Essay: EFFECT OF COMPUTER BASED CONCEPT MAPPING STRATEGY

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  • EFFECT OF COMPUTER BASED CONCEPT MAPPING STRATEGY
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CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

o Need and Significance of the Study
o Statement of the Problem
o Definition of Key Terms
o Variables selected for the Study
o Objectives of the Study
o Hypotheses of the Study
o Methodology in Brief
o Scope of the Study
o Delimitations of the Study
o Organization of the Report

Education in its broadest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character and physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, values, and skills from one generation to another through institutions. Teachers in such institutions direct the education of students and might draw on many subjects, including reading, writing, mathematics, science and history.
Education has always been considered as an honoured place in Indian society. The great leaders of Indian freedom movement realised the fundamental role of education throughout the nation’s struggle for independence and stressed its unique significance for national development. Mahatma Gandhi formulated the scheme of basic education, seeking to harmonise intellectual and manual work. This was a great step forward in making education directly relevant to the life of the people. Problems of educational reconstruction were reviewed by several commissions and committees like University Education Commission (1948-1949) and Secondary Education Commission (1952-1953). According to the commissions and committee reports government of India had strongly favoured growth of the national economy, science education and research. It also prioritised science and mathematics as an integral part of general education till the end of the school stage.
National Curriculum Frame work (2005) aims to lighten the overloaded curriculum in India’s schools and to shift emphasis from rote memorisation to conceptual understanding, synthesis and application through an integrated and /or thematic approach to teaching and learning. Teacher is considered to be a facilitator of children’s learning in a manner that helps children to construct knowledge and meaning. Teacher in this process is a co- constructor of knowledge. Kerala Curriculum Framework (2007) discusses three major methods of classroom learning; Issue based approach, Social constructivism and Critical Pedagogy. The process of education must develop in learners, the ability to construct knowledge through interaction and sharing. The practice of passive listening has to be discarded and in its place learners need to become active participants in the process of constructing knowledge. They should view their experiences in a critical manner and should question all social evils. Looking at different ideas and generating an integrated view is crucial (KCF, 2007).
Science is a dynamic, expanding body of knowledge covering new domains of experiences. In a progressive forward looking society, science can play a truly liberating role (Rawat, 2011). Science education helps people to look at the world in a different way. Knowledge of science provides a means for pupils to recognise and explore the complexity of natural phenomena. Science certainly provides an opportunity to demonstrate and develop a number of investigative processes. Scientific investigations provide a means to solve problems, investigate and explore phenomena in science. They also stimulate enthusiasm, motivation and can provide a means of making abstract concepts more concrete. Science is interesting and intellectually stimulating. School science should provide a means where by students become aware of the nature of science.
Scientific information is not only voluminous and subject to different interpretations; it is also constantly being revised. Reflective teachers are continuously engaged in thoughtful observation and analysis of their actions in the classroom before, during and after interactions with their students (Snowman &McCown, 2012). Secondary school students are more likely than younger students to grasp relationships, mentally plan a course of action before proceeding and test hypotheses systematically. Without supervision and guidance, however they may not use such capabilities consistently (Harold, Colarossi &Mercier, 2007). Science cannot be viewed as a finished product. Knowledge is constructed through experiences. The process oriented learning helps the learner to construct new forms of learning. Concepts and ideas in science that the learner constructs should have linkage with real life situations. The study of science in a competitive society should enable the learner to realise their identity and take a firm stand on what is right. Science education should also aim at equipping the learner against the misuse of science (KCF, 2007).
New curriculum is integrated, process oriented and learner centric. Instead of the mechanical transactional strategy, and rote learning, engaging learners in enquiry and discussion and making their own inference mark a visible change in the class room curriculum (KCF, 2007). Neuro- psychology explains the changes that occur inside the brain when learning takes place. Any piece of information that is gathered is registered in the brain in the form of complex web like structures. Learning that nourishes different areas of cognition activates different areas of the brain. This substantiate the fact that variety of learning experiences that consider the development of all the cognitive areas of the brain should be provided to the learner at the school level. The approach of science education has to be changed to achieve the aims of education. Now prominence is given to the view that there are other areas to be considered apart from process and content like knowledge domain, science process domain, creativity domain, attitudinal domain and application domain. Science education must be an active learning process. Science learning should include activity based learning, construction of knowledge, learning by making connections with previous knowledge, co operative learning, issue based learning and critical approach (KCF, 2007).
Need and Significance of the Study
Concepts are not direct sensory data; instead they result from the elaboration and combination; the tying together or linking of discrete sensory experiences. The common elements in diverse objects or situations serve to unite objects and situations into a single concept. Concepts are complex relationships which are continuously changing with experience with the accumulation of knowledge (Hurlock, 2005). Acquisition of knowledge is the learning of organized information. The information can be organized into units, such as concepts, rules, ideas, principles, images and networks. Comprehension is learning with understanding and understanding involves meaningful learning of relations among the parts of the information and the relations between the information and a person’s knowledge and experience.
Concepts are important because they determine what one knows. If the concept includes a favourable attitude or if it is emotionally weighed with a pleasant emotion, it will lead to positive actions in the form of acceptance and seeking. Concepts that are weighed with unpleasant emotions, on the other hand, lead to negative actions in the form of antagonism and avoidance. Accuracy or inaccuracy of a child’s concept affects understanding. The more concepts a child has, the better developed they are and the more accurate they are and thus greater the understanding. Simple reading material employing meaningful words and illustrated with relevant pictures can be better understood by a young child than material containing many different words on a page, many different ideas, different sentences and abstract or unfamiliar words (Hurlock, 2005). Concept formation is the generalisation of a response to all stimuli within a stimulus class and the discrimination of that response from all stimuli outside the stimulus class. Many behaviourists maintain that discrimination training is the basic behavioural process underlying concept formation (Millenson, 1967).
Early concepts relate to common experiences in daily life. Most of these concepts are partially or totally inaccurate. By the time children reach adolescence, they have built up a large store of concepts. In addition they have added new meaning to old concepts and corrected many inaccuracies in previously learned concepts. Concept maps are two-dimensional graphical representations of one’s knowledge of a domain (Novak & Gowin, 1984). It is based on Ausubel’s theory of meaningful learning in the classroom (Ausubel, 1963). The theoretical framework that supports the use of Concept Mapping is consistent with constructivist epistemology and cognitive psychology. According to Ausubel, the most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Thus meaningful learning results when a person consciously and explicitly ties new knowledge to relevant concepts they already possess. The relatively meaningful learners may be able to relate the new information they acquire in the classroom to their prior knowledge and organize this information (Novak and Gowin 1984) in the bigger and more organized chunks of information, thus reducing their memory overload, increasing their processing capacity and decreasing the possibility of acquiring new misunderstandings during instruction. Knowledge representation tools such as concept maps can help teachers and students to externalize (or make visible) their understanding of a concept and its relationship to other concepts. Concept maps are important when one adopts a constructive view of learning. Effective learning depends on the creation of new schema or an existing schema being revised, extended or reconstructed. Concept Mapping is an excellent activity in allowing students to engage in extended science discourse (Roth and Roychoudhury, 1992). The maps provide students with a means to learn the language patterns of science and construct scientific knowledge. The study by Barenholz and Tamir (1992) described the use of Concept Mapping as a design, instruction and assessment related to microbiology lessons prepared for high school students. This study indicated that students utilizing Concept Mapping displayed an overall higher achievement than students in traditional classes.
Often it is claimed that Concept Mapping bears a similarity to the structure of long term memory. Instead of describing all concepts and their relations in text, one may choose to draw a map indicating concepts and relations in a graph or network. Visual representation has several advantages. Visual symbols are quickly and easily recognized, and this can be demonstrated by considering the large amount of logos, maps, arrows, road signs, and icons that most of us can recall with little effort. Visual representation also allows the development of a holistic understanding that words alone cannot convey, because the graphical form allows representations of parts and whole in a way that is not available in sequential structure of text.
In order to understand science in the way desired by teachers and the scientific community; students therefore need particular content knowledge, and the ability to form links between related scientific concepts (Arnaudin, Mintzes, Dunn & Shafer, 1984). They also need to be able to reorganize their prior knowledge in the light of new knowledge (Huai, 1997). Coll, France, and Taylor (2005) pointed out that the use of analogies and mental models can enhance student understanding of complex and abstract scientific concepts. Concept Mapping has been reported to provide a very effective strategy to help students learn meaningfully by making the links between scientific concepts more explicit (Adamczyk, Willson & Williams, 1994; Fisher, Wandersee & Moody, 2000; Novak & Gowin, 1984). The technique therefore focuses on conceptual organization and integration (Smith & Dwyer, 1995) and gives students a way to explicitly link and organize concepts (White & Gunstone, 1992).
Computer based Concept Mapping helps to ‘reorganise mental functioning’ in ways not possible outside the electronic medium. It is generally agreed that when assisted by computers, students can more easily construct, modify and maintain their concept maps, and thus teachers can more efficiently evaluate students’ concept maps (Erdogan & Bayram, 2001; Reader & Hammond, 1994). The construction of a concept map is generally a complex and difficult process for students, especially for novice students. The task of designing Concept Mappings with paper and pencil discourages many students. Some of the challenges posed by the paper based Concept mapping strategy can be overcome by Computer based Concept Mapping (Chang, Sung, and Chen, 2001). There are many opportunities for students to learn and practice on the computer so that they use higher order thinking skills and problem solving ability. Instead of technology becoming the instructional tool or strategy, it needs to be one of the ways to teach. Memorable learning often happens when technology is used to make personal links and connections on the topic. These can include a related video clip, or a web picture of something unfamiliar.
Anderson, Ditson, and Ditson (1998) observed that Concept Mapping is rarely adopted spontaneously by students, because it is difficult and the process of map modification is messy and cumbersome. Therefore, this may indicate a possible preference of computer based over paper based Concept Mapping by virtue of its flexibility. Functions of paper based Concept Mapping can be integrated into computerised assistance. This combination may promote students to engage in deeper learning (Chang, Sung, and Chen 2001). The human brain seems to be wired to seek connections. If a person is acquiring new information, there is an effort within the structure of the brain to attach that new information to knowledge or experiences already in place. Thus it makes sense that the more a teacher can make connections between what they already know and the new knowledge the more we are apt to provide positive learning experiences. When some connections are made successfully, greater the achievement is possible. (Tileston, 2014).
Our brains are composed of neurons. These are the cells which are made up of a main part, called the cell body with dendrites and axons. Activity of the brain depends on communication between neurons. The communication is through electric signals which are the result of movement of ions within and surrounding neuron. These electric signals are transmitted by one neuron to another by axons and received from another neuron by dendrites. There is a small gap (synapse) between the terminal of an axon of the cell sending a message and the dendrite of a receiving neuron. Each neuron can communicate with large number of others forming networks. It is these networks of communications that enable the brain to carry out its functions. The relationship between internal changes in the brain and the external environment which is under the influence of education is of particular interest in improving the effectiveness of learning and teaching. Brains will produce new neurons, lose neurons, make connections and lose other connections, all based on our experiences. Doidge (2007) explained that every sustained activity ever mapped including physical activities, sensory activities, learning, thinking and imaging changes the brain as well as the mind. This neurological pruning takes place throughout our lives depending on our interest, health and willingness to change (Tileston, 2014).
Scientific Reasoning is the process of eliciting certain implications from hypotheses that are susceptible of confrontation with such factual situations as pointer readings, scales etc (Good, 1959). Cognitive mechanisms provide the basic investigation and inferential tools used in Scientific Reasoning. The ability to reason about knowledge and the means for obtaining and evaluating knowledge provide powerful tools that augment children’s reasoning. Sodian, Zaitchik, and Carey (1991) argued that two basic skills related to early metacognitive acquisitions are needed for Scientific Reasoning like drawing inferences from evidences and children need to understand that inference is itself a mechanism with which further knowledge can be acquired. Chinn and Malhotra (2002) examined the role of encoding evidence, interpreting evidence, generalization, and retention as possible impediments for correcting misconceptions. Instructional supports can play a crucial role in improving the encoding and observational skills required for reasoning about science. There is a need to differentiate between science and pseudoscience. Learner should approach a problem based on cause and effect relationship. An education that develops logical reasoning in children is crucial in this context. They should play a key role in freeing the society from superstitions and prejudices and should propagate the need of a scientific outlook in life (KCF, 2007).
Self Regulation is defined as regulation of the self by the self (Baumeister and Vohs, 2006). Motivation to learn is an inward desire. It is up to the teacher to plan exciting, memorable learning experiences that capture and stimulate the desire to learn and participate. Self Regulated learning skills do not develop automatically but once developed these skills will benefit students for lifelong learning. Instruction in strategy use is an effective means of promoting Self Regulation (Corno & Mandinach, 1983; Schunk, 1986). Strategies such as Concept Mapping help students attend to tasks, focus on important features, organize material, and maintain a productive psychological climate for learning (Weinstein and Mayer, 1986). Jonassen (2000) suggests that Concept Mapping is a powerful tool for stimulating learning. Concept Mapping promotes learning that is consistent with the definition of expert knowledge (Bransford, Brown, and Cocking, 2000) in that it requires learners to recognize meaningful patterns (identify concepts). As learners create and link propositions, they reveal and develop their conceptual framework. Concept Mapping is an effective learning strategy that precipitates meaningful learning in child (Roth & Roychoudhury, 1993; Stice & Alvarez, 1987) and adult (McClure & Bell, 1990; Novak & Gowin, 1984) learners, and in a variety of domains, such as genetics and ecology (Okebukola, 1990; Okebukola & Jegede, 1988), physics (Moreira, 1979; Pankratius, 1990), chemistry (Novak & Gowin, 1984; Schreiber & Abegg, 1991). Concept Mapping is used as an educational strategy for helping and better comprehending the subjects, integration of the old information with the new ones, improving the conceptual perception level of the students, and increasing their success (Heinze, Fry and Novak, 1990). The method of computer based concept maps, however, increases the student success and remembrance by the help of its properties such as achieving attention and concretization of the information with visual aid, and having more enjoyable courses.
In order to improve instructional methods carried out in the class room and improvement of students’ learning, there has always been a search for more potential ways of instruction. As a result, new strategies and techniques are evolving in the educational field also. Through education students must be prepared to face the challenges and to keep pace with the advancement of science and technology. In such an environment there is a need for developing innovative learning strategies for students. Teachers need a vast amount of instructional strategies in order to teach information in a variety of ways. The keys are to use the right strategy at the right time. Teachers are constantly gathering innovative ways to teach important information.
When teachers vary instructional strategies and activities, more students learn content and information, and they develop the necessary skills. Using research based best practices will help to ensure that more students develop concepts and skills targeted (Dean, Hubbel, Pitler, and Stone, 2012). Students do not all learn the same thing in the same way on the same day. Educators should consider each child in the learning community based on their needs, readiness, preferences and interests. For students to succeed, they need to believe that, they can learn and that what they are learning is useful, relevant and meaningful for them. This develops a self directed learner who is confident in making the information their own.
Effective teachers believe that all students can learn and be successful. Effective teachers consciously create a climate in which all students feel included. Effective teachers believe that there is potential in each learner and commit to finding the key that will unlock that potential. Learning preference model (Dunn and Dunn, 1987) classifies learning styles as auditory, visual and kinaesthetic. Auditory learners absorb spoken and heard materials. They prefer aural questioning, listening to lectures, stories and songs. Visual learners learn information from what they see or read. They like illustrations, pictures and diagrams. Graphic organizers are useful tools for them to construct meaning visually. Colour has the impact on their learning. Tactile or kinesthetic learners learn best by doing and moving, handling materials, writing, drawing and becoming physically involved in learning activities that are meaningful and relevant in their lives. They enjoy role playing sound simulations and creating models.
Sousa (2006) says teachers need to understand that students with different sensory preferences will behave differentially during learning and that teachers tend to teach the way they learn. This is why so many students have trouble in learning from one teacher but many learn easily from another. Behaviour interpreted to mean that the student was not interested in learning is an indication of inappropriate teaching techniques or a classroom where only one modality was valued. The classroom that is enriched with teaching techniques from all three modalities will be a place where quality learning is possible. Teachers can involve all the three learning styles in their learning strategies. The use of varieties of learning styles in classroom satisfies more learners and engages more areas of the brain, thus causing greater learning and retention. Ekwall and Shanker (1988) said that we learn
10% of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we see and hear
70% of what we discussed with others
80% of what we experience personally
95% of what we teach to someone else.
One of the strategies that have evolved as a useful tool in leading students towards meaningful learning is ‘Concept Mapping’. Concept Mapping is seen as a useful tool for helping students to learn about the structure of knowledge and the process of knowledge production or Meta knowledge. In contrast to students who learn by rote, students who employ meaningful learning are expected to retain knowledge over an extensive time span and find new related learning progressively easier. The traditional way of constructing concept maps uses paper and pencil. With the rapid development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), a number of computer assisted Concept Mapping systems have been proposed (Fisher, 1990). Concept Mapping tools are computer based, visualizing tools for developing representations of semantic networks in memory. Such Computer based Concept Mapping enables teachers and students to draw and redraw their concept maps in an electronic environment, thus making changes to a map’s content and structure relatively easy. Concept Mapping with a computer has greatly enhanced teachers’ and students’ willingness to use Concept Mapping for instructional purposes, because electronic maps transcend page size, are easy to create, and are dramatically faster to revise than their paper and pencil counter parts. To test the effect of Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy on Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, Achievement, and Retention in Biology; the following research questions were investigated
1. Does secondary school Biology teachers and secondary school students practice Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy?
2. Is there any difference in Biology Achievement test scores between students who used Computer based Concept Mapping as a learning strategy and those who did not?
3. Is there any difference in Retention test scores in Biology between students who used Computer based Concept Mapping as a learning strategy and those who did not?
4. Did the use of Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy help students to learn concepts in Biology?
5. Is the technique of Computer based Concept Mapping useful to students as well as teachers?
6. Does the use of Computer based Concept Mapping facilitates and improves Self Regulation and Scientific Reasoning Ability?
7. Does the use of Computer based Concept Mapping benefit the experimental group more than the control group?
8. Do the students provide a positive feedback about Computer based Concept Mapping?
9. What are the students’ opinions about Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy?
Statement of the Problem
The present study is intended to check the effect of instruction based on Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy for enhancing Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, Achievement and Retention in Biology which is entitled as ‘EFFECT OF COMPUTER BASED CONCEPT MAPPING STRATEGY ON SCIENTIFIC REASONING ABILITY SELF REGULATION ACHIEVEMENT AND RETENTION IN BIOLOGY AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’.
Definition of Key Terms
Effect
Effect is any result brought about by a cause or agent (Websters’s New World Dictionary). According to Good (1973) effect is the treatment effect or the effect of an experimental factor for a given level or value of a control variable.
In the present study Effect stands for the treatment effect of independent variable on dependent variables.
Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy
Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy is a teaching and learning strategy in which Computer based concept maps are used. Computer based Concept Map refers to a knowledge representation form that shows individual concepts at nodes with linking words that connect two concepts and indicate the relationship between them, thus forming a proposition which is created with the help of a computer (Novak & Gowin, 1984).
In the present study Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy is a learning strategy using the spatial representations of concepts and their interrelationships that are intended to represent the knowledge structures that humans store in their minds with in an electronic environment.
Scientific Reasoning Ability
Reasoning ability is the ability to ‘discover’ conclusions through the analysis of discourse based on our prior knowledge. Scientific Reasoning Ability is an act or mental process of inferring relationships among facts or phenomena, of weighing and evaluating evidence, and of coming to a conclusion (Good, 1973).
In the present study Scientific Reasoning Ability is defined as the ability to derive a conclusion based by examining relationship between factual information and previous experience in Biology tested with the help of Test of Scientific Reasoning Ability in Biology.
Self Regulation
Self Regulation refers to the degree to which individuals become metacognitively, motivationally, and behaviourally active participants in their own learning processes (Zimmerman, 1986).
In the present study Self Regulation is defined as learners’ ability for acquiring specific strategies that are both successful for them and that enable them to increase their control over their own behaviour and environment like attending to tasks, focussing on important features, organising material and maintaining a productive psychological climate for learning measured using Scale on Self Regulation.
Achievement in Biology
According to Good (1973), Achievement is the accomplishment or proficiency of performance in a given skill or body of knowledge.
In the present study Achievement in Biology refers to the knowledge attained or skills developed in secondary school Biology concepts measured with Achievement Test in Biology prepared and standardized for secondary school students of Kerala.
Retention in Biology
Retention is described as a result of an excitation, experience of response occurring as a persisting after effect that may serve as the basis for the future modification of responses or experiences (Good, 1973).
Retention is the ability to recall or recognize what has been learned or experienced in past. In the present study Retention in Biology is referred to as the amount of learned material in Biology that can be correctly remembered by retaining it in memory after a fixed interval of time (3 months) measured with the help of Retention Test in Biology prepared and standardized for secondary school students of Kerala.
Secondary School Students
Secondary school students are the students studying in standard VIIIth, IXth and Xth of any recognised schools of Kerala. In the present study the students of standard IX were considered as a representation of whole secondary school students.
Independent Variable
Teaching strategy is selected as the independent variable. Two levels of the teaching strategy are
‘ Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy
‘ Constructivist Teaching Strategy
Dependent Variables
The dependent variables selected for the study are
‘ Scientific Reasoning Ability
‘ Self Regulation
‘ Achievement in Biology
‘ Retention in Biology
Control Variable
The control variable selected for the study is
‘ Pretest score
Objectives of the Study
Specific Objectives (Preliminary Survey)
1. To check the awareness about Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy among secondary school Biology teachers.
2. To check the awareness about Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy among secondary school students.
3. To identify the concepts preferred by secondary school Biology teachers that can be best taught using Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy.
Specific Objectives (Initial Experimentation)
1. To develop Computer based Concept Maps in the selected concepts in Biology for secondary school students.
2. To compare mean pretest scores on Achievement in Biology between Experimental and Control groups.
3. To compare the effectiveness of Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy with Constructivist Teaching Strategy on Achievement in Biology for the total sample.
4. To compare the mean pretest and posttest scores on Achievement in Biology of students in the Experimental group.
5. To compare the mean pretest and posttest scores on Achievement in Biology of students in the Control group.
6. To compare mean gain scores on Achievement in Biology between Experimental and Control groups for the total sample.
7. To compare the effectiveness of Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy with Constructivist Teaching Strategy on Retention in Biology for the total sample.
8. To compare the mean pretest and posttest scores on Retention in Biology of students in the Experimental group.
9. To compare the mean pretest and posttest scores on Retention in Biology of students in the Control group.
Major Objectives (Final Experimentation)
1. To develop Computer based Concept Maps in selected concepts in Biology for secondary school students.
2. To compare mean pretest scores on Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, and Achievement in Biology between experimental and control groups.
3. To compare the mean pretest and posttest scores on Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, Achievement, and Retention in Biology of students in the Experimental group.
4. To compare the mean pretest and posttest scores on Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, Achievement, and Retention in Biology of students in the Control group.
5. To compare mean gain scores on Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, and Achievement in Biology between Experimental and Control groups.
6. To compare the effect of Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy with Constructivist Teaching Strategy on Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, Achievement, and Retention in Biology (total and component wise) among secondary school students.
7. To compare the effect of Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy on Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, Achievement, and Retention in Biology between boys and girls of the Experimental group.
Hypotheses of the Study
Hypotheses (Preliminary Survey)
1. Secondary school Biology teachers were not aware about Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy.
2. Secondary school Students were not aware about Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy.
Hypotheses (Initial Experimentation)
1. There is no significant difference in the mean pretest scores of Achievement in Biology between Experimental and Control groups.
2. There is significant difference in the mean posttest scores of Achievement in Biology between Experimental and Control groups.
3. There is significant difference in the mean pretest and posttest scores of Achievement in Biology of students in Experimental group.
4. There is significant difference in the mean pretest and posttest scores of Achievement in Biology of students in Control group.
5. There is significant difference in the mean Gain scores of Achievement in Biology between Experimental and Control groups.
6. There is significant difference in the mean scores of Retention in Biology between Experimental and Control groups.
7. There is significant difference in the mean pretest and posttest scores on Retention in Biology of students in the Experimental group.
8. There is significant difference in the mean pretest and posttest scores on Retention in Biology of students in the Control group.
Hypotheses (Final Experimentation)
1. There is no significant difference in the mean pretest scores on Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, and Achievement in Biology between Experimental and Control groups.
2. There is significant difference in the mean pretest and posttest scores on Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, Achievement, and Retention in Biology of students in the Experimental group.
3. There is significant difference in the mean pretest and posttest scores on Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, Achievement, and Retention in Biology of students in the Control group.
4. There is significant difference in the mean Gain scores on Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, and Achievement in Biology between Experimental and Control groups.
5. There is significant difference in the mean posttest scores on Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, Achievement, and Retention in Biology between Experimental and Control groups.
6. There is significant difference in the mean posttest scores on Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, Achievement, and Retention in Biology among boys and girls of the Experimental group.
7. There is significant difference in the mean posttest scores on different components of Scientific Reasoning Ability between Experimental and Control groups for the total sample.
8. There is significant difference in the mean posttest scores on different components of Self Regulation between Experimental and Control groups for the total sample.
9. There is significant difference in the mean posttest scores on different objectives of Achievement in Biology between Experimental and Control groups for the total sample.
10. There is significant difference in the mean posttest scores on different Objectives of Retention in Biology between Experimental and Control groups for the total sample.
11. Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy is more beneficial when compared to Constructivist Teaching Strategy for enhancing Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, Achievement, and Retention in Biology among secondary school students.
Methodology in Brief
Experimental Design
The design selected for the study was Pretest- Posttest Non- Equivalent Groups Design. This design is often used in classroom experiments when experimental and control groups are such naturally assembled groups as intact classes. This design is one of the most effective designs in minimizing the threats to experimental validity (Best & khan, 2008).
O1 X O2
O3 C O4
O, O3 = Pretests
O2, O4 = Posttests
X = Treatment to Experimental Group
C = Treatment to Control Group
Sample
Sampling is fundamental in any form of research tending to draw a generalization for specified population. The investigator selected the sample from K.M.M. Higher Secondary School Alathiyoor, Tirur and J.M. Higher Secondary School, Tirur; Malappuram district. The pupils of standard IX belong to 13+ age group which come under formal operational stage (12-15 years) according to the classification of Piaget’s theory. The pupils at this stage can have hypothetical deductions, reasoning, systematic thinking, and use logic to solve all type of problems and have ability to perform experimentation. For the present study the investigator randomly selected a total of 136 students from two schools. 68 students were given experimental treatment and 68 were given control treatment. The experimental group was taught using Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy and the control group using Constructivist Teaching Strategy.
Tools
The following tools were employed for gathering relevant data for the study.
1. Lesson Transcript based on Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy (Usha and Divya, 2014)
2. Lesson Transcript based on Constructivist Teaching Strategy (Usha and Divya, 2014)
3. Achievement Test in Biology (Usha and Divya, 2014)
4. Test of Scientific Reasoning Ability in Biology (Usha and Divya, 2014)
5. Scale on Self Regulation (Toeringa et al, 2008)
6. Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy Evaluation Proforma for experts (Usha and Divya, 2014)
7. Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy Evaluation Proforma for students (Usha and Divya, 2014)
Statistical Techniques
Statistical Techniques used for data analysis are
1. Preliminary Analysis
2. Pearson’s Product- moment Coefficient of Correlation
3. Percentage Analysis
4. Chi- Square Test
5. The test of significance of difference between means
6. Effect size (Cohen’s d)
7. Analysis of Co Variance (ANCOVA)
8. Bornferroni Test of Post- Hoc Comparison
Scope of the Study
It is expected that the present study will prove the effect of Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy in improving the learning capabilities of students. It will help the teacher and taught to understand that teaching as well as learning in Biology is a pleasurable experience. This approach is intended to create proper mental models to the students about the content rather than merely to follow instructions one by one. The study also gives opportunities for a wide range of learning activities and promotes creative thinking of students in quite a natural way. It also helps to provide a broad developmental perspective to the educators for building a curriculum for secondary school students. It is hoped that the result of the study will be helpful for all those who are concerned with the field of science education.
Delimitations of the Study
‘ The study is limited only to IXth standard students in one district due to the very nature of difficulties of an experimental study.
‘ Only 68 students both in experimental and control groups were considered as the sample for experimentation.
‘ Due to difficulties in arranging IT laboratory in school, the time factor was not controlled.
Organisation of the Report
Chapter 1
This chapter of the report contains need and significance of the study, statement of the problem, definition of key terms, variables, objectives, hypotheses, methodology in brief, scope of the study, limitations of the study, and organisation of the report.
Chapter 2
It gives the theoretical overview and review of related studies on Computer based Concept Mapping Strategy, Scientific Reasoning Ability, Self Regulation, Achievement, and Retention in Biology. A brief summary of related studies is also presented.
Chapter 3
Methodology of the study is discussed in detail under three phases. Phase 1 (Preliminary Survey), Phase 2 (Initial Experimentation), and Phase 3(Final Experimentation). Variables, Design, Sample, Tools and Statistical procedure under each phase is also presented.
Chapter 4
Details of analysis of data along with conclusion are presented in this chapter.
Chapter 5
The last chapter provides a summary of the study along with major findings, tenability of hypotheses, educational implications and suggestions for further research.

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