The Impact Of Teaching Strategy In Learning Computer Programming: A Comparative Study Between Peer Instructional Teaching Strategy And Instruction-Guided Teaching Strategy

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science Education

The Impact Of Teaching Strategy In Learning Computer Programming: A Comparative Study Between Peer Instructional Teaching Strategy And Instruction-Guided Teaching Strategy


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the impact of teaching strategy in learning computer programming: a comparative study between peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy using some selected secondary schools in Owerri North Local Government Area, Imo State as a case study. The study was carried out to find out whether there is a significant relationships between teaching strategy and the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools, determine whether peer instructional teaching strategy have a positive effect on the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools, find out whether instruction-guided teaching strategy have a positive effect on the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools and ascertain whether there is a significant differences between the effectiveness of peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy during the learning of computer programming in secondary schools. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of Computer science teachers in some selected secondary schools in Owerri North Local Government Area, Imo State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 57 respondents and 50 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables. While the hypotheses were tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that there is a significant relationships between teaching strategy and the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools. The study also revealed that there is a significant differences between the effectiveness of peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy during the learning of computer programming in secondary schools. Therefore, it is recommended that the government should strive and set aside a reasonable amount of education budget which will be directed to improve science subjects like computer programming education in schools. To mention but a few.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Computer programming is part and parcel of the computer programming education. It is an essential skill that must be mastered by anyone interested in studying computer programming. Normally, in teaching computer programming, students will first be introduced to the concept of programming and data structure where they are taught on how to analyze problems, use specific techniques to represent the problem solution and validate the solution. Next the learners are required to convert the problem solution into a program using a specific programming language. They are then required to test their program to verify for syntactical or logical errors to ensure that the output is correct according to the problem requirement. Maintenance is the last process in implementation phase and it is based on user requirement needs. Maintenance is required when there are changes in user requirements or important components. Experience in teaching university level computer programming has proven to be a challenge to the first author. Many students found programming to be difficult and disheartening. Since programming is the basic skill required of computer programmers, the negative impact of these basic introductory courses may have harmful consequences in the learners’ attitude towards the field.

Computer programming education as it was stipulated by the National policy on education (2004) in Nigeria is one of pre-vocational subjects in the junior secondary schools. The aim and objectives of the federal government in these pre-vocational subjects mostly is that at the end of Nine years of passing through it should posses an appropriate level of literacy, numeracy, communication, manipulative and problems solving skills in order to be employable and useful to oneself and the society at large. According to Abimbola (1998) the use of computer in our educational sector was a growing phenomenon, because searching for work in internet requires the knowledge of computer. The use of computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) in Education also requires in-depth knowledge of computer. According to Olaitan (2000) he stated, in recognition of the prominent role of information and communication technology (ICT) in educational system requires the knowledge of computers. Since our schools are sweeping along on the incoming tide of new teaching techniques. The old methods used in teaching and learning of computer programming are becoming increasingly inadequate. Therefore this work is an attempt to find out the possible solution to all these problems in the study of computer programming.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Learners’ difficulty with computer programming is not unique to the Nigerian audience. Research done in western countries has shown problems with regard to computer programming. The skills that have been identified with the ability to do programming are problem solving and analytical skills (Riley, 1981; Henderson, 1986; Maheshwari, 1997b; Bonar & Soloway, 1989; Linn & Clancy, 1992). However, according to Riley (1981), many students entering college have problem-solving skills that are “woefully inadequate”. Henderson (1986) notes that problem solving and analytical thinking skills are students’ major weaknesses in a computer programming course and that a major theme of a computer programming course should be emphasized on these skills. Programming is said to be a study of clear thinking and problem solving in providing the students the practice of building representations and working in a methodical manner (Maheshwari, 1997b). Maheshwari also argues that programming fosters problem solving through a top-down approach, whereby large problems are separated into manageable components to be solved individually and then assembled into the correct solution to the problem. Programming encourages learners to evaluate their solutions and thinking process; this cognitive process allows them to transfer newly acquired problem solving skills to novel problem situations. Whatever approach to problem solving is adopted, it is recognized that it is an essential part and the first step taken in the development of software. In addition to problem solving and analytical skills, difficulty in programming is also attributed to the prior knowledge and practices; errors also occur in trying to transfer a step-by-step problem-solving solution directly from a natural language into a program (Bonar & Soloway, 1989). The differences between the natural language and a programming language can easily cause problems. For example, some novices have understood that the condition in a “while” loop needs to apply continuously rather than tested once per iteration. Linn & Clancy (1992) found that “for programmers to develop competency, they need to have good problem solving skills and a thoroughly organized knowledge of a programming language”. In problem solving phase, a solution or design is generated to solve the problem and in the implementation phase the proposed solution is translated into a programming language. According to Rist (1996), the main source of difficulty does not seem to be only on the syntax or understanding of concepts, but rather on the program planning. A student can learn to explain and understand a programming concept, e.g., what does a pointer mean, but still fails to use it appropriately in a program. Winslow (in Soloway & Spohrer, 1989) noticed that students may know the syntax and semantics of individual statements, but they do not know how to combine these features into valid programs. Even when they know how to solve the problem manually, they have trouble translating it into an equivalent computer program.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of teaching strategy in learning computer programming: a comparative study between peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy. Other aims of this study are:

  1. Find out whether there is a significant relationships between teaching strategy and the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools.
  2. Determine whether peer instructional teaching strategy have a positive effect on the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools.
  3. Find out whether instruction-guided teaching strategy have a positive effect on the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools.
  4. Ascertain whether there is a significant differences between the effectiveness of peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy during the learning of computer programming in secondary schools.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will be answered in this study:

  1. Is there a significant relationships between teaching strategy and the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools?
  2. Does peer instructional teaching strategy have a positive effect on the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools?
  3. Does instruction-guided teaching strategy have a positive effect on the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools?
  4. Is there a significant differences between the effectiveness of peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy during the learning of computer programming in secondary schools?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

  • Ho: There is no significant differences between the effectiveness of peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy during the learning of computer programming in secondary schools.
  • Ha: There is a significant differences between the effectiveness of peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy during the learning of computer programming in secondary schools.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The result of this study may be beneficial to:-

  1. The teachers
  2. The students
  3. The society
  4. The parents/guardians
  5. The government
  6. Further researchers.

The result of this study will be able to:

  1. Assist the teachers in the use of teaching methods and other techniques in the teaching and learning of computer programming.
  2. It will help the students to change their attitudes towards the learning of computer programming.
  3. It help the society to have the desirable skills and knowledge that is worthwhile.
  4. It will enable the parents/ guardians to in understand the behaviors of the children
  5. It may aid the government in devising policy’s that will increase the rate of teaching and learning.
  6. It may serve as vital information for further researchers.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on the impact of teaching strategy in learning computer programming: a comparative study between peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy. Specifically, this study focuses on finding out whether there is a significant relationships between teaching strategy and the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools, determining whether peer instructional teaching strategy have a positive effect on the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools, finding out whether instruction-guided teaching strategy have a positive effect on the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools and ascertaining whether there is a significant differences between the effectiveness of peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy during the learning of computer programming in secondary schools.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Computer:

This is an electronic device or machine that is capable of receiving information (data), process the data, store the information and give out a direct output under the control of some stored programs.

Computer Studies:

This is the study of the basic principles and rudiments behind the operation and effective usage of the computers.


1.10 Organization of the Studies

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the impact of teaching strategy in learning computer programming: a comparative study between peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy using some selected secondary schools in Owerri North Local Government Area, Imo State as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the impact of teaching strategy in learning computer programming: a comparative study between peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy using some selected secondary schools in Owerri North Local Government Area, Imo State as a case study. The study is was specifically carried out to find out whether there is a significant relationships between teaching strategy and the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools, determine whether peer instructional teaching strategy have a positive effect on the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools, find out whether instruction-guided teaching strategy have a positive effect on the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools and ascertain whether there is a significant differences between the effectiveness of peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy during the learning of computer programming in secondary schools.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 50 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were Computer science teachers in some selected secondary schools in Owerri North Local Government Area, Imo State.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. There is a significant relationships between teaching strategy and the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools.
  2. Peer instructional teaching strategy have a positive effect on the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools.
  3. Instruction-guided teaching strategy have a positive effect on the effective learning of computer programming in secondary schools.
  4. There is a significant differences between the effectiveness of peer instructional teaching strategy and instruction-guided teaching strategy during the learning of computer programming in secondary schools.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. The government should strive and set aside a reasonable amount of education budget which will be directed to improve science subjects like computer programming education in schools.
  2. More seminars/workshops on the use of diverse instructional materials available should be organized at least bi-annually to acquaint teachers on how to use them in teaching computer programming education.
  3. The heads of schools should rise their voice to be heard by parents as well as the government on the importance of computer programming education thus favourable policies should be enacted.

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