ASSESSMENT OF THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN BUSINESS EDUCATION SCHOLARS’ LEARNING STYLES AND THEIR PERFORMANCE IN SHORTHAND IN INSTITUTIONS OF EDUCATION IN NORTH-WEST ZONE, NIGERIA

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ASSESSMENT OF THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN BUSINESS EDUCATION SCHOLARS’ LEARNING STYLES AND THEIR PERFORMANCE IN SHORTHAND IN INSTITUTIONS OF EDUCATION IN NORTH-WEST ZONE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

The study assessed the relationship between business education student’s learning styles and their performance in shorthand in the college of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria. The study had five objectives, five research questions and four null hypotheses. Ex post facto research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study was 1,616 NCE 1 business education students in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria in 2015/2016 academic session. The sample was three hundred and sixty-four NCE 1 business education students from four federal colleges of education. The instruments used to generate data for the study were Perceptual Learning Styles Questionnaire (PLSQ) and students’ examination results in shorthand. Frequency, percentages, mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions. Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) was used to test hypotheses one, two and three, and ANOVA was used to test hypothesis four.  From the result of the study, hypotheses one, two and four were retained while hypothesis three was rejected. The summary of the study showed that visual and auditory learning styles had no significant relationship with students’ performance in shorthand, kinesthetic learning style had significant relationship with students’ performance in shorthand and there is no significant difference in the performance of students in shorthand based on their learning styles. It was concluded that adopting the appropriate learning style is paramount to how well a students’ performs in shorthand. Based on the findings, four (4) recommendations were made, among which were that shorthand lecturers should take into account their students’ diverse learning styles and design instructional methods that take care of those diversities and remain sensitive to such during the instruction process and that business education students should be encouraged to adopt kinesthetic learning style in learning shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria

 

 

 CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

       1.1       Background to the Study

Business education is an area of study that exposes its recipients to a diversified curriculum. Ibrahim (2008) viewed business education as that type of education that inculcates in its recipients’ attitudes, knowledge, skills, and values that are required in the business world. It produces literate and self-reliant citizens that would create wealth for human and national development, ultimately resulting in sustainable national development. Njoku (2006) defined business education as an educational programme that equips an individual with functional and suitable skills, knowledge, attitude and value that enables him/her operate in the environment he/she finds himself/herself.

According to Adesina (2007), business education is a primary education for vocation. It is an integral part of vocational and technical education. It is a training system that encourages the beneficiary to acquire skills that makes him fit into the world of work. Business education encompasses attitude, knowledge, and skills needed for any level of employment and advancement in a broad range of business careers. Business education curriculum provides training in shorthand skills.

Shorthand is one of the fundamental subjects in business education. The National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) recognised shorthand as an important business education subject, particularly with regards to the achievement of objective five of

Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) business education, which is “to equip NCE graduates with the right skills that will enable them to engage in a life of work in the office as well as for self-employment” (NCCE, 2012 revised). Shorthand is any system of representing spoken sound with written signs. Shorthand system is used to write as quickly as people speak using special symbols to represent words and phrases. Redmond (2008) considered shorthand as any system of writing that is rapid and concise enough to enable the writer to keep pace with normal speech. Usually, strokes, abbreviations and special characters are used to represent letters, words, and phrases. NCE graduates having effective shorthand skills are able to listen, focus, organize and attend to details. Some factors affect the learning process which makes mastering of shorthand difficult for students. These factors include learning styles, self-esteem, teaching methods, mood, environment, and background.

Individual learners have different backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses, needs, levels of attitudes, motivations, and approaches to learning. People adopt approaches to learning which they are most comfortable with. Learners also differ in how successfully they respond to, and profit from instructional processes. Among the factors that determine success or failure in learning processes, is the consideration of differences in learning styles. Learning style is defined as the manner and the condition under which learners most efficiently and effectively perceived, process, store and recall what they are attempting to learn. This view was emphasized by Liu (2008) when he defined learning styles as approaches to learning which refer to information processed in a preferred way in accordance to a learner’s habitual characteristics. Walsh (2011) stated that learning styles are typical approaches or patterns; visual, auditory and kinesthetic, that gives direction to learning behavior.

Every individual learns and processes information in different ways. Understanding an individual’s learning style preferences help learners to be aware of themselves, their abilities, how they learn, and why they differ from their peers. It also assists them in planning their learning, and developing strategies that help cope with different learning situations in order to make learning more meaningful and effective. Bidabadi &Yamat (2010) and Sabatova (2008) reported that students’ academic performance can be improved when they learn within the realm of their learning styles. There is numerous classification of learning styles, however, this study focused on perceptual learning styles model which classified learning into visual learning style (learning through seeing), auditory learning style (learning through hearing and listening) and Kinesthetic learning style (learning through active engagement in doing or touching).

In skill, related subjects such as shorthand, students’ learning styles play an essential role and may influence their learning processes which may eventually affect their academic performance. Performance refers to what students achieve in their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different learning experiences given to them by their teachers. Ibrahim (2011) reported that in educational institutions, success is measured by how well students meet the standards set out by the institutions. All the described variables constitute the background in which this study was conducted on the assessment of the relationship between business education students’ learning styles and their performance in shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria.

       1.2       Statement of the Problem

Shorthand is one of the core business education subjects offered for the attainment of Nigeria Certificate in Education. The performances of students in shorthand continued to decline yearly in colleges of education. It was noted by the researcher that only few business education students performed well in shorthand. This poor performance was a major concern of teachers, researchers, and curriculum planners, because if the trend continued unchecked and untreated, students may lose interest in shorthand. Amoor (2014) reported that shorthand and typewriting that involve manipulation, construction and demonstration were losing their values compared to other business subjects like economics, accounting, and marketing to extend that students were no longer speaking favorably about them. The recurrent poor performance of students in shorthand was disturbing. Vundi, Nasango, and Majanga (2011) have observed that there is a decline in students’ performance in shorthand.  In confirmation of this statement, the researcher’s preliminary investigation of the performance of business education students in shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria revealed its poor status.

The analyses of NCE I business education students’ performance in shorthand for five academic sessions (2011 to 2016) in three federal and three state colleges of education revealed that, in 2011/2012 academic session, only 30% passed in Federal College of

Education (Technical), Gusau, only 45.2% passed within the range of credit and above in Federal College of Education, Kano, only 42.6% passed within the range of credit and above in Federal College of Education, Zaria. In 2012/2013 academic session, only 40% passed within the range of credit and above in Jigawa State College of Education, Gumel, only 31% passed within the range of credit and above in Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, Kano, only 39% passed within the range of credit and above. In College of Education Gidan Waya, Kafanchan, only 40% passed within the range of credit and above. Likewise, in 2012/2013 academic session, 45.5%, 29.2%, and 38.3% were able to pass shorthand with credit and above in Federal Colleges of Education, Zaria, Kano and Federal College of Education (Technical), Gusau respectively. Whereas 38%, 39%, and 30% were able to pass shorthand with credit in Colleges of Education Gumel, Saadatu Rimi Kano, and Gidan Waya Kafanchan respectively. In the 2015/2016 academic session, the results indicated that only 40% of the students passed shorthand with credit and above across the Federal and State Colleges of Education. The same situation has been observed generally across the other session in

colleges.

One of the probable causes of students’ poor performance in shorthand may be attributed to the learning styles adopted by the students in learning. Performance is determined by many factors and learning styles may be among them. Vaishnav (2013) and

Akbarov (2012) established that learning styles had significant input on students’ performance. However, Tight (2007) and Sparks (2006) reported that students’ performance had no significant relationship with their learning styles. There is, therefore, conflicting arguments in the literature on the relationship between learning styles and students’ academic performance.

Based on this problem, therefore, the researcher carried out a research on the assessment of the relationship between business education students’ learning styles and their performance in shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria.  

       1.3       Objectives of the Study

The general objective of the study was to assess the relationship between business education students’ learning styles and their performance in shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria. The specific objectives were to:

  1. classify business education students into visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners of shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria
  2. assess the relationship between visual learning style and business education students’ performance in shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria
  3. investigate the relationship between auditory learning style and business education students’ performance in shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria
  4. determine the relationship between kinesthetic learning style and business education students’ performance in shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria
  5. establish the difference in the performance of business education students in shorthand who adopt visual learning style, auditory learning style or kinesthetic learning style in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria

 

 

       1.4       Research Questions

In line with the specific objectives, this study sought answers to the following research questions:

  1. What is the classification of business education students into visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning style in learning shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria?
  2. What is the relationship between visual learning style and business education students’ performance in shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria?
  3. What is the relationship between auditory learning style and business education students’ performance in shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria?
  4. What is the relationship between kinesthetic learning style and business education students’ performance in shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria?
  5. What is the difference in the performance of business education students in shorthand who adopted visual learning style, auditory learning style and kinesthetic learning style in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria?

1.5      Research Hypotheses

In line with specific objectives, the following null hypotheses are tested:

  1. There is no significant relationship between visual learning style and business education students’ performance in shorthand in colleges of education in North-west

Zone, Nigeria.

  1. There is no significant relationship between auditory learning style and business education students’ performance in shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria.
  2. There is no significant relationship between kinesthetic learning style and business education students’ performance in shorthand in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria.
  3. There is no significant difference in the performance of business education students in shorthand who adopted visual learning style, auditory learning style and kinesthetic learning style in colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria.

       1.6       Significance of the Study

The result of the study will be of importance to business education students, business education lecturers, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), parents, counsellors and other researchers.

The result of the study will enable business education students to be aware of their learning styles and will help them to learn better because people learn better when they are aware and learn within the realm of their learning styles.

The result of the study will help business education lecturers in identifying the learning styles of their students and thus enable them to device teaching techniques that will accommodate individual students’ learning style.

The result of the study will enable NCCE to improve NCE Business Education Benchmark and Minimum Academic Standard (B-MAS). Parent will be interested in the result of the study because whatever affects their children‘s education is of interest to them.  The result of the study will enable counselors to guide students on how to maximize and utilize their potentials and it will also be useful to them in their task of counseling the students. Finally, the study is expected to be used by further researchers in shorthand as reference materials and empirical studies.

       1.7       Basic Assumptions of the Study

In this study, the following assumptions were made

  1. Learning styles (Visual, Auditory and kinesthetic) may have a relationship with business education students’ performance in shorthand.
  2. Other variables (such as teachers’ methodology, peer influence, school environment) have the same relationship with business education students’ performance in shorthand.

       1.8       Delimitation of the Study

The study was delimited to four (4) federal colleges of education in North-west Zone, Nigeria. This was because it was observed that failure in shorthand was high in federal colleges of education in the Zone. The study was also delimited to an adapted Reid (1987) Perceptual Learning Style Questionnaire, because it was one of the classical instruments used in identifying students’ learning styles, and it was among the first model to systematically use a series of questions with help sheet for students, teachers, and employees in order to identify an individuals preferred way of processing information.

The study was delimited to NCE1 business education students. The choice of this level of students was based on the fact that they were newly admitted to the college and are being taught the introductory aspect of shorthand. It was also delimited to BED 116 (Shorthand theory l) because it was a core subject for all business education students at this level. The study was further delimited to NCE 1 business education first-semester examination result in shorthand in the 2015/2016 academic session.

ASSESSMENT OF THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN BUSINESS EDUCATION SCHOLARS’ LEARNING STYLES AND THEIR PERFORMANCE IN SHORTHAND IN INSTITUTIONS OF EDUCATION IN NORTH-WEST ZONE, NIGERIA

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