EFFECTS OF INSTRUCTIONAL SOFTWARE PACKAGE ON STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT AND INTEREST IN CHEMICAL BONDING

EFFECTS OF INSTRUCTIONAL SOFTWARE PACKAGE ON STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT AND INTEREST IN CHEMICAL BONDING

ABSTRACT

The study investigated the effects of an instructional software package – Chemical Bonding Instructional Software Package (CBISP) – on secondary school students’ achievement and interest in Chemical Bonding. It also investigated the influence of gender and location on students’ achievement and interest in Chemical Bonding when the instructional software was used. The design of the study was a pretest-posttest non-equivalent control group design. The population consisted of 5,966 senior secondary class one (SS1) chemistry students. The sample consisted of 311 SS1 students drawn from nine senior secondary schools in Nsukka Education zone. The criteria for selecting the schools in the study were based on availability of ICT facilities such as computer and over head projectors; ability of teachers to perform basic operations using the afore mentioned ICT facilities; school location  (urban and rural) and gender of students. The instruments for the study were Chemical Bonding Achievement Test (CBAT) and Students’ Interest Scale on Chemical Bonding (SISCB). Two university chemical educators, one measurement and evaluation expert and six professional secondary school chemistry teachers validated the instruments. The reliability of CBAT was 0.87, calculated using Kuder Richardson formula 20.The reliability of SISCB was 0.68, calculated using Cronbach Alpha method. Twelve research questions guided the study and fourteen hypotheses were tested at p = 0.05.The researcher trained regular chemistry teachers of the selected schools for experimental group for one week, on instructional software method (ISM). For the control group, the Traditional lecture method (TLM) was used. In this case, only the Course of Study on Chemical Bonding (CSCB) was used. The CSCB is a hardcopy and has the same text materials and illustrations as in the software. Intact classes were used. Treatment for the study was teaching, using ISM, and this lasted rfor five weeks. ISM involves guiding the students and making necessary explanation to them on request while learning, using the CBISP. Before treatment commenced, the researcher administered CBAT and SISCB to the subjects as pre-tests. Each of the tests lasted for 40 minutes. The subjects’ scores in the tests were recorded and kept separately. Three periods of 40 minutes each week were used for teaching of the students, following the usual school timetable as was peculiar to each school. The next day, immediately after the completion of treatment, the researcher administered CBAT and SISCB to the students as post-test and their scores were recorded separately. For this post-test, the various questions in CBAT were rearranged to eliminate the effect of familiarity with the items in the instruments. Each of the tests lasted for 40 minutes. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used in this study. The covariates are the pre-test and post-test (CBAT) and SISCB scores.  Mean and standard deviation scores were used in answering the research questions. From the data analyses, the following results emerged: Method of teaching has statistically significant effect on students’ mean achievement in chemical bonding (F= 16.10, p < 0.05); gender has no statistically significant influence on students’ achievement in chemical bonding (F = 3.23, p ˃ 0.05); school location has statistically significant influence on students’ mean achievement in chemical bonding (F = 4.24, p < 0.05); the interaction effect of gender and location on students’ achievement in chemical bonding is significant (F = 12.19, p < 0.05); the interaction effect of gender and teaching methods on students’ achievement in chemical bonding is significant (F = 72.84, p < 0.05); the interaction effect of location and teaching methods on students’ achievement in chemical bonding is significant (F = 72.37, p < 0.05); gender has no statistically significant influence on students’ interest in chemical bonding (F = 2.98, p ˃ 0.05); school location has  no statistically significant influence on students’ interest in chemical bonding (F = 1.15, p ˃ 0.05); method of teaching has statistically significant effect on students’ interest in chemical bonding (F = 4.24, p < 0.05); the interaction effect of gender and school location on students’ interest in chemical bonding is not significant (F = 0 .37, p ˃ 0.05); the interaction effect of gender and teaching methods on students’ interest in chemical bonding is significant (F = 5.53, p < 0.05); the interaction effect of school location and teaching methods on students’ interest in chemical bonding is not significant (F = 0 .29, p ˃ 0.05). The educational implications of these findings were discussed. Based on these findings, the following recommendations among others were made:  chemistry teachers should be encouraged to use ISM in teaching chemical bonding. Enrichment of chemistry teacher-training programmes in Nigerian teacher-training institutions and faculties, to include appropriate ICT courses that enable teachers develop and use their own-made instructional software packages, to make their teaching effective. The limitation of the study was discussed and suggestions for further studies were made.