VIRTUAL LEARNING’S EFFECTIVENESS ON SECONDARY SCHOOL CHEMISTRY STUDENTS’ ACQUISITION OF 21ST CENTURY SKILLS IN THE COVID19 ERA
The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of virtual learning in secondary school chemistry students’ acquisition of 21st century skills in the covid-19 era. The study’s total population is 200 staff members from a select secondary school in Uyo.
The researcher collected data using questionnaires as the instrument. This study used a descriptive survey research design. The study included 133 respondents who were principals, teachers, senior staff, and junior staff. The collected data was organized into tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.
1.1The Study’s Background
Chemistry is a one-of-a-kind and fascinating subject. Chemistry, on the other hand, is regarded as a difficult subject among students (Chu & Hong, 2010). This is due to a misinterpretation of content from various sources. As a result, the secondary school chemistry curriculum was designed to allow students to actively participate in the process of acquiring knowledge, scientific skills, and technological literacy.
This enables students to solve and make decisions about their daily lives based on scientific attitudes and noble values. It is also intended to create a dynamic and viable community that is in sync with the most recent scientific knowledge and technologies.
Information Communication and Technology (ICT) is a strategy for collecting, collating, organizing, manipulating, and drawing conclusions from data. It is also an exchange of information between people traveling from one location to another. According to Ede and Ariyo (2014) and Fabunmi (2012), ICT has become an increasingly important tool for accelerating social, economic, and educational sectors.
According to Rosandich (2014), ICT serves as the engine that turns the wheel of today’s economy, government, and education. ICT has a massive impact on teaching and learning. Nwoke and Akukwe (2012) emphasized that ICT provides learners with unique opportunities to learn individually based on their level of understanding and provides them with instant feedback on their intellectual act. According to Rienhoff, Hopwood, Fischer, Strauss, Baker, and Schorer (2014) and Yang and Heh (2007), the positive effectiveness of ICT instruction is unquantifiable.
According to Hettiarachchi and Wickramasinghe (2016), the information technology approach to instruction has resulted in a significant shift from the traditional teacher-centered learning methodology to the learner-centered method of teaching, particularly in the sciences.
Chemistry is recognized as a branch of science that processed the fundamental ingredients to technology, directly dealing with both practical and experimental understanding of basic natural phenomena (Arokoyu & Ugonwa 2012). It was stated that chemistry contributed significantly to the value of life and nation building, which cannot be overstated in all aspects (Olibie, Ezoem & Ekene, 2014).
According to Njoku (2007), secondary and tertiary chemistry students have also had poor and deplorable results over the years. Copriady (2014) stated that teaching chemistry in secondary schools is frequently associated with numerous challenges, all of which include teachers’ competency.
Another strong factor mentioned in the studies of Schutt and Linegar (2013) and Omorogbe and Celestine (2013) was the abstract nature of the chemistry concepts and topics in the curriculum. In addition, poor methodology (Machina, 2012). Lack of motivation has also been identified as a critical factor in poor learner outcomes in sciences (Glynn, Taasoobshirazi, & Brickman, 2009) and (Herga, agran, & Dinevski, 2016).
In essence, Gambari and Yusuf (2014) explained that virtual learning is an innovative instructional technique that is very useful for teaching and learning sciences, particularly chemistry. French (2014) concluded that learning is more of a series of experiments in the context of a virtual environment, and that it is more valuable than learning in real laboratories.
Virtual learning, on the other hand, can be used and preferred for alternative and supportive chemistry instruction. In this regard, researchers have investigated the meaning of virtual learning, and many scholars have discussed virtual learning from various perspectives. Unanma, Abugu, Dike, and Umeobika (2013), for example, stated that virtual learning is a reality and arena that provides a repeatable, safe, and conducive environment for skills that are not possible to undergo in the real world.
The study of Jeschke, Richter, and Zorn (2010) clarified virtual laboratories as stimulants, provider also offers significant practical experiences to students. Abeldina, Moldumarova, Abeldina and Moldumarova (2015) also stated that a virtual learning environment consists of a designed software and a system of instruction for educational establishments and organizations that is monitored by experts and creates a communication border for teachers and students in order to facilitate the learning process.
Jasieski (2014) concluded that a virtual classroom can replicate a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom for instructional purposes.
Furthermore, a virtual learning environment is learning that is obtained through interaction with digitally delivered learning content. It is also learning that is carried out through the integration of electronic dialogue, such as activities on web platforms (Bouchard, 2011) and (Tirp, Steingröver, Wattie, Baker, & Schorer, 2015).
As a result, Hettiarachchi and Wickramasinghe (2016) defined a virtual learning environment as an online learning platform that allows instructors to share instructional content with both male and female students via the web, with examples including WebCT, Moodle, and Blackboard. Based on this background, the researcher wishes to investigate the effectiveness of virtual learning on the acquisition of 21st century skills by secondary school chemistry students in the Covid-19 era.
Many studies have shown that virtual learning has a positive impact on students. For example, Rosandich (2014) conducted research on the transfer of a motor skill within and between basketball and darts. Unanma, Abugu, Dike, and Umeobika (2013) also worked on virtual realities in the learning environment to increase efficiency and differentiation in training.
Furthermore, Abeldina, Moldumarova, and Moldumarova (2015) investigated the virtual environment for teaching science subjects in schools. Yang and Heh (2007) investigated the efficacy of the virtual chemistry laboratory (VCL) on scientific progression and concluded that learners in the experimental setting achieve significantly more than those in the scope of traditional laboratory activities.
In essence, Gambari and Yusuf (2014) explained that virtual learning is an innovative instructional technique that is very useful for teaching and learning sciences, particularly chemistry. French (2014) concluded that learning is more of a series of experiments in the context of a virtual environment, and that it is more valuable than learning in real laboratories. However, virtual learning can be used and preferred as an alternative and supplement to chemistry instruction.
The study’s objective
The study’s objectives are as follows:
Determine the relationship between virtual learning and student academic performance in chemistry.
to determine the difficulties of virtual learning in secondary school
To determine the effectiveness of virtual learning in secondary school chemistry teaching.
Hypotheses for research
The researcher developed the following research hypotheses in order to successfully complete the study:
H0: There is no relationship between virtual learning and student academic performance in chemistry.
H1: There is a link between virtual learning and student academic performance in chemistry.
H02: There are no difficulties with virtual learning in secondary school.
H2: There are difficulties with virtual learning in secondary school.
The study’s importance
The study will provide a clear picture of the effectiveness of virtual learning on the acquisition of 21st century skills by secondary school chemistry students in the Covid-19 era. The research will be useful to students, teachers, and policymakers. It will also serve as a resource for future researchers interested in the subject.
The study’s scope and limitations
The study’s scope includes the efficacy of virtual learning on secondary school chemistry students’ acquisition of 21st century skills in the covid-19 era.
The researcher comes across a constraint that limits the scope of the study;
a) RESEARCH MATERIAL AVAILABILITY: The researcher’s research material is insufficient, limiting the scope of the study.
b) TIME: The study’s time frame does not allow for broader coverage because the researcher must balance other academic activities and examinations with the study.
1.7 TERM DEFINITION
Virtual learning is a learning experience that is enhanced by using computers and/or the internet both outside and inside the educational organization’s facilities. The majority of the time, instruction takes place online.
Chemistry is the branch of science concerned with the substances that make up matter, their properties and reactions, and the use of such reactions to create new substances.
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