Exploring the Efficacy of Student Response System in a Sub-Saharan African Country: A Sociocultural Perspective
Alaba Olaoluwakotansibe Agbatogun, The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
JITE-Research Volume 11, Number 1, ISSN 1539-3585 Publisher: Informing Science Institute
The student response system (SRS) is marketed as a reliable tool for improving students’ academic attainment. However, findings to the question of whether or not the SRS does improve the learning outcomes of ESL [English as a Second Language] learners in primary education are not well documented in the research literature. Despite the wide use of English as the medium of communication and instruction in many Anglophone countries such as Nigeria, a teacher’s ability to actively engage all students in the classroom is challenging and relatively difficult. Learners’ poor performance in school subjects, as well as national examinations conducted by bodies such as the West African Examination Council (W.A.E.C.) and the National Examination Council (N.E.C.O.) has been attributed to teachers’ reliance on, and use of, the traditional lecture method which deprives students of the necessary interaction, active engagement and dialogic communication that could promote improved learning outcomes. The adoption, as well as the use, of SRS in schools to enhance teaching and learning is yet to be a reality in Nigeria. Researchers argue that, for learners to experience improved academic attainment, they must possess a reasonable degree of communicative competence in the language of instruction. Moreover, language is best learnt when student learners are given the opportunity to interact in the class with a view of exploring the environmental artifacts to interactively use the target language in real life situations. Earlier studies have shown that the use of SRS during instructional processes enables meaningful interaction that would facilitate improved educational attainment in the classroom. This study, which explored the sociocultural theory of Vygotsky, was thus conducted to investigate the effectiveness of SRS in English language classrooms with a view to improving the communicative competence of learners. In essence, this study was a quasi-experimental design conducted within 11 weeks, to compare the communicative competence of pupils exposed to SRS and those taught in the traditional classroom. 67 pupils from two Nigerian primary schools constituted the sample of the study. Learners in the traditional lecture method group were exposed to the traditional lecture method. On the other hand, the experimental group experienced peer discussion and active participation in instructional activities as the SRS technology was used to trigger interaction in the classroom at the pre- and post sessions of polling learners’ responses by the teacher. To assess learners’ English language communicative competence, a battery of English Language Listening Tests and English Language Speaking Tests was used for data collection. Data were analysed at 0.05 significance level via descriptive and inferential statistics (ttests, Analysis of variance, Pearson Product Moment Correlation, and multiple regression). While significant difference was found between the pre-and post-tests of the SRS group, no such significant difference was found within the control group. The results further show that the SRS group outperformed the control group at the post-test stage. Pupils’ communicative competence positively and significantly correlated with the listening and speaking skills of pupils in the SRS group. Speaking skill was also found to be potent predictor of pupils’ communicative competence in the SRS group.
Agbatogun, A.O. (2012). Exploring the Efficacy of Student Response System in a Sub-Saharan African Country: A Sociocultural Perspective. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 11(1), 249-267. Informing Science Institute.
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