Students Characteristics And Attitude Towards Examination Malpractices In Calabar South LGA Of Cross River State Nigeria

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Students Characteristics And Attitude Towards Examination Malpractices In Calabar South LGA Of Cross River State Nigeria


Abstract


This study investigates students characteristics and attitude towards examination malpractices in Calabar South LGA of Cross River State Nigeria Examination malpractice has become a global cankerworm that has eaten so deep into our educational system and posing a serious threat to total development of students in our educational system. In search of solution to this anti-educational behavior, experts have attributed it to many factors including peer influence on the assumption that birds of a feather flock together and on the axiom; ‘show me your friends and I will tell you who you are’. This study therefore examined the peer group influence and gender as correlates of Library and Information Science students’ attitude towards examination malpractice and it implication for all round development of students. The study applied a correctional research design with a population sample of 259 LIS randomly selected from seven public universities in Nigeria offering degree programs in library and Information Science. The study was guided by three research questions and hypotheses respectively while the principle instrument used to elicit responses from the respondents was a structured question on peer group and library and information science students’ attitude towards examination malpractice’ whereas, the data obtained were analyzed using Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) (Pearson r) which basically was used to establish the relationship between peer group influence and Library and Information Science students attitude towards examination malpractice. The outcome of this study revealed that library and information science students generally have negative attitude towards examination malpractice and frown at it. The result also shows that both male and female students’ attitude towards this canker-worm was same. In the end, it was recommended among others that parents, university management and heads of library schools should regularly organize school programs promoting healthy peer relationship and upholding students’ value of negative attitude towards examination malpractice as discovered by this study for all round development of students.


Table of Contents


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypotheses
  • 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 Organization of the Study

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Review
  • 2.1.1 Examination and Examination malpractice
  • 2.1.2 Types Of Examination Malpractices
  • 2.1.3 Causes of examination malpractices
  • 2.1.4 Teaching or Learning Environment and Examination Malpractice
  • 2.1.5 Teacher factor and Examination Malpractice
  • 2.1.6 Student factor and Examination Malpractice
  • 2.1.7 Attitude
  • 2.1.8 Self Esteem
  • 2.1.9 Peer Group
  • 2.2 Theoretical Review
  • 2.2.1 Social Learning Theory
  • 2.2.2 The Behavioural theory of Operant Conditioning by B.F Skinner
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Source and Method of Data Collection
  • 3.5 Instrument for data collection
  • 3.6 Validation of Instrument
  • 3.7 Reliability of the instrument
  • 3.8 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.9 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis
  • 4.2 Discussion of Results

Chapter Five:

Summary of Findings, Conclusion, and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Summary of Findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Globally, one of the main objectives of formal education is to prepare individuals from childhood to face future challenges and develop them to meet nations’ manpower requirements (Sulaimon, 2010). The main objective of schools to this end is to equip students with the required knowledge and skills to enable them to contribute effectively to national development. Education therefore is a lifelong experience that formatively affects the way one thinks, feels or acts and usually delivered and acquired through skillful exposure to a number of academic discipline, vocational studies, industrial experiences and ethical orientations (Oyekan, 2006). Suffice it to say, that education is a process by which one society inculcates its’ norms, values and attitude into the young (Ugwu, 2008).
In the context of librarianship, library and information science education is all about inculcating the Professional norms, values, ethics and attitude to will be librarians as well as enabling them to be responsible individuals both to themselves and the society at large through contributing their quota meaningfully towards the development of the society. That is to say, that proper education in library and information science has to do with the balanced development of the intellectual, emotional and practical domain of a librarian-to-be. To ascertain the degree of realization of the above objective, this demands periodic assessment and evaluation which are basically in the form of examinations and tests aimed at ascertaining the level of knowledge and competence of students. Although these are not the only yardstick for assessing and evaluating a student’s knowledge, it is the major established practical means of assessment. As posited, the world preferred tool for objectively assessing, evaluating or establishing whether the desired knowledge and skill were transferred and acquired from the teacher to the learner, is the examination (Olatubosun, 2012).

The implication is that examination is a sine-qua-non for students’ success in the world today and such success is usually measured by the grade scored and manifested by obtaining high level certificate which assists in placing one in a better position and getting good job in the society as in the case of graduates and to achieve good results and certificates students get involve in fierce competition of survival of the fittest and due to the misconceptions about examination, examination malpractice has become a trend despite the fact that every examination is guided by regulated code of conducts and institutionalized ethics, government or examination bodies (Joshua, Obu, Edet&Ekpo, 2010). The university system evaluates the achievement of students’ learning by administering two major types of examinations. Each course is evaluated by continuous assessment test (C.A. Test) and semester examination. These two types of examination are not spared of malpractices or irregularities of one type or the other. In this view, examination malpractice is any action taken to negate and compromise the intent of an examining body. In other words, it is any active or passive action that goes against the rules and regulations of an examination. There are different shades of examination malpractice in existence of which many people who do not really understand the meaning of examination malpractice have constantly argued not to be a form of malpractice.

The researcher has often heard students refer to examination malpractice as ‘brain support’. Examination malpractice in contemporary schools in our society seems to pervade all strata of education from primary to tertiary institutions. It is fast becoming students’ way of life regardless of school authority’s steps and measures towards curbing this menace (Adebile&Omoluwa, 2013). Considering the role education is supposed to play in any nation building, a nation stand the risk of being under-developed in terms of accumulation of illiteracy, disease and poverty when its youths reject the honor of getting sound education and seem to opt for fraudulent and deceptive in making ends meet as epitomized by examination malpractice. As noted by Ogunsanya (2004), the product of such a system can only grow up to be pessimist, insensible, dishonest. Ignorant, powerless to act, create and succeed.
Indeed, studies have shown that examination malpractice is a common habit among students who have these factors: laziness, indiscipline, negative peer influence, unserious attitude, fear of failure, poor reading skills and low self-esteem (Adeyemi, 2010 &Ugwu, 2008). . These negative effects of examination malpractice turn out to be mockery to the ranking of a wholesome developed student which proper education intends to provide. Since library and information science students in university spend most of their times with their peers which invariably influences their conduct and decision making this assertion appears to hold water. Peers in this context are seen as those individuals with whom library and information science students identify and spend their quality time with in their schools. They may or may not be of the same age mate but can be course-mates or of equal standing based on a specific grading. Students in library and information science departments in various universities interact and develop friendship that form peer groups. As expressed by Fadell and Temkow (2010), they choose their peers as the case may be that are more intimate, exclusive and more constant than in their earlier years, based on shared interests rather than convenience. These friendships are an essential component of the development of a sense of belongings for the students (Guzman, 2007). It is in consideration of the assertions that the need of carrying out a study of establishing the influence of peer group on the attitude of library and information science students as a microcosm of the macrocosm- students towards examination malpractice was nurtured.


1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

One of the most outstanding challenges being faced in the education system in most parts of the world still remains examination malpractice. It has become so prominent amongst scholars that many times it has been justified with crazy excuses such as after all, examination is not a true test of knowledge”. Surprisingly, teachers are not left out of this as some of them encourage this act because of little stipend. While strategies have been put in place to check malpractice, it appears that on a daily basis malpractice assumes an alarming trend and dimension and this is due to fear of failure, laziness, lack of confidence, and inadequate preparation. Students have perfected the various forms of examination malpractice. Some of the methods employed under this practice include bringing foreign materials into the examination halls. These foreign materials include prepared notes and materials written on palms, thighs and textbooks, Other forms of malpractice include having an illegal prior knowledge of the examination questions (also known as Expo), sharing information with other participants of the examination, exchanging either question papers or answer sheets, bribery, impersonation, etc. Mass cheating is another dimension that examination malpractice has assumed. Nowadays, the whole thing has become more sophisticated with the advent of electronic assisted materials. Mobile phones, though not allowed in examination halls are sneaked in because messages could be sent to them candidates in the hall. As the microcosm of the student body and future information manager there came the need to establishing what influence peer groups have on their attitude towards examination materials and also their general attitude towards examination malpractice putting into consideration gender and to bridge the gap in knowledge in this aspect of librarianship as it was noticed that there is dearth of literature in this area as in library and information science. This study, therefore, is aimed at examining students’ characteristics and attitudes towards examination malpractices in Calabar south LGA of Cross River State Nigeria.


1.3 Research Objective

The main objective of this study is to investigate CALABAR students characteristics and attitude towards examination malpractices in South Lga of Cross River State Nigeria specific objectives of this study include to:

  1. To ascertain the correlation between peer influence and students’ attitude towards examination malpractice in Calabar South Lga, River State.
  2. To examine the relationship between peer influence and male LIS students’ attitude towards examination malpractice in Calabar South Lga, River State.
  3. To examine the relationship between peer influence students’ attitudes towards examination malpractice in Calabar South Lga, River State.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated in this study:

  1. What is the the correlation between peer influence and students’ attitude towards examination malpractice in Calabar South Lga, River State?
  2. What is the relationship between peer influence and students’ attitude towards examination malpractice in Calabar South Lga, River State?
  3. What is the the relationship between peer influence students’ attitudes towards examination malpractice in Calabar South Lga, River State?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

  1. There is no statistical significant relationship between peer influence and students’ attitude towards examination malpractice in Calabar South Lga, River State.
  2. The relationship between peer influence and students’ attitude towards examination malpractice is not significant in Calabar South Lga, River State.
  3. There is no statistical significant relationship between peer influence and female students’ attitude towards examination malpractice in Calabar South Lga, River State.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is significant to students, scholars and the Nigerian population in general. The findings and recommendations of this study will add significantly to the previous knowledge of students, scholars and stakeholders in the education sector. The recommendations that are made in this study will serve as a tool for appropriate policy implementation for the Nigerian government in line with its policies on educational development in Nigeria.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study focuses onstudents’s characteristics and attitude towards examination malpractices in Calabar South Lga of cross River State Nigeria. The study also covers the influence of peer pressure on examination malpractice.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

This study was constrained by the unavailability of material with respect to its topic. Also, the time allocated for its completion determined its quality and quantity to a large extent. On the part of the respondents, their unwillingness to respond to the administered research instrument affected the outcome of this study.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Perception:

The organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information or environment. All perception involves signals that go through the nervous system, which in turn result from physical or chemical stimulation of the sensory system.[3] Vision involves light striking the retina of the eye; smell is mediated by odor molecules; and hearing involves pressure waves.

Perception is not only the passive receipt of these signals, but it is also shaped by the recipient’s learning, memory, expectation, and attention.[4][5] Sensory input is a process that transforms this low-level information to higher-level information (e.g., extracts shapes for object recognition). The process that follows connects a person’s concepts and expectations (or knowledge), restorative and selective mechanisms (such as attention) that influence perception.

Perception depends on complex functions of the nervous system, but subjectively seems mostly effortless because this processing happens outside conscious awareness.[3] Since the rise of experimental psychology in the 19th century, psychology’s understanding of perception has progressed by combining a variety of techniques. Psychophysics quantitatively describes the relationships between the physical qualities of the sensory input and perception.[6] Sensory neuroscience studies the neural mechanisms underlying perception. Perceptual systems can also be studied computationally, in terms of the information they process. Perceptual issues in philosophy include the extent to which sensory qualities such as sound, smell or color exist in objective reality rather than in the mind of the perceiver.

Knowledge:

Awareness of facts or as practical skills, and may also refer to familiarity with objects or situations. Knowledge of facts, also called propositional knowledge, is often defined as true belief that is distinct from opinion or guesswork by virtue of justification. While there is wide agreement among philosophers that propositional knowledge is a form of true belief, many controversies in philosophy focus on justification: whether it is needed at all, how to understand it, and whether something else besides it is needed. These controversies intensified due to a series of thought experiments by Edmund Gettier and have provoked various alternative definitions. Some of them deny that justification is necessary and replace it, for example, with reliability or the manifestation of cognitive virtues. Others contend that justification is needed but formulate additional requirements, for example, that no defeaters of the belief are present or that the person would not have the belief if it was false.

Teacher:

An educator, is a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence, or virtue, via the practice of teaching. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone (e.g. when showing a colleague how to perform a specific task). In some countries, teaching young people of school age may be carried out in an informal setting, such as within the family (homeschooling), rather than in a formal setting such as a school or college. Some other professions may involve a significant amount of teaching (e.g. youth worker, pastor).

Poverty:

The state of having few material possessions or little income. Poverty can have diverse social, economic, and political causes and effects. When evaluating poverty in statistics or economics there are two main measures: absolute poverty compares income against the amount needed to meet basic personal needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter; relative poverty measures when a person cannot meet a minimum level of living standards, compared to others in the same time and place. The definition of relative poverty varies from one country to another, or from one society to another.


1.10 Organization of the Study

There are five chapters in this study, the first of which discusses the background, statement of the research problem, aims, research question, and research hypotheses as well as the study’s significance, scope, and limitations. Chapter 2 contains conceptual, theoretical, and empirical reviews. The study methodology is covered in Chapter 3. This chapter covers the research design, the study’s population, the sample size and technique, the data collection source and method, the study’s instruments, the data analysis method, the validity and reliability of the study as well as ethical considerations. Chapter four entails data presentation, data analysis and discussion of findings. Chapter five encompasses summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of Findings

The result also showed that in the area of gender, that there is negative relationship between peer influence and male library and information science students’ attitude towards examination malpractice. The obvious as discovered in this study is that the relationship between peer group influence and male students’ attitude towards examination malpractice is non-significant and negligible (see table 2). This discovering is contrary to the finding of Yahaya (2003) and Obidigbo (2011) who in their separate studies found that male students engage in examination malpractice more than the female students.

The study further found that the peer group influence has no correlation with female library and information science students’ attitude towards examination malpractice. The relationship is in the negative and therefore has no positive influence on the attitude of the female students towards examination malpractice. The implication of this finding is that peers can have positive influence on students. Female students who associate themselves with peers with negative attitude towards examination will definitely work into conforming to such attitude or risk being rejected by the peers, a thing any right thinking student detests. In other words, being affiliated with peers who have negative attitude towards examination malpractice will make such student cultivate good habits and make sound decisions which will help in the adoption of negative attitude examination malpractice and by extension shun the act. This outcome agrees with the finding of Bruno and Obidigbo (2012) and Amobi (2007) that most female students perceive examination malpractice negatively and that of Onwubiko (2022) who in his study discovered that there was a positive correlation between peer influence and academic achievement drive of library and information science students. On the other hand, the result negates the views of Omolora, Dare and Onyekwere (2014) who posit that female students are more involved in examination malpractice than their male colleagues.
It is true that many factors including peer group influence have been associated with examination practice in our institutions but the outcome of this research has implication for all round development of students as the study has revealed that peers can also have positive influence on the attitude of students towards examination materials. The type of peer group kept by a student matters a lot as it could in a large extent shape the attitude and by extension behavior positively or negatively. As the result of this study has proven, if students identify with peers with good moral standing, who are focused with positive academic goals and have negative attitude towards examination malpractice, will be positively influenced by them and will eventual develop selfconfidence which will lead to writing any examination without engaging in this antisocial act. This assertion was buttressed by Cheng (2020), who believes that a peer in the same major as the student can affect the latter both directly through providing study resources and support, and indirectly through influencing the student’s value and behavior. But when the peer and the student are in different majors, it is possible that only the indirect effect is at play as the peer would not be able to directly provide study help or knowledge material to the student.

The bottom line is that any student who associates with peers who have negative attitude towards examination malpractice will definitely develop same attitude if not for any other thing, for the sake of being rejected. This implies that good company breeds good manners. To this end, positive attitude embedded in students as a result of positive peer influence, will impact in them the conscious of avoiding examination malpractice thus a veritable tool to check examination malpractice as experience in our schools today. This has become imperative because if this ugly trend is not checked with the seriousness and urgency it requires, may spell doom to the growth and all round development of the individual in particular and society at large. Furthermore, with this at the back of their minds, this antisocial behavior (examination malpractice) could be eschewed by students to facilitate their all round development which is what education is tailored to achieve in them and justify the attestation; ‘found worthy in character and learning’ that is usually inscribed in degree certificates.


5.2 Conclusion

The outcome of this study negates some assumptions that peer influence has contributed immensely towards examination malpractices in schools as it did show that peers in library and information science schools in Nigeria irrespective of gender have negative attitude towards examination malpractice. The assertion is that peer groups with positive attitude towards academic excellence stand as a better tool for wholesome development of a student as associating with them will create that consciousness of frowning at examination practice and by so being avoiding the act.


5.3 Recommendation

The government through the Ministry of Secondary Education (MINESEC) should integrate examination malpractices in the school curriculum as one of the cross cutting issues in the institutions of learning in order to enhance continuous awareness among learners. The government through the Ministry of Secondary Education should build more infrastructures in order to improve the sitting during examinations. The government through the Cameroon General Certificate of Education Board (CGCE) should consider increasing the number of years during which one could be barred from writing examinations from and above so that the penalty is stiffer. Government through the CGCE Board should extend examination malpractices penalties to non- candidates if found wanting e.g. those found photocopying leakages, parents and any unsuspecting persons.

In the light of the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made:

  1. Counsellors, teachers and researchers should strengthen their efforts in creating programmes that will help boost students’ self-esteem, so that they would feel worthy and able to face examination without any need to indulge in any form of malpractice.
  2. Parents and care-givers should try their best possible to instil good moral values among their children and wards and avoid any action or behaviour capable of encouraging positive attitude towards examination malpractice among them.
  3. Counsellors, teachers and other staff should create programmes that will help discourage positive attitude towards examination malpractice among students.
  4. Guidance Counsellors and researcher should focus more attention on building students’ self-esteem since they are highly linked to students’ attitude towards examination malpractice.
  5. Counsellors, teachers and researchers should strengthen their efforts in creating programmes that will help boost students’ self-esteem, so that they would feel worthy and able to face examination without any need to indulge in any form of malpractice.
  6. Parents and care-givers should try their best possible to instil good moral values among their children and wards and avoid any action or behaviour capable of encouraging positive attitude towards examination malpractice among them.
  7. Counsellors, teachers and other staff should create programmes that will help discourage positive attitude towards examination malpractice among students.
  8. Guidance Counsellors and researcher should focus more attention on building students’ self-esteem since they are highly linked to students’ attitude towards examination malpractice.

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