EFFICIENCY OF EVACS AND EVOLVE COMPUTER SIMULATION PROTOTYPES ON ATTITUDE, RETENTION AND PERFORMANCE IN EVOLUTION CONCEPTS AMONG NCE STUDENTS IN NORTH WEST, NIGERIA

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EFFICIENCY OF EVACS AND EVOLVE COMPUTER SIMULATION PROTOTYPES ON ATTITUDE, RETENTION AND PERFORMANCE IN EVOLUTION CONCEPTS AMONG NCE STUDENTS IN NORTH WEST, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the efficacy of EVACS and EVOLVE Computer Simulation Models on Attitude, Retention and Performance in Evolution concept among NCE II Students in North West, Nigeria.  The study adopted quasi-experimental design involving Pretest, Posttest and Postposttest using two experimental groups and one control group. A Pretest was administered before the treatment to establish the equivalence of the experimental and control groups. The subjects in the experimental groups were taught using EVACS and EVOLVE simulation model, while the control group subjects were exposed to the lecture method for a period of six weeks. The topic taught were evolution concepts. Evolution Concept Performance Test (ECPT) andStudents‘ Attitude Questionnaire (SAQ) were developed and administered to 331 NCEII of Biology in the selected Federal Colleges of Education. A samplesize of 148 male and 183 female students. The instrument used was validated and the reliability  coefficient  of (ECPT) was established  at  r = 75. To achieve this, four objectives, four research questions and four null hypotheses were tested at p≤ 0.05. The major findings from the study include the following: There is significant difference between the mean academic performance score of NCE II Biology students taught evolution concepts using ”EVACS” and ‗‗EVOLVE‘‘ computer simulation models and those taught the same concept using lecture method in favour of the experimental groups. There is significant difference in the retention ability of NCE II Biology students exposed to evolution concepts using ”EVACS”, ”EVOLVE” computer simulation models and those exposed to the same concept using lecture method. Based on the findings it was concluded that NCE II biology students learn evolution concepts better when taught using EVACS and EVOLVE computer simulation models; and that EVACS and EVOLVE computer simulation models can enhance attitude, retention and academic performance. It was therefore recommended that EVACS andEVOLVE computer simulation models, should be used by biology teachers in teaching as the models have the ability toshift learning from teacher centered to student centered.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

THE PROBLEM

1.1       Introduction

Biology is a natural science that deals with the living world: How the world is structured, how it functions and what these functions are, how it develops, how living things came into existence, and how they react to one another and with their environment (Umar,2011). It is a prerequisite subject for many fields of learning that contributes immensely to the technological growth of the nation (Ahmed, 2008). This includes medicines, pharmacy, nursing, agriculture, forestry, biotechnology, and many other areas (Ahmed & Abimbola, 2011). Biology plays a vital role in the economic development of the nation. Nwakonobi (2008) says that recent advances recorded in the field of biochemistry, physiology, ecology, genetics and molecular biology have made the subject a central focus in most human activities including solutions to the problems of food scarcity, pollution, population explosion, radiation disease, health, hygiene, conservation of natural resources, family life, various social vices as well as biotechnology and ethics. Biology is one of the basic sciences whose teaching and learning are universally known to be efficient and successful if only they are undertaken simultaneously with the help of adequate

instructional materials and facilities

Damide (2000), Oloyede (2008) and Zayun (2008) opined that several factors have been advanced for the low performance of students in Biology. This includes Teaching and learning materials, abstract nature of some concepts in Biology, poor language skills, students‘ factor, teaching factor, societal factors, instruction and strategies employed by the

teachers among others. Ahmad and Asghar (2011) states that, lack of strategy and techniques usually affect students academic achievement adversely in science subject because most of the contents of science subjects are all abstract and difficult to learn.

Oloyede (2008) observed that student‘s poor performance in biology aspect of the subjects contributes substantially to the failure rate in ‘O’ level biology. Researchers ascertain that students‘ attitude could be enhanced when they participate in teaching-learning process (Duyilemi, Olagunju & olumide 2014).The persistent poor performance in biology need to be improved by using activity -based teaching strategy such as hands-on mind-on like computer simulation models, which allows students involvement.

The impact of science and technology on education cannot be over-emphasized. The advent of information and technology especially the product aspect has influenced both the content as well as methods of teaching. Most of the developed countries have exploited the potentials of ICT (Information Communication Technology) to transform their educational landscape at the tertiary, secondary and even primary school levels particularly the instructional process Wekesa, (2003). Generally, ICT holds out the opportunity to revolutionize pedagogical methods, expand access to quality education, and improve the management of education systems (World Bank, 2002). Nigeria, especially in the educational sector has not properly harnessed the potentials of Information Technology

(IT) in terms of the educational uses as in developed countries like America and Britain. Unfortunately, in Nigerian classrooms, the typical pedagogical pattern, which reflects an authoritarian didactic approach to classroom management, does not prepare students for the information age and globalization. In other words, this pattern is not equipping students to live effectively in our modern age of science and technology (Olubola & Aladejana 2013) and (Duyilemi, Olagunju& Olumide, 2014). Computer simulation is ICT based teaching and learning methods (Clark, Nelson, Sengupta& Angelo, 2009).

Current trend in science teaching is to integrate technology into the classroom in a variety of ways (Kiboss, Ndirangu & Wekesa, 2004;Yusuf & Afolabi, 2010). These include, the ability to shift learning to more hands-on and visual imagery interaction that is often lacking in traditional teacher based classroom, It natures confidence, initiative and enhances cognition, psychomotor and effective behaviour. It provides immediate feedback and it is self- paced (Ceren, Ozlem & Semra 2001) and (Wekesa, Wekesa &Amadalo 2013).The fast changes in science and technology in recent times have affected education systems. Seyhan (2015) students of today need to be able to adapt to a rapidly changing technological world (Şaşan, 2002). As a result of these fast changes, the education systems need to be modified. The education systems can activate the students to learn ways to reach knowledge, to develop solutions for problems yet unknown and to enhance the skills of decision-making (İnce Aka, Güven & Aydoğdu, 2010). Science education reformers have supported the idea that learners should be engaged in the excitement of science, they should be helped to discover the value of evidence-based reasoning and higher-order cognitive skills and be taught to become innovative problem solvers (Perkins &Wieman, 2008). So, it is important for students to be prepared for the future by facing real problems in their learning environment and producing appropriatesolutions to these problems (Chin& Chia, 2004;Walker & Lofton, 2003).Students should be given opportunity to discover, invent and get caught up in the rapid expansion in science and technology. Biology has made great impact in the development of nations and its importance warrants the need to expose biology students to innovative methods like computer assisted instructions.

Computer simulation is one of the modes of CAI which gives students the opportunity to observe a real life experience, and has been applied in the teaching and learning of various courses and subjects with promising results (Wekesa, 2003., Wellington, 2004; Duyilemi,Olagunju &Olumide, 2014; Otero,2001; and Olele, 2008) reported that most of the research findings showed a positive impact on computer simulation based teaching and learning method. This is because of its features that consist of movement and color which bring real learning environment into biology classroom.

Computer simulation improves the teachers‘ repertoire by enhancing and expanding the educational environment particularly in areas considered difficult or abstract (Wekesa, 2003). According to McKinney (2001), one of the most promising computer applications in science instruction is the use of simulations. The use of computer as a complement to conventional instruction produced higher performance than the use of conventional instruction alone (Yusuf & Afolabi, 2010). In the light of the recent trends in technological advancement and in science education, the researcherinvestigated the efficacy of innovative strategies like computer simulation models of ‘EVACS” and ”EVOLVE” on attitude, retention and academic performance among NCE II Biology Students.

Evolution has been described as a central idea in understanding biology, accounting for fundamental issues about how organisms came to their present form, explaining relatedness among different species, as well as how certain traits are passed down and accumulated over many generations (Kampourakis & Zogza,2008; Aaron & Patricia, 2013). Evolution implies that species do change and all organisms presently on earth have presumably evolved along a period of time from others, which existed in the past.

Evolution concept is an aspect of biology curriculum, which students of Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) study at 200 level. Evolution as a concept in biology subject is considered abstract and difficult topic to learn Chew (2004) and (NCCE Minimum Standard, 2016).Usman (2008) reported that many students have wrong perceptions about evolution concepts based on how they were taught biology in schools. Kampourakis (2014) stated that one of the factors that affect meaningful learning in biology is the wrong perception of evolution concepts by the students. Ogonnaya (2011) and Kampourakis (2014) in their separate studies opined that biological science has more conflicts in the classroom with cultural and religious believes especially evolution concepts than any other biology concepts.

Student perceive evolution concept as difficult ,this maybe as a result of the nature of evolution concept which cannot be seen easily or handled by students, and for evolution to occur it is a gradual process which will take millions of years. This makes their understanding difficult and resulting to low performance. Despite overwhelming agreement from the scientific and science education communities, evolution remains a problematic subject for many science students and teachers (Panagiotis & Kyriacos, 2011;Elijah, Lynn & Jason, 2015). The abstract nature and difficulty as well as culture and beliefs have resulted in poor performance and retention of the concepts by students at NCE level (Danmole &Femi-Adeoye, 2004; Grifith & Brem, 2004 and Moore, 2004).

The content of the syllabus for NCE II Evolution Bio 225 in all Colleges of

Education is as follows:

  • Concept of Evolution
  • Evidence for Evolution
  • The Geological Timescale
  • Trends and Theories of Evolution including Pre-Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism

Theories.

  • Darwin‘s Theory of Natural Selection
  • Competition with particular emphasis on competition for food, space and other resources among human population
  • Competition, Variation and Survival of the Fittest
  • Mutational changes as causes of evolution
  • Adaptive Radiation
  • Isolating Mechanisms
  • The Origin of Life
  • Fossils and Human Evolution.

This study therefore, investigated the efficacy of EVACS and EVOLVE Simulation models on attitude, retention and academic performance towards evolution concepts among NCE II biology students in north-west, Nigeria.

Traditionally, evolution concept has been taught with traditional lecture method, which involves verbal presentation of ideas, concept and generalization of facts (Umar, 2006). It is one of the science teaching instructional strategies that encourage rote learning and regurgitation of information without necessarily aiding understanding and this does not enhance academic Performance (Maikano, 2007). Lecturing, as a method, is used largely to build up basic theoretical knowledge, which must be acquired by the students before he is able to display practical skills and undertake practical tasks in the laboratory. It is highly valued in a situation where the number of students, who are benefiting from it, is quite large and in a situation where there is inadequate number of competent and qualified teachers coupled with the insufficient instructional materials, lecture method with note taking technique may be more effective than any other methods (Veselinovska, 2011).

Teaching methods must be changed to reflect a modern society mandating the need for functioning, thinking-oriented and decision-making students. The main aim of teaching is to transfer knowledge to the learners. For effective teaching and learning to take place, the teacher needs to use different methods and techniques in teaching. Poor biology Performance has been attributed to poor teaching methods used by teachers (Angela & Ugwuegbulam, 2011).Therefore, selection of an appropriate teaching method is important to the success of the teaching and learning process. There is no particular teaching method that is said to be the best at all times. A good teacher uses different method to teach different unit of the curriculum, bearing in mind the nature of the units. NERDC (2009) recommended the use of interactive and participatory approach in teaching biology to make learning active.

Nevertheless among the various methods that may be used to teach biology, the most commonly used is the lecture method. The lecture method employed in teachingBiology though with its own good side has some flaws, which might be one of the causesof the poor achievement and retention in biology. According to Awotua-Efebo

(2001),the lecture method is mainly teacher-centred with the students‘ being consistently passive need more clarification (Udeji, 2007;Miriogu, 2012). Therefore, there isneed to investigate more learner centred, activity oriented method or innovative method likesimulation and its effects on achievement and retention. An ancient Chinese proverb says: Ihear and I forget, I see and remember, I do and I understand, clearly indicating that the idea ofactive learning producing understanding is not a new concept. ―One must learn by doing thething, for though you think you know it—you have no certainty until you try.‖  Simulation therefore is an innovative teaching method which is Learner centred activity-oriented teaching strategy. The word simulation comes from Latin word

‘similis’meaning ‗like‘ that is to act like, to resemble, to pretend to be, . Additionally, the format of

Simulations ranges from computerized games to elaborate, role-playing scenarios (Moore,

2009). Role-play simulation refer to active learning techniques inwhich students try to

―become another individual and, by assuming the role, to gain a betterunderstanding of the person, as well as the actions and motivations that prompt certain behaviours…(and) explore their (own) feelings‖ (Moore, 2009).―Simulations givestudents the chance to apply theory, develop critical skills, and provide a welcome relief fromthe everyday tasks of reading and preparing for classes‖ (Kanner, 2007). An additionalbenefit of simulations is the introduction of an aspect of realism into the students‘experience. The use ofsimulation techniques where students are allowed to project themselves into new classroomroles helps to improve classroom dialogue, active participation and transfer of learning (Walton, 1986).

Students are not only motivated by simulations, but learn by interacting with them in a manner similar to the way they would react in real situations. Simulation also simplifies reality by omitting or changing details (Obeka, 2010).Simulation programmes can be applied to biology by providing real life settings for the application of biology concepts.  According to Ezeaghasi (2012),simulation is a techniques used for teaching that produces actual events and process under test conditions. It is a representation or model of events, objects or some phenomenon.

“EVACS‖ was an acronym of a simulation model developed by the researcher.

EVACS was developed using evolution concepts in the curriculum of NCE biology. EVACS is an acronym coined from evolution concept: (E) Evolution ;( E)  Evidences of organic evolution (V) Variation (A) Adaptation (C) Competition and (S) Survival of the fittest.EVACS was adapted from EPODEWALAD, Obeka, (2009)

‗‗EVOLVE‘ wasan acronym coined from evolution concept.  Evolve was developed using evolution concepts in the curriculum of NCE biology: (EVOL) Evolution; (V) Variation and (E) Evidence of Organic Evolution. ”EVOLVE” is another computer simulation model adopted from Soderberg and Price (2003) by the researcher.The study describes how a simulation model called Evolve can be used to foster discussions about the conceptual knowledge from problem- solving perspective.

The literature reviewed so far indicated that computer simulation, academic performance, attitude, retention and gender are practical in the schools in Nigeria. This implies that the present study is in line with the reviewed literatures. Some of the researches carried out show positive relationship between students‘ academic performance and simulation teaching strategy but others show negative correlation. So this research investigated the efficacy of computer simulation model on attitude, retention and academic performance among NCE II biology students.

Academic Performance is considered as a key criterion to judge one’s total potentiality and capability. Academic achievement occupies a very important place in education as well as in the learning process. Afe (2001) defined Academic Achievement as the ―extent to which a learner is profiting from instructions in a given area of learning i.e., achievement is reflected by the extent to which skill or knowledge has been imparted to him‖. Academic achievement also denotes the knowledge attained and skill developed in the school subject, usually designated by test scores. According to Ajao (2001) the knowledge attained or skills developed in school subjects are usually developed by teachers. Academic achievement is a key mechanism through which adolescents learn about their talents, abilities and competencies which are an important part of developing career aspirations (Lent, Brown & Hackett, 2000).

Retention is the noun form of the verb ―Retain‖. Hornby (2003) defined retain as ―keep‖ ―continue to have or hold‖ or ―keep in place‖.  In the same vein,Rix (2011) defined retention as the act of retaining, act of ―absorbing and holding‖ or ―or continue having or holding‖. In the context of this work, retention refers to the act of absorbing, holding, or continuing to hold or have facts or things learned. On the problems of retention, Ezeamenyi (2004) asserted that failure to provide enough applications to real life activity and social usage, poor teaching techniques are strong limiting factors to students‘ retention. Furthermore, Ezeamenyiand Nneji (2010) contended that for improvement of retention of learned materials in mathematics, in other words students‘ achievement, activity-based learning is indispensable. Retention, thus, depends mainly on teaching strategy adopted by the teacher.  Nwodo (2016) investigated the effect of simulation and retention in some concepts in government. It was found that simulation method is more superior to lecture method in terms of studentachievement and retention.

Attitude is another variable of interest in this study. According to Omotayo (2002) attitude plays, a vital role in student‘s learning.  Attitude, once established, help to shape the experiences the individual has with object, subject or person. Although attitude changes generally, people constantly form attitudes and modify old ones when they are exposed to new information and new experiences. Okebukola (2009) observed that, the teachers have the opportunity of structuring lessons co-operatively, competitively or individualistically and the decisions teachers make in structuring lessons can influence students interactions with others, knowledge and attitudes. Adesoji (2008) worked on the area of attitude and reveal that students attitude to science as affected by some instructional methods. The study also found that, there is need for a study to investigate on other instructional methods strategies, which may have effect student‘s attitude. From these studies, there is no conclusive statement on attitude related issues investigated by the researchers and the studies cited concentrated in teaching method, attitude among others at SSS level. This study therefore investigated the efficacy of two computer simulation model compared with conventional method as control among NCE II biology student‘s attitude and academic performance in evolution concepts.

Gender issues have become the talk of today’s educational forums. Although the literacy rate is more among boys than girls are, it is quite interesting to observe that girls are securing better ranks than boys in almost all the academic examinations.  Over the last decade there has been evidence of a growing gender gap in educational achievement in number of developed countries. (Weaver-Hightower, 2003; Reid, 2003) observes that gender inequality has remained a perennial problem of global scope. Weaver- Hightower

(2003) notes that according to gender theory, males and females enter the educational system with different sets of behaviors, attitudes and values. The performance of every individual is not equal, there is a lot of variability and dispersion along with these, gender of the students plays an influencing factor on academic achievement, which depends upon the sustained training and interests. Olorukooba, Lawal and Jiya (2012) also revealed that there is a significant difference in the performance and retention of male and female students in favour of the male students at NCE level when taught evolution concepts  using analogy teaching strategy. Danmole and Femi-Adeoye (2004) found that there are no gender differences in performance in science.

1.1       Theoretical Framework

Considering the nature of the topic of the study Efficacy of computer simulation modelson attitude, retention and students‘ performance in evolution concepts in Biology, the theory that this study can be anchored to is the constructivist theory of learning. The essential core of constructivism is that learners actively construct their own knowledge and meaning from their experiences (Steffe &Gale, 1995; Fosnot, 1996). Constructivism acknowledges the learner’s active role in the personal creation of knowledge, the importance of experience (both individual and social) in this knowledge creation process, and the realization that the knowledge created will vary in its degree of validity as an accurate representation of reality. The constructivist model sees the learner as coming into learning not as complete blank slates upon which knowledge is written, but rather sees the learner as coming into learning with already formulated knowledge ideas and understandings. The previous knowledge becomes the raw materials for the new

knowledge to be created. As such, learning in the constructivist model says that the learner compares new information taught to him/her to the knowledge and understanding he or she already has of the same phenomenon.

According to Vygotsky (1978),Constructivism is a theory of knowledge that argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas. Constructivists claim that teachers cannot transfer intact knowledge from their heads to the learners and that knowledge is constructed by the learner (Jonassen, 1991). According to Jonassen(1991) effective learning occurs, only when learners develops and accommodates meaning in a context that builds on their prior knowledge. Accommodation is the process of reframing one’s mental representation of the external world to fit new experiences. Through the processes of accommodation and assimilation, individuals construct new knowledge from their experiences. When individuals assimilate, they incorporate the new experience into an already existing framework withoutchanging that framework. The above theory is relevant as an anchorage theory to this study. The constructivist holds that learners make meaning of what is taught in the classroom when they are given the opportunity to participate actively in the learning process.

Bruner (1960) constructivist theory of learning states that the learners construct their own knowledge and are encourage to search for other related relevant information.

The Bruner‘s theory of constructivism comprehends the ideas based of learning as an active process wherein those learning are able to form new ideas on what their current knowledge is as well as their past knowledge. Learners use cognitive structure that is, the mental process which offer the learner the ability to organize experiences and derive meaning from them. These cognitive structures allows the learner to push past the given information in constructing their new concept. The learner, often a child, will take pieces of their past knowledge and experiences and organize them to make sense of what they know, they base further concepts and solve additional problems based upon a combination of what they already processed and what they think should be processed next. This is possible in this study with the use of simulation model where the students will have the opportunity to mimic, interpret and play out real life experiences of the concept of evolution within the classroom. The students can acquire new knowledge and assimilate at their own pace at the same time interacting with the instructor and each other and having a good time doing it.

Constructivism transforms the student from a passive recipient of information to an active participant in the learning process. The constructivism theory contributes greatly to this study, it supports knowledge construction in students and help student in the act of knowing, concentration, perception, memory and logical thinking are cognitive skills for successful learning that help in construction of knowledge and these are the things that this study focused  on  using EVACS and EVOLVE computer simulation Models.

Simulation method is a teaching method that gives learners the opportunity to be involved actively in the learning process. It allows students to take part in both the preparation and presentation of their lessons. Through the roles students play in the simulation process they construct new knowledge through what the constructivist call the process of accommodation and assimilation. Thus, the outcome of this study may help to strengthen the view of the constructivist theory.

 

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Poor teaching methods adopted by teachers have been identified by Ahmed and Abimbola (2011)and Umar(2011) as one of the major factors contributing to poor performance of students in biology and has been a subject of concern to many stakeholders in education. Studies like those of Odili (2006) and Okereke (2006) indicates that many teachers prefer the traditional expository/lecture method of teaching and shy away from innovative methods and this contributes to the poor performance.

The persistent use of this method makes students passive rather than active learners.

It does not promote insightful learning and long–term retention of some abstract concepts in biology (Kareem, 2003; Ahmed, 2008; Ahmed and Abimbola, 2011; Umar, 2011;Gambari, Yaki, Gana and Ughovwa, 2014). Students fail because of teachers using ineffective teaching methods that cannot help them understand some difficult and abstract concepts and boost their academic performance.

Evolution concept in biology is a course taught at tertiary level of education. It explains the diversity of life (Elijah, Lynn, & Jason, 2015).Students possess numerous misunderstandings of evolution concept. (Anderson, Fisher, & Norman, 2002;Evans 2008). Students developed negative attitude towards evolution especially as it dealt with culture and religious neglecting scientific view, according to Goldberg and Thompson-Schill (2009); Kampourakis (2014), evolution concepts are to be viewed abstract and not easily comprehended by many students, more so, evolution theory often contradict with religious teaching of many students, which has resulted in students performing poorly in evolution concepts at NCE level. Researchers like Bichi (2002); Greg (2007) and Kampourakis (2012) in their separate studies, identified students‘ difficulties in understanding evolution concepts. They concluded that students fail because of teachers using ineffective teaching methods that cannot help the students to comprehend well and boost their performance in evolution concept see evidence in Table 1.2.

Table 1.2:       Results of N.C.E II Students in BIO 225 (Evolution)

Year Total Number of  students sat for exam Total Number Passed % Passed Total Number Failed % Failed
2011 422 185 43.83 237 56.16
2012 328 125 38.10 203 61.89
2013 527 218 41.36 307 58.25
2014

2015

2016

466

540

650

218

207

225

46.78

38.33

34.61

248

333

425

53.21

61.66

65.35

 

Source: Exam Office FCE Zaria (2016)

 

To address these challenges, there is need for an instructional system that is supported by technology for meaningful learning. One of the promising approaches, according to Moreno andMayer (2000); Mayer, Dow and Mayer (2003); Kuti (2006) and Adegoke (2010) involves multimedia presentations supported in visual and verbal formats supplemented with pictures, animations, simulation, texts, and narration.

Many studies in the published literature indicate that there is a strong relationship between the use of simulation models and students‘ academic performance in teaching and learning processes (Hong, 2010). Simulation method which is one of the innovative methods has recorded success in other subjects and countries. Despite the success of the simulation method in other subjects, the adoption of this type of teaching method has been quite slow in Nigerian education system, Science subjects and particularly biology. For instance, Yigit (2004) found in his study that computer-assisted instruction has had positive impact on students‘ perception about computer supported instruction as well as on to their academic performance. This study therefore investigated, the effect of Evacs and Evolve computer simulation models on the attitude, retention and academic performance of NCE II

Biology students in Northwest zone of Nigeria.

 

 

1.3       Objectives of the Study

This study aimed at ascertaining the efficacy of two computer simulation models on students‘ attitude, retention and academic performance in evolution concepts of biology among NCE II Biology students in North-West, Nigeria. The objectives of this study therefore are to:

  1. examine the effects of ”EVACS”,”EVOLVE” Computer simulation models on students‘ academic  performance in evolution concepts of biology,
  2. determine the effect of ”EVACS”, ‗‗EVOLVE‘‘ Computer simulation models on

students‘ retention ability in evolution concepts of biology,

  1. investigate the effect of using ”EVACS”, ‗‗EVOLVE‘‘ Computer simulation models on students‘ attitude toward evolution concepts of biology,
  2. examine the effect of ”EVACS’‘,”EVOLVE” Computer simulation models on the academic performance of male and female NCE biology students in evolution concepts.

1.4       Research Questions

The study seeks to answer the following research questions:-

  1. What is the difference in the mean academic performance scores of Biology students taught evolution concepts using ―EVACS‖,―EVOLVE‖ computer

simulation models and those taught with lecture method?

  1. What is the mean difference in retention ability of Biology students‘ taught evolution concepts using ―EVACS‖,”EVOLVE‘‘ computer simulation modelsand

those taught with lecture method?

  1. What is the difference in students mean attitude scores towardsevolution concepts using ―EVACS‖,”EVOLVE‘‘ computer simulation models and those taught with

lecture method?

  1. What is the differencein male and female mean academic performance scores taught evolution concepts using ―EVACS‖, ”EVOLVE” computer simulation

models and those taught with lecture method?

 

 

1.5       Null Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were tested in the course of this study at p≤0.05 levels of significance.

H01: There is no significant difference between the mean academic performance scores of NCE Biology students taught evolution concepts using ”EVACS”, ”EVOLVE” computer simulation model and those taught the same concept using lecture method.

HO2: There is no significant difference in the mean retention ability scores of NCE

Biology students exposed to evolution concepts using ―EVACS‖, ―EVOLVE‖ computer simulation models and those exposed to the same concept using lecture method.

H03: There is no significant difference between the mean attitude scores of NCE Biology students exposed to evolution concepts using ―EVACS‖, ”EVOLVE” computer

simulation models and those taught using lecture method.

H04:

 

There is no significant difference between the mean academic performance scores of male and female NCE Biology students taught evolution concepts using

―EVACS‖, ”EVOLVE” computer simulation model only.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings from this study would hopefully improve the standard of Biology education at NCE level in the following ways;

Teachers

  1. The use of computer simulation models teaching strategy would be beneficial to biology teachers in helping them to select appropriate strategies in teaching evolution concepts.
  2. It would provide teachers in training with knowledge on other strategies that can be used to teach evolution concepts in the classroom.
  3. The professional development of teachers would be enhanced, as it demands creative thinking in developing appropriate models to suit a topic. Biology teachers would understand and appreciate the value of using the strategy to enhance academic performance of student in Biology and reduces the stress they are facewhen students turn into passive listeners.

 

Students

  1. Students would be exposed to other methods of learning considering the recent trend in technological growth and be motivated towards taking career in biology.
  2. The study would providemeaningful learning in the mind of the students since the activities are students‘ oriented.

Professional bodies

  1. Professional bodies such as Science Teachers Association (STAN), Nigerian Educational and Research Development Council (NERDC) etc may hopefully benefit from the use of computer simulation models as a strategy by organizing conferences, workshops and seminars for both teachers on training and practicing teachers of science on how simulated models could be used to promote the teaching of evolution in schools, thereby incorporating such into their curriculum design and instruction innovation programmes in science.

Curriculum planners

6Curriculum planners may incorporate the use of computer simulation teaching strategy in the Biology curriculum.

Textbook Publishers

It would serve as source of literature reviewin related works.

Researchers

7          It would serve as source of literature review in related field if other researchers used

part of it.

 

1.7       Scope of the Study

This study determined the efficacy of Evacs and Evolve computer simulation model on attitude, retention and academic performance of NCE II Biology students in north-west zone of Nigeria.The research is restricted to only Federal Colleges of Education in the zone. The justification for using Federal College of Education in this zone, is that they run similar programme using the same curriculum, sponsored and supervised by the same agency/ body.  NCE II biology students were used for the study, because of the fact thatevolution concept is offered at this level (NCCE, 2012).

The choice of the evolution concepts was motivated by some reasons: Evolution concepts is been perceived as an abstract concept (Araoye, 2013). Usman (2008) stated that many students are said to have wrong perceptions about evolution concepts on the basis of how they were taught in schools. Kampourakis (2014) is of the view that one of the learner factors that affect meaningful learning in biology generally is the wrong perception of evolution concepts held by the students. Bernardo and Clores (2007);Mike(2010); Ogonnaya (2011) and Kampourakis (2014) in their separate studies opined that evolution concepts have more conflicts in the classroom with cultural and religious beliefs.

The concepts taught include:

  • Evolution
  • Evidences of organic evolution.
  • Variation in evolution.
  • Adaptation for survival. Competition for survival
  • Survival of the fittest.

The teaching period lasted for six weeks. These topics have been identified to be abstract and difficult to understand (NCCE, 2016).

 

 

 

 

1.8       Basic Assumptions

The study has the following basic assumptions:

  • The subjects under study have been taught using NCCE minimum standard curriculum.
  • It was also assumed that students are familiar with simulation activities in their teaching learning process.

EFFICIENCY OF EVACS AND EVOLVE COMPUTER SIMULATION PROTOTYPES ON ATTITUDE, RETENTION AND PERFORMANCE IN EVOLUTION CONCEPTS AMONG NCE STUDENTS IN NORTH WEST, NIGERIA

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