Continuous Assessment Practices and Student’s Academic Performance

Continuous Assessment Practices and Student’s Academic Performance

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CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

One of the functions of a school is the certification of individual learners under its embrace. To effectively carryout this role, a proper way of assessment is a prerequisite. The Nigerian National Policy on Education (2004) recommended the use of continuous assessment for taking summative decision on students’ level of attainment at the end of any level of schooling.

According to Essien (2005), Continuous Assessment was introduced by the National Policy on Education (2004) for all levels of education in Nigeria under 6 – 3 – 3 – 4 system. The purpose was to make assessment of the learners more reliable, valid, objective and comprehensive (Chukwua 2013). Since the emphasis is now on the totality of learning, it becomes necessary to evolve and use an assessment practice that will embrace all aspects of learning the various subjects offered in the school system, including Biology.

Continuous Assessment Practices and Student’s Academic Performance

Before, Continuous assessment was introduced in Nigerian schools, the old system of assessment was summative, and that is, examination was done only at the end of the term’s work (Essien 2005). In some cases, students were not examined on what they have been taught until the end of each term. Also, the summative assessment only made use of class work and examinations while take-home assignment, class assignment  and practical exercises were hardly used in assessing learners (Essien, 2005). According to Chukwuka (2013), the former system of assessment was based on cognitive domain while affective and psychomotor domains were not considered.

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Continuous Assessment Practices and Student’s Academic Performance

Continuous Assessment, According to Falayajo cited in Decker (2013), is a mechanism whereby the final assessment of students’ performance in cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of behaviour takes account in a systematic way of all his performances during a given period of schooling.

Decker (2013) added that, such an assessment involves the use of a great variety of modes of evaluation for the purpose of guiding and improving the learning and performance of the students. his variety of modes of evaluation include tests, projects, assessment, practical exercises, interviews, checklists, rating scales, inventories, anecdotal records and sociometric methods for assessing various components of learning not only in the thinking process (cognitive) but including attitudes, motives, beliefs, behaviours, personality trait (affective) and dexterity (Psychomotor). Continuous Assessment emphasizes more on comprehensive information on cognitive, affective and psychomotor measures of individuals if well practiced. This is intended to make learning more meaningful to the students.

Continuous Assessment Practices and Student’s Academic Performance

The Federal ministry of Education according to Essien (2005) asserted that Continuous Assessment was introduced into the school system with the view that it would:

  1. Firstly, enable teachers to be more flexible and innovative in their instruction;
  2. Secondly, give the teacher greater involvement in the overall assessment of his pupils;
  3. Thirdly, provide a basis for more effective guidance of the child;
  4. Fourthly, provide a basis for the teacher to improve his instructional methods and;
  5. Finally, reduce the high incidence of examination mal-practice as the success or failure of a student would no longer depend on one- shot type of examination.
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According to Essien (2005) for the objective of Continuous Assessment implementation to be realized, teachers must be well acquitted with the different methods of Continuous Assessment practices at various levels of education.

 

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