Effectiveness of Puzzle-based Instructional Strategies on Junior Secondary School Students’ Problem-solving Abilities in Selected Concepts in Basic Science
This study determined the effects of maze puzzle-based instructional strategy (MPS) and logic mechanical puzzle-based instructional strategy (LMPS) on students’ problem-solving in basic science in Ondo State, Nigeria. The moderating effect of gender was also determined. Pretest-posttest, control group, quasi- experimental design with 3x2 factorial matrix was adopted for the study. Simple random sampling technique was employed to select two hundred and ninety six (296) JSS two students from six schools in three local government Areas of Ondo State who participated in the study. The participants were randomly assigned to MPS, LMPS and conventional lecture method (CLM). The treatment lasted for 12 weeks. Five instruments were used for data collection: Students’ Problem-solving Test (r=0.82), Teaching Assessment sheet and Stimulus instruments which were Maze Puzzle-Based Instructional Strategy Guide, Logic Mechanical Puzzle-Based Instructional Strategy Guide and Conventional Lecture Method Guide. Three hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Data were analysed using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) and Scheffe’s post hoc test. The results indicate that there are significant main effects of treatments on problem-solving: Students treated with The LMPS performed better than those treated with MPS, male students performed significantly better than female in problem-solving. However, there is no significant interaction effect of treatment and gender on students’ problem solving in basic science. Logic mechanical and maze puzzle-based strategies enhanced students’ problem-solving in basic science. It is recommended that the two strategies should be adopted by teachers to enhance better students’ problem- solving in basic science. Female students should be encouraged to interact more with puzzles.
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