The Effectiveness of the Problem-Solving Strategy in Enhancing the Academic Achievement of Islamic Studies Students at a Saudi College
Mona Taha Mohamad Omar
Curricula & Teaching Methods of Islamic Studies, Prince Sattam Bin Abdul-Aziz University, Saudi Arabia.
Keywords: Problem-solving strategy, Lecture-oriented teaching, Achievement, Islamic studies students.
Recently, there has been a shift from teacher- to student-centered teaching paradigms, which have proven to lead to better learning outcomes. However, teaching in the Islamic Studies Department at Ad-Dilam College of Education, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia, is currently mainly lecture-oriented. This is attributable to the nature of Islamic courses, which conventionally focus on lecturing on the part of teachers and memorization on the part of students. This study has explored the effectiveness of a student-centered teaching strategy, the problem-solving strategy, in enhancing the academic achievement of Islamic Studies students at Ad-Dilam College of Education. One group of students (N = 22) was taught a unit in the Special Teaching Methods Course using the problem-solving strategy. Another group (N = 20) was taught the same unit using conventional lecture-oriented teaching. An author-developed achievement test was used to compare the performance of the two groups after the intervention. Means, standard deviations, and independent samples t-tests revealed that the problem-solving classroom significantly outperformed the lecture-oriented classroom in skills, values, and total achievement. Both groups achieved comparable gains in the knowledge dimension of achievement, thus the difference between the groups in knowledge was not significant. Classroom observation during the intervention revealed that students in the problem-solving classroom were more enthusiastic and interacted more actively during classes. Based on the findings, implications are drawn and recommendations offered.