DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A PROTOTYPE OF STUDENT EVALUATION SYSTEM
HISTORY OF EVALUATION IN EDUCATION
According to John (1991), the practice of evaluating individual performance was easily seen as early as 2000B.C, when Chinese officials conducted civil service examinations to measure proficiency of public officials. In 1845, the Boston school committee under took what was known as Boston survey, the first use of printed tests for wide assessment of student achievement. This survey was used to test Boston student in definitions, civil history, writing, arithmetic, grammar and natural philosophy. But the committee was shocked by the low performance in 1845 and 1846, and discontinued the testing in 1847 because no use was made of the results. During the period of 1895-1905, Joseph Rice proposed the setting of standardized examination for assessing students.
During the 1920-1965, measurement and evaluation were regarded as mere synonyms and the term “evaluation” was not often used to mean the assigning of grades or summarizing of students performance on test. From 1965 to present, a lot of evaluation method has evolved and in many cases, the design was inadequate, the data invalid and the analyses inaccurate. But the concept of evaluation, as we know it today is still evolving.
2.2 DEFINITIONS OF EVALUATION
Evaluation is a systemic, continuous and comprehensive process of determining the growth and progress of the pupil towards objectives or values of the curriculum. (Blaine 1987)
Evaluation can also be defined as the process of examining, judging, and assigning value or worth. (The social a guide and workbook for students 2nd edition)
The US congress office of Technology Assessment (OTA), (1992) defined performance assessment as “testing method that requires student to create answers or products that demonstrate their knowledge and skills”.
Evaluation of students performance is of two (2) types; formal and informal. A formal evaluation is a detailed review of comparison of the student performance with evaluation criteria, standard and learning objective for the practicum. It occurs at the end of each academic term. While Informal consist of the ongoing feedback and suggestions offered by the practicum instructor.
2.3 GRADING IN EDUCATION
In education, a grade is a teacher’s standardized evaluation of a student’s work. Grades represent the permanent record of a student’s academic performance. In some countries, evaluation can be expressed quantifiably and calculated into numeric Grade Point Average (GPA). The concept of grading students work was developed by a tutor named Williams Farish and first implemented by the University of Cambridge in 1792, Postman, Neil (1992). Evaluation of students is synonymous with the assessment of students and assessment is given on the basis of grading either through a scale ranging from A-F or on the basis of passed or not passed. Grade A is the highest pass grade while grade E is the lowest pass grade.
2.4 TYPES OF GRADING SYSTEM
There are several types of grading systems used in schools or institutions. They include,
A) Norm-referenced systems
- Criterion-referenced systems
- Contract grading
- Peer grading
- Plus/minus grading system
2.4.1 NORM-REFERENCED SYSTEMS
In norm-referenced systems, students are evaluated in relationship to one another, for example, the top 10% of students in a class may receive an A, the next 20% a B e. t. c. This system of grading is based on the assumption that the student performance from class to class will not vary much. (www.google.com)
ADVANTAGES OF NORM-REFERNCED SYSTEM
- It is very easy for instructor to use.
- It works well in situations requiring rigid differentiation among students.
- It is very useful in large courses, which do not encourage students to cooperate.
DISADVANTAGES OF NORM-REFERENCED SYSTEM
- A student’s grade is determined not only by his/her achievements, but also by the achievement of others.
- It promotes competition rather than cooperation among students.
2.4.2 CRITERION-REFERENCED SYSTEMS
Criterion-referenced test is used to measure how well each student has learned specific knowledge or skills. In criterion-referenced system, students are evaluated against an absolute scale, usually a set number of points or percentage of the total. (www.google.com)
ADVANTAGES OF CRITERION-REFERENCED SYSTEMS
- Students do not have to compete with each other.
- A student’s grade is not influenced by the caliber of the class
DISADVANTAGES OF CRITERION-REFERENCED SYSTEMS
- It is difficult to set a reasonable standard for students with a fair amount of teaching experience.
2.4.3 CONTRACT GRADING
In this grading, the instructors list activities students can participate in or objectives they can achieve, and attach a specified number of points for each activity. The students then select the activities or objectives, which will give them the points, they want and by so doing a contract is signed.
2.4.4 PEER GRADING
In this system of grading, a portion of a student’s grade is determined by peer’s evaluation of his/her performance. The students are told what to look for and how to grade by the instructor.
2.4.5 PLUS/MINUS GRADING SYSTEM
The plus/minus system of grading was studied at a midsize western university. The plus/minus system was implemented to replace the letter grading of A through F. In the plus/minus grading system, decimal equivalents were established to enable the computation of grade point average (GPA) that reflected the dispersion of grade.
2.5 CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD GRADING SYSTEM
- Grades should be relevant to major course objectives.
This means that there should be a connection between the stated course objectives and the way are evaluated.
- Grades should be impartial compare each student to the same criteria
If an instruction is willing to offer extra credit or opportunities to retake exams or assignments, the offer should be made to the whole class and not some group of students.
- Grades should have recognized meaning among potential users
Since the purpose of grade is to communicate how well a student has acquired knowledge or skill, therefore grades should be based primarily on the students performance on exams, quizzes and other measures of learning specified at the beginning of the course.
- Grades should be based on sufficient data to permit the instruction make valid evaluations of student’s achievement.
A student’s grade cannot be based solely on their performance on one or two exams. A variety of items/exams should be used to determine the grades of students.
- The basis for the grading should be statistically sound.
- WHAT IS A GRADE POINT
This is the numerical value attached to a letter grade. For example letter grade A = 5, letter grade B = 4, letter grade C = 3, letter grade D = 2, letter grade E = 1 and letter grade F = 0.
2.7 GRADING SYSTEM USED IN UNIVERSITY OF BENIN
In University of Benin, the letter grade of A-F system is the designated standard for grading undergraduate, but an instructor or tutor may choose not to use the plus/minus system. In such a case, it is clearly stated in the course outline. The grading involves assigning letter grades to quality point values per semester of credit. Below is the grading system used in University of Benin.
|Key to grade
|70 – 100
|60 – 69
|50 – 59
|45 – 49
|40 – 44
|0 – 39
2.8 BRIEF OVERVIEW OF COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
Undergraduate teaching in Computer Science started in the 1983/84 session. During this session Computer Science was not accredited as a department to award degrees, so it was merged with the Department of Mathematics so that it can award degrees but in 1998/99 academic session, Computer Science was accredited as a department to award degrees .The essence of the B.Sc degree is to produce computer scientists equipped with both theoretical and practical computing concepts.
The program for B .Sc in computer science is designed to provide training in theory and application of computer science. Thus, it emphasizes the importance of the underlying theory of various branches of computer science and provides a wide spectrum of application areas for students. The objectives of the course are as follow,
- To produce computer science graduates who are academically equipped and also who are capable of applying computer science and computer technology in solving problems arising in industries, business, government and the society in general.
- To provide suitable service course for specialist in other disciplines to enable them increase their competence, skill and level of proficiency on various work fields.
- To make available modern development in information technology.
The major evaluation method used to access student performance is via a Grading system.