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EFFECT OF COMPUTER ASSISTED INSTRUCTION (CAI) ON STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE IN ECONOMICS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

EDUCATION RESEARCH PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS

EFFECT  OF  COMPUTER  ASSISTED  INSTRUCTION  (CAI)  ON  STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE IN ECONOMICS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN EKITI STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This study examined the Effect of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) on Students’ Performance in Economics in Senior Secondary Schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria. The study was conducted with four research objectives and four research questions were asked while four null hypotheses were formulated and tested at p < 0.05. Literatures that are related to the study were also reviewed. This study was conducted in the public Senior Secondary Schools in Ekiti State. Specifically, students of SSS II in Government Science College Iyin-Ekiti, Community High School Iyemero-Ekiti, Government College Oye-Ekiti, and Ijaloke Grammar School Emure-Ekiti with a population of 195, using quasi-experimental design. The bio-data of the respondents was analyzed with the use of frequency and percentage while mean and standard deviation was used to answer the four research questions. All the four null hypotheses were tested at 0.05% level of significance using t-test. A t-test of independent sample was used to compare the performance of students taught using Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) method with the performance of the group taught using only traditional method. The findings of the study among others revealed a significant difference in the post-test performance scores of students taught Economics with the use of computer assisted instruction when compared with those taught using the traditional method of instruction; that there was no significant difference in the performance of male and female students taught Economics with the use of computer assisted instruction. The first, third and fourth null hypotheses were rejected because the t-value was more than the p-value and the second null-hypotheses were retained as the t-value was less than the p-value. The study concluded that students perform better and score higher in Economics given test when taught using CAI enhanced method. Based on the conclusion, the study recommended that teachers and students in the Senior Secondary School as well as other levels of education should imbibe the use of CAI method of teaching since it enhances students’ performance in courses of study. Also the study recommended that CAI drill and practice software as well as CAI Experts and CAI resources (financial, infrastructure, computers and power generation sources) should be made available by respective Ministries of Education at the Federal and State levels, as well philanthropists who are interested to encourage educational development throughout the country.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

 

1.1         Background to the Study

 

Teaching methods and instructional techniques in the classrooms have been changing and this is influenced by technological advancements. Technology has changed the whole pattern of human life. The greatest contribution of cyber age technology is the development of Computer and its use in all walks of life. Computer according to Pritchard (2005) is a general purpose machine, commonly consisting of digital circuitry, that accepts (inputs), stores, manipulates, and generates (outputs) data as numbers, text, graphics, voice, video files, or electrical signals, in accordance with instructions called a programme. The two principal characteristics of a computer are: it responds to a specific set of instructions in a well-defined manner and it can execute a prerecorded list of instructions (a programme). Importantly, it is also concerned with the way these different uses can work with each other to enhance teaching and learning and to better the standard of living of people the world over (Pritchard, 2005).

 

Instruction is a statement or explanation of something that must be done, often given by someone in authority. Pratt (2008) views Instruction, as the activities of educating or instructing; activities that impart knowledge or skill written or spoken directions for carrying out a procedure or performing a task. Effective instructions often include visual elements (such as pictures, diagrams, and flowcharts) that illustrate and clarify the text. Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is the process by which written and visual information is presented in a logical sequence to a learner through a computer. The student learns by reading the text material presented or by observing the graphic information displayed. Some of the programmes provide audio-visual presentation with an option to the student to select audio presentation in addition to the visual media. Each segment of text is followed by questions,

for student‘s response. Feedback on response is indicated immediately (Locatis & Atkinson, 1984; Wang & Sleeman, 1993). CAI can be characterized as interactive and individualized learning as it usually involves a dialogue between one student and a computer programme, and a student can learn at his own pace and time frame (Curtis & Howard, 1990). There may be one student or several in a class, the students can be young or old, bright or below average intelligence, “normal” or physically challenged, highly motivated or “turned off,” rich or poor, male or female. The subject can be easy and straightforward or difficult and complex. The teacher may not be physically present, as with televised or computer-assisted instruction (CAI). Instruction takes place somewhere, in some specific context. The institution may be highly selective, or “open door” in its admissions policies. The climate for learning may be favourable or destructive, supportive or frustrating. The resources, both physical and human, may be lavish or meager. Instruction involves a teacher trying to teach someone something somewhere.

 

The artistic aspect of teaching has been likened to the activity of a symphony conductor (Eisner, 2004). The teacher, like the conductor, draws upon a repertoire of skills and orchestrates a highly complex process. Teaching, Eisner (2004) argues, is much more like the work of the artist than the scientist. Teaching involves complex judgments that unfold during the course of instruction. Teachers must deal creatively with the unexpected. Furthermore, the most important goals of teaching are those events (for instance; critical thinking, analytical reasoning and written/oral communication) that occur during the process. The outcomes are often embedded in the learning process itself.

 

Educational systems around the world are making efforts for the effective use of computer to teach students the knowledge and skills they need in the 21st century which will enhance students‘ learning of subject matter very fast and convenient to both the teachers and learners.

The impact computer assisted instruction (CAI) has on traditional teaching and learning has been described as; it predicted the transformation of the teaching-learning process and the way teachers and learners gain access to knowledge and information. With the emerging new technologies, the teaching profession is evolving from an emphasis on teacher-centred, lecture-based instruction to student-centred, interactive learning environments (UNESCO, 1998 World Education Report).

 

The designing and implementing a successful computer assisted instruction into teacher education programmes, is the key to fundamental, wide-range educational reforms (UNESCO, 1998). The use of computer is gradually taking roots in the educational system, especially in the pedagogical aspect; this has not left the economics education aspect out. CAI is being used as an instructional strategy at all grade levels from pre-primary to higher education. Children are also learning 3Rs (Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic) through CAI. Chauhan (1994) mentions that CAI system has been utilized at all levels of education ranging from elementary school, secondary school, teachers training college, undergraduate, post graduate studies and on the job training in almost all subjects. Developed countries (for example; USA, Brazil, Japan, France, Germany, et cetera) have been using CAI for more than three or four decades. A lot of research on various aspects of CAI has been conducted (such is that of Shlechter, 1991) which studied the effect of using Computer technology in economics classes and found that traditional teaching are important for transmitting information about economic theory, but CAI holds the potential to enhance dramatically students‘ learning of economic theory) in these countries. They have refined this mode of instruction in the light of findings of researches and are still looking for better use of it. Developing countries (for instance; Bangladesh, South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia et cetera) are also introducing CAI to their education systems. They have planned and are making efforts for the effective use of this innovative application.

Computer-assisted instruction provides a good base for students to work at their own pace with immediate feedback (Carlson and Schodt, 1995, p.24). Animated graphs and flow-charts help the students to better understand the shift of the curves or the relationship between different sectors of the economy (Welford 1986, p.132). Therefore, computer assisted instruction (CAI) provides rich opportunities for helping students to move beyond being ―problem-set smart‖ toward ‗thinking like economists‘. The actual use of computer technology in economics education is still limited due to obstacles related to teaching staff members and students, technical potentials and available financial resources. Also, arts and social science students have not been applying Computer skills with their teaching learning process which is at the core, to enhance the teaching process, which can be a stepping stone in developing and equipping the learners with skills in Computer applications in their future endeavours, with little or no assistance.

 

This study is out to establish the effects of CAI on students‘ performance in Economics in the Senior Secondary Schools. It is against this background that the study seeks to establish if Computer and application software are appropriate to enhance the teaching and learning of Economics in the Senior Secondary Schools. Students from various senior secondary schools are supposed to be at the fore front of applying Computer skills in their daily contact with the equipment and also looking at the nature of the subjects; which is geared towards preparing them for the place of work and also the classroom. The present research intends to investigate whether or not the teaching of Economics subject can be enhanced by the use of CAI in the public senior secondary Schools in Ekiti State.

1.2         Statement of the Problem

The ability to use Computer is necessary just as formal education; as reading, writing, and arithmetic. As jobs become increasingly oriented towards the use of Computer, society demands and rewards individuals who know how to use Computer systems, by giving them

special preference over those who doesn‘t know how to use computer. Learning any skill without the necessary equipment and facilities negates Aristotle‘s saying that one learns to be a good flute player by filing the flute.

 

From the researcher‘s observation in the Ekiti State public senior secondary school students who are furthering their studies in higher institutions of learning (in Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti to be precise) are unable to carry out simple operations on a computer such as using the computer software for econometrics, simple browsing and word processing, caught the researcher attention. The researcher became curious to carry out an investigation on why these students are unable to carry out such simple computer operations. Also, the researcher‘s interaction with most students from various Senior Secondary Schools, especially in the three Senatorial District of the state, where teaching learning takes place, are lacking skills in computer application and usage, they cannot browse and can‘t surf the ‗net‘ effectively without assistance.

 

There seems to be poor or non-existence internet connectivity, inadequate learning resources in most secondary schools in the country, including related educational tools, and other learning materials. Also, there seems to be a missing link between the practical applications of Computer in teaching of Economics in Senior Secondary schools in Ekiti State. It is on the basis of this problem that this study will be carried out. This study seeks to determine the effect of computer assisted instruction (CAI) on students‘ performance in Economics in senior secondary schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria.

1.3         Objectives of the Study

This study was set out to achieve the following objectives:

  1. to determine the effects of CAI on students‘ performance in Economics as compared to the traditional method of instruction in senior secondary schools in Ekiti State.
    1. to determine the performance of male and female Economics students when exposed to computer assisted instruction in senior secondary schools in Ekiti State.

     

    1. to determine the effects of computer aided instruction (CAI) on the pre-test and post-test mean performance scores of the experimental group of students in senior secondary schools in Ekiti State.

     

    1. to determine the relationship between students‘ performance in Economics and CAI drill and practice in senior secondary schools in Ekiti State.

     

    1.4         Research Questions

     

    In view of the above, the following research questions were formulated to guide the conduct of the study:

     

    1. What are the effects of CAI on students‘ performance in Economics as compared to the traditional method of instruction in senior secondary schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria?

     

    1. What is the performance of male and female Economics students when exposed to computer assisted instruction in senior secondary schools in Ekiti State?

     

    1. What is the effect of computer aided instruction (CAI) on the pre-test and post-test mean performance scores of the experimental group of students in senior secondary schools in Ekiti State?

     

    1. What is the relationship between students‘ performance in Economics and CAI drill and practice in senior secondary schools in Ekiti state?

     

    1.5         Research Hypotheses

     

    The following Null hypotheses were postulated for this study:

     

    Ho1      There is no significant difference in the performance of students in Economics when they are exposed to computer assisted instruction, and traditional method of instruction in senior secondary schools in Ekiti State.

    Ho2 Ho3 Ho4

    There is no significant difference in the performance of male and female Economics

     

    students when exposed to computer assisted instruction.

     

    There is no significant difference in the effect of computer aided instruction (CAI) on

     

    the  pre-test  and  post-test  mean  performance  scores  of  the  experimental  group  in

     

    Economics in senior secondary schools in Ekiti State.

     

    There is no significant relationship between students‘ performance in Economics and

     

    CAI drill and practice in senior secondary schools in Ekiti State.

     

     

    1.6         Basic Assumptions of the Study

     

    This study was conducted with the assumptions that:

     

    1. all the students and teachers of economics in senior secondary schools are computer literate.

     

    1. there is availability of computer experts and facilities in all senior secondary schools where economics is offered.

     

    1.7         Significance of the Study

     

    This study will be very useful to teachers of Arts and Social Science Education (especially Economics) in senior secondary schools in Ekiti State, who know the importance of computer in their pedagogical applications, since it is gradually taking over the place of the traditional method of teaching. Furthermore, it will give them insight into the various pedagogical knowledge related to CAI.

     

    The study will be of great significance to computer programmers and school administrations of secondary schools in the sense that, this study will give an insight of what is expected of them in planning for the students and teachers in the future, if they want to turn out trained teachers for the 21st century classroom and labour market. Also, the design, planning and developing of software will reflect the principles and practical application of

    CAI with the classroom context and help them to provide for individualized instruction to meet special needs.

     

    The study will be of great significance to the Ministry of Education, as well as Ministry of Science and Technology, as they are the principal determinants in the pedagogic aspect of computer and secondary school education in Nigeria. The findings of the study will enable them to understand the situation and position of CAI towards quality of education as it will offer students various degrees of control over their own learning, enable instruction to be tailored according to individual student‘s needs, and enable the ministry to get feedback on student performance and store it for further reference. This study will further provide the needed frame work in the full implementation of CAI in teaching and learning; and thereby enhancing the quality of learning in students.

     

    The study will be of great significance to the Curriculum Planner as it will afford them the opportunity of streamlining many educational tasks. It will provide them with the vision to plan for a wide range of fields, including all the main disciplines in elementary, secondary and tertiary institutions. More so, the findings will help the curriculum planner to integrate and enhance the skills of search and development of in-class activity into the curriculum content. The study will help them to easily plan for a higher order thinking skills, critical thinking skills, and problem solving skills. Also, the inculcation of CAI into education system will be of great value to the curriculum planners in the sense that it will equip them with the innovative skill of planning for people with physical limitations, learning disabilities and language limitations.

    The findings of this research will prompt WAEC and other examination bodies to review its assessment strategy and provide them with the needed framework in the full implementation of CAI in assessing the students‘ performance without any delay just as the deputy director, quality assurance department of the Joint Admissions and Matriculations

     

    Board (JAMB), while delivering a speech at the 2014 national workshop on the use of computer-based test for final year pupils of secondary schools in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital said ―no candidate wishing to gain admission into a university, polytechnic or college of education would have the option of writing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) by the usual paper-based option come 2015‖. The JAMB director further states that there was ―nowhere in the world today where public examinations, such as the UTME, are written with pencils or biros, he added that the benefits of the computer-based test will include release of result not lasting over 72 hours, absence of familiar examination malpractices, zero result seizure as well as absence of external influences‖.

     

    Also, the study will be of great benefits to the students in the sense that it will increase students‘ motivation to learning and bring about personal satisfaction and facilitate students‘ engagement. It will also be of great significance to the students as it will offer the students to maintain a dialogue of information between the computer and a learner without dependence upon normal vision. This is possible because there are several media alternatives for information input to the learner. These alternatives include large print (visual), braille (tactile), the OPTACON reading system (tactile), and auditing (auditory). Consequently, it will provide the students with interactive involvement with instructional materials.

    Furthermore, it is hoped that the result from this research would be of great significance to other researchers who may embark on similar or related field of study. The findings will enable them to know the extent studies have been carried out in this field and also this study will serve as a point of reference to them and source of literature review. Researchers will be fed with the latest information about CAI and its application in teaching process.

     

    Economics Educators will find the study very relevant in the sense that the findings will reveal the place of CAI in Economics Education and other related fields of study. It will

    help them learn to navigate through large amounts of information, to analyze and make decisions; and to master new knowledge domains in an increasingly technological society. Economics educators will need to be lifelong learners, collaborating with others in accomplishing complex tasks, and effectively using different systems for representing and communicating knowledge to others.

     

    1.8         Scope of the study

     

    This research was delimited to the effect of CAI on students‘ performance in Economics in senior secondary schools in Ekiti State. Specifically, students of SSS II in Government Science College Iyin-Ekiti, Community High School Iyemero-Ekiti, Government College Oye-Ekiti and Ijaloke Grammar School Emure-Ekiti State. However, the study was also delimited to the use of computer application software which is user friendly and also good for teaching and learning of Economics. The software in Economics will enable the students to be conversant with what is obtainable in the place of work or in their future Economic application.

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