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INFLUENCE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY ON LEARNING OF BIOLOGY
This study sought to determine the influence of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities on learning of biology in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The researcher developed four research questions to guide the study. Survey research design was adopted for the study. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 30 students from each of the eleven public secondary schools in Ezza South Local Government Area. There were 330 students that composed the sample of the study. The researcher developed a 4-point, 25-item Likert type questionnaire called Biology Questionnaire Instrument (BQI). BQI was subjected to both validity and reliability tests, for which an internal consistency of 0.95 was obtained. Mean and standard deviation were used for answering the research questions. The grand mean for each of the ICT facilities was used as yardstick for ascertaining its influence on learning of biology. Findings from the result revealed that ICT facilities such as projectors, internet facilities, computers and audio-visual materials have a high influence on learning of biology in secondary schools. The researcher recommended that biology teachers should endeavor to employ ICT facilities as ICT facilities for biology instruction. In conclusion, ICT facilities as instructional materials for biology instruction are essential since they help the biology teacher and learners avoid overemphasis on recitation and rote learning that can easily dominate a lesson, therefore, there is need for biology teachers and students to pay more attention to the adoption of ICT facilities for learning of biology in secondary schools so as to enhance learning.
Background to the Study
Biology is a natural science that deals with the living world. It can also be referred to as the study of the structure, function, heredity, and evolution of all living things such as microorganisms, fungi, plants, and animals. Nwachukwu (2010) defined Biology as a branch of Science which deals with the study of living organisms both plants, animals/human being. Also Umar (2009) opined that biology deals with 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 (Gambari, Akowa, Elis % Uhgovwa, 2014).
Biology has two branches namely Botany (study of plant) and Zoology (study of animal). Biological knowledge serves as a pre-requisite in the study of medicine, nursing, agriculture and pharmacy. Biological knowledge is indispensible to scientific and technological development of any nation. Maduabum (2012) emphasized the roles of biologists in national development especially in environmental pollution control, disease control, population control/family planning, crime detection, research, agriculture, industries, teaching, application of genetic knowledge for solving plants and human/animals’ problems among others.
Biology is seen as one of the core subjects in Nigerian secondary school curriculum. Because of its importance, more students enrol for biology in Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) than for physics and chemistry (West African Examinations Council, 2011). Biology is introduced to students at senior secondary school level as a preparatory ground for human development, where career abilities are groomed, and potentials and talents discovered and energized (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2009). The quality and quantity of science education received by secondary school students are geared towards developing future scientists, technologists, engineers, and related professionals (Kareem, 2003).
Federal Republic of Nigeria (2009) stated the objectives of Biology curriculum could imply that students should be able to acquire adequate laboratory and field skills, meaningful and relevant knowledge to everyday life, and reasonable and functional scientific attitudes such as curiosity, skepticism, honesty, dependability, objectivity, perseverance, being industrious and open-mindedness.
Aniodoh (2011) enumerated the following 12 science process skills which scientists especially Biologists should acquire namely: observation, classification, number relations, communication, prediction, inference, making operational definitions, formulating hypotheses, interpreting data, experimentation, identifying and controlling variables.
Despite the numerous roles of Biologists in nation’s science and technology development, Biology students’ achievements in public examinations like West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (W.S.S.C.E) and by National Examinations Council (NECO) for many years are poor (Igwe 2006). According to Ahmed (2015), in spite of the importance and popularity of biology among Nigerian students, academic performance of students at senior secondary school level has been poor. The implication of this failure in education is that Nigerian may have shortage of manpower in science and technology related disciplines. This may affect Nigeria’s vision to become one of the 20 industrialized nations in the world by year 2020.
The above recorded failure can be attributed to lack of instructional facilities especially the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) base ones in the schools. ICT based instructional materials is very important in learning setting, this is because with the use of ICT based instructional materials, the students will be motivated in the studying of Biology. These ICT tools could be of different forms which include; language laboratory, computers, audio and audio visual machines; websites, CD ROMS software and hardware as well as social network gargets. All these are ICT tools that aids learning. The ICT based instructional material helps to concretize abstract ideas in the minds of the students (Azubuike, 2013). Thus Bamaju (2009) noted that ICT can be a veritable instrument for the learning technical subjects like Biology. The objective of Biology can only be achieved if the teachers can adequately make use of ICT materials.
However, the use of ICT tools in learning of Biology subject will change the old method of teaching; from teacher based instruction to learner based learning where teachers facilitate learning. In order to achieve this teacher’s do not only need formal training in the use of ICT but the skill to manipulate them in teaching. According to Nwankwo (2008) teachers must have access to professional development programmes to enable them master skills for the use of ICT in the classrooms.
Presently in Ebonyi state especially in Ezza South Local Government Area the learning of Biology in various Senior secondary schools still retain the old approach with teachers in most cases, acting as the repertoire of knowledge and the students, the dominant recipients (Azubuike, 2013). There is over reliance on text books by the teachers. There is little or no ICT based instructional materials. No work of this nature has been carried out in learning of Biology in ICT in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebony State. In senior secondary school in Ezza South Local Government, one finds a teacher at the black board jotting down or copying the textbooks verbatim, while the students are furiously copying all that is written on the board, and are expected to memorize the facts and spit them out on the examination day. But with the use of ICT three will be a rapid growth in education. Based on the above, Hawkin (2006), noted that one of the major setback of education the third world countries like Nigeria is lack of ICT tools, lack of adequate computer hardware and software as well as a reliable internet access. He also noted that with the availability of ICT tools like protectors, computer dish/modern for internet access in the schools there will be a great transformation in the educational sectors of the third world countries.
It is on this note that the researcher tries to investigate if the use of ICT based instructional materials will improve student’s performance in Biology in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
ICT tools have been adjudged to be a veritable instrument in learning all over the world. It has been noted that ICT is an important tool for learning and as well a road map to educational transformation the country.
Unfortunately, in Senior Secondary school in Ezza South local government area of Ebonyi state, there are little or no ICT tools for learning in various classrooms. Learning method in the class rooms in this local government still adapt the old traditional method of learning where the teachers acts at repertoire of knowledge while students are busy and furiously copying what is said and are expected to vomited them verbatim during exam. Because of this, many students fail woefully during their examinations. This is because the method of teaching adopted by teachers does not encourage educational growth in the country. It appears that tools like projectors, computer software and hardware, internet access for easy communication among students, teachers, students from other schools are lacking. All these inadequate supply of ICT tools is adversely affecting learning of Biology in Ezza South local government area of Ebonyi state.
Also in various secondary schools in Ezza South local government area of Ebonyi state, it appears that teachers are not informed on the use of the ICT materials in teaching of Biology. There seems to be no manpower to manipulate ICT machines in the area.
Because of all these problems mentioned above, the researcher therefore tries to investigate the use of ICT tools in learning of Biology in Ezza South local government area of Ebonyi state. This is to find out ways of improving education in the local government in particular and the state in general.
The main purpose of the study is to find the influence of information and communication technology in the learning of Biology in senior secondary schools in Ezza South local government area of Ebonyi state. Specifically, this work sought to;
1. Find out the influence of Projectors in learning of Biology in Secondary in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
2. Ascertain the influence of internet facilities in learning of Biology in Secondary in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
3. Find the influence of computer in learning of Biology in Secondary in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The findings of the study will be helpful to the students, biology teachers, as well as the state government’s Ministry of Education.
To the students, the results of this study will enable them to appreciate the importance of ICT and strive to acquire necessary ICT knowledge and skills for their all-round development.
The teachers will benefit because it will avail them the opportunity of discovering the ICT facilities to employ for their instructions.
To the Ministry of Education, the study will be helpful to enable them know the kind of ICT materials to provide schools with.
This research centres on the influence of information and communication technology in the learning of Biology in senior secondary schools in Ezza South local government area of Ebonyi state. The subjects of the study are the teachers and the students,
The following research question guided the study
1. What influence do projectors have in learning of Biology in Secondary schools?
2. What influence do internet facilities have in learning of Biology in secondary schools?
3. What influence do computers have in learning of Biology in secondary schools?
4. What influence do audio-visual materials have in learning of Biology in secondary schools?