IMO WEB 2.0 TECHNOLOGY AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF BIOLOGY EDUCATION STUDENTS IN SOUTH-SOUTH UNIVERSITIES IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the study
The evolution of the Internet has changed the way information is shared, stored and retrieved. Mingle and Adam (2015) mentioned that in the Internet are a number of web technologies that have emerged which have helped the speed at which information is now retrieved and shared; amongst these technologies is the web 2.0 technology which is making wave as regards communication and information sharing. The term Web 2.0 is used to describe web applications that are designed to be user centered and to aid the interactiveness of information sharing and collaboration on the World Wide Web which has created the social media platforms that are highly interactive.
The first technology (Web 1.0) was read only but Web 2.0 is read and write and has made people active participants and have shifted from being a medium to being a platform. According to Yun-Jo and William (2010) Web 2.0 is a social revolution that makes it possible for people to participate through open application and services. Social Media sites and Social Networking, are examples of Web 2.0 technologies amongst which is the IMO video calls and Instant messaging application. IMO IM has several characteristics that differentiate it from other web 2.0 technology social media platforms.
Some of the characteristics of IMO IM app include the support of multiple services, being a web based application. It allows users to connect to contents from their various or multiple sources. Vanttemet (2011) agrees that IMO IM app supports multiple services and that users can sign in into multiple services. He contended that IMO IM app provide, push up notification and that users do not pay for it, but the notification helps users to see at a glance whose accounts are up to speed, IMO IM app sends messages quickly and reliably and according to Cassavoy, (2012) users can create group chat and can use facebook, google talk, My Space, Skype, and Yahoo simultaneously though all contacts will have to switch over to IMO chat to participate in the chat. Cassavoy (2012) also affirm that while the chat is ongoing, IMO allows users to pop out the application into a smaller window so as to allow them to keep the IM window small so users can view contacts and message while still surfing the web or working on a document or spreadsheet. IMO IM app also has video calls and chat and not only text chat.
In the blog AppPicker of (2015) it was stated that IMO IM app gives users the great opportunity to video chat with friends and families who reside abroad. It provides them with a platform where they can make high definition video calls and chat for free. Deltoyos (2016) agreed that IMO IM app makes it easy to connect to users through video calls on telephones like Android, Iphone, Ipad and IOS devices and this connection can be done via Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G. Conversely AppPicker (2015) observed that IMO IM app have several default language, which includes, English language, Arabic, Danish, Finish, Greek, Hindi, Haman, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Vietnamese and simplified Chinese. The App help users save money on telephone calls and short message services (SMS) as it has no limit to the number of calls or messages users can make or even instant messaging app features that makes the IMO IM app more comfortable for users.
Some of IMO Video Call and IM App features include:
⦁ Video clips
⦁ Instant Messaging
⦁ Virtual graphic/Photo
⦁ Video Chat
⦁ Voice mail
⦁ Voice Call
⦁ Group Chat
Video clip is usually a small part or portion of a larger video presentation. It is made up of a series of video frames that run in quick succession producing a very short, animated video which can be used over the web (Russell, 2016). Video clips bring theories to life, they help to clear abstract concepts and promote discussions.
The Science Education Resource Centre (2012) explained that learners learn new and abstract concepts more easily if they are presented in both verbal and visual forms. Video clip can be used by teachers in the classroom, they help students to gain attention and also maintain their interest. Students can also reflect on their learning after class lessons, as found in the blog Business fall.com (2016). Video clips make learning very enjoyable and students can learn anywhere using their mobile devices which can be laptops, tablets, smart and android phones. The University of Queenland, Australia stated the benefits of using video clips for instruction as:
⦁ It facilitates critical thinking and problem solving
⦁ It assists with mastery learning
⦁ It inspires and engages students
⦁ It gives authentic learning opportunities
⦁ It increases Learner Motivations
⦁ It enhances learning experiences
⦁ It helps develop potential for deeper learning of the subject matter
⦁ It develops learner autonomy
⦁ It enhances team work and communication skills
⦁ It ensures the scoring of high marks by students,
The use of video clip and virtual text for instruction is a great and effective combination that aids comprehension. Instant Messaging is also a feature of IMO Video Call and IM.
Instant messaging (IM) are text messages that occur, exist and done online. Instant Messaging (IM) is a real-time talking or communication between two or more persons using the keyboard of a mobile phone or computer over the Internet. According to PC Magazine Encyclopedia (2016), it is a synchronous exchange of writing verbal messages in online or electronic environments. Lauricella and Kay (2013) stated that students frequently check their mobile phones and respond quickly to text and Instant messages. They continue to say that text and IM messages immediately capture recipients’ attention and this attention getting improves students’ focus and motivations. In a study by Allen, Witt and Wheelers (2006) they found that the immediate responses of students to their instructor’s text messages increased students’ motivation and their comprehension of materials. Guerend (2015) observed that people within the ages of 18 – 29 years send messages more than all other generation and this falls within the ages of university students. School administration use text to inform students of class enrollment and to help them breakdown, complicated process into simpler measures. Students receive and reply instant messages always, either by subscribing data plans or by accessing the message via Wi-Fi networks. This constant ability to be connected eliminates cost per-message as is in the traditional SMS communication, enabling students to send more messaging or even ask questions without having to consider the cost. According to Wireless Association (2017), the average text IM message is read in 90 seconds, and emails read in 90 minutes; this means that if you incorporate IM in higher education, the turnaround for conversation will be significantly fast. Students form group chat either for social or for studies; universities can leverage on this. Baker, (2015) argued that since there is no login page, no password required nor a platform to navigate towards when using IM, student react much quicker because the content of the message is equally displayed in front of the student’ eyes within seconds. IM might not be very useful in the classroom but it fosters real time collaboration between students and teachers, students and administrators, student – to – student and teacher – to – teacher. Lauricella and Kay (2013) opine that there is great opportunity for University instructors to incorporate technologies like Text Chat (TC) and Instant Message (IM) into teaching and learning environment, because students are willing to use them for educational purposes. The blog Education World (2016) commented that, the immediacy of Text Chat and IM keep students directly connected to their instructors and classmates and this can lead to real-time collaboration and discussions leading to deeper processing of class materials. IMO Video Calls and Instant Messaging App also have graphics as one of its features.
Graphics/Photos are visual images and designs found on canvas paper, Wall graphics can be found as photographs, cartoons, illustrations, drawings, diagrams, numbers, symbols and maps, etc. Graphics are used to balance text. When text, graphic and white board space are balanced, it is pleasing to the eye and makes it easy to assimilate ensuring effective learning. Graphics are used to point learners to particular information., Sosnowski, (2016) opines that using images with text helps to diminish the overwhelming nature of text and helps learners to manage the cognitive load as to increase their retention of learned materials. Besides, IMO IM also has virtual photo-text as its feature. .Balm (2011) asserted that humans are visual creatures, the human brain concentrates largely in processing visuals. Dell Angelo (2014) observed that photographs grant the students the opportunity to engage in analyzing text as they can verbally describe what they see or observe allowing themselves to reflect and organize their thoughts in a creative way, this cannot be achieved through writing alone. Use of photographs and text in classroom help students to focus their gaze and guide their thinking about the photo and the lesson and also gives them lots of room to give their own opinion and ideas. Visuals like pictures and photographs are one major way to getting the attention of an audience and giving interactions. Visuals mixed with text give learners comprehension of the subject matter in the classroom. IMO also features voice call.
Voice calls occur when one speaks to another person on a Telephone but they cannot see each other voice call can be done over a telephone connected to a network and it is done between the called party and the calling party. The first time a voice call was made over a telephone was on March 10, 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell and the first words spoken over a telephone were: “Watson, come here, I want to see you” (Wired, 2012).
A voice call using a telephone is usually placed by dialing a recipient’s (called party) phone number using either a mobile phone like a cell phone, a computer, landline, fax machines and others. The called is routed to the called party’s phone. The phone rings or makes a ringing alert, the calling party hears the rings of the called party’s phone while holding the phone so that the hearing end is next to the user’s ear and the speaking end is within range of the mouth. If the second phone (called party) is picked up, then the two parties will be able to have a voice (verbal) conversation without seeing each other. On the other hand video calling allow the other person to see you.
Video calling / Chatting (VC) – One can make video calls to a person and also received video calls from person. Video calling allows one to see and hear the person or person they are talking to on mobile phones or computers. (Bell Mobility, 2018). For one to make video calls, the person must have an Internet connection, the recipients must also use the same services. According to Computer Hope (2017), video calling is done over Internet connection, this helps to transmit live picture of the persons moving the call. The blog continues to say that video calling are usually made using a computer webcam and any other device that has a video-capable camera for instance Android, Smartphones, IPhone, tablet and a video phone system.
PC Magazine Encyclopedia (2017) defines Video calling as a visual communication between two persons. Video calling enables two people anywhere in the world who have access to computers or phones and an Internet connection to place a video call to each other. Many phones have built-in-video call capability that includes a camera and other necessary programming that enables video calling. The receiver of the video call needs a similar phone system too to view the video and to transmit a video call back to the caller. Another feature of IMO video chat and instant messaging is the voice mail. In IMO Web 2.0 technology one can send text or instant messages simultaneously while video calling and non-verbal communication like body language, facial expression are observed.
Voice Mail is the storing of voice message to be retrieved by the intended recipient. They are short voice messages stored in digital form. Voice mail is a strategy that can be used by instructors to broadcast short voice messages to all students simultaneously. Visser and West (2005) stated that this type of communication is important and can be used for variety of purposes like encouraging and motivating students, reminding students of upcoming assignment and examination, and for important information such as changes to examination dates or venues and preliminary correction and updates related to assignment or to study notes. The blog Future Impact (2013) gave the following list below as things to consider when implementing voice mail for instruction:
⦁ Make sure students have phones
⦁ Keep the recording limit in mind
⦁ Make sure students say their names so as to identify them.
⦁ Use voice mail inside and outside the class as it can be used to record multiple speeches and lessons.
⦁ Access content, not punctuation
Institutions and instructors can set up voice mail boxes for students, this will help and make it easy for students to leave messages for their instructors and to collect the instructor’s response, or answers. In distance education, a system to send collective voice mail to all students can also be established provided they have mobile phones by which they can access them. These features that have been discussed are what have created a very high interest and attraction of students to Web 2.0 technologies especially IMO VC and IM app. Group Chat is also a feature found in IMO.
Group Chat According to Dictionary.com (2014) is chatting done by a group of people who communicate regularly via the Internet about a particular topic in real time either by e-mail and on SM platforms, etc. There can be as many contacts as possible on a Group Chat. Once a Group Chat is created, a Group Story is created by default and an added contact automatically show up on the Group members screens. To create a Group Chat on IMO App one just need to tap on the New Group Icon, the contact list automatically appears. You then choose those needed to be added to the Group Chat by tapping on their names. Those chosen are automatically added to the Group Chat.
To add new members, the Group Chat is opened by tapping on it and then tap on the Group Story (Icon add new member) and the contact list appears, then the new member is chosen by tapping on the name. In IMO video call and IM App, multiple users can see each other, talk and send Instant messages simultaneously. Once a group member initiates a call, other group members will receive a notification for instance (Victor in Group Call tap to join) (Tech Grapple 2016).
Students use these features of Web 2.0 technology found in IMO VC and IM App in their everyday life. Yan (2014) stated that students constantly use Web 2.0 technology for their daily communication and to access information for their personal uses and consumption. They text both (SMS and IM) to friends and colleagues every day. They take pictures and post them online. Web 2.0 technologies are where people can meet to read and write. Students belong to online communities. They have friends from all over the world. They share information, video, audio, chat and network with the people they met online. These abilities can be put to use in teaching Biology, other subjects and courses in our universities. The principles on which Web 2.0 is developed are in line with recent educational theories like the constructivism and connectionism theories.( Popescu, 2010) showing that knowledge should not be transmitted but should be constructed by the learner through collaboration with other learners. Students can transfer their Web 2.0 skills and knowledge to the context of formal education if the Web 2.0 tools are incorporated in teaching and learning processes in our universities. Popescu, (2010) in his study found that high majority of students showed willingness and were enthusiastic towards the large scale introduction of Web 2.0 tools in their instructional processes. There is the need for schools and instructors to incorporate Web 2.0 tools in their school and for instruction, blending out-of-school activities with the formal learning settings that takes place in the classrooms. It is important to encourage students to use SM meaningfully and actively in their learning as to help them develop the potential that will enable them develop the skills they need to create personal learning environment. But it is not the same with the expository (lecture) method of teaching.
It is very necessary for students to have connection with their teacher. Wilkim (2014) saw that a good rapport between students and teachers is essential to learning. It is important for learners to make a connection between the knowledge they acquire or receive and the person presenting the knowledge to them but the Lecture teaching method does not create room for this connection. Some of the lecture teaching methods lecturers still adhere to according to Nazzal (2018) include:
⦁ Teachers are the dispensers of knowledge rather than facilitators.
⦁ Classrooms are lecturer centred and regimented.
⦁ Lecturers adhere to chalk and talk method of teaching.
The problem associated with this method are that;
⦁ It is passive and does not engage the students
⦁ It does not engage every learning style.
⦁ It precludes discussion and minimizes students feedback
⦁ It is not the right fit for every subject.
⦁ Not every person or teacher excel at public speaking
⦁ All students do not have the same attention span
⦁ It only nurtures a limited range of still sets. Writers (2011). It had also being observed by Farouq (2012), that the same content is delivered to every student at the same time without consideration to individual differences of the students He further stated that active participation by the students are not encouraged when lecture method is used to deliver lessons and sometimes the standard of the language used is higher than the students
IMO, otherwise known as IMO video chat and Instant messenger application, is a web startup that was founded and funded by ten of the first Google employees (Ba Juyo 2010). It is a SM Application designed to help people perform a combination of activities, it is an application built for both computer and mobile platforms, and thus, it is sometimes called a Mobile App.
Fig. 1: IMO Web 2.0 Logo
The features of IMO apps are capable of helping students in their learning of biology. The teaching and learning of biology deals with a lot of graphics (drawing).Students can video laboratory processes like dissections and any form of practical work to be watched later, pictures of same can be taken too and shared.
The processes of learning biology in our university are supported by the features of IMO IM app if students and lecturers use the app in teaching and learning processes. Students who were absent in class will not miss out as they can get the recorded pictures and videos of the lesson from their colleagues, encouraging and enhancing collaboration among the students and fostering good relationship and increased learning and academic performance of the students in their examinations.
IMO WEB 2.0 TECHNOLOGY AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF BIOLOGY EDUCATION STUDENTS IN SOUTH-SOUTH UNIVERSITIES IN NIGERIA