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THE EFFECT OF INFORMATION VISUALIZATION ON TEACHING AND LEARNING BASIC TECHNOLOGY
The study attempted to investigate the effect of information visualization on teaching and learning basic technology in the Junior Secondary Schools in Lagos State, Nigeria. The study equally reviewed some important and extensive literatures under sub-headings. The descriptive research survey design was applied in the assessment of respondents’ opinions towards the subject-matter. In this study also, five research questions and five null hypotheses were formulated and tested with the applications of the mean (x) and standard deviation (sd) for the analyses of the research questions and the questionnaire responses from the selected respondents, the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient and the independent t-test Statistical tools for the null hypotheses at 0.05 significance level. A total of 100 (one hundred) respondents, 50 (fifty) male and 50 (fifty) female teachers were selected for this study. The results of the study found out that: Hypothesis one is a significant effect on the effect of Information visualization tools on students’ performance in science subjects at the Junior Secondary Schools in Lagos State, Nigeria; Hypothesis two indicated that there is a significant difference between the academic performance of students taught by teachers who are computer literate and those who are not literate; Hypothesis three showed that there is a significant relationship between the availability of information visualization tools and teachers’ effectiveness in the Junior Secondary Schools in Lagos State, Nigeria; Hypothesis four revealed that there is a significant relationship between the level of awareness of the use of information visualization among science teachers and teaching effectiveness in junior secondary schools in Lagos State, Nigeria and finally,hypothesis five showed that there is a significant relationship betweenteachers’ access to Information visualization tools and mastery of subject matter among science teachers at the Junior Secondary Schools in Lagos State, Nigeria. Based on the analyses of data, the following recommendation was made by the researcher that students should develop interests in the use of the information visualization tools available in the schools for their daily teaching and learning processes in the basic technology subject at the junior secondary school level in Lagos State, Nigeria and that teachers should ensure that they are literate on the use of the information visualization tools in the teaching and learning processes in the schools in Lagos State, Nigeria. This is because, if teachers in basic technology are all literate in the use of computer and other related information visualization tools, they would be able to carry out effective teaching and learning activities in the subject and in the schools in the state.
1.1 Background of study
Information is the numeral system most commonly used for encoding and decoding textual computer information. It is the answer to a question of some kind, from which data and knowledge can be derived from (Ware, 2014). Information is conveyed either as the content of a message or through direct or indirect observation of certain things. Information is retrieved in its raw state as data and processed into decodable and meaningful information. According to Barnes (2003), information is collected and analyzed to create suitable information for decision-making. Spence (2011), is of the opinion that, since the eye is used as primary sense, a path-way into the mind that allows users to see and register what they have seen in their minds. The eye is an important organ of the body that humans cannot do without. Therefore, SanJos (2012) opined that, to communicate effectively, the use of visualization is key to reflection on what the mind conceptualizes in human beings.
Visualization is a process of taking raw data and converting them to a form that is viewable and understandable to humans. Jinsheng (2010), explains that visualization can refer to what visualization (the product, object or visual image) or the how of visualizing (the process, activity or skill). Merriam-Webster (2010), defines visualization as the “formation of mental images” or “the act or process of interpreting in visual terms or of putting into visible form.” Visual representations and interaction techniques take advantage of the human eyes, broad bandwidth pathway into the mind to allow users to see, explore, and understand large amounts of information at once.
Information visualization focuses on the creation of approaches for conveying abstract information in an intuitive way. Salaberry (2011), observed that, information visualization involves visual as well as interactive presentation and organization of complex data in a clear, compelling and convincing representations. Rober (2014), also opined that, information visualization can thus, be seen as an essential element in human daily lives, especially those in data-driven professions, such as online educators (teachers, students and stakeholders). Pylyshyn, (2013), states that, presentation in teaching and learning processes is very important for users of information to understand the messages of the communication taking place using information visualization tool. The amount of information required to process by a human brain can be overwhelming.
For a basic technology teacher to effectively handle the subject at the basic school level, preparation and effective use of information visualization tools are needed. This could be in terms of reading through what is to be taught, writing note of lessons, crossing appropriately all ‘Ts’ and all ‘I’s’, and above all, having the a clear knowledge of the effective and expertise use of information visualization components and other teaching and learning materials in the classroom in order to deliver the lesson effectively and for the students to maximize the objectives of what has been taught and learnt. According to Arinze (2004), effective teacher preparation in basic technology comes as a result of previous professional development the teacher had undergone. This culminates from the strict education the teacher has received which had helped him to master the nitty-gritty of the arts of teaching, learning and classroom management. Greenfield (2006), observes that both the preparation and professional development of a teacher, give the teacher in basic technology, the impetus and academic authority to effectively teach in the classroom, and by extension, the effective learning ability of the students. Greenfield is of the opinion that, effective teaching in basic technology as a result of effective preparation and professional development, result in effective students’ academic achievement in subject-matter, at any school level (primary, secondary and tertiary institutions).
The teacher occupies a very important position in any school system. According to Akande (2005), teacher’s work is very crucial because without the teacher, there will be no president, the governors, senators and illiteracy would have covered the whole earth. With the teacher, there is enlightenment, knowledge and civilization in the world. No nation can rise above its teachers. Therefore, the teaching profession is important because it is the job that produces educated and learned people for the development of the society (Wuji, 2005).
Before one becomes a teacher in basic technology, a studious stage is passed through. For instance Uzor (2006) agrees that a teacher in basic technology passes through the teacher-training college or the University education to become a trained and experienced teacher. According to Uzor, the essence of a basic technology teacher going through rigorous teacher-education or training, is to arm oneself with the appropriate skill, ability and expertise that are inherent in the teaching and learning processes in the subject-matter. As Onyeji (2007) puts it, in basic technology, teachers are trained in order to acquire the needed skills of teaching i.e. knowing what to teach (mastery of content) and knowing how to teach (mastery of methodology). The basic technology teacher, who is trained and experienced, equally knows how to manage the classroom and how to deliver theobjectives of what is taught in the classroom. At any stage or school level, a teacher in basic technology requires to acquire cognate experience and training to effectively deliver the lesson in the classroom. Appropriately, Abagunde (2004), opined that, students’ performance in basic technology at the junior secondary school level is largely dependent on the extent of how teaching is carried out and the extent instructional materials like the information visualization aids are used in the classroom.
Adeleke (2006), is of the view that, to determine the performance of the students in basic technology, teachers’ performance in the subject, the teacher must be versatile in the use of information visualization aids such maps, projectors, slides, computers, calculators etc. The primary goal of a teacher in basic technology is for the students to have high academic achievement and to excel in their educational career at the end of any examination(s) or tests in the class. Highly trained and experienced teachers in basic technology, produce students that are excellent in academic and in characters as well at the junior secondary school system in Nigeria.
A student is said to have performed well if he/she scores 60% and above in any examination(s) and test(s) organized by the school at the end of any school year or session. A traditional assumption in teaching has been that students require challenging learning tasks, tasks of intermediate difficulty. This idea has been disproved. Research shows that students need and enjoy very high success rates, which come only from tasks at an appropriate difficulty level that are clearly taught and readily comprehended. For example, Good and Good (2001) and Everton (2003), found that high socio-economic status elementary children learned best when the teachers’ questions elicited about 70% correct responses, while low socio-economic status pupils learned best with about 80% correct answers to questions. They concluded that learning proceeds best when the material such as information visualization is some-what new or challenging, yet relatively easy for children to understand and integrate with existing knowledge and skills. Another study carried out by Filby(2005), concluded that, younger students and less able students, almost errorless, performance high during the teaching of an effective science teacher using appropriate teaching and learning aids, which equally produces better and greater satisfaction to both the teacher and the students.
According to Olabisi (2003), many teachers in basic technology, do not know what to teach and how to deliver the main objectives of the subject to their students. Some others are illiterates when it comes to the applications of certain information visualization equipment in the classrooms. These remarkable weaknesses by these teachers may be as a result of lack of mastery of content or practically not knowing how to teach in the classroom. In other words, effective teachers in basic technology apply knowledge and utilize available materials such as information visualization and other important materials to deliver the subject in their classes. For instance, the effective basic technology teachers monitor students’ progress which takes place at all levels of the school system. The effective teachers in basic technology monitor minute-by-minute comprehension, drawing, reading and writing skills of students, their overall success and engagement rates along with the longer term achievement records of every student in the subject-matter.
There ought to be an inter-locking existence between theory and practice, which is why included the subject basic technology as part of the subject to be offered in junior secondary education. Basic technology is the use of scientific knowledge used in practical ways to solve human problem. Junior secondary education is the education which a child receives immediately after primary education. With the use of visual aids in practical subject like basic technology, students are motivated by solving real-world problems, which make them to articulate a preference for doing things rather than listening to one person talking, most instructors believe learning with practice is the most effective way for students to learn (Authentic learning for 21st century, education-use learning initiative). This buttresses the Chineses adage which says “what I hear I forget, but what I see I remember”. Teaching students at the junior secondary school level with the use of information visualization gives them the needed motivation for higher academic performance (Uzomah, 2012).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problems inherent in the poor use of the information visualization cannot be overemphasized. This is because of the abstract nature and theoretical method of teaching basic technology at the junior secondary school level without minding the level and ages of the students. This makes the method of delivery for the students somewhat difficult for comprehension.
Due to poor system of lesson delivery, most times students are not able to relate what they have been taught in class because the teacher failed to apply certain vital aids that enable students visualize what has been taught in the classroom. Teachers in basic technology neglect the use practical work to teach the students, this is why most students in basic technology fail to grasp the main object of the lesson at the basic level.
In another development, some factors that lead to poor performance in basic technology can be attributed to the followings: lack of visual aids, lack power supply, by the school, non-availability of facilities or equipment, poor mastery of content and methodology by the teachers, poor motivation by the learners, lack of interest by the student, use of conventional out-dated methods in teaching, teachers’ illiteracy in the use of computers, lack of innovations in teaching and learning of the subject and so on. The above identified problems, gave rise to the examination of the effect of information visualization on the teaching and learning of basic technology at the junior secondary schools in Lagos State, Nigeria.
1.3Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to examine the effect of information visualization on teaching and learning of basic technology in Lagos Mainland Junior Secondary Schools. The objectives of this study are:
1.4 Research Questions
Answers were sought to the following research questions
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were tested:
Ho 1. There is no significant effect of Information visualization tools on students’ performance in science subjects at the Junior Secondary Schools in Lagos State.
Ho 2. There is no significant difference between the academic performance of students taught by teachers who are computer literate and those who are not.
Ho 3. There is no significant relationship between the availability of information visualization tools and teachers’ effectiveness in the Junior Secondary Schools in Lagos State?
Ho 4. There is no significant relationship between the level of awareness of the use of information visualization among science .teachers and teaching effectiveness in junior secondary schools in Lagos State.
Ho 5. There is no significant relationship between teachers’ access to Information visualization tools and mastery of subject matter among science teachers at the Junior Secondary Schools in Lagos State.
1.6 Significances of the Study
The way individuals utilize information visualization tools informed by the research findings will be of vital importance to high quality education for the teachers and students at the Junior Secondary Schools. The Information visualization tools can be used to create learning environments where students are allowed to explain and defend their thinking, opinions and decisions in order to cultivate critical thinking and meta-cognition.
1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
This study is intended to focus on Information Visualization competence for Technology teachers for effective teaching of basic technology in junior secondary school. It is delimited to information visualization competent, skill needed for the effective teaching of basic Technology in Junior Secondary School. The findings of the study will be hindered by the shortfall of finances, time and the inhibition of the respondents to answer accurately the items presented in the study. In terms of geographical area, this work will cover fifty percent of both government and private junior Secondary schools that offers basic technology within Mainland development area of Lagos state.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Information Visualization: This is a teaching and learning tool that adds effectiveness in the teaching and learning processes in the basic technological schools in Lagos State.
Tools: These are materials used in teaching and learning processes
ICT Knowledge: This is the ability to apply the knowledge in the Information and communication technology in the field of teaching and learning in schools at the junior secondary schools.
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