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This paper investigated the effects of instructional television on Lagos State Senior Secondary School students’ performance in biology education. The design for this study combined true experimental  and pre-test- post test designs. Three levels of treatment were adopted which included Pre-recorded Instructional Television ( Experimental Group 1), Webcasted Instructional Television (Experimental Group 2) and Traditional Instruction ( Control Group). Each of the groups consisted of 30 students that were randomly selected.  Simple random sampling was adopted as a sampling technique used to ensure that each student of the population had an equal chance of being selected as subject while implementing the research design. Three hypotheses were postulated to guide the study. Biology performance test was developed and validated with a reliability coefficient of 0.75. The instructional tool ECOLOGICS (an instructional television series) for the treatment of the experimental groups was also developed. Prior to the exposure of the students to the ecological lessons used for this study, the assessment tool BIOPET was administered as pre-test to all the students within the three groups to determine their entry behaviour. Thereafter, the students in the experimental groups received biology instructions with the instructional tool ECOLOGICS while the control group received biology instructions via traditional method. This lasted for two weeks. After the treatment, the three groups were exposed to BIOPET which was rearranged as post test. The scores of students in the three groups were analysed using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA). The analysis was done by test for the levels of significant differences between the variables according to the three research hypotheses upon which the experimental work was conducted. The result of the study revealed that students’ academic performance in biology increased significantly when they were taught via (a) Webcasted Instructional Television and (b) Pre-recorded Instructional Television compared to when they were taught via Traditional Instruction.  It was also established that irrespective of its delivery mode, generally, Instructional Television engages learners in active learning by delivering lessons and abstract concepts to learners through multiple sensorial channels. Hence, it was recommendations that in order to facilitate the learning of  Biology concepts, Instructional Television should be used for teaching.


1.1       Background to the Study

Biology is fundamental to science related professionals such as medicine, pharmacy, agriculture, biotechnology, nursing, and genetics and so on. Hence, it occupies a core subject in the senior secondary school curriculum. Being the study of living things (plants, animals and microbes) in their environment, it aims at helping the child to acquire development of the society (Ajewole, 1998). Obviously, students who wish to practice any of the above listed profession cannot do without it.

Ecology, an aspect of Biology taught in schools deals with the interrelation among plants, animals and their non-living environment (Reynolds, 1994). The inclusion of ecology in Nigerian Secondary school Biology Curriculum is justifiable because it provides both the learners and their teachers a great depth of insight into basic environment principles which govern ecological relationship. In addition, it inculcates in them appropriate environmental attitudes which will enhance their commitment to or motivate them to apply inherent or acquired skills to proffer solution to environmental problems either individually or collaboratively.

Despite the importance and popularity of biology among Nigerian Students, performance at the senior secondary school level have been poor (Ahmed, 2008). The desire to know the causes of student’s poor performance in biology has been the focus of researches (Yusuf & Afolabi, 2010). Among others, poor quality of science teachers, overcrowded classrooms and lack of adequate and suitable science equipment have been observed to cause student’s poor performance (Abdullahi, 1982; Bajah 2003; Ogunniyi, 1979). In addition, poor performance of students in biology result from too large and heterogeneous classes in terms of ability level, ill-equipped laboratories and overloaded syllabus (Ajayi, 1998; Ahmed 2008). According to Osasioma (1994), the teaching and learning of Ecology in Nigerian secondary schools had experienced a  lot of problems as teachers and students find it difficult to teach and learn. This is because it involves relationship among concepts of widely disparate degree of concreteness and abstractness (Waheed & Lucas, 1992; Olagunju, 2001)

Effective teaching and learning of science, especially biology requires the use of instructional materials to make topics clearer and more lasting by making concepts which are abstract for students more concrete. Non-use of classroom resources has also been identified as a cause of poor performance of students in science subjects (Nwosu, 1998). Nwosu (2000) and Bassey (2002) observed that there are few learning resources (instruction materials) for science teaching in Nigerian public secondary schools, most of which are not in good condition. Kara (2008) observed that the usage of visual instructional materials is so much important in the instruction of abstract concepts as being included in science lesson, understanding of the subject by students and improving positive attitude towards the course.

Nowadays, electronic devices such as computers and televisions have been incorporated into classroom instruction and therefore utilized as both materials and methods of instruction and instructional media in the developed and developing countries. These audio-visual instructional materials are used to reinforce learning because they are supported by a variety of sound image and animation which make learning more listening, interesting and effective. Demirel (2004) observed that learning is gained by reading in 10%, hearing in 20 %, seeing in 30 %, both seeing and hearing 50%, telling 70% and doing and telling 90%. For these reasons, Kara (2008) noted that visual materials which are supported by audio and animations are more effective on student’s learning, perception and synthesizing. The researcher concluded that scientific lessons  should be developed and supported by visual and audio instructional media to draw students attention and therefore ensure that learning lasts longer, to reflect science nature and accelerate learning. An example of such instructional media is Instructional Television (ITV).

The role of Instructional Television(ITV) is very important in a developing nation such as Nigeria where education is rated as the most important instrument of change. There exist some evidences on the instructional value of television as well as the effectiveness of its application in reforming the educational sector in some developed and developing nation. For instance, Hawkridge and Robinson (1982) were of strong view that educational television has succeeded in introducing new methods and attitudes and that it has provided for greater equal educational opportunities. The range of differences in standard between the best and poorest television schools is small when measured by students achievement on test and some of the rural school are in fact among the best now.

ITV has also been used by the Chinese government while implementing the Distance Education Project for Rural Schools (DEPRS) between 2003 and 2007 so as to improve the quality of basic education in rural areas of China, especially in the poorer Western provinces. McQuaide (2009) described the effectiveness of ITV in implementing the  DEPRS in China as follows: “The project has had a visible impact on raising the quality of rural education by enriching learning resources and alleviating teacher shortages. Courses that were not offered in the past are now available to village children. About 83% of rural school teachers in the western provinces have attended teacher training programs. Students have become more interested in learning and their intellectual horizon has been widened thanks to a variety of learning resources conveyed to them through the three delivery models.”

Obviously, educational revolution is crucial key to Nigerian economy development. However, Instructional Television is a platform on which any nation who wishes to use education as a tool to revolutionize its economy must stand on. This is because ITV can be used to improve the quality of existing service in the formal educational system while at the same time it can be deployed for equalizing educational opportunities among citizens.

1.2       Problem Statement

The poor performance of students in biology has been attributed to poor quality of science teachers, overcrowded classrooms, lack of adequate and suitable science equipment (Abdullahi, 1982; Bajah 2003; Ogunniyi, 1979) and ill-equipped laboratories (Ajayi, 1998; Ahmed 2008). These problems have posed threat to the standard of education in Nigeria. These challenges had been resolved in some countries by integrating ITV into classroom instruction. Sofowora (2007) observed “that Niger, was reputed as early as 1970’s to have one of the most realistically planned ITV services “ to meet the nation’s educational need.

According to Nigeria national policy on education (2004), “education is the most instrument of change, any fundamental change in the intellectual and social outlook of any society has to be preceded by educational revolution. Radio and television educational broadcasting shall form a feature of the educational support services system”. This implies that the need to integrate television into classroom instruction is recognized by Nigerian Government. However, there is need to investigate the effectiveness of ITV when it is implemented to teach science especially biology in Nigerian Secondary Schools; moreover there are different modes delivery of ITV and there is need to determine the most appropriate one or combination to use. It is based on this background that this research was conducted. Thus, this study  investigated the effects of Instructional Television (ITV) on the performances of senior secondary school students in biology. Specifically, it examined the following:

  1. The differences in performances of students when they were taught biology through:             (a) Pre-recorded Instructional Television (PITV) and (b) Traditional Instruction (TI).
  2. The differences in performances of students when they were taught biology through:                   (a) Webcasted Instructional Television and (WITV) (b) Traditional Instruction (TI).
  3. The differences in performances of students when they were taught biology through:                (a) Webcasted Instructional Television and (WITV) (b) Pre-recorded Instructional Television (PITV)

1.3       Research Questions

  1. What are the differences between the performance of students who are taught biology through : Pre-recorded Instructional Television (PITV) and Traditional Instruction (TI).
  2. What are the differences between the performance of students who are taught biology through : Webcasted Instructional Television (WITV) and Traditional Instruction (TI).
  3. What are the differences between the performance of students who are taught biology through : Webcasted Instructional Television (WITV) and Pre-recorded Instructional Television (PITV)

1.4       Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were tested in the course of this study:

Ho1:    There is no significant difference between the performances of students who are taught biology through (a) Pre-recorded Instructional Television (PITV) and (b) Traditional Instruction (TI).

Ho 2:   There is no significant difference between the performances of students who are taught biology through (a) Webcasted Instructional Television (WITV) and (b) Traditional Instruction (TI).

Ho3:    There is no significant difference between the performances of students who are taught biology through (a) Webcasted Instructional Television (WITV) and (b) Pre-recorded Instructional Television (PITV)

1.5       Significance of the Study

This study will be significant to the following:

1.      Government and Non-governmental Educational Agencies in their pursuit of solution to the ravaging mass failure of students in science subject, especially biology in secondary schools.

2.      Curriculum Planners who seek to know the effects of different delivery methods of Instructional Television on students’ performance.

3.      Private Institutions who wish to develop Instructional Television programmes for science learning as a measure to remediate the problem of shortage of skilled professionally qualified science teacher among others.   

1.6       Limitation of the Study

This study was characterized by some limitations due to insufficient fund and limited time within which the study was                                                                                                                         conducted. First, the study was designed to focus on learning of biology by senior secondary students drawn from two private schools and one public secondary schools in Lagos State.  Furthermore, the senior secondary school two (SS2) students are but only few students which were exposed to the biology instructions among the vast majority of other students in other schools within the state. In addition, the study did not examine other types of Instructional Television than Direct Teaching for delivering lessons content because this type of ITV can be used in schools that lack limited science equipment as well as trained science teachers.  Furthermore, the content was limited to two topics of the whole Senior Secondary School Biology curriculum because of the time frame allotted for the study.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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