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1.1 Background of the Study
There are number of qualities that are desired for measurements. These qualities need to be established for the test teacher use in grading and reporting student’s performance to stakeholders. The qualities are validity, reliability, usability, objectivity and interpretability. Other qualities are difficulty, discrimination and distracter indices which are established through item analysis.
Test Validity refers to the extent to which a test measures what it is intended to measure (Anikweze 2005). In another definition by Kolawole (2010), validity of test is refer to as the degree of relevance and accuracy in which a test measures what is meant to be measured. Generally speaking, in educational assessment Validity can be defined as the accuracy of inference based on students responses to assessment devices, such as test an inventories (popham 2000). Validity of a test is of different types depending on the method or procedure follow. There are basically four types of validity test namely, face validity, and construct validity, criterion-Related validity, content Validity.
Face Validity refers to the extent to which a test appears to measure what it claims to measure. It is not really a type of validity in technical sense but a test should be properly worded and presented to look attractive to the testee. It is necessary for a test to have this quality in order to get the cooperation of the testees.
Construct validity is defined as the extent to which test performance can be interpreted in terms of certain psychological constructs. Construct is a psychological quality that is assumed to exist in order to explain some aspect of psychological behavior. Examples of construct are intelligence, readiness, anxiety, reasoning ability, endurance, introversion, extraversion, sociability, spatial visualization, reading comprehension and verbal ability.
Criterion-Related Validity refers to the extent to which the testee’s score on a test can be used to estimate the testees’ score on another test usually refers to criterion variable or measure.
Predictive Validity in psychometrics is the extent to which a score on a scale or test predicts score on some criterion measure. For example, the validity of a cognitive test for job performance is the correlation between test scores and for example, supervisors performance rating.
Michael (2002) saw prediction as an effort to ascertain what will occur concerning an outcome or even not yet observed on the basis of information/data judged to be relevant to this unobserved event. He emphasized that the concept can be used in any of the following:
i) Using test scores to forecast the level of achievement that prospective student might display in academic programme;
ii) Using ability and interest measures to forecast/prognosticate the probability of success of subjects in various job categories.
iii) Determine on the basis of a battery of psychomotor tests and motivational indicators which members of afreshman class are likely to be most valuable competitorson the football or on the track events. It is understood here that validation consists of checking the test, score against some other observation that serves as the criterion. The aim of testing is therefore to predict this criterion and the merit of the test is judged simply by the accuracy of prediction (Cronbach,2001). In essence, predictive validity is concerned with the usefulness of the test score in predicting some future performance (Ogunlade, 2000; Uzomah, 2009; Ogunniyi(2009). Determining the predictive validity of an instrument according to Normally(2008), consists of correlating scores on the prediction test with scores on the criterionvariable. The size of the correlation is a direct indicationof the amount of validity. He mentioned that the predictivevalidity is determined only by the degree ofcorrespondence between the two measures involved thepredictor and the criterion.
University Matriculation Examination (UME), now known as Unified Tertiary Institutions Matriculation Examinations (UTME) is a common entrance examination conducted by theJoint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) of Nigeria on yearly basis for the sole purpose of selecting and placing suitably qualified candidates into Nigerian Universities.
Before the establishment of JAMB for the admission of students into various Universities, the universities were conducting individual admission exercises (Omodara, 2010). Series ofcomplaints marred this type of admission process. Osakuade (2011) reports a lot of challenges among which were the issue of multiple applications and admissions, uncoordinated system of university admissions, and high cost implication for the candidates. Others included the pattern of enrolment in the universities which showed that majority of the universities drew the bulk of their students from their immediate geographical neighborhoods (catchment areas). As a result, in 2004, the committee of Vice-Chancellors came up with the idea of central admission in other to eliminate various problems created by individual admission exercises (Ifedili & Ifedili, 2010).
In recent times, there seems to be remarkable awareness of Nigerians about university education. This is a positive development that has resulted in the increase in the number of new Universities, enrolment figures, and the huge investment in the sector by the government, religious groups, and individuals. As at August 2012, there were a total of one hundred and twenty four (124) Universities in Nigeria: 50 privately owned, 37 states and 37federal Government owned (National University Commission (NUC, 2012). This may partly be consequent on the fact that, the National Policy on Education (NPE) stipulates that University education in Nigeria shall make optimum contribution to national development by intensifying and diversifying its programmes for the development of high level manpower within the context of the needs of the nation (Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), 2004). It may also be due to the fact that most professional bodies have made university education basic in the training of its members. University education is competitive worldwide and the generation of Nigerian students that can contribute meaningfully to her development cannot be selected haphazardly. Hence the competition for admission slots becomes more rigorous every year. Admissions into degree programmes in the universities are therefore premised on success in selection examination like the Unified Tertiary Institutions Matriculation Examinations (UTME).To overcome the challenges posed by individual universities’ admission exercises as was practiced originally, the Federal Government of Nigeria established JAMB in 2008 as a centralize examination body saddled with the responsibility of conducting placement examinations into Nigerian Universities. The Board conducted the first matriculation examination for entry into all degree- awarding institutions in Nigeria in 2009; Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in 2001, Monotechnics in 2008 and Innovative Enterprises Institutes in 2009, (JAMB, 2011). Since then, entrance examinations into Nigerian universities have continued to be handled by JAMB. However, the population of potential students into Nigerian universities has exploded such that competition to enter into universities has been a source of concern to parents as well as the applicants. This is proven by the JAMB’s enrolment figures into the universities which have risen from 52,755 in 2008 when JAMB was established to 167,617 in 2007 and236,261in 2006 (Adesina, 2005). The Board had over one million, five hundred and three thousand, nine hundred and thirty one (1,503,931) candidates in the 2012 Unified Tertiary Institutions Matriculation Examination (UTME) (Nairaland, 2011). Black-Revo (2010) institutions were the worst in the history of the country. This was because out of the over 1.4million candidates that sat for UTME, only about 500,000 were offered admissions into universities. This development has not improved and could be contributing to malpractices.
Desperate candidates may have adopted different examination malpractices in order to secure admission into degree programmes of their choice. This according to Onyeoziri in Ifedili &Ifedili (2010) was done due to great dissatisfaction with JAMB and unpredictable changes in educational policies. Many parents register their children for JAMB earlier than educational policy has planned for them. Umo and Ezeudu (2010) asserted that parents see fulfillment in what their wards will be and not in what they are, thereby aiding and abating examination malpractice. There are also fears in many quarters that the quality of students admitted by JAMB deteriorates yearly despite their high scores in UME. Several professionals and researchers are of the opinion that the glorious days of high academic performance and enviable achievements among Nigerian undergraduates have reached a varnishing point (Obioma & Salau, 2007). The researchers therefore called for an education summit to rectify the situation. According to Afolabi, Mabayoje, Togu, Oyadeyi & Raji (2007), most universities which depend solely on UME scores for admission of students have come to realize those candidates with very high UME scores do not do well in the university and are often asked to withdraw.
Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with compounds composed of atoms,i.e elements, and molecules,i.e combination of atoms: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other compounds.
Chemistry occupies a central position amongst all science subjects. It is a core subject for the nursing science, medicine, public health, pharmacy and natural science. In many communities in Africa, students ‘phobia for chemistry has constituted serious issues in schools. The erroneous opinion about science subjects especially chemistry being difficult and abstract in natures being transmitted from generation to generation. This factor that has been identified and implicated for students’ lackluster performance in chemistry and it is popularly referred to as anxiety. Jegede (2007) reported in his work that some of the basic causes of students ‘anxiety towards learning of chemistry include:
1. Wide range of the syllabus,
2. Quality and quantity of chemistry teachers in schools,
3. Absence of well equipped laboratory as well as poor teaching methods.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In recent time, there have been consistent reports of low performance among fresh undergraduate students in Chemistry courses. Although, many of these students wrote and passed Chemistry at UTME level before being offered admission into the University but the rate at which students failed level one chemistry courses is very alarming. What are the causes of this mass failure among fresh undergraduate students? Is it that students with low performance in UTME chemistry are being forced to study Chemistry and other Chemistry-related courses? To provide answers to the questions posed above, it is imperative to study the predictive validity of UTME scores in Chemistry on academic performance of fresh undergraduate students in Chemistry.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of this study is to determine the extent at which UTME scores in chemistry can be used to predict the performance of fresh undergraduate students in Chemistry courses. Specifically, the study aims at achieving the following objectives:
§ To correlate the Chemistry scores of students in UTME with their scores in level one Chemistry courses.
§ To find out ifthe Chemistry scores of students in UTME can predict the performance of fresh Chemistry students in chemistry courses.
1.4 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypothesis was formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significant.
§ There is no significant relationship between the UTME scores of students in Chemistry and the students’ scores in level one chemistry courses.
1.5 Research questions
Are there any relationships between UTME scores of fresh chemistry students and their scores in chemistry courses?
1.6 Significance of Study
In view of the mass failure being recorded among freshly admitted science students in Nigerian Universities in recent times, this study is important because the findings derived from it would enable teachers, school administrators, and policy makers to understand the problems that prospective students may encounter in the University before being offered admission. Also, if correlation is found between UTME scores in Chemistry and the performance of students in Chemistry courses, then students with poor performance in UTME Chemistry may be placed in appropriate department that has less of chemistry content.
1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This study is limited to finding out the validity of UTME scores on academic achievement of part one students in chemistry and chemistry education departments in Bauchi State University, Gadau, Bauchi State.
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