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Relative effects of programmed instruction and demonstration methods on students' academic performance in science.
Article Type:
Report
Subject:
Academic achievement (Evaluation)
Programmed instruction (Influence)
Sciences education (Study and teaching)
Authors:
Uhumuavbi, P.O.
Mamudu, J.A.
Pub Date:
06/01/2009
Publication:
Name: College Student Journal Publisher: Project Innovation (Alabama) Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Education Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 Project Innovation (Alabama) ISSN: 0146-3934
Issue:
Date: June, 2009 Source Volume: 43 Source Issue: 2
Geographic:
Geographic Scope: Nigeria Geographic Code: 6NIGR Nigeria

Accession Number:
201608580
Full Text:
This study compared the effects of Programmed Instruction and Demonstration methods on students academic performance in science in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. A sampling technique (balloting) was used in selecting two schools in Esan West local government area for the study. Two intact classes of fifty (50) students each from the two schools selected were used for the study. These (100) students consist of 50 males and 50 females. Quasi-experimental, non-control design (without a control group) was used. The Instrument used was Test of Performance Level in science (TOPLIS) to test students' performance in science. All the groups were pre-and post-tested using the 20 items of Test of Performance level in (TOPLIS). The hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance.

The findings are indicated as follow:

1. Exposing students to Programmed Instruction method improved performance in science

2. Exposing female students to demonstration method yielded a better performance than their male counterparts.

Recommendations made from this study are:

1 . Teachers should avail themselves of the available opportunities to attend in-service training.

2. They should also cultivate the habit of reading journal articles, most especially those on experimental studies.

3. Teachers in our secondary schools should be encouraged to carry researches on methods of teaching science and how to find solution to teaching problems.

Background

From the perspective of promoting standard based science education, the instructional technique or method employed plays important role in learning important ideas and skills if standard based education is to become a reality in the nation classroom (Tyson, 1997).

Methods are the tools of the teacher for reaching the set goals and objectives. The effective teacher has multiplicity of methods at his disposal and must be prepared to select the ones, which will be most effective for leading the learner to desired behaviour. Educational methods sometimes called techniques are ways and means adopted by teacher to direct the learners' activities toward an objective. It is therefore a process of cognitive, affective and psychomotive development whose aim is to mould the learner towards a total contribution to the development of the learner and the community (Durosaro, 2002). In achieving this by the teacher, there is the need to improve on the instructional methods in the teaching and learning process especially in teaching science subjects.

Man is greatly dependent on science and technology. This is because the future hope for a better scientifically and technologically developed countries lies in science education not only for attainment of paper qualification but to aid them adjust to such technological devices as may affect their daily lives. Science is a classified body of knowledge, which includes Chemistry, Physics, Biology and so. A sound knowledge of science education is very important for the management of our natural resources including fishery, provision of adequate food and healthy environment. For instance Biological sciences is essential to all forms of life including plants and animals and other living and non-living components. It also plays important role towards achieving self-reliance in the life of individual (Dutta, 1996; Umeh, 1999)

Despite the frantic efforts made by government to enhance teaching of science syllabus, By employing qualified graduate teachers, Provision of well equipped laboratory, Prompt payment of wages, Promotion of sectors and sponsory of sector to science programmes, yet the recent students' result at external examination, shows a decline in the performance.

Therefore, this study is set out to investigate if appropriate teaching method is used in teaching science could yield a better performance. Such teaching methods are Programmed Instruction and demonstration method.

Programmes are sequences of information (verbal, visual or audio), which are designed to elicit predetermined responses. The most common example are programmed textbooks or instructional programmes prepared for teaching machines or computers. The presentation of information is made through any one medium or combination of media, e.g. printed words, slides and tapes motion picture sequences, and filmstrips. An active response is required of the learner before new information appears. The learner is informed immediately of his success or failure. One might say that instructional media have three unique properties.

1. Instructional media record the present so that they can be used at a later time (fixatives)

2. They can be arranged so that events that are otherwise unobservable to the human eye can be seen (manipulative)

3. They can be displayed to a large group or to individual as often and in as many differences locations as they are needed (distribution).

Programmed instruction is an instructional strategy in which the learner is presented in many small learning frame or pieces of information in logical sequence (Lee, 2004). The learner under the system of instruction is expected to respond to items presented in logical sequence.

The learners' positive response is immediately reinforced to the learner and is presented to the next frame of work. According to Merill (2002) programmed instruction have a positive effect on students' levels of academic achievement . Certain factors have been attributed to the poor achievements of students in biology. These include sex, location of the school (Obioma 1992).

Over the years research findings, have shown that male and female students have different classroom experiences because they approach learning differently and technology tend to treat them differently. Expectations for females in some subjects are usually lower as they are declared to be for certain sex, racial ethic groups (Nowell and Quinn, 2001),

Programmed instructions are instructions written or coded according to the subject area or area of discipline which can be used to disseminate information to students or learners with little assistance from the teachers. It is a technique used by the teacher, which allows individual to use an instructional material such as Computer Aided Instruction (CAI) or Computer Aided Design (CAD)

According to Phillips (1984) "a computer can be programmed to present the needed skill to be learned in the programmed format. Computers have the ability to contribute to learning tasks in different areas. The programmed format in the computer involves a sequence of didactic presentation, written examples to be undertaken by the students, step by step

Most recently, multimedia instruction is currently being used in a variety of ways across discipline in elementary, secondary and higher education. Hayes and Robinson (1999) found that students have favourable altitude towards multimedia instructor; therefore a classroom environment utilizing the instruction delivery method may be desirable to educators.

Recently, the use of educational methods and classrooms teaching has increase across a variety of discipline. In many cases, the use of media for instruction has been proved to be effective (Morell, 1999)

Demonstration technique is always accompanished by telling or explaining a concept. A demonstration method is used to show how something works. Accurate procedures and operations are shown in models, mock-ups and actual equipment are used to accompanish the successful demonstration. Demonstrations are useful because they provide concrete reference for objects or events. Students relate terms and concepts to those events, which they have observed.

Demonstration method has been used extensively in the sciences (Tretter, 2003) and to lesser extent in engineering. For instance, Lee (2004) carried out a study on students' performance in sciences using a demonstration method. In his study, be reported that students were able to identify some difficulties they faced in learning science when they were given problem to solve.

Wilson, (2004) investigated the effect of two teaching methods on students cognitive achievement and problem solving skills in biology. He showed that the treatment groups performed significantly better than the control group. Demonstration method have no substitute for laboratory exercise or for learning proper techniques of handling laboratory equipment, but are effective means of supplementing and clarifying the material being taught.

Statement of the Problem

Efforts have been made by government to improve students' performance in science. Since teachers lack adoption of educational methods in teaching sciences, poor performance of students in sciences will be inevitable. The question is that, Does the method used in the teaching of science affects students' performance? This is a problem, which this study intends to solve. This study also intends to find answer to the following questions.

1. Can Demonstration method brings the needed improvement in students' performance in science?

2. Can programmed instruction method brings the needed improvement in students performance in science?

3. To what extent does gender difference influence the effectiveness of these two teaching methods in science?

Research Questions

To guide the study, the following research questions were asked:

1. Is there any difference between the performance of students taught using Programmed instruction method and the performance of students taught using Demonstration method?

2. Is there any difference between the performance of male and female students exposed to Demonstration method?

3. Is there any difference between the performance of male and female students exposed to Programmed instruction method?

Research Hypothesis

The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:

H1: There is no significant difference between the performance of students taught using Programmed instruction method and the performance of students taught using Demonstration method

H2: There is no significant difference between the performance of male and female students exposed to Demonstration method.

H3: There is no significant difference between the performance of male and female students exposed to Programmed instruction method.

Purpose of the study

Specifically, the purpose of this study, is to investigate if the use of these learning strategies (Programmed instruction method and Demonstration method) in the teaching of science will improve students' performance.

Method and Procedure

The research design of this study is quasi experimental (Non equivalent control group.) Two intact classes were used. This is to prevent disorganization of classes. The population of the study consisted of all senior secondary school students in Esan west Local Government Area, Edo State- Nigeria. Science students in SS II are considered appropriate for the study. The population of SS II students for the 2005/2006 session was estimated at 5,352.

The sample for the study consisted of 100 students, 50male and 50 female students in two randomly selected schools in Esan west Local Government Area of Edo State- Nigeria

The schools are:

1. Eguare Secondary School, Ekpoma (School A.)

2. Emaudo Secondary School, Ekpoma (School B .)

The two groups (A and B ) consisting of 25male students and 25female students each were pre and post tested and the mean scores were computed. This is to test the students of their previous knowledge in the subject. The pre and post test were carried out using the Test of Performance Level in science (TOPLIS). The TOPLIS consisted 20items both objectives and essay questions covering Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

The Test of Performance Level in science (TOPLIS) were administered to the students to determine their entry behaviour (Pre-test) and the mean score of the data obtained was analysed in table I. The same content of questions were given to the same group of students after instruction to determine the observable behaviour of the students (i.e. Post-test). Data obtained from the Post-test, were analyzed in table II-IV.

Result of Analysis

Data were analyzed using students' t-test statistics at 0.05level of significance: Table I shows the results of pre- test of both groups

The results presented on the above table indicate that subjects in both groups obtained different mean scores. However, the apparent difference in the mean scores obtained by the two groups of students in this study was not statistically conclusive evidence that actual differences exist between the two groups. Consequently, the two groups were further subjected to post-test (after instruction) to justify conclusion about the performances of the two groups. The data obtained in the Post-test were analyzed in Table II-Table IV.

Hypothesis I

There is no significant difference between the performance of students taught using Programmed instruction method and that of students taught using Demonstration method

To test this hypothesis, the mean scores of students' performance in the two groups were obtained and compared using t-test statistics as shown in table II. This was tested at 0.05level of significance

From the preceeding table, the t-calculated value of 2.63 is greater than the t-critical value of 1.671. This means that there is difference in the achievement of students taught with demonstration method and students taught with programmed instruction method.

The result showed that the level of academic performance of students exposed to Programmed instruction strategy is significantly higher than those exposed to Demonstration learning strategy. Therefore hypothesis I is rejected.

Hypothesis II

There is no significant difference between the performance of male and female students exposed to Demonstration method.

This hypothesis was tested at 0.05level of significance as shown in the table below. Table III presents the t-calculated value of 3.80 for male and female students exposed to Demonstration learning strategy and t-critical value of 1.68. Since the t-calculated is greater than the t-critical value, it therefore means that there is significant difference between the academic performance of male and female exposed to demonstration method with the female students performing higher than the male students in the demonstration method. Therefore hypothesis II is rejected.

Hypothesis III

There is no significant difference between the performance of male and female students exposed to Programmed instruction method

This hypothesis was tested at 0.05level of significance by comparing the mean scores of male and female students exposed to PIM as shown in table below.

In table III, the calculated t-value of 1.36 is less than the table value of 1.68. The result shows there is no significant difference between the performance of male and female students exposed to programmed instruction method that the students all performed equally. Therefore hypothesis III is accepted

Discussion of Findings

Findings of Hypothesis I

There is no significant difference between the performance of students taught using Programmed instruction method and the performance of students taught using Demonstration method.

The results of this study showed that there was a significant difference in the academic achievement of the two groups of students with students exposed to Programmed instruction method achieving better than those exposed to Demonstration method. (See table I ). This finding is in agreement with the findings made by earlier researchers (Nowell and Quinn, 2001; Smith, 1996; Haury, 1993; Shymansky, Hedges and Woodwork, 1990) on the effects of programmed instruction method and traditional textbook methods. These researchers had concluded from their investigations that programmed instruction method produced significant positive gains for academic achievements, process skills and analytic abilities. This increase in the academic performance of students who were exposed to programmed instruction method could be attributed to students that has been used to multimedia instruction in variety of ways across discipline in elementary, secondary and higher education. Students have favourable attitudes towards multimedia instructor, therefore a classroom utilizing the instruction delivery method may be desirable because according to Philip (1984) in his opinion, suggested that a computer could be programmed to present the skill to be learned in the "Programming Format". Computer has the ability to contribute to learning task in different areas. The programmed format in the computer involves a sequence of didactic presentation with written examples to be undertaken by students step by step. Most recently, the use of multimedia in the classroom for instruction has increased in the educational set up and has been proved to be effective.

In the same vein, Colbum (2005) in his study had also concluded that Programmed instruction method is more effective than demonstration method in helping students gain understanding of concrete observable phenomenon.

Some other researchers however did not find any significant difference in the performance of students that were exposed to programmed instruction method when they carried out investigations on programmed instruction method and traditional method of teaching. Such researchers include (Glas, 1999; Dee, 2003) tried to offer an explanation for their findings. They reported that programmed instruction in learning mathematics did not yield much significant effect on students' academic achievement. The above argument could be expected because students exposed to programmed instruction method may be carried away and overwhelmed with the opportunity given to them to use ah instructional media for learning.

Findings of Hypothesis H

There is no significant difference between the performance of male and female students exposed to Demonstration method.

Data generated to answer the above research hypothesis were analyzed using t-test and the result is set out in table (II). From the table, the calculated t-value of 3.80 is higher than the critical value of 1.68. It shows that there is difference in the performance of male and female students. Female students who were exposed to demonstration method in teaching science performed better than their male counterparts that were equally exposed to the same method.

This finding is in contrast to the findings of Mckeon and Comber (2003) whose research studies pointed out that female gender performance in science is not fully encouraging. They concluded in their studies that women express lack of confidence in science subjects, which has been lingering for years. The same view is upheld by some other researchers (Obodo, 1996; Aigbomian & Umeoduagu, 1992; Harden & White Legg, 1997; Aigbomian, 2002) have attributed to boys performing better in science than girls while others show that sex plays no significant role in performance in science and technology.

The conclusion drawn by the above researchers could have been attributed to the sex role expectation in most societies, which do not give female the opportunity to exercise mental capabilities in certain area of learning. The better performance of female students exposed to demonstration method in the teaching of science could be attributed to the fact that male students believe that the harder sciences like physics, chemistry and mathematics are meant for them as many of them aspire to go into such professions like engineering, meteorology, architecture etc. For this reason, some of them do not like science subjects with much seriousness but just to complete the number of credit passes required for admissions into higher institutions. In addition to this, the studies of Doherty, (2004) shows that female students feel more at home with science subjects like biology, health science which would lead them into such professions like nursing, teaching, health workers etc which they believe would suit them for the performance of the dual duties of workers and housewives or midwives.

Findings of Hypothesis III

The data analyzed in table (III) showed that there is really no significant difference in the mean scores of male and female students' performance exposed to programmed instruction method. The above findings are not unexpected and here is evidence from literature to support the fact that male and female students' performances do not differ when exposed to programmed instruction method. The male and female achievements in science using this method is in agreement with the statement of Doherty (2004) that male performance in science may be higher than female due to the fact that girls lack confidence in their ability to study science and perceive it as masculine activity. In his opinion, he asserted that, meaningful learning can only take place when there is active interaction between the learner and the subject matter with some serious reconstruction of meanings. Students' achievement using this method was not significant due to inability of the students to cope with the method in the teaching of science. The result obtained in this study is in agreement with that of Glas (1999), and Dee (2003). Although the use of media for instruction has been proved by Morell (1999) to be effective, Studies of Glas (1999); Dee (2003); al so showed students achievement in mathematics when they were exposed to programmed instruction method, that programmed instruction method did not yield much significant effect on students' academic achievement.

In contrast to ineffectiveness of programmed instruction method in the teaching of science, Nowell and Quinn (2001) reported that the use of Programmed Instruction method resulted in better academic performance than other instructional modes; when they compare the relative effect of programmed Instruction under cooperative, competitive and individualized modes with the traditional textbook method. The result showed a significant effect of teaching method on academic performance. That those taught using programmed instruction were better than those taught using textbook. The poor performance of students exposed to this method could also be attributed to little assistance or guidance given to them by the teacher because students were presented with a programmed format in the computer involving a sequence of didactic presentation written examples to be undertaken by students step-by-step.

Conclusion

Based on the findings from this study as they concern the research hypothesis, the following conclusions were made;

1. Exposing students to programmed instruction method will improve performance of students in the subject

2. Exposing Female students to Demonstration method will yield a better performance than their male counterparts.

3. In respective of their sex and their ability level, when male and female students were exposed to programmed instruction method, they performed equally which also shows improvement in their performances.

Conclusively, the teaching of science using programmed instruction method from this study, has been found to improve performance of students in science subjects.

Recommendations

The teaching and learning of science in secondary school system has been problematic over the years.

In view of the above, educational planners should use the results of this experimental studies to fashion out appropriate teaching methods for teachers in our educational system. This could be achieved through organization of in-service training, seminars and workshops. Courses that could refresh teachers should be organized to inform them of new techniques of teaching such as programmed instruction method by training teachers on the use of computer assisted instruction. This should be done with the view at assisting teachers to improve on their instructional strategies. Also, educational planners should intensify supervision of schools.

Furthermore, teachers should also avail themselves of the available opportunities to attend in-service training. They should also cultivate the habit of reading journal articles, most especially those on experimental studies. Teachers in our secondary schools should be encouraged to carry researches on methods of teaching sciences and how to find solution to teaching problems.

The involvement of appropriate teaching methods in the teaching and learning of science in secondary schools would improve the performance of students. From this study, it has been found that students have favourable attitude towards multimedia instructor, therefore a classroom environment utilizing this instruction delivery method, may be desirable to educators.

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P. O. UHUMUAVBI PH. D

J. A. MAMUDU (MRs.)

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Faculty of Education

Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma

Edo State-Nigeria
Table I

Group      N    X       SD     DF   t-cal   t-critical   Remark

PIM        50   48.12   7.23   98   2.45    1.81         Significant
Students
DEM        50   35.24   7.17
Students

Table II

Group      N    X       SD     DF   t-cal   t-critical   Remark

PIM        50   41.82   7.07   98   2.63    1.671        Significant
Students
DEM        50   38.14   7.07
Students

Table III

Group     N    X       SD     DF   t-cal   t-tab   Remark

Male      50   28.04   7.25   98   3.80    1.68    Significant
in DEM

Females   50   20.38   7.12
in DEM

Table IV

Group           N    X       SD     DF   t-cal   t-tab   Remark

Male in PIM     25   10.17   4.90   48   136     1.68    not
                                                           Significant

Female in PIM   25   12.05   4.89
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