Factors influencing effective use of educational technologies

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The Strong Media Theory

The strong media effect school of thought claims that, instructional media influence academic performance of students. This means that, learners who are exposed to instructional media learn more and perform better academically than those who are not exposed to instructional media, in other words, instructional media enhance conceptualization of intended learning outcomes. There are several researchers, such as; Isiaka (2007), Bada (2011), Gulek and Demirtas (2005), that support this school of thought. Rutz, Eckart, Wade, Maltibie, Rafter and Elkins (2003), found that instructional media influence academic achievement of students, when they evaluated the final grades, in their study to compare technology-enhanced and traditional instruction for a course in statics. They found out that the Web assisted instruction mean of 76.1 compared to Traditional instruction at 67.8 percentage point. The mean difference is at 8.3 percentage point, showing significant difference between the means of those students taught using technology enhanced instruction and those taught using the traditional instruction, and this difference attest to the fact that technology impacts positively on students’ conceptualization of intended learning outcomes. All the forms of technology used in this study, their means are above the traditional instruction mean of
67.8, and the mean differences range from 4.7 to 8.3. The results, then, support the strong media effects school of thought, and confirm that instructional media enhance the conceptualization of intended learning outcomes, thereby improving students’ academic performance (Rutz et al 2003).
These findings, are in agreement with the results of Peake, Briers and Murphy (2005) who collected data on the relationship between student achievement and the level of technology integration by Texas agriculture teachers, and found that, “while there are no cause and effect relationships addressed in the study, the findings support that a positive relationship exists between the level of agriculture science teacher technology integration and students achievement in basic academic subjects”( 2005:29).
Peake et al (2005), explain that the data presented on teachers’ level of skill in administrative use of technology and on the teachers’ level of skill in integrating technology, of the two variables, it is the teacher level of technology integration variable that most directly influences student achievement. Meaning here instructional media do enhance conceptualization of intended learning outcomes. Peake et al (2005), noted that while no statistically significant correlations were found at the inferential level for these variables, there were some “descriptively significant” correlations in this sample.
The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between agriculture science teacher integration of instructional media and students’ achievement. The findings show that there was, descriptively a positive low correlation between student achievement on the mathematics portion of the TAAS (Texas Assessment of Academic Skills) and teacher instructional technology integration level. (Peake et al 2005:28). In other words, the results of Peake et al (2005), confirm that there is a positive relationship between instructional media integration and students’ academic
achievement, which means that, although the primary objective of the research was not a cause –effect relationship, but the results support that instructional media has a link or relationship with students’ academic achievement, meaning that instructional media enhance conceptualization of intended learning outcomes..
These above findings are also consistent with the findings of Shuratuddin (2001), who carried a study on “Internet instructional method effects on student performance”; the conclusion drawn from the studies was that, “internet instructional method does have significant effect on student performance.”(p5)This is, based on several statistical data, of which, are the mean for coursework: 72.13 and 77.54 for convectional teaching method and internet method respectively, showing that the internet has significant effect on students’ performance. All t calculated values are greater than the theoretical value of t, thus making the difference significant. Thus Shuratuddin (2001:5), concluded, “Since all sub –hypotheses, H1, H2 and H3 are rejected, it is possible to state that Internet instructional method does have significant effect on students’ performance.” In other words, instructional media enhance conceptualization of intended learning outcomes. The results, then further support the strong media school of thought, One aspect to note is that the findings of Shuratuddin (2001), do not base on one aspect, but three aspects, that is course work, examination and overall mark, meaning that instructional media effect is seen across the spectrum of the teaching and learning process.
Mwei, Too, and Wando (2011), who also investigated, “computer assisted instruction on student’s attitudes and achievement in matrices”, found that there was a significant difference between students who used computers and those who did not and they concluded that there was a significant difference in the Mathematics achievement. Their results show that the pretest means are similar; experimental group at 11.11 and control group at 10.03 respectively. The results also show that the posttest means are different; the experimental group at 53.09 and control group at 32.62 respectively. This, then, is attributed to use of Computer Assisted Instruction(CAI), thus the difference in achievement between the experimental and control groups, can be the basis to conclude that, computer assisted instruction enhance the conceptualization of intended learning outcomes. In other words CAI improves academic achievement of learners.
Thus the findings of Mwei et al (2011), confirm the strong media effect theory, that instructional media enhance conceptualization of intended learning outcomes. The difference in the means between the control group and the experimental group is significant at 20.47 points, showing that; instructional media has a significant effect on the conceptualization of intended learning outcomes. In other words, instructional media do benefit students in that, it improves their academic performance, thus, students who are exposed to instructional media do better academically as opposed to those students who are taught without instructional media.
The above research findings are also consistent with the findings of the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), which studied 311 research reviews and original research projects and reported that “Positive effects have been found for all major subject areas, in preschool, through higher education and for both regular and special needs students…” (SIIA 2000:4), although, SIIA has not produced statistical evidence to support its claim, the information it provided in its study, confirm its position regarding the use of educational technology during the teaching and learning process.

1.0 INTRODUCTION 
1.1 Background of study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Research Question
1.4 Sub Questions
1.5 Aim of the Study
1.6 Objectives of the Study
1.7 Motivation of Study
1.8 Benefits of Study
1.9 Definition of Terms
1.9.1 Instructional media
1.10 Research design
1.11 Research methodology
1.12 Units of analysis
1.13 Population
1.14 Samplin
1.15 Research instruments
1.16 Data collection plan
1.17 Data presentation
1.18 Data analysis procedure
1.19 Limitations
1. 20 Chapter Overviews
1.21 Summary
CHAPTER TWO SECTIONS CONTENTS PAGES
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Conceptual framework
2.3 Review of related literature
2.3.1 The Strong Media Theory
2.3.2 The Weak Media Theory
2.3.3 The Mixed View of Instructional Media
2.3.4 Factors Influence Instruction Media Usage
2.3.4.1 Factors Influencing Conceptualization
2.3.4.2 Factors Influencing Instructional Media Selection
2.3.4.3 Factors influencing effective use of educational technologies
2.4 Learning Theories
2.4.1 Cognitive Theories of Learning
2.4.2 Behaviorists Theories of Learning
2.4.3 Gestalt Theory of learning
2.4.4 Humanistic learning theory
2.4.5 Social learning theory
2.5 The ASSURE MODEL (Instructional media usage model)
2.6 Dale’s cone of experience
2.7 Cognitive Styles/Learning Styles
2.8 Principles of learning
2.9 Rate of Return to Investment in Education
2.10 Conclusion
2.11 Summary- Chapter Two
CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 
3.1 Population
3.2 Sampling
3.3 Research Instruments
3.4 Data collection plan
3.5 Data Analysis plan
3.6 Data presentation plan
3.7 Data Analysis and discussion
3.8 Ethical consideration
3.9 Conclusions and recommendations
3.10 Summary-Chapter Three
CHAPTER FOUR  Data presentation 
4.1 Introduction
4.2 The Aim of the Study
4.3 The Objectives of this Study
4.4 Sub questions
4.5 Response Rate
4.6 The research instrumt (see chapter 3.3 for details)
4.7 Demographics
4.8 Institutional information
4.9 Findings from closed-ended questionnaire items
CHAPTER FIVE  SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 

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THE ROLE OF INSTRUCTIONAL MEDIA IN TERTIARY STUDENTS’ CONCEPTUALIZATION OF INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES IN BOTSWANA

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