Development of a Computer Based Instruction Module Assignment

Development of a Computer Based Instruction Module Assignment Words: 2981

This paper describes the design and development of a valid, reliable and flexible instrument, a Computer-Mediated Simulation (SMS) module for teaching cell division topic in secondary school biology. The design was based on the generic instructional approach of Plan, Do, See and Improve (PADS). Each step has an outcome that feeds the subsequent step or results In modification of the prior step. The design and development of a SMS module Is aimed at bringing out the dynamics of the process of cell Dillon to facilitate students understanding of the topic better.

The process of cell division specifically involved the aspects of meiosis and mitosis. The module was also developed to fill, in some way, the special need for media and technology in biology teaching at secondary school level in Kenya and perhaps elsewhere. Evaluation of the SMS results of the actual implementation in test schools provide improvement highlights of the strengths of the module geared towards shifting the point set presently to a more desirable outcome. Key words: Computer mediated simulation, cell division, molls. Meiosis.

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The topic ‘cell division’ is a form three topic under the concept reproduction and introduces students to sexual and asexual reproduction and genetics. Cell division is a continuous process but a series of stages are assigned marking the significant features at a given time. The stages Involved are: (I) Enterprise, (II) protease, (Ill) metastases, (lb) anapest, and (v) telephone (EKE, 1992). The dynamics and chromosomal orientation during the process of cell division are pertinent to the understanding of the concept by the students of biology.

Yet the process does not come out vividly in conventional instructional methods and in biology textbooks. Traditionally, cell division has been taught via traditional lecture and laboratory methods that involve use of squashed young onion root tip. However, a current trend In science Is to Integrate technology Into the classroom In a variety of Simulation (SMS), which has been applied in the teaching and learning of various courses and subjects with promising results (Allies and Trollop, 1991; Enjoy and Delano, 1993; Skibobs, 1997; Wanly, 2005; Wakes, 2003).

A computer simulation improves the teachers’ repertoire by enhancing and expanding the educational environment particularly in areas considered difficult or dangerous (Wakes, 2003). Several benefits attributed to SMS have been reported. These include: the ability to haft learning to more hands-on and visual imagery interaction that is often lacking in traditional teacher based classroom. It natures confidence, initiative and enhances cognition, psychosomatic and effective behavior.

It provides immediate feedback and it is coalfaces. The ability to employ animated color graphic enhanced features of the computer to demonstrate concepts is the most valuable component of SMS because it may enhance students’ conception. The animated color graphic enhanced SMS may be especially beneficial for teaching cell division through a *Corresponding author. E-mail: duncanwasike@yahoo. Com. Nit. J. Educe. Rest. Dive. 115 multi-sensory approach because of the visual dynamic nature of the concept (Willet, 2004).

Learning in such an environment may therefore be effective in that it can involve students in a complex study process that allows them to examine a model in a computer simulation in a very exploration and interactive way. Therefore, this study was set up to design and develop a SMS simulation intervention and to investigate its effectiveness for teaching the cell division in school biology. Objectives This study aimed at designing a teaching innovation (the SMS module), which was designed and plopped from the point of view of the prevailing educational problem.

Should the SMS be adopted, it could be applied in other areas of science to improve the teaching and learning of science in general and biology in particular. Design and development of the SMS module The Plan, Do, See and Improve (PADS) approach contained research elements. These were employed as explained hereunder: Plan Baseline studies on performance of science and mathematics indicate that the status of science teaching is poor due to lack of enough and appropriate facilities in Kenya schools (SESAMES, 2000).

In biology, cell theory is one of the topics ranked near the top of the ladder of difficulty by pupils and teachers. It was envisaged that traditional lecture-based pedagogical practice might not be the best approach to support deep understanding of cell theory among students. In this case, it was decided that an alternative approach to cell theory be sort. Fortunately, the explosion of computer technology in recent decades offers an opportunity to explore a very different, perhaps fuller and more engaging experience to students. One such area is the Computer Based Instruction (CB).

It was therefore concluded that a Computer Mediated Simulation (SMS) teaching format could be a viable course format alternative as to bring to students the dynamics of the process of cell division. Do The Experts in Education communication and information technology departments at the author’s institution were consulted. Three individuals agreed to consult on the module. The experts were to assist in the choice of pedagogical approaches that the courseware would adopt, determine the ideal mode of delivery of the courseware and set the plan of action for development of the SMS module.

Exploiting computer attributes, color graphic simulations on cell division was done, marking the module distinguishable from the ordinary textbook. It was thought that the incorporation of graphic simulations would play a key role in enhancing student learning. The mode of courseware delivery was to be CD-ROOM based and designed using Visual Basic software. The rationale for this software choice included: (I) portability, (it) machine-independence, (it) the use of general and advanced controls that allow the creation of complex forms and programs, and (v) possibility to run an individual form instead of running the whole system at a go.

Also it allows the use of automatic completion lists that guide the user when writing the code. This makes it easy to compile, execute, package and deploy the SMS program. The instructional material used in the development of the module was from a form 3 biology course dealing with the concept of cell theory. The course content was based on the EKE approved syllabus for science education, teacher’s guide, pupils’ textbooks, and other relevant materials. The SMS lesson contained instruction on five topics, namely: (I) enterprise, (it) protease, (iii) metastases, and (v) telephone.

The SMS materials were regained in a format that rendered learning of complex factual information on the cell division easier and interesting. The materials were presented in the form of short notes and animated color graphics that allow key concepts to be learnt as a coherent whole than in isolation from one another. See The SMS module underwent several reviews during its development. This involved two computer experts and four high school teachers that assessed the general format, sequencing of events, language level and grammar, subject content and pedagogical issues.

Their recommendations and suggestions led to some appropriate modifications made before the SMS was tried using a small group of learners and finally implemented in a real classroom setting. Improve At the pilot stage, the learners were allowed to go through the SMS module lesson with the least help. Their feelings, difficulties, and experiences were closely monitored. At the end of the session, an informal interview was undertaken to get their views regarding the content and the general format of the SMS module.

They were also administered with three dependent measures: BAT, BOCCE and SAA. The problems and/or errors detected were rectified. The observation toes on the learners’ psychological reactions as they went through the SMS lesson and interview conducted showed some minor difficulties, which were rectified. Wakes et al. 116 The SMS module Figure 2. Welcome page. Theoretical framework The design of the SMS module was guided by the doodling theory of the cognitive paradigm. According to this theory, information in memory is represented by both images and verbal codes.

Park and Hopkins (1993) argue that there is a ‘referential connection’ that links verbal and non-verbal cues into a complete associative network to potentially allow such operations as imaging to words and naming to strictures. Therefore, something is more likely to be remembered if coded both verbally and visually because representatives of one form reinforces the other (Tennyson and Rash, 1988). This led the researcher to design the conceptual model in Figures 1 to 22 to guide the study. In this model, it is assumed that the interactive 117 Figure 3.

Course objectives. Figure 4. Definition of chromosome. 118 Figure 5. Formation of a chromosome. Figure 6. Structure of a chromosome. 119 Figure 7. Tetras formation. Figure 8. Mitotic division. 120 Figure 10. Protease. 121 Figure 11. Metastases. Figure 12. Anapest. 122 MEIOSIS Figure 13. Telephone and Cytokines. STAGES OF MEIOSIS Figure 14. Meiotic division. 123 Figure 15. Enterprise 1. Figure 16. Protease 1. 124 Figure 17. Metastases 1. Figure 18. Anapest 1. 125 Figure 19. Telephone 1. Attributes of the computer combine verbal codes with graphical illustrations and animation to give the learner not only a wider range of learning activities and tasks within the concept of cell division but also provide them with the options to interact more overtly with the instructional material and hence engender more active 126 Figure 21 . Metastases II. Processing of information (Savor and Handful, 1995; Skibobs, 1997). The design of he SMS learning environment was based on two major assumptions that persist in achieving the above goals not available in the regular instructional method.

Firstly, appropriate instructional methods that would bring out the dynamic nature of the process of cell division are not available. Secondly, improvement in cognition occurs when students experience and interact with the learning materials unlike in regular instruction where students are passive. As such, the SMS simulation may serve effectively as a facilitator to the learner’s cognitive processing and positive attitudinal change towards cell division topic in school biology.

Constructs of the module considered important in enhancing students’ conception that the process of cell division does not occur in discrete stages and it is not static as depicted in textbooks. This was achieved by simulating the process of cell division by use of animated color graphic images through a multistory approach. In this regard, the learner accessed the content presented by logging into the computer which first presented the objectives expected to be achieved by the end of the topic. The learner could then proceed to introduction where definition and description of a chromosome is presented by clicking the neat button.

This process is repeated after every section of the processes involved in the meiosis and mitosis stages. A detailed presentation of the SMS as presented on computer is outlined in Figures 1 to 22. THE RESEARCH DESIGN The SMS module sought to bring to the student the dynamics of the process of cell division. This was The study utilized the Solomon-Three Group design 127 (Table 1), which is considered sufficiently rigorous and appropriate for experimental and quasi-experimental studies (Counting, 1992).

Solomon-Three Group design involves a random assignment of subjects to three groups with two groups taking the re-test and one not taking it. One pre-tested group and the other that is denied the pre-test are usually exposed to the treatment (Soul, 1984; Counting, 1992). However, this study adopted the quasi-experimental approach because the subjects were already constituted and it was not possible to randomly select them individually. This was because school authorities do not allow random assignment of individual subjects once they are already constituted.

Nevertheless, this research design can provide adequate control of the extraneous variables that would have otherwise affected the internal and external validity of the study. According to Soul (1984), the reactive effects of experimentation are more easily controlled 128 Table 1 . The Randomized Solomon Three-Group Design. Randomly assigned Experimental group (E) Control group I (CLC) Control group II (CO) Dependent variable (T 1) TIE 01 TIC 03 No pre-test Independent variable Teaching using CB module Teaching using conventional methods Teaching using CB module Dependent bankable (TO) TEE 02 TACT 04 TACT 05 Source: Soul (1984).

Key: TTL – Pre-test; TO – Post test; 01-5 – Observations of dependent variables. Table 2. A comparison of the subjects’ pre-test and post-test mean scores obtained y the subjects on the BAT. Scale Pre-test S. D Post-test S. D Mean gain a,b overall 3. 42 1. 75 25. 65 5. 72 22. 23 E (n = 30) a 3. 43 1. 76 b 28. 03 6. 45 24. 60 Q (n = 40) b 29. 03 6. 73 – denotes similar mean scores. Through this design because the subjects are less aware of the fact that they are being subjected to the experimental treatment than when the subjects are randomly drawn individually and put into experimental sessions.

Contamination was taken care of by having the treatment and control groups being situated in different schools. Also, statistical regression was taken care of by having another group of objects (CO) not taking the pretest. In this study, one group served as the experimental group (E) and two others as control groups. However, the CO became a control group only because the pre-test was withheld. Sample size This study involved three mixed secondary schools situated along Nassau-Nurturer and Nassau-AMA-Narrow roads.

The schools were purposively sampled on the basis of easy accessibility and the availability of IBM compatible computers. A total of 102 form three students (59 males and 43 females) were randomly selected from three intact classes that served as the experimental group (E) and the control group 1 (CLC) ND control group II (CO). In the study, two groups (E and CLC) were persisted but all were post tested after treatment. Instruments In this study, the variables of interest are the students’ learning outcomes in biology course on cell theory that were used to determine the validity and reliability of the SMS module.

The first is students’ academic achievement that was assessed using the Biology Achievement Test (BAT), which was developed for the purpose of this study. BAT, consisting of a 30-item paper and pencil instrument (that is, 20 multiple-choice and 10 completion questions) was reviewed by six experts knowledgeable in science education. After it was piloted, a reliability coefficient of 0. 81 was obtained using K-21 formula. The second dealt with the affective realm referred to as students’ attitude towards the biology course on cell division.

One paper-and-pencil checklist instrument measured the students’ affective learning outcomes namely the Students’ Attitude Questionnaire (SAA). Six experts vetted the items and scales before they were tried on a group of students (N=20) from Negro area. SAA instrument consisted of 20 Liker-type scales. The piloting of these instrument yielded reliability coefficient of 0. 78 using the K-21 formula. This value is higher than the suggested suitable level of 0. 70 (Franken and warren, 1998).

The effect of the SMS on students’ learning outcomes on the concept of cell division was determined by the NOVA tests using the SAPS computer software. Effects of SMS on students’ academic achievement as measured by BAT The results presented in Table 2 shows the distribution of both the pre-test and post-test mean scores obtained by the subjects on the BAT. A close examination of the results in Table 2 indicates Table 3. Comparison of the pre-test and post-test mean scores obtained by the subjects on the SAA. Group overall 62. 8 4. 21 70. 53 5. 32 8. 35 E a 61. 57 4. 61 b 73. 40 5. 12 11. 85 CLC a 62. 8 3. 81 64. 98 3. 85 2. 20 Q b 73. 22 6. 99 – denote similar mean scores. A significant gain in terms of academic achievement in favor of the treatment group. For instance, the mean score obtained by the subjects in the E group (M=28. 03) and CO (M=29. 03) on the BAT are similar, and significantly higher than that of CLC (M=19. 88) that did not receive the SMS treatment. A further analysis using the Turkeys-Honest Significant Difference (THIS) for multiple range test revealed a mean difference of 8. 16 between E group and CLC group, and that of 9. 77 obtained between CLC and CO were statistically significant at PHowever, no statistically significant difference was established between the mean scores of treatment groups E and CO as it was only 0. 99. These findings support earlier studies, which concluded that the use of SMS programmer involving the students more actively in the learning process result in higher achievement (Skibobs, 1997; 2000; Wakes, 2003; Weanling’s, 1998). Effects of SMS module on students’ attitude towards cell division The results shown in Table 3 suggest that the SMS module positively influenced the students’ attitude towards the topic of cell division in school biology. On the overall, there was a mean score gain of 8. 5 on students’ attitude. However, the groups E and CLC scored differently on the post-test and the results reveal a markedly higher gain of 1 1. 85 in favor of the treatment group as opposed to the 2. 20 obtained by the control group. Moreover, the mean score gain of the SMS group was much higher than the overall mean gain of 8. 35. These results are in agreement with earlier findings showing that the use of SMS significantly affect the affective realm of students towards the scientific concepts that are considered hard and difficult for students to learn and searchers to teach (Skibobs, 1997, 2002; Wakes, 2003).

Limitation of the SMS module The SMS module was designed to run on IBM compatible computers only and will therefore not run on DOS prompt. Conclusion The main goal of this study was to design and develop a valid SMS module for the teaching of cell division topic in school biology in Kenya. In this paper, an attempt was made to use quantitative findings on three dependent measures to determine the validity and reliability of the SMS module. On the whole, and considering the significant learning gains, there is evidence to suggest that the

SMS module was effective in positively influencing the students’ understanding of the cell division topic in school biology. This study also demonstrated that SMS have classroom environment and attitude towards cell division. As such, the problem of the concept of cell division being a difficult topic for students to learn and teachers to teach may be resolved by the use of a SMS module that emphasize interactive student learning.

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