EFFECTS OF COMPUTER ASSISTED INSTRUCTION ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENTS IN BIOLOGY IN ABAKALIKI EDUCATION ZONE, EBONYI STATE

EFFECTS OF COMPUTER ASSISTED INSTRUCTION ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENTS IN BIOLOGY IN ABAKALIKI EDUCATION ZONE, EBONYI STATE

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Abstract

This study sought to determine the effects of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) on students’ achievements in Biology. To guide the study, three research questions were asked and three hypotheses formulated.The study adopted a quasi-experimental design, because there was no randomization of subjects into experimental and control groups. The study was conducted in secondary schools in Abakaliki Education Zone of Ebonyi State. Simple random sampling was used to select two secondary schools from two Local Government Areas in the education zone. From these two schools drawn for the study, all the SS1 students in each of the two schools were used as sample for the study. A total of 303 senior secondary school students (SS1) composed the sample of the study.  A 30-item multiple choice test called Biology Achievement Test (BAT) was developed for the purpose of data collection.The research questions were answered usingmean and standard deviation, while the hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Findings from the study revealed that, Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) is an effective instructional method for teaching biology. The students in the experimental group who were taught some contents in biology using Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) as a method of instruction achieved better in BAT (20.41 ± 3.770) than their counterparts in the control group who were taught using the conventional classroom instruction (17.87 ± 2.998). The result of the hypotheses also indicated that there was a significant difference between the achievements of the students in the experimental and control groups (F=43.392, р=0.000), in favour of the students in the experimental group. The result of the study also revealed that the female students in the experimental group achieved slightly better in BAT (20.53 ± 4.230) than their male counterparts (20.28 ± 3.248) in the same group, however, there was no significant difference between their mean achievements (F= 0.380, р= 0.539). Another finding of the study showed that there was no significant effect of interaction (F= 0.000, р=0.990) between teaching method and gender on students’ achievements in Biology. In view of the findings of the study, it was recommended that necessary attention should be accorded CAI as a method of instruction, government should provide computer facilities in secondary schools for teaching and learning, and teachers should employ the use of CAI for their instructions.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1            Background to the Study

Biology is the study of living organisms, divided into many specialized fields that cover their morphology, physiology, anatomy, behaviour, origin, and distribution (Wikipedia, 2016). Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, evolution, distribution, identification and taxonomy. Modern biology is a vast and eclectic field, composed of many branches and sub-disciplines such as anatomy, entomology, ethology, veterinary science, mammalogy, primatology, zoology, entomology, etc. However, despite the broad scope of biology, there are certain general and unifying concepts within it that govern all study and research, consolidating it into single, coherent field. In general, biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, and evolution as the engine that propels the synthesis and creation of new species. It is also understood today that all the organisms survive by consuming and transforming energy and by regulating their internal environment to maintain a stable and vital condition known as homeostasis (Wikipedia, 2016).        

Biology is a science subject being taught at the senior secondary school. Biology teaching helps learners to understand  biological concepts,  principles  theories  and  laws. Among others,   the   objectives   of   teaching   biology   at secondary school level as stated by National Policy on  Education (2004)  involve  ability  of  the learners’  to  development  of  an  awareness  of  the environment,  to  have  meaningful  and  relevant knowledge in biology necessary for successful living in a scientific and technological world and to make room for technological advancement.

In view of the above, it would be observed that the  schools  are  not  only  to  equip  learners  with  basic  knowledge of biology content but also the practical  skills  needed  for  enhancing  self  development.  In  order to achieve this, the pedagogical approach which  is centred on teachers’ method of imparting facts  and  concepts  of  the  subjects  is  important. The  implication is that biology teaching must be effective  and   meaningful   to   achieve   this   goal. The conventional instructional methods are not able to achieve these goals.   NTI (2008) remarked that the conventional instructional method is teacher centred while Adeyemi (2012) also commented  that  theconventional instructional method is characterized by emphasis   on   instructor   behaviour   rather   than students’ behaviour, minimal responses of students to the instructional materials and delayed feedback on students’ performance.

In order to facilitate the achievement of such goals,the  recent  moves  of  information  revolution  and knowledge  explosion  in  technology  have  brought about changes in the educational system. Technology is utilized in enhancing instruction thus shifting from teacher centred conventional methods attitude have increased across many countries and have proved tobe effective. Ochoyi and Ukwumunu (2008) reported that   the use and increasing growth of technology in the classroom provides new opportunities for deliveryof instruction. Educators  utilizing  technology  to enhanced instruction have increased in number across a  variety  of  disciplines  and  the  method  has  beenproven to be effective. Research has indicated that technology  in  the  classroom  can  be  useful  in pedagogy  management  and  an  effective  teachingenhancement.  Technology  has  been  described  by Abimbade, Aremu & Adedoja (2003) as a systematic and integrated  organization  of  man,  machine,  ideaand procedure to achieve a desire goal. Over the years, various machines have been invented by man in  technology. The  major  and  most  influentialtechnology in the last millennium is the introduction of computer.The introduction of computer in education has not only being found to improved access to learning by all and quality knowledge delivery; its  applicationhas also being in the teaching-learning process.   This may improve students’ achievement in some subjects such as biology where students’ performance is very low. Students’   performance   in   biology   hasconsistently been reportedly low over the years in Nigeria especially in  public  examinations  such  as senior  secondary  school  certificate   examination (WAEC Chief Examiners’ Report, 2010).

Hayes and  Robins (2010)  found  that  the  use  of computer  based  instruction  is  effective  on  the achievement of pre-service teachers as well as their attitude  towards  computer  instruction.  In similar study, Ogunleye (2007) also noted that computer in expands pedagogical resources available to teachers in science classroom thus supporting teaching.   The implication  of  this  is  that  the  introduction  of computer in the delivery of biology instruction as a science subject in classroom may improve the quality of  pedagogical  delivery and  students’  learning outcome.

It has also been commonly accepted and proven that information and communication (ICT) is the engine of the 21st century and beyond as it will chart the economy of developing countries.  Therefore,  the  integration  of computer  which  is  the  major  and  most influential technology  in  the  last


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