This study determined the effects of Computer Assisted Concept Mapping (CACM) and Digital Video Instruction (DVI) instructional strategies on student’s achievement in chemistry. It also sought the effects of CACM, DVI on gender academic achievement of students. The performance of students taught with CACM and DVI were compared with those students taught with lecture method (LM). To carry out the study, four research questions were asked and three hypotheses, were formulated and tested. Related literatures were reviewed. A quasi experimental design specifically the non-randomized control group design involving three intact classes was used. The sample of the study consisted of 210 senior secondary two (SSII) chemistry students from three government owned secondary schools drawn using purposive and simple random sampling techniques from 16 government schools that offer chemistry in Chanchaga and Bosso local government areas of Niger State. The three schools were assigned to the two experimental groups CACM and DVI and one control group (LM). One instrument, the Chemistry Achievement Test (CAT) was developed and validated. An internal consistency of CAT was computed and found to be 0.95 using Kuder –Richardson formular 20 (KR 20). Before treatment commenced, the CAT typed in white coloured paper was administered as pre-test to the three groups in the sampled schools. The treatment lasted for one month of seven lesson periods for each group. The actual teaching was done by the regular chemistry teachers who were given special training for both experimental and control groups. After treatment session, the same instrument (CAT) which was retyped in yellow coloured paper and the questions reshuffled was re –administered to the subjects to obtain posttest scores. Means and standard deviations were used to answer the research questions. Hypotheses were tested using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA), at 0.05 level of significance. The result of the analysis indicated that CACM and DVI had significant effects on student’s achievement in chemistry, but students in the CACM group achieved more. Gender was a significant factor in the student’s achievement in chemistry when treated with CACM and DVI. These findings imply that there is the need for chemistry teachers to adopt the use of CACM as well as DVI in teaching since they are effective in improving student’s achievement in chemistry. Thus, it is recommended among others, that state governments or their ministries of education and professional associations should organise workshops, seminars and conferences to train teachers on the use of CACM and DVI techniques. Finally, the limitations of the study, conclusions of the study and the summary of the study as well as suggestions for further studies were highlighted.
Background of the Study
The growth and development of most nations are dependent on science, technology and mathematics education. Science is that organized body of knowledge, which enhances the ability to acquire skills. It is a search for meaning or exploration of events in nature (Ifeakor 2006). Science and technology related subjects that would enable students have a substantial understanding of science and be able to apply scientific knowledge in solving problems in their ever changing society are Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Health Science, Introductory technology and Chemistry.
Chemistry is one of the compulsory subjects for one to study science/ technology related courses in tertiary institutions. It is the science that deals with the properties of different atoms, the ways in which they join together to form molecules, the interaction of various kinds of molecules with one another and the accompanying energy changes. It is the heart or nucleus of science (Adeyemo, 2005). The science of chemistry includes properties, composition and structure of matter as well as structural, compositional and energy changes involved in chemical reactions. From the foregoing therefore, the major objective of teaching chemistry in our schools is to enable the students interpret the universe, since the great variety of materials in the universe can be classified into two great entities: energy and matter. Chemistry has developed knowledge in all these areas of energy and matter which will significantly help in achieving the objective of interpreting the universe (Adeyemo, 2005).
The technological development of any nation lies in the study of science especially chemistry. The role of Chemistry in national development is acknowledged in the whole world (Udofia and Udo, 2006).The significance of chemistry in all fields of science and technology has made chemistry imperative to be included in the curriculum of senior secondary school to be offered by science oriented students. The Nigerian secondary school Chemistry curriculum has the following objectives:
- Facilitate a transition in the use of scientific concepts and techniques acquired in Integrated Science with Chemistry.
- Provide the students with basic knowledge in chemical concepts and principles through efficient selection of content and sequencing.
- Show Chemistry in its inter-relationship with other subjects;
- 2Show Chemistry and its link with industry, everyday life, benefits and hazards;
- Provide a course which is complete for students not proceeding to higher education while it is at the same time, a reasonably adequate foundation for post-secondary Chemistry courses. (FME & CESAC, 2009p.
With the importance of chemistry and provisions made by the Federal Government of Nigeria for effective teaching and learning of chemistry, the objectives of its teaching and learning as stated in the Nigerian secondary school chemistry curriculum is yet to be achieved. Chemistry is one of the science subjects which have been taught using different methods for instance, Ifeakor, (2005) used commercially produced Computer Assisted Instructional package to teach chemistry, while Olorundare, (2009) used Concept mapping and analogy to teach chemistry yet student’s performance in chemistry is not encouraging. The reasons for poor performance in chemistry as identified by the following researchers include: poor instructional strategies (Bajah, 2000; Olorukooba, 2007); abstract nature of science concepts (Nsofor, 2006; Ojiaku, 2003); lack of qualified teachers (Biodun, 2004); poor infrastructure and inadequate laboratory facilities (Shalw, 2003); and non-availability and utilization of instructional materials (Yusuf, 2004). Their findings are similar to that of Olorundare, 2007 who found that inadequate laboratory facilities and non-availability and utilization of instructional materials affect the teaching and learning of chemistry in the secondary schools. Also the chief examiner, West African Examination Council (WAEC, 2007), identified some areas of weaknesses of the students/candidates which were reported as a contributing factor to student’s poor performance. The areas identified include: Poor understanding of general principles and concepts, heat, energy changes, rates of chemical reactions, reversibility of reactions and chemical equilibrium.
The federal government of Nigeria made special provisions and incentives through the provision of laboratory facilities, instructional materials, training and retraining of teachers, provision of research grants and adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve the teaching and learning of science chemistry inclusive in our secondary schools. Since as part of the requirements for any school to be enrolled for WAEC and NECO is that the school must have science laboratories and with the importance of ICT in nation building, schools have been provided with computer systems through the school net programme. Furthermore, the federal government stated that “In recognition of the prominent role of information and communication technology in advancing knowledge and skills necessary for effective functioning in the modern world, there is an urgent need to integrate information and communication technology into Education in Nigeria (FGN, 2004:17). In furtherance to government support for science education, information and communication technology is adopted by the policy to apply to all levels of education. Such provision for secondary level of education is contained in section 5 number 30. She further states that “Science shall be taught in an integrated manner in the schools to promote in the students the appreciation of basic ideas”. For instance, schools in Minna are no exceptions as government have provided the computers in almost all senior secondary schools in Minna. Despite all the effort made by the Federal government, chemistry teachers and researchers, students perform very poorly. In order to improve the teaching and learning of chemistry the researcher is of the view that the use computer assisted concept mapping and digital video to teach chemistry may lead to better performance by the students.
Computer assisted instruction refers to instruction or remediation presented on a computer. Computer assisted instructions are interactive and can illustrate a concept through attractive animation, sound and demonstration. It allows students to progress at their own pace and work individually. Computers provide immediate feedback, letting students know whether their answer is correct or not. If the answer is not correct, it shows how the students can get the correct answer. So many researchers have used computer assisted instruction in different subject areas to improve effective teaching and learning. For instance Hall, Hughes, and Filbert, (2000), examined the effect of computer assisted instruction in reading by students. Their findings indicated an improvement in reading when computer assisted instruction is used for students. Also, Tapscott (2008) investigated the effect of computer assisted instruction on academic achievement in sciences; the result was also positive. Also Ifeakor (2005) examined the effects of commercially produced computer assisted instructional package on student’s achievement and interest in secondary school chemistry. In her study, she found that the commercially produced computer assisted instructional package had positive effect on the students’ achievement and interest.
Concept maps are forms of graphical organizers which allow learners to perceive the relationships between concepts through diagramming of keywords representing those concepts. These concepts are usually enclosed in circles or boxes of some type and relationships between concepts indicated by connecting lines linking two or more concepts. The process of using these graphical tools for organizing and presenting knowledge is referred to as concept mapping. For some years now, the researches on the effectiveness of using concept mapping instructional strategy to teach chemistry has been in place. These studies includes that of Czerniak and Haney (1998) who used concept mapping to improve achievement in physical sciences which includes chemistry, Nicoll, Francisco and Nakhleh (2001) investigated the effect of concept mapping on general chemistry achievement. Their findings showed a positive effect. Concept mapping has been found to be a good instructional strategy used by teachers to teach chemistry yet students fail the subject, this is evident in the results of students in the WAEC and NECO, hence the researcher used computer assisted instruction which incorporates concept mapping for teaching chemistry concepts anticipating that it may improve the teaching and learning of chemistry.