Educational and Social Effects of Computer-Assisted Instruction in a School Located in an Informal Urban Settlement of Nairobi

Introduction

Integration of information and technology in the educational process is generally considered to enhance educational methods in general and the learning process in particular. Computer-aided instruction or computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is an interactive educational technique that involves presenting instructional material by means of a computer. The main advantages of CAI include modularity, immediate or delayed feedback, good lesson integrity, and customization.

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In many advanced countries, CAI has become an indispensable part of formal and informal education.1 However, for countries in sub-Saharan Africa, CAI integration is a fairly recent and experimental phenomenon. The current issue facing the National Education Management Information System Programme is its weak capacity in terms of staff and computer software and hardware maintenance.2

With as many as 60% of the residents of Kenya’s capital Nairobi living in economically disadvantaged settlements,3 the use of CAI in schools located in slums may help pupils improve their standard of living in the future. The introduction of computers for teaching and learning is an ongoing process that the government of Kenya supports. This research paper discusses the potential educational effects and social concerns associated with introducing CAI in schools located in an informal urban settlement in Nairobi.

Significance of Research

One potential benefit of CAI is that it may prove useful in curbing teacher shortages in Kenyan slums. Taking into account the current sharp teacher shortage of 155,605 in Kenya, a proliferation of computer-aided instruction may conceivably fill the teacher gap.4 In addition, introducing computers for educational aims may contribute to an increase in student enrolment and achievement in several study fields. The given research assesses in what ways and to what extent computer-based educational programs can be beneficial for teachers and students living in slums in Kenya. Evaluating the existing research is important since it can provide evidence for the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of computer-aided instruction in the region under consideration.

Literature Review

Historically, CAI has been implemented over recent decades to address improvement in the learning outcomes of students. The use of CAI for educational purposes has been associated with an increase in student interest and cooperation as well as higher academic achievements.5 Other advantages of CAI in teaching and learning include a positive effect on students’ attitudes, making the process of study more student-centered rather than teacher-centered, and encouraging teacher-student communication.6 CAI enables self-paced learning, allowing students additional time to review certain topics needing clarification.

This point suggests that such technology helps students to take more responsibility for learning, which may facilitate their ability to control learning tasks and activities on their own. Moreover, CAI can be viewed as an effective instructional strategy for teachers because it gives highly individualized instruction to students based on their academic performance.7 Finally, CAI can change the role of students from that of passive listeners and consumers of information to active participants in the learning process who are interested in its outcomes.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine the educational effects and social challenges of incorporating CAI for students in a school located in an informal urban settlement of Nairobi, Kenya. The findings of this study identify the importance of an innovative computer-based resource for improved learning and teaching of children in slums. The Teachers Service Commission can use the findings to determine the feasibility of providing opportunities for students to engage in CAI groups. In addition, information on social concerns related to the use of CAI may provide insights into how to seamlessly integrate this promising technology in secondary schools in slums.

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Research Question

The research questions listed below comprise the fundamental core of the given research. Since the study is aimed at evaluating the effects of CAI on secondary education, the following research questions should be answered:

  • How does the tutorial mode of CAI influence the academic performance of students living in slums in Kenya?
  • What are the implications of computer-aided instruction for teachers?
  • What are the social concerns related to the implementation of CAI in slums in Kenya?

Methodology

The aim of the research is to determine the educational effect and social concerns associated with the use of computer-assisted instruction in a school located in an urban settlement of Nairobi. The methodology section holds substantial significance as it defines the approaches and strategies that will be followed to find the answers to the research questions. The discussion of the research methodology provides a description and an explanation of the techniques used during the research for data collection in order to form a logical conclusion.

Research Design

The given study employed a qualitative research method involving analysis of secondary sources that discuss the effects of computer-based instructional programs in slums in Kenya. Several scientific articles discussing divergent aspects of the issue have been chosen for further analysis. They have been thoroughly investigated in order to answer the research questions in detail. In particular, the research analyses and summarizes the educational effects of CAI integration on teaching and learning biology, chemistry, physics, and English.

Educational Effects of CAI on Students

Integration of CAI into learning situations has resulted in an overall positive effect on the academic performance of secondary school students. It has been found that the average post-test scores of students who were taught using computer-aided instruction performed considerably better than the students who were taught using conventional instructional methods.8 The findings of a study conducted by Julius, Two and Maundu are consistent with those of Nduati, who indicated an improvement in the chemistry performance of students taught through CAI.9 Another study that reiterated the findings of the above-mentioned research assessed the academic performance of agriculture students.10

In addition, CAI may be successfully applied to teaching students English as a foreign language. In particular, computer-assisted instruction may be effective in improving students’ English pronunciation despite native interferences. Moreover, the entertaining nature of CAI contributes to better memorization and understanding of English concepts and grammar rules. The points discussed above imply that CAI technology has been successful in enhancing the academic performance of students in various subjects.

Furthermore, CAI appears to establish more effective learning situations than the traditional teaching methods that usually include reliance upon a question-and-answer technique and teacher presentation. The use of computers in the learning process provides hands-on activities and active learning experiences along with productive peer interaction.11 Being actively engaged in the study process and interested in its outcomes, students are expected to experience an increase in motivation to learn and thus are more likely to exhibit higher academic achievement. CAI and the use of computers may therefore change the attitude towards education of students who live in slums. Through technology, pupils may learn more about the opportunities open to them, the world around them, and its current issues.

However, along with the numerous benefits already listed is a risk of potential incompatibility between previous learning styles and CAI. In the case of pupils studying in secondary schools located in informal urban settlements, this risk may negatively affect the achievements and engagement of students. In light of this potential problem, schools integrating CAI should take into account that most students living in a slum have never used computers before. Awareness of students’ learning styles will be a contributing factor to the successful and productive coupling of CAI interventions and those techniques that the students already find familiar.

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Another educational problem is that students may lack basic computer knowledge, making a computer-based learning process ineffective and time-consuming. Among other negative aspects of CAI implementation in slums, potential incompatibility of software to the curriculum and teachers’ unwillingness or inability to incorporate innovative techniques in their practice may present a challenge.

Effects of CAI on Teachers

Inappropriate teaching approaches, which often appear to be teacher-centered rather than student-centered, contribute to the poor performance of students; thus, it is important to evaluate the effects of CAI on teachers. Innovative instructional methods such as CAI are aimed at fostering learners’ understanding and facilitating the study process. These techniques invite students to be active participants in the learning process. Moreover, in some subject areas, neither practical nor theoretical teaching may appear to be effective and appropriate in conveying knowledge to students.

Even though CAI can serve as an effective supplement to instructor-provided information, teachers working in secondary schools located in slums may be unwilling to use computers.12 In fact, educators have expressed a lack of belief in their ability to use technology in a classroom.13 Therefore, an approach that encourages teachers to incorporate CAI strategy into their teaching could be crucial in order to enhance students’ performance at school.

Social Concerns Associated with CAI

Education is generally believed to be one of the most effective instruments for promoting the sustainable social and economic development of a country. Despite the fact that an increasing number of educational facilities are incorporating CAI, secondary schools located in slums are experiencing a lack of governmental response as well as integration into the urban environment, significantly adding to overall inequalities. Due to the high costs of purchasing hardware and software as well as those inherent in the maintenance of telecommunications networks, effective incorporation of innovative CAI technologies into secondary schools located in slums is still in its infancy.

Another significant social concern is the feasibility of delivering computer-assisted instruction to schools located in slums that currently lack even clean drinkable water or proper sewage. Only about 20% of Kibera, Nairobi’s biggest slum, has electricity; the cost of street lighting and connection for shacks is currently unaffordable.14 Moreover, drinkable water is obtainable only in a limited volume, and residents are required to pay for it.

In terms of sewage, in Kibera, as in other informal urban settlements in Kenya, no toilet facilities are available.15 Therefore, considering the limited resources in this community, the question of priority arises between the necessity to provide urgent basic needs versus the importance of CAI integration into secondary schools as both projects require huge costs that will possibly remain a challenge for several years ahead. This dilemma between funding basic needs or an educational project comprises the greatest social concern related to the topic. Another possible negative issue is associated with students’ unrestricted access to sources found on the World Wide Web. However, the potential educational benefit arguably outweighs any concerns.

Limitations of the Method Chosen

The limitations of the chosen research method are determined by the limitations of the research methods of the above-analyzed articles. Based on that assumption, it is possible to state that the results may lack validity due to the possibility that differences in the test scores of groups maybe not attributable to the instructional method chosen but rather to initial differences between groups. In addition, the limited study sizes involved in the research articles reviewed impact the generalizability of this study’s findings. By and large, replication studies may be recommended to improve the external validity of this research.

Conclusion

In summary, the research findings are consistent with the key literature dealing with the given topic. The incorporation of computer-aided instruction into secondary schools located in informal urban settlements in Kenya is likely to improve the currently endemic poor performance of students in different subjects. An innovative instructional method, CAI is aimed at facilitating adequate coverage of required educational concepts and promoting better student engagement in the learning process. Numerous studies have demonstrated various benefits of using CAI related to achievement over conventional instruction techniques.

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However, several negative aspects of integration of CAI have been associated with levels of computer skills on the part of both teachers and students that are minimal to completely lacking. Social concerns relating to the issue include an acute dilemma between funding the urgent needs of the population in the fields of sewage, drinkable water, and electricity and investing in educational development by integrating CAI into the current instructional setting.

Reference List

Auma, O.J., Mukwa, C., and Kyalo, M.M., ‘Influence of Computer Assisted Instruction on Teaching of English Language in Secondary Schools in Kisumu Central Sub-County: A Myth or Reality?’, Scholars Journals of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 6, no. 1, 2018, pp. 195-205.

Jesse, S.N., Twoli, N.W., and Maundu, J.N., ‘Enhancement of Science Performance Through Computer-Assisted Instruction Among Selected Secondary School Learners in Kenya’, Kentucky Journal of Excellence in College Teaching and Learning, vol. 12, no. 4, 2015, pp. 40-51.

Julius, J.K., Twoli, N.W., and Maundu, J.N., ‘Effect of Computer Aided Instruction on Students’ Academic and Gender Achievement in Chemistry among Selected Secondary School Students in Kenya’, Journal of Education and Practice, vol. 9, no. 14, 2018, pp. 55-63.

Kareem, A., ‘Effects of Computer Assisted Instruction on Students’ Academic Achievement and Attitude in Biology in Osun State, Nigeria’, Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, vol. 6, no. 1, 2015, pp. 69-73.

‘Kibera Facts & Information’, Kibera UK. Web.

Kinyua, G.W., Mwanda, S., and Midigo, R., ‘Computer Based Instruction and Learner Achievement; Implications for Training Art and Design in Kenya’s Secondary Schools’, International Journal of Academic Research and Reflection, vol. 5, no. 5, 2017, pp. 19-30.

Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Republic of Kenya, ‘National Education Sector Plan. Volume One: Basic Education Programme Rationale and Approach’, 2015, p. 37. Web.

Muchiri, J.M., ‘Effect of Computer Assisted Teaching Strategy on Students Achievement by Gender in Agricultural Education in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya’, International Journal for Innovation, Education and Research, vol. 6, no. 2, 2018, pp. 90-98.

Nduati, C.S., Effect of Computer Assisted Learning on Secondary School Students’ Achievement in Chemistry Murang’a South Sub – County, Murang’a County, Kenya, M.Ed Thesis, Nairobi, School of Education of Kenyatta University, 2015.

Thiong’o, J.K., Ndirangu, M., and Okere, M., ‘Effects of Computer-Based Simulation Module on Secondary School Students’ Achievement in Understanding of Magnetic Field of Electric Current’, Global Educational Research Journal, vol. 2, no. 8, 2014, pp. 96-102.

Tyagi, S., ‘Comparative Effectiveness of Computer Assisted Instruction with Traditional Instruction at Teacher Training Level’, International Journal of Research, vol. 1, no. 9, 2014, pp. 71-77.

Wanjala, E., ‘TSC Blames Treasury for Teacher Shortage, Wants More Money’, The Star, 2018. Web.

Footnotes

  1. O.J. Auma, C. Mukwa, and M.M. Kyalo, ‘Influence of Computer Assisted Instruction on Teaching of English Language in Secondary Schools in Kisumu Central Sub-County: A myth or Reality?’, Scholars Journals of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 6, no. 1, 2018, pp. 195-196.
  2. Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology of the Republic of Kenya, ‘National Education Sector Plan. Volume One: Basic Education Programme Rationale and Approach’, 2015, p. 37. Web.
  3. ‘Kibera Facts & Information, Kibera UK. Web.
  4. E. Wanjala, ‘TSC Blames Treasury for Teacher Shortage, Wants More Money’, The Star, 2018. Web.
  5. A. Kareem, ‘Effects of Computer Assisted Instruction on Students’ Academic Achievement and Attitude in Biology in Osun State, Nigeria’, Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, vol. 6, no. 1, 2015, pp. 70-71.
  6. J.K. Julius, N.W. Two, and J.N. Maundu, ‘Effect of Computer-Aided Instruction on Students’ Academic and Gender Achievement in Chemistry among Selected Secondary School Students in Kenya’, Journal of Education and Practice, vol. 9, no. 14, 2018, pp. 56-57.
  7. S. Tyagi, ‘Comparative Effectiveness of Computer Assisted Instruction with Traditional Instruction at Teacher Training Level’, International Journal of Research, vol. 1, no. 9, 2014, p. 72.
  8. Julius, Two and Maundu, p. 55.
  9. C.S. Nduati, Effect of Computer Assisted Learning on Secondary School Students’ Achievement in Chemistry Murang’a South Sub – County, Murang’a County, Kenya, M.Ed Thesis, Nairobi, School of Education of Kenyatta University, 2015, p. 46.
  10. J.M. Muchiri, ‘Effect of Computer Assisted Teaching Strategy on Students Achievement by Gender in Agricultural Education in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya’, International Journal for Innovation, Education and Research, vol. 6, no. 2, 2018, pp. 93-94.
  11. J.K. Thiong’o, M. Ndirangu, and M. Okere, ‘Effects of Computer-Based Simulation Module on Secondary School Students’ Achievement in Understanding of Magnetic Field of Electric Current’, Global Educational Research Journal, vol. 2, no. 8, 2014, pp. 101-102.
  12. S.N. Jesse, N.V. Two, and J.N. Maundu, ‘Enhancement of Science Performance Through Computer-Assisted Instruction Among Selected Secondary School Learners in Kenya’, Kentucky Journal of Excellence in College Teaching and Learning, vol. 12, no. 4, 2015, p. 41.
  13. G.W. Kinyua, S. Mwanda, and R. Midigo, ‘Computer Based Instruction and Learner Achievement; Implications for Training Art and Design in Kenya’s Secondary Schools’, International Journal of Academic Research and Reflection, vol. 5, no. 5, 2017, p. 20.
  14. ‘Kibera Facts & Information.
  15. ‘Kibera Facts & Information.
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StudyCorgi. (2021, June 16). Educational and Social Effects of Computer-Assisted Instruction in a School Located in an Informal Urban Settlement of Nairobi. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/educational-and-social-effects-of-computer-assisted-instruction-in-a-school-located-in-an-informal-urban-settlement-of-nairobi/

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StudyCorgi. "Educational and Social Effects of Computer-Assisted Instruction in a School Located in an Informal Urban Settlement of Nairobi." June 16, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/educational-and-social-effects-of-computer-assisted-instruction-in-a-school-located-in-an-informal-urban-settlement-of-nairobi/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Educational and Social Effects of Computer-Assisted Instruction in a School Located in an Informal Urban Settlement of Nairobi." June 16, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/educational-and-social-effects-of-computer-assisted-instruction-in-a-school-located-in-an-informal-urban-settlement-of-nairobi/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Educational and Social Effects of Computer-Assisted Instruction in a School Located in an Informal Urban Settlement of Nairobi'. 16 June.

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