Design And Implementation Of A Computerized Aptitude Test Administration System

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Design And Implementation Of A Computerized Aptitude Test Administration System


Abstract


The research project was aimed at designing and implementing a computerize aptitude test administration system. The design of the system is quite simple and easily understood. Its flexibility makes it amenable for future changes and amendment to incorporate other aspects of intelligence. The questions of the aptitude test are programmed and visually displayed on the system’s screen in any system. The results obtained from the test give an estimate on user’s (student) intelligence quotient (IQ). The framework that was designed, implemented and deployed relies on Visual Basic 6.0 Programming Language and utilized Microsoft Access as its database after the relevant data were collected from various sources.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.0 Introduction

An aptitude test or examination is an assessment Intended to measure a test-taker’s knowledge, skill, aptitude physical fitness, or classification in many other topics (e.g. beliefs). A test may be administered orally, on paper, on a computer, or in a confined area that requires a test taker to physically perform a set of skills. Tests vary in styles, rigor and requirements. For example, in a closed book test, a test taker is often required to rely upon memory to respond to specific items whereas in an open book test, a test taker may use one or more supplementary tools such as a reference book or calculator when responding to an item a test may be administered formally or informally. An example of an informal test would be a reading administered by a parent to a child. An example of a formal test would be a final examination administered by a teacher in classroom or an intelligence quotient (IQ) test administered by a psychologist in a clinic. Formal testing often results in a grade or a test score. A test core may be interpreted with regards to a norm or criterion, or occasionally both. The norm may be established independently, or by statistical analysis of a large number of participants (Kaplan, 2009).

Ancient China was the first country in the world complemented a nationwide standardized test, which was called the imperial examination. The main purpose of this examination was the select for able candidates for specific government positions. The imperial examination was established by the Sui in 605 AD and was later abolished by the Oing Dynasty 1300 years later in 1905. England had adopted this examination system in 1806 to select specific candidates for positions in Her Majesty’s Civil Service. This examination system was later applied to education and it started to influence other parts of the world as it became a prominent standard (e.g regulations to prevent the markers from knowing the identity of candidates), of delivering standardized tests (Airasian, 1994).

According to Cangelosi (1990), a standardized test is any test that is administered and scored in a consistent manner to ensure legal defensibility. standardized tests are often used in educational professional certificate, psychology, the military, and many other field.

A non-standardized test is usually flexible in scope and format, variable in difficulty and significance. Since these tests are usually developed by individual’s instructors, the format and difficulty of these test may not be widely adopted or used by other instructor or institutions. A non-standardized test may be used to determine the proficiency level of students, to motivate students to study, and to provide feedback to students. In some instances, a teacher may develop non-standardized tests that resemble standardized tests in scope, format, and difficulty for the purpose of preparing their students for an upcoming standardized test. Finally, the frequency and setting by which non-standardized tests are administered are highly variable and are usually constrained by the duration of the class period. A class instructor for example administer a text on a weekly basis or just twice a semester. Depending on the policy of the instructor or institution, the duration of each test itself may last for only five minutes to an entire class period.

In contrasts to non-standardized tests, standardized tests are widely used, fixed in terms of scope, difficulty and format, and are usually significant in consequences. Standardized tests are usually held on fixed dates as determined by the test developer, educational institution, or governing body, which may or not be administered by the instructor, held within the classroom, or constrained by the classroom period. Any test with important consequences for the individual test taker is referred to as a high-stakes test.

A test may be developed and administered by an instructor, a clinician, a governing body, or a test provider. In some instances, the developer of the test may not be directly responsible for its administration. For example, Educational Testing Service (ETS), a nonprofit educational testing and assessment organization, develops standardized test such as the SAT but may not directly be involved in the administration or proctoring of these test. As with the development and administration of educational test, the format and level of difficulty of the tests themselves are highly variable and there is no general consensus or invariable standard for test formats and difficulty. Often, the format and difficulty of the test is dependent upon the educational philosophy of the instructor, subject mater, class size, policy of the educational institution, and requirements of accreditation or governing bodies. In general, tests developed and administered by individual instructors are non-standardized whereas tests developed by testing organizations are standardized (Cangelosi,1990).


1.1 Theoretical Background of the Study

Testing was first introduced as a policy mechanism in China 210 B.C. By the 18th century, written examination was introduced to supplement oral mode of testing, especially in Mathematics. Later in the same century, assessment of quantitative marks was introduced to reduce the bias of qualitative judgment about an examinee’s level of performance across the oral disputation and written portion of the examination. The development of the quantitative marks was the first examination. The development of the field of psychometrics as we know it today. The advent of the Psychological Testing Movements in the 19th century brought about the belief that testing could be used to assess the mental ability of the examines. In the first 10 years of the 20th century, the short-answer supply mode appeared and high 1914, Kelly invented the multiple choice item. This development was in response to studies which showed that marks assigned to essay questions were highly unreliable and partly in response to the growth of the scientific management movement’s application to education. The movement required that the growing number of children could be tested to measure a district’s efficiency.

In Nigeria today, it appears to be the case that various testing agencies are failing to consider the dilemma of validity and reliability in the assessment and measurement procedures especially at the secondary level of education. Quite often, validity is sacrificed for reliability and this (mistake) usually results in measures being only concerned with the precision of scores rather than the intellectual candidates’ scores, does not or in a very little form, tell us whether such candidates have the capacities to use wisely what knowledge they educational objectives especially in a pluralistic and diverse society as Nigeria. Common knowledge is not a robust aim of education. If confidence is more like contextual insight and good judgment than inert knowledge, then we need to address the challenges of public assessment, measurement and administrative procedures especially at the tertiary level of education.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

It is worthy of note that assessment measures are sometimes quite misleading. Assessment results need be a true descriptive fact about an individual and it must be based on full understanding of individual past and present context in terms of economic, cultural and social background assessment measures should therefore, be thorough enough to put all information together wisely so that the tests are understood and helped meaningfully rather than test results being used merely for labeling.


1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of this research work is to deign a system that will be efficient to accept data, process the data and retrieve data when needed or enquired and system whose maintenance will be easy and economical and to tackle the problem of manual administration of aptitude test in Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua being its case study. This new system will be able to conduct, collate and arrange candidates result with minimal error.


1.4 Significance of the Study

A research into the challenges of assessment, measurement and administrative procedure, especially at the tertiary level of education of Nigeria will enhance robust constructed understanding of test validity and reliability by keeping in mind that by performance, we mean to execute a task or process and to bring it to completion. The findings may give insight to our testing agencies that the candidates abilities to perform in public examination, should be based only on what we produce as individuals, using a repertoire of knowledge and skills that responsive to particular task.

Not only this, the findings may lead to reform necessary to improve upon common assessment measures in the education system. This may have advantage of giving teachers and testing agencies, clear models of acceptable outcomes and make them have positive attitude towards instruction and learning, in sum, positive change in attitudes may narrow down education gap, either real or imagine, in the national, racial, linguistic and cultural and gender spheres across the nation.


1.5 Organization of Study

The research project consist of five chapters,

Chapter one consists of the introduction, background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, significance of the study, organization of research, scope of the study and definition of terms as used in the research work.

Chapter three of the research methodology, existing system/ problems of the existing system, system design which is input and output designs and the program flowecharts, etc;

Chapter four consists of the system implementation and documentation, system design diagram, choice of programme language, analysis of modules and programming environment and implementation;

Chapter five consists of constraints of the study, summary, conclusion and recommendations of the research work.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This research work is only concerned with the design and implementation of a computerized aptitude test administration system with case study of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua capable of accepting aptitude test related data, processing such data and retrieving it when needed.


1.7 Definition of Terms

The following constitute terms as used in the course of this research work.

Aptitude Test:

This is an assessment intended to measure a test-taker’s knowledge, skill, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics.

Administration:

To oversee or organize the affairs of something, especially a business, organization, or institution.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.0 Introduction

This chapter focuses on the constraint, summary recommendations and conclusion of the study.

Here, the researcher shall have the summary of the entire research work from the problem to implementation stages discussed. The relevant recommendation made in the study and conclusions are also presented in details.


5.1 Constraints of the Study

In this research work, insufficient library materials and inadequate finances to carry out the research were the major factors that limited the research. Also, the time to carry out this study was relatively short for an in-depth research of the subject matter.


5.2 Summary

A test may be administered orally, on paper, on a computer, or in a confined area that requires a test taker to physically perform a set of skills. Tests vary in style, rigor and requirements, for example, in a closed book test, a test taker is often required to rely upon memory to respond to specific items whereas in an open book test, a test taker may use one or more supplementary tools such as a reference book or calculator when responding to an item. A test may be administered formally or informally. A standardized test is any test that is administered and scored in a consistent manner to ensure legal defensibility. Standardized tests are often used in education, professional certificate, psychology, the military, and many other fields.


5.3 Conclusions

To overcome or reduce the dangers inherent in the challenges identified above, test administration especially in Nigeria, are advised to continuously re-examine and become clear about all the values involved in common assessment measures. Using test scores to categorize failures and success group involves a complex process of interacting and competing variable. They. (test administrators) should recognized that test scores are only indicators or signs of the underlying reality; thus scores on mental ability are only indicators of mental ability and not the real mental ability, itself. Mere educational assessment measures are quite often imperfect representations, of the realities. Categorization, by using test scores should be considered against historical and philosophical past (i.e., physical, cultural, social economic and political factors) that play on the individual or groups.

We have to take cognizance of the possibilities of error in all types of test scores and interpretation of test scores and classification of the test, have to be done with constant references to measurement error. In the final analysis, we must know the limits of human wisdom and that the extent of our results lies only in human capacity and thus tentative in all decisions taken. Decisions taken, therefore, are based only on partial fallible data and such decisions need be constantly monitored through empirical research and evaluation processes. The tentative nature of such decision if recognized will readily guide our future evidence. In this reversal; it will be easy to accommodate future occurrences and discoveries.


5.4 Recommendation

This study has shown clearly that aptitude test is a necessity for determine the suitability of candidates for admission to tertiary institution in Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua. The following recommendations are made to further strengthen aptitude test in the Polytechnic.

  1. Aptitude test should include both objective and essay question to determine the competence of candidates on both areas.
  2. Candidates for aptitude test should be screened for the exam and supervised during the exams to guard against cheating.
  3. Aptitude test should not be a money-making activity for institution, but for finding the best students to boost the standard of education in Nigeria.
  4. Admission of candidates should be based on JAMB and aptitude test performance, and not on being the highest bidder as alleged by some.

In conclusion, merit should be the sole criterion for admission into the Polytechnic, the influence of parents or guardians not withstanding. This would motivate young people seeking admission to work harder. Likewise, the law governing examination malpractice should be enforced and culprits sanctioned to served as a deterrent to others. These measures would make the Polytechnic admission system trustworthy and strengthen the credibility of higher education in Nigeria.


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