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1.1 Background to the Study
Information and communication technology is presently perceived as a propelling force in attaining global economic development. Nwagwu (2006) states that the rapid rate at which information and communication technologies has evolved since the mid 20th century, the convergence and pervasiveness of information and communication
technologies give them a strong role in development and globalization. It equally refers to a definite knowledge acquired or supported about something or somebody or collected facts and data about a specific subject. Obiekezie and Onyema (2000) opine that communication is the process of transferring ideas, skills or aptitudes from one person to another accurately and satisfactorily.
Okoye (2005) perceives information and communication technology as the use of electronic means to collect data, process, store, retrieve and make available different types of messages to people around the world. McGorry (2002) postulated that information and communication technology has the potential to remove the barriers that are causing the problems of low rate of education in any country; it can be used as a tool to overcome time and distance barriers. The field of education has been affected by information and communication technology which have undoubtedly affected teaching, learning and research, (Yusuf, 2005). Education is the driving force of economic and social development in any society, it is necessary to find ways to make education of good quality, accessible, and affordable to all, using the latest technology available to propel the national educational system to greater level with cutting edge technologies.
Ocho (2005) perceives education as the transmission of what is desirable to individuals to make them knowledgeable and contributing members of the society. The great innovations in our entire life influence directly or indirectly the systems that control our knowledge, skills and behavior. The evolution of our culture is one of the major indicators for this change. Assessment as a part of the educational system is exposed to the same changes. According to Uysal and Kuzu (2009) the rapid advancement of information and communication technologies in teaching and learning has shifted the paradigm from paper-pencil based to computer based system of examination to minimize examination malpractice and grade students automatically. Sadiq and Onianwa (2011) are of the view that it is becoming commonplace to see institutions across educational strata adopt computer based examination and assessment to admit or screen students for entrance examination into higher institutions in Nigeria. This is a relatively new phenomenon in Nigeria for conducting examination at all levels of our educational sector.
Using computers to assist assessment task has been an interesting research topic for decades for educational researchers across the globe. Whittington, Bull, and Damson, (2000) believe Computer based examination is the form of assessment in which the computer is an integral part of question „‟paper‟‟ delivery, response storage, marking of response or reporting of results from a test or exercise (examination). Conole and Warburton (2005) is of the view computer aided assessment for assessing students learning, learning is no more divided; there is no more digital separation between school environment and work place experience. This is because students are exposed to computer knowledge and the use of internet facilities in teaching and learning has bridged the gap between the school and the world at large.
The term, computer based examination which is usually called computer assisted testing, computer aided assessment, computer based assessment, online assessment, web based assessment and e-assessment are such activities which includes the designing and delivery of assessment, markings by computers or humans assisted by scanners, educational software and online tools and all processes of reporting, storing and transferring of data associated with public and internal assessments. Computer based examination is an end to end electronic assessment process where information and communication technology is used for presentation of assessment activity and the recording of responses as well as evaluating results. Joint Information Systems Committee / Qualification and Curriculum Authority (2008) this includes the end to end assessment process from the perspective of learners, tutors, facilitators, learning bodies/establishment, test organization/companies, degree awarding bodies and regulators and the general public.
Davey (2011) noted that a wide assortment of options are now available for using a computer to present information, facilitate interaction and collect responses in ways not possible with traditional examination based items. Assessment is central to the practice of education. If education is the life wire of every society; assessment should be the life wire of education. For student‟s good performance, understanding and perception on high stake assessment gives access to further educational opportunities and employment for teachers and schools; as it provides evidence of success as individual and institutions. According to Jim and Sean (2006) assessment systems provide the ways to measure individual and institutional success and so can have profound driving influence on systems they were designed to serve.
However, in an early study of computer based examination and paper pencil examination versions of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Parshall and Kromrey
(1993) found out that examinee‟s gender, race, qualification and age were associated with the test mode although the results varied across the three sub-scales (verbal, quantitative and analytic) of the Graduate Record Examination. Becker (2006) questioned “digital equity” in computer access, computer use, and age and state-level technology policies when considering digitalized examination. In a related view, Haertel (1999) argues that these tests not only show how students to learn, but also, students show higher engagement in the learning process irrespective of individual age of the student in higher institution, this is as result of the influence information and communication technologies in education and human life have bridge the age use of computerized/network tool among learners. Deco and Crawford (2008) asserted that academic performance is the process of measuring the student‟s auxiliary behavior which must be acquired at the lower level of the learning structure and terminal performance during and at the end of instruction. Ayo, Akinyemi, Adebiyi, and Ekong (2007) also see e- examination as a system that involves the conduct of examination through the web or the intranet.
Elemary and Abu (2006), state that schools, examination bodies and agencies around the world establish connection to the internet and teacher and students gain proficiency with navigating through the vast quantity of readily available information. The web can be a dynamic tool capable of assisting educators in propelling learning, exiting and competing levels and of bringing education and examination or assessment to any student anywhere at any time. One of the potentials of the computer web or internet connectivity is the ability to conduct examination through electronic means; students can be assessed at their own place in e- classroom. Awosiyan (2010) quoting Olu Jegede, former Vice-chancellor of NOUN, says that e-examination was introduced to address series of anomalies being encountered in the manual tests. He said that the e-examination would remove all human errors recorded in manual examination and create opportunity for students to access their results immediately.
Technology adoption model is one of the well known models related to technology acceptance and use is the technology acceptance model originally proposed by Davis in 1986. TAM has proven to be a theoretical model in helping to explain and predict user behavior of information technology (Legris, Ingham and Collerette, 2003). TAM is considered an influential extension of theory of reasoned action (TRA), according to (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980). Davis (1989) and Davis, Bagozzi and Warshaw (1989) proposed TAM to explain why a user accepts or rejects information technology by adapting TRA. TAM provides a basis with which one traces how external variable influence belief, attitude, and intention to use. Two cognitive beliefs are posited by TAM; Perceived usefulness and Perceived ease of use. According to TAM, ones actual use of a technology system is influenced directly or indirectly by the user‟s behavioural intentions attitude, perceived usefulness of the system and perceived ease of the system. TAM also proposes that external factors affect intention and actual use through mediated effects on perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use and appears to be able to account for 40 percent to 50 percent of user acceptance as well evolved overtime.
In the past, various methods were employed in examining the ability of an individual, starting from oral to written, practical to theoretical and paper and pencil to electronic. The present information and communication technology method of assessing students in Joint Admission and Matriculation Board is the use of electronic computer systems in place of manual or paper and pencil method which is characterized by massive examination malpractices, including examination leakage, impersonation, demand for gratification by agents, bribe taking by supervisors of examination and to absolve the latest innovation in the world of teaching, learning and training. It is against this background that this study is to assess the true situation with regards to the student‟s perception of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board computer based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka because Joint Admission and Matriculation Board key started computerized examination for the last three years.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Information and communication technology now controls all aspects of human life such as science and technology and in education in the areas of computer managed instruction and computer aided instructions which are the bases of computer in education like computer based examination as it is commonly called. Joint Admission and Matriculation Board adopted the use of computer based examination to assess students who seeks admission in Nigerian universities. The purpose of computer based examination is to stop manipulation of candidate‟s examination scores, monitor student‟s cognitive understanding, and improve academic programs and ICT proficiency. It is also aimed at eradicating examination malpractices, quick release of examination results and enhance students‟ learning through vast online materials and reduce to barest minimum, the problems faced by the traditional method of examination i.e. Paper –pencil based assessment.
Computer based examination are assessment backbone in the modern digital era without which effective assessment and evaluation may not be realized. Further, the system advantages associated with computer based examination is important to explore the assessment mode and opinion of the students being assessed. To comply with this demand, student‟s perception on the advantages and disadvantages of computerized examination is important, since user‟s perceptions and criticism are crucial in the acceptance, implementation and improvement of computerized examination.
Despite the effectiveness of computer based examination in modern assessment process, it happens to be mismanaged by joint admission and matriculation board in Nigeria. The use of computer based examination which is the backbone of modern examination was degraded to a limited trend. Computer based examination is a programmed assessment with the aid of computer based technologies and students‟ are marked automatically through the response and answers submitted by every individual students and scores been sent to their mobile phone or by checking the website. These deny the aspect of taking into cognizance the perception of students been assessed by the management of joint admission and matriculation board through online assessment feedback. This causes lapses on computer based examination and inevitable decline on the use of computerized examination method by students‟ which affects their perception towards the use of the latest innovation. In view of the above problems this study therefore, seek to undertake an assessment of students‟ perception of joint admission and matriculation board computer based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study is aimed at assessing the perception of students on the computer based examination; specifically the study sought to find out:
1. Examine the perception of students on the use of Joint Admission and Matriculation
Board computer based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
2. Find out the difference between male and female students‟ perception on the use of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board computer based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
3. Ascertain the factors that determine students‟ perception on the use of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board computer based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
4. Determine the difference between the age groups on the perception of students‟ on the use of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board computer based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
5. Find out the difference between educational qualification of students‟ on their perception of the use of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board computer based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions are drawn to guide the study:
1. What is the perception of students‟ on the use of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board on computer based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka?
2. What is the difference between male and female students‟ perception of Joint
Admission and Matriculation Board computer based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka?
3. What are the factors that determine students‟ perception on the use of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board computer based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka?
4. What is the difference of age groups of students‟ perception on the use of Joint
Admission and Matriculation Board computer based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka?
5. To what extent does educational qualification of students‟ determine their perception of the use of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board computer based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were formulated for the study:
1. There is no significant difference between the perception of male and female student‟s on the use of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board on computer-based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
2. There is no significant difference in the perception of student‟s in different age range of the use of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board computer-based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
3. There is no significant difference among students of different educational qualifications on their perception on the use of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board computer-based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This research work would be significant to Joint admission and matriculation board, Nnamdi Azikiwe University ICT directorate, other Universities, instructional designers, school administrators, curriculum developers, professional associations, students and lecturers on the areas of student‟s perception and view towards information and communication technology in education. The findings from this study would create awareness for the management of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board to know student‟s perception on the use of computer based examination and improves on its present status. Also, it would assist Joint Admission and Matriculation Board to find out what have been the students‟ constraints and factors on the use of computer based examination and to improve their mode of operations in computer based examination. The finding of this would be of benefits to students, lecturers, National Examination Bodies and universities in Nigeria.
The study could help provide universities and other educational establishments with useful information or fact on the level of information and communication technology resources, computer literacy and compliance of students by providing to them adequate training of the required manpower to help teach them the much needed manipulative skills to students or candidate. The result of this research study will help both Federal and State Government to lay more emphasis on Computer or ICT in education and budget more funds to our educational sector as recommended by UNESCO and for the full implementation of ICT in education in Nigeria.
It will also enable all education stakeholders like the teachers, educational planners, curriculum and instructional designers with other professional associations in the system to design and redesign the mode of examination (education) from traditional conventional method to computerized based method (digitalized) method of assessment or education to be introduce at all levels of our educational system from primary to secondary schools to help teach, equip and prepare students ahead of the new innovative of joint admission and matriculation board computer based examination and other internal and external digitalized examination to fit in the informative age, as the whole world is shifting the assessment paradigm with advance ICT technologies for quality assessment delivery. It will further provide empirical evidence of computer-based examination.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study was focused on the “Assessment of students‟ perception of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board computer-based examination in Nnamdi Azikiwe
University, Awka. It was limited to students of Faculty of Education in Nnamdi Azikiwe University. In addition, only the first year undergraduate students of Faculty of Education in the university participated as respondents to the questionnaire that was administered, this is because the study does not cut across faculties and subject areas. The variables considered were gender, age, qualification and nature of entrance examination.
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