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The Impact of Collaborative Learning Method and Students’ Academic Performance in Integrated Science

The Impact of Collaborative Learning Method and Students’ Academic Performance in Integrated Science

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ABSTRACT

The study aimed at investigating collaborative learning strategy and academic performance of students in Integrated Science in secondary schools in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area. Two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The population of the study was all the JS2 students in the study area.

A sample size of one hundred (100) JS2 students was randomly selected from four (4) secondary schools in the study area. A quasi-experimental research design was adopted, Integrated Science Achievement Test (ISAT) made up of ten (10) multiple choice questions was used to collect data and the data were analyzed using independent t-test.

The findings revealed that performance of students exposed to collaborative learning strategy in Integrated Science was significantly higher than those exposed to individualized learning strategy. In addition, there was a significant difference in performance between male and female students exposed to collaborative learning strategy with inclination to the girls.

It was recommended that teachers should consistently make use of collaborative learning strategy in teaching Integrated Science besides creating a conducive atmosphere for the male students to measure up with their female counterparts.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Continuous decline in the performance of secondary school students in science examinations has heightened the anxiety of every stake holders in the educational Sector with the teacher and the learner at the centre of the challenge. It is necessary for the learners to explore strategies for improving cognition and retention in each area of subject.

However, teachers have worked out several strategies to improve cognition and retention, but there is still a setback. The low enrolment rate and the pass rate in science examinations (Integrated Science inclusive) as recorded by charity (2006) and the un-popularity of the subject is not satisfactory.

Because of these problems, questions have been raised by stake holders, policy makers and educationists about the cause of the poor performance of students in sciences both in external and internal examinations and some have attributed it to teaching strategies, some blame on the facilities and little has been said about the attitude of the learners and their learning strategies.

The Impact of Collaborative Learning Method and Students’ Academic Performance in Integrated Science

Learning strategies are the plans or the techniques a learner implores to achieve the desired learning outcome and to maximize his or her learning process. It is no doubt that many educationist, parents, teachers and even the learners are wondering on how to improve learning strategies. Many parents are worried about increasing wastage of resources as the learning outcome of their children are not improved, parents are desirous to see their children acquire improved learning strategies in order to prevent academic failure.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

It is important to note that not only does the failure bring about untold hardship and frustration to the individual learner; it also affects the society in terms of manpower needs for technological development (Eneh and Etokeren, 2006).

Learning strategies may be described as either bad or good. Bad learning strategies make the process of acquiring knowledge, skills and ideas very rigorous. They tend to waste the learners’ energy, effort and time. It leads to the acquisition of knowledge, skills and ideas which may be easily lost whereas good learning strategies make the learner to conserve effort, time and energy. The knowledge, ideas and skills acquired through good learning strategies are also stable and will not be easily forgotten by the learners.

It is on this background that this study critically looks at the two learning strategies, the collaborative learning and individualized learning strategies.

Collaborative learning (CL) may be defined as the use of permanent small group of five (5) to seven (7) students and assigning tasks for them to carry out among themselves (Dicarlos, 2005). Individualized learning is a learning strategy by which an individual is allowed to learn personally and at his or her own pace.

The influence of these two learning strategies is considered as it affects the academic performance of students in Integrated Science.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to find out the impact of collaborative learning method and academic performance of students in Integrated Science in secondary schools in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area. Specifically, the study seeks to:

  1. To compare the academic performance of students in Integrated Science when exposed to collaborative and individualized learning strategy.
  2. Compare academic performance of male and female students exposed to collaborative learning strategy.

1.4   Research Hypotheses

  1. There is no significant difference in the academic performance of students exposed to collaborative learning strategy and individualized learning strategy in Integrated Science.
  1. There is no significant difference in the academic performance of male and female students exposed to collaborative learning strategy in Integrated Science in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area.

1.5   Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be of immense benefit to the educationists in the following ways:

  1. It will assist the counselors to provide educational guidance to the students with respect to collaborative learning.
  2. It will make useful suggestions that will help in limiting students’ poor academic performance in the learning process.
  3. The findings of this research work will be of immense benefit to the learners and teachers on the approach they should adopt in learning Integrated Science.
  4. The research findings will bring about improvement by adding to the study of existing literature on the efficacy of these learning strategies in relation to students’ academic performance in Integrated Science.
  5. More so, the finding of this study will serve as a springboard and reference materials for further researches on the effect of collaborative learning and academic performance of students in Integrated Science.

1.6   Limitation of the Study

Some of the challenges encountered while conducting the research include lack of sufficient funds, short duration for the study and difficulties in having access to relevant materials.

1.7   Delimitation of the Study

The study concentrates on collaborative learning strategy and academic performance of Integrated Science students in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area.

1.8   Definition of Terms

The following terms used in the study were contextually applied by the researcher and are thus explained:

Collaborative learning: This is a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn more concepts together.

Learning Strategy: This is the plan or technique a learner implores to achieve the desired learning outcome.

Academic Performance: The level or degree of passing examination either internally or externally.

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