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This chapter is the introductory section of the study and gives a background of impact of the use of
interactive video in the learning of atomic models in Senior High Schools in Ghana. It will expose the constraints
Physics teachers encounter in the use of interactive video in teaching physics and compare them with that of
the international communities. This chapter will explain the relevance of the study, what the study is set to
achieve by discussing the background to the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives
of the study, research questions, the significance of the study, the limitations, delimitations and the organization
of the study.
Background to the Study
Physics is an important subject for economic, scientific and technological development (American
Physics Society, 2008; Zhaoyao, 2002). As an academic discipline, it is the foundation of science and technology
and the functional role of it to science and technology is multifaceted and multifarious that no area of science,
technology and business enterprise in this world escapes its application (Okereke, 2006). To consolidate this,
several attempts have been made to introduce effective strategies and methods in teaching physics. Successful
attempts to teach physics effectively have also been made recently and a range of educational policy
programmes, school effectiveness and methods for effective instruction have been identified (Oyedeji, 2000;
Adewale & Amoo, 2004).
Empirical studies from the field of Physics Education Research [PER] (2010) have outlined essential
suggestions about physics curriculum which are generally accepted and believed to widen the knowledge and
increase the horizon of understanding of physics by learners. Among the essential suggestions are: (1) the
method of teaching physics should be guided discovery instead of the traditional lecture method used in
teaching the subject. This was recommended due to the fact that, learning efficiency and effectiveness take
place during explanation, experimentation and discussion; (2) there should be interaction between the physics
teacher and the students. In this case, it is believed that if genuine and helpful interaction exists between the
teacher and students, the students will be able to inform teachers what they find difficult in physics thereby
reducing the difficulties they (students) encounter (Adeyemo, 2010, p. 101). These features are essential
because it is believed that if they are dully and critically followed and applied in any given situation and at any
given time, teachers will be able to make physics easy to comprehend by learners (Adeyemo, 2010).
Teaching methods are the most important techniques employed by teachers to realize the objectives
of a lesson (Borich, 2007; Fishburne & Hickson, 2001). Thus, teachers of all disciplines including physics use
various teaching methods for achieving lesson objectives. For physics students to achieve their full potential in
schools, it would seem to be essential that teachers engage in effective teaching practices (Borich, 2007;
Fishburne & Hickson, 2001).
Classroom based investigation has been able to determine effective research-based teaching practices
that are related to positive learning outcomes. In a review of research studies that showed an impact on student
achievement and learning, the authors summarized effective teaching methods and outlined five teaching
behaviours that were supported by research and to which teachers should pay attention. These behaviours are:
lesson clarity; instructional variety; teacher task orientation; engagement in the learning process; and student
success rate (Borich, 1996; Hickson & Fishburne, 2001).
The desire to pursue physics at higher levels (beyond secondary education) is influenced by the success
rate and foundation a student receives in physics at the high school. Murphy and Whitelegg (2006) reported
that in the United Kingdom prior achievement and perception of the difficulty of physics are determinants of
students’ decisions about whether to continue to study physics at higher levels of education. A study by Buabeng
and Ntow (2010) revealed a wide range of reasons which accounted for students’ negative response to physics
in Ghana. Prominent among these factors were teacher factor, poor performance, perceived difficulty nature of
physics and unknown career opportunities in the subject. Most of the students reported that there is a reduced
interest in the subject at the Senior High School (SHS) level because the subject was poorly presented to them.
Interestingly, physics teachers who participated in the study admitted that poor tuition is one of the many
reasons accounting for the low interest level among students (Buabeng & Ntow, 2010).
In Ghana, the physics syllabus embodies a wide range of activities such as projects, experiment,
demonstrations and scientific enquiry skill (CRDD, 2008). All these objectives are achieved by the teacher
through giving innovative and appropriate instructions to the physics students. The physics teacher is therefore
required to design teaching sequences with appropriate teaching pedagogies that has the potential to develop
students’ interest in the subject and their abilities to properly respond to situations the may encounter in their
world of life that their knowledge in physics may be of benefit.
It has also been reported that outdated teaching practices and lack of basic content knowledge have
resulted in poor teaching standards. The poor standards have also been exacerbated by a large number of underqualified or unqualified teachers who teach in overcrowded and non-equipped classrooms. The combination of
all these factors has in turn produced a new generation of teachers who are further perpetuating the cycle of
Furthermore, some physics teachers have conceptualized atomic models as part of a larger problemsolving component of the physics curriculum in which students must overcome barriers in order to obtain and
explain a solution to a physics problem that is not directly apparent. More so, students need frequent
opportunities to engage in interactive video so that they can become proficient.
There is inadequate knowledge and detailed understanding of how teachers’ knowledge affects student
learning and how teachers’ instruction mediates the effects of their knowledge on student performance (Mason,
2008; Silverman & Thompson, 2008; Graeber & Tirosh, 2008). These limitations are partly due to the practice of
capturing teachers’ knowledge at a particular point in time, whereas a longitudinal analysis of teachers’
knowledge would allow for a better understanding of the relationships among teachers’ knowledge, their
teaching practices, and student learning.
Learning provides intellectual growth that leads to scientific reasoning, abstract thought, and formal
operations (O’Loughlin, 1992). As information technologies like virtual workspaces and digital libraries have
evolved, they have added new environments for teaching and learning and have given rise to new areas for
research. Learning enhanced by information technologies is gaining momentum. This is partially in response to
the demand for reduction in time-to-competency in the knowledge-based economy, spurred by intensive
competition and globalization.
In view of the above, it is important that appropriate technological tools are employed in our quest to
achieving such objectives. Therefore, in other to better understand difficult topics in physics with particular
reference to the atomic models, it is important that the use of interactive videos are employed in teaching
Statement of the Problem
The primary aim of physics teaching and learning is to develop students’ ability to solve a wide variety of
complex problems and also to apply physics to real world situations. In Ghana, the physics syllabus
recommended the use of physics in daily life by recognizing and applying appropriate problem solving strategies
(Ministry of Education [MOE] (2007). Many education programmes in Ghana emphasize the development of
problem solving competencies and skills that will enable the learner to function in school and beyond.
Performance of Ghanaian students in physics has been generally and consistently poor over the years.
Relevant data collected on SHS students’ achievement in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics from 1993
to 2007 for PRACTICAL project plan showed an abysmal performance in physics (Anamuah-Mensah, 2007). More
so, performance statistics by West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) from 2003 to 2014 show that majority of
the physics candidates did not obtain the pass grade (A – D or A1 – C6) to qualify for admission to tertiary
education. The trend in performance indicates that from 2003 to 2005, out of 33,043 candidates who sat for the
SSSCE physics papers 13,067 (39.5%) obtained grade A – D. From 2006 to 2009, 41,973 (47.5%) candidates, out
of 88,294 who sat for the WASSCE physics papers, obtained grade A1 – C6 (WAEC, 2010). There was no
examination in 2010 as the duration of SHS was extended from three to four years. Comparatively, majority of
the candidates performed better in biology and chemistry than in physics (WAEC, 2010).
Moreover, WAEC Chief Examiner Reports’ for SHS physics indicated that performance of candidates in
physics was woefully marginal or even poor (WAEC, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009). The WAEC (2005) reported that
“quite a number of candidates could not solve mathematical-related problems accurately” (p. 259). The WAEC
(2006) painted a very gloomy picture of students’ performance in physics: One was even tempted to conclude
that the standard of the paper was lower than the previous; however the performance of candidates did not
lend to support this assertion. The performance could be described as woefully marginal. Only few candidates
could show a good knowledge of the subject and could also apply the principles. Candidates are advised to treat
physics as any science subject and learn to link it with everyday situation. Candidates’ answers showed lack of
understanding of the principles of the subject especially question related to atomic models. The WAEC (2014)
report stated that “poor knowledge of subject matter, inadequate preparation and poor labelling of diagrams
were some of the weaknesses that adversely affected candidates’ performance.
Over the years, students’ achievement in physics has prompted educational researchers to continuously
make relentless efforts at identifying mitigating factors that might account for the observed poor performance.
Some research studies suggest that factors inside and outside the classroom affect students’ achievement and
interest. Orleans (2007) asserts that the key factor in what comes out at the end of schooling is what goes on in
the classroom. Mills (as cited in Wambugu & Changeiywo, 2008), states that teaching methods are crucial factors
that affect the academic achievement of students, and no matter how well-developed and comprehensive a
curriculum is, its success is dependent on the quality of the teachers implementing it (Ajaja, 2009; Ughamadu,
In its attempt to help improve upon the teaching and learning of the sciences, the Ghanaian government
in 1987, implemented an educational reform nationwide with the aim of providing a system of education that
will serve the needs of the individual, the community and the country as a whole (Tuffour, 1989). Similarly, the
government of Ghana in 1995, through the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ghana Education Service (GES)
established Science Resource Centres (SRCs) in 110 SHS spread throughout the country. After almost two
decades of its (SRCs) implementation, performance of students in the science, with physics in particularly, has
not been any better as indicated earlier. It is not clear where the responsibility lies as little is known about physics
teaching in the SHS. It would be interesting, therefore, to investigate whether factors such as teacher quality,
teaching methodology, teachers’ and students’ attitude toward physics, support system among many others
have any effect on students’ interest and hence their performance.
Purpose of the Study
Generally, this study aimed at assessing the impact of the use of interactive video in the teaching and
learning of atomic models in the SHS in Ghana using Cape Coast Metropolis as a case study. Specifically, the
study sought to:
 find out how the use of interactive video in the learning of the atomic models by Senior High Students
impact on their performance in physics;
 determine the difference in the performance of students learning atomic models with interactive video
and those learning without the interactive video; and
 determine the relative effectiveness of interactive video strategy in enhancing students’ performance
in physics compared with traditional teaching methods.
Research Question
The study sought to find answers to this question:
1. To what extent did the teaching of students with interactive videos and without interactive videos
impact on students’ performance?
The following null hypotheses were test at .5 confidence level:
H01: There is no statistically significant difference between the mean scores between Students taught with
interactive videos and those taught without interactive Videos in pre-test.
H02: There is no statistically significant difference between the mean scores between
Students taught with interactive videos and those taught without interactive Videos in post-test.
The study was limited to only three atomic models. This includes J.J. Thomson’s, Rutherford’s and
Bohr’s model of the atom.
One crucial limiting factor was the inability of the researchers to employ multiple instruments to collect
varied data from the respondents. The use of teacher made test alone may not be adequate enough since such
instruments are liable to subject motivation (McMillan, 1996). Some of the respondents were not willing to take
part in the exercise others could not complete the questionnaire. This may affect the validity and reliability of
the results of the study. But the researchers did their best to overcome those challenges.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study would provide information for policy makers in education about teaching and
learning atomic models through interactive video in the physics classroom. Thus, future education policy
formulation and direction will base decisions on the results of the study. The results of the study would act as a
guide to curriculum developers in planning and designing interactive videos and computer assisted instruction
physics curriculum for Senior High Schools in Ghana.
Furthermore, in the teaching-learning process, the pace of learning, achievement and retention of the
student depends on factors like method of teaching, instructional materials, facilities available both at school
and college level, characteristics of the learners etc. Looking to the importance of learner’s characteristics in the
teaching learning process, in the present study, the relative effectiveness of interactive multimedia programme
and conventional direct method is studied in relation to student’s academic achievement and retention power.
The findings of the study can also serve as the basis for organizing professional development courses
and in-service training programmes for teachers in teaching physics through interactive videos. In this context,
the study would provide vital information for teacher education institutions for designing functional physics
programmes. In addition, the study would also provide relevant literature to physics educators and researchers
who wish to research into teaching physics through interactive videos.
Organisation of the Study
This project is organized into five (5) main chapters. Chapter One is the general introduction of the
study and have detail all the introductory materials of this study including the background to the study,
statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research objectives, research questions and hypothesis,
significance of the study and the organisation of the study.
Chapter Two consist of review of related literature and researches related to the problem being
investigated. Theoretical and conceptual framework is also presented in this chapter.
Chapter three centred on the methodology of the study. It describes the research design, study area,
population, sample and sampling techniques, data sources, research instrument, pre-testing, data collection
procedure, ethical procedures and data management and analysis.
Chapter Four presents the results of the study which includes interpretation and discussion of the findings.
Chapter Five summarizes the study, draws conclusions and offers recommendations for further research.