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PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECT OF CONCEPT MAPPING METHOD OF INSTRUCTION ON STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN COMPUTER EDUCATION

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECT OF CONCEPT MAPPING METHOD OF INSTRUCTION ON STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN COMPUTER EDUCATION

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

The need to use activity-oriented and learner-centered strategies of teaching is emphasized in the Nigerian National Policy on Education, Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), 2004), which states that; Educational activities shall be centered on the learner for maximum self-development and fulfillment and also that educational system shall be structured to develop the practice of self-learning.

This implies that the use of strategies in which the learners plays the most active part and interact with each other to construct their own knowledge is advocated. Such activity oriented teaching strategies include guided inquiry, discovery and concept mapping among others. Concept mapping teaching strategy is employed in this study. Concept mapping is a meta-cognitive tool developed by Novak and a team of researchers from the Cornell University in 1972 (Asiyai, 2005).

It is a graphical arrangement of key concepts to show meaningful relationships among the selected concepts or ideas being studied. A concept map is a graph structure containing notes that are interlinked by labeled, directed arcs. Concept mapping can be used as a knowledge representation tools to reflect relationships that exist between concepts that reside within an individual’s long-term memory (Jacobs-Lawson & Hershey, 2002). When constructing concept mapping, the focus is the relationships among concepts.

The combination of two concepts connected by a linking line and labeled by a linking word creates a proposition, which is the smallest linguistic unit that carries meaning (Jacobs-Lawson & Hershey, 2002). Although a concept map is normally regarded as a network structure, in order to aid learning and understanding, sections of a given concept mapping can be regarded as hierarchical tree-like structures.

This is the approach that is adopted in this study. When a concept map is organized in a hierarchical fashion, the more general and more inclusive concepts should be at the top of the map, with progressively more specific (and less inclusive concepts) arranged below them (Novak &Canas, 2008). In addition to concepts and labeled links, a concept map can contain another type of labeled link called a cross link. Cross links connect two distinct segments of a concept hierarchy.

The inter-connective nature of cross links serves an important integrative function when constructing concept mapping (Jacobs-Lawson and Hershey, 2002). Concept mapping is a meta-learning strategy that can be used to develop students’ capacity to learn independently. It has been used successfully in many disciplines; a search made in the ERIC database in March 2006 identified 834 entries on concept mapping during the period 1966–2006.

This study has therefore attempted to evaluate whether concept mapping contributes to learners’ achievement, and their attitudes towards concept mapping. We live in an age which is experiencing an ever-increasing use of computers in diverse areas of human endeavor. Computers offer great assistance in decision-making, operations control, modeling, simulation, automated manufacturing and so on. The history of development shows that, so far no industrialized nation has been able to make it without the use of computers Inyama, (2000).

In education, computers are used in extremely versatile ways to aid the understanding of a wide variety of students. Computer science as a feature in secondary school curricular has been faced with many challenges. Over the years students’ response to computer science especially in public schools is not encouraging. This led to the poor achievement in the subject. The state of affairs has often been attributed to the use of ineffective teaching method by computer science teachers.

Meaningful learning is most likely to occur when information is presented in a potentially meaningful way and the learner is encouraged to author new ideas with the establishment of links between unfamiliar concepts and knowledge which the students already have. This can be achieved through the use of concept mapping method of instruction. Concept mapping is an instructional tool that is currently gaining popularity in the field of science education. It is a product of recent advances in cognitive science and new philosophy of science.

In general, it is the new ideas of cognitive psychologists with constructivist epistemological views and the new philosophers of science that formed the cornerstone of concept mapping. Concept mapping is a process of constructing concept maps. It involves mapping out logical relationships among concepts in a hierarchical order, such that most general concepts are on top of the map, with the most specific concept at the bottom of the map.

A concept mapping, according to Novak and Canas (2006) is one of the most effective instructional strategies a set of concept meanings embedded in a framework of propositions. It provides a visual road map showing the pathways that we may take to construct meanings of concepts and prepositions. It is also a meta-learning and meta-knowledge tool. Although generally developed as an evaluation tool, concept mapping is now widely used in many other aspects of education.

For instance, it has been used as a tool for curriculum development by Edmondson, Esiobu and Soyibo (1995) among others used it as an instructional strategy to promote meaningful learning, while Nayerbach and Smith (1990) employed it to help teachers become more effective. In considering the above-cited examples of the uses of concept mapping, it can be described as a versatile educational medium.

Although several studies have been conducted on concept mapping as an instructional strategy (Bello 2010) some important factors where either not investigated at all or insufficiently reported. For example, the interactive effect of concept mapping method of instruction on students’ achievement or the influence of gender on students’ achievement using concept mapping. The remarkable efficacy of concept mapping instructional strategies in enhancing meaningful leaning has been widely reported in science literature (Bello, 2010).

Although there are a number of studies on concept mapping, efforts of researcher have not shifted towards the implications of concept mapping approach on secondary school students’ achievement in computer education. Therefore, it is important to investigate the effect of concept mapping method of instruction on students’ achievement in computer education.

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECT OF CONCEPT MAPPING METHOD OF INSTRUCTION ON STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN COMPUTER EDUCATION

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The study of computer science education is very important for the technological growth of any country in the world. Computer science education should be properly taught and learnt in our schools; unfortunately this is not so because of the method of instruction adopted by the teachers.

According to Eze (2006), the poor performance of students in computer science education is as a result of students’ lack of interest on the part of the learners which is majorly caused by inadequate method of teaching adopted by the teacher. For instance, what type of performance is expected of a secondary school computer students taught with the use of conventional method of instruction?

With the above observation, this work was therefore; set out to ascertain how concept mapping method of instruction can improve students’ achievement in computer science education.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

This study is mainly designed to investigate the effect of concept mapping method of instruction on students’ achievement in computer education.

Specifically, it tends to determine:

  1. The effect of concept mapping method on students’ achievement in computer education.
  2. The effect of concept mapping method on male and female students’ achievement in computer education.
  3. The interactive effect of method and gender on students’ achievement in computer education.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The quest for an acceptable, relevant, functional and conducive method for teaching and learning of computer has been of great concern to science educators. The developments and innovations in the computer instructional processes tend to identify some good qualities of concept mapping.

The study evaluated the effect of concept mapping (in teaching) on students’ achievement in computer science. The result of this study will be made available to computer science teachers in the school system through workshops and seminars so that they can utilize the methods effectively in the classroom.

The study also investigated the effective of concept mapping strategy on the achievement of male and female students in computer education. The results of this study will guide teachers on whether to separate instructional techniques for male and females.

The findings of this study will also benefit computer science teachers by providing an alternative innovative teaching method for better understanding of concepts and cognitive development. The findings will furnish policy makers and curriculum developers with useful information on how to help teachers and students develop appropriate teaching or learning skills for better cognitive achievement in examinations.

The findings will also open new grounds for more research into the use of concept mapping in other subject areas aimed at improving academic performance in schools.

1.5 Scope of the Study

The study is focused on the investigation of the effect of concept mapping method of instruction on students’ achievement in computer education. This study was restricted to senior secondary schools only in Ohaukwu Local Government Area.

1.6 Research Questions

This study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. What is the effect of concept mapping method of instruction on students’ achievement in computer education?
  2. What is the mean achievement score of male and female students taught computer education using concept mapping method?
  3. What is the interactive effect of method and gender on students’ achievement in computer education?

1.7 Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were tested at an alpha level of 0.05, significance

HO1: There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught computer using concept mapping method and convectional instructional method.

HO2: There is no significant difference in the mean achievement of male and female students taught computer using concept mapping.

HO3: There is no significant interaction effect of gender and method on students’ mean achievement in computer education.

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECT OF CONCEPT MAPPING METHOD OF INSTRUCTION ON STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN COMPUTER EDUCATION

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