1.1 Background to the Study
Teaching methods and instructional techniques in the classrooms have been changing and this is influenced by technological advancements. Technology has changed the whole pattern of human life. The greatest contribution of cyber age technology is the development of Computer and its use in all walks of life. Computer according to Pritchard (2005) is a general purpose machine, commonly consisting of digital circuitry, that accepts (inputs), stores, manipulates, and generates (outputs) data as numbers, text, graphics, voice, video files, or electrical signals, in accordance with instructions called a programme. The two principal characteristics of a computer are: it responds to a specific set of instructions in a well-defined manner and it can execute a prerecorded list of instructions (a programme). Importantly, it is also concerned with the way these different uses can work with each other to enhance teaching and learning and to better the standard of living of people the world over (Pritchard, 2005).
Instruction is a statement or explanation of something that must be done, often given by someone in authority. Pratt (2008) views Instruction, as the activities of educating or instructing; activities that impart knowledge or skill written or spoken directions for carrying out a procedure or performing a task. Effective instructions often include visual elements (such as pictures, diagrams, and flowcharts) that illustrate and clarify the text. Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is the process by which written and visual information is presented in a logical sequence to a learner through a computer. The student learns by reading the text material presented or by observing the graphic information displayed. Some of the programmes provide audio-visual presentation with an option to the student to select audio presentation in addition to the visual media. Each segment of text is followed by questions,
for student‘s response. Feedback on response is indicated immediately (Locatis & Atkinson, 1984; Wang & Sleeman, 1993). CAI can be characterized as interactive and individualized learning as it usually involves a dialogue between one student and a computer programme, and a student can learn at his own pace and time frame (Curtis & Howard, 1990). There may be one student or several in a class, the students can be young or old, bright or below average intelligence, “normal” or physically challenged, highly motivated or “turned off,” rich or poor, male or female. The subject can be easy and straightforward or difficult and complex. The teacher may not be physically present, as with televised or computer-assisted instruction (CAI). Instruction takes place somewhere, in some specific context. The institution may be highly selective, or “open door” in its admissions policies. The climate for learning may be favourable or destructive, supportive or frustrating. The resources, both physical and human, may be lavish or meager. Instruction involves a teacher trying to teach someone something somewhere.
The artistic aspect of teaching has been likened to the activity of a symphony conductor (Eisner, 2004). The teacher, like the conductor, draws upon a repertoire of skills and orchestrates a highly complex process. Teaching, Eisner (2004) argues, is much more like the work of the artist than the scientist. Teaching involves complex judgments that unfold during the course of instruction. Teachers must deal creatively with the unexpected. Furthermore, the most important goals of teaching are those events (for instance; critical thinking, analytical reasoning and written/oral communication) that occur during the process. The outcomes are often embedded in the learning process itself.
EFFECT OF COMPUTER ASSISTED INSTRUCTION (CAI) ON STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE IN ECONOMICS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN EKITI STATE, NIGERIA