An Assessment Of Teachers’ Knowledge Of Test Construction Procedure In Chemistry Objective Test In Senior Secondary Schools

Project and Seminar Material for Chemistry Education

An Assessment Of Teachers’ Knowledge Of Test Construction Procedure In Chemistry Objective Test In Senior Secondary Schools


Abstract


This study was carried out to the assess of teachers’ knowledge of test construction procedure in chemistry objective test using some selected senior secondary schools in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State as a case study. The study was specifically set to determine the level of competence of chemistry teachers as regards their knowledge and skills and constant utilization of sequential stages of test construction of teacher made achievement test, find out if the teacher made tests constructed by the chemistry teachers in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State as a tool for assessing students’ level of achievement, possess the basic psychometric properties, find out if gender difference in teacher has any significant relationship with their knowledge of test construction, and ascertain if the educational qualification and experience of chemistry teachers has any significant relationship with their test construction skills. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of chemistry teachers in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 57 respondents while 55 were received and 50 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and percentage, while the hypotheses was tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that there is no difference between male and female chemistry teachers in terms of their knowledge in test construction procedures. Furthermore, the study showed that the experienced chemistry teachers are more knowledgeable in test construction procedure than the inexperienced teachers. The study recommends that there is a need for training to be offered for the non-professional and the inexperienced teachers on test construction in order to improve students’ performance. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Testing has always been an integral part of the educational system since its inception. The concept (testing) can be viewed as a set of tasks presented to a person, the performance of which depends on the possession of a particular body of knowledge and skill. The emphasis being laid on continuous assessment in Nigeria’s educational system has therefore given a boost to the testing system in our educational institutions. The National Policy on Education (2004) emphasizes the importance of continuous assessment by stating that “Educational Assessment and Evaluation will be liberalized by basing them in whole or in part on continuous assessment of the progress of the individual”. This implies that teachers should assess both the entry and terminal behaviour of the students in the subject being taught as this will reveal the progress made by the individual student during the course.

Continuous assessment has been presented as a revolutionary approach to assessment (Yoloye, 1984), (Firth and Macintosh, 1984) and (Ughanadu, 1994). They claim that, continuous assessment is a more valid form of assessment than conventional examination or traditional assessment method. The superiority of continuous assessment is based on the fact that, continuous assessment can sample a much wider range of skills and abilities inherent in a course of study. Continuous assessment in many respects offers a challenge to both the learner and the teacher of science.

A Federal Ministry of Education Handbook (1980) portrays continuous assessment as a method of finding out what the students have gained from the learning experiences with respect to knowledge, thinking, reasoning, character development, industry, etc. Science subjects and chemistry in particular, like many of the educational disciplines, provide unique opportunities for the application of continuous assessment. There are three major areas (components) of any science subject which lend themselves to assessment: cognitive (theoretical) aspects; psychomotor (manipulative) aspects and affective (attitude) aspects.

With the advent of continuous assessment, there has been an increasing need of classroom teachers to prepare and administer tests in order to obtain certain vital information about what has been done during the teaching – learning process. In this regard therefore, testing can be used as a teaching instrument and as an instrument of assessment. These purposes are essential in the teaching of chemistry. When used as a teaching instrument, the outcome of a testing exercise provides a quick feedback on what learning has taken place in the classroom. As an aid to teaching, testing finds out problems with teaching strategies adopted, or detects weaknesses and strengths of the students taught. In this instance, testing serves a diagnostic function.

As an instrument of assessment, a test measures achievement, predicts performances and aids in selection exercises. Testing therefore, provides useful information for decision making about students, teachers and the programme.

For ascertaining the gains of the instruction process, achievement tests are administered by teachers. These according to Ughamadu, Onwuegbu and Osunde (1991) are tests that measure the extent to which a person has acquired certain information, mastered certain skills, usually as a result of specific instruction. In most of our schools, teachers set and administer most of these tests in the bid to find out how much their students have gained in the course of their instructions. These tests are in most cases not scrutinized for validity and reliability which are the most incompromisable requirements for a good test. According to Osunde (2000) “Teacher – made tests are generally deficient in numerous ways. The most common fault is related to ineffective communication”.

Another observation of interest concerning the characteristics of test and classroom questions asked by science teachers were revealed by some studies. Studies like those of Odor, Solanke and Azeke (1986); Williams and Buseri (1986) and Mani (1981) reveal that teacher-made tests or questions are heavily loaded with items in the lower levels of Bloom’s cognitive domain of educational objectives. These observed deficiencies in test construction among science teachers are a source of concern. It is imperative therefore, to remedy the situation by making available to chemistry teachers a guide for the construction of a good chemistry achievement test. This remedial help is a necessity as the existence of these deficiencies will greatly affect students’ performance and the vital function of a test as a teaching instrument as identified by Abodurin (1999) would not be realized.

Although, there is a high expectation from Nigerian teachers by the public, the poor condition of service and poor resource materials do not allow for an adequate realization of the aims of continuous assessment in the educational system. The continuous assessment places extra burden on the already poorly qualified teachers with regards to test construction. With no provision to help the teacher, he is likely to continue with his poorly constructed test.

Invariably, this will culminate in poor assessment of pupils’ learning because test functions as a measuring instrument and their measuring ability is limited to the objectives they are set to test. Thus, tests which are structured to assess achievement at the knowledge level will be limited to their function at this level but will not measure achievement at the higher levels. Therefore, the provision of appropriate test instruments in chemistry deserves some attention as such instruments will assist the teacher in a more effective assessment of his pupils.

The testing of pupils’ achievement in chemistry becomes much more susceptible to these inadequacies when one brings to mind the abstract and difficult nature of most chemistry topics. The condition becomes increasingly disturbing when one considers the advanced nature of the current senior secondary school curriculum in chemistry. This therefore, necessitates the assessment of teachers’ skill in test construction of teacher-made objective test in chemistry.


1.2 Statement of Problem

Over the years, there have been consistent complain by Government authorities and parents alike about the poor performance of students in both internal and external examination in Chemistry. Consequently, students’ enrolment in Chemistry in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) conducted by West African Examination Council (WAEC) and Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by National Examination Council (NECO) has been on the decline.

According to Akinyemi (1997) “over the years there has been consistent awareness on the alarming declining rate of enrolment in chemistry as a subject”. In the same vein, Adeyegbe (1998) opined that examiners of nationally conducted examination like West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) and locally conducted examination like terminal and sectional examinations in our various secondary schools have been witnessing a consistent poor performance in chemistry.

Many reasons have been attributed to the low enrolment and poor performance in chemistry examinations. One of the major reasons being the unseasoned nature of test instruments employed by teachers. If the continuous assessment programme is to succeed, practicing teachers must improve on their skills in construction of achievement objective, chemistry test instruments they are currently making use of. In other words, there is the need to show practicing chemistry teachers the way out of the woods in the interest of the students and the success of the continuous assessment programme. This realization, inevitably calls for an improvement in teachers’ skills in the construction of teachers’ made objective chemistry achievement test.

It is an observed fact that in the construction of test items (be it objective or essay) there are guidelines to be followed in order to come out with reasonable test items. Do teachers follow these guidelines? Thus, what we find is the usual practice of teachers leafing through pages of note or textbooks and set questions as they come to mind.

The continuous assessment (CA) system which is currently being used in schools requires valid and or reliable test instruments to make the exercise worthwhile. Therefore, this study intends to find out the teachers’ skill in the construction of teachers made chemistry objective test in Edo Central Senatorial District.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The purpose of the study is as follows:

  1. To determine the level of competence of chemistry teachers as regards their knowledge and skills and constant utilization of sequential stages of test construction of teacher made achievement test.
  2. To find out if the teacher made tests constructed by the chemistry teachers in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State as a tool for assessing students’ level of achievement, possess the basic psychometric properties.
  3. Find out if gender difference in teacher has any significant relationship with their knowledge of test construction.
  4. To ascertain if the educational qualification and experience of chemistry teachers has any significant relationship with their test construction skills.

1.4 Research Questions

This study intends assessing teachers’ knowledge of test construction procedure as an instrument of evaluating students’ performance. Thus, the following research questions were posed:

  1. Is there any difference between male and female chemistry teachers in terms of their knowledge in test construction procedures?
  2. Are the experienced chemistry teachers more knowledgeable in test construction procedure than the inexperienced teachers?
  3. Does the professional qualification of chemistry teachers have any influence on their knowledge of test construction procedures?
  4. Do chemistry teachers consider the preparation of test blue print important during test construction?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: Gender, professional qualification, and length of experience does not significantly influence chemistry teachers’ knowledge of test construction procedure.
  • Ha: Gender, professional qualification, and length of experience significantly influences chemistry teachers’ knowledge of test construction procedure.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This research is undertaken with the intention that the data and information gathered will be added to the pool of knowledge already available in the area of achievement testing in the sciences (especially chemistry). Its finding is expected to be of immense help to practicing teachers, measurement and evaluation lecturers in Colleges of Education and Faculty of Education in the universities.

Science teachers, especially chemistry teachers are expected to borrow a leaf from the steps involved in test construction to improve the methods, procedures and techniques in their mode of test construction. This study highlights the need to draw up a table of specification for any test in order for the teacher to ensure a judicious covering of the content of the subject matter that is to be examined. This study is therefore, to provoke the minds of our teachers towards the use of recommended and set down guidelines and strategies for test construction, especially in the writing of multiple choice items.

This study also intends to bring to focus the need for measurement and evaluation lecturers in our tertiary institutions to inculcate in their students appropriate test construction methods as this is the bedrock of an effective evaluation of students’ achievement by practicing teachers.

Summarily, it is hoped that the finding of this work will be useful for decision making by teachers, curriculum developers, educational administrators and guidance counselors. The chemistry teacher requires the use of skill fully constructed test to enable him offer diagnostic functions on his students, while curriculum designer use the test to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum. Furthermore, educational administrators use their results for placement. While test results will aid the counsellor in identifying students with strength and weakness in chemistry thereby offering appropriate and adequate guidance services for their present and future endeavours.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study is focused on all chemistry teachers in all the government owned secondary schools in Edo Central Senatorial District, consisting of Esan South-East, Esan North-East, Esan Central, Esan West and Igueben Local Government Areas.

The scope of the study is on all the 28 (twenty-eight) chemistry teachers throughout the above mentioned Local Government Areas. The chemistry teachers will respond to a questionnaire titled “Chemistry Teachers Questionnaire”. This questionnaire will primarily elicit demographic information from the respondents.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.


1.9 Definition of Terms

The following operational definitions are used in the work:

Achievement Test:

This comprises of a set of questions (multiple choice items) based on the teaching syllabus for which the students are expected to respond to.

Professionally Qualified Teachers:

Chemistry teacher holding a teaching qualification not less than NCE with chemistry as a subject area of specialization (B.Ed), B.Sc. Ed, P.G.D.E.).

Professionally Unqualified Teachers:

Chemistry teachers without teaching qualifications minimum of NCE (HND, B.Sc, B.A.)

Experience Teacher:

Any teacher who has taught chemistry for ten years and above

Inexperience Teacher:

Any teacher who has taught chemistry for less than ten years.

Public School:

Schools owned by the government.

Senior Secondary Schools (SSS):

These are schools with students undergoing studies in the second tier of the 3 – 3 secondary school programme.


1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows;

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the assessment of teachers’ knowledge of test construction procedure in chemistry objective test using some selected senior secondary schools in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the assessment of teachers’ knowledge of test construction procedure in chemistry objective test using some selected senior secondary schools in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State as a case study. The study is was specifically set to determine the level of competence of chemistry teachers as regards their knowledge and skills and constant utilization of sequential stages of test construction of teacher made achievement test, find out if the teacher made tests constructed by the chemistry teachers in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State as a tool for assessing students’ level of achievement, possess the basic psychometric properties, find out if gender difference in teacher has any significant relationship with their knowledge of test construction, and ascertain if the educational qualification and experience of chemistry teachers has any significant relationship with their test construction skills. The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 50 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were chemistry teachers in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State.


5.3 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. There is no difference between male and female chemistry teachers in terms of their knowledge in test construction procedures.
  2. The experienced chemistry teachers are more knowledgeable in test construction procedure than the inexperienced teachers.
  3. The professional qualification of chemistry teachers has a influence on their knowledge of test construction procedures.
  4. Chemistry teachers consider the preparation of test blue print important during test construction.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings of this study, and their implications, the following recommendations are made.

  1. The untrained science teachers who are at their early resumption employed into teaching job needs to be trained.
  2. There is a need for training to be offered for the non-professional and the inexperienced teachers on test construction in order to improve students’ performance.
  3. Sponsorship of science teachers to attend assessment practice workshops should be encouraged.
  4. Teachers should be encouraged to give pre-tests before the main test in schools.

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