IMPACT OF STUDY SKILLS TRAINING ON ACHIEVEMENT IN BIOLOGY OF STANDARD VIII STUDENTS

K.Abdul Gafoor

C.Shemi

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

These are days of self-directed learning, active learning and life long learning. Active and constructivist modalities of learning are gaining ground in the field of education. ĎLearning to learní is one of the main purposes of teaching, training and learning. Study skills, study habits, meta learning skills etc. are major factors that help students for attaining this goal. Students need direction and guidance about how to study and how to become good achievers. Efficient learning process does not depend on teaching alone, it depends on learning procedures and learning techniques as well. The acquisition, integration, organization and storage of knowledge are all facilitated by the use and practice of effective and efficient learning strategies and techniques. These processes can be facilitated through study skills training.

 

OBJECTIVES

The major objective of the study is to test the effect of study skills training on the achievement in Biology of standard VIII students.

 

HYPOTHESES

1. There will be significantly higher mean post test scores of achievement in Biology for study skills trained group than the control group in the total sample;

2. There will be significantly higher mean post test scores ofachievement in Biology for study skills trained group than the control group in the sub sample of: boys andgirls;

 

3. There will be significantly higher mean post test scores ofachievement in Biology for study skills trained group than the control group in the sub samples; of : a) high achievers, b) average achievers, c) low achievers; based on previous achievement in Biology;

4. There will be significant difference in the mean percentage scores of achievement in Biology of study skills trained groupover the control group in total sample and sub samples based on gender and levels of achievement;

5. There will be remarkable improvement in study skills and student performance as perceived by the teachers and students, after study skill training.

 

VARIABLES OF THE STUDY

Independent Variable

Study skills training is the idependent variable in the present study. Itdenotes the systematic training and practice for scheduling the study time, note making, efficient reading , correct and neat drawing, different techniques of organizing ideas, preparation for examination etc. for improving the academic performance of students.

 

Dependent Variable

Achievement in Biology is the dependent variable. Itdenotes the knowledge attained or skills developed in biology determined through test scores on the content of the unit ĎExcretioní of standard VIII Biology of secondary schools of Kerala.

 

Control Variables

Sex and previous achievement are the control variables in the present study.

 

METHOD

Sample

Thesample was from standard VIII ofa Govt. Higher Secondary School of Malappuramdistrict of Kerala.Two divisions of standard VIII with a combined strength of 64 students formed the experimental group and an equal number formed control group,selected through ndividual to individual matching technique on the basis of previous achievement in Biology.

 

Tools

1. Test of achievement in Biology;

2. Study skills questionnaire;

3. Study skill training module;

4. Questionnaire on teacherís opinion about studentís performance; and

5.Questionnaire on studentís perception about the usefulness of study skills training.

 

ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

The mean performance ofstudy skills trained group and control group on the pre-test of achievement in Biology was studied and compared by using the test of significance of difference between means, in the total sample.The obtained critical ratio for test of significance of difference between the mean pretest scores of study skills trained group (25.74) and control group (25.07) was 0.36, which was not significant because the value obtained was less than the tabled value (1.67) required. Hence, there was equality of the study skills trained groups and control groups on the previous achievement in Biology. The mean post test scores of achievement in Biology of the study skills trained group and control group were studied and compared by using the Test of Significance of difference between mean scores, in total sample. Critical ratio obtained for the test of significance of difference between means (3.90) was found to be exceeding the limit set (2.39; P<0.1) i.e. there is significant difference in the mean post test scores of achievement in Biology between study skills trained group and control group in the total sample. Mean scores indicated that study skills trained group was superior over the control group with regard to post test scores of achievement in Biology. The means and standard deviation of post test scores of achievement in Biology of study skills trained group and control group in the sub samples were found out and subjected to the test of significance of difference between means for small samples. There was significant difference in the mean post test scores of achievement in Biology for study skills trained group (14.60) and control group (9.97) in the sub sample of boys at 0.01 level of significance (C.R. = 3.07; P < 0.01). There was significant difference in the mean post test scores of achievement in Biology for study skills trained group (19.50) and control group (15.14) in the sub sample girls at 0.01 level of significance (C.R. = 4.48; P < 0.01). There was significant difference in the mean post test scores of achievement in Biology for study skills trained group (20.43) and control group (16.90) in the sub sample high achievement category at 0.01 level of significance (C.R. = 4.28; P < 0.01). Significant difference was found in the mean post test scores of achievement in Biology for study skills trained group (13.95) and control group (10.90) in the sub sample average achievement category at 0.01 level of significance (C.R. = 7.82; P < 0.01). There was significant difference in the mean post test scores of achievement in Biology for study skills trained group (9.72) and control group (5.50) in the sub sample low achievement category at 0.01 level of significance (C.R. = 5.86; P < 0.01).

 

In order to know the extent of difference in mean post-test scores of achievement in Biology of the study skills trained group and control groups, the difference in the post-test scores were transformed into percentage terms, for the total sample and sub samples.The difference between study skills trained group and control group scores in percentage score terms gave an index of the effectiveness of the study skill training in enhancing the achievement in Biology. In order to know whether the obtained percentage differences were significant, the test of significance of difference between percentages was also employed. In total sample, the difference in the mean scores of achievement in Biology between study skills trained group and control group was 13.60 %. In the sub samples of boys and girls, the difference in the mean scores of achievement in Biology between study skills trained group and control groupwas 18.60 % and 17.50 % respectively. In the sub samples of high, average and low achievement categories, the difference in the mean scores between study skills trained group and control group were 14.10%, 12.20% and 16.80% respectively. All these percentage score differences between the study skills trained group and control groupwere significant as indicated by the critical ratios obtained for the test of significance difference between percentages. An average student made an improvement of 13.60 % in achievement in Biology due to study skills training.It is also notable that boys gained in achievement better than girls, and low achievers improved better than average and high achievers in Biology achievement owing to study skills training.

 

Responses of other teachers and students regarding the effectiveness of study skills training on the improvement in studentsí performance related to various study skills were analysed. From student as well as teacher perspectives, the effectiveness of study skills training was highest in the area of time management. 91 per cent of teachersí opinion was that time management skill practice made more effect on studentís performance in terms of organizing their available time purposefully for study and other activities.98 % students agreed that time management skill helped them more in scheduling their time for study, home work, play etc. The importance and usefulness of note-making was supported by 90 % of students.Their opinion was that as a result of skills training they could prepare notes by considering the important components of the skill and able to prepare notes, outline and organize ideas by different techniques.About 86 % teachers reported that there was a notable improvement in students in note keeping, note-making, etc. A marked improvement in studentís drawing ability was perceived by 83 % teachers and was supported by 90 % students.According to students, important guidelines for drawing diagram and the techniques of drawing were of great importance in their studies. The usefulness of memorization strategies and preparation for examination skill was reported by 71 % and 65 % of teachers respectively.The same was supported by 97% and 95 % students respectively.Majority of the students supported the advantages of mnemonic aids and metaphor using techniques in learning. There was a notable improvement in reading ability and concept mapping skill as perceived by 78 % and 75 % teachers respectively.In the case of students, it was 97% and 95 %respectively. Thus, students and teachers highly appreciated the effectiveness of study skills training in improving the learning skills.

 

CONCLUSION

There is a marked effect on Achievement in Biology in study skills trained group as a result of study skills training in the total sample. The same result was obtained from the analysis of sub samples based on gender and levels of achievement. The percentage of mean post test scores of study skills trained groupand control group in total sample and subsample, 10-18 percent of increase in the achievement in Biology of standard VIII students was observed. Students and teachers highly appreciate the effectiveness of study skills training in improving the learning skills. It was very useful in enhancing achievement as its effect is highest in low achievement strata, though high achievers and average achievers also are supported by it in improving their learning skills. The findings in general goes along with the observation of other researchers from experimental studies (Shinde1993; Viswanath 1993; Gelat 1998 ) that study skills are positively related to academic achievement but goes against the findings of some others that achievementincrease is not significant after study skill training (Mehta & Kumar 1985; Saroda 1999). The development of study skills will remain important in advancing studentís academic, personal and professional success. By providing proper assistance and guidance, low achievers and average achievers can improve their academic performance. In teaching process, if teachers take the responsibility of equipping students with the important study skills, students would become independent learners to a great extent. At least a few hours in every term should be set apart to develop newer techniques and skills which will make the learners better in learning and achieving.

 

REFERENCES

Gelat, V.K. (1998) Effect of study habit on educational achievement of students of secondary schools. The Progress of Education 99, 205-08

Mehta, P. and Kumar, D. (1985) Relationship of academic achievement with intelligence, personality, adjustment, study habit and achievement motivation. Journal of Psychology and Clinical Studies 1,2, 57-68.

Novak, J. D. (1998) Learning, Creating, and Using Knowledge: Concept Maps as Facilitative Tools in Schools and Corporations. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ.

Saroda, V. (1999) Study of impact of SES study habit and achievement motivation on academic achievement of higher secondary students. The Progress of Education 99, 122-124.

Shinde, V. R. (1993) Study skills training programme and its impact on scholastic achievement of ashram school of adivasi area.Journal of Psychological Research 45, 43.

Viswanath, R. S. (1993) The effect of training in study skills on scholastic achievement.Journal of Psychological Research 37, 22.