Senior High Schools Preparedness for Integration of Computer Based Instruction in Teaching and Learning of Social Studies in Northern Region, Ghana
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Computer Based Instruction (CBI) is an instructional innovation which helps to improve on the quality of instruction. CBI support learners develop critical thinking, creativity and collaboration skills needed to function effectively in this 21st Century. The Government of Ghana rolled out the ICT in Education Policy (2015) to transform the education. But current literature does not show the extent to which schools, teachers and students were prepared for the application of CBI in the instructional processes. The study, therefore, explored schools’ preparedness for the integration of CBI in Social Studies instruction among secondary schools in the Northern Region, Ghana. The research aimed to establish school administrators, teachers, and students’ perceptions towards the use of CBI in teaching and learning of Social Studies; assess schools, teachers, and students’ level of preparedness for the integration of CBI in Social Studies instruction; investigate the extent to which CBIs are integrated into Social Studies instructions; establish the relationship between the demographic characteristics of Social Studies teachers and their integration of CBI in Social Studies instruction; explore challenges teachers and students faced when employing CBIs in Social Studies instruction; and suggest strategies to deal with the challenges. The study was anchored on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen & Holmes, 1976), and the Diffusion of Innovation Theory (Rogers, 1995), and adopted the convergent mixed research methods design. The target population was 7,906 participants from which 972 students, 84 teachers were randomly sampled to complete questionnaires, and 12 heads of school and a Director for ICT were purposively sampled for the interviews. Questionnaires were employed to collect data from teachers and students. Heads of schools and Director for ICT were interviewed. Qualitative data from the interviews were validated using member check and analyzed thematically and supported with anecdotal. A checklist was used to collect data on schools' digital infrastructure. Using Cronbach’s alpha formula, questionnaires were pre-tested to ensure reliability. Questionnaire for the teachers were accepted at r=0.89 and that of the students at r=0.73. Descriptive statistics (percentages, mean and standard deviation) were used to analyze the findings from demographic information of the respondents, teachers and students' perceptions of CBIs integration, preparedness for CBI integration, and the extent of integration of CBI in Social Studies instruction. Inferential statistics (correlation, multiple regression and t-test) were used to test the null hypothesis to determine if there was a significant relationship between teachers’ variables and their use of CBIs in Social Studies instructions. The hypotheses were at α = 0.01 and 0.05. The qualitative data were recorded in audio files (MP3), categorized, transcribed and imported to qualitative data analysis software (MAXQDA) for final analysis and reporting. Data presentation was made using percentages, charts, graphs, and frequencies. The findings discovered that there was no significant relationship between teachers’ variables and their CBI integration in Social Studies instruction. Head teachers, teachers and students although had positive perceptions towards CBI (total mean perception scores: teachers M=3.8, SD=0.8458, students Mean=3.4, SD=1.3794), they hardly incorporated CBI in Social Studies instructions (total CBI integration scores: teachers M=2.2, SD=1.217 and students M=1.2, SD=0.9771), due to lack of internet and computers, poor ICT skills, limited budgetary support, inadequate digital infrastructure, and lack of school-based ICT policies. From the findings, the study recommends in-service training, and provision of budgetary support, supply of digital infrastructure and hiring of ICT experts to provide support to the teachers and students for effective utilization of CBI in teaching and learning in order to improve students’ learning outcomes.