Background of the Study
This section present historical, theoretical, conceptual and contextual background of the Study.
According to Kellaghan and Greapy (2003) during 20th century among the many countries and states even among local government area that engaged in examination reform were some countries like Nigeria and Ondo State as a case study following the World Bank (2012) policy paper, “Education in Oka Akoko South West sub section in Ondo State” which recommended, “a renewed commitment to academic standards principally through strengthening examination system “.
The first plenary meeting of the Donor to Africa Education (DAE) now called Association for Education Development in African (AEDA) that are rapidly develop in Ondo State educational system. Now reflecting the mood and development in many countries, addressed the need to improve education quality. This led to the establishment of the working group on school examinations in recognition of the important role examination could play in quality improvement.
That is why the White Paper (2002) on the education for National Integration and Development recommended that schools should maintain cumulative record card on continuous internal assessment including class performance. Since then, teachers have continued to carry out continuous assessment in senior secondary schools classes as often as possible and without waiting until the end of each term or year.
Ivan Pavloo (1929-1936) in his conditioning theory of classical conditioning concluded that a dog learnt to salivate whenever a bell was rung. He undertook many trials and each time the ball was sounded the dog salivated and food was simultaneously presented. The conditioning theory has therefor been adopted to inform this research because it was assumed that in senior secondary schools obtained good grades whenever subject matter/content was taught, followed by many continuous assessment (trials) exercise. Paviloo suggested a Conditioned Response (CR) that refer to student’s reaction that develop as result of training/teaching in this study. A Conditioned Stimulus (CS) refers to incentive that evoke CR through teaching. In this study, it was assumed that students’ attainment of good grades was the conditioned response (CR), Continuous Assessment was the Conditioned Stimulus (CS), and teaching was the unconditioned stimulus (US).
Greancy (2001) defines assessment as any procedure or activity that is designed to collect information about the knowledge, attitude, or skills of the learner or group of learner.
Assessment is therefore a process through which the quality of an individuals’ work or performance is judge. When carried out as an ongoing process, assessment is known as Continuous Assessment (CA). CA is a formative evaluation procedure concerned with finding out in a systematic manner, the overall gains that a student has made in terms of knowledge, attitudes and skills after a given set of learning experience.
According to Aggaiwal (1999), CA is not simply continuous testing, continuous assessment does not solely depends on formal test. CA is more than giving a test, it involves every decision made by the teacher in class to improve student achievement.it may take different forms such as formal questions given to student during class, take home assignment and recapitulation exercises.
Assessment is either internal or external. Internal assessment refers to school – base assessment, which includes class assignment, teacher – made tests, recap exercises, project, field studies and all these tools form part of the classroom utilization of Continuous Assessment.
A utilization of Continuous Assessment refers to the different tools/procedures used in the classroom to understand the academic achievement level of learners in term of their knowledge, attitudes and values.
According to Kellaghan and Greany (2003), that kind of assessment is subjective, informal, immediate, on – going and intuitive as it interacts with learning as it occur. For instance teacher teaching senior secondary school three (SSS 3) are required to assess their student regularly using different assessment strategies/utilization of assessment so that learners could memorize the subject content taught to them during the final examination. The downside of this approach is that students’ are encouraged to exercise rote memorization of facts and craning of information rather that acquiring problem solving skills. This study was therefore conceived, designed and undertaken in order to analyze the various classroom assessment practice and find out whether there was any relationship between C.A practices with students’ performance on the final examination which is a proxy for students’ acquisition of functional skills and knowledge.
Statement of the Problem
The urgent need to promote learning and improve performance in senior secondary schools in Oka Akoko South West Local Government resulted into a range of related but different developments in Continuous Assessment in biology teacher in senior secondary schools. The resultant feature has been inconsistent performance of student in senior secondary schools. What therefore remains disturbing is whether a relationship between utilization of Continuous Assessment adopted by biology teacher in senior secondary school in Oka Akoko South West with students’ performance in final examination.
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