Science as a discipline is an organized body of knowledge and a process of inquiry which can be developed through observation and experimentation. Scientific knowledge is often applied and geared towards problem solving in order to enhance the living standard of man which is termed technology. Different scientists define science differently according to their perception and understanding of the subject matter. For example, Gottlieb (2005) defined science as an intellectual activity carried on by humans designed to discover information about the natural world in which we live and to discover the ways in which this information can be organized and utilized to benefit human race. The primary aim of science according to Gottlieb (2005) is to collect facts (data) and the ultimate purpose is to discern the order that exists between and among the various facts. According to Maikano (2007) learning is a process by which concepts, ideas or information are communicated from the source to the recipient. Traditionally, the primary source of information is the teacher while the recipients are the students. Learning as a process takes place using different methods. The recent global method of learning is through the Computer- Assisted Instruction (CAI). Serkan (2015) defined CAI as the most often referred to drill-and- practice, tutorial or simulation activities offered either by themselves or as supplements to traditional and teacher directed instruction. It refers either to the use of Computer by school staff to organize students data and make instructional decision or to activities, in which the computer evaluates students test performance, guides them to appropriate instructional resources and keeps the record of their progress. CAI allows the students to have the control of the learning materials, thereby guiding them to learn at their own pace. Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) is a learning process that requires the use of computers and digital knowledge. In CAI instruction the teacher usually develops softwareusing a particular topic for example plant concepts in biology. In CAI teaching the students are properly guided on the concepts they are expected to learn and they always learn this at their own pace. According to Serkan (2015) CAI also most often referred to drill- and – 2 practice tutorial or simulation activities that the students often use to learn as a supplement to traditional and teacher directed instruction.Urdan and Weggen (2000) reported that CAI education and training is one of the most promising delivery methodologies associated with digital knowledge and that Schools stand to gain many benefits associated with Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI). Some of these benefits include decreased travel cost; just-in-time learning and higher retention through personalized learning are just a few of the potential benefits.However when delivery Computer- Assisted Instruction (CAI)there are some special design concerns. Selecting a delivery technique or combination of techniques is the most important of these concerns. CAIdelivery techniques fall into two categories, these are: Individualized Computer- Assisted Instruction (ICAI) and Cooperative Computer-Assisted Instruction (CCAI). In ICAI one Computer is given to one student while in CCAI, a minimum of two students and a maximum of four students are given one Computer to learn with. In this study the ICAI category was adopted. Experimental Group 1 (EG 1) is the group that learnedBiology concepts using the Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI). CAI is the use of Computers to generate data at the students request and illustrate relationship in models of social or physical reality.Such Computers further execute programmes developed by the researcher and provide general enrichment in relatively unstructured exercises designed to stimulate and motivate students learning ability. In this study CAI was used to see if it can improve on the academic performance and retention of low ability students. Experimental Group 2 (EG 2) learned concepts of biology using the Science Process Approach.According to Gagne (1970) reported in Mari (2001) Science Process Approachis a method of teaching science which originated from the United States of America in the 1960’s during the development of such new science curricula as the Science-Process Approach (SAPA), the Elementary Science Study (ESS) and the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS). SPA is a learning process that leads to the acquisition of Science Process Skills. Science Process Skills are intellectual skills needed to learn concepts and broad principles used in making valid inductive inferences. In this study SPA was used in order to ascertain if it can improve on the Academic Performance and Retention of Low Ability students. Eze (2005) stated that the teaching/learning process has to do with attainment of set 3 objectives of instruction that is reflected on the academic performance of the students. In science instruction for instance, if a learner accomplishes a task successfully and attains the specified goal for a particular learning experience, he is said to have achieved. The attainment of the goal of science education is a major concern of education policy makers such as the Ministry of Education (MOE), National Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) and one of such goal is the inculcation of good academic achievement for all by the end of 21stcentury. Wilson (2001) reported that since the foundation of academic achievement is laid in schools, the use of innovative teaching method such as theSPA and CAI approaches becomeimperative. CAI also known as the Computer-Assisted Instruction describes education that occurs only through the computer medium while SPA is an instructional strategy that promotes the acquisition of Science Process Skills. According to Bichi (2002) Students‟ retention is very important in any teaching/learning situation. Permanent and meaningful learning is the ultimate target of our educational endeavour. Understanding and retention are products of meaningful learning when teaching is effective and meaningful to the students. Retention is the ability to retain and consequently remember things experienced or learned by an individual at a later time. It takes place when learning is coded into memory lane. Thus, appropriate coding of incoming information provides the index that may be consulted so that retention takes place without an elaborate search in the memory lane,Oyedokun (1998) in Bichi (2002). Adeniyi (1997) reported in Bichi (2002) stated that the nature of the material to be coded contributed to the level of retention. Materials are related to the quality of retention in terms of their meaningfulness, familiarity, concreteness and image evolving characteristics. Several factors such as the teachers, learning environment, students amongst others are known to influence retention. Bichi (2002) reported that anything that aids learning should improve retention while things that lead to confusion or interference among learned materials decrease the speed and efficiency of learning and accelerates forgetting. Retention level in relation to age has been investigated by several researchers. Cross (1994) in Bichi (2002) reported that retention increases from infancy throughout the teenage years followed by a slow recession in middle age. Studies on retention and instructional strategy have attracted the attention of many researchers in recent years. In this study the retention level of studentstaught 4 conceptsof biology using the Computer-Assisted Instructional Strategy was investigated and compared with that of students taught the same biology concepts using the science process approach and lecture method. Another important issue is that of the influence of gender and teaching methods in science. According to Adesoji (2008) reported that the impact of instructional strategies on students academic performance in science suggest that there is a relationship between gender and teaching methods. Differences in the performance of both male and female students in science subjects when exposed to various instructional strategies are reported by Okeke (2001) to be insignificant. However, some research findings such as those of Isyaku and Kalgo (1996), Koleoso, Oyekan and Olabode (1999) and Mari (2001) revealed consistent differences between the academic performance of male and female learners in performing tasks in science. Mari (2001) for instance, reported thatstudents academic performance in science was significantly high when taught by teachers of opposite sex. However Ogunleye (2001) observed that it is also on record however that other researchers revealed conflicting results of no difference in academic performance. Okeke (2001) reported that the reasons researchers attribute to gender related differences in academic performance between male and female learners include the innovative nature of the instructional approach used, students cognitive ability levels, psychological and socio-cultural factors. It will therefore be interesting to find out if there may be a link between CAI, SPA and LM in gender related differences in academic performance between male and female students because the activities associated with the Science Process Approach may be too cumbersome to the girls since they do not like activity based work. That notwithstanding, issues regarding gender and science still remains a controversy. One of such controversy according to Adesoji (2008) is that girls do not like practical work and can‟t handle the enquiry method. Another controversy is whether biology is viewed by students as predominantly feminine or masculine subject. A gender stereotypic view on teaching method is yet another issue that is of concern in science teaching.
EFFECTS OF COMPUTER AShttps://jollertexcomputer.com.ng/index.php/2019/07/12/availability-of-laboratory-facilities-on-senior-secondary-school-students-academic-performance-in-biology/SISTED INSTRUCTION ON BIOLOGY STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
Statement of the Problem.
The driving force to conduct this study is the dwindling poor performance of students in Biology examinations as confirmed by West African Examination Council (WAEC) (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014) Chief Examiners report. Moreover, the statistics of students‟ performance in WAEC (biology) examinations .
The observed failure is mostly attributed to improper exposure to laboratory activities, poor science background at the Junior Secondary, lack of problem solving ability (Mari, 2001), inability to read and understand examination questions (WAEC, 2012, 2014), students perception of biology practical as a difficult task, lack of qualified teachers, lack of teaching facilities, lack of equipped laboratories, inadequate coverage of syllabus (Bunkure, 2012), persistent use of lecture or expository method of teaching. Another motivation to conduct the present study is derived from the global introduction of the Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) as one of the most recent approaches to learning. Hoare (2008) stated that CAI represents a global change in teaching style. He further stated that the schools failing to embrace this technological progress in learning will not be able to meet the global needs of digital knowledge based societies and as a result will not survive the change in the paradigm of education. Education is a global commodity therefore Nigerian approach to it must follow the global trend which is the CAI.
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