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Assessment of students’ level of academic achievement 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 endeavour. 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 judgment 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 achievement of the students in a particular subject. Onuka (2006) stated that continuous assessment is more useful to the students, as it provides them with on-going feedback on their achievement, 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), continuous assessment 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, continuous assessment was introduced to find ways in which academic evaluation influences 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.
The urgent need to promote learning and improve achievement 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 achievement of students in external examinations nation-wide and achievement still varies from school to school. This undermines the future of many students that persistently perform poorly.
Some relevant studies had upheld different positions as to the significance and conduct of continuous assessment in schools. For instance, Marcus and Joseph (2014) studied science teachers’ and continuous assessment implementation in secondary schools: Competence and effects. It was discovered that many science teachers are not professionally qualified and as such lack the skills to construct and administer continuous assessment test in Secondary School; other findings include, large student population; lack of motivation in teachers; lack of facilities for record keeping; attitude and influence of parents and school administrators are some of the causes for the teachers’ indifference in continuous assessment implementation. Asale (2017) examined teachers’ perception and practices towards continuous assessment of Mathematics classes: The case of secondary school in Wolaita Zone, Snapr Region. The results revealed that the frequency of continuous assessment practice was affected by various factors. Class size, Job commitment, Additional training, and additional incentives had a strong influence on frequency of continuous assessment practice. Onihunwa, Adigun, Irunokha, Sada, Jeje, Adeyemi, et. al. (2018) explored the roles of continuous assessment scores in determining the academic performance of computer science students in Federal College of Wildlife Management. The results of the study showed that the students’ scores obtained in the final examination was a function of the scores obtained in the continuous assessment.
In this study, the researchers presumed that teachers’ demographic characteristics, such as gender and level of educational attainment might exert influence on their perception or opinion as regards the influence of continuous assessment on students’ academic achievement. Introducing demographic profiles of respondents into a survey enables the researchers to differentiate opinions of different sub-groups. The segmentation might offer the researcher an insight that could have been missed by only looking at the aggregate data (Bobonte, 2013). For instance, respondents with lower level of education might perceive that continuous assessment is not much relevant to students’ academic achievement.
In addition, some relevant empirical studies have reported mixed findings on teachers’ perception of relevance of continuous assessment to students’ academic achievement on the basis of gender and level of educational attainment. For example, Patrick and Uvietesivwi (2018) carried out a study on assessment of teachers’ implementation of continuous assessment in senior secondary schools in Delta Central Senatorial District. The findings indicated that no significant difference exists between male and female teachers on the implementation of continuous assessment in secondary schools; there was no significant difference in the teachers’ implementation of continuous assessment in secondary schools on the basis of educational qualification. Alkharusi (2011) studied teachers' classroom assessment skills: Influence of gender, subject area, grade level, teaching experience and in-service assessment training. The study showed that there were significant differences on the self-perceived assessment skills with respect to teachers' gender, subject area, grade level, teaching experience, and in-service assessment training None of the above studies were conducted on the influence of continuous assessment on student’s academic achievement as expressed by teachers in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State. Thus, due to the paucity of researches in this area in Ilorin metropolis, the present study investigated the influence of continuous assessment on students’ academic achievement as expressed by secondary school teachers in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State. The research question raised in this study stated as follows: What is the influence of Continuous Assessment on students’ academic achievement as perceived by secondary school teachers in Ilorin metropolis?
The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested in the study:
1. There is no significant gender difference in the influence of continuous assessment on students’ academic achievement as expressed by secondary school teachers in Ilorin metropolis.
2. There is no significant difference in the influence of continuous assessment on students’ academic achievement as expressed 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 influence of continuous assessment to students’ academic achievement 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 was 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).
Table 1: Percentage Distribution of Respondents’ Demographic Characteristics N Variable Frequency Percentage (%)
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Table 1 presents the respondents demographic characteristics. The table shows that out of the 120 participants who took part in the study, 60 (50%) were male and 60 (50%) were female. With respect to educational level 45 (37.5%) of the participants has Diploma/HND 63 (52.5%) were B.sc holder, while 4 (3.3%) were Ph.D holders.
The instrument is tagged “Influence of Continuous Assessment on Academic Achievement Questionnaire (ICAAPQ)”. The questionnaire consists of two sections, (i.e A and B). Section A sought for personal information of respondents such as gender and qualification, while section ‘B’ contains 20-items developed by the researcher. The questionnaire was structured using 4 point Likert-type scale of; SA= Strongly Agreed, A= Agreed, D= Disagreed and SD= Strongly Disagreed.
Section B of the instrument contained 20 items, the highest possible score any respondent can obtain is 1+2+3+4 = 10. 10/4 = 2.50 which is the average (benchmark) mean scores of any respondents’ response. Thus, the respondents whose score ranged from 2.50 and above, was considered as reporting the topmost influence of continuous assessment on students’ academic achievement, while mean scores below 2.50 was regarded as less influence of continuous assessment on students’ academic achievement.
The instrument was validated by experts in the Measurement & Evaluation, and Counselling psychology for their input before a final copy was produced and administered. The reliability of the instrument was ensured by administering it on ten (10) teachers who were not part of the study. The instrument was re-administered on the same respondents after four weeks interval. Pearson Product Correlation was used to analysed the two set of scores and a reliability coefficient of 0.89 obtained. The data collected were analysed with the use of frequencies and percentage, t-test and ANOVA statistics at 0.05 level of significance.
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- Hammed Popoola Aminu (Author), 2020, Influence of Continuous Assessment on Students’ Academic Achievement, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/906266