Design And Implementation Of An Online Computer Based Test (CBT) System: A Case Study Of Springlight ICT Academy, Uyo

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Design And Implementation Of An Online Computer Based Test (CBT) System: A Case Study Of Springlight ICT Academy, Uyo


Abstract


Examination is one of the most widely used methods of evaluating knowledge and ability of a student. The use of Information and Communication Technology in administering examinations can improve efficiency and reduce the delay in the notification of a student’s score after examination. A Computer Based Testing (CBT) System was designed and implemented to reduce the delay in the notification of student’s final examination score as well as other aspects of assessment such as Test and Assignments using a case study of Springlight ICT Academy, Uyo. The CBTS was developed using the Waterfall Model of a Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Implementation was done using open source web-based technologies such as WAMP server, MySQL, PhP, JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheet and Hypertext Markup Language. The CBTS presents a notification of the student’s final score in an examination as well as scores in other forms of assessments. The use of CBTS can improve the efficiency and profitability of academic institutions as it reduces the cost of stationeries and labor involved in conducting examination manually. This work can be improved through the introduction of other forms of questions types such as theory based and diagrammatic questions to make the test questions more diverse.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

It is widely believed that all tests will one day be delivered on a computer of some sort (Bennett, 1998, 2002). However, it is difficult to accurately predict when this day will come. It has seemingly been just around the corner since the early 1990s, when a handful of early adopters, including the ASVAB (Sands, Waters, & McBride, 1997) and the GRE® (Mills, 1999), signed on to computer based testing (CBT). Today, dozens of admissions, placement, certification, and licensure testing programs are administered on computer, with the number growing each year. On the K–12 front, several states already conduct their annual accountability testing on computer, and many others are poised to join in. Hundreds of schools or districts also employ CBTs in a formative or diagnostic role in service of instruction. Computer-based testing (CBT) is an efficient way for test sponsors to provide a secure, consistent environment for certification and licensure while significantly enhancing the candidate experience. It is common for testing volumes to increase after a full conversion from paper-based testing (PBT) to CBT, often as a result of the availability of a greater number of testing locations and more flexible scheduling and testing opportunities.

Migration from PBT to CBT does affect candidate behavior, however, and it is possible for some testing programs to experience brief reductions in demand triggered by candidate apprehension regarding CBT. This sometimes results in either a last-minute increase in testing during final PBT administrations or candidate procrastination to the last available computerized testing date. Therefore, the question facing licensing organizations is how to keep test volumes up and candidate uncertainty down when migrating from a paper-based to a computer-based test? The key to mitigating test volume risk and ultimately driving an increase in demand is ongoing marketing, candidate education and outreach. In terms of promoting the new computerized testing program, marketing and effective communication can have an important impact on stakeholder acceptance of CBT and comfort with its use. In order to allay candidate fears and minimize questions, it is prudent to launch a communications campaign early in the conversion process that directly addresses constituent concerns and promotes sustainable program interest.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The challenges faced with paper based test is overwhelming, they include but not limited to exam malpractice, inaccuracy in marking, delay in marking results.


1.3 Objectives of the study

The main objective of the research project is to design and implement an online computer based test system. Specific objectives of the research paper are:

  1. To develop a CBT system that automatically generates exam numbers for students.
  2. To develop a CBT system with enhanced security features to avoid exam malpractice.
  3. To design a CBT system with real time processing of results for candidates.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is intended to assist in some small way those practitioners who are struggling with the decision of whether to test on computer and how they might best go about doing so. It is not intended to provide an introduction to the important methods and to the considerations that dictate use of those methods. It is far from comprehensive in this regard. To make truly informed decisions, one would need to be at least conversant if not quite familiar with most of the references listed here. In short, this is not just a road map intending to precisely direct practitioners on their journey to computerized delivery, but rather more a guidebook highlighting some of the landmarks they will likely visit along the way. As with all trips, we need to start by deciding whether the attractions of the destination outweigh the rigors of travel.


1.7 Scope/Limitations of the Study

This study covered the design and implementation of an online computer based test system, using Primedge Technology as the case study.

Limitations of study
Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection through the internet, questionnaire and interview.

Time constraint

The researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. This consequently cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Computer Based Test (CBT):

Is the use of information technology for any assessment-related activity.

Design:

Is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system.

Implement:

To put (a decision, plan, agreement, etc.) into effect.


Chapter Five


Summary, Recommendations And Conclusion

5.1.0 Introduction

This research work has simply been about designing an E-exam portal (CBT)for any institution who wish to conduct an online exam test using Springlight ICT academy as a case study. The advantages of a CBT database have been clearly stated which support the need for an E-exam system.

In summary, the objective of this study was to eliminate the tedium associated with the existing manual system as earlier stated in the problem definition in chapter one, with the provision of a system that is readily availability, portable in terms of disk size and provide portals with ability to make entry in to the system if place on server.


5.2.0 Application of the E-exam System to Springlight ICT Academy

The E-exam system which is design to meet the objective stated in chapter one is to full satisfy the importance and eliminate the tedium encounter during script making. The E-exam system present user/portal with the ability to registered student or client to take his/her exams. Also system administrator can add, edit and delete exam question. The result of every exam is published on the user window immediately he/she submit her examination test question. The admin can search or check for each student result as well as print the result.


5.3.0 Recommendation

The following recommendations have been made based on the findings of this research;

  1. The E-exam system is recommended for institutions that organize exams for their student.
  2. The system is also for individuals or corporate firm that would love to manages their own private exam portal.
  3. Also recommended for any high schools and primary schools who wish to conduct an online exam to students.

5.4.0 Suggestion on Further Research

Building a system such as ours in such limited time frame will not give us the opportunities to fully explore all the functionalities there is in implementing a system that could be term as world class. However, the system built will fully meet the scope of this study. For further research it would be important for the system to possess some of the functionality stated below:

  1. The system could be an online system where user could at any time be able to allocate rooms to the system without be confined to the hostel network.
  2. The system could be design in such a way that student will pay some certain amount at the bank to obtain a transaction ID, then using that ID to fill the hostel requirement online. When done the system will automatically allocate the student a room
  3. The system should be design in such a way that student could be able to have an account online using his room number where he/she could be able to login and lay complains and also contribute to further development of the hostel.

5.5.0 Conclusion

As a result of this research work, the Student Affair Department will now be able to allocate rooms to student without going through much stress. Portals can now manage student record with ease giving such portable and robust system.


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