Over the years, continuous assessment has been the pre-evaluation process of students’ academic success before the final examination period. In this 21st century, however, it appears that teachers are not using CA to prepare students’ ahead of examinations. In view of this, the study investigated the impact of continuous assessment on students’ academic performance as expressed by secondary school teachers in Ilorin metropolis. The descriptive survey design was employed for the study and random sampling technique was used to select 120 teachers in ten different secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis. The instrument used was a self-designed questionnaire entitled “Impact of CA Academic Performance Questionnaire (ICAAPQ)”, with test re-test reliability coefficient of 0.60. Data collected were analysed using percentage, t-test and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) statistics. The findings of the study revealed that continuous assessment helps students to remember what has been learnt, to concentrate effort on difficult areas of subject and helps identify their areas of strengths and weaknesses. It was also found that there was no significant difference in the teacher’s view of impact continuous assessment to students’ academic performance based on gender and educational qualification. It was recommended therefore that teachers should work with school counsellors to critically examine students’ performance in CA so as to understand their area of weaknesses and help them on it by equipping students with effective study habits and social skills that can contribute to their level of subject mastering.
Key Words: Impact, Continuous Assessment, Students, Academic, Performance, Secondary, School, Teachers,
Assessment of students’ level of academic performance is vital to teaching and learning process as it provides the necessary feedback about the outcome of educational goals and objectives. The assessment of learning outcomes provides objective evidences necessary in the decision making process in education. As pointed out by Bassavanthappa (2009), good measurement resulting in accurate data is the foundation of sound decision making about educational endevour. In education, assessment aims at determining the level of students’ mastery of a body of knowledge and skills in a subject (Airasian, 2006).
Continuous assessment is a classroom strategy implemented by teachers to ascertain the knowledge, skills and understanding attained by students at a particular point in time. Teachers administer assessments in a variety of ways in order to observe multiple tasks and information about what students know, understand and can do. The assessments are curriculum based tasks previously taught in classroom. Continuous assessment is a method of evaluation carried out periodically or at a predetermined interval of the school year. It is aimed at finding out how much students have acquired in a subject matter. It is a consistence monitoring of students’ progress in school. It involves collecting data with a view to making value judgement about the quality of a person, object, group or event (Ajuonuma, 2007).
The continuous assessment grading system requires the assessment of the change in behaviours, in terms of cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. The students are evaluated from one stage to the other through tests, assignments, projects and other school activities. At the end of the term or session, the tests are used for determining the performance of the students in a particular subject. Race (2007) stated that continuous assessment is more useful to the students, as it provides them with on-going feedback on their performance, helps them to become more self-critical, and encourages them to attempt mastering material as they actually work through a course, thus, achieving success in their academic goals. According to Adegbeye (2003), CA is more relevant as it allows students to demonstrate their ability and development on a periodical basis, so that students who have studied hard but is not very good at sitting for examinations is not placed at a disadvantage compared with lazy students who engage in minimum amount of work needed to pass such examinations.
In the past, the educational systems of many African nations were dominated by the one-short summative type of assessment (Alausa, 2005). Students were trained to pass examinations so as to move up the education ladder; in order to stop this, suggestions for a broader approach to assessment, which would be flexible and also provide valid and reliable results were made (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2004). In the light of this, CA was introduced to find ways in which academic evaluation impacts on the way teaching occurred and learners learnt; hence, the significance of teachers’ understanding of relevance of continuous assessment to students’ academic success. It is when people know about innovation they are to adopt that they are motivated to embrace its practices.
Through the National Policy on Education (NPE), the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN, 2004) stated that educational assessment at all levels of education would be liberalized by basing them in whole or part on continuous assessment. This recommendation was based on some deficiencies identified in the nation’s way of assessing students. The traditional system of assessment concentrated only on the cognitive domain, with little or no attempt made to assess the affective and psychomotor domains. This system encourages students to study only during the period of examination. This is done by the memorisation of facts, which are forgotten after the examination (FGN, 2004; Obe, 2005). It was based on these reasons and more that the committee set for National Policy on Education in 1971, recommended the use of continuous assessment in Nigeria Educational System. In pursuance of this policy statement, National University Commission (NUC) allotted 30% and 70% of the total score of the university students to continuous assessment and end of semester examination respectively. Towards this end, this study investigated teachers’ perception of continuous assessment relevance to students’ academic performance in Ilorin metropolis and its implications for counselling in twenty-first century.
Statement of the Problem
The urgent need to promote learning and improve performance in secondary schools in Nigeria resulted into a range of related but different developments in continuous assessment at classroom levels. The resultant feature has been inconsistent performance of students in external examinations national wide and performance still varies from school to school. This undermines the future of many students that are in schools that persistently perform poorly. What therefore remains disturbing is whether a relationship between continuous assessment strategies adopted by teachers in secondary schools and students’ academic performance in secondary school.
Kanno (2006) carryout a research work on the relevance of continuous assessment test to students’ cognitive development in elementary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Dekaiye (2011) conduct a research on the influence of school population on the implement of continuous assessment in secondary schools in Lokoja metropolis, Kogi State, while Yakub (2009) carried out his own study on the problem of continuous assessment implementation in secondary schools in Sokoto State. None of these studies were conducted on the perception of teachers on the relevance of continuous assessment to student’s academic performance in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State. Thus, due to the paucity of researches in this area in Ilorin metropolis, the present study is investigated the perception of teachers on the relevance of continuous assessment to students’ academic performance in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State.
The following questions were raised to guide the conduct of the study:
1. ;What is the relevance of Continuous Assessment to students’ academic performance as perceived by secondary school teachers in Ilorin metropolis?
2. ;Is there any difference in the relevance of Continuous Assessment to students’ academic performance as perceived by secondary school teachers in Ilorin metropolis based on gender?
3. ;Is there any difference in the relevance of Continuous Assessment to students’ academic performance as perceived by secondary school teachers in Ilorin metropolis based on the educational level?
The following hypotheses were formulated and tested in the study:
1. There is no significant difference in the relevance of Continuous Assessment to students’ academic performance as perceived by secondary school teachers in Ilorin metropolis based on gender.
2. There is no significant any difference in the relevance of Continuous Assessment to students’ academic performance as perceived by secondary school teachers in Ilorin metropolis based on the educational level?
In this study, a descriptive survey was adopted, because the study investigated the perception of teachers on the relevance of continuous assessment to students’ academic performance in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State. The population for this study comprises the entire 436 teachers (KWTSCOM, 2014) secondary schools teachers in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State. Based on this population size, stratified and simple random sampling techniques were used to select twelve (12) secondary schools out of the existing sixty two (62) in Ilorin metropolis. Also, random sampling technique would be used to select one hundred and twenty (120) teachers which represent 30% of the entire population of teachers in Ilorin metropolis (Ilorin East, South and West).
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- Institution / Hochschule
- Ahmadu Bello University – Department of Educational Psychology and Counselling