1.1 Background to the Study
Throughout the years, there has been various studies carried out to examine the impacts of learning styles in education. Typically, learning style is described as the technique where learners regard, process, interpret, arrange, and think about information. Learners typically have their preferred ways of determining, arranging, and holding information effectively and efficiently (Chou & Wang, 2000). McAllister (2010) asserted that by creating an enjoyable learning atmosphere and practising teaching techniques that closely suit the students' favored learning styles, teachers will have the ability to help students to attain better academic achieve.
Learning style is a mix of cognitive, psychological, and physiological factors that are affected by environmental factors. There are countless models of learning styles and a range of measurement instruments that can examine them including the validated VARK questionnaire developed by Fleming (2006). VARK is an acronym for Visual, Aural, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic sensory modalities. The learning style can be splited into two categories. Unimodal learners have just one leading learning choice and can be categorized into four styles, V, A, R/W, and K. The visual-aural-read/write-kinesthetic (VARK) questionnaire is a straightforward, freely available, easy to administer tool that motivates students to describe their actions in a way they can accept and identify with. Some instances of the VARK learning style preferences (LSPs) are: Visual (taking a look at and making images, animations, graphs, tables, and so on.); aural (listening to and taking part in speeches, discussions, and question answer sessions); review/write (reviewing and writing text associated with the textbook, class notes, laboratory records, and so on.) and Kinesthetic (participating in physical experiences and manipulating objects, for instance in laboratories). The "multimodal learners" have a well-balanced set of learning preferences, consisting of the bimodal, trimodal and quamodal.
Teaching comes to be more effective when the teacher has the ability to know the theories and use the techniques efficiently. Akoh and Musa (2011). Opined that the success or failure of any recommended curriculum depends greatly on the teachers due to the fact that they are the implementers thereof, if teachers who are expected to impart knowledge into students are incompetent, inexperienced and unqualified, it will influence the achievement of the students. For Oladipo and Ayeni (2010), teaching includes bringing about or at least facilitating preferable change in learners. Nevertheless, effective teaching calls for the teacher to step out of the realm of individual experience and enter into the world of the learners (Brown, 2017). In order to be successful in changing the behavior of the learner, the teacher's capability to determine and use the appropriate type of teaching techniques at the right time is pertinent, since every human activity has its very own methods for implementing it and teaching techniques is just one of such strategies used in delivering instructions efficiently.
Presently, there is a minimal number of research study done to examine the learning styles of Computer Science. Thus, in reaction to this issue, the objective of this study is to discover the relationship between learning style and academic achievement of students of Computer Science. By understanding this relationship, the present study offers helpful information to develop an efficient instructional strategy, promote academic performance and enhance Computer Science education in secondary schools. It is on this basis that this study seeks to examine relationship between secondary school students learning styles and their achievement in Computer Science by using Tower of Ivory Schools in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Academic achievement of undergraduate students in Computer Science had witnessed a deplorable trend in the past years. Observations from 2014 to 2018 have consistently revealed poor performance in Computer Science at Tower of Ivory Schools, Akwa Ibom State. Studies reviewed indicated teaching methods and lack of instructional materials/resources as reasons for poor academic achievement of students in Computer Science. Learning styles have been investigated in other subjects in various secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State but nothing of such has been done at Tower of Ivory Schools, Akwa Ibom State, especially in Computer Science. This study is an endeavour to empirically find out if senior secondary school students differ in their learning styles. Against this background, the researcher tends to investigate the relationship between secondary school students learning styles and their achievement in Computer Science by using Tower of Ivory Schools in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to find out the relationship between secondary school students learning styles and their achievement in Computer Science by using Tower of Ivory Schools in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The specific objectives include:
a) To determine the learning style preferences among the students of Tower of Ivory Schools in Akwa Ibom State.
b) To establish the correlation between students’ learning styles and their achievement in Computer Science.
c) To find out measures that can be taken to help the students with low academic achievement in Computer Science at Tower of Ivory Schools in Akwa Ibom State.
1.4 Research Questions
The followings are the research questions for this study:
a) What is the learning style preferences among the students of Tower of Ivory Schools in Akwa Ibom State?
b) Is there any correlation between students’ learning styles and their achievement in Computer Science?
c) What are the measures that can be taken to help the students with low academic achievement in Computer Science at Tower of Ivory Schools in Akwa Ibom State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The followings are the research hypotheses for this study:
a) There is a significant relationship between learning style preferences and the students of Tower of Ivory Schools in Akwa Ibom State
b) There is a significant correlation between students’ learning styles and their achievement in Computer Science
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study is aimed at assisting teachers and educational psychologists/researchers understand the various learning styles favored by the learners.
In addition, the researcher hopes to gather crucial and enough information to help instructors recognize the important relationship between learning styles preferences and academic achievement. If indeed significant relationship is exposed, further credibility will be afforded for the theory that learning styles play a crucial role in students ‘academic achievement and the learning style assessment instrument proposed for this study (the Barsch Learning Styles Inventory) would then become a means to assist teachers understand their learners ‘learning style preferences and adjust it to maximize learning and hence improve academic achievement. But more importantly, the teachers will help the learners discover their learning, that is meta-learning, and develop successful and life-long learners.
Further, students will benefit from the knowledge about their own learning style and can take control or direct their own learning through modifying their habits and materials for optimum learning. According to Sternberg (1997), when learners learn in a way that suits them, improvements in the effectiveness of the learning process normally ensue.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study covered all the science students of Tower of Ivory Schools in Akwa Ibom State and focus mainly on their academic achievement in Computer Science.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The major problem faced during this research is time, the researcher has limited time to complete the research and also insufficient fund to finance the project also to visit more one schools.