocopying machines or similar means, and storage in data banks. Society for Research and Knowledge Management
  • 3. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal which has been established for the dissemination of state-of-the-art knowledge in the fields of learning, teaching and educational research. Aims and Objectives The main objective of this journal is to provide a platform for educators, teachers, trainers, academicians, scientists and researchers from over the world to present the results of their research activities in the following fields: innovative methodologies in learning, teaching and assessment; multimedia in digital learning; e-learning; m-learning; e-education; knowledge management; infrastructure support for online learning; virtual learning environments; open education; ICT and education; digital classrooms; blended learning; social networks and education; e- tutoring: learning management systems; educational portals, classroom management issues, educational case studies, etc. Indexing and Abstracting The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is indexed in Scopus since 2018. The Journal is also indexed in Google Scholar and CNKI. All articles published in IJLTER are assigned a unique DOI number.
  • 4. Foreword We are very happy to publish this issue of the International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research. The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal committed to publishing high-quality articles in the field of education. Submissions may include full-length articles, case studies and innovative solutions to problems faced by students, educators and directors of educational organisations. To learn more about this journal, please visit the website http://www.ijlter.org. We are grateful to the editor-in-chief, members of the Editorial Board and the reviewers for accepting only high quality articles in this issue. We seize this opportunity to thank them for their great collaboration. The Editorial Board is composed of renowned people from across the world. Each paper is reviewed by at least two blind reviewers. We will endeavour to ensure the reputation and quality of this journal with this issue. Editors of the October 2021 Issue
  • 5. VOLUME 20 NUMBER 10 October 2021 Table of Contents Exploring Instances of Deleuzian Rhizomatic Patterns in Students’ Writing and in Online Student Interactions ...1 Tlatso Nkhobo, Chaka Chaka Quality is Never an Accident: A Survey on the Total Quality-Management Practices amongst Selected Higher Education Institutions in the Philippines .......................................................................................................................... 23 Glenn S. Cabacang Is Robotics Education and Training Gender Dependent? A Suggestive Robotics Syllabus for Teacher Training...42 G S Prakasha, Joseph Varghese Kureethara, Anthony Kenneth, Peter Varkey Muttungal, Trent Grundmeyer A Methodological Analysis for the Development of a Circular-Motion Concept Inventory in a Ugandan Context by Using the Delphi Technique........................................................................................................................................... 61 Kent Robert Kirya, K. K. Mashood, Lakhan Lal Yadav The Significance of Self-directed Learning Readiness, Academic Self-efficacy, and Problem-solving Ability Among Filipino Nursing Students .....................................................................................................................................83 Johnny J. Yao Jr. Cognitive Assessment of Knowledge Consolidation in a Course on the Diagnostic Evaluation of Learning Disorders in Psychology Students......................................................................................................................................95 Guadalupe Elizabeth Morales-Martinez, Yanko Norberto Mezquita-Hoyos, Maria Isolde Hedlefs-Aguilar, Miriam Sanchez- Monroy How to Become Experienced? The Practice of Novice Lecturer Professional Development at A Public University ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 117 Hong Yu, Arnida Abdullah, Soaib Asimiran, Mohd Mokhtar Muhamad Life Sciences Teachers’ Views on Teaching Socio-Scientific Issues in Genetics using an Inquiry Approach......... 133 Portia Ngwenya, Lydia Mavuru The Capability and Social Justice Theories: Developing a Second-Generation Model for Enhancing Epistemological Access in Flood-Prone Schools in Kenya ............................................................................................ 154 Gloria Erima, Felix Maringe Enhancing Vocabulary Memorization and Retention through LMS and MultiEx Game Platforms among Thai Tertiary Students.................................................................................................................................................................173 Woralak Bancha, Nattapong Tongtep Definitional Skills of Learners with and without Developmental Language Disorder............................................. 193 Ifigeneia Dosi, Zoe Gavriilidou, Chrysoula Dourou Teaching 4.0 Competency in Higher Learning Institutions: A Systematic Mapping Review ..................................217 Melor Masdoki, Rosseni Din, Mohd Effendi @ Ewan Mohd. Matore
  • 6. Beyond Play: Conceptualising the Capability of a Good Digital Game to Stimulate Interest in STEM .................. 232 Shahrul Affendi Ishak, Rosseni Din, Umi Azmah Hasran The Students’ Mathematics Communication Skill Performance After GeoGebra-Assisted EPIC-R Learning Implementation................................................................................................................................................................... 256 Mujiasih Mujiasih, Budi Waluyo, Kartono Kartono, Scolastika Mariani Perceptions of Student Teachers on Collaborative Relationships Between University and Inclusive Elementary Schools: A Case Study in Indonesia .................................................................................................................................274 Rasmitadila ., Megan Asri Humaira, Reza Rachmadtullah, Rusi Rusmiati Aliyyah A Visual Pattern of Two Decades of Literature on Mobile Learning: A Bibliometric Analysis ............................... 291 Siti Zuraidah Md Osman, Ro’azeah Md Napeah Effect of Teachers’ Corrective Feedback on Learners’ Oral Accuracy in English Speaking Lessons....................... 313 Huong Thanh Nhac Teacher Training Needs and their Influencing Factors: A Case Study of 13 Chinese Border School Teachers...... 331 Qian Fu, Jiali Yao, Qinyi Tan, Runjin Gui
  • 7. 1 ©Authors This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research Vol. 20, No. 10, pp. 1-22, October 2021 https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.20.10.1 Received Aug 02, 2021; Revised Oct 03, 2021; Accepted Oct 14, 2021 Exploring Instances of Deleuzian Rhizomatic Patterns in Students’ Writing and in Online Student Interactions Tlatso Nkhobo and Chaka Chaka* University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3851-822X https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3558-4141 Abstract. Globally, it is a standard practice to study students’ academic writing by using linear academic-writing models. This study investigated instances of Deleuzian rhizomatic patterns in students’ writing and in online student interactions at an open and distance e- learning (ODeL) institution in South Africa. A convenience sample of 13 students’ paragraph writing samples and of 370 first-year students was used. All the participants were enrolled in a level-one module, ENG1503, in the second semester of 2020. The study followed a mixed- method approach, and utilized AntConc and AntMover to analyse the students’ writing samples, as well as Microsoft Power Business Intelligence (MS Power BI) and Gephi, in order to analyse and visualise online student interactions. When students’ writing samples were analysed in terms of keywords (e.g., key themes) by using the software applications employed in this study, various rhizomatic patterns were detected in the students’ text files. For example, the key-word frequencies of key themes, such as religion and cult, showed that these two key themes were used differently at the end of each concordance spectrum, thereby underscoring their varying rhizomatic patterns of usage in students’ respective text files. Online student interactions on both myUnisa’s ODF and MS Teams were visualized rhizomatically. The findings of this study underscore the importance of investigating and analysing students’ writing – not only from linear models, but also from non-linear perspectives, such as a rhizomatic approach. Additionally, they underline the significance of leveraging the opportunities offered by students’ writing analysis technologies, such as those employed in this study. Keywords: students’ writing; rhizomatic patterns; online student interactions; ODeL institution * Corresponding author: Chaka Chaka, chakachaka8@gmail.com
  • 8. 2 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter 1. Introduction Most English as a second language (ESL) students enrol in open-distance learning universities with different levels of competence in written English (Du Toit, 2020; Karavas & Zorbas, 2019; Manyike, 2017; Mashile et al., 2020; Niyibizi et al., 2019; Ouma, 2019; Turmudi, 2020). Conventionally, many of these universities base students’ writing on linear-academic writing models (Lea & Street, 1998; Lillis, 2003). Linear-academic writing approaches treat students as if they learn how to write in the same way; and as though they develop their writing skills at the same pace, which is not the case, as argued in the current study. Most universities tend to use Euro-American-Australian (EAA) models of academic writing, as being universally applicable to all students, irrespective of their different educational and socio-cultural backgrounds. In this case, teaching and learning academic writing in an open and distance e-learning (ODeL) model is a challenge for institutions and students alike, especially for first-year ESL students (Boyle et al., 2019; Çelik, 2020; Flowerdew, 2019; Graham, 2019; Mitchell et al., 2021). Linear-academic writing models do not recognise and affirm the literacies that students bring to higher educational institutions (HEIs). As a result, most students in HEIs are expected to master and model their academic writing on linear-academic writing approaches. However, the current study explored student writing from a rhizomatic perspective. It did so, in order to contribute to the area of academic writing in an ODeL environment. A rhizome is a concept that was introduced by Deleuze and Guatarri (1987). These two scholars used the concept of a rhizome to critique authoritarian practices and hierarchical structures in academia (Bozkurt et al., 2016; Cormier, 2008; Brailas, 2020a, 2020b; Hanley, 2019; Kairienė & Mažeikienė, 2021; Kinchin & Gravett, 2020); Mackness et al., 2016; Tillmanns & Filho, 2020; Webb, 2009). A rhizome is a botanical term referring to the roots of a plant growing from and spreading in different directions (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987; Ko & Bal, 2019; Tagata & Ribas, 2021). In this study, a rhizome was conceptualized in the same way, with reference to students’ writing. Therefore, instances of Deleuzian rhizomatic patterns were explored in samples of students’ academic writing (short paragraphs), and in student-engagement interactions on two online platforms, namely, myUnisa’s online discussion forum (ODF) and Microsoft (MS) Teams. The value of a rhizomatic approach to academic writing lies in its potential to view writing as consisting of patterns of sentences and of ideas in non-linear directions on a given topic. It is an approach that searches for thought patterns manifested by students’ writing that are not necessarily linear in nature (Leander & Boldt, 2013; Kairienė & Mažeikienė, 2021; Tagata & Ribas, 2021; Turmudi, 2020; Webb, 2009). Students’ academic writing, as viewed from a rhizomatic perspective conceptualizes writing as a phenomenon that grows from different focal points. In addition, it discourages the reproduction of written texts, as is the case with linear models (Amorim & Ryan, 2005; Smagorisnky et al., 2006). Furthermore, a rhizomatic perspective regards student writing as messy and destabilised at the beginning; and consequently, it rejects linear, hierarchical models of students’ writing. Most importantly, a rhizomatic
  • 9. 3 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter approach to students’ writing views students’ writing as being in the process of becoming (Brailas, 2020a; Kairienė & Mažeikienė, 2021; Tagata & Ribas, 2021; Turmudi, 2020 Amorim & Ryan, 2005; Guerin, 2013). On this basis, the overriding aim of the current study was to explore the instances of Deleuzian rhizomatic patterns in the academic writing samples of thirteen first-year ENG1503 students (at the University of South Africa), with a view to identifying the rhizomatic patterns in such writing samples displayed. Allied to this aim, was an attempt to discover the types of interaction patterns a cohort of 370 ENG1503 students exhibited when they interacted on two online platforms, myUnisa’s ODF and MS Teams. The study had three research questions (RQs): • RQ1 - What rhizomatic writing patterns does a cohort of first-year ENG1503 students display in their assignment paragraph responses, according to key themes (categorized by keyword frequencies, concordance, and concordance plot) and linking adverbials, as represented by the AntConc, AntMover and Gephi software applications? • RQ2 - What rhizomatic structural moves does this cohort of students display in its assigned paragraph responses, as represented by the AntMover software application? • RQ3 - What forms of engagement patterns do first-year ENG1503 students manifest, when they interact on MS Teams and on myUnisa’s ODF in terms of their message posts and the frequencies of their online interactions, according to MS Power BI and Gephi visualizations? 2. The Literature Review 2.1 Traditional Student-Writing Approaches Traditional student-writing approaches came into being from various parts of the world, particularly from Europe, North America, and Australia. They were introduced in these regions, in order to assist a growing number of international students who had enrolled for university education. These were students who were referred to as English second-language (ESL) speakers. Consequently, academic writing studies mushroomed, but with different approaches. For example, in Europe, Boyle et al. (2019), Flowerdew (2016), and Wingate and Tribble (2012) employed the academic-literacy approach; since the focus was on inducting students into the kinds of academic literacies practised in HEIs and on socializing them into academia In North America, literacy studies developed as compositions and rhetoric writing within disciplines (Boyle et al., 2019; Ganobcsik-Williams, 2006; Graham, 2019). These studies focused on teaching students’ writing that is applicable to, or practised in various communities of practice of the students concerned. In addition, students were taught English for specific purposes; because they were expected to know a discipline-based English discourse used in specific fields of studies. These approaches were, one could argue, remedial; because students could not easily emulate academic discourse practices envisaged by HEIs in their knowledge of academic literacy.
  • 10. 4 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter On that account, there is a gap between the way students are taught writing in their pre-university or school stages, and the academic-writing requirements set by universities. Students were seen to be struggling because they could not adapt to their new sense of being, or to their new identities expected by the universities. These developments are significant for this study; since it seeks to challenge these views by arguing, instead, that there are rhizomatic patterns in students’ writing, regardless of how disjointed they may appear to be at first. Several such studies have also been conducted in Australia, with a specific focus on genre (Elashri & Ibrahim, 2013; Iyer, 2018; Seaboyer & Barnett, 2019; Tuan, 2011). These studies were concerned with socializing students into the type of texts used in their respective fields of studies, so that they would then be able to emulate such texts in their own writing. Much of this work was based on systemic functional linguistics, which is concerned with the correct usage of language features for a particular communicative purpose and register (Gardner et al., 2019; Schlepegrell & Achugar, 2003; Schlepegrell & Go, 2007). All these approaches view student writing as deficient, and as not meeting the required standards set by HEIs. As such, they fail to recognize and acknowledge what the students bring to academia. The approaches discussed above are still currently being used in various versions, in order to teach academic literacy in HEIs for different types of students in South Africa (Du Toit, 2020; Manyike, 2017; Van Rooyen & Coetzee-Van Rooyen, 2015). Students’ academic literacy abilities are still regarded as being deficient in HEIs. For that reason, the present study adopted a different standpoint, which views and studies students’ writing rhizomatically. 2.2 Rhizomatic Literacy Practices Studies have been conducted in recent years, in which a rhizomatic perspective has been implemented to transform the binary literacy practices in teaching and learning. These studies include those of Cormier (2008), Brailas (2020a, 2020b), Cumming (2015), Honan (2009), Hanley (2019), Johnson (2014), Johnston (2018), Kairienė and Mažeikienė (2021), Ko and Bal (2019), Mackness et al. (2016), Martin and Strom (2017), Masny (2012), and Webb (2009). Webb’s (2009) study, especially, paved the way on how academic writing could be taught in schools through the rhizomatic approach, as suggested by Deleuze and Guattari (1987). His study focused on introducing innovative and new ways of how to teach research and writing. He adopted Cormier’s (2008) model of a rhizome, in order to design his own models that could be used in composition classrooms, such as preparing and writing lesson plans, and writing assessment models. His study is one of the few that has explicitly provided models that teachers can use in their classrooms, in order to conduct rhizomatic teaching and learning. However, Webb (2009) cautioned that he would not dictate the way in which teachers should conduct teaching and learning; as this would be advancing the culture of linear and rigid literacy practices. He argues that literacy-instruction models are informed by historical circumstances. Moreover, he contends that for a change to happen,
  • 11. 5 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter composition classrooms should adopt a paradigm shift; and students should be allowed to construct their own writing-lesson plans and their own writing maps. For his part, Johnston (2018) investigated the literacy practices of students in a seventh-grade English classroom at a New York City’s middle school in Harlem. He argued that the conventional literacy practices do not allow students to be creative; and they do not consider what students bring to HEIs. He collected data by means of observations, interviews, verbal and written conversations, artifacts, and a researcher journal. He used a rhizomatic perspective to study how students deviated from the normal literacy practices. He maintains that students are, mostly, tested against predetermined norms and standards, which do not accommodate what students bring to the schooling environment. Students who possess different literacy practices are often deemed to be incompetent and deficient. Viewing literacy practices differently, and from a rhizomatic viewpoint, would enable us to leverage the affordances brought about by rhizomatic literacies. Furthermore, the aim of Honan’s (2009) study was to investigate those patterns of academic literacy that emerged from four classrooms. He wanted to understand the kind of digital texts used in impoverished schools for teaching and learning. He, then, argued that classrooms are rhizomatic in nature, in that there are different and complex processes unfolding in each classroom. In this case, he acknowledged that conventional academic-literacy practices are hard to get rid of, even when teachers try to implement creativity into their teaching and learning practices. In this study, Honan (2009) suggested the use of post-structural pedagogies, even in the process of teaching and learning via traditional texts. He was aware that students used various digital texts, which contributed to their learning outside school. However, such texts were not used in the classrooms to facilitate teaching and learning. He found that teachers could not comprehend the way in which students used “out-of-school” literacies, something that calls into question our teaching and learning practices, as bearers and distributors of knowledge. 3. The Research Methodology 3.1 The Study Design This study was an exploratory research (Heigham & Croker, 2009; Riazi, 2016) because it focused mainly on exploring instances of Deleuzian rhizomatic patterns in students’ writing samples and in students’ engagement patterns on both of the MS Teams and on myUnisa’s ODF. Riazi (2016, p. 115) states that exploratory research “is conducted, when the object of the study is new and has not been studied much before”. This description of exploratory research resonates with this current study, in that there are very few studies that have explored rhizomatic manifestations in students’ writing samples, especially at the institution under study. The study adopted a mixed-method approach (Christensen et al., 2015; Richards et al., 2012), which, in turn, comprised the
  • 12. 6 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter qualitative and the quantitative approaches (Richards et al., 2012; Riazi, 2016). The reason for choosing a mixed-method approach was that the data collected for the study consisted of written paragraphs, whose sentences and whose keywords, linking adverbials, and structural moves were subjected to concordance frequencies and concordance plots. Additionally, the data comprised online student-engagement patterns, which were worked out from student-message posts and from message frequencies. 3.2 Sampling The study employed convenience sampling, in order to select thirteen students’ writing samples and three hundred-and-seventy (370) first-year students (males = 165; females = 205) to participate in the myUnisa’s ODF (n = 150) and on MS Teams (n = 220). These students were enrolled in a level-one module, ENG1503, in the second semester of 2020. All of them were invited to participate on the two online platforms through an announcement on myUnisa, which is UNISA’s learning-management system. Prior to the study being conducted, an ethical clearance was granted by the UNISA’s College of Human Sciences Research Ethics Committee, with a certificate number: 2017-CHS-026. 3.3 The-Data Collection Procedure The study consisted of two datasets. The first dataset comprised 13 students’ writing samples, and it consisted of 13 paragraph responses to the assignment question. These writing samples belonged to 13 volunteer students. The assignment question had two topics that required short-paragraph responses consisting of 100 words each. These two topics were, “Read chapter 16 of the prescribed book (from page 224) and summarize the developmental stages of religion in your own words”, and “Compare and contrast a theocratic government with a democratic government”. A copy of the assignment question was emailed to the 13 volunteer students, for them to write their responses to it during their spare time. The students were given 5 days to complete the assignment and to email their written responses to one of the authors of this paper. The second dataset comprised two sub-data sets: the student engagement patterns of 370 ENG1503 students, who interacted on both the myUnisa’s ODF and the MS Teams during the second semester of 2020. For myUnisa, the student interactions were made up of messages that 150 students posted on the online discussion forum (ODF) during the first two weeks of August, 2020. The messages were related to a topic that was discussed during these two weeks. Concerning MS Teams, the student interactions consisted of messages that 220 students had posted in the chat facility during one of the virtual classes offered to them on the MS Teams in September 2020. All of this was informed by Chaka and Nkhobo’s (2019) and Conde’s et al. (2015) studies that investigated online student-engagement patterns. 3.4 The Data Analysis Students’ writing samples in the form of short paragraphs and online student interactions were analysed through Rhizo analysis. Rhizo analysis has been used
  • 13. 7 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter by scholars, such as Bangou (2019), Brailas (2020a), Kairienė and Mažeikienė (2021), Ko and Bal (2019), Sellers (2015), and Sherbine (2019). Then, the datasets were further analysed through the Corpus-software applications, AntConc and AntMover; and thereafter, they were visualized by Microsoft Power-Business Intelligence (MS Power BI) and Gephi. AntConc represents the text files through keyword frequencies, a concordance, and concordance plots. For short paragraphs, the units of analysis were keywords (key themes), linking adverbials, and (rhizomatic) structural moves, while for the online student- engagement patterns, message posts and frequencies were the units of analysis. 4. The Results 4.1 AntConc Analysis: Assignment’s Keyword Frequencies, Concordance, and Concordance Plots Five rhizomatic keywords were identified from the 13 responses to the assignment. These were used to trace and map the key word in context (KWIC) in relation to the assignment question’s requirement. Rhizomatic keywords that were deemed to be relevant for this assignment were: become, cult, members, religion, and sect. The rhizomatic frequencies of the chosen keywords were analysed, and then ranked, as shown in Table 1. Table 1: Assignment 1 keywords as extracted from AntConc Keywords’ become cult members religion sect Frequencies 18 23 19 25 25 In this table, both religion and sect had the highest joint hits, with become having the lowest hits across the 13 responses. For example, the listing of religion in terms of its KWIC format is displayed in Figure 1. Figure 1: KWIC concordance of religion, as it appears in the corpus of the 13 responses to the assignment question In this figure, religion as a key word, which is in the centre and which has 25 hits, it has a list of files that were used to search for it on its left-hand side. In the
  • 14. 8 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter centre, its KWIC concordance display is arranged, according to the words with which it occurs on either side of each concordance line. On the far-right hand side, the hits for religion have been ranked sequentially (with each hit appearing in its corresponding concordance line), whereas on the far right-hand side are listed the file numbers. Additionally, it co-occurred with words, such as dominant (n = 2) and (n = 2), and with phrases like stages of (n = 2) and cults become (n = 2). All of these immediately preceded it. Moreover, it co-occurred with phrases, such as starts as a cult, starts when it is still a Cult, and beliefs, and practice, and also with miscellaneous words (e.g., evolves, functions, and fully), all of which immediately followed it. Figure 2: Concordance plot of religion, as it appears in the corpus of the 13 responses to the assignment question In its rhizomatic-concordance plot, religion appeared in 11 assignment responses, with 4 hits in 2 assignments responses, and 1 hit each in 4 assignment responses (Figure 2). The manner in which the rhizomatic key theme, religion, was portrayed in context revealed the rhizomatic nature in which this key theme was used and presented itself across multiple students’ files, thereby displaying rhizomatic variations in each text file. Files 01 and 92 shared a joint top ranking, followed by files 78, 69, and 31. In file 01, religion was used four times in different paragraphs; in file 92, it was used four times in multiple paragraphs. In files, 78, 69, and 31, it was used three times in each file. In this context, religion was used to explain how cults became religion, stages/types of religion, as well as modernity; and this was evident in the interconnectivity shown across multiple text files. Figure 3 further demonstrates the dominant and the superordinate nature of religion, as a key theme.
  • 15. 9 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Figure 3: Visualization of key themes, become, cult, members, religion, and sect Figure 4: KWIC concordance of become, as it appears in the corpus of the 13 responses to the assignment question Another keyword, become, is (together with its KWIC concordance) displayed in Figure 4. In this context, it co-occurs with words, such as to (n = 3) and can (n = 2), and with phrases like how cults (n = 7), all of which immediately preceded it. It also co-occurred with words, such as religion(s) (n = 8), and with phrases like a sect that immediately followed it. In its rhizomatic concordance plot, become was used in 8 assignments, but, unlike religion, it was used five times in one file (77). In addition, it had 2 hits in 4 files, and one hit in each of 2 files (Figure 5).
  • 16. 10 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Figure 5: Concordance plot of become, as it appears in the corpus of the 13 responses to the assignment question 4.2 AntMover Results for the Assignment Question: Structural Moves The rhizomatic structural moves were analysed in the 13 assignment responses at a sentence level, when using the AntMover software application. The Response-text files were processed and analysed accordingly. The text files were sorted in classes (Figure 6). Figure 6: AntMover structural moves for the Assignment Question For example, Class 10 (announcing the principal findings) was the highest class used (n = 30 occurrences) that was prevalent in the 13 responses. For instance, in text file 31, Class 10 was used five times. However, there was a marginal difference in its usage in text files 48, 77, and 01, all of which shared it four times, as opposed to text file 31. Text files 69, 92, and 95 followed closely, as they each used Class 10 three times. By contrast, in text files 20, 51, 91, and 78, Class 10 was not used at all; since it scored a zero occurrence. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 T20 T48 T67 T51 T91 T69 T92 T77 T95 T78 T01 T79 T31 Total Number of occurrences Text file numbers AntMover resuslts: Assignment Class 2 Class 11 Class 10 Class 9
  • 17. 11 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Class 2 (making topic generalisations) was the second highest class used with the overall usage of 27 instances spread across the 13 responses. For example, text files 31, and 67 had the highest usage (4 and 3 respectively) of Class 2 in each response, while in text files 20, 48, 51, 69, 92, 77, and 01, it was used twice in each response. The lowest usage of Class 2 (n = 1 occurrence) was in text files 95, 78, and 79. On the other side, Class 9 (announcing present research) was the least-used class across the 13 responses, with an overall total of 3 occurrence instances. Text files 91, 69, and 01 had one instance of Class 9 usage in each response. Finally, the remaining text files did not use Class 9. 4.3 AntConc Results for the Assignment Question: Linking Adverbials Celce-Murcia and Larsen-Freeman’s (1998) framework was utilized to select the rhizomatic-linking adverbials (additives, adversatives, causals, and sequentials) in the 13 responses to the assignment question. The 13 responses were loaded onto AntConc in separate text files that were used to trace and explore the rhizomatic manifestations of linking adverbials in each response. In all of the 13 responses, two rhizomatic additive linking adverbials (also and that) were used (Figure 7). One of the linking adverbials also was used twice in text file 69. On the contrary, there was no trace of the other linking adverbials in all of the other text files. The second rhizomatic additive linking adverbial, that, appeared twice in text files 31 and 69. Figure 7: Some of the linking adverbials used in the 13 responses, as analysed by AntConc Rhizomatic adversative linking adverbials were traced across the 13 responses; and, actually, was the only one that was mapped in the text file 31. No evidence of the other adversative linking adverbials was discovered in the other text files. Four causal linking adverbials, consequently, otherwise, then, and therefore, were found in some of the text files. Consequently appeared in the text 51 times only; and, similarly, otherwise, appeared in the text file 92 times only. Then was the most used linking adverbial across the 13 responses; and it appeared twice in text file 20, and once in text files 92, 67, 31, 48, and 78. Therefore was another linking adverbial that was traced once in text file 51. In all the 13 text files, two sequential linking adverbials were identified. One such example was, first, that
  • 18. 12 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter was used once in text file 78. Lastly, then was the second linking adverbial that was used once each in the text files 20, 92, 67, 31, 48, 78, and 20. 4.4 myUnisa’s Online Discussion Forum (ODF) and MS Teams’ Interactions Student interactions related to student module queries on the myUnisa’s ODF were collated and converted into text files. The text files were uploaded onto AntConc, in order to trace the key themes, according to the keywords. One hundred and fifty keywords were generated by AntConc, in the form of key themes. Thereafter, they were inputted into both Microsoft Power BI and Gephi software tools for visualization purposes. Five of the highest key themes were assignment, good, find, results, and MCQ (Figure 8). Figure 8: Power BI and Gephi visualizations of students’ myUnisa’s ODF interactions The key theme, assignment, was ranked fifth (n = 46 hits). It was followed by good at the sixth spot (n = 39 hits). Find (n= 16 hits), results (n= 12 hits), and MCQ (n= 10 hits), each of which, was ranked twenty-sixth, forty-first, and forty-sixth, respectively.
  • 19. 13 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Figure 9: Power BI and Gephi visualizations of student-instructor interactions MS Teams There were also student-instructor interactions, based on an MS Team’s virtual classroom that was created in the second semester of 2020. These interactions were extracted; and, they were then processed through MS Power BI and Gephi, in order to create their visualizations (Figure 9). As shown in Figure 9, in terms of student posts, a participant with the greatest number of posts (n = 6) was Noa†; and this was followed by Ane (n = 5 posts). The other participants, such as Ela, Ezi, Kwa, Lan, Af, and Log had 3 posts each; while Gwe, Apo, Si, Nya, and Iso, had one post each. By contrast, participants like Azi, Iti, Eni, Tul, and Uli had no posts. In terms of instructor’s replies, Ane had the most replies (n = 14) to student queries. Second and third were Kek and Gam with 10 and 5 replies, apiece. Most participants, for example, Ngu, Uta, Ezi, Ini, and Lis posted only one reply. From a different angle, Ran made 5 reactions, with Tlh, Abe and Kol having a tie of 4 reactions, each. Most participants, namely, Sie, Low, An, and Xe, posted 2 reactions, apiece. On the other hand, participants, such as Osi, Nya, Bo, Ema, and La posted no reactions. 5. The Discussion 5.1 AntConc, Keyword Frequencies, Concordance, and Concordance Plots For the assignment question, students were required to “Read chapter 16 of the prescribed book (from page 224) and summarize the developmental stages of religion in your own words”, and “Compare and contrast a theocratic government with a democratic government”. The results demonstrated that the students used similar key themes (become, cult, members, religion, and sect), but in a rhizomatic manner. The rhizomatic frequencies of the identified key themes indicated that religion and cult were used differently at the end of each concordance spectrum. The highest key theme, religion, was used almost in the same manner in 11 of the assignment responses. However, it displayed † All the names assigned to participants are pseudonyms.
  • 20. 14 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter rhizomatic variations of use in each assignment response. For example, it was used mostly in text files 01 and 92, but in different paragraphs that portrayed rhizomatic patterns of usage in each text file. In the identified text files, religion was used to explain how cults became religion, stages/types of religion, as well as modernity. This was evident in the interconnectivity displayed across multiple text files. In contrast, the key theme, cult, was used almost identically in different paragraphs. It was also shown that the rhizomatic frequencies of the key theme, cult, were largely evident in text files 20 (n= 5 hits) and 31 (n = 4 hits). By contrast, cult was used to explain the process of becoming religious, which is dependent on a number of followers, in order to affirm a religion’s status. Although the writing samples demonstrated that students used similar key themes, nonetheless, their use of such key themes differed in each sample; and this was evident in the concordance plot, and in the rhizomatic frequencies visualized in Figure 3. A considerable number of studies have been conducted, in which AntConc was used to investigate the lexical bundles and/or phraseology in the written tasks, and to compare the writing patterns of native and non-native speakers of English. Three of these studies are those of Yazıcı and Çıraklı (2019), Ulfa and Muthalib (2020), and Zhang and Pan (2020). These studies have investigated the writing patterns in student writing, even though they did not do so from a rhizomatic perspective. For example, Yazıcı and Çıraklı (2019) examined writers’ linguistic preferences and their use of repeated verbal cues in their written texts. They discovered that the play Come and Go had a prevalence of proper nouns and words that referred to a human body. In addition, they found that the word silence, left and right were highly repeated. Zhang and Pan’s (2020) study compared the keywords generated by WordCloud and TF-IDF-LDA investigated the sentiments of the abstracts generated by SnowNLP and TextBlob, which were verified by the use of AntConc. They also examined whether authorial interactions could be improved by self-mentions. They found that the keywords generated by these software programs were reliable. Furthermore, according to Zhang and Pan (2020), high-frequency words together with keywords can lead to finding the key information in a text; and these could help writers produce keywords for their papers. Even though the three studies cited here did not investigate any rhizomatic patterns in their respective areas of focus, the major similarities between them and the current study is that they are all advancing the idea that there are variations in students’ academic writing. Another study, which advances the same notion of rhizomatic learning is that of Bozkurt et al. (2016). This study contends that learning in a networked environment serves as a springboard to “rhizomatic-learning practices” (p. 20); and it also accommodates “nomadic learners” (p. 8).
  • 21. 15 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter 5.2 AntMover and Structural Moves The rhizomatic structural moves portrayed by AntMover, which were discovered during the analysis of the 13 assignment responses, were as follows: • Announcing principal findings. • Making topic generalisations. • Announcing present research. The results revealed that even though students used similar structural moves in their responses to the assignment question, nevertheless, the rhizomatic occurrence frequencies of such structural moves differed in each text file. Announcing the principal findings (Class 10) was the highest-used class (n = 30 occurrences) that was apparent in the responses to the assignment. However, it was used in the rhizomatic variations in each case. It enjoyed the highest rhizomatic usage (5 occurrences) in text file 31. In contrast, it displayed a variant rhizomatic usage (2 times) in text files (20, 48, 51, 69, 92, 77, and 01). The extreme end of the results reflected the other variables’ usage of Class 10 that was portrayed in text files (95, 78, and 79). Furthermore, the results showed that Class 9 (announcing the present research) was the least-used class in the responses to the assignment question. This class was used in three rhizomatic instances (files 91, 69, and 01) in all the responses. The rhizomatic patterns in student writing in relation to Class 9 demonstrated that some of the students did not support their essays with current research. Again, this showed that some students employed different approaches to writing their essays; some used their lived experiences, whilst others depended on research only. Some of the studies conducted on rhizomatic structural moves that have used AntMover, have mainly focused on the writing of abstracts for research articles. Examples here are Abarghooeinezhad and Simin (2015), Bhatti et al. (2019), and Gustina (2020). In contrast, other studies have focused on either structural moves related to the findings and discussion sections (Alvi et al., 2017; Lubis, 2020), introductions in research articles (Pashapour et al., 2018; Pendar & Cotos, 2008), or conclusions in the research papers (Zamani & Ebadi, 2016). As in the previous section, most of these studies did not adopt a rhizomatic perspective in the manner in which the current study did. However, they, too, argued for variable writing patterns that were evident in the written samples. For instance, Gustina’s (2020) study investigated the rhetorical moves and linguistic features in thesis abstracts and research-article abstracts written by undergraduate students. The study found variations in the manner in which undergraduate students wrote their theses and research-article abstracts. It further observed that Move 3, referred to as the Method, was the most prevalent move used in both of the written samples. In addition, the study discovered that students who participated in it often excluded Move 5 (Conclusion) in their written samples. Further observations in Gustina’s (2020) study indicate that no move was obligatory, except Move 1 (Introduction) and Move 3 (Method), which reached obligatory status. Alvi et al. (2017) studied the structural moves
  • 22. 16 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter of a sub-genre prevalent in the discussion section of Pakistani research oscholars’ doctoral theses registered in Education, Economics, Geography, Sociology, Statistics and Psychology. They found that no structural move was obligatory. For instance, two moves (Findings – Move 3 and Recommendation – Move 9) were highly frequent or had a 66% occurrence frequency, each. Move 6 (Explanation) followed closely with 60%, Move 5 (Previous research), and Move 8 (Limitations) had a 56% occurrence frequency. The lowest move that was recorded was that of Move 4 (Unexpected outcome), which had a 30% occurrence frequency. 5.3 AntConc and Linking Adverbials The results showed the rhizomatic mapping and manifestation of linking adverbials across the 13 responses to the assignment. It was demonstrated that two additive-linking adverbials (also and that) were used twice. Also was used twice in text file 69; and that appeared twice in text files 31 and 69. Four causal linking adverbials (consequently, otherwise, then, and therefore) were identified. Then produced the most rhizomatic frequencies, appearing twice in text file 20, and, once in text files 92, 67, 31, 48, and 78. However, therefore occurred once in text file 51, and first also featured once in text file 78. Overall, the findings, therefore, indicated that students used additive and causal linking adverbials more frequently than other types of linking adverbials. A significant number of studies have been conducted, in which AntConc has been used to reveal the linking adverbials prevalent in the written samples. Among these studies are Bikelienė’s (2017), Diamante’s (2020), Dutra’s et al. (2017), and Karatay’s (2019) studies. In Karatay’s (2019) study, it was found that students tend to use linking adverbials more often in timed essays than in untimed essays. This study also discovered that students used fewer linking adverbials under the sequential and additive linking adverbials. In addition, it found that adversative linking adverbial, nevertheless, appeared with the frequency of 0.08 on timed versus the frequency of 0.19 on untimed essays. Moreover, the study discovered that causal linking of the adverbial, consequently, scored 0.7 on timed versus 0.11 on untimed essays. 5.4 myUnisa’s ODF and MS Teams’ Interactions As pointed out in the results section, student interactions in relation to myUnisa’s ODF manifested five key rhizomatic themes in their posts: assignment, good, find, results, and MCQ. Among these, assignment ranked highly, followed by results. By contrast, in Chaka and Nkhobo’s (2019) study, it was found that the instructor was more active than the students; since he was the one asking more questions, which were intended to guide the students to the correct answers. In a different, but related context, Bagarinao’s (2015) study found that students portrayed different patterns in their online interactions. Similarly, the study conducted by Estacio and Raga Jr. (2017) discovered that students presented different online interactions. In respect of MS Teams, the results showed the participants with the most, least, and zero rhizomatic posts. Onah et al. (2014) discovered that the use of online
  • 23. 17 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter forums encouraged students to participate in such forums and contributed towards their academic success. The same can be said in the study conducted by Buchal and Songsore (2019). This study recorded positive reactions by students when the MS Teams was used for teaching and learning purposes. It also found that the majority of students had fewer difficulties, when making use of this online platform. 6. Conclusions When student writing samples were analysed in terms of keywords (e.g., key themes) by using the software applications employed in this study, varying rhizomatic patterns were detected in the students’ text files. This was in terms of keyword frequencies, concordance, and concordance plots of the keywords used in these writing samples that were subjected to AntMover. For instance, the keyword frequencies of key themes, such as religion and cult, showed that these two key themes were used differently at the end of each concordance spectrum, thereby underscoring their varying rhizomatic patterns of usage in their respective text files. With reference to structural moves, the analysis demonstrated that while students employed similar structural moves in their responses to the assignment, but the rhizomatic occurrence frequencies of these structural moves differed in each text file. Concerning linking adverbials, it emerged that additive and causal linking adverbials were used rhizomatically more than the other types of linking adverbials, such as adversatives. Furthermore, online student interactions on both myUnisa’s ODF and MS Teams were visualized rhizomatically. Therefore, it is clear that online student-engagement patterns, of whatever type and nature, can also be represented in rhizomatic visualizations, as was the case with this study. 7. Recommendations and Limitations The findings of this study underscore the importance of investigating and analysing students’ writing not only from linear models, but also from non- linear perspectives, such as a rhizomatic approach. They also underline the significance of leveraging the affordances offered by student writing analysis technologies, such as AntConc, AntMover, and Gephi, which were employed in this study. This is more so, firstly, since the HE sector across the globe seems to be a melting pot of cultures and traditions in terms of its student populations. Secondly, this is even more evident; as the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic is forcing HEIs to pivot more than ever than before; in order to facilitate online teaching and learning. The first manifest limitation of this study is the fewer student-writing samples that were used. This makes the findings non-generalizable, but, rather, context- bound. The second limitation of the study is that it is module-bound: its findings relate to the module, which is being investigated. But even then, its findings only apply to the writing practices of the students, who volunteered to participate in it, even though instances abound, in which one student’s writing practices are investigated. The third limitation is that the results are technology-bound: the
  • 24. 18 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter results are based on the datasets that were generated through AntConc, AntMover, Gephi, and MS Power BI as the specific technologies that were employed in this study. Therefore, anyone who is not able to utilize these technologies may not be able to assess the student-writing approach used in the study. 8. References Abarghooeinezhad, M., & Simin, S. (2015). Analyses of verb tense and voice of research article abstracts in engineering journals. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, 47, 139–152. http://doi.org/10.18052/www.scipress.com/ILSHS.47.139 Alvi, U. F., Mehmood, M. A., & Rasool, S. (2017). Identification of moves structure in the discussion section of social sciences doctoral research theses. Linguistics and Literature Review, 3(1), 43–51. http://doi.org/10.32350/llr.v3i1.265 Amorim, A. C., & Ryan, C. (2005). Deleuze, action research and rhizomatic growth. Educational Action Research, 13(4), 581–594. http://doi.org/10.1080/09650790500200346 Bagarinao, R. T. (2015). Students’ navigational pattern and performance in an e-learning environment: A case from UP Open University, Philippines. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 16(1), 101–111. http://doi.org/10.17718/tojde.47684 Bangou, F. (2019). Experimenting with creativity, immigration, language, power, and technology: A research agency. Qualitative Research Journal, 19(2), 82–92. http://doi.org/10.1108/QRJ-D-18-00015 Bhatti, I. A., Mustafa, S., & Azher, M. (2019). Genre analysis of research article abstract in linguistics and literature: A cross disciplinary study. International Journal of English Linguistics, 9(4), 42-50. http://doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v9n4p42 Bikelienė, L. (2017). The use of “then” in Lithuanian learners’ English. Verbum, 8, 104- 111. http://doi.org/10.15388/Verb.2017.8.11349 Boyle, J., Ramsay, S., & Struan, A. (2019). The academic writing skills programme: A model for technology-enhanced, blended delivery of an academic writing programme. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 16(4), https://ro.uow.edu.au/jutlp/vol16/iss4/4 Bozkurt, A., Honeychurch, S., Caines, A., Bali, M., Koutropoulos, A., & Cormier, D. (2016). Community tracking in a cMOOC and nomadic learner behavior identification on a connectivist rhizomatic learning network. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 17(4), 4–30. http://doi.org/10.17718/tojde.09231 Brailas, A. (2020a). Rhizomatic Learning in action: a virtual exposition for demonstrating learning rhizomes. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality, pp. 1-14. ACM. http://doi.org/10.1145/3434780.3436565 Brailas, A. (2020b). Designed to allow for emergence: A learning rhizome. Research Catalogue. http://doi.org/10.22501/rc.782366 Buchal, R., & Songsore, E. (2019). Using Microsoft Teams to support collaborative knowledge building in the context of sustainability assessment. https://ojs.library.queensu.ca/index.php/PCEEA/article/view/13882/8994 Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman. (1998). The Grammar book: ESL/EFL teacher’s course (2nd Edition). Heinle & Heinle. Çelik, S. (2020). Building critical academic writing skills: The impact of instructor feedback on Turkish ELT graduate students. TESL-EJ, 24(3), 1-18. http://tesl- ej.org/pdf/ej95/a4.pdf
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  • 29. 23 ©Author This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research Vol. 20, No. 10, pp. 23-41, October 2021 https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.20.10.2 Received June 26, 2021; Revised Sep 27, 2021; Accepted Oct 15, 2021 Quality is Never an Accident: A Survey on the Total Quality-Management Practices amongst Selected Higher Education Institutions in the Philippines Glenn S. Cabacang, DBA De La Salle - College of St. Benilde / Polytechnic University of the Philippines - College of Business Administration Graduate Studies / Ascendens Asia https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9963-3128 Abstract. Total Quality Management (TQM) is regarded as a gauge of university management, in order to maintain global standards. This study examined Total Quality-Management (TQM) implementation and the practices of higher education institutions in the Philippines. It utilized a cross-sectional survey-study design to 347 respondents recruited from the total population of 3847 administrators and academic members of nine selected institutions in the Philippines. The measure of TQM adoption and practices was extracted from several sources of previous TQM researches. This study was done for six months. The analyzation and interpretation of the data were done by using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results indicated that participating Filipino HEIs had a high degree of adoption on top-management commitment, Teaching and Learning Delivery Modes, campus amenities, system and process management, customer satisfaction, and linkages. In contrast, the HEIs have a modest degree of acceptance in strategic planning and Data Management. The test of differences indicated that strong confirmation to top management commitment and strategic planning as indicators of TQM is significantly more evident in private-type HEIs; and it was placed at the university level, when compared to those of the provincial and national HEIs. The findings provide some practical implications to further enhance Filipino HEIs in the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Keywords: Total Quality Management; TQM; Higher Education Institutions; practices; Philippines; survey; High-Quality Education 1. Introduction Changes may happen exceptionally and rapidly in the current corporate world. Throughout the framework of global competitiveness in the economic environment, companies have to adapt, in order to cope with the quick changes correctly. The colleges and higher education institutions have three major responsibilities in the education sector: instruction, research, and community
  • 30. 24 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter service (Ellahi et al., 2019). The Total Quality Management (TQM) of university education provides a clear commitment that should mobilize institutions, improve employee engagement, or enhance nearly any system that it includes (Aminbeidokhti et al., 2016, Psomas & Antony, 2017, Sahney, 2016). With this urgent problem, higher education institutions of the globe place their priorities and plans on their framework and shape TQM practices (Khan et al., 2019, Manatos et al., 2017, Mendes & Dias, 2018, Arcinas, 2021, Sabarre et al., 2021, Charernnit et al., 2021, De Souza et al., 2021). Total quality-management (TQM) is regarded as a new organizational philosophy that depends on a lot of modern views and theories, based on a mix of conventional managerial methods, creative initiatives, and advanced technical knowledge, in order to increase performance, and also to achieve continuous improvement (Li et al., 2018, Psomas & Anthony, 2017, Magulod, 2019, Nuncio et al, 2020, Rocha & Arcinas, 2020, Do et al., 2017, Fundin et al., 2018, Tolentino & Arcinas, 2020, Arcinas et al., 2020). TQM impacts educational institutions, and they are expected to boost returns, in order to become productive, profitable, and client-oriented, in order to improve their competitiveness (Grudzień & Hamrol, 2016). TQM is a procedure that can assist in this educational progress. It is a theory of continuous development that may provide various skills and analytical resources that should satisfy the needs and the expectations of any higher education institution (Shams & Belyaeva, 2019, Tasopoulou & Tsiotras, 2017, De Vincenzi et al., 2018, Magulod, 2017). Within the new global economy, which is marked by accelerated technological transition, intensive knowledge transfers and increasing competition through the elimination of trade barriers and commerce, the universities around the world are compelled to gradually evolve as enterprises that are guided by the competitive necessity of market mechanisms, despite the common issues and problems that they all have to face (Baptista et al., 2019, Brint, 2019, Costandi et al., 2019, Taylor et al., 2019). In this era of transition, it has become essential for a university to enhance its ability to adapt to its environment through ground-breaking approaches and professional academic leadership. The literature on the TQM analysis of higher education is based mainly on psychology or on the behavioural sciences, and less on administration and management as a whole (Carvalho, 2011, Dias, 2015, Pennock et al., 2015). Performance issues in HEIs include: instruction, study, facilities, and basic strategies (Cardoso et al., 2016, Stensaker et al., 2011). Studies on quality management have affirmed a positive relationship between quality- management practices and competitive advantage (Brem et al., 2016, Delery & Roumpi, 2017, Elshaer & Augustyn, 2016, O’Neill et al., 2016, Ross, 2017). The quality management of higher education institutions is reflected in the following indicators, namely top-management commitment, strategic planning, customer satisfaction, data management, system and operational management, infrastructure, the teaching and learning-delivery systems, and on the linkages (Abbas, 2020, Abu Amuna et al., 2017, Arda et al., 2019, Bromiley & Rau, 2016,
  • 31. 25 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Deshpande, 2020, Mahdi et al., 2019, Ross, 2017, Ruben, 2018, Saiz-Alvarez, 2020, Shams & Belyaeva, 2019, Tatoglu et al., 2020, Yu et al., 2020). As to the research context, Filipino higher education has undergone a drastic increase. Depicting the fast growth of the higher education system, quality management is currently becoming a key focus in many countries throughout the last decade (Liu & Liu, 2017). With this background, several attempts have been made to establish efficient quality-management systems for university education. It is, therefore, essential to analyse such quality-assurance systems that are being applied among the Philippine universities. Although there is a plethora of studies relating to TQM, most of the research projects have been preliminary, theoretical, and conceptual, whether concentrating on adapting the strategies of management of tertiary institutions, or by incorporating the expertise from other countries (Aljuhani, 2019, Alzafari & Kratzer, 2019, Cudney et al., 2020, Kumar et al., 2018, Murmura et al., 2016, Nurcahyo et al., 2019, Olcay & Bulu, 2017, Wen et al., 2018). Some of the TQM studies were found to be relating to business firms, such as foods and non-food manufacturing and production (Cho et al., 2017, Ding et al., 2019, Florkowski & Jiang, 2017, Kong et al., 2016, Liao et al., 2018). Among the studies conducted that relate to TQM among universities is that of Song (2018), who identified the strategies and the impacts of a world-class research university. It was reported that linking and institutional policies on international students are those TQM factors required to achieved world-class Filipino universities. At the same time, Yan et al. (2019) considered the TQM synergy and collaboration among universities and enterprises. Meanwhile, Wang (2019) recommended using UK and Filipino quality-assurance systems in one university, as the factor of TQM. Hou et al. (2018) attempted to develop an internal quality-assurance mechanism for universities in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and South Korea. They reported that external quality-assurance approaches should comply with international certification, validation, and global credentialing. Previously, Filipino institutions concentrated mainly on quality assurance by implementing the whole idea of quality management. Hence, this study investigates the quality-management systems of Filipino higher education institutions. In this study, the gap in the literature has been addressed by performing a cross-sectional survey on adopting the eight TQM criteria among the selected institutions in the Philippines. This study gives administrators and faculty members the much-needed practical consequences they require, in order to extend their knowledge on the ongoing improvement of the TQM ideas. The selected higher education institutions would also gain from the inputs into this analysis, for their strategy and policy creation and execution of the development plan concerned, together with a constant improvement of the TQM concept. Objectives of the Study This study has generally aimed to ascertain Total Quality Management (TQM) among the selected universities in the Philippines. Accordingly, it specifically aims to answer the following research questions: (1) What is the level of TQM
  • 32. 26 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter adoption of the Select Filipino Universities in the eight areas? (2) Is there a significant difference in TQM adoption, when grouped, according to the types of the selected HEIs? 2. The Method The Research Design The study is a descriptive cross-sectional survey research project, which investigates the level of adoption and the practices of the HEIs in the TQM areas. The self-reported cross-sectional survey design was used to collect the data from the respondents. The use of a cross-sectional survey has been a form of observational study, which examines the information from a community or from a sample group at a specific point in time (Bryman, 2006, Coughlan et al., 2007, Nardi, 2018). The Research Participants, Sampling Procedure, and Ethical Considerations The respondents of the survey comprise 347 samples from the total population of 3847 administrators and the academic members of nine selected institutions in the Philippines. A list of institutions was acquired from the data repository of the Commission on Higher Education. To allow more accessible access to the respondents, the poll was performed via an online survey. In addition, the security elements of the online study were added, such as providing a security code to responding institutions, in order to avoid anybody who could just fill out the survey. The major respondents of the survey were the administrators and the faculty members. The inquiry started in June 2019; and it finished in August 2019. Two stages of the survey were utilized, and a total of 347 questionnaires were gathered. Since these might not necessarily be significant, the representation of the respondents was appropriate and extremely inclusive, as a result of the use of a multi-stage stratified-sampling technique, in which the stages were based on the findings of Breslow and Weiss (2018). Raosoft was used to calculate the sampling size for a 347-item collection with a 5% margin of error, a 95% degree of confidence, and a 50% response distribution. The online software from Raosoft was accessed via the following URL: http://www.raosoft.com/samplesize.html. Raosoft's sampling package offers power values for a given sample size and alpha level, thereby allowing for the evasion of Type I and Type II mistakes (Cuenca-Amigo & Makua, 2017, Wilson, 2016). Table 1 presents the frequency and the percentage representation of the samples. As regards the types of HEIs, the majority of the completed online questionnaires were sourced from provincial HEIs (37%), followed by National HEIs (32%), and the private HEIs (30%). This investigation was guided by the following ethical issues. Initially, the university's ethics committee approved the data privacy and the informed consent forms, and, in order to maintain the respondents' and institution's confidentiality, no names were mentioned.
  • 33. 27 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Table 1. Distribution of Samples Variables Category Frequency Distribution (n=347) Percentage Distribution (%) Types of HEIs National 112 32 Provincial 130 37 Private 105 30 The Research Instruments The measure of TQM Adoption and practices The standard of TQM adoption and that of the methodologies was lifted from diverse sources of previous TQM research. It focuses on the eight aspects of TQM (Yaakub & Samsudin, 2019). The 72 elements were adapted from previous studies noting, however, that TQM has different meanings. The eight areas were namely: the top-management’s commitment (Vouzas & Psychogios, 2007), which consisted of items 1-9, strategic planning (Hu et al., 2018), for details 10-18, customer satisfaction (Bouranta et al., 2017) for details 19-27, data management (Yusr et al., 2017) items 28-36, system and process management (Suarez et al., 2016) contains the item numbers 45-54, teaching and learning (Martínez-Caro et al., 2015) for the items 55-63, and Benchmark (Sweis et al., 2016) for the questions 64-72. The instrument has a calculated Cronbach-alpha coefficient of 0.83. The Procedure Generally, this study was done for six months. The procedure of obtaining study data lasted for three months. Before the formal gathering time, the authority's consent and authorization to perform the study was requested of the Commission on Higher Education. The second week began with the issuance of a notice to proceed with the research. After acquiring the proper authorization, the researcher identified the respondents by using the inclusive criteria stated in this study. Then, the design and the creation of a questionnaire, which will be uploaded online, were done. The researcher properly followed the ethical research considerations. After gathering the students' replies, they were coded and submitted to data cleaning and statistical analysis for one month. Finally, the findings’ analysis, interpretation, and report-writing were done for another month. The Data Analysis To evaluate the study's quantitative findings, basic descriptive statistics, such as frequency count, percentage distribution, weighted mean, and standard deviation were employed, in order to understand correctly the sample background of the respondents. The descriptive statistical results of the TQM were attained, by using the five-point Likert scale. These were interpreted with the scale range and description: Strongly Agree/ Very High a (4.20-5.00), Agree/ High b (3.40-4.19), Undecided/ Moderate c (2.60-3.39), Disagree/ Low d (1.80-2.59), strongly Disagree/ Very Low e (1.00-1.79). Moreover, inferential statistics, such as the one- way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used to examine the differences in the adoption of the practice of TQM. The Post Hoc Tukey Honest Significant
  • 34. 28 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Difference (HSD) test was used to assess whether the significant differences in the respondents’ TQM adoption and practices were taken into consideration; since this would tell exactly where the differences are to be found (Abdi & Williams, 2010). 3. The Results Research Question 1. What is the level of TQM adoption of the Select Filipino Universities in the eight areas? Table 2 shows the level of adoption of the eight TQM areas identified in the study, and that the select HEIs have a high level of TQM adoption, as demonstrated by the grand mean of 3.96. It is also worth noting that they routinely receive a high degree of approval from top-management’s dedication (M=4.12, SD=.966), Teaching and Learning Delivery Modes (M=4.12, SD=0.75), campus facilities (M=4.24, SD=0.865), system and process management (M=4.12, SD=0.894), customer satisfaction (M=3.48, SD= 0.959), and linkages (M=4.10, SD=0.456). In contrast, the HEIs have a moderate level of adoption on strategic planning (M=3.37, SD=0.867) and Data Management (M=3.36, SD=0.910). Table 2. Level of Adoption on the Different Areas of TQM Areas Mean (n=347) SD Descriptive Interpretation Level of Adoption Top Management Commitment 4.12 0.966 Agree High Strategic Planning 3.37 0.867 Undecided Moderate Customer Satisfaction Focus 3.48 0.959 Agree High Data Management 3.36 0.910 Undecided Moderate System and Processes Management 4.12 0.894 Agree High Campus Facilities 4.24 0.865 Agree High Teaching and Learning Delivery Modalities 4.12 0.754 Agree High Benchmarking 4.10 0.456 Agree High Grand Mean 3.86 Agree High Legend: Strongly Agree/ Very High a (4.20-5.00), Agree/ High b (3.40-4.19), Undecided/ Moderate c (2.60-3.39), Disagree/ Low d (1.80-2.59), strongly Disagree/ Very Low e (1.00-1.79) The high level of the assessment provided to top management’s commitment revealed that the Filipino HEIs had positive leadership aspects, which comprise the administration in respect of quality-management principles. This implies that the upper management of the different HEIs have active leadership and participation in developing and maintaining consumer attention, defining and providing ideas, principles, objectives consistently, as well as high expectations, and a governance structure that would encourage the consistency of the results. They are capable of highlighting the fact that the internal systems and organizational practices influence students and staff, as well as the population and the creation of connections with business, stakeholders, and the public in general.
  • 35. 29 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Marin et al. (2019), in their study on the framework of quality management, reported that management and leadership are predictors of TQM. Previous studies have reported similar findings that quality assurance includes the four primary parameters of quality assurance: human competence, process & method competence, conceptual and experiential competence (Chen et al., 2020, Clay- Williams et al., 2020, Johansson & Wallo, 2019, Teoman & Ulengin, 2018, Tiwari & Kumar Sharma, 2017). Consequently, management leadership is an important factor of TQM. Meanwhile, university facilities have been scored high by the respondents, demonstrating thereby that the HEIs have high esteem in the prevision of convenience among students and other stakeholders, notably the students. The conclusion suggests that the HEIs must see to it that they place their priorities on the growth of school services and education, as well as on the learning facilities. The academic institution is provided with a range of services, including a library, a lecture theatre, a cafeteria, a student hostel, and many more. Similarly, campus amenities are the infrastructure supplied by the university that may bring comfort and convenience to university students and to the staff. This category outlines the amenities provided and delivered by the firms to their internal or external clientele. Studies have indicated that these facilities are regarded as the indications of TQM among colleges, which is a factor that influences customers loyalty and service quality (Kasiri et al., 2017, Meesala & Paul, 2018, Nyadzayo & Khajehzadeh, 2016. Successively, the Filipino HEIs also ranked their system and process management as the TQM indications being high, thereby suggesting that they can recognise the possible features of systems integration, such as students’ curriculum design, instructional implementation, program, and business operations. They have a high estimation of how the critical process is intended to be creative, efficiently regulated, and to be continuously enhanced. This specifies students’ performance and improvement via the utilization of essential processes and metrics. This topic outlines the cycle of institutional help and tactical preparation for economic management and planning, in order to increase operational efficiency. Previous studies have confirmed that institutional processes and systems are the bridging factors towards TQM (Ferdousi et al., 2018, Helleno, 2017, Suarez et al., 2016). In a similar way, high appraisal has been provided to the customers’ satisfaction focus by the HEIs. This area indicates that the HEIs may establish how the universities recognise the expectations, requirements, wants, and preferences of learners, partners, and the industrial emphasis. This includes establishing the multiple metrics of success, as well as how these goals may be met. The HEIs can also adopt various indications of progress, which would be created on the basis of the teaching-quality polls, school meetings and discussion meetings, business needs or feedback surveys, and the assessment of learning and teaching efficacy. It further examines how higher education develops relationships with the
  • 36. 30 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter students and with the stakeholders; and it identifies the essential elements that attract talent and provide them to the advantage of students and stakeholders. Previous studies also showed that there is a structural relationship between TQM practices and customer satisfaction (Chen et al., 2017, Lee et al., 2010, Moreno‐ Luzon et al., 2013, Ooi et al., 2013, Phan et al., 2011). Moreover, the teaching and learning modes were evaluated as being high by the HEI respondents, demonstrating the great importance of instruction, as a collaborative activity of the students and the instructors. They created a high conviction that learning is a circle of interaction among teachers and learners; so that the knowledge and awareness mastering process could occur. The provision of teaching and learning is an activity that involves the exchange of information between teachers and undergraduates, which is performed elsewhere. This indicator describes the systems of learning and teaching done inside an institution. The range of learning modes should help the school. Studies suggest that teachers and students are the advocates of TQM, where quality standards start in the classroom (Baig et al., 2015, Bunglowala & Asthana, 2016, Chen et al., 2017, Rampa, 2010, Shroff, 2019). Benchmarking, as a TQM indicator, has been evaluated highly by the HEIs, demonstrating thereby that they are capable of coping with the dynamic changes effectively. In this event, the educational establishment compares its facilities and activities with those of their commercial colleagues, in order to increase the level of efficiency via benchmarking. To meet the market’s needs constantly, higher education institutions have to evaluate their programs and methods by assessing their major counterparts in the same sector, as well as in any other sectors that employ the same technique. Benchmarking has been regarded as an essential factor of TQM among HEIs in the world (Al-Zoubi, 2012, Kern Pipan et al., 2014, Levy & Ronco, 2012, Rolstadås, 2012, Sweis et al., 2015). Furthermore, the HEIs also exhibited a modest level of adoption of strategic planning and data management, as the markers of TQM. The conclusion shows that the HIEs cannot reach the best practice of effective strategic management and data management, as indicators of TQM. Strategic planning outlines how the institution sets out its future orientation and establishes its strategic goals, in order to guide and increase the quality of all organizations. This category further indicates how well the organization transforms strategic objectives into risk assessments; and how the institution works out a series of strategic goals and plans, at all stages of the institution. Effective strategic management improves the implementation of TQM among HIEs (Bromiley & Rau, 2014, Calvo-Mora et al., 2014, Chen et al., 2017, Moldovan, 2012, Rahimnia & Kargozar, 2016). The moderate degree of data-management practice of the HEIs, demonstrates that they have a satisfactory technique of knowledge management, as an element of TQM. Data-management elements and expertise should define the execution and the efficiency of data usage, and the necessary resources needed to enhance the overall task-related success and excellence. Furthermore, it should assure the
  • 37. 31 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter security and the availability of both the key information needed for day-to-day general administration. This should, therefore, concentrate on evaluating the facts and the information, as well as reacting effectively and efficiently to the circumstances (Calvo-Mora et al., 2015, Chang et al., 2011, Corredor & Goñi, 2011, Mehralian et al., 2013, Roldán et al., 2012, Valmohammadi & Roshanzamir, 2015). In general, the study showed that the participating Filipino HEIs have a high level of adoption on top management’s commitment, Teaching and Learning Delivery Modes, campus facilities, system and process management, customer satisfaction, and linkages. In contrast, the HEIs have only a moderate level of adoption in strategic planning and in Data Management. Research Question 2. Is there a significant difference in TQM adoption, when grouped according to the types and the levels of the select HEIs? Table 3 shows the test of the differences in the practice and adoption of TQM when grouped, according to the types and levels of the HEIs. When taken to the types of HEIs, significant differences showed in top management’s commitment (p=0.00**) and strategic planning (p=0.004**). It shows that the national and private HEIs have better adoption and practices on top management’s commitment and strategic planning than do the Philippines' other counterparts. Consequently, as to the levels of HEIs, strategic planning (P=0.000***) and high management commitment (p=0.046*) were seen to be significant. Consequently, this study showed a considerable difference in the level of adoption and the practices on TQM, when grouped, according to the types and standards used by the select universities. Table 3. Test of Differences on the adoption of TQM, when grouped according to the Types and Levels of HEIs Areas Types Levels Top Management’s Commitment 0.000** 0.046 * Strategic Planning 0.004** 0.000 ** Customer Satisfaction 0.543 ns 0.768 ns Data Management 0.897ns 0.765 ns System and Processes Management 0.123ns 0.768 ns Campus Facilities 0.459ns 0.476 ns Teaching and Learning Delivery Modalities 0.343 ns 0.344 ns Benchmark 0.567 ns 0.176 ns Note: * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.00 ns= not significant The results suggest that national HEIs and their university status level demonstrated more vital acceptance and practices to TQM. Hence, this study provides practical suggestions for Filipino HEIs to improve their implementation of TQM further. In the framework of this study, four elements have been discovered to spelling variations in the adoption of TQM, including strategic planning, data management, teaching and learning-delivery styles, as well as benchmarking. These criteria have been identified for participating in significant
  • 38. 32 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter colleges in the Philippines. Their significant attention on these issues has contributed to their quality-management structure. Looking at the context of top management’s commitment, as a component of TQM that is favoured by the private colleges in the Philippines, Calvo-Mora et al. (2014) stated that leadership is an essential element in the success of TQM. Therefore, management should demonstrate its dedication via effective resource-allocation, in order to support the fulfilment of all the procedural goals and of the development thereof. Haffer and Kristensen (2010) emphasised that management is liable for the engagement and involvement of all their employees; and, consequently, management must encourage workers to engage in outcome- making, and to improve their operations. In summary, the right direction of human capital should influence the appropriate execution and the development of the organization's operations, leading to improved outcomes. Likewise, strategic management should also be developed as a significant topic to be examined by universities on their TQM application. This study has indicated that Private HEIs are innovative and intervention-oriented; and they need to establish a proper balance throughout the strategic planning process. Compared to their public counterparts, Filipino private HEIs feel that profit-making comprises a part of their motivation. Filipino private colleges were primarily supported by their tuition fees, rather than via government money or charity contributions. As a result, private institutions depend more on customers’ (students’) experiences in their strategic planning, due to financial differences. Hayhoe et al. (2012) affirmed that the managers in private institutions are, therefore, distinct from their specified-term equivalents in public institutions, given that they often view the organization as their lifetime enterprise; and they, consequently, have a greater sense of purpose. Moreover, strategic planning is an important performance indicator of HEIs, when TQM is taken into consideration (Li, 2012, Mok & Jiang,2016, Yonezawa et al., 2016). 4. Conclusion This study has examined the implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM), as well as the practices of selected higher education institutions in the Philippines. It has utilized a cross-sectional survey-research approach with a total of 347 respondents. The results have indicated that the participating Filipino HEIs have had a high degree of adoption on the commitment of top management, Teaching and Learning Delivery Modes, campus amenities, system and process management, customer satisfaction, and linkages. In contrast, the HEIs have a modest degree of acceptance in strategic planning and Data Management. A test of the differences indicates that the strong confirmation to top management’s commitment and strategic planning, as indicators of TQM, is significantly more evidential to private type HEIs and those placed at the university level, when compared to those of the provincial and national HEIs.
  • 39. 33 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter The findings provide some practical implications to further enhance Filipino HEIs in the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Practical Teaching and Learning Implications The results of this study indicate numerous implications for the policies and the practices among higher educational institutions in the globe, in general, and the Filipino environment in particular. Firstly, there is a need to enhance further the Filipino institutions' strategic planning and their data-management skills, in order to get the maximum advantages of the Total Quality-Management (TQM) techniques. Secondly, partnerships with private HEIs could facilitate learning more about their management commitment and strategic framework. This is a strong foundation for other Filipino HEIs on which to embark. It was discovered that private HEIs place a high priority on these characteristics. Thirdly, the universities should become more dynamic and adaptive to changes, in order to cope with the difficulties of Education 4.0 effectively. Fourthly, there is a need for Filipino HEIs to become more flexible and inventive in the following areas: top management’s commitment, Teaching, and Learning Delivery Modes, campus amenities, system and process management, customer satisfaction, and connections, in order to become successful. They should be able to assist in creating new ideas to adapt to the ever-changing environment of university education in the Philippines. Limitations and a Future-Research Direction As with any research, this has some constraints and limitations. Future study should, therefore, expand upon this approach, by repeating the procedure across other types of institutions. A sampling approach of responses from a vast number of colleges would decrease any bias in the selection process. The study focuses on the eight aspects of TQM. The development of questions that dive further into the features of all HEIs in consideration could produce more studies. Alternatively, it might be helpful to interview those individuals, who have had this institution in the deciding set; and eventually, they have opted to attend a university. More study is needed, in order to offer a complete explanation that considers the comprehension of the various stakeholders. 5. References Abbas, J. (2020). Impact of total quality management on corporate sustainability through the mediating effect of knowledge management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 244, 118806. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959652619336765 Abdi, H., & Williams, L. J. (2010). Tukey’s honestly significant difference (HSD) test. Encyclopaedia of research design, 3(1), 1-5. Abu Amuna, Y. M., Al Shobaki, M. J., Abu-Naser, S. S., & Badwan, J. J. (2017). Understanding Critical Variables for Customer-Relationship Management in Higher Education Institutions from Employees’ Perspective. http://dstore.alazhar.edu.ps/xmlui/handle/123456789/407 Aljuhani, A. (2019). Challenges to Successful Total Quality-Management (TQM) Implementation in Saudi Higher Education Institutions. Indiana State University.