Given the use of virtual laboratory to bring Science teaching and learning more concrete and foster active and autonomous lifelong learners is one which has generated hope between teachers and students. This study therefore examined science teachers’ awareness and use of virtual laboratory tools in ASA Local Government Area, Kwara State, Nigeria. This study investigated if difference existed in the awareness and use of virtual laboratory tools on the basis of teachers’ gender, school type and teaching experience.
This study was a descriptive survey type. The population for this study covered all Senior Secondary School Science teachers in Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State, Nigeria. 120 Science teachers were sampled for this study using simple random sampling technique. A researcher’s designed questionnaire was used for data collection while the data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics of percentage, mean, and inferential statistics of independent t-test and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) at 0.05 level of significance.
Findings from this study revealed that majority 83(69.1%) of Senior Secondary School science teachers in Moro Local Government Area, Kwara State were not aware of virtual laboratory; virtual laboratory tools were not utilized by Senior Secondary School science teachers in Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State; virtual laboratory is viewed to help students to understand science concepts by translating abstract ideas into concrete ones. There was no difference in the level of awareness of virtual laboratory among Senior Secondary School science teachers based on gender, school type and teaching experience in Moro Local Government Area, Kwara State.
It was therefore recommended among others that seminars, workshops and conferences should be organized for Senior Secondary School Science teachers to create not only the awareness of virtual laboratory but also on the utilization of its facilities in the teaching and learning of science-based subjects; Government and private school owners should equip school with virtual laboratory tools to foster the teaching and learning of science-based subjects among Senior Secondary School Science teachers and students; teachers should integrate virtual laboratory tools into teaching so as to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge that will not only enable students optimize learning in a fast changing world but would also foster active and autonomous lifelong learners.
Background to the Problem
Science is the foundation upon which the block of present day technological breakthrough is built. Nowadays, nations all over the world including Nigeria are striving hard to develop technologically and scientifically, thus the world is turning scientific and all proper functioning of lives depend greatly on science. Science, which is a branch of knowledge, is defined as a way of knowing the fact and theory of nature (Omiko, 2011). According to Omiko (2011) this knowledge of facts and theories promote attitudes of reality, objectivity, curiosity, self-examination and the search for truth. It has been described as human effort to have a better understanding of history and how the natural world operates in which the understanding is supported with observable physical evidences (Bruce, 2013).
Science is the field of study concerned with discovering and describing the world around us by observing and experimenting. Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.
Science has been classified into pure science and applied science. Pure science deals with the key science subject such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology while applied science deals with application of science to immediate life problems such as engineering and medical sciences. (Wikipedia, 2018)