This research work was designed to investigate the importance of continuous assessment among some selected junior secondary school students in Ovia North East Local Government Area Edo State. To achieve the laid down objectives, the researchers carried out the investigation by designing well structured questionnaire for respondents in the area of study. The data so far generated from the study was analyzed using the simple percentage statistical analysis. The study revealed that both teachers and students alike recognized the impact of continuous assessment, continuous assessment have not helped prevent exam malpractice, continuous assessment help promote good study habit and reading culture among students it help teachers give feedback, keep assessment records of students and help diagnose students areas of strength and weakness in social studies. It was also discovered that most teachers never use standardized test and standardized score. They mainly assess students cognitive activities behaviours.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Background of the Study
Statement of problems
Purpose of study
Significance of the study
Scope of the study
Definition of terms
Sample and Sampling
Administration of instrument
Method of analysis
Data Presentation and Analysis
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The assessment of student’s progress and achievement is a vital component of any educational system. It is a mechanism for progressive evaluation of changes in the behaviour of individual learners and for determining the student’s level of achievement in a course of study (Ehiametalor, 1990).
Thus teachers are expected to examine from time to time how far the students in their classes learn subject matter presented to them (rather than wait till the end of the academic year before examining them).
According to (Ughamadu 1991), Western Education came into Nigeria with twin assessment methods in the firm of internal and external examination. Internal examination includes all tests that are conducted from time to time in our students. Such tests were conducted firmly at the end of the school year and were used essentially for promotion of students from one class or level to another. Also the internal system of assessment was to prepare the students for external examinations. But whatever the frequency of such tests and examinations, they never from part if final assessment of students.
The external examinations on the other hand are those conducted by external bodies and agencies that had no hand in the teaching of the students. Such bodies includes the Ministry of Education, Western Africa Examination Council (WAEC), NECO, NABTEB, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB). The old system of assessment was however found to be loaded with so many flaws and fraught with weaknesses because it concentrated on one aspect of human development i.e. cognitive domain at the expense of affective and psychomotor domains. These flaws and weakness according to Ali, Ezeadi and Ogbazi (1988) including the following.
1. It lacks the necessary feedback that would allow the teacher to assess his instructional strategies and instruments.
2. The system was not comprehensive enough at it make use of examination and text as only technique for assessment of learning outcome.
3. The inherited systems of assessment encourage examination mal-practice since the end of term exam determines who pass of fall. Therefore, students are conscious of the fact that their future depends solely on the result to cheat al all cost and take the examination as a matter of life and death.
4. The system also denies the teachers the opportunity to participate in the final assessment of his students hence teachers are not been flexible and innovative in their mode of teaching more often than not they rigidly stick to the examination syllabus.
5. Decision about the learners is made at the year course when it is already late to give any guidance service that help the students improve on their learning.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Despite the numerous recommendations so for advanced by contemporary educationists, the practice and implementation of continuous assessment on the part of most teachers is still nothing to write home about. The aim of any teaching-learning processes is the modification of behaviour of the learners social studies is one of the area where teachers still fraught the assessment and evaluation of learning outcomes and in most cases resort to the old practice of assessment at the end of the course in making final decision about the individual learners.
It is against this ground, this research is undertaken to critically investigate the importance of using continuous assessment as a major strategy in the evaluation of social studies.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study includes;
i. To examine the concept of continuous assessment in its ramification.
ii. To identify the importance and reasons for the use continuous assessment in social studies.
iii. To investigate the problems hindering the effective implementation of continuous assessment in social studies.
iv. To put forward some strategies and recommendations which will service as a possible solution to the problems hindering effective implementation of continuous assessment in social studies Nigeria schools?
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Do teachers assess students learning outcomes in social studies?
2. Will the practice of continuous assessment enhance teacher’s effective evaluation of students in social studies?
3. How often does teacher keep continuous assessment records in social studies?
4. Does teacher use varieties of evaluation instrument in the assessment of social studies?
5. Does continuous assessment help in improving performance of students in social studies?
1.5 SOME BASIC ASSUMPTIONS
The assumption are based on the fact that;
i. Teacher does not keep enough assessment records of student’s performance in social studies.
ii. Continuous assessment will never work in Nigeria schools due to un-ethical awards of grade on the part of most teachers.
iii. Teacher does not lay emphasis on the domains of learning in the evaluation of learning outcomes in social studies.
iv. Teachers are not fully involved in the final grading and certification of the students they have taught.
v. Most school does not make use of continuous assessment result for guidance and counseling purpose.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research study will help provide data on teacher’s use of continuous assessment as a tool in the evaluation of learning outcomes in social studies. It is therefore expected that the research finding will among other things shed light on what is currently going on in school as far as the effectiveness of continuous assessment is concerned.
Also, the study will help provide a frame work for teachers suggest useful ways of improving the practice of continuous assessment of students. Finally this study and research finding will also be significant in such a way that it will serve as a pointer to other researchers who might be interested in the study.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The focus and coverage of this research work is on junior secondary in Ovia North East concern is to examine teachers use of continuous assessment and the importance of evaluation in social studies.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
It is necessary for clarity to define certain concepts within the context in which they are used;
Continuous assessment: From time to time evaluation of students learning which is used to make final decision about the learners?
Domains of learning: The levels and areas which students are been assessed/cognitive, affective and psychomotor.
6-3-3-4 system: Implies six years in primary, three years in junior secondary, three years in senior secondary and four years.
Exam-malpractice: All forms involved in cheating during an examination.
Evaluation: Method of passing valued judgment on any test items.
Curriculum: All programmes of studies which the school used in changing the overt and covert behaviors of the learners.
Record keeping: documentation of vital information for future references.
Test: Is a device or instrument for measuring student’s ability, achievement, interest, and attitude.