Learning Preference And Academic Achievement Of Biology Student

Biology Education Project Material

Learning Preference And Academic Achievement Of Biology Student


Abstract


This study was carried out on learning preference and academic achievement of biology student using some selected secondary schools in Aba, Abia State as a case study. The purpose of this study is to ascertain the most preferred learning style among biology students, determine whether there is any significant difference in students’ preferred learning styles based on gender, and determine whether there is a correlation between students’ preferred learning style and their academic performance. A descriptive research design was employed using survey method to analyse the students’ preference learning styles and their academic performance. The questionnaire developed by the researcher was adopted in this study and distributed to 130 biology students. Data gathered identified students’ learning styles and preferences based on six domains: visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, tactile, group and individual. The findings showed most biology students were strong Visual learner and acquired commendable CGPA ranging from 3.00 to 3.49. However, the present study revealed a weak, negative and very significant correlation between academic performance and kinaesthetic (r= 0.304), visual (r= 0.260) and individual (r= 0.189) due to a weak relationship between both variables. Interestingly, gender difference were found in kinesthetic learning style only. It is concluded that it was important for the lecturers to cater for the different needs of students’ learning styles for science learning to be more interesting and give positive impact to their academic performance.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Science education curriculums are theoretical and application-based with the aim of instilling the knowledge of scientific theories and the skill in solving higher order thinking problems. The acquisition of conceptual and analytical skills as well as problem solving ability are the focus of science education. Science education is also content specific and is quite difficult to integrate science learning across other curriculum content. Biology is an integral part of the science curriculum that introduced to Malaysian students during their upper secondary schools, college as well as tertiary education level (Steigerwald, 2019). Biology is taught basically to enable students to study of life and the living things in our world which are comprised of both plant and animal (Ridzal, 2022; Abidoye & Olorundare, 2020). Biology as part of science that can support the development of students’ potential to understand multiple concepts related to the life of creatures on earth. Students think that biology is a rote lesson that contains abstract material with difficult scientific names, so to overcome the problems teacher role is needed. As one of important science subjects which enables learners or students to encompass more about the world, there is a need to determine effective learning styles of the students. Therefore, it is very important to recognize the personality of biology students who are able to grasp the basic concept or knowledge and understanding the principles in depth by teachers and educators.

Generally, students have their own preferred way to learn, recognize, retain and retrieve information. Students receive and process the information in different ways due to the different learning styles (Rezaeinejad et al., 2015). Some students are visual learners, while others are auditory or kinesthetic learners. Visual learners learn visually by viewing of charts, graphs and pictures. Auditory learners learn by listening to lectures and reading. Kinesthetic learners learn by doing things or physical (Vaishnav, 2013). In other words, students can learn in diversified ways either using their eyes, ears, engaging in physical movement or the sense of touch such as doing hands-on activities. Students also can learn better when they work individually rather in groups, and some are vice versa (Reid, 1987).

These behaviors are known as learning style or cognitive style (Cetin & Erel, 2018). Due to this, the instructional method of teaching are also differ. Kolb (1984) and Honey and Mumford (1992) described learning style as an individual preferred or habitual ways of processing and transforming knowledge. Kolb (1984) claimed that psychological attributes resulted from individual differences, determine the particular strategies a person chooses while learning. In contrast, Keefe (1987) emphasizes learning styles as cognitive, affective, and psychological traits that serve as relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment. Some researchers thought that learning style as a set of factors, behaviors and attitudes that stimulate learning for an individual in a given situation. However, the way students learn differ in how they see, interpret, understand and conceptualize information (Kang, 1999; Teele, 2006; Zacharis, 2011). This is more serious in a context where students come from diverse educational experiences, cultural backgrounds and prior knowledge for instance related to science, arts, physical science, music and others.

The discovery of learning style preferences among the students at many educational levels had stimulated much interest of researchers in higher institutions who believe that if students’ preferred learning styles can be identified, it could help and assist significantly by providing guidance to academicians in selecting and designing appropriate instructional methods for teaching and learning options that can effectively be used.

Learning style can be defined as an individual’s unique manner to learning based on strengths, frailty, and priority. In order to achieve successful learners, they normally use a multiple of techniques that fit their learning styles and the nature of the task, learning conditions and their aims in certain subjects or topics. Kolb (2015) described learning styles as the method of isolated individuals find, store and reproduce information. Learning is not only related to the expansion of knowledge and recall information learned but is dominated activity and understand the concept of knowledge and further information can apply it to life (Entwistle and Ramsden, 2015).

Learning styles are significant for every student because it has a great influence towards their academic achievement. Unsuitable and ineffective learning styles during learning session will undoubtedly lead to lower academic achievement. The results of the study by Sanjaya (2016) show that learning styles will have an impact on academic achievement then he suggests it is appropriate if the learning style for each student is examined. Nolting (2002) emphasized that students’ academic achievement positively increases if they are aware of their learning style and how they learn best. The relationship between learning styles and academic achievement in different level of education was examined by researchers. A study which evaluated the relationship between learning style and students’ academic achievement was conducted by (Gokalp, 2013).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Up till now, the issues on whether students are learning in the way they prefer is still debatable and explored in many studies (Ramalingam, 2014; Fareo, 2015; Bhagat & Singh, 2015; Liew et al., 2015; Wong et al., 2017; Alkooheji & Al-Hattami, 2018). Problems occur when student learning styles cannot be adapted to the lecturers’ teaching activities and styles (Entwistle, 2013). As a result, students become bored and not concentrating; causing them to fail to score high in the exam, are less interested in certain subjects and turn to give up. Study by Kurgun & Isildar (2016) concluded that one way of determining the efficiency or performance of an individual learn and acquire knowledge is to realize its learning style.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main focus of this study is to investigate learning preference and academic achievement of biology student.

Specifically, it sought to:

  1. Ascertain the most preferred learning style among biology students.
  2. Determine whether there is any significant difference in students’ preferred learning styles based on gender
  3. Determine whether there is a correlation between students’ preferred learning style and their academic performance.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the most preferred learning style among biology students?
  2. Is there any significant difference in students’ preferred learning styles and their gender?
  3. Is there any correlation between students’ preferred learning style and their academic performance?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: There is no correlation between students’ preferred learning style and their academic performance in biology.
  • Ha: There is a correlation between students’ preferred learning style and their academic performance in biology.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study would also promote biology teachers’ effectiveness and efficiency using different learning strategy as it may help them to shift from teacher-centered method to student-centered method which may improve the students‘ academic achievement in biology. Also the findings may be useful to teachers who may realize the need to enhance students learning style, and achievement motivation.As curriculum implementer, the teacher will be informed from the finding of the study if any relationship exists amongst learning style, and achievement motivation.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is to investigate learning preference and academic achievement of biology student. The study is however delimited to selected senior secondary schools in Aba, Abia State.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that instructional materials and teachers motivation discourse is vast thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only selected senior secondary schools in Lagos State. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other states within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.


1.9 Definition of key Terms

Learning Styles

Learning styles are individual’s preferences for the process of learning.

Academic performance

This refers to the level at which a student, teacher or institution has managed to reach their educational goals.


1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on learning preference and academic achievement of biology student using some selected secondary schools in Aba, Abia 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 learning preference and academic achievement of biology student using some selected secondary schools in Aba, Abia State as a case study. The study is was specifically set to ascertain the most preferred learning style among biology students, determine whether there is any significant difference in students’ preferred learning styles based on gender, and determine whether there is a correlation between students’ preferred learning style and their academic performance.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 130 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are resident in biology students of some selected secondary schools in Aba, Abia State.


5.3 Conclusions

In conclusion, the findings derived in this study could potentially assist the educators in considering appropriate instructional strategies in order to facilitate for a more conducive environment for learning. The appropriate match between teaching styles to learning styles can significantly enhance academic achievement, students’ attitudes, aptitude and behaviors, hence, leading to a more meaningful learning. Understanding learning styles is crucial for educators especially in developing teaching techniques and curriculum design. Thus, lessons that employ the ‘one-size-fit-all’ approach of teaching and learning is no longer practical. Teaching styles and learning styles which are inconsistent from each other would impact students’ academic performance negatively. Students tend to be inattentive and uninterested in class, perform poorly in tests, become discouraged about the course and thus may eventually see themselves as low achieving students (Kadir, 2013). Conflicts would arise in educational settings resulting in negative consequences for both parties; the learners and educators. One of the conflicts suggested is due to the unaligned educator’s teaching styles with the learner’s learning styles (Jhaish, 2010).


5.4 Recommendation

The following recommendations were proffered with respect to the findings of the study;

  1. Students should regulate their learning and adopt appropriate learning styles to increase their Mathematics biology.
  2. There should be continuous public enlightenment campaign on the importance of learning styles, self-regulated learning skill as well as achievement motivation. This enlightenment campaign should be carried out at all levels; Federal, State and LGA.
  3. There is need to help secondary school students overcome every problem associated with learning styles. Such help and effort, by school guidance counselors, school authorities, parents and teachers, will go a long way to increasing students‘ biology achievement and at the same time help students to reduce the stress caused by failure.
  4. Teachers should be trained on the strategies which are related to the students learning styles and at the same time help students to belief in their own capability, attribute their success or failure to internal factors as well as reduce their anxiety level.

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