Effectiveness of e–Learning Investigation Model on Students’ Understanding of Classification of Organisms in School Biology

Joel Kipkemboi Kiboss, Edward Kiptabut Tanui


A recent report revealed that students’ understanding in secondary school biology has been generally poor due to inappropriate teaching and learning approaches employed in the instructional process. It indicates that several science teachers in Rift Valley Province ranked the topic of classification of organisms as the second most difficult area that the regular methods are weak in making students understand it. In response, the study reported here investigated the effectiveness of E-Learning Group Investigation Model (ELGIM) intervention on form three students’ biology learning outcomes. ELGIM is a combination of e-Learning (EL) and Collaborative Learning (CL) instructional strategies employed to curb this problem. The study was based on the topic classification of organisms undertaken over a period of 8 weeks with 165 form three pupils from four secondary schools in Nakuru district, Kenya. A Solomon-four quasi-experimental design was carried out to investigate the effects of ELGIM on students’ understanding and attitudes on their pre- and, post-, Achievement Test, Attitudes questionnaire Dependent measures. Two control groups C1 (N=100) that received the pre-test and C2 which did not received conventional instruction whereas two experimental groups E1 (N=111) that was pre-tested and E2 (N=) which did not received their instruction via the mode. All groups were exposed to the same classifications of organisms syllabus except for the instructional methods used. Data was collected using two instruments namely; the Biology Achievement Test (BAT) and Students’ Attitude Questionnaire (SAQ) used to assess the Biology learning outcomes. This study successfully demonstrates that the experimental group students outperformed the conventional group students in the domains of concept construction, conceptual change and scientific reasoning. Moreover, students with a higher level of scientific reasoning were more able to successfully change their alternative conceptions. It concludes that collaborative learning approach has major implications for teaching difficult topics in science and enhancing students’ learning outcomes. Hence, this intervention should be integrated into the existing school science curriculum.

Keywords: Biology instruction, Collaborative learning, e-Learning, School science curriculum, Secondary education

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