Background to the study
Science is the firm base upon which modern advances in technology depends. Many breakthroughs that man has recorded in the quest to improve his life were achieved through the knowledge of science. Science has been of great importance worldwide for suitable and socio-economic development as well as for technological advancement of the nations.
The importance of science as a requirement for technological development cannot be over emphasized. Science is a way of solving problems. Oboh (2012), Apart from raising man’s standard of living, science has enabled developed nations to improve on their desire to match the fact of advancement made in industrialized countries in all facets of development. These include health, agriculture, Shelter, communication, transportation, environment and many more. Modern development is no longer possible outside, the frame work of science and technology, hence the need to teach science in schools. Science generally consists mainly of the three basic science subjects via, biology, chemistry, and physics.
Biology is one of the science subjects that senior secondary school students offer at the senior levels in the Nigerian secondary schools, (FRN, 2013). According to Ahmad and Sani Yau (2018) stated in their studies that the importance of biology and biology education for sustainable national development cannot be overemphasized as its finds its way in agriculture, pharmacy, ethno-botany, medicine, biotechnology, biochemistry, and many others.Today, Biology pervades literally every field of human endeavor, and plays a fundamental role in educational advancement. This is seen in all the technological advancement in the world today, which is because of scientific investigations. The study of Biology provides students with basic life skills and processes that helps to prepare them become productive members of the society Azuka (2015) for this reason there is need for teachers to teach it effectively. The objectives of secondary school biology curriculum have been derived from the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004). The cardinal objectives are to prepare students to acquire:
Adequate laboratory and field skills in biology.
Meaningful and relevant knowledge in biology.
Ability to apply scientific knowledge to everyday life in matters of personal and community health and agriculture.
Reasonable and functional scientific attitude.
Problems associated to poor delivery of biology instruction Identified include low morale, and poor preparation of teachers, overcrowded classroom /inadequacy of laboratory and workshop facilities, poor attitude of students to work, gross under funding and inadequacy of rewards for excellence in Science teaching and Learning(Obomanu& Nbina 2010).
Computer Assisted Instruction (also called Computer Aided Instruction) is the use of computer and its accessories in providing learning experiences and self-directed instructions to a learner using tutorial and simulation packages, with littleor no assistance from instructors. In developed countries, the use of computer as ateaching tool has reached an advanced stage (Mudasiru and Adedeji 2010). Computer Assisted Instruction is also known as electronic brain because it takes decision about the instructional material according to the needs of the learner. It is an aspect of hardware approach or educational technology first. It is used for cognitive as well as psychological objectives.
Computer assisted instruction is an instructional approach for boosting interest, uplifting mentality, building up students’ retention capacity and boosting the students’ performance (Osemmwinyen, 2009; Yusuf & Afolabi, 2010). Computer assisted instruction refers to virtually any sort of computer application in instructional settings comprising of drill and practice, simulations, instructional management, instructional exercises, database development, programming, composing using word processors, and other different applications (Gana, 2013).
Some innovative teaching strategies which could be used in teaching biology for optimum students’ performance include jigsaw and blended teaching strategy, concept mapping , visual and audio visual method, computer assisted instruction such as computer simulation, tutorials, drill and practice. For the purpose of this research study, the focus will be on computer simulation and tutorials.
Awodun (2010), Simulation involves the use of model, a simplified version of reality which reduces the complexity of a real-life situation, taking from reality only those essential features of the learning objectives. Simulation is used with the aid of computer to simplify real life situation (simulation) and this will aid to manage the class, support reluctant learners, stimulate gifted children and ease administration. Simulation can bring into the classroom, aspects of the world or universe that are too expensive, dangerous, difficult or too slow or too fast in occurrence to be experienced firsthand (Coulter, 2009). For example, there are simulation that can illustrate the human circulatory system along with its major arteries, veins and capillaries. Natural occurrences such as earthquakes, radioactivity, predator-prey relationships which occur too rapidly to be observed, can be illustrated through simulation. Robinson (2014) defines simulation as: Experimentation with a simplified imitation (on a computer) of an operations system as it progresses through time, for the purpose of better understanding and or improving that system.
Simulations provide educators with the chance to give learners an instructional tool that can enable learners to transform their alternate science conceptions into precise science conceptions. Simulation is conceived as a representation of the behavior or characteristics of a system through the use of another outlet especially a computer program designed for the purpose. It can mean mimicry, making working replicas or representations of machines for demonstration or analysis of problems but clearly illustrates real-life or hypothetical situations (Umoke and Nwafor, 2014). Simulations provide a modeled environment that is hard to enable for learning purposes since being expensive, dangerous, or requires overwhelming efforts to prepare for each time.
Rusman (2011), states that “Tutorial is giving directives, assistance, guidance and motivation to the students to learn effectively and efficiently”. Tutorials can also be regarded as the representation of teaching materials gradually. Tutorial CAI provides a one-way (computer to student) transmission of knowledge; it presents information and the student is expected to learn the information presented.