A STUDY ON ROLE OF DIAGRAMS IN THE EVALUATION OF LEARNING OUTCOMES OF SECONDARY STUDENTS IN LIFE SCIENCE

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About Authors:
Aniket Mukherjee
M.Sc. (Botany),
M.Ed. from Calcutta University,
Kolkata, West Bengal
aniket.serampore@gmail.com

I. INTRODUCTION
I.1     Introduction:

The present era is the era of science and technology. There are different branches of the science like Physical science, Life science, Chemical science etc. But among all, Life science is an important subject as it is directly related to the needs of human life.
Life science is changed to a great extent by the development of the Electron–microscopy. Life science knowledge consists not only of a collection of facts, but also more importantly of the way these facts are associated with and interpreted in general theories applied to human life.

In the 20th century, revolutionary changes were brought about in the concepts and theories of biology. Biology, so much important to human life, has been renamed as ‘Life Science’ in the school curriculum.  The age old chalk and talk method of teaching Life science is getting modified and is being supplemented by new techniques. Learning life science requires not only the linguistic ability of the students but also their ability to understand diagrams in different formats related to the subject, and to translate the diagrams in the verbal form. The students are further required to express their knowledge and understanding in unique way through diagrams. So the theoretical segment of life science is composed of verbal as well as nonverbal diagrammatic representations. Teaching, learning and evaluation in Life Science should take this aspect of life science into consideration.

Reference Id: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1562

I.2   Emergence of the  problem:
Now-a-days, the changes of curriculum, methodology of teaching and learning processes have undergone remarkable changes to cope with the changes of the objectives of Life science teaching and learning. The Life science teaching has begun to shift its focus from teacher centric approach to student centric approach, from knowledge based teaching-learning  to understanding based teaching-learning, and from chalk and talk method to discovery learning method.  Constructivism in its real sense has dominated the teaching-learning process of Life Science. But a question always arises whether evaluation of learning outcomes in the subject follows the changed pattern of teaching and learning.

Life science curriculum in the secondary level is composed of cognitive   and psychomotor domains. Cognitive domain consists of concepts, rules, principles, theories and problems. Learning in the cognitive domain essentially requires understanding, analysis, and synthesis and value judgement on the part of the students.  Diagram plays an important role in the theoretical and practical study of life science. Diagram drawing and analysing require a field perception on the part of the students. To study ‘a part’ in the background of its ‘whole’ diagram is very much   essential. Diagrams also shares a sizeable part of   any text book of Life Science or Biology. Diagram drawing, labelling and using are included in the psychomotor domain of learning. But in visual   perception of abstract concepts or theories, diagram serves as an essential tool and in that case diagram comes under the purview of ‘understanding’.   For evaluating the outcomes of learning in Life Science a balance should be there between cognitive and psychomotor practices (in the form of diagrams).

The present practice of evaluation in life science in the secondary stage, laboratory practical is absent. Only written test (along with microscopic weightage on oral tests/ project works) in theory is taken. Tests on the basis of supplied diagrams (called diagrammatic tests) are almost nil. Explicit instructions for drawing and labelling diagram are few and far between. Implicit necessity of drawing diagram in a question is not always readily understood by the students.  Its consequences are not at all palatable.

High scorers in achievement tests, sometimes, exhibit weakness in using, drawing and interpretation of diagrams in Life Science. This leaves a serious doubt as to whether the present practices of achievement tests in life science give serious look into the use of diagrams in the evaluation. With this end in view the present researcher is desirous of finding the impact of diagram test on the prevalent achievement test in schools in life science. He would investigate whether the students maintain their respective ranks in both diagram tests and usual achievement tests in Life Science.  Such investigation might help him to estimate role of diagrams in evaluation in Life Science.With this end in view the present researcher has selected a topic for his dissertation-“A Study on the Role of Diagrams in the Evaluation of Learning Outcomes of Secondary Students in Life Science”

I.3.    Statement of the problem:
The problem opted by the researcher may be stated as A Study on the Role of Diagrams in the Evaluation of Learning Outcomes of Secondary Students in Life Science.

I.4. OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF SOME IMPORTANT TERMS USED:
* Cognition: - A term indicates knowledge & awareness which includes perceiving, remembering, reasoning & other means of knowing about oneself & the environments.

* Life Science: -(Encyclopedia of science) Lifescience is a branch of natural science that comprises of the fields of science (i.e. Botany, zoology, and Physiology etc.) and involves in dealing with the structure, characteristics and behaviors of living organism like plants, animal and micro-organism.

* Diagram: -A diagram is a two dimensional geometric symbolic representation of information according to some visualization technique. In science according to Anderson [1997] Diagrams are pictorial, yet abstract, representation of information and maps, line graphs, bar charts, engineering blueprints & architects sketches are all examples of diagrams.

* Learning outcomes: - The UNESCO definition identifies students learning outcomes as Statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand, and/or be able to demonstrate after completion of a process of learning as well as the specific intellectual and practical skills gained and demonstrated by the successful completion of a unit, course, or program. Learning outcomes, together with assessment criteria, specify the minimum requirements for the award of credit, while grading is based on attainment above or below the minimum requirements for the award of credit. Learning outcomes are distinct from the aims of learning in that they are concerned with the achievements of the learner rather than with the overall intentions of the teacher. (Vlãsceanu et al., 2004, pp. 41–42)

* Diagram Test:
A diagram is a 2D geometric symbolic representation of information according to some visualization technique. Sometimes, the technique uses a 3D visualization which is then projected onto the 2D surface.In science the term is used in both ways. For example Anderson (1997) stated more generally: "diagrams are pictorial, yet abstract, representations of information, and maps, line graphs, bar charts, engineering blueprints, and architects' sketches are all examples of diagrams, whereas photographs and video are not".

·        Diagram types: There are at least the following types of diagrams:
·        Graph-based diagrams: these take a collection of items and relationships between them, and express them by giving each item a 2D position, examples of such techniques: tree diagram, network diagram , flowchart, Venn diagram , existential graph
·        Chart-like diagram techniques, which display a relationship between two variables that take either, discrete or continuous ranges of values; examples: histogram, pie chart, bar chart, functional graph, scatter plot. Other types of diagrams, e.g., train diagram, exploded view, population density map, pioneer plaque, Three-dimensional diagram.

I.5. Objectives of the study:
1. To prepare a diagram based test in life science for class VII standard under WBBSE syllabus.
2. To prepare an achievement test in life science for class VII standard under WBBSE syllabus.
3. To administer the achievement and diagram based test in Life Science on class VIII students.
4. To find the mean, standard deviation, and other descriptive statistics such as coefficient of correlation on the basis of raw score.
5. To find the mean and standard deviation of the scores of the two tests sex-wise and strata-wise.
6. To find the correlation between diagrams based test and achievement test score.
7. To represent the scores graphically.
8. To find the significance of the difference of the mean scores in achievement test obtained by high and low scorer in diagram tests   in life science.

I.6.    Significance of the problem:
·         Importance of drawing & labelling in learning life science.
·        Importance on improvement of psychomotor domain side by side to cognitive domain.
·        Changing the teaching skill accordingly to the importance of drawing & labelling in life science.
·        Learners get skilled in drawing at least to the basic level.
·        Learners not only learned the verbal knowledge but also the nonverbal knowledge.

I.7. Delimitation of the study:
In order to conduct the study the researcher had delimited the planning of the investigation qualitatively and quantitatively, i.e. in terms of the research and to the sample to be studied in the following way:
1.    
Variables:- The researcher employed two variables
·        Diagram based test in life science.
·        Achievement test in life science.

2.     Tools: -The researcher uses the following psychological test for measuring the achievement and learning outcomes of the students.
·        Diagram based test in life science.
·        Achievement test in life science.

3.     Sample:- Because of very short time, the researcher will take a sample of 200 students from 2 schools (1 Boys, 1Girls) of rural and 2 schools (1Boys, 1Girls) of urban area.

4.      Subject area of the study: - The content area for the role of diagram in the evaluation of learning outcome will be selected from the each & every unit from the syllabus of VII standard of Life science approved by WBBSE.

5.     Nature of the school: - Only Bengali medium schools will be selected which are recognised by WBBSE.

6.     Location of the school: - Only two Secondary schools (1Boys&1Girls) located in the district of Hooghly as an urban and two schools (1Boys&1Girls) located in the rural area of the district Hooghly will be selected for the study.

7.     Techniques of analysis:-
(1) Use of descriptive Statistics-Mean, Standard Deviation (SD)
(2) Inferential Statistics–Coefficient of correlation, t-test, O-give test.

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