CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT AS A PREDICTOR OF ACTUAL PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING: A STUDY OF UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA, NSUKKA
Background of the study
The dominant methods of accessing student’s progress formerly was through examination, which took place on terminal basis, yearly periods assessment was based on knowledge acquired on various subjects of the school curriculum. During those periods assessment related to effective and psychomotor domains were neglected the various assessment carried out then were done on cognitive domain alone.
However, with the adoption of 6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria which calls for introduction of continuous assessment as a means of assessing students was to make assessment of learners more reliable, valid, objective and comprehensive. Since the emphasis is now on the totality of learning, it become necessary to evolve and use an assessment system that will consider all aspect of learning that is the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. The 6-3-3-4 system evaluates only the cognitive aspect of the child development and the assessment was done on one shot in the sense that examination was done at the end of semesters’ work. This was done before the introduction of 6-3-3-4 system of education. In fact, in most cases, pupils were not examined on what they have been taught until the end of the semesters. You will also recall that the one shot system of assessment only made use of test while class assessments are quizzes, take home questions.
In the old system, only the cognitive domain was assessed, that is only the intellectual ability was examined. The affective domain – Interests attitudes, feelings and emotions of the learners was ignored in the assessment. Similarly, the old system did not also consider fully the psychomotor domain except in very few instances.
The Nigerian National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1977 & 2004) states 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. The Policy also prescribed the central guidelines that should be adopted by states and schools nation-wide and suggested the type of Continuous Assessment instruments that could be used to achieve the ideals and objectives of Continuous Assessment. Therefore the successful implementation of continuous assessment system requires total adherence to the prescribed guidelines as well as teachers’ proper understanding of the concept and practice of continuous assessment. Thus, for continuous assessment to succeed much emphasis must be placed on the professional competence and integrity of school teachers.
Continuous Assessment is the educational policy in which students are examined continuously over most of the duration of their education, the results of which are taken into account after leaving school. It is often proposed or used as an alternative to a final examination system. According to Grayson (1998), he stated that “It is a process which deliberately allows for periodic assessment throughout the course and take into account progress towards the goal as well as success of finding out what the students have gained from learning activities in terms of knowledge, thinking and reasoning, character development and industry, learning tools may be used in finding out the outcome of these learning activities. They include test, assignment, projects, interview and questionnaires. The quota obtained on the students will be then be used to aid his development. Besides, accurate records of such data are field for further use and for the purpose of providing information to parents, guardians and others who can use them for the benefits of the students.
Continuous assessment is systematic in that it requires an operational plan. It is also cumulative in nature in that any decision taken about a learner is based on earlier decisions and it is guidance oriented in that any data gathered on the learners will serve as the basis for further academic growth and development (Ojerinde &Falayajo, 1984; Okpala, 1985; Okpala&Utoh,2005). Puhl (1997) cited by Adebowale and Alao (2008) also contended that continuous assessment offers a way to cater to a diversity of learners particularly in a language class that derives from sociological factors like maternal tongue differences, culture, and place of origin as well as individual factors like differing abilities, interest, and motivations.
Nitko (2004) described continuous assessment as an on-going process of gathering and interpreting information about student learning that is used in making decisions about what to teach and how well students have learned. Nitko highlighted some merits of continuous assessment:
It promotes frequent interactions between pupils and teachers that enable teachers to know the strengths and weaknesses of learners to identify which students need review and remediation. Pupils receive feedback from teachers based on performance that allows them to focus on topics they have not yet mastered.
Sumer (1987) as reported by Danjumo (2004) referred to assessment as a situation which elicits some kind of performance from each person, assessed and scores accruing from it are reflections of attribute possessed by individual student. Valid and realizable assessment of students that would be unbiased is therefore necessary in order to project the ability of each student. Students who score high marks in continuous assessment could be expected to score high marks in end of semester examination and vice visa. This is refers to as positive relationship. This is expectation, which may be different from reality; hence the need to find out the level of correlation between continuous assessment scores and end of semester examination marks.
Statement of Problem
Poor performances of students in tertiary institution especially in accounting education is now at alarming rate. This problem could be traceable to poor performance in the school Continuous Assessment (CA) irrespective of the gender especially in schools. The problem this study is set to investigate is to find out the extent to which continuous assessment could serve as predictor of students’ academic performance in university of Nigeria Nsukka, Ikere campus.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study was to establish whether a relationship existed between continuous assessment scores used by lecturers with students’ academic performance in accounting among university students. The study will examine:
- The relationship between continuous assessment scores and students’ academic performance in financial accounting in 200 level.
- Relationship between continuous assessment scores of male and female students in financial accounting.
- The predictability of continuous assessment score on students’ academic performance in financial accounting.
The following questions will be answered in this study:
- What is the mean performance of students in continuous assessment and examination scores in Acc 201?
- Is there any significant relationship between continuous assessment scores and 200 level students’ academic performance in financial accounting?
- Is there any significant Relationship between continuous assessment scores of male and female students in financial accounting?
- Will continuous assessment score predict students’ academic performance in financial accounting?
The following null hypotheses were generated from the research questions.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between continuous assessment scores and students’ academic performance in ACC 201.
Ho: There is no significant Relationship between continuous assessment scores of male and female students in ACC 201.
Ho: There is no significant Relationship between examination scores of female and male students in ACC 201
Ho: Continuous assessment score will not significantly predict students’ academic performance in ACC 201 at the end of 200 level examination.
Significance of the Study
This study will reveal the authenticity, reliability, consistency and predictability of Continuous Assessment as predictor of students’ academic performance in principles of accounting.
The outcome of this study will assist lecturer to devise measures of assessing students’ performance and enhance his teaching strategies in the class.
The schools management will find this study useful as it would help them monitor the conduct of continuous assessment in the school in order to ensure that continuous assessment achieved its aims.
Government officials and examiners would also find this study relevant. It would help them to devise proper measure of assessment, and evaluation so that students will adjust and prepare harder before writing their final examination.
Students will have access to assess themselves through the report of continuous assessment be able to improve on performance. The study will reveal the variability in the performance of male and female students in financial accounting.
Scope of the Study
The study of Continuous assessment as a predictor of actual performance of students in accounting among students was delimited to university of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ikere campus.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This chapter reviews related literature on Continuous Assessment as a predictor of actual performance of students in financial accounting. The aim is to find out other people’s views as related to this study; in addition, text books; Journals article and related previous study were reviewed to provide a theoretical frame work for this study and consequently conceptual framework were done under the following sub-headings.
The concepts of continuous assessment
The use and types of administered in continuous assessment
Characteristics of Continuous Assessment
The roles of continuous assessment
Techniques for continuous assessment
Concept of Accounting
History of Accounting
Importance of Accounting
Problems associated with the implementation of continuous assessment in schools.
Gender Differences and Students’ Academic performance