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EFFECT OF PERIODIC TESTING ON STUDENT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN STUDYING ECONOMICS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The evaluation of students’ progress and the ultimate level of achievement in schools is a very important part of any educational system. The utilization of formative testing in the teaching learning process involve breaking up the subject matter content or course into smaller hierarchical units for instruction; specifying objectives for each units; designing and administration of validated formative test; offering a group based remediation in areas where students are deficient before moving to another units and then administration of summative test on completion of all units.
Ajogbeje (2010) opined that the breaking up of subject or course into small units enable students to adequately prepare for periodic tests. And these periodic tests also provide a means of getting the students to be more involved and committed to the teaching-learning process thereby enhancing their performance. Hence the regular testing of students’ ability as demanded by the “6-3-3-4” system of education assists greatly in discovering the performance of students and could also be used to improve learning The essence of using tests and other evaluation instruments during the instructional process is to guide, direct and monitor students’ learning and progress towards attainment of course objectives (Alonge, 2004; Kolawole, 2010).
Teachers and learners cannot perform optimally or effectively without the availability of adequate information on student’s standing at any given time and the extent of his progress towards the achievement of instructional objectives.
Hence, the tests given periodically, as continuous assessment tests, are supposed to remove the threatening effects of a single test (summative test) generally given at the end of a course of study.
Some of the aspects of continuous assessment that are very relevant the teaching-learning outcomes include the frequency of the period of reporting on teacher-learner achievements, effecting immediate feedback of results into the teaching-learning situation and the emphasis that the results of these in-course assessments be combined with those of terminal assessments in deciding the final output of the individual learner. Bardwell (1981) submitted that feedback is the information, which a teacher provides a student about his/her performance on a particular task or test. He further argued that when such information is provided, the student concern begins to have a better understanding of his/her capabilities and he/she might begins also to have a different perception of himself/herself.
Studies have shown that feedback provides (1) reinforcement effect (Gronlund & Linn, 1990) and (2) correctional information (Bardwell, 1981; Gronlund & Linn, 1990). Ajogbeje (2012a) opined that formative evaluation process includes the provision of feedback to students on their scores or performance in a given test. Kulharvy (1977) reported that there are two conditions under which feedback does not perform its facilitative role.
One, if the feedback has high availability for the learner before he responds and two, if the material studied is very difficult for the learner. He further stated that in the absence of these conditions, one would conclude that studies which are based on both theories agreed that feedback on performance helps to confirm correct responses as well as to identify and correct errors. This correctional function is probably the most important aspect of feedback, and if one was given the choice, feedback following wrong responses probably has the greatest positive effect. Hence in this study, feedback was used as means of effecting correction and reinforcing students learning.
Among educators, an excellent way to incite a debate is to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of any particular testing protocol. In an era of unprecedented change to the educational landscape, including curricula innovations, new approaches to teaching and assessment, and an emphasis on process improvement have created an environment that is often referred to as learning-centered (Ramaley & Leskes, 2002).
Additionally, the proliferation of distance education and the abundance of credible on-line degree and certification programs have highlighted student interest and motivation. In this dynamic educational environment there has also been an increase in concerns about testing protocols, addressing learning outcomes, and assessment of student performance (Yang & Cornelious, 2005). These realities coupled with the inexorable transition from traditional pencil-and-paper exams to computer-mediated exams have authors investigating many different aspects of various new testing protocols including; test anxiety, preparation, and how students feel about various exam modes (Alltizer & Clausen, 2008).
With alternative educational approaches, there are often concerns about cheating and plagiarism (Damast, 2007) and discussion on how to address them (Williams, 2006) continue as well. These pressures for transformation have also motivated educators to investigate a wide variety of improvement opportunities including testing, assessment, and assurance of learning. We feel examining open-book exams, and making the findings available, will encourage educators to investigate and identify opportunities for educational process improvement.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM:
The study on the effect of periodic testing on students’ academic achievement in studying economics in senior secondary school came about as a result of deficiency of secondary school students in some topics in Economics due to the method of teaching of those topics. Secondly most of the research has been carried out on other methods of teaching but not even a single research has been done on effect of periodic testing on student academic achievement in studying economics in secondary school.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the research work is to determine the effect of periodic testing on student academic achievement in studying economics in senior secondary schools. Other specific objectives of the study include:
1 to determine the constraints and limitations teacher face in the use of periodic method of teaching.
2 to determine teacher’s competencies and ability in the use of identified teaching method.
3 to determine the influence of periodic testing on male and female.
4 to explore possible strategies to encourage teachers on the use of other method of teaching.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1 What are the constraints and limitations teacher faces in the use of periodic method of teaching?
2 How can teacher’s competencies and ability in the use of identified teaching method be determined?
3 How does periodic testing method influence male and female?
4 What are the possible strategies in encouraging teachers on the use of other method of teaching?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0 There is no significance differences in the academic achievement of students in economic under periodic testing method and other method of teaching.
H1 There is significance differences in the academic achievement of students in economic under periodic testing method and other method of teaching.
H0 there is no difference based on gender on the assimilation of students under periodic testing method.
H1 There is difference based on gender on the assimilation of student under periodic testing method.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on the effect of periodic testing on student academic achievement in studying economics in senior secondary schools will be of immense benefit to the entire secondary schools in Jos. The findings will reveal the factors affecting periodical testing method of teaching and also will educate the teachers to use other method of teaching to enhance a good academic achievement of students of economics. Finally the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge in this field of study and provide a basis for further research.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on effect of periodic testing on student academic achievement in studying Economics in senior secondary school is limited to Jos (North).
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Effect: A change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.
Periodic: Appearing or occurring at intervals.
TestingAn assessment intended to measure the respondents’ knowledge or other abilities.
Student:A learner or someone who attends an educational institution.
Academic Achievement Is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals.
Studying: application of the mind to the acquisition of knowledge by reading, investigation, or reflection.
Economics:It is a social science concerned with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
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