- Background of the Study
Physics is a fundamental Science which has profound influence on all the other sciences, therefore Physics-major students, engineering students as well as any student with a desire for a physics-based career must have a thorough understanding of its fundamental concepts, theories, principles, and laws. Apart from the fact that countless physical phenomena like rainbow, lightning, and the world of atoms are explained by the laws of physics, increased physics-based scientific knowledge brings about advances in technology. There is no shortage of new developments in the world of physics and indeed education, and specifically physics education, to help teachers teach students in a way that promotes meaningful learning.
According to Clarence (1944), Science has brought to education many valuable new instruments of learning and teaching of which considerable emphasis is being placed on the importance of the visual approach to teaching. In the same vein, Dean (2008) affirmed that all around the world teachers are becoming more aware of new teaching strategies and tools that can be used in the classroom with initiatives in teaching-learning that integrates the inquiry based learning with Information Communication Technology, Visual Models and Concept Mapping in an effort to aid and effect student-centred learning.
Globally the use of information and communication technologies in teaching-learning process has gained a lot of prominence and fast becoming an important element defining the basic learning competences of individual learners. According to World Bank (2006), Information and communication technologies consist of the computer hardware, software, networks, and media for the collection, processing, transmission, presentation and storage of information.
Unfortunately, in Nigeria, despite advances in teaching methods, acclaimed research-based four-step problem-solving framework to learning, and availability of textual materials, the number of students offering physics at the final year of the Senior Secondary School keeps dwindling yearly, and the academic performance at standardized test and examination remain largely discouraging and dismal.
At the Senior Secondary School level in Ekiti State for example, the teaching of physics has always borne the same old tradition of teaching using the lecture method, with minimum of conceptual visualization of concepts, and or topic presented by either teacher or learner. The teaching-learning of physics as in other subject areas has thus become uninteresting to learners as students fail to see any connection between presented concepts or topics, what is learnt, and the immediate or larger environment, thus resulting in poor learning achievement.
Zenger and Zenger (1990) in their opinion defined the traditional lecture method of teaching as an oral presentations given to a class by the teacher. Erickson (1960) described the lecture method of teaching as the telling method, which is the method of teaching outside of manipulative work. According to the Constructivist theory (Novak. 1990), each individuals has different learning styles and preferred means of learning, constructing individualized yet-accepted meanings to learned items, and thereby achieving set learning goals.