The effects of computer-based genetics lessons on the academic achievements of eighth grade students, HG Berkant, A Efendioğlu

Tags: science lesson, CBIT, posttest, academic achievement, Multimedia Learning, science lessons, experimental group, Computers in Human Behavior, genetics, British Journal of Educational Technology, experimental application, control group, Constructivist Learning, Cukurova University, Computer-Based Learning, Learning and Instruction, Academic Achievements, Computer Experience, Interactive Multimedia Learning, Students, Educational Communications and Technology, Meaningful Learning, pilot study analyses, Computer Based Education, information sources, Turkey Faculty of Education Department of Primary Education, learning process, Turkey Faculty of Education Department of Educational Sciences, experimental research, principles, Akin Lecturer Cukurova University, Educational components, instruction, control groups, learning theory, meaningful learning theory, Kahramanmaras University, instruction tutorial, ANCOVA
BERKANT, Hasan Gьner Assist. Prof. Dr. Kahramanmaras University, Turkey Faculty of Education Department of Educational Sciences [email protected]
EFENDOLU, Akin Lecturer Cukurova University, Turkey Faculty of Education Department of Primary Education [email protected]
Abstract The main purpose of this experimental research is to determine the effects of computer based instruction tutorial (CBIT) method that was designed for genetics lessons according to meaningful learning theory on the academic achievements of eight grade students. To realize this purpose, one experimental group and one control group were chosen among the eight grade classrooms in Adana City. In the experimental group, the genetics unit in science lessons based on CBIT method was carried out by the researchers, besides in the control group the science lessons based on whole class teaching (WCT) method were carried out by the own teacher of class. The science lesson academic achievement test which was developed by the researchers was used to collect data from students. At the end of the study, it was found that, there is no meaningful difference between the academic achievements of experimental and control groups. Thus, in this study there wasn't found any contribution of CBIT on science lesson academic achievement. Keywords: Science lesson, genetics unit, academic achievement, computer based instruction tutorial (CBIT), multimedia learning,
Introduction Educational components such as curriculum, contents, methods, materials etc. must be revised according to rapid changes of technologies. This revising may adapt our teaching-learning process to modern era. During this adaptation, computer may be used as a technological tool and mediator between student and content. `A pivotal point in the early evolution of computers and learning came with the emphasis on student-computer interactions, heretofore awkward or impossible with the media and methods of the day. The computer, through which learners could interact with lessons on an individual basis, was seen as a significant breakthrough to overcoming many problems associated with programmed instruction' (Hannafin, Hannafin, Hooper, Rieber & Kini, 1996). Certainly, educators must be interested not only in the computers but also in the software including visual and auditory effects, graphics, pictures, animations etc. `In assessing the effectiveness of software, keep in mind that
the internal responses to a stimulus correspond very closely with the events of a good lesson. The students are alerted or motivated, perhaps by curiosity, to interact with the program and the objective of this program sets an expectancy for performance that interests the students' (Forcier & Descy, 2002). In this context, this study focuses on academic achievement which is expected to be supported by CBIT. E-learning `E-learning environments increasingly serve as infrastructural features of schools that enable teachers to provide students with different representations of knowledge' (Mahdizadeh, Biemans & Mulder, 2007). `In a world dominated by visual culture, textual representations and visual representations play a major role as information sources in the practice of teaching and learning' (Eilam & Poyas, 2007). E-learning is a kind of way that is used during the practices of teaching and learning for transferring information sources between teacher and students. `Elearning as instruction delivered on a computer by way of CD-ROM, internet or intranet etc. E-learning courses include both content (that is, information) and instructional methods (that is, techniques) that help people and students learn the contents' (Clark & Mayer, 2003). `The design of e-learning courses should be based on a cognitive theory of how people learn and on scientifically valid research studies. In other words, elearning courses should be constructed in light of how the mind learns and experimental evidence concerning e-learning features that promote best learning' (Clark & Mayer, 2003). The mind learns effectively when the units of knowledge are integrated meaningfully (Berkant, 2007), so e-learning contents should be developed by the meaningful units and links. Multimedia Learning The tutorial that is used in this research includes genetics concepts such as DNA, RNA, gene, nucleotides etc. These are kind of concepts that may be misunderstood by the students during the learning process. `Multimedia education can help explain difficult concepts more clearly than a textbook. Educational media can also be designed to correct common misconceptions by targeting difficult or frequently misunderstood concepts' (Huang, 2005). Multimedia learning theory presents a cognitive model of learning incorporating the presentation of information with verbal and visual media (Schar & Kaiser, 2006). This verbal and visual media are stimulative factors for cognitive processes. `There are two crucial roles for interactive multimedia, corresponding to two distinct but complementary levels of computer modelingexploratory and expressive; which, in turn, correspond to two different types of cognitive activity-exploring and building' (Wild & Quinn, 1998). Some components such as written and spoken text, pictures, animation etc. are used in the tutorial of this study. These components are important for
multimedia learning and they also are elements of some principles. Clark and Mayer (2003) have published a series of principles for how to design multimedia instruction. Three of these principles are relevant to this study: a. Multimedia principle: Students learn better from words and pictures than from words alone. b. Modality principle: Students learn better than words in a multimedia message are presented as spoken text rather than printed text. c. The redundancy principle: Students learn better from animation and spoken words than from animation, spoken words and text. It is expected that, taking into account these principles and designing the tutorial according to them may increase academic achievement in science lesson. Purpose of Research Owing to the causes that are emphasized in the introduction section, the main purpose of this experimental research is to determine the effects of computer based instruction tutorial (CBIT) method that was designed for genetics lessons according to meaningful learning theory on the academic achievements of eight grade students. Methodology This study was designed according to pretest-posttest experimental model with control group. Therefore, one experimental group and one control group were chosen among the eight grade classrooms of Primary Schools. In the experimental group, the genetics unit in science lessons based on CBIT method was carried out by the researchers, besides in the control group the science lessons based on whole class teaching (WCT) method were carried out by the own teacher of class. In each of the experimental and control groups, lessons lasted four hours. The application was realized with experimental group in computer laboratory of school. In the control group, lessons were carried out in classroom. During the lessons in control group, teacher mostly used teacher centered methods. Characteristics of the Tutorial The content of the tutorial comprises "Genetics" unit in eight grade science lesson. The tutorial consists of texts, graphics, pictures, animations, videos, sounds, visual and auditory interactions, drag and drop exercises. Students used headphone and mouse while studying the tutorial, reading the texts and doing the exercises. Headphone was used for sounds including effects, instructions, and spoken texts. Students studied the tutorial repetitively after they had finished it.
Sample This study consists of 63 students attending to eight grade classrooms. Experimental group consists of 34 students and control group consists of 29 students.
Data collection
Data is collected from Science Lesson Academic Achievement Test. The test is developed by the researchers. At the beginning of the study, the test comprised 34 multiple choice items. The items are related to the genetics unit. This test was applied to 100 students. After this application, three items of the test were eliminated and 31 items left. Table 1 indicates item analyses findings of Science Lesson Academic Achievement Test.
Table 1 Item Analyses Findings of Science Lesson Academic Achievement Test
Item Rjx Pj Sj t
p Item Rjx Pj Sj t
1. .29** .93 .26 2.13 .043 17. .53** .76 .43 5.38 .00
2. .37** .29 .46 3.40 .001 18. .31** .39 .49 2.28 .027
3. .48** .47 .50 4.84 .00 19. .23* .37 .49 3.21 .002
4. .23* .29 .46 2.03 .047 20. .44** .59 .49 5.45 .00
5. .52** .82 .39 4.60 .00 21. .59** .62 .49 9.54 .00
6. .54** .53 .50 7.96 .00 22. .50** .68 .47 5.0 .00
7. .52** .71 .46 5.60 .00 23. .60** .55 .50 7.96 .00
8. .26** .86 .35 2.68 .011 24. .48** .50 .50 5.31 .00
9. .61** .86 .35 4.91 .00 25. .54** .79 .41 4.97 .00
10. .58** .62 .49 8.62 .00 26. .39** .59 .49 2.93 .05
11. .32** .68 .47 3.08 .003 27. .30** .38 .49 2.39 .021
12. .63** .68 .47 8.62 .00 28. .40** .82 .39 4.91 .00
13. .52** .73 .45 5.0 .00 29. .36** .63 .49 4.21 .00
14. .49** .64 .48 5.0 .00 30. .29** .38 .49 2.93 .005
15. .46** .93 .26 3.02 .006 31. .39** .74 .44 4.02 .00
16. .36** .91 .29 3.02 .006
*Correlation is significant at 0.05 level
**Correlation is significant at 0.01 level
Table 2 indicates pilot study analyses findings of Science Lesson Academic Achievement Test.
Table 2 Pilot Study Analyses Findings of Science Lesson Academic
Achievement Test
Number of Items
Std. Deviation
100 19.74
20.5 0.64 0.86
As shown in Table 2, the test may be accepted as reliable and simple. Due to these findings, the test was accepted as usable for collecting data. The test including 31 items was applied as pretest and posttest to both experimental and control groups.
data analysis One Factor ANCOVA and descriptive statistics were employed by using SPSS 11.5 package programme.
In order to examine the effects of CBIT method on science lesson academic achievements of eight grade students, we use One Factor ANCOVA. The results are presented below: Table 3 indicates academic achievement posttest mean scores of the groups and posttest mean scores corrected according to pretest scores.
Table 3 Distributions of Academic Achievement Posttest Mean Scores and
Corrected Posttest Mean Scores
N Mean Corrected Mean
Experimental 34 22.79
29 24.06
As shown in Table 3, there are differences between the corrected posttest mean scores of experimental ( X =22.81) and control group ( X =24.04) in control group's favour. In order to examine whether this difference between the groups is significant, we use ANCOVA and the findings are presented in Table 4.
Table 4 ANCOVA Findings of Corrected Posttest Mean Scores
Sum of Squares
Mean Square
As shown in Table 4, there is no significant difference between the corrected posttest mean scores of experimental and control groups [F(1-60)=1.230, p> .05].
Results, Discussion and Interpretation As a result, CBIT method is not effective on science lesson academic achievement of eight grade students. Although there are some researches indicating the effectiveness of computer-based lessons or tutorials on academic achievement (Efendiolu, 2006; Harskamp & Suhre, 2006; Kerwin, 2006; Olkun, Altun & Smith, 2005; Ardac & Akaygun, 2004; Kozielska, 2004; Rahkila & Karjalainen, 1999), in this study, this effectiveness cannot be supported. Some reasons may be suggested for explaining this result. First; an observation that was made by the researchers during the experimental
application may be an explanation of this result: Some of the students in experimental group were not willing to study with the tutorial and to take pretest and posttest. This willingness might have caused such a result. CDROM based e-learning tutorial may not be sufficient for students' learning. As requirements for learning, students must have enough readiness, willingness and motivation. `Motivation is thus an important influence on behavior: intrinsic, where motives stem from the individual and/or extrinsic, due to outside influences' (Ryan & Deci, 2000). `If individuals are poorly motivated to use the package and are not encouraged to do so by their lecturers, it is likely that uptake of the software will be slow, and perhaps non-existent. This situation will be exacerbated as many students will be working alone whilst using the package' (Garland & Noyes, 2004). `There is a frequently voiced general concern that dislikes for a lack of confidence with computers may deter some students from the use of computer-based learning material, or reduce the value they attribute such material' (Bozionelos, 2001). Second; although the educational components of the tutorial such as texts, graphics, pictures, animations, videos, sounds, visual and auditory interactions, drag and drop exercises were strived to be adapted meaningfully into the tutorial by the researchers, these components might have not been perceived by the students as meaningful. According to Vom Hofe (2001), computer supported lessons does not automatically lead to a better understanding of concepts. Beside, some behaviors may not be gained by multimedia learning activities (Chang, Sung & Lin, 2007). The result of our research may be accepted as supporter of these studies. Proposals 1. This study comprises genetics unit in science lesson. In another study, different topics or units may be used as contents. 2. In this study experimental application lasted four hours. The duration of the application may be extended in another study. 3. In this study, computer-based applications were researched. In another study, computer-assisted applications may be tried in science lessons. 4. The evaluation dimension of the research was employed by pretest and posttest. In another research, students may be evaluated by process-based evaluation techniques. Bibliography Ardac, D. & Akaygun, S. (2004). Effectiveness of Multimedia-Based Instruction That Emphasizes Molecular Representations on Students' Understanding of Chemical Change. Journal of Research in Science Education 41(4): 317-337.
Berkant, H. G. (2007). The Effect of constructivist learning Based Meaningful Causal Thinking Instruction in Ninth Grade Biology Lesson o Students' Meaningful Causal Thinking, Academic Achievements, Retention and Everyday Lives Behaviours, (PhD Thesis), Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey. Bozionelos, N. (2001). Computer Anxiety: Relationship with Computer Experience and Prevalence. Computers in Human Behavior 17: 213-224. Chang, K. E., Sung, Y. T. & Lin, S. Y. (2007). Developing Geometry Thinking Through Multimedia Learning Activities. Computers in Human Behavior 23: 2212-2229. Clark, C.R. & Mayer, R.E. (2003). E-Learning and the Science of Instruction. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Efendiolu, A. (2006). The Effects of Computer Based Geometry Programme Based on Meaningful Learning on Academic Achievement and Retention of Learning of Primary School Fourth Grade Students, (Master's Thesis), Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey. Eilam, B & Poyas, Y. (2007). Learning with Multiple Representations: Extending Multimedia Learning Beyond the Lab. Learning and Instruction (Article in Press). Forcier, R. C. & Descy, D. E. (2002). The Computer as an Educational Tool. 3rd ed. New Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall. Garland, K. & Noyes, J. (2004). The Effects of Mandatory and Optional use on Students' Ratings of a Computer-Based Learning Package. British Journal of Educational Technology 35 (3): 263-273. Hannafin, M. J., Hannafin, K. M., Hooper, S. R., Rieber, L. P. & Kini, A. S. (1996). `Research on and Research with Emerging Technologies'. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.) Educational Communications and Technology, 378-402. New York: Simon & Schuster Macmillan. Harskamp, E. G. & Suhre, C. J. M. (2006). Improving Mathematical problem solving: A Computerized Approach. Computers in Human Behavior 22: 801-815. Huang, C. (2005). Designing High-Quality Interactive Multimedia Learning Modules. Computerized Medical imaging and Graphics 29: 223-233. Kerwin, M. L. E. (2006). Evaluation of a computer-based instructional Package about Eating Disorders. Computers in Human Behavior 22: 10591066. Kozielska, M. (2004). Developing Creativity of Students in a ComputerAssisted Learning Process. European Journal of Physics 25: 279-285. Mahdizadeh, H., Biemans, H. & Mulder, M. (2007). Determining Factors of the Use of E-learning Environments by University Teachers. Computers & Education (Article in Press). Olkun, S., Altun, A. & Smith, G. (2005). Computers and 2D Geometric Learning of Turkish Fourth and Fifth Graders. British Journal of Educational Technologies 36(2): 317-326. Rahkila, M & Karjalainen, M. (1999). `Evaluation of Learning in Computer Based Education Using Log Systems' Paper presented at the 29th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, November 10-13, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Ryan, R.M. & Deci, E.L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology 25 (1): 54-67. Schar, S. G. & Kaiser, J. (2006). Revising Multimedia Learning Principles by Applying a Differentiated Knowledge Concept. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 64: 1061-1070. Vom Hofe, R. (2001). Investigations into Students' Learning of Applications in Computer-Based Learning Environments. Teaching Mathematics and Its Applications 20(3): 109-119. Wild, M. & Quinn, C. (1998). Implications of Educational Theory for the Design of Instructional Multimedia. British Journal of Educational Technology 29(1): 73-82.

HG Berkant, A Efendioğlu

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