Assessment of the content validity of basic mathematics continuous assessment in high and low performing secondary schools in Tanzania: the case of Coast and Dar es Salaam Regions

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Date
2011
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Journal ISSN
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Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
This study assessed the content validity of Basic Mathematics Continuous Assessment (CA) in high and low performing secondary schools in Coast and Dar es Salaam regions, Tanzania. Firstly, it examined the extent to which CA terminal tests represent the Form Three Basic Mathematics Syllabus. Secondly, the study analysed the extent to which CA terminal tests assess levels of Bloom’s taxonomies. Thirdly, the study examined the quality of Basic Mathematics CA feedback given to students in each school category. The mixed research approach of the concurrent triangulation design was employed. Also sampling techniques employed were stratified sampling, simple random sampling and purposeful sampling. Study objectives were informed by documentary review, teachers’ and students’ questionnaires, classroom observations and checklists on Bloom’s taxonomies as well as features of quality tests. Data were both qualitatively and quantitative analysed. Findings revealed that some of mathematics topics were hardly assessed or not assessed at all while some other topics were over-assessed. Furthermore, the quality of CA terminal tests was adversely affected by typographical errors, ambiguous terms, having unclear instructions, non-indication of timing and test scores in each school category which lowered its content validity. Mostly, CA tests assessed lower levels of the cognitive domain and paid little attention on affective and psychomotor domains. The quality of feedback varied and mostly was of low quality in each school category especially in LP schools. In addition, a statistically significant difference in syllabus coverage was noted between HP and LP schools. Generally, scores attained from the current CA tests can neither signify mastery of learning objectives nor predict accurately student’s future academic performances due to observed errors. It was recommended that teachers need to be empowered by MoEVT and NECTA with assessment skills on how to develop quality tests and effectively deliver CA feedback especially to low achievers. Further studies can be done on stakeholders’ awareness on the contribution of CA to final examinations, predictive validity of CA tests and effectiveness of CA moderation scheme.
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Keywords
Mathematics, Basic mathematics, Secondary schools, Coast Region, Dar es Salaam region, Tanzania
Citation
Kyaruzi, F (2011) Assessment of the content validity of basic mathematics continuous assessment in high and low performing secondary schools in Tanzania: the case of Coast and Dar es Salaam Regions master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at http://41.86.178.3/internetserver3.1.2/detail.aspx