Are Chemistry Students in Nigeria Ready to Adopt Fully Remote Learning? A Study in the Context of the Changes Caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic


Bachelor Thesis, 2021

53 Pages, Grade: 3.8


Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the study

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, and habits. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators however learners can also educate themselves. Education is described as the art or science of transmitting culture, norms, traditions, values and ethics of a society from one generation to its succeeding generation (Vanessa, 2017). To this end education can be seen as act of giving intellectual or moral instruction to a child or group of learners for the betterment of their characters in the society.

Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence. Modern science is typically divided into three major branches that consist of the natural sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics), which study nature in the broadest sense; the social sciences (e.g., economics, psychology, and sociology), which study individuals and societies; and the formal sciences (e.g. logic, mathematics, and theoretical computer science), which study abstract concepts (Rucker, 2019).

Chemistry as a branch of science is an important area of focus in national development all over the world. This is because chemistry education plays a vital role in the technological transformation of any nation. In Nigeria, there seems to be an increased awareness that chemistry education plays an important role in influencing the rate of economic and technological growth. It has equally been realized that chemistry education has the capacity to solve the age-long problems of increasing unemployment, high poverty rate and insufficient manpower. Chemistry provides theoretical bases for synthesis of drugs which are used for medicine, textiles, shoes, plastics, soap and detergent (Kaplan, 2017). Contributing to the importance of chemistry in national development, chemistry helps to ensure continuous availability of students in expected number who take important professions such as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, food science, agriculture, engineering, education, etc.

Learning has been defined as the act of acquiring knowledge, skill or attributes by someone (a learner). It is either as a result of systematically acquired study or an unconscious happening that stayed with the recipients. Three (3) important things to note are that learning entails:

1. Realization or development of certain skill, knowledge, potential or talent either consciously or unconsciously
2. An all through life process or proceedings
3. Conscious upgrade on regular bases

Remote learning occurs when the learner and instructor, or source of information, are separated by time and distance and therefore cannot meet in a traditional classroom setting. Information is typically transmitted via technology (email, discussion boards, video conference, audio bridge) so that no physical presence in the classroom is required (Kaplan, Andreas; Haenlein, Michael, 2016).

Remote learning is a method of learning which our society should be able to adopt based on the need; however, the efficiency of transitioning to remote learning is dependent on preparedness, technology tools, or overall student support infrastructure (Kebritchi, Lipschuetz & Santiague, 2017). It is different from virtual school or virtual learning programs that typically have gone through an official process of establishing a school, adopting an online curriculum, and creating a dedicated structure to support students enrolled in the school. Remote learning utilizes electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of the traditional classroom. Remote learning provides an opportunity for students and teachers to remain connected and engaged with the content while working from their homes. Opportunities for remote learning are typically linked to emergency situations that pose a threat to student safety (Hodges; Moore; Lockee; Trust; Bond, 2020).

The conventional classroom method of teaching and learning and the school environment has to an extent some challenges in our schools today which have also affect the teaching and learning of chemistry in our society especially the practical aspect of chemistry. Challenges facing the school environment includes emergency situation such as the Covid-19 pandemic, Ebola which tends to pose a greater threat on the school environment and students safety. It is in view of this situation, whereby the Government decided engaged in closure of all schools in Nigeria.

On March 19, 2020, the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria approved the closure of all learning institutions (Nlebem, 2020). This abrupt closure led to significant disruptions in the education system in Nigeria; including learning modes, access to school related services, parenting routines, and crisis management capacities of the federal and state ministries of education. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of many individuals, negatively impacting the global economy and sources of livelihoods. Due to measures to contain the pandemic, about 1.2 billion learners are out of school and 73.8% of the world's school populations have been affected by school closures, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2020). Although this has affected education access, quality and equality, it has propelled the reshaping of education delivery across the world. The Covid- 19 pandemic presents unique challenges for Nigeria's already fragile education system. Before the pandemic, there were an estimated total of 10.2 million out-of-school children. In response to this education emergency, the federal and state governments and private schools in Nigeria are implementing various learning interventions using technological platforms, such as remote learning, internet-based tools and traditional media to mitigate the impact of the closure of schools (Obiakor & Adeniran, 2020).

Modernization and Civilization has brought about technological change which have created a new global economy "powered by technology" fueled by information and driven knowledge. The emergence of this new global economy has serious implications for the nature and purpose of education institution. As the world is changing, schools cannot remain mere venues for the transmission of a prescribed information and idea from teacher to student over a fixed period of time. Rather, schools must be promoting learning to learn the acquisition of knowledge and skills that make possible continue learning over the lifetime (Dunlap, J. C., & Lowenthal, 2018). Traditionally, remote learning involved correspondence courses wherein the student corresponded with the school via mail. Today, it involves online education (a number of other terms (distributed learning, e-learning, m-learning, online learning, virtual classroom etc) through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

ICT is considered as one of the pillars upon which quality education for all can indeed become a reality, because of its unique capacity to bring the world together. Computer in classroom suggests that technology will always play a major role in this 21st century and more than ninety percent of jobs created now will require advanced technological training. The invention of these new technologies such as a computers and the internet which aids remote learning, e-learning, open and distance learning etc.

With many schools closing their doors indefinitely, students across the country have had to adapt at light speed and implement remote learning strategies. This has resulted in a rapid transition from face-to-face classroom meetings to online education delivery. Online education provides another opportunity to engage students during crises, such as pandemics. Covid-19 has created significant challenges in different areas of education, during the transition to online education; both students and educators faced tremendous challenges such as lack of time, insufficient digital skills or lack of curricular guidelines, lack of adequate preparation among students for the unique demands of remote learning. Of the most affected are those whose practical classes require specialized equipment, such as Chemistry classes. As education has moved to online learning in the wake of the global pandemic, adapting practical classes is one of the most difficult challenges.

Effective remote learning requires to have the adequate tools/facilities, skills and students accessibility to the facilities. Remote learning facilities/tools are the equipments used in remote learning. The tools include whiteboard, Nearpod, Google Classroom (or Google Drive) Prezi, audience response systems (e.g. clicker technology), Google collaboration tools, computers and internet services. Also the skills required by the students in facilitating remote learning include students' awareness, motivation, self-regulation, time awareness, engaging and seeking interaction and environmental management. Another important point is to consider students' accessibility in which they have access to the appropriate tools/facilities in learning through remote learning. In Nigerian schools, majority of the students has no access to the facilities/tools in remote learning which does not enhance the implementation of remote learning in secondary schools.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Covid-19 pandemic forced many schools to abruptly adopt full-online remote learning. Such unprecedented abrupt adoption requires a degree of student readiness to ensure the success of learning delivery. However, the students in secondary schools have no level of awareness to adopt remote learning in Nigeria. Majority of the students has no skills towards the use of remote learning and also have no access to the facilities/tools in implementing remote learning. Therefore this study intends to investigate the students' readiness to adopt fully remote learning in the teaching and learning of Chemistry.

1.3 Objective of the study

This study is aiming at finding the uses of remote learning in the teaching and learning of chemistry in secondary schools. The study is therefore interested in the effective teaching and learning of chemistry by introducing remote learning to educational system in Nigeria in other for bring about positive impact on education. It also examines effectiveness of remote learning on teaching and learning can be sustained during emergency situations. This study will be designed to examine the readiness of the students in adopting remote learning in the teaching and learning of chemistry in secondary schools.

1.4 Research questions

The following research questions were raised to guide the study:

i. What are the tools/facilities available for remote learning?
ii. Do the students possess the skills for remote learning?
iii. Do students have access to remote learning facilities?
iv. What are the challenges facing the implementation of remote learning?

1.5 Significance of study

The significant of the study is to the reveal chemistry students' readiness to adopt fully remote learning in such a way that it will help the teacher to know the effect of using internet service in their teaching in order to bring effectiveness in the teaching of chemistry. It will also help the teachers to improve their teaching strategy, and it will bring to notice of the government that more funds should be generated to the schools that lack the necessary technologies and facilities.

This study will help to reveal the relevant of remote learning in effective teaching and learning of chemistry in secondary schools in Nigeria especially during the emergency periods.

1.6 Scope/Limitation of the study

This research work will be focused on chemistry students' readiness to adopt fully remote learning. This study is limited to secondary schools in Ondo West Local Government.

1.7 Definitions of Terms

INTERNET: - It refers to the world-wide electronic network constructed by inter connecting the network of participating countries. It serves as the world-wide information super highway. TECHNOLOGY: - This is defined as computer auxiliary equipment software and hardware and similar procedure services and related resources, any equipment or interconnected system that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, transmission of data or information

INFORMATION: - In technical term, information is said to be data that has been processed into a form that is meaningful to the recipient and is of real value in content or prospective decision

COMMUNICATION: - This is the process by which information is exchange and understood n by people

MEDIA: - This is the collection of material or device that are used for communication of information between people

EDUCATION: - This is defined as the acquisition of knowledge, skill, attitudes, and moral value by an individual in order for him or her to be useful for him or her, country and world at large.

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.0 Introduction

The relevant literatures regards concepts relating to remote learning and adoption for teaching and learning are discussed under the following; concept of remote learning, factors that influence students' adoption of remote learning, emergencies situations that calls for remote learning, tools/facilities for teaching and learning in remote learning, students awareness/skills in remote learning, teaching and learning of chemistry through remote learning, challenges facing the implementation of remote learning.

2.1 Concept of Remote Learning

Remote learning is a field of education that focuses on teaching methods and technology with the aim of delivering teaching, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional educational setting such as a classroom. It has been described as "a process to create and provide access to learning when the source of information and the learners are separated by time and distance, or both” (Honeyman & Miller, 2017).

The term remote learning represents approaches that focus on opening access to education and training, freeing learners from the constraints of time and place. It offers flexible learning opportunities to individual and group learners. This is the most rapidly growing segment of education. The potential impact of distance learning on all education has been emphasized by the development of Internet-based technologies, particularly the World Wide Web. It can be described as learning involving implementation of information, computing and communications technology applications in more than one location (Wolski, 2016).

Remote Learning occurs when the learner and instructor, or source of information, are separated by time and distance and therefore cannot meet in a traditional classroom setting. Information is typically transmitted via technology (email, discussion boards, video conference, and audio bridge) so that no physical presence in the classroom is required.

Remote learning has had a remarkable effect on the landscape of education since its advent in the 19th century as correspondence study. It has taken various shapes and utilized a wide variety of technologies ranging from postal technologies in 19th century to virtual reality today. Remote learning has made into one of the top topics discussed in education in recent years with particular influences stemming from the “open” movement including MOOCs and OER (Simonson, Smaldino & Zvacek, 2015). Several definitions have been given as to the nature of what remote learning is and what it entails. Earlier definitions depending on remote learning models based on print materials in correspondence study, and later the definitions based on the industrial view of remote learning have been revised due to advances in technologies which have reshaped the nature of learning materials and how they are produced and delivered, how interaction and communication occurs in remote learning.

Remote learning is a concept that covers the learning-teaching activities in the cognitive and/or psycho-motor and affective domains of an individual learner and a supporting organization (Holmberg & Rumbe 2016). It is characterized by non-contiguous communication and can be carried out anywhere and at any time, which makes it attractive to adults with professional and social commitments.

Remote learning defined the distance learner as one who is physically separated from the teacher has a planned and guided learning experience and participates in a two-way structured form of distance education which is distinct from the traditional form of classroom instruction Gunawardena and McIsaac (2018). The first dimension of remote learning within this definition is the physical separation of the learner and the teacher. Secondly, this definition also stresses a planned and guided learning experience, which comprises the second dimension.

This definition highlights remote learning as a distinct learning/teaching experience since the learners and the teachers are physically separated. In addition, as in all educational endeavors, guidance and planning are two elements of the structured learning/teaching activity. Remote learning also necessitates some form of mediated communication/interaction between learners and the teachers, between learners and the educational resources, and among learners. However, the communication the advancement of ICT, the communication possibilities have evolved to include multichannel and multi-way communication besides two-way communication. Remote learning is a form of education which brings together the physically- distant learners and the facilitator of the learning activity around planned and structured learning experiences via various two or multi-way mediated media channels that allow interactions between/among learners, facilitators as well as between learners and educational resources. This definition focuses on the physical separation of learners and facilitators of the learning activity. The careful use of “facilitator” implies that the learner is in the center of the learning experience taking more responsibility of his/her learning as an independent learner (Graham, 2015).

Moreover, remote learning entails the planned and structured learning experience which implies that learning in distance education is not accidental but rather intentional (Moore & Kearsley, 2016). This definition, like the earlier definitions, underscores the use of technologies to mediate the interaction and communication between learners, facilitators and the learning resources. However, what this definition refers to is the multi-way communication channels besides two-way communication channels. Multi-way communication refers to an enriched way of communication from two-way communication through recent web-based affordances including video conferences, social media channels and discussion forums.

2.1.1 Place of the Remote Learning platform in the Implementation of Pedagogical

Practices

During the implementation of practice to improve the communication between students and teachers, we were supported with a distance learning model using a learning platform. Training on the platform is conducted by a blended learning method during which the following are used in the educational process, e-learning methods of work as well as traditional classroom training methods, and, in our case, this applies to student teaching practice. Under this method, classes are implemented in an alternative way, namely, stationary sessions that take place in groups are interspersed with work on the platform (McGinnis, 2015).

This educational model requires appropriate conditions for its implementation that are strictly associated with the use of information technology tools. In this case, access to educational materials is via the Internet, so it allows people to use them anytime and anywhere. A practical activity, complemented by the work in the web, allows the maximum use of the time that students can allocate to the planned practices (McCullough & Aimard, 2016). Thanks to the platform, trainees can quickly consult with tutors while preparing to conduct a new lesson. Via the platform, trainees practices are also conducted, during which issues are discussed related to the profession of a teacher (Boyle, Bradeli, Chalk, Jones, & Pickard, 2016). In the discussed system of remote learning, there are also available presentations, multimedia materials, remote simulations and lectures online. These materials significantly enhance the individualization of the learning process. An important value of such an action is the ease to make changes and update the content of the training materials by the authors of these materials (Catley, 2018).

Remote learning is an instructional strategy that utilizes internet as a medium to deliver learning materials as well as a mean of synchronous or asynchronous interaction between teachers and learners (Whitman, 2018). This is similar with the inclusive definition of e­Learning in general by Sangra (2017) which stated that it as an approach in learning that utilizes technology to increase accessibility and innovation in education.

2.2 Factors that Influence Students' Adoption of Remote Learning

Several researches had been conducted to explore the factors that affect the adoption of remote learning. Muilenberg and Berge (2015) explored some of the factors retrieved from prior studies from students' point of view. They found that the adoption of e-Learning is affected by:

(1) Administrative issues
(2) Social interaction
(3) Academic skills
(4) Technical skills
(5) Learner motivation
(6) Time and support for studies
(7) Cost and access to the Internet; and technical problems.

A more recent study by Newton and Sawang (2017) revealed that the remote learning adoption is influenced by:

(1) The nature of e-learning as an approach
(2) The use of technology

[...]

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Details

Title
Are Chemistry Students in Nigeria Ready to Adopt Fully Remote Learning? A Study in the Context of the Changes Caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic
College
Obafemi Awolowo University
Grade
3.8
Author
Year
2021
Pages
53
Catalog Number
V1159544
ISBN (Book)
9783346561565
Language
English
Keywords
chemistry, students, ready, adopt, fully, remote, learning, study, context, changes, caused, covid-19, pandemic
Quote paper
Joshua Adetayo (Author), 2021, Are Chemistry Students in Nigeria Ready to Adopt Fully Remote Learning? A Study in the Context of the Changes Caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1159544

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