This study evaluated the effects of the use of audio-visual materials (AVM) in the teaching and learning of computer in the junior secondary schools of Ebonyi State. The study also examined the effect of AVM and gender on students’ academic achievement in computer studies. The performance of students taught with AVM was compared with those of students taught with conventional teaching method (CTM). In order to carry out the study effectively, three research questions were asked and three hypotheses were formulated and tested. Much related literature was reviewed. The sample for the study consisted of 100 secondary school students. The researcher constructed the test items, which were then face validated by two Experts; one in computer education and the other in measurement and evaluation after which it was administered to the students. A computer achievement test (COMSAT) was used to collect data for the study. The hypotheses were tested using the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The data obtained were analyzed. Mean and the standard deviation was used to answer the research question. The hypotheses were tested with a 0.05 level of significance. The analysis indicated that AVM had significant effects on students’ cognitive achievement in computer. Gender was a significant factor in the students’ overall cognitive achievement in computer. Thus, it is recommended to use AVM in the teaching and learning of computer, state governments or their ministries of Education and professional associations should organize workshops, seminars and conferences to train the serving teachers on the use of AVM technique. Finally, the limitation of the study and suggestions for further studies were highlighted.



Background of the Study

          We live in an age that is experiencing an ever-increasing use of computers in diverse areas of human endeavor. Computers offer great assistance in decision-making, operations control, modeling, simulation, automated manufacturing, etc. The history of development shows that so far, no industrialized nation has been able to make it without the use of computers (Inyama, 2006).

          In education, computers are used in extremely versatile ways to aid the understanding of a wide variety of students. Computer science as a feature in secondary school curricular has been faced with some challenges. Over the years, students` response to computer science, especially in public schools, has been poor and the reason seems to be that instructional materials specifically audio-visual materials may not have been used or properly utilized during instruction and this is a source of worry to the researchers considering its possible effects on students’ achievement in the subject. This stated problem has often been attributed to the effects of the use of instructional materials, specifically, (audio-visuals).

Meaningful learning is most likely to occur when information is presented in a potentially meaningful way that the information conveyed is made or presented in a way that the majority of what was taught remains permanent in the learner's memory. Webster’s Encyclopaedia Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language defines Audio-Visual Aids as “training or educational materials directed at both the senses of hearing and the sense of sight, films, recordings, photographs, etc. used in classroom instructions, library collections or the likes”.

The term has also been defined by Dike, (2011) as; those materials which do not depend solely upon reading to convey meaning. They may present information through the sense of hearing as in audio resources, sight, as in visual resources, or through a combination of senses. Indeed, the variety of such resources is a striking characteristic.

According to (Anzaku Francis, 2011) “the term audio-visual material is commonly used to refer to those instructional materials that may be used to convey meaning without complete dependence upon verbal symbols or language”. Thus according to the above definition, a textbook or a reference material does not fall within this grouping of instructional materials but an illustration in a book does. Some audio-visual components are in the nature of process and experience, for example, dramatizing an event or a procedure or making a diorama. Some of the audio-visual materials like the motion pictures require the use of equipment to release their latent value. Some do not need equipment at all like an exhibit or a study print. This term designates in common usage both material things as well as processes such as field trips.

Anzaku further stated that audio-visual materials include materials and equipment alike, that materials are considered to be a system, or body of content of potential value when put to work, while equipment or instructions, often referred to as hardware, components, are the means of presenting such content. The importance of audio-visual materials in the teaching and learning processes cannot be overemphasized. Below are some of the roles of audio-visual materials.

          Basing learning in sense experience, Extending experience, Encouraging participation, Stimulating interest, Individualizes instructions, Serves as a source of information, Making learning permanent,

          Basing learning in sense experience:   stressing the importance of audio-visual materials, ( Ngozi, Samuel, and Isaac,  2012) unanimously agreed that audio-visual materials are very important and useful in education because, the normal learner in so far as the functions of his preceptor mechanisms are concerned, gains understanding in terms of multiple impression recorded through the eye, ear, touch, and other series. This is to say that audio-visual materials are the equipment through which that function can occur, that does not occur in isolation, rather through a balanced pattern from any preceptor mechanism that are stimulated by external  occurrences.

Swank, (2011). stressing the effectiveness of visual materials in leaning, estimated that about 40% of our concepts are based upon visual experience, 25% upon auditory, 17% on tactile, 15% upon miscellaneous organic sensation and 3% upon taste smell. With the above assertion, it becomes clearer why audio-visual materials are important in the teaching and learning processes. This is because they bring the different senses' contributions together to get 100% clarity.

Extending Experience: Gopal, (2010)  stressed  that  audio-visual  materials  help  the  teacher  to  overcome  physical difficulties  of  presenting  subject  matter.  That  is  to  say,  with  audio-visual  materials,  the  barrier  of  communication and distance is broken. The culture and climatic conditions of other countries can be brought into the classroom with the aid of slides, films, filmstrips and projectors. This is important because, according to Dike,  (1993) “once the phenomenon is visualized,  the picture and knowledge become very clear and permanent”. Agreeing to this assertion, a 20th century Chinese philosopher stated that “one picture is worth a thousand words”.

Encouraging Participation; Natoli, (2011) once again added that “audio-visual materials are rich opportunities for students to develop communication skill while actively engaged in solving meaningful problems”. In other words, students certainly like it more and learn better if they are engaged in important and appealing activities. For example, involving students in bulletin board display will enhance their choice of color and aid their understanding of the concept in question or when they join the teacher in the dramatization of an event or a process.

Stimulating Interest: According to Katherine (2009) “learning takes place effectively when the teacher sets out to provide learning situation in which a child will learn because of his natural reactions of the provided materials”. During the process of learning, the teacher has to provide the learning situation to satisfy the natural reaction of the learner and this is through the use of instructional aids. The attention of the learner is caught and his interest is also won and he is ready to learn.

Fawcett Hills (1994) also contributing to the role of audio-visual materials in stimulating interest stated that “A friendly, accepting group climate is important in any learning situations, especially those materials that require students to reveal their ignorance and confront their fellow students”. When there is a climate of acceptance for learning, then learning is stimulated.

Individualized Instruction:  Lestage, A. (2009) stressed that audio-visual materials provide a means of individualizing instruction. This he said is possible through programmed learning and tapes which enable the learner to learn at his pace and also to work on his own. Moreover, according to Dike, (1993) the machine frees the teacher to work with individual students, since he or she is not now required to carry out routine drills. Production of resources by students is another way of individualizing instruction.

Making learning permanent: Audio-visual resources can play a major role in making learning permanent,  Gopal, (2010) stressed that “audio-visual methods do seem to facilitate the acquisition, the retention and the recall of lessons learned, because, they seem to evoke the maximum response of the whole organism to the situations in which learning is done. And perceptual materials readily associate themselves with the unique experiential background of each individual. (Natoli, C. 2011) stressed that audio-visual materials are important in the teaching and learning processes because “Having seen something, most people remember, for whatever that thing was, it conjures up an image at a mere mention and can be talked about freely.

Dike N.M (2011) also explained that students forget because of a lack of interest and opportunities to use the knowledge they have gained later on.  Audio-visual resources can therefore contribute to the clarity of the information presented by allowing students to visualize what is learned. Thus the sayingNatoli,(2011): What I hear, I forget, what I see, I remember, What I do, I know.

Therefore, it is extremely important to investigate the effects of the use of audio-visual materials on students’ achievement in computer education.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

          The alarming condition of junior secondary school students achievement in computer studies may be attributed to lack of interest on the part of the learners which is as a result of the absence of the use of audio-visual materials by the teacher Eze, (2012).students do not retain for long or understand what they are taught without audio-visual aids. 

          Despite the outstanding positive effect of educational aids on instructional activities, teachers still insist only on the use of a conventional approach to instruction, which is not based on sense experience nor does it extend their experience. Above all, such learning cannot be permanent. Yet, there is also evidence of low utilization and non-availability of audio-visual materials in schools, which has led to students lack of interest, attention and active participation in the teaching and learning exercise which might be responsible for the poor academic performance of students generally. Hence they have not been able to impactfully on computer education achievement.

          The problem now is will the use of audio-visual materials effectively improve students      `achievement in computer science?

1.3     Purpose of the Study

          This study mainly sought to investigate the effect of the use of audio-visual materials on students’ achievement in computer science.  

Specifically, it tends to determine:

   i.       The effect of the use of audio-visual materials on students’ achievement in computer science.

ii.       The effect of the use of audio-visual materials on male and female students’ achievement in computer science.

iii.       The interactive effect of method and gender on students achievement in computer science.

1.4     Significance of the Study

The quest for an acceptable, relevant and adequate method of instruction for teaching and learning of computer has been of great concern to science educators. The developments and innovations in the computer instructional processes tend to identify some good qualities of the use of audio-visual materials

          Discoveries from this study will encourage the use of audio-visual materials is in teaching and learning of computer education following the identification of the hindrances to maximum utilization of audio-visual resources in schools, effort will be made to minimize the effect of the hindrances and promote adequate utilization of the available resources. The result of this study will be made available to computer education teachers in the school system through workshops and seminars so that they can utilize the methods effectively in the classroom. The results of this will guide teachers on whether to separate instructional aids/materials for male and females students.

1.5     Scope of the Study

The study is concerned with the investigation of the effect of the use of audio-visual materials on students’ achievement in computer science. The study was restricted to junior secondary schools in Ebonyi State only. The study will also investigate the effect of the use of audio-visual materials on the achievement of male and female students in computer studies.

1.6     Research Questions

This study was guided by the following research questions:

1.     What is the effect of the use of audio-visual materials on students’ achievement in computer education?

2.     What is the mean achievement score of male and female students taught computer education using audio-visual materials?

3.     What is the interactive effect of method and gender on students achievement in computer science.

1.7    Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were tested at an alpha level of 0.05

HO1: There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught computer using audio-visual materials and those taught using conventional teaching method.

HO2: There is no significant difference in the mean achievement on male and female students taught computer using audio-visual materials.

HO3: There is no significant interaction between gender and method on students’ mean achievement in computer education.





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