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Background to the Study
 Academic assessment is vital in teaching and learning process and it provides the necessary feedback required in order to evaluate effectively the outcome of educational efforts and objectives. The assessment of learning outcomes provides objective evidences necessary in the decision-making process in education. As correctly pointed out in Bassavanthappa (2009), good measurement resulting in accurate data is the foundation of sound decision making. There is little doubt among educational practitioners about the special value of educational assessment as a basic condition for effective learning and decision making. In the classroom, assessment aims at determining the extent of students' mastery or competence over a body of knowledge and skills in a subject (Airasian, 2006). Assessment can be defined as the process of gathering data and fashioning them into interpretable form for decision – making. It involves collecting data with a view to making value judgement about the quality of a person, object, group or event. (Ajuonuma, 2007). Educational assessment may generally be used for formative or summative purposes. Formative assessment (continuous assessment) is designed to help the teacher make effective teaching and learning decisions throughout the period of teaching. It provides continuous information or feedback to the teacher as well as to the student about their relative performance in teaching and learning. The information is then used for improving the quality of instruction (Clarance, 2009). The summative type of assessment involves an overall assessment of learning outcomes for certification, placement, promotion or decision concerning the worth of an educational programme. The concept of continuous assessment is not new in education in developed countries where continuous assessment is in-built into the teaching and learning as posited by Izard (2007). Moreover, previous studies on the subject have revealed that in the international scenarios, formative assessment had already been practised in schools including Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland and Scotland (Adebowale & Alao, 2008). The continuous assessment grading system requires the assessment of the change in behaviours, in terms of cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. The students are evaluated from one stage to the other through tests, assignments, projects and other school activities. At the end of the term or year these tests are used for determining the performance or achievement of the students in a particular course of study or subject. Race (2007) equally stressed that continuous assessment is more useful to the students, since it provides them with on-going feedback on their performance, helps them to become more self-critical, and encourages them to attempt to master material as they actually work through a course or course unit rather than leaving the real learning process to the very end. It is also much fairer, in that it allows students to demonstrate their ability and development on an on-going basis, so that the student who works steadily and consistently well but is not very good at sitting for examinations is not placed at a disadvantage compared with the lazy student who does the minimum amount of work needed to pass such examinations, or the student who is skilful at the "examination game" but otherwise not particularly competent. However, for several years, the educational systems of many African nations were dominated by the one-short summative type of assessment, (Alausa, 2005). The examination system, up to the time of the introduction of continuous assessment was also based purely on the single summative assessment (Fafunwa, 2004). Students, teachers, parents and even textbooks were focused more on the single examination. Students were coached to pass examinations so as to move up the education ladder. It was to counter the problems of the single summative examination that suggestions for a broader approach to assessment, which would be flexible and also provide valid and reliable results, were made. According to Ball (2004), an understanding of intentions embedded in policy is a factor for its effective implementation. The extent to which teachers assess and deal with strength and weaknesses manifested by learners when responding to assessment tasks reveal their understanding of what continuous assessment is all about. Reineke (2007) asserts that the aim of continuous assessment is no longer to improve test scores, but to find ways in which assessment impacts on the way teaching occured and learners learnt, so as to contribute to improvement in the education system. According to Cochran-Smith (2004), this cannot happen without teachers' knowledge of continuous assessment. It is when people know about innovation they are to adopt that they are motivated to embrace its practices.

Project detailsContents
Number of Pages124 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
Available documentPDF and MS-word format


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