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Teaching Methodology of Computer Lecturers -Perception of the Undergraduates in Nnamdi Azikiwe University

Perception of the Undergraduates on the Teaching Methodology of Computer Lecturers in Nnamdi Azikiwe University

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

The advent of computer has contributed much in the human activities more especially in the teaching and learning.  According to Umendu (2005), a computer can simply be described as a powerful device which has the capability of accepting data as (input) in a prescribed form, apply a series of arithmetic and logical operation on the data (processing) and produce the result of these operations as information (output).  The output is produced in specific format to the users at a very fast speed under the control of some logical sequence of instruction called “program”.

According to Ugwu (2006).  Computer can be used for a lot of things which includes data processing, medical diagnosis, communication etc.  Computers have been an upward trend in terms of usage.  Around 1946, the use of the computer by the government is increasingly high. The computer was used for military purposes like decrypting enemy message or calculating trajectories of ballistic missiles. Using computers was very complicated then.  Only those things which were impossible to be done with a time were given to computer.  Then real use of computer is evolved. Herman Hollerith invented punch cards and the computers were used for census purposes.  Computers were still too big to be used for other things.  It was only after the innovation of microprocessor that computer could get smaller; still they were complicated to be used and laid the foundation for windows.

Now computer are used everywhere business today rely on computer technology to assist them in almost every area of corporate life.  Computers have invaded the grocery store, fast food restaurants, small and big enterprises alike. They process data, store information, workout complex mathematical problems, track inventory and even control temperature and highlighting in office building.

Reliance on the high-speed digital computer is so complete that the world of commerce would break up to a sudden stop if computers were removed.

The way computers have invaded our society is remarkable when we buy something at the store, most likely our purchase will be canned at the check out counter by a meager of UPC bar codes. When we bring a package to our local post office as mail, the clerk will input some information by pressing a few buttons, the computer package will cost and assess the mail. (Just like the scans helps doctor view kidneys, hearts and other body organs to see if they are healthy. Farmers rely on computers to plan their planting and harvest their crops. Every time you reserve space on an airplane, check your bank statement or telephone a friend, you are depending on computer. As a result of new technology especially in the past years, our modern society was introduced to different ways of communication through the use of computers.

The more we learn about the importance of computers the more computer literate we become, the more chances we will have of advancement in mostly any field. This is why it has become necessary to include computer appreciation as one of the requirement in the minimum standard for universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.

Computer programming can then be taught under computer appreciation or as one of the programming language, like BASIC, COBOL AND FORTRAN etc. The course, computer programming is relatively new in schools, as it has been taught in schools for a few years. Over these years, it has been observed that students who study computer science as a borrowed course are usually scared of the subject. They take the course because they are compelled to do so. This has affected the performance of those students. Some of the students openly confess to being afraid of computer courses.

Certain factors contributed to the problems encountered in the teaching of computer in schools. Sometimes the lecturers may not know the right approach to use for a particular topic. Sometimes technique may not really be acceptable by the students. Some of them sometimes get confused at the end of a lesson. Their performance perhaps will depend on the method of teaching used in class. In making use of a particular teaching method, a teacher strives for effectiveness. It is for the enhancement of teacher effectiveness in the teaching of computer programming that this study was embarked upon so that it can find out the students perception on the teaching of computer programming using practical and lecture method of teaching.

Statement of the Problem

It has been generally observed that there is poor performance in computer programme. According to Department of Physical Sciences in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, it has been observed that there is poor performance of students in the programming languages courses like BASIC and PASCAL programming languages. For instance in the years 2005, the total number of students that sat for PASCAL programming language course was 80, 30 students passed the course while 50 students failed.

In the year 2006, 100 students sat for BASIC programming language, 30 of the students passed while 70 failed. In the year 2007, 70 students sat for both BASIC and PASCAL programming language examination, 25 passed while 45 failed in BASIC programming language. The number of students that passed PASCAL was 35 while 35 failed the course.

Then in 2012, the total number of students that sat for both BASIC and PASCAL programming languages was 110 students, 40 passed in BASIC programming while 70 failed in PASCAL programming language, 30 passed while 80 failed. From this statistics, it is seen that there generally poor performance in computer. So what do we do to alleviate this problem? How do we improve on this performance of our students?

Obodo (1991) viewed the nature of computer programming as such that it demands a lot of practices from its learner. He adds that the students lack perseverance in computer programming. They practice and learn other courses much more than programming even though it is essential to them.

The problem of this study therefore is to find out the students perception on the teaching of computer programming using practical and lecture method of teaching.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to establish the best method of teaching of computer as perceived by the undergraduates. Specifically, this study aims at:

  1. Finding out the teaching method that the teachers employed in teaching computer programming;
  2. Determining the effectiveness of the teaching method employed by the lecturers
  3. Finding out the quality of the lecturers teaching computer programming
  4. Finding out the attitude of teachers towards students development in computer programming
  5. Suggesting the teaching method for teaching computer programming.

Significance of the Study

The necessity of this study lies on its contribution to the existing body of knowledge. However, the finding of this study is considered significant to the undergraduates, lecturers, university management and beneficial planners.

The findings of this study will be beneficial to the computer students and teachers. This is because it can be used to determine an effective method of teaching computer programming in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

It would also help in erasing the problem encountered by students in the area of practical work. The findings would as well help to encourage teachers and students on the application of computer in teaching computer programming using practical and lecture method of teaching

Scope of the Study

The study is limited to the teaching methods in teaching of computer programming in a university. The study is also limited to the computer science option of department of science education and computer science students of department of computer science in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Research Questions

The following research questions were raised in order to obtain answers to problem stated.

  1. What are the teaching methods employed by lecturers in the teaching of computer programming?
  2. What is the effectiveness of the teaching method employed in teaching computer programming?
  3. What is the quality of lecturers who teach computer programming?
  4. What is the attitude of the teachers towards student’s development in computer programming?
  5. What method of teaching should be employed in teaching computer programming?

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