The Problem Of Teaching And Learning Of Computer Science In Tertiary Institution

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science Education

The Problem Of Teaching And Learning Of Computer Science In Tertiary Institution


Abstract


This project work was carried out to examine the problem of teaching and learning of Computer Science in tertiary institutions in Enugu State. The population for the study consisted of 282 respondents. The study employed simple random sampling. Descriptive survey design was used to generate data for the study. Structured questionnaire was used to elicit information for the study. The instrument was validated by three research experts, two from the Department of Vocational Teacher Education, Enugu state university.The questionnaire was pilot tested with a sample of 30 computer science lecturers. Cronbach Alpha reliability test was used to determine the internal consistency of the instrument and this yielded a reliability coefficient of .77. Data were analysed using mean statistic for the research questions and ANOVA was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. Based on the findings, it was revealed that there was no significant difference in the mean rating of HODs and lecturers on the strategies for improving the funding strategies required for the teaching of computer studies. It was concluded that there are some basic strategies that could be adopted in other to improve the teaching of computer science in tertiary institutions in Enugu state. It was recommended that school administrators should be sponsored on retraining programmes at least twice a year through workshop, seminars and conferences to enable them learn the modern technological skills in their chosen field of endeavour.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Background information from creation shows that there has been consistent search by man to improve and raise the standard of his existence. The ever-increasing research has been necessitated and moved by the simple need to address the challenges posed by his environments.

As a result of this need, a number of inventions have been made in virtually every field of human life. The computer system is one of the most evident of such inventions. It is a tool specifically made for computable problems. In most areas, it is an indispensable tool. The knowledge of the ability to use the computer have become so important and indesperate that there is new ever need to teach it in our tertiary institutions.

The history or the modern computer date back to the nineteenth century, when in 1834 in England, an English Scientist named Charles Babbage developed a program controlled mechanical digital computer in-cooperating a complete arithmetic unit.

The first generation of computer include the types discovered by Babbage, it performs operations in predetermined sequence, Babbage used cardboard holes punched into them for present all types of information to the machine.

The second generations of computer was based on punched card machines, the USN Census of 1890 utilized this technology. The third generation of computer resurfaced in the terties which was mainly for commercials, it was called UNIVAC. I designed by Eckert and Mandy, IBM 360/370 series and many more also included.

The late seventies came up with well-known personal computer like Radio shark, Apell 11 113mpc, this group could be classified as the fourth generation of computer.

The fifth generation of computer influenced the business community, this came in with a lot of software. We have computer with 80286, 80486, 80586, Intel Chips. They were of enormous speed and fund their way into every office and institution.

The latest and sixth generation of computer is the Pentium technology. They are very fast, when computer first came to Nigeria,

our colonial masters were in control of most of the firms that could afford one. As such the trend was to purchase foreign software packages. The fact that, there were few software manufactures in the country did not help matters at all. Computers were born and raised by armed forced and popularized by the consumer economy. But their greater in value may prove to be neither military nor commercial with the cold was recording. It is now apparent that we are controlled by two or more over whelming challenges. Computers were first applied to massive Mathematical problems for which the military wanted answers such as explaining the Terrence, greater by atomic explosions. Nowadays, the labour markets, it selective preferring candidates who posses the skill to use the computer. To prepare students on the new demands of the world labour market, institutions now introduce computer science in their curriculum.

The accelerating awareness of the authentic and unique role of computer science in the social, economical and political life of a country led Nigeria to the social, economical and political life of a country led Nigeria to the introduction and adaptation of an education policy that necessitated the inclusion of computer science in the curriculum in the various institutions of higher learning. The processing of information whether in business, education or government has become one of the world major endeavour computers are indispensable in this effort and students at all levels particularly in tertiary institutions want to learn not only what computers are but also what computers can do and cannot do. Many of these students hope to understand how they can use computer to solve problems and to process information to help all such people achieve those educational objectives. Also the realities and international competition require business organization to be more effective and efficient through the development of the appropriate and necessary resources and the acquisition of essential skills.

To realize the objectives of this program at all levels of education calls for employment of teachers whose educational qualifications training and expense both in science and social science sufficiently equipped them in turn to produce skilled manpower in the field. The over all aim of introducing computer science is therefore to train those who will hopefully look to gainful vocation in the field of education, business, industries and also government services. According to Garish (1997) stated that: it is very unfortunate that many Nigerians associate computer science with madness. One is often looked upon to be queer in the society when one introduces oneself as a computer scientist. This views worse still, many atimes students are meant to believe that computer science is very difficult course. This has a bad psychological effect especially on the beginners in tertiary institutions and they begin the course with fear, expecting total failure.

From what Garish said above, one may say that one of the factors which help to retard the progress of computer studies in the country is that some students and even teachers associate computer science with insanity and difficulty. Contributing John Peter (1999) stated that it may also be because of loss of confidence on the part of the students usually through missing some steps in an argument or through failing to master some piece of technique example in programming a given information. If however, it is admitted that lack of success leads to loss of confidence.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

This research work is designed to find out whether there are unqualified teachers/lecturers in the tertiary institution of the department of computer science, whether there is also the problems of poor teaching method in our tertiary institution and lack of computer science laboratories.

The inappropriate teaching restore equipment and unconducive environment for teaching and learning is a problem that calls for study in this work.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of the study is to examine the problems of teaching and learning of computer science in tertiary institution and determine strategies for improving computer science in tertiary institutions in Enugu State. The study specifically sought to determine:

  1. The funding strategies for improving the teaching of computer science in tertiary institution in Enugu State.
  2. The strategies for improving the availability and quality of instructional facilities required for the teaching of computer science in tertiary institution in Enugu State.
  3. The strategies for improving teaching methodology required for the teaching of computer science in tertiary institution in Enugu State.
  4. The strategies for improving the availability and quality of human resources required for the teaching of computer science in Enugu State.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the funding strategies required for the teaching of Computer science in tertiary institutions in Enugu State?
  2. What are the strategies for improving the availability and quality of instructional facilities required for the teaching of Computer science in tertiary institutions in Enugu State?
  3. What are the strategies for improving teaching methodologies required for the teaching of Computer science in tertiary institutions in Enugu State?
  4. What are the strategies for improving the supply and quality of human resources required for the teaching Computer science in Enugu State?

1.5 Hypotheses

Four null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and will be tested at 0.05 level of significance.

H01: There is no significant difference (p < 0.05) in the mean response of HODs and lecturers on the strategies for improving the funding strategies required for the teaching of Computer science in tertiary institution in Enugu State.

H02: There is no significant difference (p < 0.05) in the mean responses of HODs and lecturers on the strategies for improving the availability and quality of instructional facilities required for the teaching of Computer science in tertiary institutions in Enugu State.

H03: There is no significant difference (p < 0.05) in the mean responses of HODs and lecturers on the strategies for improving teaching methodologies required for the teaching of Computer science in tertiary institutions in Enugu State.

H04: There is no significant difference (p < 0.05) in the mean responses of HODs and lecturers on the strategies for improving the availability and quality of human resources required for teaching of Computer science in tertiary institutions in Enugu State.


1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be of great help to the present and prospective policy makers in Nigerians educational system in the area of planning and curriculum development.

The knowledge is enriching and therefore will be of great help to students, lecturers and other researchers who might be interested in this and other related areas. The findings of the study will help the administrator and student who are directly concerned in this topic/project to solve their problems.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The research work was limited to the tertiary institutions in Enugu State with emphasis on problems of teaching and learning of computer science in tertiary institutions. It is however; believed that the findings and conclusions of this study will be applicable to other Tertiary Institutions in the country. The investigation was limited to student of computer science.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of Findings

Based on the data collected and analyzed, the following major findings of the study are:

  1. Ten strategies on the ways for improving the funding of computer science were in strong agreement with the opinions of the respondents (HODs and lecturers). This was with means ranging from 3.19 – 4.24.
  2. A total of 10 items were considered as what should be the strategies for improving the availability and quality of instructional facilities required for the teaching of computer science in tertiary institutions in Enugu State. They were in agreement with the opinions of the respondents with means ranging 3.89 – 4.14.
  3. All the 15 items on the strategies for improving the teaching methodologies required for the teaching of computer science were agreed to as important by the respondents with means ranging from 3.98 – 4.28.
  4. All the eight items on improving the availability and quality of human resources required for the teaching of computer science were agreed to by the respondents as important with means ranging from 4.15 – 4.25.
  5. There was no significant difference in the mean ratings of HODs and lecturers on the strategies for improving the funding strategies required for the teaching of computer science.
  6. There was no significant difference in the mean ratings of HODs and lecturers on the strategies for improving the availability and quality of instructional facilities required for the teaching of computer science.
  7. There was no significant difference in the mean ratings of HODs and lecturers on the strategies for improving the teaching methodologies required for the teaching of computer science.
  8. There is no significant difference in the mean response of HODs and lecturers on the strategies for improving the availability and quality of human resources required for the teaching of computer science in tertiary institutions in Enugu State.

5.2 Conclusion

The study concludes that there are some basic strategies that could be adopted in order to improve the teaching of computer science in tertiary institutions in Enugu State. The study is of the view that computer science should provide sound basis for further training in computer science at the tertiary level of education thus should be relied upon to enable students acquire the basic skills and knowledge needed to either secure a job and earn a living or to pursue further studies in the area computer and information science.

Evidence from the study also revealed that funding strategies for computer science could be used in improving the teaching of computer science in tertiary institutions. It is also found that strategies for improving the availability and supply of instructional facilities as well as teaching methodologies strategies could be used to enhance the teaching of computer science in tertiary institutions. It is evident in the study that when students are adequately trained under an improved learning environment where instructional facilities are provided and qualified lecturers engaged for the services of teaching and learning applying by proper teaching techniques there is no doubt that the performance of students in computer science will improve considerably, and as such they are bound to develop a remarkable interest in computer science and develop the necessary skills required to secure and succeed in the workplace.


5.3 Recommendations

The following recommendations were made based on the findings of the study and the implications of the study:

  1. School administrators should ensure that computer lecturers are sponsored on retraining programmes at least twice a year through workshops, seminars and conferences to enable them learn the modern technological skills in their chosen field of endeavour.
  2. The school administrators should as a matter of urgency liaise with private sectors to provide computers and other instructional materials needed for teaching of computer science.

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