AVAILABILITY, UTILIZATION AND EFFECT OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS IN TEACHING BASIC TECHNOLOGY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1 Background to the Study
Basic Technology is a subject introduced in the year 2007 to students at the Junior Secondary School level that enables the study of the basics or rudiments of technology. At the inception of the 6-3-3-4 system of education, it was called “Introductory Technology” but currently in the 9-3-4 system of education it is called “Basic Technology”. The National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) defined it as the aspect of education which leads to acquisition of practical and applied skills as well as basic scientific knowledge. It is also a subject that deals with the fundamentals of engineering and technology and its components include: Woodwork, Metal Work, Building construction, Electrical/Electronics, Computer, Mechanics, Technical Drawing, and so on. In order to reduce ignorance about technology and help to lay a solid foundation for true national development. Basic Technology subject has been accorded a place in the school curriculum as a core subject like Mathematics and English Language. Objectives of teaching Basic Technology subject in Nigerian Schools include:
– To provide pre-vocational orientation for further training in technology
– To provide basic technology literacy for everyday life and
– To stimulate creativity (FME, 2004).
Looking critically at the objectives stated above, every student is expected to develop positive attitude towards the study of Basic Technology since It is the first time students are introduced to technical subjects to have high students’ academic achievement in Basic Technology.
Basic Technology therefore, is defined as a pre-vocational subject designed for those in Junior Secondary Schools from Basic 7 to basic 9 in giving them the fundamental or elementary knowledge, skill, ideas etc of what technology is, which will help them for future development to solve or cope with modern technological problems and their solutions.
Here, student achievement measures the amount of academic content a student learns in a determined amount of time. Student`s achievement will increase when quality instructional materials are used in teaching and learning of basic technology.
In the past, academic performance was often measured more by ear than today. Teachers’ observation made up the bulk of the assessment, and today’s summation, or numerical, method of determining how well a student is performing is a fairly recent invention. Grading systems came into existence in the United States in the Late Victorian period and were initially criticized due to high subjectivity. Different teachers valued different aspects of learning more highly than others, and although some standardization was attempted in order to make the system more fair, the problem continued. Today, changes have been made to incorporate differentiation for individual students’ abilities, and exploration of alternate methods of measuring performance is ongoing.
The tracking of academic performance fulfills a number of purposes. Areas of achievement and failure in a student’s academic career need to be evaluated in order to foster improvement and make full use of the learning process. Results provide a framework for talking about how students fare in school and a constant standard to which all students are held. Performance results also allow students to be ranked and sorted on a scale that is numerically obvious, minimizing complaints by holding teaches and schools accountable for the components of every grade.
Performance in school is evaluated in a number of ways. For regular grading, students demonstrate their knowledge by taking written and oral tests, performing presentation, turning in homework and participating in class activities and discussions. Teachers evaluate in the form of letter or number grades and side notes, to describe how well a student has done. At the state level, students are evaluated by their performance on standardized tests geared toward specific ages and based on a set of achievement of students in each age group are expected to meet.
However, there have been several studies on instructional materials and academic achievement. For instance Momoh (2010) conducted a research on the effects of instructional resources on students’ performance in West Africa School Certificate Examination (WAEC) in Kwara State. He correlated material resources with academic achievements of students in ten subjects. Data were collected from the subject teachers in relation to the resources employed in the teaching. The achievements of students in WAEC for the past five years were related to the resources available for teaching each of the subjects. He concluded that material resources have a significant effect on student’s achievement in each of the objectives.
In the same manner, Moronfola (1982) carried out a research in Ilorin Local Government Area of Kwara State. She used questionnaires to collect data on the material resources available for the teaching of some selected subjects in ten secondary schools and related these to students’ achievements in each of the selected subjected and to the amount of resources available for the teaching of the subjects.
Finding showed a significant effect of material resources on the students’ academic performance in these subjects.
In the same vein, Popoola (1990) investigated the effect of instructional resources on the academic achievements of students in Ogun State. Five Secondary Schools in Abeokuta were used for this study. Questionnaires were designed to elicit responses on instructional materials that were available for the teaching and learning of each of the three school subjects he examined. He collected WAEC examination results for five years and compared achievements of students in schools with adequate material resources and achievements of students in schools with inadequate material resources. He found a significant different in the achievements of the two sets of students. The schools with instructional materials performed better than those with inadequate instructional materials.
However, Agina-Obu (2005) defined instructional materials as concrete or physical objects which provide sound, visual stimuli or both to the sense organs during teaching. Ikerionwu (2010) referred instructional materials as objects or devices which help the teacher to make a lesson much clear to the learner.
Ogwa (2002) is of the view that a teacher who uses teaching aid to deliver his/her lesson will convey more facts to the students at short intervals than one who use only oral speeches for lesson delivery. He also stated in seven ways the importance of instructional materials during lesson presentation as follows:
- The teacher saves efforts
- The learner is active
- Classification of concept
- Retention of learned material
- Time is saved
- Interest is captured
- Reality in learn presentation
Instructional materials are materials that are use to aid in the transference of information from one to another. These instructional materials could include power point presentations (visual aids), books, articles, materials for project development. They are also content that conveys the essential knowledge and skills of a subject in the school curriculum through a medium or a combination of media for conveying information to a student. The term includes a book, supplementary materials, a combination of a book, workbook, computer software, magnetic media, DVD, CD-Rom, computer course ware, online services, or an electronic medium, or other means of conveying information to the student or otherwise contributing to the learning process through electronic means, including open- source instructional materials.
Instructional materials are also the tools used in educational lessons, which includes active learning and assessment. Basically, any resource a teacher uses to help him teach his students is an instructional materials. Categories: Traditional Resources, Graphic Organizers, Teacher – made Resources. Instructional materials are educational resources used to improve students’ knowledge, abilities, and-skills, to monitor their assimilation of information, and to contribute to their overall development and upbringing.
Instructional materials are kind of tools or equipment that can help effectively the instructor in theory teaching classroom or in practical assessment. Instructional materials are also the physical tools that facilitate teaching as auxiliary tools in text, visual or audio media both in print and digital format. Instructional materials are used to enhance learning.
Instructional materials, the advantages of instructional materials in teaching are that it can be used with groups of all sizes. It gives the students an opportunity to hear and see the same information. Instructional materials are also supplements to the materials composed by a teacher. Advantages of these materials are that they add different perspectives to the teachers knowledge, and provide additional activities for students to perform.
Critically, looking at the effect of instructional materials, instructional materials make understanding concepts easier and increase attentions when learning something.
From the different points of view above, therefore instructional materials is defined as any form of materials be it electrical or non-electrical tools or equipment (media) produced or not produced by an instructor which he uses to bring proper understanding in order to help him transfer skills, ideas, knowledge etc to the learner effectively and efficiently.
Instructional materials (IM) or resources are available from many sources. Modern education faces lot of problems. The attempt at solving these problems, which involves the use of, organized combination utilization of people, materials facilities, equipment and procedures to achieve the desired instructional materials, instructional media and educational media virtually mean the same thing. They all involve media materials derived from communication revolution, which can be used to promote teaching learning process.
According to Agy (2000), instructional materials could be classified into:
(1) Visual material: such as picture, diagrams buildings, projectors, teachers themselves(s) chart, real objects (realia) studies etc. These materials such as books, newspapers, journals, magazines, pamphlets, handout or NTI modules were also involved.
(2) Audio materials – such as tape recording cassette, cartridge, radio, dice, teleture, teleconferencing, language laboratories, teachers voice. They appeal to the sense of hearing.
(3) Audio – visual materials which include the television, video recording motion pictures with sound tracks, slide and films trips projection with sound tapes, films and multimedia. They appeal to both sense of hearing and sight.
(4) Materials/software include graphic materials, pointed materials, slide, filmstrips, overhead transparency, tapes cassettes, and motion pictures.
(5) Equipment/hardware: examples include: blackboards, tape recorders, projectors and video recorders. They are used in presenting materials, static or display such as chalkboard, flannel graph, flip charts, magnetic board, are also used in presenting materials or lectures.
(6) Electronics: this comprises of radio, computer, e-mail, multimedia. These teaching materials makes teaching and learning process more easy and concrete.
(7) Non-projected media include books and other printed material, objects, specimens, models a mock-up graphical materials bulletin board that exhibits black boards, buildings, field trips simulation and games.
(8) Two-dimensional instructional materials include flat pictures, graphs, chart, diagrams, posters, conic, cartoons, slides, films, trips and films. They are also non-projected materials with characteristics of being flat and light and may be either in opaque or transparent from. They have length but no height hence they are 2 dimensional aids.
(9) Three-dimensional instructional materials include: models, mock-up objects, specimens, laboratories, simulation and games. They are non-projected materials. Characteristically, they have length, breath, height, hence they are called 3 dimensional.
Instructional materials generally make the teaching process easier. However, in order to appreciate the importance of instructional materials in the teaching-learning process, Rhert et al (2001) consider the reasons for using them. They include to help:
1) Gain and hold the attention of the learner
2) Provide visual aspects to a process or techniques
3) Focus attention on highlight of key points
4) Create impact
5) Facilitates the understanding of abstract explanations
6) Provide a common fretwork of experience to a large number of learners
7) Stimulate reality
With this, instructional resources help to concretize the learning process. Hoban and Zizzman (2006) stated that the value of audio-visual materials is function of their degree of realism. The authors arranged various teaching methods in a hierarchy of greater abstraction beginning with the total situation and culminated in words to the top of the hierarchy. These include words, diagram, maps, flat, pictures, slide, films, models and objects. For this, total situation involves much concreteness of the teaching-leaning situation words only convey little or no concreteness in the teaching-learning process. In effect, the type of instructional materials used depends on what the author wants to demonstrate, for instance, the reasons for media is to create clear ideas of something e.g. Real object (realia) models as follows:
1) To give visual access to something this may be inaccessible to clarity abstract information which may be difficult to communicate verbally. Examples are model picture, photo, posters and diagrams
2) To condense large qualities of information e.g. diagram and handout.
3) To promote mental activities of students, examples are handout, textbooks, films and picture.
4) To teach language pronouncement e.g. audio tapes,
5) To support work of the tutors e.g. sound recordings.
Common types of learning resources of instructional materials include the following:
(b) Books and other printing materials
(d) Real objects
(f) Overhead projector
(g) Electronics: radio (cassette tape), television, video (cassette recorder (VCR), computer).
Olahimola (1996) stated that different subjects at different levels in the educational system show that instructional materials used by tutors serve to make concepts and ideas real. They make learning more interesting, more real and lively. At all level of education. Instructional materials are very important in the attainment of desired goals and objectives. The traditional chalkboard method of teaching involves only the learning sense of hearing and the easily lose of interest after sometime. However, the utilization of instructional materials in teaching and learning situation involves not only the sense of hearing but also the sense of sight and touches, looking at educational practices, the Chinese proverb conclude that.
I hear – I forget
I see – I remember
I do – I understand
Kindler (1993) stated that people generally remember;
10% of what they read
20% of what they hear
30% of what they see
50% of what they hear and see
70% of what they say and
90% of what they say as they do a thing
For this reasons, instructional materials plays a very big role in teaching and learning process as enumerated below.
- It helps the tutors to provide his students with meaningful sources of information
- Help the tutors by providing him with means of wildering his students of information
- Being experts with learning resources in the classroom
- Allow members of a group or class to share equally the same teaching experience
- Provide the tutors means of exposing the students to a wide range of learning activities.
Okwudibia (2005) highlighted the functions of instructional materials the promotion of learning that instructional materials
- Provide increased interest in learning
- Hold the learner’s attention
- Provide the learner with opportunities of interacting with their social and physical environment (excursion)
- Offer learners opportunity for independent and individualized learning
- Supply concept basis for conceptual thinking
- Offer opportunities for learner to develop their abilities and skills
- Promote the acquisition and longer retention of knowledge
For this point, instructional materials help to promote the understanding of teaching-learning process among other function. Good availability and utilization of instructional materials should be appreciated, free of bias, up to date, easily obtainable and should not be too expensive. It also leads to more understanding and increase the interest of students in the teaching and learning process for achievement of students in basic technology in Secondary Schools in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Considering the need for technological development, coupled with the fact that Basic Technology is a very vital subject for technology development, its teaching and learning as well as students’ academic performance in it have become a source of concern to the researcher. It is surprising that despite the efforts of government, individuals and non-government agencies in enhancing the educational development in Nigeria, the Rivers State Post-primary School Management Board (2010) has shown that the general academic performance of students in Basic Technology has declined greatly. It was also observed that poor performance of students in Basic technology has been so high in many Nigerian public schools in the recent years (Federal Ministry of Education 2014). This raises a question on the method and instructional strategies employed. Teachers seems to adopt the verbalistic and theoretical method as a way of teaching and learning the subject rather than using instructional materials (Olagunju, 2000). Esu, Enukoha and Umoren (2004) affirmed that the use of instructional materials facilitate learning of abstract concepts by helping to concretize ideas and stimulate learners’ imagination. Moreover, instructional materials help to increase active participation in the learning process while saving teacher the much energy involved in all verbal instructions. In the same vein, Mathew (2012) stated that the use of instructional materials make teaching and learning effective as it enables learners to participate actively in classroom instruction. The question now is, to what extent does the use of instructional materials affect learning and students achievement in basic technology in Junior Secondary Schools in ONELGA, Rivers State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The study focused on the availability and utilization of instructional materials and student’s achievement in basic technology in secondary schools in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, Rivers State. Specifically, the study will;
(i) Identify the availability of instructional materials used by the teachers in teaching basic technology subject in secondary schools in ONELGA, Rivers State.
(ii) Identify the utilization of instructional materials used by the teachers in teaching basic technology subject in secondary schools in ONELGA, Rivers State.
(iii) The frequency of use of these instructional materials are used by the teachers in teaching basic technology.
(iv) the perceived impact of the use of instructional material on student`s achievement.
1.4 Research Question
Based on the aims of the stated purpose of the study, the following questions were proffered in order to elicit vital information/solutions to curb the menaces of the study which includes:
(i) To what extent are instructional materials available for teaching basic technology in Secondary Schools in ONELGA, Rivers State?
(ii) To what extent are instructional materials being utilized in teaching basic technology in Secondary Schools in ONELGA, Rivers State?
(iii) What is the frequency of the use of these instructional materials for teaching basic technology?
(iii) What are the perceived impact of the use of instructional materials in the teaching of basic technology in ONELGA, Rivers State?
The following null hypotheses, which will be tested at 0.05 level of significance, have been formulated for the study.
Ho1: There is no significant difference between the mean response to male and female students on the utilization of instructional materials in teaching basic technology in Junior Secondary Schools.
Ho2: There is no significant difference between the mean response to male and female students on the frequency of use of instructional materials in teaching basic technology.
Ho3: There is no significant difference between the mean response of male and female students on the perceived impact of the use of instructional materials in teaching basic technology
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study is expected to be of great advantages to the teaching and learning of Basic Technology and other subjects offered in the upper basic school. Instructional materials help to facilitate teaching, creation and distribution of contents during learning. Thus, a study focusing on the use of instructional materials based on contents would definitely ensure quality materials for effective teaching and learning to achieve educational goals and objectives. This study might guide the Educational service Divisions of the Federal and State Ministries of Education, Local Government Areas; officials in charge of materials selection for teaching and learning in selecting appropriate materials to teach Basic Technology. This study could gear up designers of materials to review some aspects of their works towards achieving the goal of contributing to students’ adequate acquisition of the necessary skills in science and technology. Also, the result from this study might enable the designers to improve the contents of the materials to make the users of the materials gain more from the materials.
Similarly, for a teacher to succeed in the classroom, instructional materials should be used to complement the teachers work and to open channels for communication. Findings from this study would contribute significantly to the effective learning of basic technology in upper basic schools. The result of the research would help education stakeholder such as students, teachers, schools, administrators, parents, government and society to better understanding the benefit of relating basic technology curriculum with instructional basic technology materials.
This study might open up science teachers’ mind to the effectiveness of the materials they use for Basic Technology. The study would make teachers to see the need to use the materials and make necessary suggestions to officials from Ministry of Education as guides in selecting materials.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The researcher restricted the study only on the following :-
- Availability of instructional materials required for the teaching of basic technology,
- Utilization of instructional materials required for the teaching of the basic technology,
- Frequency at which of available instructional materials are utilized in basic technology.
- Perceived impact of the available instructional materials required for the teaching of basic technology.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Basic Technology: it is a subject offered in Junior Secondary Schools in Nigeria which introduces students to basics or rudiments of technology.
Instructional Materials: These are devices through which knowledge, skills, attitude, ideas, beliefs and values get transmitted to the learner by the teachers in order to enhance teaching and learning process.