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PROJECT TOPIC- RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENTS’ LEVEL OF INFORMATION PROCESSING AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ IN EBONYI STATE

PROJECT TOPIC- RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENTS’ LEVEL OF INFORMATION PROCESSING AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ IN EBONYI STATE

Abstract

This study explored the relationship between students’ level of information processing and academic achievement of secondary school students in Ebonyi State. The specific objectives of the study is to examine the mean scoreof students’ level of recall and academic achievement, the means score of students’ level of comprehension and their academic achievement, the mean achievement score of male and female students’ based on information processing. The objectives formed the three research questions while three hypotheses guided the study. Correlation survey research design was used. 5572 SS2 secondary school students’ (SEB, 2013) from 41 co-education public secondary schools in Afikpo education zone in Ebonyi State formed the populationwhile 1025 is the sample size.To arrive at this sample size, the proportionate samplingtechnique was used. Instruments for data collection were the test of recall and comprehension and questionnaire for test of recall, the instrument was adopted, adapted and validated by experts. The reliability of the instrument was ascertained using Guttman split-half coefficient which yielded .83. The instruments were administered to the students personally by the researcher with the help of research assistant. Research questions were answered using mean (x)while hypothesis were also tested using Pearson r. Findingsinclude among othersthat the achievement score of students is greater than theirrecall. The study recommends among others that co-education studies/schools should be encouraged if balanced education for both male and female has to be achieved, and that the teacher should engage the student with activities that is geared toward activating their recall by using planned repetition.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Information processing could be seen as the process employed by a person in internalizing information and accommodating new information to the learner’s cognition, in a way that such information could be recalled when needed. Ngwoke (2006) explained information processing as the internal process that deals with the storage of information and the later retrieval of the information in addition to the process that intervenes between the taking in of information and the subsequent retrieval of that information.

In the same vein, Nwachukwu (1994) defined information processing as an individual attempt to integrate new information into the knowledge that had already been accumulated in such a way that it could be retrieved at will. Furthermore, Anita (2013) defined it as the human minds activity of taking in, storing, and using information. Gagne (2005) further opined that the act of information processing is highly dependent on a successful encoding of such information into the long term memory.

Through the sensory memory and the short term memory, information is comfortably stored consciously or unconsciously into the long term memory. Traditionally, pieces of information were orally transmitted and passed from person to person. Such information was downwards in nature, since it comes from the elder to the young ones. Through such means the pieces of information were disseminated through story telling.

The children would be expected to re-tell the same stories as a method of trying to know the extent they have understood or comprehended the told story. However, some of the children would be unable to recall well the story while otherswould re-tell the story the same way it was told. It means that if meaningful encoding does not take place retrieval of information becomes difficult.

Therefore, the long term memory is the store house for memorial information. Gagne and Mesker (1996) explained that establishing and employing an effective learning strategy through sequencing and organizing, is a necessary key to the successful encoding of information into the long term memory. They maintained that for information to be stored in   long   term   memory, it must be semantically (deeply) encoded in an organized manner.

This is because, it has been observed by Sternberg & Sternberg (2012) that the manner in   which   information is stored in the long term memory influences the recall or retrieval of such information which vividly impacts on learner’s academic achievement. Ashcraft & Radvansky (2010) described the human brain as a unique, electro chemical superior machine, which is far greater in complexity, speed and sophistication than the most advanced digital computer ever known.

They added that information processing however depends on the nature and complexity of the information as perceived by the individual.This suggests that the way information is received, processed and recalled by the student, reflects on the academic achievement of the student. In line with the above idea, Reed (2006) had explained qualitatively that different memory traces result   from different types of processing   (that is, memory ability is determined by the way in which we perceive and process the stimulus).

Craik & Lockhart (1972), made it clear that information can be processed in three ways which fall under two major levels of information processing. Thus:

(1) Shallow processing level

(a) Structural processing

(b) Phonetic processing

(2) Deep processing level

(c) Semantic processing

Shallow processing according to Craik and Lockhart is the act of interpreting information using the senses. It is structural in nature because it only encodes physical qualities of something. On the other hand, it is phonetic when it only centers on encoding sounds of words or letters. Deep processing, however, is the act of interpreting information at semantic level by attaching meaning to information.

Deep processing is also referred to as detailed intensive thinking that brings about the information of memory representation also known as learning. Deep processing is semantic in the sense that when we encode the meaning of a word we don’t relax but we try to relate it to words that have similar meaning. Corno (2011) further affirmed that in deep processing of students’ actively; try to understand meanings by working out the relationship between concepts.

They also relate new information to previously acquired information and adopt a critical attitude to information. This is because it makes way for a better conceptualization and deeper comprehension of ideas, so as to boost academic achievement in a more unique and positive manner. But shallow processing learners only adopt maintenance rehearsal (repetition of words to help them hold something in the short-term memory) which lead to fairly short-term retention of information.

Therefore, whether individual learner processes information deeply or shallowly, might be solely as a result of individual differences or choices, or the product of nature mechanism or the power of nurture interference. In line with the above idea Gibbson, Aldrich & Prensky (2006), opined that the concept of levels of information processing might be used as dimension of individual differences and not just a way of classifying Information processing activities.

Bruning, Schraw & Norby (2011) also used the concept of information processing to account for differences in the quality of learning and understanding demonstrated by students. Their findings revealed that shallow processors were devoted to rote learning of important pieces of information, whereas deep processors were interested in developing a more thorough understanding of main ideas.

Furthermore, Ngwoke (2006) added that for an individual learner to be classified as deep or shallow processor, test of recall and test of comprehension will be adopted as the parameter for measuring levels of information processing. By test of recall, it implies that test instrument has to be constructed towards testing how well a learner can recall or remember what was taught and learned, while test of comprehension seeks to check how deep the individual learner is able to understand or comprehend a concept that was taught in a more elaborate way.

Using test of recall and comprehension as parameter for the measure of classification of information processing,Bruning, Schraw, & Norby (2011), stated that the parameter accounts for the differences in academic achievements among school students. It follows that there exist variation in academic achievement as a result of information processing differences. Meyers-levy (1989), explained that males are heuristic processors, because they have detailed message elaboration capacity using a certain pattern while females are comprehensive in processing information because they try to consider and understand all available information before rendering judgment.

It means that females are slow to action but have concrete knowledge of what is expected of them than males because male concentrates on methods to achieve result while female goes beyond methods. The above differences in nature appear to influence academic achievement of both genders positively or negatively. Meyers-levy (1989) added that, because females possess deeper processing power than males, females are therefore expected to perform better than males academically in some unique subject.

The implication is that females that are expected to perform better than males academically are not doing so instead there verse is now the case. Males appear to be more academic achievers; however, some females who make it compete with or outwit males. Could the relationship between their academic achievement and level of information processing be attributed to their natural endowment (Meyer-Levy, 1989) or dependent on external forces within the environment? (Anita 2013). Hence this study tries to account for the relationship between students levels of information processing and academic achievement among secondary school students in Ebonyi State.

PROJECT TOPIC- RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENTS’ LEVEL OF INFORMATION PROCESSING AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ IN EBONYI STATE

Statement of Problem

Results of academic achievement always reveal wide differences in score among students. Therefore there appears to be the possibility that the manner, in which the individuals process information in their environment, could be a contributing factor. Some students’ have been found to be heuristic or shallow processors while others are comprehensive or deep processors (Meyer-Levy 1989). Observation has shown that some male students practically appear to be more active in deep processing while some female students appear to be shallow in processing information.

Based on students’ nature of processing information of both sexes, they (the students’) may likely tend to process information in same manner which may reflect in their academic achievement. However, sometimes the nature endowment in information processing might not explain the cause for variation in academic achievement of the students. What could be responsible for the situation of variation in academic achievement? The problem of the study therefore is what is the relationship between students’ levels of information processing and the academic achievement of secondary school students in Ebonyi Sate.

Purpose of the Study

The study seeks to determine the relationship between students’ levels of information processing and academic achievement in secondary school students in Ebonyi State, Specifically, the study examined:

  1. The mean score of students’ levels of recall and their academic achievement score.
  2. The mean score of students’ levels of comprehension and their academic achievement score.
  3. The mean achievements scores of male and female students’ based on information processing.

Significance of the Study

The result of the study will be significant to: researchers, educational psychologists, curriculum designers, counselors and teachers.

Researchers will always see this work as a reference material, as it shall give them information and direction for their further research.

Educational psychologist will benefit from this work asit shall lead to improvement in the ability to assess an individual’s current level of intellectual functioning. By so doing, the learner can be assisted by the teacher in creating meaningful learning goals that are consistent with both personal and educational aspirations by encouraging students to use Deep information processing method.

It will help curriculum designers to know what happens in the various phases of instructional planning thereby ensuring that planned instructional facilities will lead to learning outcome. The outcome is always seen in their academic performances.

Counsellors will also benefit from this work since its result would help the counselors to counsel the students’ properly to enhance their client’s academic achievement.

Through this work, teachers will assist the students, in creating meaningful learning goals. The teacher does this bymaking sure that students are taught based on their academic development.

It also helps the students to know the levels of information processing and be encouraged to always use elaborate (Deep) processing in learning for understanding.

Scope of the Study

The study examines the relationship between students’ levels of information processing and academic achievement among senior secondary school students, class 2 (SS2)of 2013 academic session. Forty one (41) Co-education schools in Afikpo EducationZone in Ebonyi State were used to carry out this present research work. The study examined mean of students’ level of recall and comprehension. The study also examined the relationship between achievements score of male and female in academic achievement based on information processing.

Research Question

The following research questions served as guide to the study.

  1. What is the mean score of students’ levels of recall and their achievement score?
  2. What is the mean score of students’ levels of comprehension and their achievement score?
  3. What are the mean achievement scores of male and female students’ based on information processing?

Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. And were tested at .05 levels of significance,

  1. There will be no significant relationship between students’ level of recall and their achievement score.
  2. There will be no significant relationship between students’ level of comprehension and their achievement scores.

There will be no significant relationship in the mean achievement scores of male and female students’ based on information processing.

PROJECT TOPIC- RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENTS’ LEVEL OF INFORMATION PROCESSING AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ IN EBONYI STATE

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