The influence of continuous assessment tools on students’ academic performance in chemistry for ordinary level secondary education in Tanzania

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Date
2011
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
The study aimed at examining the influence of continuous assessment (CA) tools on academic performance among high and low performing secondary schools in Tanzania. The study was guided by the following objectives: to assess types of CA tools composed and used by chemistry teachers, and to assess the conformity by teachers in using NECTA specification guidelines. The study also assessed the extent to which CAs designed by teachers facilitate learners’ acquisition of skills as per Bloom’s taxonomy. Further the study was to assess challenges faced by chemistry teachers in composing school based CA. While the qualitative and quantitative research methods were employed, the multiple case study design was chosen to include three high and three low performing schools. The instruments used to collect data involved interview guides, questionnaires, documentary review guide and focus discussion group guide. The sample size constituted 259 participants involving 229 students, 24 teachers and 6 heads of schools and who had been sampled through purposive sampling techniques. The findings revealed that while test and terminal examinations were common assessment tools, practical worksheets and projects were rarely used to most of the schools studied. The table of specification was not used to the greater extent to guide composing of assessment tools whenever used it fall under lower levels in the Blooms taxonomy guideline. Furthermore, there were no major difference existed among high and low performing schools with regard to the way CA was conducted, since only lower level under comprehension and knowledge questions dominated in tests and examinations. Low performing schools lack assertiveness when hiring teachers with regard to professional qualification unlike their counterparts which hires qualified teachers. Several challenges were faced by chemistry teachers while fulfilling their roles as assessors in school context. Based on the study findings formulation for CA prototypes that comprehensively evaluates students skills under cognitive, affective and psychomotor are proposed.
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Keywords
Chemistry, , Continuous assessment tools, Academic achievement, Education, Secondary, Tanzania
Citation
Laurent, J (2011) The influence of continuous assessment tools on students’ academic performance in chemistry for ordinary level secondary education in Tanzania master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Available at http://41.86.178.3/internetserver3.1.2/detail.aspx?parentpriref=