ABSTRACT: The study investigated effects of instructional materials on academic performance of biology students. Three research questions and three research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and were all tested at 0.05 levels of significance. The pre-test post-test experimental design was used for the study. The population for the study was made up of 1906 Senior Secondary Two (SS2) Biology students in the study area. One hundred Biology students randomly selected from two secondary schools constituted the sample size. The Biology Performance Test (BPT) was the instrument for data collection. A test–retest method was used to determine the reliability of the instrument and the reliability index of 0.82 was obtained on Achievement Test by correlation analysis using Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC). Mean, standard deviation and independent t-test statistics were used to analyze the data obtained.
The result revealed that There is significant difference in the academic performance of biology students taught concept of respiratory system using improvised models and those taught using conventional method; there is no significant difference in the academic performance between male and female biology students taught concept of respiratory system using improvised models; there is no significant difference in the academic performance between male and female biology students taught concept of respiratory system using conventional method. In view of the findings, it was therefore recommended that Teachers should always improvise models and use in teaching Biology in order to reduce abstraction on the teaching and learning of the subject.
EFFECTS OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF BIOLOGY STUDENTS
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is the most effective instrument for positive change, development of the society and individuals (Archibong, 2018). In Nigeria, for instance, it is an instrument “Par Excellence” for improving national growth and development (NPE, 2013). The realization of the need for a more meaningful and relevant education for development an self reliance is evident in the formulation of the national policy on education as well as the production of innovative curriculum materials for schools (Peter, 2005). Science which is the foundation upon which the bulk of present day technological breakthrough is built becomes a crucial part of the curricular in the national curriculum. Nowadays, nations all over the world including Nigeria are striving hard to develop technologically and scientifically, since the world is turning scientific and all proper functioning of lives depend greatly on science.
Owolabi (2004) defined science as an integral part of human society. Its impact is felt in every sphere of human life, so much that it is intricately linked with a nation’s development. Science as a field of study has done a lot for mankind. For instance, life has been made a lot easier for man as a result of the advancements in science. Through science, man has been able to understand his environment better and this has enabled him to manipulate the conditions of his environment to suit his own benefit. Science has also made it possible for man to acquire his desired needs easily. It has reduced human needs to the barest minimum. Ogunleye (2000) observed that science is a dynamic human activity concerned with understanding the workings of our world. This understanding helps man to know more about the universe. The science curriculum, specifically the biology curriculum for the senior secondary schools was one of such curricula.
Biology is one of the science subjects that is offered at the senior secondary school level in Nigeria. The term biology is derived from two Greek words “Bios” and “Logos” which means “life” and “study”, respectively. Biology therefore is the study of living things (plants and animals). The knowledge of biology contributes a lot to scientific literacy of any society. It engages the people to understand the world around them and so have the ability to make informed choices about their healthcare, the environment and the society in which they live (Karen, 2008). It has become the central intellectual discipline especially in the aspect of biotechnology and indispensable in helping individuals to think more clearly about the values involves in the fast changing world. Biology is one of the science subjects and the objectives of Biology education as stated in the senior school biology curriculum are to effect in the students:
- adequate laboratory and field skills in Biology;
- meaningful and relevant knowledge in Biology;
- ability to apply scientific knowledge in everyday life in matters of personal and community health and agriculture; and
- functional and reasonable scientific attitudes (James, Udofia & Edet, 2012).
A closer look at these objectives will show that for a successful attainment of these goals, a lot of instructional materials must be employed in teaching concepts in Biology of which respiratory system is not an exception.
For a biology teacher, these resources are indispensable tools in his/her hands for the achievement of the objectives of teaching. Instructional materials in the learning of Biology facilitates the process of teaching/learning of scientific skills such as experimenting, predicting, observing, measuring, data recording and conclusion. Instructional materials also assist teachers in transmitting facts, skills, attitude and knowledge to the learners within the instructional system. Egede (2005) explained that there are many things which a dull student cannot learn if they are presented only verbally to him/her; also that there are those things which the dull and bright students cannot fully comprehend unless the teacher makes use of teaching aids. Therefore, the utilization of instructional materials may seem to have a positive impact on the academic achievement of students in Biology in secondary schools. This makes the present study a necessity.
Instructional materials are essential and significant tools needed for teaching and learning of school subjects to promote teachers efficiency and improve students’ performance. They make learning more interesting, practical, realistic and appealing. They also enable both the teacher and students to participate actively and effectively during lessons. They give room for acquisition of skills and knowledge and development of self-confidence and self-actualization. Instructional materials are considered important in teaching and learning in all levels of education because textbooks and other resources materials are basic tools. Absence or inadequacy of these materials could make teachers handle subjects in an abstract manners, portraying it as dry and non-exciting (Eshiwang, 2014). For example textbooks, still-pictures, maps, audio-visual and electronic instructional materials such as radio, tape, recorder, television and video tape recorder, helps in making learning more interesting (Atkinson, 2000).
The importance of instructional materials is also evident in the performance of students (Adeogun, 2001). According to Adeogun, schools whose teachers use more instructional resources perform better than schools whose teachers do not use instructional materials. According to Akande (2011), learning can occur through one’s interaction with one’s environment. Environment here refers to instructional facilities that are available to facilitate students learning outcome. However, Akinlege (2010) attested that effective teaching and learning requires a teacher to teach the students with instructional materials and use practical activities to make learning more vivid, logical, realistic and pragmatic. Ebu, Enukoha and Umoren (2014) agreed that instructional materials are indispensable in teaching and learning activities. Ekpo (2014) also observed that teaching aids are useful in stimulating the sense organs.
Despite the fact that instructional materials are essential tools in learning and knowledge acquisition they are not readily available in Nigerian secondary schools leading to low level of performance of learners in government examination (Abdu-Raheam, 2014). Abdu-Raheam (2014) encouraged teachers to improvise teaching aids because they are in great major to enhance learners’ full participation in the lesson, gives room for inquiring, problem solving, discussion and clarification of issues and ideas among students and teacher. Obondan (2008) advocated for teachers resourcefulness and also encouraged them to search for necessary instructional materials through local means to supplement or replace the standard ones. (Oso, 2011) also agreed that the best way for teachers to make use of their manipulative skills is to improvise so as to achieve their lesson objectives, at least, to a reasonable extent. Jekayinfa (2012) identified the importance of improvisation of instructional materials as making learning concrete and real, substituting one thing for another, allows the students to participate in the production of materials, economical and more teacher-students resource oriented.
Similarly, a teacher who has adequate and relevant teaching facilities is more confident, effective and productive (James, 2012). Instructional materials are essential since they help the teacher and learners avoid overemphasis on recitation and rote learning that can easily dominate a lesson. Resource materials allow learners to have practical experiences which help them to develop skills and concepts and to work in a variety of ways (Tuimur & Chemwei, 2015). The work of Sampath (1990) in Tuimur & Chemwei (2015) graphically explains that people learn more through the senses of sight and hearing compared to other senses.
The implication here is that for more knowledge to be internalized, more of the learner’s senses have to be stimulated other than hearing alone. In learning and teaching, the various senses can be stimulated through the use of audiovisual materials. The study of biology is facilitated through the use of instructional materials for demonstration or investigation of biological facts and phenomenon. For instance, model of lungs can be used to explain the structure and parts of a lung as a respiratory medium in mammals than the one who was merely given notes to copy. In teaching respiratory system effectively, there is therefore need to adequately avail and effectively utilize instructional materials. This then formed the background to which this present study assesses the use of instructional materials on students’ academic performance in the concept of respiratory system in secondary schools.
EFFECTS OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF BIOLOGY STUDENTS
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Students’ continuous poor performance in biology in particular is a persisting problem and concern to parents, government, stakeholders and biology teachers. Thus, it has been described over the years that there exist the problem of students’ low performance in public biology examination. It is observed that students fail biology because they lack skills to respond to test items. These skills could only be imparted through effective teaching and the use of instructional materials. Hence, the question then arises thus, does the use of instructional materials have any effect on students’ academic performance in biology in the concept of respiratory system in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area?
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of this study was to investigate effects of instructional materials on academic performance of biology students. Specifically the study will:
- examine a comparative effect of the academic performance of students taught concept of respiratory system using improvised models and those taught using conventional method;
- investigate the difference in the academic performance between male and female of biology students taught concept of respiratory system using improvised models and those taught using conventional method;
- investigate the difference in the academic performance between male and female of biology students taught concept of respiratory system using method in secondary schools.