THE PERCEPTION OF STUDENTS AND TEACHERS TOWARDS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF COMPUTER BASED TEST (CBT) MOSE OF EXAMINATION IN SELECTED HIGHER INSTITUTIONS IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
During the past few years, technology has significantly reshaped the
method of assessment. In many academic
domains, educational measurement has been moving towards the use of
Computer-Based Testing (CBT), defined as tests or assessments that are
administered by computer in either stand-alone or dedicated network or
by other technology devices linked to the internet or worldwide web most
of them using multiple choice questions (MCQs). Computer based tests
have been used 1960s to test knowledge and problems solving skills.
Computer based assessment systems have enabled educator and trainees to
author, schedule, deliver and report on surveys, quizzes, tests and
exams. There are two main types of computer based testing; the most
familiar type is where candidates fill in their responses on a paper
form, which is fed into a computer optical mark reader. This reads form,
scores, the paper, and may even report on the tests reliability, the
second type of computer based testing is where computers provide an
assessment interface for students; they input their answers and receive
feedbacks via a computer. An effective method of students’ assessments
is necessary at all areas and levels of education. Due to increase in
student numbers, ever-escalating work commitments for academic staff and
the advancement of internet technology, the use of computer assisted
assessment has been an attractive proposition for many higher education
institutions. Since their first use, computer assisted test construction
system have made a major impact on the design and generation of
examinations at many universities and college (Ekiti State University
and Emmanuel Alayande College of Education).
Currently in Ekiti State University and
Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, the traditional method (a
combination of essay examination and practical examination) is most used
as evaluation of students knowledge. In the past few years, the number
of students increased drastically and the conventional examination
method became time consuming in term of the examination time for
evaluation and assessment. A solution of examination in large classes of
students is an automated testing system and this has been introduced by
Ekiti State University and Emmanuel Alayande College of Education
primarily to address the concerns and others.
Generally, the advantages of computer
based test systems over traditional paper and pencil testing (PPT) have
been demonstrated in several comparative works. Computer based test is
just an alternative method for delivering examinations; it represents an
important qualitative shift away from traditional methods such as paper
based test. Despite these advantages available in computerized test
administration, it does not mean that computer based tests are
intrinsically better than paper and pencil tests. Previous study [(
Fyfe,G., Meyer,J., Fyfe, S., Ziman,M., Sanders, K., and Hill,J.(n.d)]
have even found that testing format does not affect test scores and as
such computer based test(CBT) can be considered a valid and acceptable
testing mode. As computer based test began to be used for summative
assessment, establishing whether computer based testing performance was
comparable to that of paper based testing became important. Researchers
have performed large scale reviews of studies examining differences in
performances of CBT and paper based version of tests and have generally
found that when computer based test is similar in format to pencil and
paper tests, it has little if any effects to pencil and paper tests, it
has little if any effect on test performance ( Erle, L., Benjamin, Q.,
Einar, W.S., and Raymond, S. (2006)].
Moreso, from students’ perspective and
teachers’ perspective of the CBT, there have been a number of mixed
reactions. Previous research showed that more people anticipated
problems with the computer assisted assessment than actually had them.
This research also showed that despite fewer students being confident
about CBT afterwards. Some studies reported the main disadvantages as
being increased anxiety amongst their unfamiliar with use of computer
and as such students agreed they are “technophobic”. The challenges of
examinees by means of microcomputers demands appropriate software
design. To comply with this demand, students and teachers belief and
perception on the advantages and disadvantages of a computerized test
are important since user perceptions and criticism are crucial in the
acceptance, implementation and improvement of computerized tests, whilst
recognizing the system level advantages associated with computer based
test, it is important to explore the relationship between assessment
mode and the behaviour of the students being assessed. If the term
“Affordance” is used to describe what is made possible and facilitated,
and what is made difficult and inhibited by a medium of assessment
[(Johnson,M. and Green, S. (2004)]. It is possible that the affordance
offered by the computer meditated assessment differently than if they
were engaged in paper based assessment.
Conclusively, several areas appear
worthy of investigation, including issues related to quality factors
that may influence performance and students perceptions regarding
computer based test. The fact that students’ perception towards CBT for
examination is an under-explored topic which is apparent. Thus, this
study describes the findings in this domain with a view of disseminating
goods practices, guidelines and models of implementation and evaluation
of a particular type of test mode.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The management of Ekiti State University
and Emmanuel Alayande College of Education has recently implemented the
use of CBT to test or examine students’ and teachers’ knowledge. The
advantages of using computer technology for educational assessment in a
global sense have been recognised and these include lower administrative
cost, time saving and less demand upon teachers among others.
Whilst recognizing these system based
advantages, it is important to explore the relationship between
assessment mode and the behaviour as well as the perceptions of the
students been assessed and teachers handling because the assumption
comparability between CBT and PPT without paper investigation within
that particular testing context, is inappropriate [(Saad, S.A (2009)].
Some test takers reported that it is more difficult to navigate back to
rework problems, some are resistant to the computerized testing process
because they are accustomed to taking notes and circling questions and /
or answers for later reviews. Others say that they read more quickly
and more easily on paper than on a glaring computer screen. While
electronic glitches are rare, they have been known to occur, for
instance where computer crashes can void the effort of large numbers of
test takers. All these conflicting positions serve as the justification
of this study.
In general, the points of concern are
students’ attitudes about grades, attitude about convenience, control
and validity. Some examinees have a general anxiety about the computer
itself, while others are more concerned about whether their level of
computer experience [(John, C.K, Cynthia, G.R., Judith A.S., and Tim, D.
(2002)]. Some other technical issues in computer based test that affect
students’ and teachers response designed questions are; use of the
mouse, font size, screen clarity, screen size, screen resolution,
display rate and scrolling. The user interface-item layout,
presentations graphics has been known to affect examinees as they may
have difficulty with certain aspects of it, or they may object to
particular element of adaptive test delivery. These aspects are captured
in the survey instruments of this study. The challenge on CBT designers
and administrators is to construct CBT to be fair and reliable and to
produce valid test scores.
Based on this background, this study was
carried out to investigate the students’ and teachers’ perception
towards the implementation of CBT mode of examination in Ekiti State
University and Emmanuel Alayande College of Education study centre, Oyo.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
In order for CBT to be initiated or
employed at the institutional level (Ekiti State University and Emmanuel
Alayande College of Education), the students and teachers must see a
need for educational use. In addition, both students and teachers must
be ready and open to the potential benefits of a change in the teaching
and learning environment.
The purpose of this study is to
understand how undergraduate students in the selected institution are
currently using CBT informally for educational purposes. It will also
investigate the perceptions of teachers and compare the perceptions of
teachers and students with regards to the use of CBT. The study will
also explore how the formal use of computer based testing inside and
outside campus could impact students learning, engagement and
Finally, the study will examine if students’ and teachers’ are ready to adopt the use of CBT.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The outcome of this study would be of
use to students, university management, College of Education
administrators, professional organization and researchers. Exclusively,
this study may create awareness to different examination bodies and
higher institutions administrations in Nigeria to know students’ and
teachers’ perception towards CBT. The study would also help Ekiti State
University and Emmanuel Alayande College of Education administrators
with useful information on the level of setting questions in CBT. This
study would provide useful informations on the level of ICT literacy of
students hence, assisting them in training and retraining their staffs
to help teach the skill to the teachers.
In addition, if universities and
colleges of education are to accept the use of computer based test as a
mode of examination both teachers’ and students’ perceptions must be
analyzed. This study will also be significant insomuch as it will
provide information about how CBT are changing the way students learn
and think about learning. The study also aims to understand how the
implementation of CBT can influence the PPT.
In conclusion, the study is expected to
inform researchers and educators about the current informal use of CBT
in schools and help educators and administrators understand if there is a
need to explore more formal CBT initiatives at the higher institution
level. The result of the study may help teachers and school
administrators understand if and how best incorporate CBT strategies
into examination mode.
1.7 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study focuses on teachers and
students’ perception towards the implementation of computer based test
mode of examination which was delimited to only Ekiti State University
and Emmanuel Alayande College of Education. A total of 300 students and
teachers shall be selected from the two (2) institutions to form the
population for this
study. While simple random sampling technique will be used to select the respondents.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The definitions of terms related to the study are as follows;
- Computer based test (CBT): This can be defined as tests or assessments that are administered through the use of computer in either stand alone or general.
- Paper based test (PPT): This is a mode of assessment using the traditional pen and pencil method. This is the common mode of examination now in Nigeria.
- Perceptions: The degree to which an individual believes about a particular thing.
- Implementation: The process of installing and maintaining a new system.