THE EFFECT OF VIRTUAL LEARNING AND ON-SITE LEARNING ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN ECONOMICS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL IN IKEJA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF LAGOS STATE
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This study intends to examine how students’ academic performance in economics at senior secondary schools in the Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State is affected by both online and in-person learning. An experimental case study research design was employed. Pilot case studies are useful research techniques for examining educational difficulties in practical contexts. Before implementing the case study design in a larger-scale inquiry, they are utilized to refine the research problems, variables, and other aspects of the study. The study sample included (120) 128 students, who were divided into experimental and control groups after being carefully chosen. The control group only received instruction using the traditional approach, while the experimental group received instruction using a computerized program combined with the latter. The experimental group outperformed the control group, according to the Independent sample t-test, which also demonstrated statistically significant accomplishment differences between the two groups. Despite this, there were no appreciable disparities between the male and female virtual learners. Among other suggestions, it was suggested that teachers and students should both get mandatory training and retraining in the use of blended learning resources.
1.1 Background to the study
Virtual learning, commonly referred to as online learning or distant learning, has long been changing how the educational system looks. According to Means (2010), online learning refers to any type of learning that is conducted wholly or in part online. Secondary educational organizations are drawn to online learning because it offers time and location flexibility as well as improved communication and interaction skills (Anderson, 2004). As mentioned above, a variety of variables are influencing the development of the virtual instructional model in public schools, but technology integration has been a significant driver of this growth (Barbour, 2009). The expansion of online learning has been directly impacted by technological advancements (Picciano & Seaman, 2009). In order to deliver more student-centered and tailored instruction, Christensen, Horn, and Johnson (2008) give a convincing case for transforming education in this way. Secondary schools are now using online learning more widely because to improvements in technology infrastructure and access. Distance learning has been employed for some time in postsecondary institutions, according to research by Means, Bakia, and Murphy (2014) and Wicks (2010), but it is still in its infancy as a practice in secondary educational settings. Online education is becoming more popular in public schools (Picciano & Seaman, 2009; Watson et al., 2012). In secondary school districts, there were reportedly 1,816,400 enrollments in remote education courses in 2009–2010 (Means et al., 2010). By 2019, 50% of all high school enrollments in the United States, according to Christensen and Horn (2008), will occur online. Although virtual learning is now being used and expanded in secondary schools, little research has been done in this field to support the efficacy of the online teaching approach for the secondary school population. “There is not a single, large-scale, national study using control groups in the instructional design that compares students taking online courses with traditional students,” said Patrick and Powell (2009). (p. 3). However, studies by Freidhoff, DeBruler, and Kennedy (2014), Michigan’s K12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report, and research by Means, Toyama, Murphy, Bakia, & Jones (2010) in the meta-synthesis report conducted for the U.S. Department of Education do provide information that start to examine the effectiveness of the virtual instructional model. However, no controlled group studies have been carried out. Patrick and Powell (2009) believe that further extensive research is required. They advise collecting current data sets from state-mandated standardized examinations and contrasting them with information on virtual school success. The opposite is also true, as stated by Means, Bakia, and Murphy (2014): “Overly simplistic generalizations about online learning ‘working’ or ‘not working’ will be avoided and instead look for more detailed evidences about the circumstances under which different approaches to online learning more and less likely to fulfill their intended outcomes” (p.2). Therefore, policy makers, managers, principals, parents, and communities require direction in order to comprehend whether online learning offers learning fairness as compared to the conventional classroom instructional paradigm. The authors of Miron, Horvitz, and Gulosino’s (2013) analysis noted that “several states have implemented. laws authorizing full-time virtual schools or lifting the limitations that once constrained their growth (p.1). Although attitudes against online learning have improved, they are still widely held (e.g., Cuban, 2013; Thomas, 2008; Ulker & Ozturk, 2011). Only a small amount of study has been done on secondary public school students’ quality outcomes (Bakia et al., 2012; Watson, Murin, Vashaw, Gemin, & Rapp, 2011). Teachers are aware that businesses and communities anticipate constant efforts to raise students’ academic performance through better curriculum, instruction, school governance, and technology use, among other things (Cuban, 2013).
Technologies that have the ability to bring about change are responsible for the changes in the educational landscape. These adjustments have made the teaching and learning process more learner-centered and are also fostering collaboration in the classroom. It not only envelops us but also serves as the cornerstone of our civilization. We have easy access to a wide variety of online experiences and information since we live in a global village. Our generation is developing in a society where access to opportunities and information is only a screen touch away. Our youth are insatiably curious and full of information. Here, it is only necessary to organize and synthesize the knowledge in order to properly communicate it. Rapid advancements in science and knowledge are now essential for everyone in our complex environment. These components collectively serve as a symbol of progress. The technological and digital world of today presents teachers with new difficulties. Teachers must be knowledgeable and skilled because they serve as the best conduit between pupils and knowledge. With the development of technology, it is now possible to alter how information is presented to students and how they learn. Here, the question of whether it is time to integrate technology into our teaching approach arises. Yes, it is definitely time to rethink our traditional teaching approach. Our younger generation is eager to learn new things and is full of new information. Students are more tech savvy. They use the internet and other methods to get information. All of the information must be coordinated and presented properly. In this situation, the teacher’s function shifts from instructor to facilitator. For instructing, the teacher gives relevant material from the internet and books. Thus, the combination of online and textual content is advantageous for students.
People can learn anywhere, at any time, thanks to information and communication technology, which provide a variety of face-to-face interactive facilities. Additionally, they present chances for more efficient distribution and dissemination of learning resources and research advancements. In reality, e-learning and the usage of ICT-based technologies in education are expected to increase fifteenfold during the next ten years, accounting for 30% of all educational offerings globally. The main focus of traditional teaching is the teacher-centered approach. In the majority of traditional learning settings, pupils are taught by an instructor. Traditional education is typically thought of as having desks in rows with a teacher in the front. There is one teacher and several students in this classroom. This type of generic instruction does not emphasize individual performance. Some children prefer a personalized or less organized atmosphere due to individual differences. To put it another way, we may say that these pupils require self-paced learning materials. So, there is a demand for technology in Nigerian schools as well. Technology utilization and creative thinking are part of newer methods of teaching and learning. This cutting-edge approach is called hybrid learning or blended learning. Online and conventional learning are combined in blended learning. It is a cutting-edge approach to learning and teaching that raises students’ comprehension levels. In addition to the crucial one-on-one personal understanding and motivation that face-to-face training offers, blended learning supports all the advantages of e-learning, including cost savings, time efficiency, and geographic flexibility for the student. (Yonge, 2014; Brown, 2003). The focus of this teaching strategy is the learner. Thus, a learning environment that blends instructional methodologies, delivery methods, media format, or a combination of all of these is described by the terms blended learning or hybrid learning approach. It also refers to blended learning initiatives like online and in-person training. According to the description above, blended learning is a style of learning that combines several event-based activities, such as face-to-face classrooms, live e-learning, and self-paced education (Valiathan, 2006). In other words, blended learning combines traditional and online learning. Through a successful blending of traditional classroom instruction and online learning, blended learning demonstrates its value as a cutting-edge educational strategy. A study by Dean and colleagues found that offering a variety of online learning choices in addition to conventional classroom instruction actually improved what students learnt. By combining face-to-face interaction found in conventional learning with the flexibility of time, place, and content offered by web-based learning, blended learning will make it incredibly easy for learners to accomplish their goals. Ylmaz & Orhan (2010), argue that combining traditional and online learning is the most effective strategy to address the lack of interaction issue in technology-based learning. A useful way to introduce learners to the large knowledge base of the global community is through blended learning. This strategy is equipped to handle the demands of the current globalization era. It is a technological advancement in the field of education that makes it feasible to keep all of the world’s knowledge and information in a single electronic environment.
Rapid changes brought on by scientific and technological advancements, notably information technology, characterize the present era. The education system must adapt to these developments in order to deal with any issues that may result from them, such as the overwhelming amount of information and surge in student enrollment mixed with a teacher shortage. Many innovative teaching and learning techniques, including e-learning and blended learning (BL), have emerged as a result of science and technology advancements, notably in the fields of research and self-development. The information technology revolution has also contributed to the virtual creation of a global village. Both of these factors made it more important for learners to interact in multivendor contexts and for people to share their experiences with others.
E-Learning that is delivered electronically—through the internet, an intranet, or multimedia like CDs or DVDs—is known as e-Learning. It is regarded as one of the most cutting-edge teaching strategies and has a number of benefits. These benefits include its capacity to address the issues of knowledge explosion and rising educational demand, deal with the issue of crammed lecture halls if utilized as a method for remote learning, and offer chances for acceptance of diversity in education. For instance, e-learning enables workers to receive training, education, and rehabilitation without leaving their workplaces and also enables housewives to learn, helping to raise literacy rates. In addition to offering frequently updated information, simulation and animation programs, interactive exercises, and practical applications that are consistent with a learner’s needs and follow his/her pace while lowering training costs (accommodation, travel, and books), e-learning also makes it possible to conduct job interviews and participate in live debates online. Additionally, it integrates content and information for all users and enhances user retention and quick access to information.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In economics classes, the majority of educators use traditional teaching techniques, most frequently the lecture method or occasionally the lecture and discussion method. The employment of traditional teaching methods has led to the students’ last session’s poor academic achievement even though these current pupils are adults who will eventually become citizens of the country. If they are well-equipped with this method of learning, they can apply it to the process of lifelong learning, which is a better way to create knowledge in the globalization era. The path to advancement is education. It sharpens our brain and transforms an inquisitive one into an intellectual one. Giving the appropriate information to the right audience at the right time in the right format is urgently needed. Therefore, a customized learning environment that integrates the advantages of both conventional and modern learning is necessary right now. There have been several studies on online learning environments and their connection to students’ performance, according to reviews of the literature (Bawaneh, 2011; Shamsi S. Bawaneh, 2011 Becker; Ahmad et al. 2006; Dowling et al. 2003; Kubey et al. 2001). Numerous studies (Ahmad et al. 2006, Viera Boumová 2008, Mitchell and Frorer 2010) conducted shows that blended learning has a beneficial impact on students’ academic progress. According to research, many schools still instruct senior secondary pupils using the lecture-plus-discussion technique. Finding instructional methodologies that work well with the conditions present in these two very different environments is the biggest issue faced by those creating and delivering blended learning, especially now that the world has just emerged from the COVID-19 lockdown.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of virtual learning and on-site learning on students’ academic performance in economics in senior secondary school in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State. The specific objectives of the study are to:
- To investigate the significance difference in performance score in economics of senior secondary students taught through virtual learning and senior secondary students taught through on-site learning method.
- To determine whether there will be any difference between the mean performance scores of male and female Economics students taught with virtual learning and on-site learning.
- To proffer solutions to the challenges associated to virtual learning and students’ academic performance in economics in senior secondary schools.
1.4 Research Questions
- Is there any significant difference between the performance score in economics of senior secondary students taught through virtual learning and senior secondary students taught through on-site learning?
- Is there any significant difference between the mean performance scores of male and female Economics students taught with virtual learning and on-site learning?
- Are there solutions to the challenges associated to virtual learning and students’ academic performance in economics in senior secondary schools?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
H01: There is no significant difference between the performance score in economics of senior secondary students taught through virtual learning and senior secondary students taught through on-site learning method.
H02: There will be no significant difference between the mean performance scores of male and female Economics students taught with virtual learning and on-site learning.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The current understanding of virtual learning in terms of its uses, accessibility, and application will be expanded by comparing the two learning methodologies offered by this research. Giving school administrators and teachers additional knowledge about which approaches are more suitable and effective for learning, this research offers a clear presentation on different learning methods for on-site learning as well as virtual learning.
In particular, this research will aid in decision-making for the government, school administrators, instructors, and students.
The government will also understand that encouraging virtual learning in all secondary schools is a preventative measure against further lock-downs like the ones brought on by the corona virus last year. The success of virtual learning in the classroom may also be considered by school administrators and teachers who may contemplate being exposed to ICT tools.
1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This study focuses primarily on investigating the effect of virtual learning and on-site learning on students’ academic performance in economics in senior secondary school in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State. The scope of this study therefore includes the subject of virtual learning and on-site learning in relation to students’ academic performance in senior secondary school. It also covers:
- The extent to which different expected strategies are adopted in virtual learning;
- The extent to which students’ have access and make use of ICT tools in the classroom and how it has affect them academically.
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