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THE STRATEGIES FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE IN THE ASSESSMENT OF STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA UNIVERSITIES

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THE STRATEGIES FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE IN THE ASSESSMENT OF STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA UNIVERSITIES

 

ABSTRACT

 

The study attempted to investigate the quality assurance strategies in the assessment of students’ academic performance at University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos. The study equally reviewed some important and extensive literatures under sub-headings. The descriptive research survey design was applied in the assessment of respondents’ opinions towards the subject matter.

 

A total of three null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance scores from the questionnaires administered to fifty (50) teachers and one hundred and fifty students (150) from University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos.

 

The independent t-test statistical tool was used to test hypotheses 1 and 3 while the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient statistical tool was used to hypothesis 2 at 0.05 level of significance. At the end of the analyses, the results obtained showed that:

 

(1)         Hypothesis one found that there is a significant effect of quality assurance strategies on students’ academic performance.

 

(2)         Hypothesis two revealed that there is a significant relationship between quality assurance strategies and assessment of students’ academic performance at University of Lagos.

 

(3)         Finally, it was indicated that there is a significant gender difference of students due to quality assurance strategies at University of Lagos.

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Background to the Study

 

Assessment is the process of collecting data and structuring them into an interpretable form for decision making purposes.  According to Nkwocha (2004), assessment is the use of various techniques and sources to collect and estimate several types of information about a person, group of persons or an event in a comprehensive way. The above descriptions of assessment involve gathering data with a view to making value judgements about the quality of an individual, object, group or event.

 

The assessment of the Nigerian University educational system is made up of continuous and an end of the semester examinations, this accounts for 30 percent and 70 percent of the total score respectively.  The importance of assessment of students at the university level stems from the fact that it is an indispensable tool for determining educational outcomes for the purpose of maintenance of standard, increased productivity, accountability, and quality among others (Ogadinma, 2007).

 

It is also essential for the determination of students who should go on probation or be withdrawn. In order to ensure that the above objectives are achieved, there is urgent need for the assurance of quality in the assessment of students’ academic achievement, especially at the University level.

 

Okebukola (2002) observed that quality could be used to mean fitness for purpose.  According to him, quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic performance at the University level examines the effectiveness and efficiency of tests and assessment techniques, test administration, processing of results, moderation of examination materials among students.  According to Nworgu (1992), the strategies for the assurance of quality in the assessment of students academic performance in Nigerian Universities especially University of Lagos include the construction of high quality test items, this concerns lecturers who have sufficient knowledge of test construction mechanics, who should be employed to teach in the universities.  Teachers who are already in the university system that do not have the required knowledge should also be exposed to workshops and seminars where they would be trained and re-trained to enable them acquire necessary knowledge and skills in the assessment instrument construction and utilization and in the use of man-constructive techniques of assessment.  It also includes the construction of the instruments to be used for assessments for example, university  undergraduates should be assessed using a variety of test formats which include:  multiple choice tests and essay test formats.  But for the problem of students, population explosion across all levels of the Nigerian educational system, especially at the university level, more emphasis ought to be given to the use of multiple choice test format (Ugodulunwa and Mustapha, 2005).

 

Nkwocha (2004), claims that the conducts of examination is very important.  He suggests that schedules of invigilation should be made and that lecturers should ensure strict adherence to the schedules.  He also suggests that enough question papers and answers scripts should be provided and that the hall of the examination or tests should be provided and arranged ahead of time before the examinations.  That students’ should be given proper instruction on the dos and don’ts of the examination before they start the examination or tests.

 

Opoola (2006) is of the opinion that quality in the assessment of students’ academic performance at the university level especially University of Lagos can be assured by the use of information and communication technology (ICT) especially computer use in the universities across the nation for data bank, for collation of answers, especially examinations involving multiple choice questions. Opoola (2006), also is of the observation that computerized cameras and transmitters should be used in filming, recording and transmitting of examination procedures.  According to him, these instruments detect malpractices in examinations.  Therefore, punitive measures can be meted out to culprits, which can be checked in future occurrence.

 

As Anyanwu (2005) puts it, other measures that can be introduced in the assurance of quality in the assessment of students’ academic performance include:  adequate provision of computers to all universities in Nigeria and settlement of all disputes to avoid incessant strike action and regular payment of university staff salaries and allowances, adequate funding of the universities; the provision of adequate infrastructure to take care of the ever increasing students’ population, proper handling of examination matters without bias, fighting against gender stereotypes in the school curriculum; ensuring that students are continuously assessed and that their scores are properly moderated by appropriate authorities.

 

Statement of the Problem

 

The problem and challenges inherent in the assessment of students’ academic performance cannot be over-emphasized.  For instance, the poor and inadequate strategies applied by the main stakeholders of the school administration namely: the school principals, vice principals, headmasters, teachers and even the administrators of our universities, has without doubt caused the low or poor academic standards in the Nigerian educational system these days.  The low or non-quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic achievement at the tertiary institutions especially at the university level especially University of Lagos is one of the failures of the Nigeria higher educational system which cannot be compared with that of the developed countries of the world.  The non-availability of data bank on the assessment of students’ academic performance, the non-provision of functional infrastructure, to take care of the ever increasing population of students, the poor and improper handling of examination and class tests matters; the mediocrity in the conducts of students’ continuous assessments in schools, corruption in the school system; the epileptic power supply, lack of functional academic system in Nigeria especially at the apex level, the university and so on, have to a large extent, contributed to faulty strategies for quality assurance in the assessment of students academic performance at the university level (especially the University of Lagos) which is the major problem of this study.

 

Purpose of the Study

 

The main objective of this study includes:

 

  1. To find out whether there is quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic performance at the university level.

 

  1. To examine if there are correct strategies for quality assurance in the assessment of students academic achievement

 

  1. To assess whether the present quality assurance for the assessment of students educational attainment can be improved upon

 

  1. To ascertain whether the academic performance of male differs from their female counterparts due to quality assurance strategies.

 

  1. To identify some factors contributing to lack of quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic performance in schools

 

  1. To proffer solutions to the problems of lack of quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic achievement.

 

Research Questions

 

The following research questions will be raised in this study:

 

  1. Is there any quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic performance at university level?

 

  1. Are there functional strategies for quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic performances?

 

  1. Can the present quality assurance strategies for the assessment of students’ academic performance be improved upon?

 

  1. How can we ascertain whether the academic performance of male students differ from that of their female counterparts due to quality assurance?

 

  1. How can the problems of lack of quality assurance for students’ academic performance assessment be identified?

 

  1. How can the problem of lack of quality assurance for assessment of students’ academic performance be solved?

 

Research Hypotheses

 

The following hypotheses will be tested in this study:

 

  1. Will the quality assurance strategies significantly affect the academic performance of students in the university.

 

  1. There will be no significant relationship between quality assurance and the assessment of students’ academic performance in the university

 

  1. There will be no significant gender difference in students’ academic achievement due to quality assurance.

 

Significance of the Study

 

This study will be beneficial to the following individuals:

 

  1. Students would find the findings and recommendations of this study very rewarding, as the study will be both educative and informative to the students who would be enlightened more on the importance of quality assurance in any functional educational system be it in the developing countries or the developed countries of the world. With this study, students would have deeper knowledge on the strategies applied in the school for the assessment of students’ academic performance and or even the teachers (lecturers’) work performance in the higher institutions, especially, the universities.

 

  1. Lecturers would see this study as very imperative in the day to day assessment of students’ academic achievement in the school. With the findings and recommendations of this study, lecturers would be able to have further insights on the need to have good and functional strategies for the assessment of educational standards, especially the academic performance of students in the tertiary institutions, particularly, the university

 

  1. Also the school administrators would find the findings and recommendations of this very useful because, if they heed to the recommendations, they would improve on the current strategies that have embarked upon in the quality assurance for the assessment of the students’ academic performance in the schools.

 

  1. Members of the society, researchers and scholars would find this study a reference material to carry out further studies in related fields

 

Scope of the Study

 

This study will cover the evaluation of strategies for quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic performance in Nigeria universities especially at the University of Lagos, Akoka, in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State.

 

Definition of Terms

 

Operational terms would be defined in this study thus:

 

  1. Quality: This means degree, especially high degree of goodness or worth.  Something that special in or that distinguishes a person or a thing.

 

  1. Strategies: This means the art of planning operations in war, especially of the movements or armies and navies into favourable positions for fighting; it is a skill in managing any affair of an organisation or an institution, etc.

 

  1. Assurance: This connote self-confidence, belief and trust in one’s own powers; a promise; stamen made or give confidence; insurance that something that is certain, certainty; confidence.

 

  1. Quality assurance: This refers to degree of high confidence or certainty.  Something that has high degree of confidentiality.

 

  1. Assessment: This means decision; to fix the amount of something; appraise; fix or decide the value of something.  To test the value of something e.g academic performance of students, etc.

 

  1. Academic performance: This is the rate or level at which students’ outcomes are measured or rated.  It is the general activities of students in class tests and terminal examinations over a period of time.

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