Instructional materials and students performance
Instructional materials are important aspect of education that should be effectively utilized; hence its availability tends to be underutilized in secondary schools found in Calabar metropolis. However, instructional materials can be defined as a change in disposition, a relatively permanent change in behaviour overtime and this is brought about by experience, learning can occur as a result of newly acquired skills, knowledge, perceptions, facts, principles, new information at hand etc. Adeyangu (1997). Learning can be reinforced with learning aids of different variety because they stimulate, motivate as well as arrest learner’s attention for a while during the instructional process.
Learning aids are instructional materials and devices through which teaching and learning are done in schools as in secondary schools found in Calabar Metropolis. Examples of learning aids (instructional materials) includes visual aids, audio – visual aids, real objects and many others like laboratory apparatus which are test – tube, Boiling tube, conical flask, spring and chemical balance, separating funnel, filter paper, burettes, retort stand, pipette, beakers etc for effective stability of teaching and learning of integrated science. Again materials for effective teaching and learning are use of textbooks, specimen or chart and chalkboard for demonstration. The same holds in English language, students can take a tape recorder as an instructional material in language laboratory in part of oral English. Atkinson (1995) pointed out that the language laboratory is based upon on an extension of the tape recorder, and the simplest may be just a signal tape recorder with slight modification, so that students have control over one or two tracks for recording to their own speech, this arrangement of instruction allows the students to listen and respond and replay and repeat when necessary and the students will learn effectively by building their own vocabulary.
Visual aids are designed materials that may be locally made or commercially produced. They come in form of wall – charts illustrated pictures, pictures, pictorial materials and other two dimensional objects. There are also audio – visual aids. These are teaching machines like radio, television and all sorts of projection with sound attribute, Inyang (1997). Audio visual aids in teaching and learning embrace all possible media presenting information effectively through the topics.
Yusuf (1999) asserted that instructional materials are those materials and devices used to supplement the written or spoken words in the process of transmitting knowledge, attitudes, ideas and skills to the learners. He listed these materials as including chalkboards, charts, graphs, diagrams, exhibits, flannel boards, flat pictures photographs, prints, maps, models, motions pictures, objects, specimens and textbooks. Others include equipments, excursion or field trips and demonstrations, the necessity of instructional materials in the teaching – learning process for the attainment of the goals of instruction is not disputable. Ikwuakam (1997) observed that these materials bring the learner face to face with reality. They concretize ideas, concepts, facts, principles and generalizations. They are dependable for capturing the learner’s imaginations. Azikiwe in Offorma (1994) asserted that these materials facilitate learning and to save the teaching – learning process from being merely the talk approach. Instructional materials are needed for the achievement of curriculum objectives.
Instructional materials are educational resources used to improve students’ knowledge, abilities, and skills, to monitor their assimilation of information, and to contribute to their overall development and upbringing.
There are three basic types of instructional materials: concrete objects, including objects from the world of nature; representations of concrete objects and phenomena; and descriptions of such objects and phenomena by means of the signs, words, and sentences of natural and artificial languages.
The first type of instructional materials includes such objects and phenomena as minerals, rocks, raw materials, semi-finished and finished manufactured articles, and plant and animal specimens. Included among these materials are reagents and apparatus for producing chemical and other reactions and for demonstrating and studying such reactions during laboratory sessions. Also included in the first group are materials and equipment for students’ expeditions and other travel, as well as supplies, instruments, and equipment for production training and for courses in drafting and the representational arts. Among such supplies, instruments, and equipment are wood, metal, plastic, and glass objects, measuring and monitoring instruments and equipment, equipment for the assembling and finishing of various products, and machines and machine tools.
The second type of educational materials, that of representations of actual objects and phenomena, includes three-dimensional materials (castings, globes, and experimental models), two-dimensional materials (charts, pictures, photographs, maps, diagrams, and drawings), and audiovisual materials (motion pictures, film clips, filmstrips, slide sequences, diapositives, transparencies, records and tape recordings, and radio and television broadcasts). Audiovisual materials, including the resources of films, radio, and television, help acquaint students with the achievements of modern science, technology, industry, and culture and with phenomena that are inaccessible to direct observation. Audiovisual materials also acquaint students with early periods of history and with distant places in the world and in space. Such materials elucidate natural and social phenomena and enable students to study the inner world of matter and the internal motion of waves, elementary particles, atoms, molecules, and living cells.
The third type of instructional materials, that of written descriptions, includes scientific, scholarly, reference, and methodological teaching aids, as well as textbooks, books of problems and exercises, books for recording scientific observations, laboratory manuals, manuals for production training, and programmed textbooks.
Another type of instructional materials is technological instructional media. Among these are equipment for the transmission and assimilation of information recorded on film or on phonograph recordings: film projectors, tape recorders, phonographs, and television sets. Monitoring devices include punched cards and various types of automatic apparatus. Teaching machines include language-laboratory machines, closed-circuit television systems, and computers.
Instructional materials are made to comply with functional, biotechnological, aesthetic, economic, safety, and hygienic requirements. The most effective use of educational equipment is achieved by means of centralized study facilities.
The Scientific Research Institute for School Materials and Technological Instructional Media of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the USSR was founded in 1965 in Moscow to deal with the theory and development of instructional materials and to help provide the most efficient and advanced instructional materials for secondary school
Concept of instructional Materials
Instructional materials have been defined by various authors. For example, Obanya (1989) viewed them as didactic materials thing which are supposed to make learning and teaching possible. According to Abdullahi (1982), instructional materials are materials or tools locally made or imported that could made tremendous enhancement of lesson impact if intelligently used. Ikerionwu (Isola, 2010) referred to them as objects or devices, which help the teacher to make a lesson much clearer to the learner. Instructional materials are also described as concrete or physical objects which provide sound, visual or both to the sense organs during teaching (Agina-obu, 2005).
Instructional materials are in various classes, such as audio or aural, visual or audiovisual. Thus, audio instructional materials refer to those devices that make use of the sense of hearing only, like radio, audio tape recording, and television. Visual instructional materials on the other hand, are those devices that appeal to the sense of sight only such as the chalkboard, chart, slide, and filmstrip. An audio-visual instructional material however, is a combination of devices which appeal to the sense of both hearing and seeing such as television, motion picture and the computer. Among the instructional materials the classroom teacher uses, the visuals out-numbered the combination of the audio and audio-visual.
Instructional Materials and Academic Achievement
There have been several studies on instructional materials and academic achievement. For instance, Momoh (Isola, 2010), conducted a research on the effects of instructional resources on students’ performance in West Africa School Certificate Examinations (WASCE) in Kwara State. He correlated material resources with academic achievements of students in ten subjects. Data were collected from the subject teachers in relation to the resources employed in the teaching. The achievements of students in WASCE for the past five years were related to the resources available for teaching each of the subjects. He concluded that material resources have a significant effect on student’s achievement in each of the subjects.
In the same manner, Moronfola (1982) carried out a research in Ilorin Local Government Area of Kwara State. She used questionnaires to collect data on the material resources available for the teaching of some selected subjects in ten secondary schools and related these to students’ achievements in each of the selected subjects and to the amount of resources available for the teaching of the subjects. Finding showed a significant effect of material resources on the students’ academic performance in these subjects.
In the same vein, Popoola (1990) investigated the effect of instructional resources on the academic achievements of students in Ogun State. Five secondary schools in Abeokuta were used for this study. Questionnaires were designed to elicit responses on instructional materials that were available for the teaching and learning of each of the three school subjects he examined. He collected WASC examination results for five years and compared achievements of students in schools with adequate material resources and achievements of students in schools with inadequate material resources. He found a significant difference in the achievements of the two sets of students. The schools with adequate instructional materials performed better than those with inadequate instructional materials.
Instructional materials and students performance -Factors Affecting Improvisation of Instructional Materials
Balogun (2002) identified two main constraints militating against the successful improvisation of Science equipment. These are the technical and the human factors respectively . While the technical factors relate to the question of degree of accuracy and precision that is possible with the improvised equipment, the human factor relates to the teachers’ skill in developing the resources while providing the appropriate learning experience to the learners.
Also, Maduabunmi (2003) reported lack of adequate professional training as a major problem militating against the effective use of local resources for Science teaching. Oyediran (Isola, 2010) then stressed the need for a definite well planned training programme of improvisation for teachers. He suggested regular meaningful workshop on improvisation technique for Science teachers to improve and up-to-date their competence.
Types of Instructional Materials for Effective Teaching and Learning
According to Ogwo and Oranu (2006) instructional materials have been categorized into audio materials, visual materials and audio-visual materials. Audio materials are those materials that appeal to the sense of hearing. Onwuka (1981) stated that radio could supply up-to-date or latest and accurate information about inventions, scientific advances, and current history accounts. Such radio bits of information are made available before they appear imprint. It is primarily important for teachers themselves to understand not only the value of broad cast but also their correct usage in schools. The radio instruction could be heard by a wider audience than could be obtained from any method of direct teaching in the classroom without such materials. Its disadvantage is that radio programme schedules are not always convenient for schools to reconcile with their regular timetable. It usually leads to shift in the time table of the schools. Visual materials are those materials, which primarily appeal to the sense of sight. They include: chalk board, textbooks, work books, projectors and video display unit. Audio-visual materials are those instructional materials that enable learning to take place through the two sensory channels of vision and hearing. While some materials are purely for hearing, like radio and some are designed to show what can be seen without sound, like pictures, some materials combine the two important effects. Audio-visual instrument include: television, motion pictures, and some other recent electronic devices computer inclusive. Instructional materials used in the teaching and learning of computer studies can be categorized into the following tools, equipment, machines, fixed facilities and consumables. Machines are appliances of mechanical devices with parts working together to apply power. Examples of machine include:- Computer, printer, generator and stabilizer. Consumables are materials that are fed into the machines or utilized as components of observable job outcomes. They are basic materials required for facilitating skills and development activities and practices. The consumable include: ink, paper, pin and diskettes. Fixed facilities category is positioned at a particular place for the performance of a specified specialized operation for providing required service. They are immovable and may be manually, mechanically, or naturally fixed. Fixed facilities include: mainframe computer and computer laboratory.
Uses of Instructional Materials
Computer studies cannot successfully accomplish it’s objectives without the availability and use of instructional materials. Their uses are:-
The Keyboard:-Much like a standard typewriter keyboard but with additional keys for special processing functions, it is a basic input device used when entering character and numbers or performing certain functions
The Interface:- Interface is a common boundary between two systems. It is the point at which one computer system ends and another begins. It is a device or connector that allows two or more incompatible units to be linked together in a standard communication system. According to Anaka (2000, VTE 121), a monitor is television like device used by the computer to output or display data and information on a screen. Technically, it is defined as an electrostatic cathode ray storage type where electrostatic cathode ray storage type where electrostatic charge are stored, and by means of which information is displayed or stored temporarily. The image of the document displayed on the screen is called the soft copy while that obtained from the printer is hard copy.
The Printer:- Printer is a device that expresses coded characters as hard copy. It is an output device for spelling out computer result as numbers, words, or symbols.
The Plotter:- A plotter is an output that controls the movement of a pen or several opens over a piece of paper. It can produce accurate and indicate hard copy drawings.
The Processor:- According to Eze and mutelo (2001), processor is the most important part of a computer. It executes the programmes and controls the operation of all other components of the computer.
The Disk:- Disk is a general term for diskettes, fixed disks and random access memory disk which computers use to record and play back information.
The Software:- software is the expression used to describe all programs, which are used in a particular computer installation. Ikekonwu (2002) stated software as program or programs and/or data.
The chalkboard:- Onwuka (1981) describe chalkboard as one of the oldest and most commonly used teaching device all over the world. It is a quick and easily accessible means of putting down words or drawing and simple line diagram during a lesson or discussion.
Instructional materials and students performance -Projected and non-projected Instructional materials
Instructional aids could be non – projected or projected. Non – projected aids are material that can be involved in teaching without the aids of any electronics devices or projector. These includes the chalk board, pictures, models, charts, and graphs, specimens textbooks, and flannel boards.
Non-projected aids can usually be procured by the teacher because they can be prepared either by the teacher himself or by the pupils through his supervision. They can also be obtained from local resources; simple tools for making the material are available locally.
- The chalkboard is the commonest and most adaptable instructional aid to the teacher in the classroom. The chalkboard or blackboard can be made of wood, plastic, metal, or cloth and is cheap, flexible, and convenient to use.
- Pictures are various kinds and sizes. They include posters, postcards, photographs, cartoons, and drawings. They have the special ability of appealing to pupil’s imagination especially if the picture are colored
- Charts are any printed materials which give information about a child, a situation, or an event in a tabular form; for example, whether chart pupils’ progress charts, pupils’ development chart, and the flow chart.
- A graph is a symbolic drawing which shows relationships or makes comparison between two or more situations; for examples, the bar graphs present information very vividly and help pupils to make their own conclusions from information they contain; they enable the teacher to make valid judgment through information presented.
- Objects, specimens, and models provide real-life experiences which combine seeing and doing s and help pupils to learn more, more quickly and retain knowledge longer from what they see, feel and touch rather than from what they hear only. The use of models, specimens, and objects makes learning experiences concrete and meaningful.
- Display boards are also used by the teacher for displaying materials or information for the pupils. The two most frequently used types are the flannel and the bulletin or notice-boards.
- Globes and maps are symbolic representations which require careful explanation for pupils to form correct impressions and interpretations. They enable pupils to locate places, measure distances, describe the topography of a place, and draw representations of places they are most useful in geography, but also in history and agricultural science.
Some other instructional aids not usually found in the classroom are referred to rather, as instructional resource materials. These provide lots of information to the pupils and involve the use of other materials, objects, models, or specimens which afford the pupils the opportunity to see, touch and do. These are sources from which pupils can draw information for comparisons and generalizations.
Instructional resources materials include the laboratory, exhibits, the library, and field trips, excursions, or visits.
Projected materials are effective instructional aids which require the use of electronic devices. They include overhead projectors, film strips, and slide projectors.
- The overhead projector can be used to project transparent materials or deliver a lesson by writing on the screen. It lends itself to easy manipulation, but is expensive, so is not often available.
- The radio is a channel of communication for reaching many people at a time and has the power of presenting information to people in many parts of the world. Programmers’ in history, geography, agriculture, music, or language can be presented through the radio to add variety and vividness to teaching, but the teacher should, if possible, prepare the pupils for them beforehand, and should always follow them up with questions or discussion to ensure that they are understand.
- Television, though not yet in extensive use for instruction in developing countries, is a medium which offers promise of bringing changes and observed improvements in the instruction of school pupils. Television provides a high quality of instruction for the pupils and offers them vivid learning experiences for example, about other parts of the world or about scientific and technical processes.
- Finally tapes, cassettes, and record-players have been found to be indispensable to teachers of foreign languages. They enable pupils to hear these languages well spoken by native speakers; they store information for a long time, for re-use when necessary; they encourage repetitive learning in pupils; they are relatively inexpensive when compared with television or video-tape recorders and, if students are absent from class, they lose nothing if the lesson is fully recorded they do not, however, lend themselves to direct communication between the teacher or the sound producer and the pupils; they also require some skills for effective operation.
- Face book
Non- Projected Pictorial Materials
Non- Projected Pictorial Materials are the visual aids that are widely used in schools allover the world, and should be more in developing countries. Non- Projected Pictorial Materials include: real photograghs (black and white or coloured) and hand-made drawing, paintings, diagrams, and graphs.
Ogwo and Oranu (2006) stated that projected materials are those instructional materials that must be fed into projected machines (projectors) to obtain the image on a screen. Pictures obtained represent real life objects and situations, especially if sound is incorporated in the system. Types of projected materials are:- the over heard projector, opaque projector and television, motion pictures, filmstrips and multimedia projector.
Text Book:– Textbooks are instructional materials. They vary in the manner in which they present the subject matter and in the clarity with which they explain concepts and procedures. Students, who experience difficulty with one type of text, should be able to utilize another from of instructional material (Osuala, 2002).
Instructional materials and students performance -Mode of Acquisition and Selection of Instructional Material
In teaching computer studies, there is need to select the materials for use as it matches the needs and capabilities of students based on the intended concepts and skills to be taught and learnt. Ekong (1999) enumerated a number of criteria for selecting and acquiring vocational instructional materials. They include:
The Objectives of the intended experience.
The content of the lesson
The skills to be demonstrated
The supportive service to be performed.
The teachers manipulative skills.
The products to be produced.
The situation to be used.
The teacher’s maturity to handle specific instructional materials. Ogwo and oranu (2006) pointed out the factors to consider in selecting instructional, materials as follows: economic factor, availability, durability level of the class, adaptability, cultural setting.
Economic Factor- The cost of any instructional material is often a determinant for its selector, preparation for instructional purpose. They later pointed out that it would be unwise to spend all available funds on particular instructional materials to serve only one purpose to the negelect of the other needs in the class.
Availability– It is unnecessary to spend time in search of a scarcely available instructional material. The resourceful teacher should either improvise such a material that is scarcely available or concentrate on any one that is readily available.
Durability- Durable instructional materials are those materials that retain their usefulness after being handled by students to the extent that the capital objectives, there is need for teaching facilities and materials to be adequately provided. Taiwo (1994) and Ogra (1975) made similar observation with regards to the provisions of adequate instructional materials in secondary schools, for teaching computer studies, many researchers have underlined the importance of available instructional materials for effective teaching of science and technology.
Olaitan (1999) stated that Balogun (1985) said that poor instructional materials discourage teachers in teaching practical work. The goal of computer studies cannot b achieved when training facilities are inadequate and sometimes not available at all. Under this condition, effective computer studies cannot be given to those who want it, need it, and are ready to profit by it. Agusiobi (1982) and Olaitan (1982) maintained that the best teaching and most effective functional curriculum might be largely ineffective in crowded and poorly equipped instructional environment. They concluded that increased government grant could promote technological interest. According to the American council on industrial art teachers education (1985), an efficient, adequate industrial art Laboratory is a vital requirement for an effective programme which requires also a well-defined instructional programme, a qualified teacher and sufficient instructional and consumable materials. One of the problems facing the introduction of computer studies in secondary schools has been inadequate instructional materials and lack of government grants. The resultant effect has been low quality of skill in Nigerian workers, production of multitude of learners with little, or no employable skills, and low quality of industrial products. Nigerian schools have always been forced to a below the standard or expectation level because they cannot provide students with the much needed skills due to lack of finance resulting to lack of facilities (Ogra, 1976). He noted that inadequate budget is an acknowledge fact and manifests in shortage of instructional materials.
Problems Encountered By Teachers in Teaching and Learning
As the knowledge about computer skills in their students, they encounter a lot of problems along the line.
The Problems Include:
- Some teachers lack skills to operate the instructional materials.
- Teachers spend a lot of time in preparing the instructional materials.
- There is fear on the part of teachers that some instructional materials could serve like them at the time of operation.
- Lack of fund for purchasing instructional materials
- The teachers experience large class size.
Taylor and Obudho (1977) opined that there are three problems inherent in the use of computer:- Power cuts, and fluctuations, machine breakdown and poor maintenance. In Nigeria, the most serious problem is that of irregular power supply. On the other hand, the school administrators. Are not financially buoyant to provide generators and air conditioners in order to maintain the required temperature and humidity changes. Time constraint is another problem teachers encounter in teaching computer studies. Apart from their job as classroom teachers, Ogwo and Oranu (2006) noted that they are assigned other specific roles like games teachers, band group leader, and Red cross society leader. This is notwithstanding the fact that they should also prepare their lesson notes and instructional materials.
From the foregoing, the impression of the students to their teachers’ use of instructional materials during instructions stimulate their interests in studies and boost their morale. For effective learning. No meaningful teaching and learning can be carried out successful if adequate practice is not followed up. Government should make effort in providing adequate instructional materials for secondary schools in Calabar Metropolis for effective teaching and learning and also the available ones being effectively utilized will go a long way in improving the standard of Education in Calabar Metropolis.
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