Global Educational Research Journal

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Effects of computer-based simulation module on secondary school students’ achievement in understanding of magnetic effect of electric current

1John K. Thiong’o, 2Mwangi Ndirangu and 2Mark Okere





Accepted 26th July, 2014


Developing countries have realized the importance of physics in their quest for scientific and technological development. Physics plays a dominant role in spearheading technological advancement, promoting national wealth, improving health and accelerating industrialization. In Kenya, the overall students’ performance in physics at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination has been poor, with very low student enrollment. This situation has been aggravated by the expository approaches used by physics teachers, bringing the need for teachers to seek an alternative pedagogy. The computer is being used to assist in the teaching/learning process in many subject areas with promising results.This study aimed at finding out the effect of computer-based simulation module on students’ achievement in magnetic effect of an electric current. The study adopted Solomon-Four Quasi-Experimental Design which involved comparisons between two experimental and two control groups. Purposive sampling technique was used to select four County boys’ secondary schools in Nyeri County which had computers, and were accessible to the researcher. The four schools were randomly assigned to the experimental and control groups. Each school provided one Form Two class for study and a total of 170 students were involved. All the subjects were exposed to the same content of magnetic effect of an electric current. However, the experimental groups were taught using Computer-Based Simulation module while the control groups were taught through regular teaching methods. Experimental group I and control group II were pre-tested prior to the implementation of the Computer-Based Simulation module. After teaching for four weeks, all the four groups were post-tested using the Physics Achievement Test (PAT). This instrument, which was developed by the researcher, was validated by three experts and pilot tested before use. The reliability coefficient using K-R21 for PAT was 0.81. Data were analyzed using t-test, one way ANOVA and ANCOVA at significance level of alpha equal to 0.05. The result of the study showed that Computer-Based Simulation Module resulted into higher achievement mean scores in magnetic effect of an electric current on PAT, among the groups that received the treatment. The mean scores were statistically significantly different in favour of the experimental groups. These findings are valuable to curriculum developers and implementers in designing teaching strategies which are likely to enhance the teaching and learning of physics in Kenyan schools and anywhere else where this has been a challenge.


Keywords: Computer-based instruction; simulations; achievement.