The Effectiveness of Computer-Based Simulations and Traditional Hands-on Activities on Secondary School Students’ Performance and Science Process Skills in Practical Chemistry
Practical activities are used as a catalyst in understanding chemistry concepts because it helps students to develop science process skills. However, research investigating the use of computer-based simulation practical activities to improve students’ science process skills is scarce. Hence, the study compared the mean gain of students’ performance and science process skills (SPS) using computer-based simulation and traditional hands-on instructional strategies. The study utilized a quasi-experimental design, using a pre-test, post-test, and control variable. The sample for the study was 92 senior secondary students, 48 for the computer-based simulation (experimental) and 44 for the traditional hands-on (control group) purposively selected. Two research instruments were used, a tagged science process skills rating scale (SPSRS) and a 20-item multiple choice question (MCQ). The findings showed that traditional hands-on activities had a higher mean gain on students’ performance while computer-based simulation improved students' science process skills more than traditional hands on. The study recommended that there is a need to blend traditional hands-on activities with updated and computer- based simulations to improve students’ science process skills and performance in science classrooms.
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