INFLUENCE OF CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SCHOOL STUDENTS
This research work was designed to investigate the importance of continuous assessment in some selected secondary schools and also teacher’s competency in implementing continuous assessment in Egor. To achieve the laid down objectives, the researcher investigated by designing a well-structured questionnaire, for 50 respondents in the area of study. The data so far generated from the study were analyzed using the simple percentage statistical analysis. The study revealed that both teachers and students recognize the impact of continuous assessment, continuous assessment have not only help to prevent examination malpractice, but continuous assessment help also promotes good study habit and reading culture among students, help teachers have given feedback and keep-assessment record of students and help diagnose students area of strength and weakness in education. It was also discovered that most teachers mainly assess students cognitive activities to the detriment of psychomotor and effective behavior etc recommendations were further made by the researcher based on the findings, these include among others thing the need for government to proffer a solution to the problem of record-keeping, all teachers should update their knowledge in measurement and evaluation, make use of continuous assessment records for decision making about each learner, teachers should assess all area of learning outcomes and finally, to be positively disposed to continuous assessment.
Background of the study
Continuous assessment is one of the new concepts introduced in the Nigerian educational system with the new national policy on education in short it is an interval part of the new system of education otherwise known as the 9-3-3-4 system. Assessment is an essential element in the educational process. A teacher must make some measurements of the extent to which the learning experiences of students have enabled them, achieve the stated objectives of the course of study.
Once on Odili (2001) defines assessment as involving the determination for the value and work of a thing implies making the decision. The changing needs and attitudes of individual children call for a continuous evaluation of such needs and trials to enable the children to understand themselves better. Their teachers to improve on their teaching methods, the parents and guidance understood the children, so that educational vocational and the personal social decision can be realistically made on them. Scholars have looked at the issues of the attitude of students towards assessment in the educational system and have seen that the success education will ever offer is seriously tied to the facilities relevant to it. According to Peretomode (2007) stock of educational facilities in the public school system in Nigeria is enormous even at the present state of their insufficient and inadequacy. They represent a substantial financial outlay to the taxpayer. Establishing new educational facilities is no longer that easy because of the current state of economic depression and constantly rising costs. Edem (2008) seeing the importance and position influence of school facilities on the educational achievement of students said. It is the duty of the ministry or the board of education to make furniture, equipment, books, and expendable materials available to schools. Their inadequacy constitutes another source of frustration and disillusion among teachers. African leaders earnestly desire good education programs for their people, but in many cases, the resources are so merged that little progress can be made.
According to Inyong Abia (2002), continuous assessment is the pivot on which the wheel of the teaching and learning process rotates. As cited by Inyang Abia (2004) the use of continuous assessment is the most significant aspect of influence for students' effective performance. According to Bayo (2005), the availability of continuous assessment in the learning process has the potency for motivating and focusing learner's attention on the lesson being presented.
According to Obi (2003), a good continuous assessment can make the following contributions. Promote the development of ready skills and encourage long-term habits through ready, listening, etc those learning habits from the key to continued success in school and the personal encouragement of leisure throughout the line. Assessment is not merely testing (Osokoya, 2006), it is a process through which the quality of an individual work or performance is judged (Mwebaza, 2010). Concerning the school setting. Greaney (2001) defines assessment as any procedure or activity that is designed to collect information about the knowledge, attitude, or skills of the learner or group of learners. Thus, in the context of education, assessment can be defined as a predetermined process through which the quality of a student’s performance in the three domains of educational objectives (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor) is judged. Assessment of students learning of curriculum contents in the area of knowledge, skills, and values is a major pre-occupation of many educational reforms. This is because results from such assessment not only provide feedback regarding the educational progress of students but remain the authentic yardstick for gaining the effectiveness of the teacher, the quality of instruction, and in part the functionality of any curriculum reform. Continuous assessment is an assessment carried out in an ongoing process (Mwebaza, 2010) is an objective judgment considered an important part of a structured assessment purposely designed and administered to enable the teacher to evaluate some aspect of students' learning of a specific time.
Several characterizations of continuous assessment exist in the literature. According to Agawam cited in Mwebaza (2010) continuous assessment not simply continuous testing. Continuous assessment does not solely depend on formal tests. Continuous assessment is more than giving a test; it involves every decision made by the teacher in class to improve student's achievement. Continuous assessment as only a part of the field of educational evaluation is a method of evaluating the process and achievement of students in educational institutions (Yoloye, 2006). This means that continuous assessment could be used to predict future student’s performance in the final examinations and the possible success of individuals at the workplace or on a particular job. Continuous assessment is a formative evaluation procedure concerned with finding out systematically, all gains that a student has made in terms of knowledge, attitudes, and skills after a given set of learning experiences (Ogunniyi, 2004). A more comprehensive definition of continuous assessment is given by Ezewu and Okoye (2007).
Statement of Problem
.Despite the high premium placed on qualitative education, it is unfortunate to note that secondary school teachers find it difficult the implementation program. Therefore, it is stated that:
.The validity of assessment records is often incomprehensive due to differences in school academic standards, enrolments, infrastructure, staffing, facilities, and policies.
.Continuous assessment tests are not often goal objective-oriented, due to the limitations of constant validity and test administration procedures.
.There is an inadequacy in the availability of standardized instruments used for collating data in continuous assessment tests in secondary schools.
.There is a continuous decline in proper documentation and storage of continuous assessment records and related information in most secondary schools.
.Continuous assessment just like any other government policy cannot be implemented effectively if there are underlying problems. (Ortyo-Yande;1988).
Most teachers lack the skills on the process as well as the practice of keeping the records of children’s achievement as they are scored and graded and according to the weightings given to each component area that has been assessed.
Another problem most teachers face is that of incompetence in developing valid assessment instruments for the evaluation of behavioral outcomes in the three domains. Most teachers seem to be confused about the amount of material content that should be covered by each test.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to find out the problems encountered in the theory and practice of continuous assessment in selected secondary schools program and make a recommendation on how these problems could be overcome at the same time weighing the impact these problems of continuous assessment in teaching in secondary schools.
Specifically, the objectives of the studies include the following:
- To find out the extent of teachers' compliance with the continuous assessment standards.
- To determine the ways of assisting teachers in improving upon their skill in continuous assessment practice in Economics thereby enhancing the optimum performance of the students.
- To identify the factors that militate against Economic teacher's compliance with the laid down guidelines for continuous assessment.
Significance of the Study
The effective implementation of Continuous Assessment (C.A) has beneficial effects on the learners, Teachers’ parents or, guardians and the educational system in general. This is because Continuous Assessment is more useful, practical, comprehensive, and systematic than the traditional. One-shot summative examination system (ALI and Akabue:1989) in addition to being guidance oriented.
This research work will be of immense benefit to all stakeholders in the education industry such as:
To the student who is the end benefactors of the program of continuous assessment.
It will help the secondary school teacher to implement the continuous assessment program effectively.
Government education planning agencies for validation of their training program.
It encourages good study habits among students. Students will see the need to work continuously at their studies rather than engaging in what may be termed “massed” learning towards the end of the year.
To the educational system, the continuous assessment provides objective data on whether the standard of education is falling or rising. Parents/guardians are also afforded of opportunity of being informed of the holistic assessment of their children's performance.
Scope of the Study
The study is united to the practices and problems encountered by economics teachers in the implementation of continuous assessment in senior secondary school.
This study sought to answer the following Research Questions.
- To achieve the aim of this research study a set of research questions were formulated thus stated below:
- What other aspect of educational objectives does continuous assessment measure apart from the cognitive domain?
- What are the teachers’ perceptions on continuous assessment as a system of evaluation in secondary school?
- What are the remedies to the problems of implementing continuous assessment and what impact will it make on the learning process of the student in the secondary schools.
- To what extent do teachers in secondary school comply with the continuous assessment guidelines?
DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study was designed to cover five schools in Ado-Ekiti local government Area in Ado-Ekiti
Research samples were drawn from pupils, teachers, and principals.
Lack of time hindered the researcher in extending the research to cover all the schools in the federal capital territory. As a result, few schools in the Ado-Ekiti were randomly selected.
Financial constraint was another problem since the cost of moving from one place to another was not easy as the researcher was not mobile to go round the schools.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms are defined as used in the study to avoid misinterpretation by different individuals
Continuous Assessment: This is a method of ascertaining what a pupil gain from school in terms of knowledge, industry, and character development, taking into account all his/her performance in test assessment, project, and other educational activities during a given period which education should determine.
Implementation: The act or process of putting into effect some operations plans, policies, or idea is known as implementation.
Competence: This has to do with efficiency, the ability to be skillful. Knowledgeable and to be effective in performing given tasks. It implies the possession of specialized skills active performance in specialized areas like the teaching field.
Assignment: An ability that may be oral or practical given to learners by the teachers to reinforce or access the rate of learning
Cognitive Domain: This is an aspect of learning which deals with the learner's intellect or intellectual development. A behavioral objective of remembering which had been learned.
Psychomotor Domain: The psychomotor domain deals with manipulative skills and body movement.
Affective Domain: It has to do with values and beliefs attitudes and appreciation interested in social relations, emotional adjustment, and lifestyle.
6-3-3-4: The new system of education in Nigeria has spent out by the 1981 national policy on education broken down as:
6 – Years primary education
3 – Years junior secondary education
3 – Years senior secondary education
4 – Year's tertiary or post-secondary education
Education: A process that affects change in an individual’s behavior leading to functionalism to self and the society at large.
Evaluation: An exercise carried out at the end of the teaching and learning process to ascertain the extent to which laid down or specified educational objectives have been attained.
Test: An activity or exercise administered to a learner to measure skill ability knowledge or ideas (potentials).