computer assisted instruction




Background to the Study

Today, technology has changed the whole pattern of human life. The greatest contribution of cyber age technology is the development of computer and its use in teaching and learning process. Instruction materials are among the assistant materials which teachers use them to make instruction more effective, lasting and enjoyable. Computers that are used as both a material and method and instructional materials are effective for making students concentrate on, understanding of, synthesizing and improving positive attitude towards the subject of the course. An instructional material makes the topic clearer and more lasting by making the topics that are abstract for students more concrete. Therefore, the usage of visual instructional materials is so much important in the instruction of abstract concepts as being included in chemistry lesson, understanding of the subject by students and improving positive attitude towards the course.

Nowadays, it is obvious that visual materials have been used in every field and technological devices, especially televisions and computers, have affected students. As a result of instructional materials that are supported by a variety of sound, image and animations are observed as more lasting enjoyable and effective ones. (De mirel, 2004). A host of research studies have been conducted to explore the effectiveness of computer assisted instruction in various fields of study and at different grade levels. There are experimental evidences that only oral explanation method doesn’t work well. If principles of how students learn are taken into account, richness of the visual content makes instruction more lasting and effective (mayer, 2003)

Computer Assisted Instruction Is the process by which written and visual information is presented in a logical sequence to a learner through a computer. The Student Learn by reading the text material presented or by observing the graphic information displayed. Some of the programs provide audio-visual presentation with an option to the student to select audio presentation in addition to the visual media. Each segment of text is followed by questions, for student’s response. Feedback on response is indicated immediately (Licatis & Atkinson, 1984; Wang &Sleeman, 1993). CAI can be characterized as interactive and individualized learning as it usually involves a dialogue between one student and a computer program and student can learn at his own pace and time frame (Curtis Howard,1990).  For these reasons, we have to develop chemistry lessons as the ones that are supported by visual and audio instructional material to draw student’s attention and so provide lasting learning, reflect Chemistry nature and accelerate learning.

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 earning or exploration of events in nature. 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 use of computer in the classroom has given rise to Computer Assisted Instruction CAI software packages for classroom instructional purposes. According to Umaru (2003), Computer Assisted Instruction is a program of instruction or package presented as computer software for instructional purpose. Therefore, its use in the teaching of Chemistrywould bring about innovative pedagogical strategy that will enable teachers meet the challenges of teaching and learning of the subject especially in this era of information and technological age. Several researches have shown that using Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) has a positive effect on students’ performance compared to traditional methods. Computer has been used in both junior and senior secondary schools to teach various subjects (Nwobi & Uwandu, 2007) According to Ezeliora (2000), the use of CAI provides the learner with different backgrounds and characteristics. Using teaching software such as CAI, concepts are presented to the students in such a well-organized manner that makes for greater clarity and easier understanding. Okoro and Etukudo (2001) found CAI for teaching chemistry, Paul and Babaworo (2006) in technical education courses, Egunjobi (2002) in geography and Karper, Robinson, and Casado – Kehoe (2005) on counseling education; they all confirmed that CAI seem to be effective in enhancing students’ performance in other subjects than the conventional classroom instruction.

The rapid developments in the instructional technology are Programmed Instruction (PI), Computer Based Instruction (CBI), Computer Based Learning (CBL), Modular Approach, Web Based Learning (WBL) and Computer assisted Instruction (CAP). These can be used to take care of the individual differences. All of these methods can be adjusted to the individual's pace of learning and useful for imparting individualized instructions. Among these self-learning methods Computer Assisted Instruction has influenced the teachers to use it for teaching. Now-a-days, CAPis being used for providing instructions to the students at different levels to update their knowledge.

CAIis one of the most useful methods of providing individualized and self-paced instructions to the learners in classroom situations. It covers a wider range of individual differences. It is used for presenting the instructional material automatically to the learners. CAIprovides more freedom to students to make mistakes without the fear of ridicule or personal embarrassment. CAI  is an interactive instructional method that uses a computer to present the instructional material, track learning and direct the user to meet his or her individual needs. It allows learners to progress at their own pace and work individually. It provides immediate feedback to the students if the answer is correct or not. If the answer is not correct, the program indicates to read the frame again and make a choice again. This process goes on till learner gives the correct answer.

According to Andrews (2012), CAIis tutorials (drill and practice — response oriented interaction), problem solving (laboratory and lecture exercises), simulation exercises (in lecture or laboratory settings), enrichment programs, remedial learning (continuous and repetitive), games (applications of problems or concepts) and testing (test banks with evaluation and analysis). According to Barot (2009) computer provides immediate feedback letting students know of their performance.

Effectiveness of CAIwith regard to different subjects likes Science, Mathematics; CAIwas found effective in terms of students’ performance at school level. It is worth nothing that CAIwas effective not only for effective dimensions such as Attitude, Interest, and Behavior pattern. Although large majority of the studies have reported that higher attitude in different subjects at the secondary level is needed but were mainly confined to the science subjects. Effective use of computer in education emphasized since last 30 years but most of studies were carried out mainly in foreign countries and as demand of CAIaccelerated in India, studies were carried out during 1990 in India also.

Khirwadkar (2008) developed software for Chemistry teaching and further studied effectiveness of CAIon student’s performance. Ranade (2001) worked on Science teaching through CAIand concluded that thoughtfully designed CAIis indeed effective in bringing about learning, but when the teacher is really good, a few students prefer traditional face-to-face teaching to CAI. The packages when used in the self-learning/group learning mode can be a better alternative to ineffective teaching.

In order to facilitate the performance of such goals, the recent moves of information revolution and knowledge explosion in technology have brought about changes in the educational system. Technology is utilized in enhancing instruction thus shifting from teacher centered conventional methods attitude have increased across many countries and have proved to be effective. Ochoyi and Ukwumunu (2008) reported that the use and increasing growth of technology in the classroom provides new opportunities for delivery of instruction. Educators utilizing technology to enhanced instruction have increased in number across a variety of disciplines and the method has been proven to be effective. Research has indicated that technology in the classroom can be useful in pedagogy management and an effective teaching enhancement. Technology has been described by Abimbade, Aremu & Adedoja (2003) as a systematic and integrated organization of man, machine, idea and procedure to achieve a desire goal. Over the years, various machines have been invented by man in technology. The major and most influential technology in the last millennium is the introduction of computer.

The introduction of computer in education has not only being found to improved access to learning by all and quality knowledge delivery; its application has also being in the teaching-learning process. This may improve students’ performance in some subjects such as biology where students’ performance is very low. Students’ performance in biology has consistently been reportedly low over the years in Nigeria especially in public examinations such as senior secondary school certificate examination (WAEC Chief Examiners’ Report, 2010) Hayes and Robins (2000) found that the use of computer based instruction is effective on the performance  of pre-service teachers as well as their attitude towards computer instruction. In similar study, Ogunleye (2007) also noted that computer in expands pedagogical resources available to teachers in science classroom thus supporting teaching. The implication of this is that the introduction of computer in the delivery of biology instruction as a science subject in classroom may improve the quality of pedagogical delivery and students’ learning outcome.

It has also been commonly accepted and proven that information and communication (ICT) is the engine of the 21st century and beyond as it will chart the economy, cultural, legal, etc. particularly of developing countries. Therefore, the integration of computer which is the major and most influential technology in the last millennium into education especially in the classroom could be beneficial in building students’ Capacity in technology. Human Capacity building has been described by Tachiki (2002) as the process of equipping individuals with the understanding, skills, and access to information, knowledge and training that enables them to perform effectively in an information society. The use of Computer assisted Instruction in sciences especially biology would encourage exposure and Capacity building in understanding, skills, knowledge and access to information in the technology world. Such Capacity building will encourage social technological relevance and sustainable development of the country.



Statement of the Problem

The main aim of education is to preserve, transmit and advance knowledge. In the past, this aim was achieved with the help of teachers, books and some audio visual aids. But a number of problems were encountered in the promotion of education. These include problems of large classes, heterogeneous classes with individual differences, lack of textbooks and source materials etc. These problems have made the teaching of science less meaningful and abstract in nature.

Moreover, due to information explosion the objectives of Education have become multidimensional. It is difficult to achieve those objectives by using Lecture method only. There is a need of some flexible methods of teaching. The solution of these problems can only be tackled by the use of technology in the education system.

The fact remains that the methods of teaching Chemistrywhich have been investigated and found effective have not produced desired effect on students’ academic performance in Chemistryin SeniorSecondarySchools. Moreover, the use of ICT facilities like the computer assisted program recommended by the Federal Ministry of Education in Chemistryfor SeniorSecondary1-3 has not been tried out. These are the major reasons that compelled the researcher into embarking on this study.

The teachers are still attached to the traditional method of chalk and talk; the practice which makes them lingers behind in contemporary demand for improved learning system in Chemistrycurriculum. The perceived benefits of using computer assisted Instruction  in schools include making teaching-learning interesting; helping in the distance learning programed; help teachers to be up-to-date; enhancing quality of work by both teachers and students. Human Capacity development through computer assisted Instruction facilities in Senior Secondary Schools is in shortfall. Umoru (2003). This hampers the performance of Senior Secondaryschools students in chemistry. It is evident that most schools in the sampled areas lacked computer literate teachers. The lack of computer literate teachers might not be unconnected with the short supply of Computer assisted Instruction    facilities and motivation of teachers to embark on training programs in the area of Computer assisted Instruction application. Other problems facing the application of CAIin Senior Secondaryschools include supply of substandard CAIfacilities, high cost of standard CAIfacilities, reluctance to adapt to use of CAItools in teaching and learning, lack of constant power supply and lack of vision on the prospect of utilizing CAIfacilities in teaching Chemistry in senior secondary schools is responsible for the academic performance level in realizing the objectives of the programme. Umoru (2003).

Objective of the study.

            The major objective of this study is to investigate the impact of computer assisted instruction on Students academic performance in chemistry among the selected secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area

 Specifically the study investigated:

1.      The impact of computer assisted instruction on teaching and learning of chemistry

2.      To compare the performance of students using computer assisted instruction and students using conventional method

3.      the influence of gender on students’ performance using computer assisted Instruction

4.      the attitude of students towards the learning or towards the use of computer assisted instruction.

5.      How Computer Assisted Instructional  [CAL] can enhance teaching difficulties in Chemistry

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study.

1.      To what extend does the use of computer assisted instruction impact on teaching and learning of chemistry in senior secondary schools?

2.      Does Students taught with computer assisted instruction perform better than students taught with conventional method of teaching?

3.      What influence would students’ gender have on their performance using computer assisted Instruction?

4.      What is the attitude of students towards the use of computer assisted instruction?

5.      Can Computer Assisted Instructional Package [CALPSSP] be developed to teaching difficulties in Chemistry


Research Hypotheses

1.      There is no  significant difference between the pre-test mean and scores of students in the computer assisted Instruction  (CAP) and conventional method

2.      There is no significant difference in the performance  mean scores of male and female students in each of the experimental and control groups

3.      There is no significant difference in the students’ attitude towards  the use of computer assisted instruction

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study would benefit chemistry students, teachers, curriculum developers as well as the ministry of Education and future researchers.

The findings would help teachers in choosing an appropriate instructional material capable of releasing students’ tension towards the subject. It would help the teacher to choose appropriate teaching method and also the study would motivate teachers to develop interest towards utilizing modern instructional materials as CAI, and selecting suitable teaching methods that will be a possible means towards reducing failure in the teaching and learning of integrated science. It would equally help teachers to develop suitable methods for assessing students’ academic performance in chemistry.

 The findings would also sensitize chemistry teachers on the benefits of the use of computer assisted instruction as a strategy for teaching.

Curriculum planners would also benefit from the study, since the results of the study would assist in curriculum planning such as giving information relating to the teaching and learning of chemistry. Curriculum planners would also have knowledge of interaction between gender and instructional approach on students’ performance in chemistry.

Ministry of Education would benefit by using the findings to organize conferences, workshops and seminars to sensitize and retrain science teachers on the use of CAI to improve their teaching. It would help the Ministry of Education to provide computers in secondary schools for teaching of Chemistry and other subjects in the schools.

Educational researchers and scholars would benefit from the findings of this study as it would provide them with academic literature on the impact of computer assisted instruction on Students academic performance in chemistry

Scope of the Study

The studies focused on the impact of computer assisted instruction on Students academic performance in chemistry with special references to selected secondary schools in Ikere Local government area. Simple random sampling techniques would be used to select four schools in Ikere Local Government Area that have standard computer laboratory and science laboratory

Definition of terms

Computer-assisted instruction (CAI): is an interactive instructional technique whereby a computer is used to present the instructional material and monitor the learning that takes place. CAI uses a combination of text, graphics, sound and video in enhancing the learning process

Program: A computer program is a collection of instructions that performs a specific task when executed by a computer. A computer requires programs to function, and typically executes the program's instructions in a central processing unit.

CAI: Computer Assisted Instruction

Teaching:  This is a process of transferring knowledge from one person to another or the act, practice or profession of a teacher

Conventional method: conventional teaching is concerned with the teacher being the controller of the learning environment. Power and responsibility are held by the teacher and they play the role of instructor.



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