AN ASSESSMENT OF METHODS OF TEACHING BIOLOGY COURSES TO BIOLOGY EDUCATION STUDENTS IN SELECTED NIGERIAN INSTITUTIONS

AN ASSESSMENT OF METHODS OF TEACHING BIOLOGY COURSES TO BIOLOGY EDUCATION STUDENTS IN SELECTED NIGERIAN INSTITUTIONS

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

          Biology education has been described as education for and about science (Okwuanaso & Nwazor, 2000;Nwosu, 2003).  In other words, Biology education teaches knowledge and competencies required in managing human body and health.   Biology education is considered as the pedagogical knowledge and Biology teaching competencies necessary for teaching Biology attitude, concept, skills and knowledge.  This could be for personal or vocational usage or career as an administrator, manager or teacher.  Biology education is seen as a programme that has promoted skills which enable an individual to function effectively and efficiently, as an employee, or employer in educational sector, hospital etc.  Chukwu and Ishiaku (2004) in Olumese (2007) stated that Biology education is a comprehensive discipline whose instructional programme encompasses the knowledge, attitudes and skills needed by all persons in order to effectively manage their personal life and economic system and also the skills needed for entry into employment and advancement in a broad range of career.  In order to achieve this objective, the use of technology becomes very important as a means of learning and teaching.

          The use of information and communication technology and morden facility as a means of improving the teaching and learning efficiency and effectiveness in Biology education is not in doubt.  With the introduction of information and communication technology (ICT),there will be changes in pedagogical delivery system.  Akudulu (2006) believed that the advent of information communication technology has given rise to the formulation of new educational objectives which requires innovation and modification in the content, method and evaluation strategies.  According to Omolade (2003) in Olumese (2008) the three methods that can be used in teaching Biology education are through formal education, non-formal education and informal education.  Akinpelu, Adewale and Otunla (1999) noted that these three methods can utilize information communication technology (ICT) such as micro computers, teleconference, video conferencing, electronic mail, cyber space and internet, computer, teleconferencing and audio conferencing.  Others include hyper text, video text, communication satellite, interactive cable television technique.

          E-learning, can be described as a “virtual classroom”.  Edigbo (2004) described it as a group of students assembled in a common virtual classroom to meet an instructor on-line (that is, in cyber space).  The participants enroll by sending an e-mail to the instructor.  The instructor sends out learning materials by electronic means to each participant.  Participants submit their assignments electronically to the instructor and receive corrections later.  In this way, e-learning is established.

          The Wikipedia (2010) refers to e-learning as the use of electronic media and information communication technologies (ICT) in education.  Broadly speaking, it includes all forms of educational technology in learning and teaching.  E-learning is synonymous with multimedia learning, technology – enhanced learning (TEL), computer based interaction (CBL), computer based training (CBT), computer-assisted instruction or computer aided instruction (CAI), internet based training (IBT), web-based training (WBT), online education, virtual education, virtual learning environment (VTE) (which is also called learning platforms) and digital educational collaboration (DEC).

          E-learning if integrated into Biology education programme could attract the following benefits to the students, lecturers and other stakeholders in Biology education:

·         Provide access to information with the latest technologies to support professionalism in Biology education (Ile and Okoli, 2003).

·         Enhance the development of standard through curriculum development design and innovation, which will put in place appropriate human and material instructional resources for effective teaching and learning.

·         Help to engage student in learning process and skills which will be useful in social life and in the world of work.

·         It promotes motivation of students and teachers to engage in research for indebt knowledge in Biology education, information communication technology and general education

According to World Bank (2002), tertiary education is seen as the capstone of the traditional education pyramid.  As the apex of educational structure, it is a critical pillar of human development which provides a life-long learning framework for training high-level skilled human capital resources in all spheres of life namely, teachers, doctors, nurses, civil servants, engineers, humanities, entrepreneurs, scientist and myriad of personnel (Aduwa-Ogiegbaen & Imogie, 2005).  Aduwa and Imogiefurther maintained that improved tertiary education is necessary for sustainable progress in basic education.  With the advent of globalization and information revolution, education is expected to create intellectual capacity on which knowledge production depends on.  It is also expected to play a key role in promoting life long learning practices that is necessary for updating people’s knowledge and skills.  To achieve this, tertiary institutions need to change their instruction modes of operation and delivery by taking advantage of e-learning technologies, which is an integral part of information communication technology (ICT).

          The focus of this research is on the impact of Biology education in high institutions of learning in Enugu state.  If an improved tertiary institution is necessary for sustainable progress in intellectual capacity building in terms of knowledge and skills, Biology education as a field of study provides the opportunity for teaching and learning Biology attitudes, concepts, skills and knowledge for the world of work and self sustainability, while e-learning serves as the instructional electronic media through which Biology education programme is delivered.  In this regard therefore, it is important to conduct an empirical investigation into the strategies for impacting Biology education in high institutions of learning in Delta State and present dispensation of globalization in science, technology and economic development.

Statement of the Problem

          The world is technologically getting advanced. It is sometimes referred to as a global village.  The reason for this assertion is attributed to the influence of information and communication technology.  E-learning as a matter of fact is fast becoming popular in Biology education instructional delivery method, most especially in tertiary institutions in Europe, America, and other developed and technologically advanced countries.  In Nigeria, its usage as instructional method of teaching and learning in Biology education of high institutions needs to be emphasized in line with what obtains in other part of the world.

Purpose of the Study

          The main purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of method of teaching biology courses to Biology education student in selected Nigerian tertiary institutions in Delta State. Specifically, the study will:

1.   Determine the extent to which facility are available for use in Biology education programme in high institutions in Delta State.

2.   Determine the impact of teaching biology courses to Biology education student in tertiary institutions in Delta State.

3.   To identify the major problems and constraints for pedagogical application in Biology education programme of tertiary institutions in Delta State.

4.   To determine strategies for improving the Biology education programme of tertiary institutions in Delta State.

Research Questions

          The following research questions were raised to guide the study:

1.   To what extent facility are available in teaching biology course to Biology education student in tertiary institutions in Delta State?

2.   To what extent the impact of Biology education student of tertiary institutions in Delta State?

3.   What are the major constraints against the use of e-learning technologies as a method in Biology education student in tertiary institutions in Delta State?

4.   What are the strategies for improving the availability of e-learning technologies for Biology education programme of tertiary institutions in Delta State?

Hypotheses

          The following null hypotheses were formulated and will be tested in this study at 0.05 level of significance:

1.   There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of Biology educators in the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education on the extent of availability of e-learning technologies for Biology education in tertiary institutions in Delta State.

2.   There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of male and female Biology educators on the extent of learning Biology education programme of tertiary institutions in Delta State

3.   There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of Biology educators in universities, polytechnics and colleges of education on the constraints against the Biology education programmes of tertiary institutions in Delta State.

4.   There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of male and female Biology educators on the strategies for improving Biology education programmes of tertiary institutions in Delta State

Significance of the Study

          The significance of the study is centered on the students, Biology educators, educational planner, administrators and the general public.  The findings of the study will encourage Biology educators and students to develop skills and competencies for teaching and learning in Biology education programme.

          Curriculum planners will be made to design curriculum that will encourage and emphasize technology driven education at the 21st century in Biology education course contents which will improve students’ skills and competencies for employability and self sustainability.

          The study will provide improved performance in terms of teaching and learning abilities of Biology educators and students of tertiary institutions in Enugu State.          Additionally, administrators and managers of Biology education in tertiary institutions in Enugu State will be able to access students’ payments, records, admission, evaluating and results, on-line registration, online assessment and exchange programmes.

          Finally, alumni, parents and the general public will be able to access the websites of Biology education in tertiary institutions, Enuge State for general information, and students’ follow-up programmes.

Scope of the Study      

          The scope of this study is on the assessment of the impact of Biology education in high institutions of learning in Delta State.  Therefore, Biology educators in tertiary institution in Enugu State that offers Biology education programme are involved in the study.  The institutions are Universities and Colleges of Education.

          It will determine the extent of impact tertiary Biology education, and constraints in teaching and learning of Biology education of tertiary institutions in Delta State.





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