Computer-Based Science Simulations, Guided-Discovery and Students’ Performance in Chemistry

  •  Mfon Udo    
  •  Rebecca Etiubon    


This study investigated the relative effectiveness of computer-based science simulations on students’ achievement in chemistry at the secondary school level when compared with guided-discovery and the traditional expository teaching methods. The study used non- randomized pre-test – post-test control group design. The study sample was 89 Senior Secondary II (SSII) chemistry students drawn from Uyo Local Government Area, Akwa lbom State, Nigeria. Criterion sampling technique was used for sampling. Two hypotheses were tested. The instrument used in collecting data was a researcher-developed 25-item 4-option multiple choice test - the Chemistry Achievement Test (CAT) - designed to measure students' achievement in the area of chemical combination. The test had a reliability index of 0.72 determined using test-retest approach. The results of data analysis using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) showed that students taught by computer-based science simulations performed significantly better than those taught using the traditional expository method, (mean diff. = 4.34; sig. = .032), but had comparable performance with those taught with guided-discovery approach (mean diff. = .85; sig. =.869). That is, computer based simulation method is as effective as guided-discovery, but significantly better than the traditional expository method; and that gender is not a strong determinant of students' performance in chemistry. Based on the findings, it was recommended, among others, that chemistry teachers should adopt computer-based simulation technique in teaching chemistry concepts in view of its high facilitative effect on students’ performance.

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