Computer Education – Extent Of Improvisation Of Instructional Material

Computer Education – Extent Of Improvisation Of Instructional Material

Computer Education – Extent Of Improvisation Of Instructional Material

Education is a very important instrument for harnessing the socio-economic and political resources of any Nation.

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The world has witnessed in the past, two major socio-economic revolutions; the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution. Presently, there is another socio-economic shift, which is the arrival of computer is being witnessed. This stage of revolution in the society emphasized the production, storage and distribution of information in various forms (Akume, 1997).

According to Alo (2006); computer is an electronic derives or machine that is capable of accepting inputs or data through input devices, processes the inputs and generates appropriate results which are displayed through the out put derives.

Computer is an electronic machine used to record, store process and recall data or information (Ezeliora, 2000). According to Mbam (2000); computer is a fast and accurate electronic machine, which is capable of accepting data as input, processes data and produces outputs under the influence of a stored program or instruction. Computer Education can be seen as learning experiences with computer for the aim of achieving the set objectives of computer Education (Nwaibe, 1994) consequently, computer Education is aimed at making the learner computer literate.

In Ebonyi state, computer Education is a welcomed development whereby the teaching of computer is being administered to all students regardless of the class they belong to in secondary schools but the problems faced here is that, they don’t have all the necessary requirements needed for effective and successful teaching and learning of computer. This requirements includes; computer Laboratories and Libraries; Enough computer systems, Electricity supply and instructional materials for computer Education.

According to Igwe (2003), Instructional materials are those materials that are being used by teachers to facilitate teaching and learning process. Some of these instructional materials are; print and non- print materials. Print materials are any written materials that can aid the teacher in teaching; a typical example is a textbook. Non-print materials are those materials that the student can see; it includes pictures and posters chalkboard, and the use of computer. In computer Education, instructional materials are used by learner in teaching and learning process to bring novelty to the lesson by making to topics being taught interesting (Nwaibe, 1994). In Ebonyi state, the instructional materials are not readily available at the reach of the teachers, there by not making the teachers knowledgeable and resourceful enough to teach. Thus; arise, the need for improvisation.

Improvisation is an act of using alternative material locally made by the teacher, students or Educational agency in a state of emergency as a substitute and supplement to standard equipment (Omiko, 2007).

According to Enaiaiyeyu (1983) improvisation in science teaching refers to the act of using alterative materials and resources to facilitate instruction whenever there is lack or shortage of some specific first hand teaching acids.

Basically, the computer system is made up of two main components namely hardware component, software components and basic computer accessories. The hardware component refers to the physical part of the computer that can be seen and touched which includes the input and output devices. Examples include; monitor, keyboard, central processing unit (C.P.U), mouse, printer, scanner and diskette (Ezeliora, 2000). The software component is a step-by-step instruction given to a computer in order to perform a specific task. Examples are programs and application packages (Alo, 2006). Computer Accessories are other equipment attached to the computer system to enable it carry out its task effectively (Ogeh, 2007). Examples include: batteries, cables and connectors, cleansing suppliers, keyboard drivers, monitor stand, power cord, uninterrupted power supply, mouse pad.

In computer Education, Both the hardware, software and basic computer accessories can be improvised. (Igwe, 2005). The teacher should look for resources or materials beyond the classroom, for sole reliance on the inadequate instructional material of the school will create undesirable class participation. According to Igwe (2005), the following component can be improvised for effective computer Education in our schools;

Monitor: A monitor can be substituted using a carton-squared shaped with the face of the carton covered with nylon material to represent the screen of the monitor. Keyboard: The keyboard can be substituted using carton, plywood, foam, small squared pieces of carton sheet or cardboard paper to produce improvised keyboards. A foam is placed on a rectangle shaped plywood and then cut a cardboard sheet in to squared small shapes to put them on the form each carrying numbers, alphabets and function to press to give input.

Printer: it can be substituted with the use of plywood or carton to produce a look alike with a standard printer.

Charts: this can be improvised by drawing on the chalkboard or on a cardboard sheet with the aid of using the pencil or marker to make the drawing of the components of computer clearer to the students. All the component of computer can be drawn on the chalk or black board to enhance better understanding of the concepts in computer Education to the students as well as improve their performance in computer Examinations.

Judging, from the above improvisation act, we can conclude that lack of standard equipment is no excuse for not providing a suitable learning environment for computer Education. The present researcher is not aware of any study concerned with the extent of improvisation of instructional material for computer Education in Ebonyi local government Area secondary schools, Hence the need for the present study.

Statement of the Problem

During my teaching practice in Ezilo Boys secondary school, Ezilo in Ebonyi state, I observed that their classrooms for the junior secondary classes are highly populated. I taught the J.S.S.11A class that was populated with eighty-five students. Moreso, one (1) computer system was provided by the school to undergo the teaching and learning process of computer. Consequently, students’ performance in their previous years exams was very poor. This is in line with Igbe (1995) when he said that computer Education cannot be effectively taught and learnt without the use of relevant instructional materials. The teaching task I experienced there was a tedious and enormous one because I made sure that each of the student experienced the computer in order for the specific objectives to be achieved which made me to use more than the required time to teach the students.

Thus; it is in the realization of these problems above that prompt me in this research “Extent of improvisation of instructional material for computer education in Ebonyi Local Government Area Secondary Schools”.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to asses the extent of improvisation of instructional materials for computer Education in Ebonyi Local Government Area secondary schools.

Specifically, the research is designed to;

i. Determine the extent of improvisation of hardware components of the computer in Ebonyi Local Government Area.

ii. Determine the extent of improvisation of software components of the computer in Ebonyi local government area secondary schools.

iii. Determine the extent of improvisation of basic computer accessories in Ebonyi local government area secondary schools.

Significance of the Study

It is hoped that the findings of this research will be beneficial to the Ebonyi state government, the teachers, the curriculum planners, the students and the parent.

The findings of this research will be useful to the teachers by making the teachers to know the components of the computer that can be improvised and the importance of improvising them for effective and successful computer Education. This act of improvisation of both the software and hardware components of computer in computer Education will aid in awakening their interest and stimulate students’ performances in their study.

The findings of this research will expose the importance of improvisation to the curriculum planners in the area of evaluation technique.

The findings of this research will be useful to the Ebonyi state government by way of getting result from their investment in Education the result, will be gotten from the act of improvisation of component of computer used to improve the teaching and learning process of computer at the secondary schools in Ebonyi Local Government Area.

More so, the parents will benefit because their wards when they are effectively taught through improvisation of instructional materials, this act of improvisation will make their wards prosper and succeed in their computer study. Thereby reducing financial wastage on their parent.

In addition, the findings of this research will make the government of Ebonyi state to organize seminars, workshops, conferences on improvisation to make the teachers resourceful enough to improvise the instructional material needed for computer Education when the standard instructional material is not readily available for effective teaching.

Scope of the Study

The research focuses on the extent of improvisation of instructional materials for computer Education in Ebonyi local government area secondary schools. The instructional material comprises the hardware component, software component and basic accessories of computer. The study is designed to cover the personnel and staff of Ebonyi local government area secondary schools.

Research Questions.

The following research questions are constructed to guide the study;

1. To what extent are the hardware components of the computer improvised in Ebonyi local government area secondary schools.

2. To what extent are the software components of the computer improvised in Ebonyi local government area secondary schools.

3. To what extent are the basic accessories of computer improvised in Ebonyi local government area secondary schools?

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

This review of literature will be presented under the following sub-headings:-

1. Meaning of improvisation

2. Types of improvisation

3. Rationale of improvisation

4. Role of improvisation of instructional materials in instruction

5. Meaning of computer

6. Importance of computer

7. Components of computer

8. Hardware components of computer

9. Software components of computer

10. Basic computer accessories

11. The place of computer in education

12. Summary of review of literature

Meaning of Improvisation

Improvisation is an act of using alternative materials locally made by the teacher, students or educational agency in a state of emergency as a substitute and supplement to standard equipment (Ogeh, 2007). Improvisation has also been defined according to Akusoba (1995) as the “choice of the best instructional materials which enables the teacher to achieve some carefully specific educational objectives”. Osuagwu (1982) also defines improvisation as the provision of materials locally made by the teachers, students or an educational agency to represent the original material or equipment. According to Enaiayeju (1983) said, “Improvisation in science teaching refers to the act of using alternative materials and resources to facilitate instruction whenever there is lack or shortage of some specific first hand teaching aids”.

Generally, improvisation could be regarded as the act of using alternative materials or equipment obtainable from the local environment or constructed by the teacher or with the help of local personnel to facilitate instruction. In this content, the term “local materials” refers to those materials easily obtainable from the immediate environment irrespective of where they are produced.

 

Types of Improvisation

Basically, two forms of improvisation can be identified. According to Igwe (2005); The first is described as “Role substitution”. Role substitution is when the original item generally requires little or no modification before it can be used to fulfill the new functions in an experimental setting, examples are; kerosene store as a burner, a glass tumbler as a beaker and such will reduce the cost for production. Computer monitor and central processing unit of a computer can be substituted using carton and polytene sheets. The second type of improvisation is described as “Role stimulation”. In this case, actual construction of the apparatus or equipment is undertaken as an emergency measure either because the needed equipment is too expensive or not really available. An example is the use of local carpenter to construct computer keyboard, skeleton, weighing balance. Other instructional materials that can be improvised include; imported charts, it can be substituted using cardboard sheet to draw the diagrams of the equipment not available with the aid of pencil or markers (coloured).

With specific reference to Nigeria, science curriculum emphasizes activity-based learning and student-centered learning.

Raw materials that are available in the locality are explored and modified to produce instructional materials, by so doing we make science teaching more meaningful and lovely to both teachers and students (Omiko, 2007).

Rationale of Improvisation

The need to improvise some materials or substitute for other is as old as experimental science itself. According to Ogeh (2007); rationale of improvisation include the following:

1. It contributes to the achievement of our education objectives by providing opportunity to develop necessary science skills, attitudinal and practical skills needed to function effectively in the society as professional scientist, technologists or generalists.

2. Improvisation undertaken by the teacher enables him to rethink and research for cheaper, better and foster methods of making the teaching or learning process easier for the students. This implies, it promotes creativity and self-reliance.

3. To some extent, improvisation fills the vacuum created by lack of shortage of since equipment by providing a frame of reference on which students can key their attention during classroom activities.

4. Improvisation provides a cognitive bridge to lead students from abstraction and its attendant” mental indigestion” to a nodding acquaintance with reality, other writers refer to this as giving students the “bread of living experience rather than the stone of abstract theory.

5. Situations where equipment are available but not affordable and/or where technical expertise for saving or repairing equipment is lacking, or spare parts and replacement items are not readily obtainable, clearly score the need for improvisation.

Based on the above rationale, the educational benefits of improvisation of instructional materials for computer education cannot be far fetched. Ideally, no effective science education program can exist without instructional materials. From Jean Piaget’s theory, it is known that in developing concepts, children go from the concrete to the abstract stages (Igwe, 2003). Piaget was of the view that knowledge is not a copy of reality. To know an object, event is not simply to look at it and make mental copy or image of it but to know an object is to act on it and there is no other way of achieving this than by the use of instructional material.

Improvisation provides a framework of references on which pupils can key their attention during classroom activities.

Role Of Improvisation Of Instructional Materials In Instruction

Though improvisation of teaching materials by teacher have been a long standing problem, yet works done in this area has been fragmentary. (Njoku, 1998). The proper use of instructional materials in the classroom requires more than a simple knowledge of general teaching methods and skills. It rather calls for teachers’ proper orientation into the production of instructional materials. Furthermore, adequate educational curriculum as the current society trends now demands, cannot be effective if the implementers (the teachers) are lacking skills and methodology with which to teach the students.

For instance, Abba (1992) revealed that there is a strong positive relationship between the use of improvised instructional materials and achievement in education. He further stressed that schools where more teacher employed instructional materials or aids in teaching get better result than schools that do not do so. He recommended that teachers should make extensive use of teaching aids and where these aids are not available; the teacher should try to improvise, with the use of local raw materials, which provides stimulation or motivation to the students.

Anochie (1991), stated that science subjects are better learnt by doing and not by talking. Effective teaching and learning can only be possible through the use of adequate equipment or instructional materials.

Unachukwu (1990), in his study into the extent to which teachers improvise teaching aids in colleges of education found out that, generally apart form the chalkboard, most of the teachers in the schools do not make adequate improvisation of instructional materials for teaching subjects in their various schools.

Also, Onyejemezi (1987), quoting a Chinese saying said. “A look is worth a thousand words”. This statement illustrates the value of teaching and learning materials in enhancing effective learning, she also said that; these materials do not achieve any of the attitude values on their own. Rather, that their usefulness depends on what the teachers make out of them. Intelligent handling of the improvised instructional materials in the classroom is necessary (Igwe, 2003).

Meaning of Computer

Computer is from the verb “to compute” meaning to calculate (advanced dictionary). A computer is an electronic automatic machine used to record, store, process and recall data or information. The computer presents the processed data in the form of information on the screen of the computer ( Ezeliora, 2000).

Mbam (2000) defined computer as an electronic and automatic device which is capable of accepting data as input, process the data according to predefined instructions and produces end reports as results.

Igboke (2007) states that computer is a fast and accurate electronic symbol manipulating device that will accept and store input data, process them, and produce outputs under the influence of a stored program of instructions.

A computer is a machine that recovers or stores or processes data very quickly according to stored program. It is also seen as a device for executing precisely stated rules with accuracy rapidly and with great reliability (Abonyi, 2005).

According to Alo (2006); computer is an electronic device or machine that is capable of accepting inputs or data through input devices, processes the inputs and generates appropriate results which are displayed through output devices.

Computers are used in almost all the areas of human endeavor. For example, computers are applied in schools, industries and companies, hospitals, governments, courts, homes, etc (Mbam, 2000).

Education can be defined as an aggregate of all the processes by which children and young adults develop their ability and other forms of behavior, which are of positive value to the society in which they live. Nwafor (2005).

Importance of Computers

According to Alo (2006); there is a wide spread in the use of computers due to the numerous benefits derivable from it. These benefits include the following:

Speed of operation: when compared to humans, computers perform complex tasks in a much reduced time interval.

Accuracy of result: With computers the accuracy of results is assured and depends greatly on the data with which results are generated.

Storage/retrieval of information: Information can easily be stored and retrieved at will provide that storage path is known.

Application in hazardous environment: computers are employed in hazardous environment which are dangerous to human health. They could be employed as experts’ systems mimic human intelligence.

Reduction in time wastages: They reduce to a great extent the amount of time that is supposedly needed to perform a given task.

Multi purpose function: They are now used for a wide range of operation like multimedia for video and music, digital cameras for photographs, telephone lines for communication, scanners for document duplication, etc.

Portability: The sizes of today’s laptops and notebooks are so small that are easily moved from place to place reducing the use of external storage devices.

Components of Computer

The computer system is made up of two basic components namely: the hardware and software. Hardware is the physical aspect of the thing “computer”. It constitutes the components of the computer that can be physically touched, seen and fact. On the other hand, software is the logical aspect o the computer. The software constitutes the components that cannot be physically touched (Ogeh, 2007). However, the effect of software can be seen and felt. The software logically directs the operations of the hardware components of the computer. Infact, the logics and intelligence of the computer are embedded in the computer software. However, the hardware provides the platform for the software to operate. This means that software alone cannot, on its own, function as a computer, it depends on the hardware environment to work or it must work in conjunction with the hardware (Mbam, 2003).

More so, both the hardware and software component of the computer system cannot function on its own without the aid of its basic accessories. The basic computer accessories cannot work on its own but can only work when it is attached to the computer system (Ogeh, 2007).

Hardware Components of Computer

According to Mbam (2003) computer system is generally made up of three basic hardware units, namely, input unit, system unit, and output unit. It is diagrammatically represented below:

The three basic hardware units of a computer system

a) The input unit

The input unit is a set of electronic devices that accept data and programs that people can read and convert them to a form the computer can process. It consists of devices that translate data, which may be characters, words, or statements (sentences) into a form (0’s and 1’s or off and ON of electrical signals), which the computer can process. Nwafor (2005) says input is the part of the computer hardware through which the computer user (I or you) can send data, information or instructions to the computer. This means that the input unit is used in feeding data into the computer. An input unit is normally attached to the system unit.

Basically, there are three types of input unit devices, namely: keyboards, pointing devices, and source data –entry devices (Mbam, 2003).

The keyboard is a device that converts letters, numbers and other characters into electrical signals (o’s and 1’s) that are readable by the computer processor. The keyboard is the commonest input device of the computer. It is the primary input unit of the computer.

Pointing devices are input devices that control the position of the cursor or pointer on the computer screen. Examples of pointing devices include the mouse, trackball, light pen, etc.

Source data-entry devices are input devices that are neither the keyboard nor pointing devices. They include, among others, the following: scanners, sensors, audio-input devices, voice-recognition systems, video-input devices, electronic cameras, and human-biology input devices. Data can be captured from there devices into the computer system for processing.

The system unit: This is also called the central processing unit box (CPU). It is a box that houses the major components of the computer. The system unit is made up of the motherboard (system board), the processor (CPU), the power supply unit, memory, ports, PC cards and disk drives. The following paragraphs describe some of the components of the system unit.

The processor or central processing unit (CPU): The central processing unit is the “brain” of the computer. It is where the central operations of the computer are based. The CPU follows the instructions of the software to manipulate data into information. It consists of two sub-units, namely the control unit and the arithmetic/logic unit (ALU). The control unit controls and co-ordinates the operations of the computer. The ALU, performs arithmetic and logic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and comparison.

Disk Drives: They are devices that allow disks such as floppy diskettes and compact disks to be inserted into the system unit so that data, information, or instructions can be stored and retrieved from such disks.

The output unit: this is the part of the computer system that translates information processed by the computer in to a form, which the users can understand (Ezeliora, 2000). According to Mbam (2000), the computer talks to the user through the output unit. Technically, the output unit is used to print out information from the computer system. Output unit devices include, the video display unit (monitor), printer, plotter, diskette, sound speaker, voice device, video devices, multifunction devices and robots.

Software Components Of Computer

According to Alo (2005), computer software is simply a collection of sets of instruction that directs and manipulates the operations or applications of the computer. Also, the computer software is the step by step by step instructions given to a computer to enable it carry out its task effectively (Ogeh, 2007). Nwafor (2005) posits, that software is the name given to programs and routines that have been written to cause the hardware function in a desired way.

According to Mbam (2003), the computer software is broadly divided in to

(a) System software and

(b) Application software.

System software: is a collection of programs written to service other programs (application software). The system software is often provided by computer manufactures for the users of computer. It provides the platform for other software to operate. Operating systems, translators, File management utilities, control programs, drivers, and service programs are all system software. Notable among the above set of software is the operating system, which is the starting ground for other software programs.

Operating system is a system program (software) that controls other programs. With operating system, other computer software’s can be managed. Operating system manages the computer memories and determines how the entire operations of the computer should be carried out. Examples of operating system includes; windows (95,98,ME, 2000,NT), XENIX, UNICOS, UNIX, UNICOS.

Application software: This is software designed for use in a particular application or field of application. The computer user or programmer can write application software. Examples of Application software are software packages, computer programs and programming languages. Software packages such as word perfect, Microsoft word, Excel, power point, CorelDraw, print artist. Programming Languages such as: BASIC, DBASE, FORTRAN, PASCAL, COBOL, C, ALGOL. Computer programs written specifically for a purpose such as computer Assisted Instruction, student result processing, pay roll programs. (pg4-6).

According to Ogeh (2007), computer application packages are so called because they have been written with a general outlook and then packaged for any computer user that might want to use them as assistants in his field. The term application software means that it applies the computer to whatever the user wants. A typical example of the application software is programmed instruction.

According to Abonyi (2005),

Programmed instruction is a set of materials arranged in sequences of units called frames so that learning can proceed with a minimum error, it is also an auto- instructional technique in which the learning task is structured according to the difficulty level and presented in a series of small steps progressing from simple to more complex task or a type of instruction or skills. (pg5)

The Advantages of programmed instruction are

(i) It enables the students to be actively involved in the learning exercise.

(ii) It evaluates the students immediately (Automatic feed back).

(iii) It always gives reward which facilitates effective learning exercise.

Candidly, programmed instruction can be improvised by writing out steps of instruction on a cardboard sheet and also by drawing out boldly diagrams to be clearly seen by the students. The drawings and write ups is done by using a sharp pencil or a marker (coloured) in order to make it clear and the lines not blurred (Igwe, 2005).

Vividly, it is seen from the above that program instruction can be improvised after which the student will be motivated and stipulated to learn, thereby enhancing and facilitating computer education with improvised material (Igwe,2005).

Computer Accessories

There are so among other equipment that are attached to the computer to enable it carry out its task effectively, these equipment are referred to as computer accessories. They include batteries, cables and connectors, cleaning suppliers, Keyboard drawers, monitor stand, power cord, mouse pad, inverter, power steps, uninterrupted power supply (UPS), surge protector, rack mount, tools and testing, wrist rests. Some of the listed computer accessories above can be explained thus;

Mouse pad: A mouse pad provides a smooth surface for moving a mouse and reduces the amount of dirt that enters the mouse.

Batteries: This is a source of power or energy which enables the computer system to work or boot. Power supply can also be from public electricity example, generator and power holding.

Power steps and power cords: This is used to step the voltage of the power supplied to the computer system down or up depending on the level of voltage, the computer can work with.

Uninterrupted power supply: This is used to ensure a steady and gradual supply of power to the computer system.

Monitor stand: This is used to put the monitor in a stability state. It ensures that the monitor is well fitted for use.

Cables and connectors: This is used to link the components of computer to a source of power supply.

Keyboard drawers: The keyboard drawers reduce the amount of dirt that enters the keyboard.

Cleaning suppliers: these are the cleaning aid used to clean or dust the computer system from dirt.

The place of Computer in Education

In schools, computers are used to teach students in various subjects, to test them and grade them.

Computer serves as an instructional material for computer education. The following are the place of computer in education.

Grading of students: Grading of students’ scripts especially in the objective questions can be done using the computer especially those utilizing optical mark readers.

Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI): In this aspect, the computer acts as a teacher (i.e. replaces the teacher) in providing instruction to the learners. It involves the use of computers for direct Instruction of students. The students use application packages known as computer Aided learning (CAL) to learn most of their major subjects. Here the computer serves as the teacher to the students. The students follow set of Instructions as being displayed on the computer. There after, the computer will drill the students with reasonable exercises in which they will be graded accordingly.

Computer-managed Instruction (CMI): Here; the computer is used as an assistant to the teacher in managing the educational process by assessing the students’ capabilities and prescribing a course of Instruction. Teachers employ (CMI) to plan effective educational programmes. In studies of C.M.I, the computer evaluates students’ performance, diagnoses weakness and guides standards to appropriate instructional resources.

Time-tabling: Computer can help with time-table preparation. They are useful tools for re-allocation of rooms and facilities in emergencies. They help in preventing time clashes especially in large schools

Payroll and Accounts: In large schools, general purpose accounts and payroll of teachers can be kept using computers.

Publishing: Computers can be used to prepare books, school magazines, report cards and other materials for printing or publishing.

Electronic mail: This allows schools in a particular network to send message to one another i.e. another school. It is cheaper than telephone calls

Educational Gaming: Students can participate in computer games. During such games, students apply skills, which will enable them to strive to win.

Counseling: A computer can serve the counseling needs of all students in a school. With a rich database, the computer can counsel a student on academic and non-academic problem.

Planning: Spreadsheet programmes can help plan admission to fit available or anticipated school resources. The computer can thus assist on making projections for the number of teachers, classrooms, textbooks, and science equipment.

School secretarial duties: The computer can be used as an electronic typewriter with an added advantage of a vast memory. The mail merge facility of word processing packages can enable standard letters to be printed to individual parents of the students without having to re-type each letter. Such as typing of letters to be given to parents for parent teachers association (P.T.A).

Record keeping: The computer can be used as an electronic filing cabinet. Using a database program, the principal or teacher can store and quickly retrieve Information on students records, test/examination results, staff record, equipment inventory item bank for test and full biographical data of students.

In addition, computer in Educational sector is used in delivering Library services there by now making the students to know the range of books available in the Library Abonyi,(2005)

Summary of Review of Literature

From the review carried out, some issues related to computer education were discussed. They include meaning and types of improvisation, Rationale of Improvisation, Role of Improvised instructional material in instruction process, meaning of computer, importance and components of computer, the place of computer in education.

Improvisation cannot only be a solution to problems of equipments in our schools but it could however go a long way into solving part of these problems especially in subjects like computer, integrated science. (science subjects). Nevertheless, secondary school computer teachers would never over look the possibility of improvisation in their teaching no matter how well stocked their computer laboratories might be.

However improvisation according to this chapter is described as “the act of using alternative materials and resources to facilitate instruction whenever there is lack or shortage of some specific first teaching aids”. The chapter also reveals the yielding role of improvisation in our secondary schools such as making learning permanent, developing a continuity thought in student, enhancing learning and teaching process, Explaining the abstract concepts while teaching, increasing the interest of the students to learn, and developing their vocabulary. From this chapter, it is deduced that there are three basic component of computer namely the hardware component, software component and basic computer accessories. All these can be improvised by teacher, student or Local carpenters with the resources within the learners environment. The improvised material provides opportunity for development of science attitudinal skills and practical skills needed to function effectively in the society as a professional teacher or scientist.

There are no effective practices of improvisation of instructional material for computer Education in Ebonyi Local Government Area secondary schools; the government is expected to include this in the national policy of Education.
Research Question 1

To what extent are the hardware components of the computer improvised in Ebonyi Local Government Area secondary schools?

 

Table 1

Mean responses of respondents on the extent teachers improvise hardware component of computer for computer Education in Ebonyi local government Area secondary schools.

 

S/N Items in the questionnaire 4

VGE 3

GE 2

LE 1

NE

X

Decision

Rule

1 Monitor is usually improvised 40 18 4 0 3.4 G.E

2 Keyboard is always improvised 16 15 14 2 2.6 G.E

3 Central processing unit is always improvised 8 12 16 4 2.2 L.E

4 Mouse is normally improvised 12 6 4 10 1.8 L.E

5 Printer is always improvised 0 0 4 16 1.1 L.E

6 Scanner is always improvised 0 0 0 18 1.0 L.E

7 Diskette is usually improvised 24 9 2 8 2.4 L.E

 

From the table 1 above, it is observed from items 1,2 that hardware component such as monitor and keyboard are being improvised at a great extent but hardware components in items 3,4,5,6,7 are improvised at a low extent.

 

Research Question 2

To what extent are the software components of the computer improvised in Ebonyi local Government Area secondary schools?

 

Table 2.

Mean responses of respondents on the extent teachers improvise software component of computer for computer Education in Ebonyi Local Government Area Secondary schools.

S/N

Items in the questionnaire 4

VGE 3

GE 2

LE 1

NE

x

Decision

Rule

8 Operating system is always improvised 0 0 0 18 1.0 L.E

9 Program (instruction) is usually improvised 12 3 0 14 1.6 L.E

10 Microsoft word package is always improvised 0 0 8 14 1.2 L.E

11 Spread sheet package is always improvised 0 0 0 18 1.0 L.E

12 Corel draw package is always improvised 0 0 0 18 1.0 L.E

 

From table 2 above, it is observed from items 8,9,10,11,12 that software components of computer are being improvised at low extent.

 

Research Question 3

To what extent are the Basic computer Accessories of the computer improvise in Ebonyi Local Government Area Secondary schools?

 

Table 3.

Mean responses of the respondents on the extent teachers improvise basic computer Accessories for computer Education in Ebonyi Local government area secondary schools.

S/N Items in the questionnaire 4

VGE 3

GE 2

LE 1

NE

X Decision

Rule

13 Monitor stand is always improvised 48 9 4 1 3.4 G.E

14 Cables and connectors is always improvised 24 15 10 2 2.8 G.E

15 Keyboard drawer is usually improvised 32 15 2 4 2.9 G.E

16 Mouse pad is always improvised 48 15 2 0 3.6 G.E

17 Surge protector is always improvised 24 15 2 6 2.6 G.E

18 Uninterested power supply is always improvised 4 0 0 17 1.2 L.E

19 Power cords are always improvise 0 3 0 17 1.1 L.E

20 Cleaning suppliers are always improvised 56 9 2 0 3.7 G.E

 

From table 3 above, it is deduced that items 13,14,15,16,17,20 are being improvised at a great extent but item 18,19 are those computer accessories, which are being improvised at a low extent.

 

Summary of the Findings

The summary of the findings of the study are:-

1. The hardware components of computer for computer Education are partially improvised at a great extent, the hardware component that are improvised at a great extent are monitor and keyboard while other hardware component that are improvised at a low extent are; central processing unit (C.P.U), Mouse, Printer, Scanner and diskette.

2. The software component of computer for computer Education are rarely and scarcely improvised in Ebonyi Local government Area secondary schools. Among the software components are operating system, program (instruction), Microsoft word package, spreadsheet (Excel) package and corel draw package. All these are being improvised at low extent.

3. The basic computer accessories such as; monse stand, cables and connectors, keyboard drawers, mouse pads, surge protractor and cleaning suppliers are being improvised at a great extent but accessories like uninterrupted power supply and power cords are being improvised at a low extent.

DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION, LIMITATION, RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY AND SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER STUDY

The findings of this study, which had been summarized earlier in the last chapter, are further discussed here.

The findings on the research question 1 shows that software component of computer for computer Education are difficult to improvise due to the low extent at which they are being improvised when there are no ready made ones available for the teachers to use during the teaching and learning process of computer. According to Ezelioria (2000), software is the working part of the computer. Without the software, the physical computer equipment cannot function just like without the programmes, the television set cannot function or be of use. Specifically, the software component that are improvised at low extent included both the system software (operating system) and the application software (word processor: micro software package, spreadsheet package and core draw package). The most particulate reason why they are scarcely improvised is because the computer software cannot be seen vividly and touched. Inyiama (2000).

Table 2 for research question 2 shows that the hardware component of computer for computer Education are partially improvised at a great extent and at a low extent. It is seen that, there is much effort and enthusiasm towards improvisation of hardware components of computer. This is due to the fact that, hardware components of computer are the physical devices of the computer system. Mbam (2000). The hardware component components of computer can be seen vividly, hence it creates room for improvisation.

Table 3 for research question 3 shows that computer accessories like monitor stand, cables and connectors, keyboard drawers, mouse pads, surge protector are being improvised at great extent. This agrees with the act of improvisation. According to Igwe (2005) improvisation is the act of using alternative materials obtainable from the local environment or constructed by the teacher or with the help of local personnel to facilitate instruction. Also, from this table, there are accessories that are improvised at a low extent, which are the uninterrupted power supply and power cords.

Educational Implication of the Study

The results from the tables 1,2,3, showed that improvisation of the hardware component, software component and basic accessories of the computer system are not being improvised effectively and it is done at a low extent due to the teachers feeling reluctant to improvise and not being knowledgeable about improvisation. Thus, when there is no instructional material, no improvised instructional material, there will be lack of interest of students towards computer Education, retention and transfer of learning in computer Education will no longer take place. Students will not perform academically well in computer studies as a result of no improvisation of hardware component, software component and Basic accessories of computer.

Conclusion

It is concluded from this findings of the study that, Ebonyi local government area secondary schools improvise instructional material for computer Education at a low extent and partially at a great extent on the part of the hardware component of computer and the basic computer accessories.

 

Limitation of the Study

A number of problems encountered in the cause of carrying out the study could have had effect on the findings of the study.

The major limitations among them are:

(1) Some respondents (teachers) do not know the meaning of the word “Improvisation”. The researcher had to explain the meaning to some of them.

(2) Financial problem for transporting to the various schools.

Recommendations

The following recommendations have been made based on the findings of the study.

1. The government of Ebonyi Local Government Area should organize seminars, workshops, and conferences on improvisation to make the teachers resourceful enough to improvise the instructional material needed for computer Education when the standard equipment is not readily available for effective teaching. The instructional material includes the hardware component, software component and basic accessories of the computer.

Also, teachers should be encouraged to improvise by making resources available. Laboratories, storage areas should be built in schools i.e the government should make money available for any school that toned want to set up resource center for improvisation in their premises.

More so, the state Education board should always inspect and supervise the teachers to ensure that they improvise instructional material when the standard ones are not available during the teaching and learning process of computer. The curriculum planners should include the act of improvisation of instructional materials in the curriculum.

 

Summary of the Study

The purpose of the study was to determine or assess the extent of improvisation of instructional materials for teaching and learning computer in Ebonyi Local Government Area secondary schools.

To achieve this purpose, three research questions were formulated to guide the study. Literature was reviewed by consulting various textbooks, memo graphs, journals and Internet. The research design adopted for the study was survey research design. The area of the study consist the nine secondary schools. In Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi state. The population comprised of eighteen (18) teachers in the nine secondary schools and the whole eighteen teachers were used for the study. The instrument used was questionnaire, which contains a section for the teachers only. Two experts in measurement and evaluation validated the instrument. The researcher administered the questionnaires. The data collected were analyzed using frequencies and mean scores. The findings show that software component of computer are being improvised at a low extent. Also, the hardware components of computer are being improvised partially at a great extent and at a low extent. More so, the basic computer accessories are being improvised partially at a great extent and at a low extent.

Based on these findings, it was recommended among other things that: the government of Ebonyi or the state Education board should organize seminars, workshops and conferences on improvisation for the computer teachers in order for them to be able to improvise instructional material needed for computer Education. Also, teachers should be encouraged to improvise by making the resources available. Faculty of Education in universities should give adequate training to teachers towards improvisation of instructional materials.

Suggestion for Further Studies-

1. A similar study be done which will evolve more secondary schools in Ebonyi state and not Ebonyi Local government area alone, for comprehensive report on extent of improvisation of instructional materials for computer education.

2. It will also be beneficial if a study is carried out to asses the utilization of these improvised instructional material

APPENDIX I:

EXTENT OF IMPROVISATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIAL FOR COMPUTER EDUCATION IN EBONYI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA SECONDARY SCHOOLS QUESTIONNAIRE FOR TEACHERS

Instruction: please tick against each items using the following scales very great extent (VGE), great extent (GE), Low extent (LE), No extent (NE).

A. To what extent are these hardware components of computer improvised for computer education in Ebonyi Local Government Area secondary schools?

S/N Items VGE GE LE NE

1 Monitor is always improvised when the standard monitor is not available

2 Keyboard is always improvised

3 Central processing unit is always improvised

4 Mouse is always improvised

5 Printer is always improvised

6 Scanner is always improvised

7 Diskette is always improvised

B. To what extent are the software components of computer improvised for computer Education in Ebonyi Local Government Area secondary schools?

S/N Items VGE GE LE NE

8 Operating system is always improvised

9 Program (Instruction) is always improvised

10 Microsoft word packages is always improvised

11 Spreadsheet package is always improvised

12 Corel draw package is always improvised

 

C. To what extent are the basic computer accessories improvised in Ebonyi Local Government Area secondary schools?

S/N Items VGE GE LE NE

13 Monitor stand is always improvised

14 Cables and connectors are always improvised

15 Keyboard drawer is always improvised

16 Mouse pad is always improvised

17 Surge protector is always improvised

18 Uninterrupted power supply is always improvised

19 Power cords are always improvised

20 Cleaning suppliers are always improvised

Computer Education – Extent Of Improvisation Of Instructional Material

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