IMPACT OF E-LEARNING FACILITIES IN TEACHING OF BASIC SCIENCE IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL

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THE IMPACT OF E-LEARNING FACILITIES IN TEACHING OF BASIC SCIENCE IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL

CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION

Background to the study

 

E-learning (EL) basically involves use and application of information and communication technologies (ICT) at web sites, personal computers (PCs), tablet PCs, cell phones, learning management system (LMS), televisions (TVs), radios and other means to improve teaching and learning processes. E-learning is really a unifying phrase accustomed to explain the areas associated with the internet, web-based instruction and technologies directions (Oye, Salleh and Iahad, 2010). In that respect, e-learning is substantially becoming a learning strategy in the realms of teaching, practical learning, skills training and development and many corporate functions as evidenced by massive development of web technologies.

The use of E-learning (EL) in education and training has been a priority in most European countries during the last decade, but progress has been uneven (Pelgrum, 2004). In most developed countries such as UK, schools have embedded the use of ICT in teaching and learning  into the curriculum and demonstrate high  level  of effective  and  appropriate use to support teaching and learning Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, (OECD, 2004).

Furthermore, (UNESCO, 2005) reiterates that those countries have integrated E-learning (EL) into their education system because of its profound implications such as enabling teachers and students to construct rich multi-sensory, interactive environments with almost unlimited teaching and  learning  potential.  According to (Unwin, 2004), computers and internet can be used to increase teachers’ basic skills  and subject mastery,  to provide  resources that can later  be used in classroom, and to help teachers build familiarity with specific instructional approaches. (Privateer, 1999) also notes that E-learning (EL) is supposed to add value to education and to support more effective pedagogy to provide knowledge for learners and by enhancing communication that promotes learning. In addition, as E-learning (EL) becomes more pervasive, computer based equipment is integrated into every aspect of schools operation, having thus an influence on the student’s performance. A number of researchers including  (Iding et al, 2000) among others assert that the use of ICT in teaching and learning can help learners become more knowledgeable.  In addition to efforts  to employ ICT to improve learning, the emergence of knowledge economy has also brought a much greater emphasis on education (Wong, 2003).

The federal government of Nigeria has called for advancement to socioeconomic development in various ways. One of which is the introduction of information, communication and technology (ICT) at all levels of education. In order to actualize this, a lot of curriculum reforms were put in place. According to Obioma (2006) there is plan to digitalize the science, technology and mathematics (STM) Curricula which implies the following:

  • Automating digital templates for teaching and learning or where expertise is not locally available. Domesticating existing digital templates from elsewhere to ensure that they are compliant with extant.
  • Establish relevant digital infrastructure to drive the application of the automated curricula (Obioma 2006).

E-learning such as internet, video conference, digital camera are useful for exchange and sharing of information through electronic media. The internet is an inter national net work of computers which enable individuals to have access to publication and transfer.

Basic sciences as one of the STM subjects is a physical science which is found to be abstract in nature. The need for the implication of basic sciences content through the use of ICT need not be overemphasized.

With the above intention, basic sciences is one of the STM subjects is a physical science which is found to be abstract in nature and need to be simplified through the use of ICT need not be over emphasized. The Objective of the new basic sciences curriculum as stated by Nigeria Educational Research Development Council (NERDC 2007: iv) in Achimugu (2013) include among others:-

  • Develop interest in the subject basic sciences
  • Acquire basic theoretical and practical knowledge and skills.
  • Develop reasonable level of competence in ICT application that will engender entrepreneurial skills.
  • Apply skills to meet society needs due to unemployment and wealth creation.

Considering the above objectives competences and application of ICT is apt in secondary school education. ICT has been viewed in many ways by several authors. Nzewi (2009) in Ezenduka and Achufusi  (2013) describe ICT as a term used to describe technologies which receive, records, process, transmit and retrieve information. ICT occurs in several devices capable of converting images, sound and motion into digital forms. The role of ICT in teaching and learning is inevitable in this age of science and technology development. In developing countries like Nigeria, the use of ICT such as computers, internet, interactive video disk instruction, computer assisted instruction (CAI) computer based instruction (CBI), computer based learning (CBL), e-learning and so on for curriculum delivery have been Found to be effective in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum delivery (Okoli & Osuafor 2008).

Computer is useful in enhancing STM education using a variety of programmes internet is a platform where network of networks linking computers to computers and contains all sort of information including variety of education resources which is useful to both teachers and learners Education Trust fund (ETF, 2006) Oloruntegbe and Odutuyi (2003) opined that the use of additional media serve as supplement or/and complement the actual classroom and laboratory basic sciences activities and information for books. The overall benefit is that the learning of chemical concepts will be enhanced, retention and transfer of knowledge could be assured.

Statement of the problem

The use of information and communication technology (ICT) in Nigeria education is lagging behind expectation and desire. This was revealed by the  fact while most secondary schools have some computer equipment; only a fraction was equipped with basic ICT infrastructure necessary for teaching and learning. Essentially, ICT in education is used to promote information literacy that is the ability to access use, evaluate information from different sources  so as to enhance teaching and learning, solve problems and generate new knowledge. Furthermore, United Nations and the World Bank affirms that ICT can increase access to education network for students, teachers and broaden availability of quality education material for emerging global economies.

 

This short fall in learning outcomes created a “gap” because it is at secondary schooling where returns to student education are highest and it is particularly important to acquire skills and competencies needed to become ideally empowered to respond to social change in societies for the better. But without ICT in education, students might  lack  the social empowerment that can make them compete with others favorably. Thus, failure to re-shape education practices to embrace ICT in schools in the district might be the main bottleneck preventing the students from acquiring equitable access of educational opportunities for quality education. Therefore, the researcher intended to find out the The Impact Of E-Learning Facilities In Teaching Of Basic Science In Junior Secondary School

Objectives of the study

The Impact Of E-Learning Facilities In Teaching Of Basic Science In Junior Secondary School

The specific objectives of this study were as follows:

  1. To examine the availability of E-learning  resources for Basic Science curriculum delivery In junior secondary schools
  2. The investigate the Utilization of E-learning  resources for basic sciences teach and learning  In junior Secondary schools
  3. To proffer a workable solutions to the problem of E-learning in junior secondary school s in Nigeria

Research Questions 

The following research questions were used to guide the study.

  1. Are there any availability of E-learning for basic sciences curriculum delivery In Junior Secondary schools?
  2. To what extent are E-learning for basic sciences curriculum delivery utilized In junior Secondary schools?

Research Hypotheses

This study is guided by the following null-hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance.

Ho1: There is no significance difference between the mean ratings of basic sciences teachers in urban and rural schools on extent of availability of E-learning.

Ho2: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of basic sciences teachers in urban and rural school on extent of utilization of E-learning.

Significance of the study

E-learning  have the potential to play a powerful role in enhancing teaching and learning in schools and preparing students to acquire skills, knowledge and competencies to enable them compete in the emerging global ‘knowledge’ economy. Data and information obtained in this  study  would  hopefully  be used to provide various education stakeholders with information that ICT integration in schools held a great promise in developing economies  like  Nigeria . The findings could also help the Ministry of Education in formulation of policies and strategies that can be used to enhance the academic standards in our schools. The study will also make possible recommendation towards increasing the use of ICTs in enhancing teaching and learning processes.

 

Limitations of  the study

 

The use of E-learning  in teaching and learning basic sciences is considered to be very crucial and therefore little time for the respondents to respond to the questionnaire would make the findings absolute. The students may have given responses that seemed not to portray the actual phenomena in the study because most of the tertiary institutions were in their early phase of ICT integration into teaching and learning characterized by patchy and coordinated provision and use. Further, the institutions were far apart and therefore, the long distance associated with poor road network within the district would negatively affect  the study. It was also not possible to relate improvement in teaching and  learning on only the use of ICT because many unobservable factors might also influence better outcomes of teaching and learning in schools.

Scope of the study

The study was conducted in some selected junior secondary schools  that use computer assisted approach to learning. The scope of the study was delimited to schools  that had had ICT integration in their process of  learning for the last three years since   the introduction of ICT in the school.

Definition of terms

The following terminologies have been used  throughout  this  study: Computer:  refers to Electronic machine operated under the control of instructions stored in its own memory, that can accept data (input) manipulate data according to specific rules (process) produce results (out-put) and store    the results for future use.

Computer literacy:- refers to people being able to  use  computer technology  to facilitate the completion of necessary tasks and the solution of problems.

Curriculum: refers to a set of courses, and their content offered at school or university.

E-learning: refers to the purposeful use of electronic systems or computer in support of learning process, Allen 2003.

Hardware: refers to tangible components of computers including processors, input, output communication and memory.

ICT Integration: refers to the process of using  any  ICT  (Information resources on the web, multi-media programmes in CD-ROMs, learning objects or other tools) to enhance student teaching, William, 2003.

Impact: refers to the overall achievement of an  intervention  on  the  educational system and can be described by a variety qualitative of indicators such as improvements in national test results or improved learning in schools’ depending on the policy target. It is the end-point of an intervention involving input, process, output and outcome.

Informal learning: It refers to the  life-long  process  whereby  every  individual acquires attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from daily experiences and the educative influences and resources in him or her environment, from the library and the ICTs, Colley, H. Hodkinson, P &  Malcom J. 2002.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs): refers to networks that provide new opportunities for teaching, learning and training through delivery of digital contents, Prytherch 2000: 357.  For  the  purpose  of  this study and in the context of curriculum, ICTs will refer  to the  range  of  tools and techniques relating to computer-based hardware and software, to information sources as the internet, audio and video tapes, CD-ROMs and DVDs.

Integration: refers to a sense of completeness or wholeness, Earle, 2002; by which essential elements of a system are seamlessly combined  together  to make a whole.

Pedagogy: refers to what the teachers do when they interact with children to support their learning. (Most educators would consider that pedagogy encompasses the beliefs and actions of teachers including their teaching strategies, the organization of learning experiences and the learning  environment generally.

Questionnaire: refers to information data collection to be undertaken that consist of students, teachers and administrators on the resources required and ICT assisted educational support.

Software: refers to sets of instructions and data  used  by  computers,  sometimes referred to as computer programmes.

Student-centered teaching: refers to teaching that allows students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, foster independent learning and enable students to be responsible for learning and collaborate with other contacts.

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