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THE STRATEGIES FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE IN THE ASSESSMENT OF STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA UNIVERSITIES
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.
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:
The following research questions will be raised in this study:
The following hypotheses will be tested in this study:
Significance of the Study
This study will be beneficial to the following individuals:
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:
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