1.1 Background of the Study
Student-centered learning, also known as learner-centered education, broadly encompasses methods of teaching that shift the focus of instruction from the teacher to the student. In original usage, student-centered learning aims to develop learner autonomy and independence (Jones, 2007) by putting responsibility for the learning path in the hands of students by imparting them with skills and basis on how to learn a specific subject and schemata required to measure up to the specific performance requirement (Rogers, 1983; Pedersen, 2003 and Hannafin, 2010). Student-centered instruction focuses on skills and practices that enable lifelong learning and independent problem-solving (Young, 2007). Student-centered learning theory and practice are based on the constructivist learning theory that emphasizes the learner’s critical role in constructing meaning from new information and prior experience.
Student-centered learning puts students’ interests first, acknowledging student voice as central to the learning experience. In a student-centered learning space, students choose what they will learn, how they will learn, and how they will assess their own learning (Hannafin, 2010). This is in contrast to traditional education, also dubbed “teacher-centered learning”, which situates the teacher as the primarily “active” role while students take a more “passive”, receptive role. In a teacher-centered classroom, teachers choose what the students will learn, how the students will learn, and how the students will be assessed on their learning. In contrast, student-centered learning requires students to be active, responsible participants in their own learning and with their own pace of learning (Johnson, 2013).
Usage of the term “student-centered learning” may also simply refer to educational mindsets or instructional methods that recognize individual differences in learners. In this sense, student-centered learning emphasizes each student’s interests, abilities, and learning styles, placing the teacher as a facilitator of learning for individuals rather than for the class as a whole.
Computer Aided/Assisted Instruction (CAI) has existed for over four decades, but it was not widely used until the advent of the personal computer. CAI started making inroads in the workplace when network personal computers started becoming widespread in the late1980s.In early 90s CAI as an alternative to the traditional classroom training has been implemented by large businesses with robust instructional budgets, yet there remains a need for small to medium size employer to find an efficient method for delivering effective, reasonably priced instruction to their students.
CAI could benefit the human resources by opening up a greater number of training topics required for job advancement and provide new skills in using technology in the learning processes.
Initially, the use of computer-assisted instructional material (CAI) to enhance traditional teaching was a novel concept. However, increasing pressures at all levels of education perpetuated a need for time-efficient, effective teaching modalities that maintained the quality of teaching. CAI was considered to be a viable solution to these problems.
A strong positive link should exist between the quantity and quality of instructional materials improvised by the teacher for teaching of chemistry concept. The major function of the school is teaching (Popoola and Olarewaju 2010). Effective teaching and good performance is possible if the necessary instructional teaching facilities are made available. Research works in the field of learning psychology reveal that the use of instructional materials in chemistry has several advantage mainly because of two senses (seeing and hearing) involved. All learning is based on perception. Instructional materials are the medium by which the senses gain information from environment. According to Ibrahim (2010), more learning occurs when information is received simultaneously through the two senses rather than in a single medium. Esu and Ntukiden (2003) added that instructional materials are teaching – learning aided that supplement teaching strategies and perfect learning experiences. To them, instructional aides keep the learners busy and active, thus increasing their participation in the lesson especially in a situation where audio visual materials are utilized. Further, Adegbilr (1999) opine that teaching becomes more effective and meaningful if the teaching method is complimented with good and relevant instructional materials. The use of instructional materials cannot be limited to a particular field of study, so the use instructional materials require careful planning as to meet the learner characteristics. Moallen (2007) emphasized that learners individual differences are very important to consider learners needs when organizing instructional delivery activities such that a reasonable number of learner would attain the envisaged mastery of the objectives (Zheng and Smaldino 2003) Instructional objectives are those skills, behaviour and knowledge that the learners are expected to develop, upon completion of the instructional unit. Mayer (2001) has it that, instructions are effective when verbal information is presented visually (with pictures) of the real thing rather than aurally (use of words only) the modality principle. Thus, it stands to reason that, replacing speech with pictures in the class may improve pupil’s performance. Fletdur (1990) suggest that pupils remember 20% of what they hear, 40% of what they see and hear and 75% of what they see, hear and do.
Further, kucukahmet (2001) supported that 75% of learning archievement is resulted from seeing, hearing 13%, smelling 6%, touching 3% and tasting 3%. This shows that, the more senses are considered during the information dissemination; the easier it is to retain knowledge and enhance learning. To him therefore, instructional material make instruction more beneficial, lasting and pleasurable thereby creating conducive atmosphere for children by increasing their level of attention on the subject, understanding the lesson and developing interest on the subject. Demiral, (2004) has it that, instructional material makes the topic clearer and lasting by making the abstract real, especially in teaching abstract concept in science subject. It is very important to use visual material for people to understand the lesson better and improving positive attitude towards the lesson. Halis (2002) Izzet and Ozkan (2008) added that the use of good and appropriate materials in science application makes the lesson more interesting and encouraging. It makes the difficult science concepts to be learnt easily in more effective way. If it is taken into account that students especially at the age of primary school have difficulty in learning abstract concept, it is important to make these concepts physical and present them carefully. For this, educational technologies, especially computers can play an important role (Akpinar 2005). The use of computers in schools seems to help people to be creative in problem solving thereby developing positive interest in their studies. In this respect, the whole purpose of education in a country like ours is to develop and enhance the potentials of human resources and progressively transform them, into knowledge society. Jones (2002) emphasis that professional development in the effective use of computers as a most fields of study, assumes that peoples will be able to return to a class room and use the skills, training, and knowledge acquired to earn a living and contribute meaningfully to the advancement of society. Computers could play powerful roles in the child learning in school. That is because it helps to develop learners’ potentials in different areas of learning and may also constitute powerful delivery system that may be bring about great changes in learners behaviours that are desirable to the society at large. It is noted that, most learning occurs by doing (experimental learning) including getting things wrong as well as getting them right determined by immediate feedback in other words computers appears to be capable of giving almost instant feedback, tirelessly no matter how often learners get it wrong during the process. Recently computer education was introduced into Nigeria secondary School Curriculum. Thus, many schools if not all in Nigeria are trying to integrate the use of computer in their teaching and learning processes. Also, based on the experience in ICT training for pre-service and in-service teachers is an integrated curriculum that is proposes within the frame work of educational system, teachers are undergoing in-service training on how to use computer as part of instructional material to improve the quality of their teaching activities.
Scientific and technological developments started a new period called “Information Age”. In this period information production has gained importance compared to goods and service by using information technologies profoundly. With changing conditions, present target of societies which are in competetion and search in order to keep pace with new conditions is to be information society (Akkoyunlu, 1998). In contemporary societies called as “Information Societies” the way of individuals to reach information, their styles of learning and styles of applying information have rather changed compared to traditional societies.
In the last quarter of the 20th century, important developments seen in data processing, rapid changes that can be called as computer revolution have caused education systems to undergo a complete transformation taking but traditional forms. Education has the leading role among social institutions which will be most affected by increasingly changing process of information society (Yiğit, 2003).
Computers which are an important part of our daily life and which are very essential for many people, institutions and establishments and also which are made use of in education considerably, are important tools for schools. In addition, computers are professions which people try to obtain for the future and their importance has increased more and more (Bozkurt, 2000).
Computers have become the basis of data processing technologies used in realizing information production, manipulating, and storing, sharing and distributing processes. Since they address to more senses compared to other technological tools and make abstract and complicated concepts concrete digitally because of their extensive multimedia properties, they are one of the most important technological tools which are made use of in educational and instructional process. At the same time they play an influential part in accomplishing many pedagogical functions such as measuring and evaluating knowledge and giving feedback, observing activities and performances of students, being independent from time and environment, providing students with motivation and participation to the lesson, considering individual differences regulating education level according to existing knowledge and progress of the students, and supporting instruction with such materials as graphics, pictures, animation and sound (Şahin and Yıldırım, 1999). In traditional teaching perspectives, they are tools which enable us to control many variables that are uncontrollable and effective in human learning. All these features of computers result from the fact that they are not only multifunctional display accessories which support the lesson such as overhead projectors, video or slights, but also they can be used as the basis of a method which focuses on students.
With contemporary teaching perspectives, some differences have occured in teachers’ roles. Teaching principles in which learning is emphasized as a basis considering individuals learning and teaching is emphasized as a basis considering the person teaching have also changed. In traditional teaching, comuters are tools which transfer information to students as teachers. In contemporary teaching, on the other hand, it is adopted that all of the students strive to learn, have efficient roles in education, and reach predetermined level of behavioral objectives regarding teaching products (Tandoğan, 1998). In accordance with changes in educational perspectives and new arrangements it has become compulsory for teachers to change themselves, gain new information and skills and apply these in the classrooms (Akkoyunlu, 1998).
In order to transfer new technological developments to classroom environment, varied teaching methods are needed. There are two main teaching methods which are carried out by computers today: Computer-Assisted Teaching Method and Computer-Based Teaching Method.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Different approaches have been used in the delivery of curriculum content to students. Research evidence shows that the use of CAI could bring about improvement in students’ achievement, speeds up learning rate, enhances better retention, and encourages the development of better attitude. The main aim of education system is to provide education according to the demand of the society and time. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to make the present system of education more effectively, which is made possible to accept ICT.
According to Aggarwal (2002), the whole purpose of education in a country is to develop and enhance the potential of human resource and progressively transform it into a knowledge society. Every nation wants to produce students who ultimately become the knowledge workers in their own economy to be global citizens. CAI-Computer Assisted Instruction is one device, which has great importance in the field of Education. With its advantages of giving drilling, tutorial and gaming simulation, it makes learning and teaching more encouraging and interesting for the students. CAI is also more advantageous to both students and teachers, it allows teacher to give more attention to individual students also. Observation has shown that the conventional method of instruction had not provided the varied activities, attention and lesson paced in accordance with students’ abilities, it is therefore imperative to compare CAI with traditional teaching method in the learning of lexis and structure to see whether CAI will enhance students’ performance better.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This work is aimed at comparing analysis of Computer Assisted Instruction and Student centered method in teaching data processing students’ achievement and retention. The specific objectives were to:
1. To find out if the use of computer in teaching data processing enhances students’ achievement in the subject better than the modified lecture method (Student Centered Method).
2. To determine whether students’ retention in data processing is improved by the use of computer-aided instruction when compared with modified lecture method (Student Centered Method).
1.4 Research Question
The following research questions guided the study:
1. What is the difference between students taught using computer-aided instruction and those taught using modified lecture method (Student Centered Method) in data processing?
2. What is computer-aided instruction and student centered method?
1.4 Research hypothesis
This study was guided by the following null hypotheses which were tested at 0.05 level of significance:
Ho. There is no significant difference between students taught using computer-aided instruction and those taught using modified lecture method (Student Centered Method) in data processing.
H1. There is significant difference between students taught using computer-aided instruction and those taught using modified lecture method (Student Centered Method) in data processing.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The result of this study may serve as a useful tool for students, teachers, policy makers and administrators, for a functional and impact-oriented computer-aided instruction in science education programme than using student centered method.
The study could allow students to study data processing concepts while advancing at their own pace, enabling them to spend the necessary time on each concept. The teacher’s role in this environment is to provide targeted help to students when they need additional assistance. The computer program covers many administrative aspects such as lesson planning, grading, homework and assignment so that teachers may spend more time on individual instruction with struggling students. Also this study is going to be useful for all individual, teacher on the effect of student centered method.
The study could allow for more individualized instruction, then it could be more beneficial for struggling students who may not keep up with the pace of the lectures in traditional classrooms or for more advanced students who could progress faster at their own pace. In a traditional classroom, students missing class will miss all the material covered in class that day. In contrast, the computer would pick up where the student left off the last time he/she was in class regardless of whether it was the day before or 5 days before.
The study could help the policy-makers and school administrators to evaluate the use of computer-aided instruction. This includes the cost of hardware and software, the cost in training teachers, and the time that students devote to computer-aided instruction that they would otherwise spend in other forms of instruction. It would be an eye-opener for the school administrators to equip the schools with necessary CAI packages and ICT facilities in all subjects and also train manpower to produce software for science education.
The findings of this study are expected to encourage teachers to adopt appropriate teaching technique like computer-aided instruction which would improve teaching and learning of science subjects. This strategy could expose science in a concretized form and allow students to fully participate in teaching/learning process. This could be achieved through making learning software available in schools and at homes.
It is expected that the findings of this study would bring about understanding and retention which are products of meaningful learning when teaching is effective and meaningful to students as the use of computer-aided programs might be a source of excitement and motivation to Nigerian students in their courses.
The findings would motivate educational administrators to keep abreast with the paradigm shift in pedagogy that is mainstay of education reform in the 21st century. Thus, a shift from conventional chalk-and-talk to computer-aided instruction. This would promote the acquisition of knowledge and skills that would empower students and teachers for lifelong learning.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is centered on examining the comparative analysis of Computer Assisted Instruction and Student centered method in teaching data processing.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
In carrying out this research many factors served as constraints:
1. The limitation of the research title as just Computer Assisted Instruction and Student centered method in teaching data processing.
2. Financial Limitation.
3. Inadequate Time: time factor constitutes the major limitation of this research study. It relates to the fact that the time for research work was short because it was combined with lectures, studies and examination.
4. Negative attitude of respondent: the problem facing the researcher with regards to the respondents relates to the non-cooperation and uncompromising attitude some respondents in giving.
1.8 Definition of terms
The following terms were operationally defined as used in this study:
Computer-Aided Instruction (CAI) in Data Processing: This is a programmed instructional software developed to supplement data processing teaching through the use of computer.
Student-centered learning: also known as learner-centered education, broadly encompasses methods of teaching that shift the focus of instruction from the teacher to the student. In original usage, student-centered learning aims to develop learner autonomy and independence by putting responsibility for the learning path in the hands of students by imparting them with skills and basis on how to learn a specific subject and schemata required to measure up to the specific performance requirement.
Data Processing: is, generally, “the collection and manipulation of items of data to produce meaningful information.” In this sense it can be considered a subset of information processing, “the change of information in any manner detectable by an observer.”
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