CONSEQUENCES OF BLENDED LEARNING ON PERFORMANCE AND RETAINING OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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CONSEQUENCES OF BLENDED LEARNING ON PERFORMANCE AND RETAINING OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA  

ABSTRACT

 

This study investigates the effects of blended learning on performance and retention of senior secondary school students in English Language in Kaduna State. To give purpose, direction to the study, four objectives, four research questions and four hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The diverse views of other related literatures (concepts, theory and empirical studies) were reviewed. The study adopted a quasi-experimental pre-test, posttest, control group design. The participants of the study consist of 61 males and 111 females

(172) students sampled from the SSII stream of two schools, Government Day Secondary

School Rigachikun was the experimental group, located in the rural area of the state, while

Government Secondary School Unguwan Sarki was the control group, located in the urban area.

Purposive sampling technique was used to select intact classes used for the study.                  Two instruments were developed to guide the study. Blended Learning Package (BLP) a teacher-directed interactive instructional package which contains lessons structured in accordance with SSII, English Language syllabus particularly for 2nd and 3rd term. Blended Learning Package contains the following topics Sentence Structure, Letter Writing, Comprehension and phonology in conformity with the Nigeria Senior Secondary School curriculum. While English Language Achievement Test (ELAT) instrument is a 40-item, Multiple-choice objective test instrument with four options a-d, to which the students responded to or before (i.e. as a pre-test) and after treatment (using Blended Learning Package), it was designed to measure specific learning outcomes related to the contents of the study as contained in (BLP) and were validated using the context form of validation, by Experts in ABU, Lecturers in the Department of Foundation and Curriculum. Descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions while inferential statistics of independent

sample t-test was used to analyze the hypotheses using SPSS IBM version 20. 0.05 level of significance was used as the basis for which the hypotheses was rejected or not rejected. The findings indicate that technology does not enhance learning until it is supported by those conditions of learning such as factual information and learners‟ cognitive skills, especially the learners‟ ability to read, write, recall past experience and relate to new information.                    It recommended that for effective teaching and learning, teachers at all levels must be encouraged and trained to ensure learners acquire the essential, rudiments and skills of reading  and writing, this is necessary for effective teaching and learning in all disciplines with or without technology.

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

In this knowledge age, in which technology has been advancing and information has been rapidly increasing and refreshing, teachers working in educational environments requires more efforts to provide students with information by using effective technology based methods.It is a basic educational principle that teaching and learning is best achieved when generalizations and theoretical concept are developed through experience of a vivid and realistic kind. The effect of blended learning in the classroom presentation is also vital in every aspect of teaching and learning for good academic performance and retention (Kurtus, 2004).

English Language is a compulsory subject offered at the Senior Secondary School Level in Nigeria. According to Oyetunde (2006) English language is an Indo-European language belonging to the West Germanic branch; the official language of Britain and the United States and most of the commonwealth countries. In Nigeria it is the official language, the languages of law, government, education and international communication. In Nigerian educational system, English language is the medium of instruction in all educational institutions and also industrial and business training centre. It is an important subject in the school curriculum at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education in Nigeria.

The national policy on education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2013) regards education as an instrument for effecting national development. The Nigerian philosophy on education is based on the development of the individual into a sound and effective citizen and the provision of equal education opportunities for all citizens of the national at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels both inside and outside the formal system. The Federal Government laid down policy on English language for the whole country is that; in primary school, which lasts six years, each child must study two language; English language and his mother tongue (if available for study) or an indigenous language of wider communication in his area of residence.                In secondary school which is six years duration, the child must study two language, English language and indigenous language. In tertiary institutions the child must study English language under the general studies.

Since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, conscious efforts towards improving the teaching of English and the review of curriculum have been made. Education in Nigeria is the shared responsibility of the federal, state and local governments. According to Oyetunde (2006)        The Federal Ministry of Education plays a dominant role in regulating the education sector, engaging in policy formation and ensuring quality control. However, the federal government is more directly involved with tertiary education than it is with school education, which is largely the responsibility of state (secondary) and local (primary) governments.

The education sector is divided into three sub-sectors: basic (nine years), post-basic/senior secondary (three years), and tertiary (four to seven years, depending on the major or course of study). Education in Nigeria is provided by public and private institutions. According to national policy on education (FRN, 2013), basic education covers education given to children 315 years of age, which includes pre-primary programs (ages three to five), and nine years of formal (compulsory) schooling consisting of six years of primary and three years of junior secondary. Post-basic education includes three years of senior secondary education in either an academic or technical stream. Continuing education options are provided through vocational and technical schools.

The common core curriculum at the senior secondary level consists of: English, one Nigerian language, mathematics, one science subject, one social science subject, and agricultural science or a vocational subject. In addition, students must take three elective subjects, one of which may be dropped in the third year. The national policy on education (FRN, 2013) identified that students take the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) at the end of SS III. The Senior Secondary Certificate (SSC) is awarded to successful candidates. The certificate lists all subjects in which the student is successful. The SSC is issued by the West African Examination Council(WAEC) or the National Examination Council (NECO), depending on the examination board used. An average grade of „credit‟ level (C6) or better is required for access to public universities; however some require higher grades for admission. The standard of the two examinations are essentially the same. Students register for a maximum of nine and a minimum of seven subjects, which must include English language and Mathematics. A student must get at least a C in English and four other courses relevant to his or her major in order to sit for the University Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). A student applying for admission to study medicine, computer science or accounting, for example, will be required to have a minimum of a C in English language as well as in Mathematics whereas a student applying for a program in history will not necessarily require a C in mathematics.

The method for transmitting language skills has remained too theoretical and devoid, and the use of technology to stimulate the learners‟ interest and sustain their necessary skills is required. Therefore, undermining the spirit and the fundamental objectives of the subject matter; English Language. This assertion is drawn from the perspectives of failures in school examination which may be ascribed to factors guiding teaching and learning which include archaic pedagogical approaches that not in tune with global practices (Gredler, 2007).

A stronger learning environment has emerged with combining the strongest aspects of the two available approaches to remove the deficiencies of traditional learning and Web-based learning. This new learning approach is blended learning. In international literature it is also referred as hybrid learning and mixed learning and it is used in very different ways by many researchers. Rossett, Disocroll and Singh, (2003) defines blended learning as integrating face to face learning and electronic learning or distance learning, using difference learning theories, methodologies and techniques in the same place and supporting the learning with various online technologies during the learning process in the classroom. Blended learning can also be defines as the combining of the two different education models, traditional face to face learning and distance learning(Graham, 2006).

Throne (2003), on the other hand, defines the blended learning as “an education model which can integrate e-learning which has improved in parallel with new and technologic developments with traditional learning which provides the interaction in classroom”. Wilson and Smilanich (2005) see the blended learning as “the implementation of the most effective learning solutions in a coordinated way to achieve the desired learning targets”. While Horton (2000) defines it as “combining some strong and advantageous aspects of online learning and the learning in classroom” and Morgan (2002) explains that blended learning is conducted to blend the best aspects of online learning and face to face learning.

Blended learning is a new type of education prepared for a certain group by combining the positive aspects of different learning approaches. Blended learning will provide a big convenience for the course to achieve its target by combining the face to face interaction in traditional learning and time, place and material richness provided by Web-based learning. Yılmaz and Orhan (2010) state that the best way to solve the lack of interaction problem faced in technology-based learning is to blend traditional learning and online learning. Throne (2003)emphasizes that the blending of these two learning approaches occurs by combining computers, CD ROM, e-mail, conference, online animation, audio message, multimedia technology and real classroom environment and he states that it should be presented to the student with traditional classroom management and face to face learning.

From this point of view, blended learning can be a good solution by offering different learning environments to the students who have individual differences as well as approaches to learning. Besides, blended learning is a learning approach formed with the combination of the different learning environments and activity types for a certain group with the addition of

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to the face to face learning (Bersin and Associates, 2004). This approach has the facilities to meet the learning necessities of the era. The fact that it is applicable and renewable, and it has the technological innovations that are brought by our modern age stands as a proof approach which is worthy of teaching and

learning.

 

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The convergence of the global technology has produced an environment in which the medium for instruction could change (Wagner, 2008). The 21st Century philosophy of teaching and learning is „child-centred‟ as such; blended technique is organized to compliment the teacher whose role is that of a „guide on the side not a sage on the stage‟ (Christman & Badget, 2012) as it was the practice. However, most secondary school teachers in Nigeria are used to the traditional (chalk-talk) method of teaching which renders students passive listeners and make teaching ineffective, consequently affecting the students‟ performance in English Language particularly.

On the other hand, the state of knowledge explosion with increasing specialization, increase in student-teacher ratio and increase in workload of teachers, classroom instruction alone does not in most cases bring out the desired goals from the teaching and learning process, this causes some drawbacks in student performance in English Language.

From the few researches carried out in the area of English language in Nigeria, there is none specifically in the area of blended learning for Nigerian secondary school students. Among few researches carried out in the area of English languages include those of Adewumi (2010) which evaluates the use of computer in English language programme in Ilorin High Secondary School, in order to determine its relevance, suitability appropriateness to the academic, social and professional needs of Nigerian secondary schools. Tinuoe‟s (2013) also investigated the variability, effectiveness and appropriateness of the computer programming to the English language needs of Nigerian secondary school students. All these previous works more or less are in the area of computer, need and analysis, but none is specifically in the area of blended learning for Nigerian secondary schools as earlier mentioned.

Academic performance represents the results of education, it is the outcomes that indicate the extent to which a person has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in instructional environments, specifically in school, college, and university. School systems mostly define cognitive goals that either apply across multiple subject areas (e.g., critical thinking) or include the acquisition of knowledge and understanding in a specific intellectual domain (e.g., language, literature, science, history). Academic performance measured in a number of ways such as, oral and written tests; presentations, assignments, class work, projects and continuous assessment. Other forms of evaluating student‟s academic performance include; standardized tests and teacher-made tests. There is universal agreement that a major criterion of technological implementation in schools should be whether such applications actually to improve teaching and learning and improve students‟ academic performance. However, there is a consensus about the complexity and challenge of reliably evaluating the impact of technology. (Noeth & Volkov, 2004).

An investigation into the average performance of Senior Secondary students that offered

English Language in Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) in Kaduna State from

2013 – 2015 academic sessions indicated very poor performance. See appendix 1.1,(Kaduna State Ministry of Education, 2015). These records indicate that students performed poorly indeed and this raised serious cause for concern considering the huge resources expended by Government at different levels to improve the standard of education in Nigeria as a whole and Kaduna State in particular. The importance of English language to the development of art and languages in Kaduna state in particular and Nigeria at large makes it necessary to explore available strategies to improve teaching and learning of English language. Since learning can be contextualized, Blend techniques may be the medium to facilitate students‟ better learning of English language.

 

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the effect of blended learning on Performance and Retention of senior secondary school students‟ in English language in Kaduna state, Nigeria. Specifically, the study will achieve the following objectives:

  • Find out the effect of blended-learning on performance of senior secondary school students in English language.
  • Find out the effect of blended learning on secondary school students retention in English language.
  • Find out the influence of gender on the performance of students exposed to Blendedlearning.
  • Find out the influence of gender on the retention of students in English language using

Blended learning.

 

1.4       Research Questions

The following research questions were raised to guide the study:

  • What is the difference between the performance of students taught English language with blended learning and those taught with traditional method?
  • What is the difference between the retention of students taught English language with blended learning and those taught with traditional method?
  • What is the difference between the performance of male and female students taught

English Language with Blended-learning?

  • What is the difference between the retention of male and female students taught English language with Blended learning?

 

1.5       Null Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were formulated and tested at p≤ 0.05 to guide the study:

Ho1: Thereis no significant difference between the performance of student exposed to English language using blended learning and those exposed to traditional method.

Ho2: There is no significant difference in the retention of students exposed to blended learning and those exposed to traditional method.

Ho3: There is no significant difference between the performance of male and female students taught English Language using Blended-learning.

Ho4: There is no significant difference between the retention of male and female students taught English Language using Blended learning.

 

1.6       Basic Assumptions

In carrying out this study, it was assumed that:

  • Secondary schools in Kaduna state were using the same curriculum for English language.
  • Schools used for the study were adequately equipped with ICT facilities such as computer and internet connectivity.
  • Schools selected had computer literate teachers who can easily adapt to blended learning technique.
  • Students for the schools chosen have been exposed to the use of computer for learning.

 

1.7       Significance of the Study

The findings of this study may be of benefit to the students, teachers, policy makers, curriculum planners, and textbook writers:

Students may gain from blended-learning package for English Language. The gain includes; better and comfortable learning, towards learning with computers, mobile phones, internet, e-mail, and so on in which they learn at their own speed and convenience. They also have opportunities to work vastly superior materials and more sophisticated problems; personalized tutoring; and automatic measurement of progress.

Teachers may benefit from blended-learning package for English Language, as they experience less hard work and repetition, greater ease in updating instructional materials, more accurate appraisal and documentation of students‟ progress, easily to catch the learner interest

and more time to work directly with student.

Basically, the study could serve as a reference material for further studies in the application of blended-learning to teaching and learning. Especially in arts and languages

Educational software developers could mass produce blended-learning package for use by senior secondary schools teachers and students to enhance the teaching and learning of English language in senior secondary schools.

Also, the study could benefit curriculum planners to plan and designed adequate and suitable curriculum for the students at various levels, applying the modern technique (method) that save time and engage the students and easy to achieved the targeted yearning and

aspiration.

 

1.8       Scope of the Study

Kaduna State Secondary School education is structured into 12 educational zones namely: Anchau, Birnin-Gwari, Giwa, Godogodo, Kachia, Kaduna, Kafanchan, Lere,

Rigachikun, Sabon Tasha, Zaria and Zonkwa respectively. This study was limited to Senior

Secondary Schools in Kaduna State. It focused on SS II students of Government Secondary

School Unguwan Sarki (Urban school) and Government Day Secondary School Rigachikun (Rural school), Rigachikun zone. This class is the most suitable for this study because they are a consistent middle class in the SS stream, they have less tendency for distraction because they have only the terminal examination of writing English and have covered the most of the English Language syllabus.

This study was limited to four topics in English language which included: Sentence Structure (simple, compound and complex sentence), Letter Writing (formal and informal letters, writers and receivers address, date, salutation, body of the letter and closure), Comprehension (passages) and Phonology (consonant and rhymes). These topics were chosen because they belong to difficult topics in English language which students find difficult to understand and teachers find it uncomfortable to teach. The schools were purposely selected because they are among the few schools that Kaduna State Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) installed computers and other elearning equipments. The study is limited to variables of gender, achievement level and retention.

 

CONSEQUENCES OF BLENDED LEARNING ON PERFORMANCE AND RETAINING OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA  

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