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effects of simulation games on attitude and performance in microorganisms among secondary school students


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This study was carried out to determine the “effects of Simulation game on Attitude and Performance in Biology among Secondary School Students, Zaria, Kaduna State Nigeria. The target population was all SS1 Biology students in Zaria Educational zone. Two Schools were sampled using the stratified random sampling techniques. Intact Classes were used, where 153 subjects of 94 males and 59 females were sampled from the total population of 2,005. Three research questions and three null hypotheses guided the conduct of the study. The hypotheses were tested at ≤ 0.05 level of significance. A pretest and posttest quasi experimental control design was used. The experimental group was taught microorganism using the simulation game strategy, while the control group was exposed to lecture method. Two validated instruments Microorganisms Performance Test (MOPT) and Biology Attitude Questionnaire (BAQ)were used for both Pretest and Post-test.The reliability of the Instruments was calculated using Split-half method of Gutman. Based on the analysis of the Scores obtained from the Pilot testing of the Microorganisms Performance Test (MOPT), the reliability coefficient for the test was 0.82, while that of Biology Attitude Questionnaire (BAQ)was0.75.

The two Instruments were used to collect data, which were analyzed using independent t-test, Two-Way Analysis of Variance and Kruskai Wallis. The findings revealed that (1). There was a significant difference in the mean scores of the experimental group when taught microorganisms using simulation game strategy compared to their counterparts in the control group when taught using lecture method. (ii) There was a significant difference between the attitude change of the students before and after exposure to simulation game strategy. (iii) There was no significant difference in terms of gender academic performance of male and female students when taught using simulation game strategy and those taught using lecture method.

Among the recommendations given, was that simulation game strategy should be encouraged for the teaching and learning of Biology at the secondary school level. Professional associations and educational researches, should organize seminars etc, to sensitize the need for adaptation of the simulation game strategy at the secondary school level.


effects of simulation games on attitude and performance in microorganisms among secondary school students




1.1  Background to the Study

The importance of science as a requirement for technological development cannot be over emphasized. Science is a way of solving problems. The study of science helps us to answer the how, what, where and why of our surroundings. According to Shaibu (2008), science is defined as human activity that leads to the production of a body of universal statements called laws, theories, or hypotheses which serve to explain the observable behavior of the universe or some aspects of the universe. Science is important in the development of a country.

It is also the root of economic and technology development. Science helps to eliminate ignorance and superstition among the Populace. .Science and technology are conceived as the two sides of the same coin, technology itself is the result of scientific knowledge (Ochu, 2010). National development cannot take place without emphasis on science and technology.

According to Acquaye in Oboh (2012), today 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 is in line with this observation. Some states in Nigeria such as Oyo, Kano, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto and Kaduna have established special science schools in order to popularize science and make its teaching and learning more effective.

Science generally consists mainly of the three basic science subjects via, biology, chemistry, and physics. According to Obeda (1998) and Oboh (2012), Science has contributed to human civilization by providing.

  • Information on the care of the human body
  • Breakthrough in medical science by the discovery of new drugs and invention of excellent diagnostic method;
  • Means of prevention and cure of human diseases;
  • Breakthrough in agricultural techniques and practices, development of improved varieties of crops, control of large number of diseases and pests of agricultural plants and
  • Breakthrough in field of engineering
  • Improvement in man‟s environment and supply of basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing as well as recreation, transportation, communication and a host of others. With the aid of science, new machines and processes have been developed, which not only help to improve the quality of living but also enable science itself to open new fields.

According to Usman (2010), Education in science is man‟s attempt of trying to understand the world he lives in for the primary purpose of survival and improvement of the quality of his life. Ukwungu (2004) observed that Science Education in Nigeria has continued to be ineffective in promoting the Socio-economic transformation of our nation. Nworgu (2001) also observed that contrary to the spirit of Science, the Science teachers still teach without the necessary activities needed for proper understanding of the concepts. It becomes necessary therefore, for the teacher to know how Science can be presented through the use of appropriate method of teaching.

Biology is the study of life. It is the science that studies living things and it is therefore very vital to man (Fatubarin, 2003). Biology like any other science subject, uses the scientific method usually characterized by accurate observation, careful analysis and faithful recording among others. The teaching and learning of science by effective use of scientific methods in solving problem, enable the students to develop scientific skills and attitudes.

The Federal Ministry of Education of Nigeria in the revised National Policy on Education (FRN, 2013), stressed the need for the teaching and learning of Science Subjects in Secondary Schools. Biology, English Language and Mathematics are made compulsory as basic Subjects that all Students must offer. This has attracted large enrolment of Students in Biology, compared to other Science Subjects in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, as was stated by Timothy (2013). As a result of this a large number of Students without interest in Biology, study and sit for the Biology examinations, which has led to Poor Performance in Biology at the Senior Secondary School level.


1.2  Statement of the Problem

Despite the emphasis on the need to teach biology meaningfully, to equip learners with skills and knowledge relevant for national development, the Academic Performance of students at senior secondary school level is still below expectation as reflected in the Senior Secondary Examination (SSCE) Results(Table 1.1). This poor performance of students in Biology, is of major concern to all and especially those on the mainstreams of science education in Nigeria (James, 2000).

Several factors that led to poor Performance in Biology at Senior Secondary School have been observed by various authors, among them was Usman (2002), he observed that lack of improvised materials for practical activities and field work contributed to inadequate preparation and poor performance of students in biology. Teaching strategy can also influence the performance of students positively or negatively such as that found in the study of students in Biology by Nwosu (2004). Examination result released in 2008 to 2012 by WAEC revealed that there were poor performance of students in

Biology especially in 2011 only 41% of the 78,616 candidates that sat for the WASSCE. May/June passed the examinations. The remaining 57% Failed, of those that sat for the Examination.Isah (2011) observed that many science students experience difficulty in science courses due to lack of understanding of the method and process of science.

The traditional methods commonly used by teachers do not caters for the individual rates of learning. Adeneye&Adeleye (2011),stated that, Biology teachers need to identify methods that will be suitable for teaching, such methods must make room for individual differences in learning. Simulation game Strategy has been found to enhance performance since it provides for working in small groups, encouraging participation by everyone and exchange of scientific ideas/concepts when students are given instructional materials to work with. This Study therefore, investigated whether Simulation game Strategy would improve significantly or not, the Performance and attitude of students towards Biology at the Senior Secondary Level.

effects of simulation games on attitude and performance in microorganisms among secondary school students

1.3  Objectives of the Study

 The objectives of this study are outlined as follows to:

  1. determine the effect of Simulation Games Strategy on academic performance of students when taught Microorganism
  2. find out whether there is Change in the Attitude of Students to Biology when taught Microorganisms Concepts using Simulation Games
  3. determine whether there is difference in mean Score of male and female Students when taught Microorganisms concepts using Simulation Games


1.4  Research Questions

  •  What is the mean difference between the academic performance of students in microorganism when taught using simulation games strategy and those taught using lecture method?
  • What is the mean difference in the attitude change of students towards Biology, when taught using Simulation Game Strategy and Lecture Method?
  • What is the difference between the Mean Scores of Male and Female Students when taught Microorganisms Concepts using Simulation Games Strategy and those taught using Lecture Method?


1.5  Null Hypotheses

Based on the Research Questions stated the following null hypotheses are formulated for testing at P ≤ 0.05

H01There is no statistically significant difference between the Mean Performance Scores  of Students taught Microorganisms Concepts using Simulation games Strategy and those taught using Lecture Method.

H02: There is no significant differences in Attitude change to Biology between Students taught Microorganism concepts using Simulation Games Strategy and those taught using Lecture method.

H03: There is no significant difference between the mean Scores of male and Female Students when taught Microorganism Concepts using Simulation Games Strategy and Lecture method.


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