This study examines the use of multimedia in teaching and learning of political science in University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. A survey research was adopted and the tool employed for this research study was a questionnaire. The data from the study revealed Cds, projector, computer and sound system are available Instructional Multimedia in their respective faculties with 62(66.2%), 76(81.7%) and 69(74.2%) of the respondents affirming it respectively. The study further revealed that, the majority of the respondents do not know the exact number of computer sets available in the department. It was also revealed that between one to five sound systems were available in their department. And the use of computers for teaching in the department is “not very often”, same with projectors as indicated by the majority of the respondents. Also, it was revealed that computer sets, sound systems, and use of simulation and projectors were not adequate in the department. This implies that the small number of instructional multimedia in the department has little or no effect on students’ participation in class activities and their academic performances.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
“Multimedia” is currently the buzzword in educational technology. Multimedia here refers to combining different electronic media, commonly computers and videodiscs, in teaching materials. This new generation is using digital media for learning and communicating (Tapscott, 2008). Business, industry, the military and educational institutions have recognized this potential and used computers as instructional tools. However, in the context of education, technology also refers to the process of applying the tools for educational purposes. In other words, “educational technology is a combination of the processes and tools involved in addressing educational needs and problems, with an emphasis on applying the most current tools: computers and their related technologies” (Roblyer & Edwards, 2000). The advent of multimedia and multimedia technologies has changed the way educators teach and students learn. With multimedia, the communication of the information can be done in a more effective manner and it can be an effective instructional medium for delivering information. Multimedia application design offers new insights into the learning process of the designer and forces him or her to represent information and knowledge in a new and innovative way (Neo & Neo, 2000). The use of multimedia as a platform for teaching is made even more possible with the availability of the MPCs (Multimedia PCs) that are powerful, fast, and able to process all media elements effortlessly and quickly, and multimedia software packages that are user‐friendly yet power‐packed. Multimedia “provides a means to supplement a presenter’s efforts to garner attention, increase retention, improve comprehension, and to bring an audience into agreement”, which consequently results in people remembering 20% of what they see, 40% of what they see and hear, but about 75% of what they see and hear and do simultaneously (Lindstrom, 2004). The use of multimedia in teaching and learning enabled teachers to stimulate final outcomes and assist students in applying knowledge learned from textbooks, thereby compensating for the deficiency of traditional teaching methods. Multimedia is now permeating the educational system as a tool for effective teaching and learning. With multimedia, the communication of information can be done in a more effective manner and it can be an effective instructional medium for delivering information. Multimedia access to knowledge is one of the possibilities of information and communication technology that has tremendous impact on learning. The instructional media have emerged in a variety of resources, and equipment, which can be used to supplement or complement the teachers’ efforts in ensuring effective learning by students. It is recognized that conventional media technologies can no longer meet the needs of our teaching and learning processes; as a result they are being replaced by multimedia technology. This technology provides a learning environment that is self‐paced, learner‐ controlled and individualized. Multimedia in Education has been extremely effective in teaching individuals a wide range of subjects. Multimedia is changing the way we communicate with each other. The way we send and receive messages is more effectively done and better comprehended. While a lecture can be extremely informative, a lecture that integrates pictures or video images can help an individual learn and retain information much more effectively. Using interactive CD‐ROMs can be extremely effective in teaching students a wide variety of disciplines, most notably languages and music.
A multi‐sensory experience can be created for the audience, which in turn, elicits positive attitudes towards its application (Neo & Neo, 2001). Multimedia has also been shown to elicit the highest rate of information retention and result in shorter learning time (Ng & Komiya, 2000). On the part of the creator, designing a multimedia application that is interactive and multi‐ sensory can be both a challenge and thrill. Multimedia application design offers new insights into the learning process of the designer and forces him or her to represent information and knowledge in a new and innovative way. However, information technology application serves different purposes, such as knowledge sharing‐portal, search engines, public administration, social service and business solution. Oshodi (2000) posits that awareness created towards the use of information and communication technology over the years is increasing in the classroom learning environment in the third world such that mere verbalization of words alone in the classroom to communicate ideas, skills and attitude to educate learner is futile. Omagbemi (2004) supporting this view expressed that access to multimedia information could stimulate changes and creates conductive learning environment and make learning more meaningful and responsive to the localized and specific needs of learners. The emphasis of multimedia design and development has been on the presentation of information in multiple formats (Hede & Hede, 2002). There are a number of overlapping definitions of multimedia. According to Doolittle (2001), “web‐based multimedia represents the presentation of instruction that involves more than one delivery media, presentation mode, and/or sensory modality. Multimedia has also been defined as “the use of multiple forms of media presentation” (Schwartz & Beichner, 2000) and “text with at least one of the following: audio or sophisticated sound, music, video, graphics” (Maddux, Johnson & Willis, 2001). Although numerous definitions exist to capture the essence and meaning of multimedia, “one commonality among all multimedia definitions involves the integration of more than one media” (Jonassen, 2000). Examples of multimedia includes but are not limited to text in combination with graphics, audio, music, video, and or animation. The teaching and learning of political science over the years has been delivered mechanically or by rote learning, which makes instruction teacher‐centered. Hardly can vital abstract contents in Political Science be effectively communicated to the learners theoretically. They need to be taught using relevant materials. The teacher in his/her method of teaching may have being a major source of students’ poor academic performance in Political Science. Most teachers still prefer using the ‘chalk and talk’ method in instructing learners. Although Multimedia could facilitate meaningful learning of Political Science, it is rarely used, whereas this method is considered as a good strategy for improving cognition. A good deal of expected learning outcomes is not realized in Political Science in our university as a result of non‐availability of instructional materials as well as lack of effective utilization of appropriate teaching materials (Nwagbo, 2008).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There is a urgent need to upgrade educational standard to bridge the gap between developed and developing nations, and multimedia instruction is considered as a necessary tool for this purpose. However, the presence of multimedia alone will not stimulate significant changes in a school. Teachers are an important ingredient in the implementation of multimedia instruction in education. Without the involvement of teachers, most students may not take advantage of all the available potential benefits of multimedia on their own. Teachers need to actively participate in the use of multimedia facilities. They have to be trained in the use of multimedia and in its integration in the classroom activities to enhance thinking and creativity among students. They must also learn to facilitate and encourage students by making them responsible for their own learning. Many of the current graduates were found to be lacking in creativity, communications skills, analytical and critical thinking and problem – solving skills (Teo & Wong, 2000). In this study, attempts are therefore made at examining such issues as are pertinent to the use of multimedia in teaching and learning of Political Science in institution of higher learning, a case study of University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main aim of this study is to examine the effective use of multimedia in the teaching and learning of political science education. Specifically, the sub objectives of this study include:
- To determine the availability of instructional multimedia in the department of Political Science for teaching and learning.
- To determine the pattern and frequency of use of multimedia by in the department of Political Science for teaching and learning.
- To investigate the adequacy of multimedia facilities for teaching and learning in the department of Political Science for teaching and learning.
- To identify factors, if any, which limit the use of multimedia by the university lecturers in the department of Political Science.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant influence of limited simulation on the academic performance of students.
H1: There is a significant influence of limited simulation on the academic performance of students.
H0: There is no significant influence of availability of instructional multimedia on students’ academic performance.
H2: There is a significant influence of availability of instructional multimedia on students’ academic performance.
H0: There is no significant influence of the use of audio‐visual on students’ effective learning of Political Science.
H3: There is a significant influence of the use of audio‐visual on students’ effective learning of Political Science.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The fact remains that the use of multimedia in teaching and learning enhance effectiveness and improves performance of students in the country today. Multimedia teaching has been believed to provide various techniques and method for lesson planning and to assist classroom instruction with improved visualization and representation. This study is therefore significant in that it will examine and hopefully reveal the effect of the use of multimedia in teaching and learning, and its implication on the academic performance of students and also make recommendation as to how best to use multimedia in teaching, so as to create a conductive atmosphere for teaching.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research work is limited to the effective use of multi-media in the teaching and learning of political science education in Cross River State. It covers the problems encountered and the solutions to such problems in the case study. This study did not in any way investigate the problems that lead to student’s unrest in the primary and secondary schools in Calabar rather it is restricted to an institution of higher learning in Calabar. Therefore the University of Calabar is selected to be the case study by the researcher. However the research has some constraints which are;
Time: the time at the disposal of the researcher which is allocated for the study was a major limitation as the researcher has to combine other academic work with the study.
Finance: The finance at the disposal of the researcher in the course of the study does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Effective: adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result.
Multimedia: Multimedia is content that uses a combination of different content forms such as text, audio, images, animations, video and interactive content.
Teaching: A teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone.
Learning: Learning is the process of acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences.
ICT: Information and Communication Technology.
UNICAL: University Of Calabar.
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