THE EFFECTS OF TEACHING COMPUTER SCIENCE ON STUDENTS ACHIEVEMENT USING LECTURE AND LABORATORY METHOD OF INSTRUCTION IN EBONYI STATE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

One of the greatest inventions in today’s world is the development of the modern-day computers Dele, (2002). Since the invention of personal computers in the early 70s, computer has touched every area of our lives. There is no aspect of human activity that computer cannot be applied Ezeliora, (2004:27). Various unprecedented breakthroughs have been recorded in the computer world – new possibilities, new technologies, new capacities, more efficiency and accuracy, etc. According to Johnson (1985), the various technologies in computer have created more problems in terms of its education, ethics, management and policies. Therefore, the teaching and learning of computer has gained popularity in the world all over.

The teaching and learning of computer science has gained more emphasis in tertiary schools throughout West Africa even down to lower schools Dele, (2002). Teaching computer today has become lucrative. However, just as there are many teachers, there are as well many teaching methods and strategies, all with a common goal – the quest to maximize learning among learners.

For learning to occur, the teacher should be ready to use the most effective strategies to achieve educational objectives. One of the important duties of the teacher as a major operator in teaching/learning programme is to effectively teach, another is to effectively evaluate the students on the objectives of instruction Okeke, (2004).

Teaching methods have an important role to play in humanizing classroom instruction. Different teaching methods are used on different occasion to achieve educational objectives in the classroom. The role of computer in the classroom is enormous. The Computer Aided Instruction (CAI) and the Computer Managed Instruction (CMI) can be used to teach any subject. These effectiveness of the computer has placed a high and sensitive demand on the teaching and learning of computer science. Igwe (2003) emphasized that science educators are still searching for the best teaching strategies that would enhance better learning of computer science and some of these strategies that are fast gaining recognition includes lecture, experimental, project, problem-solving, demonstration, laboratory and group method respectively. However, we are going to consider only lecture and laboratory method in this study.

The lecture method is an age-long method, it is the most popular and commonly used in Africa Igwe, (2003). It is characterized by one-way flow of information from the teacher to the students. Aguokogbuo (2000), states that teachers have always resorted to the lecture method because of its capacity to handle large classroom/number of students, lack of teaching materials and easy evaluation of students performance. On the other hand, the laboratory method also known as student’s investigation approach has gained recognition in the recent years (Igwe 2003). He further stated that this method of instruction deals with first hand experience regarding materials or facts obtained from investigation on experimentation (Lardizabel, Stone, and John 1997) agreed that this method as the experimental method enlarged and expanded which enables the student to participate effectively in the classroom through the way communication thereby igniting excitement in the students and this makes learning enjoyable.

This study, the Effects of Teaching Computer Science on Students Achievement using Lecture and Laboratory method of Instruction therefore, seeks to determine the relationship/influence of these teaching strategies on the student’s performance in computer science and the more effective strategy. This will be determined in a carefully controlled experiment.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

There is no consensus of opinion yet among educators concerning which teaching method will most effectively facilitate better understanding of computer science by the learner (Okereke, 2004). Therefore, one would be tempted to believe that whether computer science is taught using lecture or laboratory method the result would be the same.

Researchers will not relent on their effort especially in the area of computer science education until there is a generally accepted strategy for teaching computer science. This study therefore seeks to compare lecture and laboratory method of instruction, which one is better and will the combination of both teaching strategies produce better result than using only one of the teaching strategies.

1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The main purpose of this study was to find out the effect of teaching computer science in Ebonyi State using lecture and laboratory method of instruction.

The study specifically determined: –

The effect of teaching computer science on students achievement using lecture and laboratory method if instruction

The effect of teaching computer science on male and female students using lecture and laboratory method of instruction.

1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research is highly beneficial to the government, educational administrators, classroom teachers/lecturers, curriculum designers, textbook publishers, students, etc in the following ways:

This study will guide the government in decision making and policies on education, implementation of educational objectives etc. by showing them the importance of quality teachers, adequate funding of computer science in secondary school level, development of computer laboratory, availability of teaching aids used in the classroom etc. This study shows that the government can achieve her educational objectives in computer science through infrastructural development in areas she intends carrying out computer science teaching/learning programme.

Educational administrators will be reaffirmed of the need for constant review of educational strategies and teaching methods through this research work. This will deal with the relevance of teaching methods in the now, to measure its trends from the past researches to this current one, thereby making them flexible to change in carrying out educational objectives and administration.

This study is beneficial to teachers/lecturers because it has helped to broadcast the constrains faced by the teachers and lecturers in carrying out their daily activities in computer science education. Some of the constraints include lack of teaching aids, lack of funds, lack of laboratories for computer labs, etc.

This study will show curriculum designers from its findings whether to modify existing curriculum could be necessary if the findings of this study varies from previous researchers that have been carried out in the past. However, curriculum designers will continue to use existing curriculum confidently because the findings of this research work is in line with other research work done in the past in this subject area – computer science.

Textbook publishers will be guided in writing textbooks with the pattern that will facilitate easy learning and teaching of computer science.

The performance of students in computer science will improve from the findings and recommendations of this research work. This could be achieved by using appropriate teaching method(s), teaching computer to students with some teaching aids, etc. This will ultimately affect the interest of students positively.

1.5 THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The topic covered in this study was “Basic Computer components”. This package was chosen because the specification for teaching computer in Junior Secondary School which includes mainly knowledge, comprehension and application favours the topic more than other topics. JS III class was the class chosen for the study because there are options of study in Arts and Science at Senior Secondary School Level, moreover all the students in JS III offer computer science.

1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions were formulated as a guide to the study.

  • What are the effects of teaching computer science on students’ achievement using lecture and laboratory method of instruction?
  • What are the effects of teaching computer science on male and female students using lecture and laboratory method of instruction?

1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

The following null hypotheses guided the study.

  • There is no significant difference in the mean achievement score of students who were taught using lecture and laboratory method if instruction.
  • There is no significant difference in the mean achievement score of male and female students who were taught using lecture and laboratory method of instruction.
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