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AN ASSESSMENT OF METHODS OF TEACHING COMPUTER COURSES TO COMPUTER SCIENCE STUDENTS IN SELECTED NIGERIAN POLYTECHNICS


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AN ASSESSMENT OF METHODS OF TEACHING COMPUTER COURSES TO COMPUTER SCIENCE STUDENTS IN SELECTED NIGERIAN POLYTECHNICS



ABSTRACT

The study focuses on the methods of teaching computer courses to computer science major in selected Nigeria polytechnics.

It examines the background, methods of teaching, tools and equipments use in teaching computer courses to computer science major. The primary data for the study were generated from well structured question broadcasted to random samples of 70 out of 200 NDII students from federal polytechnic Nekede and Abia State Polytechnic and supported with interviews. Frequency labels, simple proportion percentage ratios, average, ranking, and chi-square (test for goodness of fit) for validation of the some of the some of the findings as distributed.

From the data presented and analyzed textbook is the mostly used tool for  teaching computer courses to computer science major.

Followed by the computer but 20% students said that textbooks, chalkboard and computer are the tools used.

It was also established from the study that lecture method, lecture with discussion practical  assignment, and class discussions are the  methods of teaching computer courses to computer science major.

Therefore the researcher summarized and recommend that the NBTE (National Biand for Technical Education) should improve on the  teaching tools by providing enough computers for teaching and learning and the  methods of teaching computer courses to computer science major should be maintained and if  possible across other departments.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0            INTRODUCTION

1.1     BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

          Education is an important sector which cannot be fun with any serious country, state, organization or individual and that is why an individual, organization or government uses every means to make sure a good education is provided for her citizens (Adibe, 2001).

          One of the means of this provision is the introduction of computer science in polytechnics, as a course of study.

          Computer science is the study of the design and use of computer systems. One goal of the computer science department is to provide  the student with the tools to identify those problem that are best solved by means of a computer and to design and implement effective, economical, and creative solutions.

          Computer science as an academic discipline systematically includes three domains: Theory, and abstraction, and design.

          The curriculum’s required courses give the  students a strong foundation in both the software and hardware aspects of computing, as well as the mathematics and science that underline the discipline. The electives in the later years allow the student to study more deeply some particular area of computer science. The department courses and programmes  continue to respond to changing g requirements for professional employment in computer science.

          It is the responsibility of the student to understand and fulfill polytechnic, and  Department requirements. These requirements are described is the polytechnic has gone a ling way to keep those individuals (computer operators) in various way:

          i.        To acquire formal education in computer                         science

          ii        To register fully as members in Nigeria                                       computer society. 

Iii       to reduce non-professionals in the field.

          Computer is an electronic device, which is capable of receiving, sorting and retrieving information with tremendous speed, if computer is effectively used, it can help teachers teach computer science students visually in all the computer courses.

          This study based  on the  assessment of the methods of teaching computer courses to computer science major in selected Nigerian Polytechnics is trying  to find out those teaching methods use in teaching computers courses.

          According to McCathy (1989) common teaching methods are lecture method, lecture with Discussion, panel of experts, Brainstorming, video tapes, class Discussion, case studies, Role playing, Report-Back sessions, worksheets/surveys, index card exercise, Guest speaker, values clarification exercise.

          IPSJ Journal (2001), state that the method of teaching computer science in a department of liberal Art is from technique (concretion) to theory (abstraction), of from practices to lecture.

          In a physical classroom these is a standard, set of equipment and tools, this usually includes audio-visual equipment such as textbook, a chalkboard, video-visual  video player and tape recorder.

1.2            AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

          The aims and objectives of the study are to assess the methods of teaching computer courses to computer science major in selected Nigeria polytechnics.

1.       It investigated whether textbooks and chalkboard the        only teaching and learning tools in teaching computer courses.

2.       It investigated whether multimedia instructional aids          are used for both teaching and learning in computer        science courses.

3.       It investigated whether E-learning is used in teaching         introduction to computers.

4.       To investigate the most common teaching methods           for computer courses to computer science majors.

1.3     STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS

          The objective of teaching computer courses in Nigeria Polytechnics include to equip students with the necessary knowledge that will aid them to identify those problems that can be solved by means of computer system, and to design and implement effectively.

          Another objective of the study is to provide the intellectual foundation for future professional development. A cornerstone in this study is ability fro student to reason logical. It is essential that student should be familiar with basic concepts in many computer courses.

          Although, there are some other problems such as:

-                     Lack of lecturers to teach computer courses.

-                     Lack of teaching tools

-                     Lack of application of computer to real world situation in their programme of study.

-                     Extreme abnormal dislike or fear and dread of mathematics (one of the  credit required for one to study  computer science).

1.4     PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of the study is to the methods of  teaching computer courses to computer science major.

Also to educate student to succeed in his/her professional career, which takes place in the context of rapidly changing technology. In order to succeed in this area, the student must have certain knowledge, skills and attitudes.

1.5            RESEARCH QUESTION

The objective of the research is to determine those tools/ methods that are used in teaching computer science major in Federal Polytechnic Nekede and Abia State  Polytechnic.

In order to conduct an effective study on the central theme of this work, the following critical questions have been addressed namely:

(a)              What are the tools used in teaching computer courses?

(b)              Is your polytechnic connected via Internet?

(c)              How effective is the use of computer on the teaching and 

(d)             What are the most common teaching methods of computer courses e.g. Introduction to computer, computer packages, Computer Programming, and, Computer Hardware maintenance.

1.6            SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Information technology (IT) is providing for the use of computer aided (CAL) systems to assist in the Education and training of students.

This study will assist computer science students to know teaching methods both old and new. It will help them to understand that developments in computer science will make new applications profitable and new method viable.

1.7            SCOPE OF THE STUDY

          The study is targeted at Federal polytechnic Nekede Owerri, Imo State and Abia State Polytechnic it covers all phases used in teaching computer courses. The wing topics will be addressed:

-                     Introduction to computer

-                     Computer packages

-                     Computer Programming

-                     Computer Hardware Maintenance

1.8            LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The researcher encountered a lot of problems such as limited time provided for this study.

Furthermore, the researcher encountered the problem of limited number of respondents since some of the  respondents  have not filled questionnaire of this type before.

1.9            DEFINITIONS OF TERMS

COMPUTER                An electronic device that can accept    data, process it and give result/           information under automatically          stores program.

Computer science         The study of the design and use of      computer system. It is a           chameleonic discipline.

Teaching                       Is a sublime communion of ideas        whereby an inquisitive soul gets to           open up to the light of knowledge

Multimedia                   A way of presenting to the user a        combination of different forms of information such as text, data, images, video, audio, and graphics.

Algorithms                  a clearly – defined mathematics final used to solve a problem or run an operation

Animation                   A simulation of movement created by displaying a series of pictures or frames, cartoons on television is one example of animation

Program                     A set of instructions given to computer to carry out particular task

Virtual                         Not real. Something that is mere simulation or illusion of a real environment.

Videoconferencing      A person-to- person discussion, involving either individuals or groups in which participants are at different sites, using computer networks to transmit audio and  video data.

Online                         Turned on and connected. Users are considered online when they are connected to a computer service through modem.

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