Background to the Study
More than ever, governments have been compelled to give priority to educational quality, lifelong learning and the provision of educational opportunities for all; this is due to the advent of the knowledge economy and economic competition happening globally. There is a wide range of acceptance by Policymakers that individual can be assisted to appropriately compete in a global economy through the provision of access to information and communication technology (ICT) in education. Their emphasis is on the fact that throughout the education system there is an effect made by ICT in education and this is a multiplier effect. One of the important benefits derived from ICT in education is the facilitation and improvement in the training of teachers and reduction of the cost associated with the delivery of traditional instruction (UIS, 2014). Education is an essential tool for national transformation and national development; it is majorly targeted at character formation. Educational sectors have been ranked high among other sector in Nigeria; the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2009) wants quality assurance and control in the education of her citizens.
Flor (2001) considered that “ICT is the collective term given to the new generation (second and third) information technology spawned by the merger of computers and telecommunications. ICT may be Web-enabled, networked, or stand-alone; it may make available an information or knowledge system; or it may generate an information or knowledge product or service. One feature of ICT is the convergence of media (print, audio and video – hence, multimedia) made possible by a common digital platform.” In Zuppo’s opinion, the challenge of defining ICT, in a universal sense, becomes apparent when one considers that diverse applications of the term ICT exist within several contexts and treatments of the term. The continuum of definitions and applications of ICT one may encounter are further divided as the span of differences is represented in kinds rather than merely by degrees. Although the term ICT is found within a variety of contexts, there has been an underdeveloped response to the development of a framework for hierarchical classifications representing empirical definitions and applications of the term” (Zuppo, 2012).
Plomp et al (2007) posit that many teachers especially those who are early innovators have observed through their experiences that the use of ICT is a great means of motivation for students as well as for the teachers themselves. Though many teachers recognize and give credit to the benefits obtained from ICT, yet quite a number of them do not make use of the available ICT facilities to enhance their the teaching and learning process. Research studies point to the fact that most teachers do not make use of the potential of ICT to contribute to the quality of learning environments, although they value this potential quite significantly (Smeets, 2005). The use of ICT in educational settings is of immense advantage as it acts as a catalyst for change in this domain. Students who make use of ICTs for learning purposes become immersed in the process of learning and as more and more students use computers as information sources and cognitive tools (Reeves and Jonassen, 1996), the influence of the technology on supporting how students learn will continue to increase. The Federal Government of Nigeria, in the National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004), recognizes the prominent role of ICTs in the modern world, and has integrated ICTs into education in Nigeria.
The implementation of Computer-based Instruction (CBI) is an obvious importance of ICT in education. As defined by Bhatt and Sharma (1992) Computer based instruction is an effective interaction between students, a computer controlled display and a response entry device with the main purpose of achieving educational outcomes. Uses of CBI may include but not limited to the following; as drill masters, tutors, testers, and schedulers of instruction. With CBI students can conduct self-evaluation to see the academic progress and learning effectiveness at any point in time. Hamilton (1995) found computer assisted instruction resulted in significant achievement differences for elementary and secondary students crossing all ability levels. Apart from availability and accessibility to computer based-learning tools, there is a significant improvement in computer literacy (computer knowledge, skills and attitude), especially among college age youths, making it possible for them to use computer based learning tools (Onasanya, 2004).
It is unarguable and a known fact that the “vehicle” that transports a nation or people or perhaps a community from the status of third world is technology (Okojie, 2009). Kingsley (1995) sees computer as a device that accepts data in one form and processes it to produce data in another form. Innovations appearing today indicate that the word is dependent the appropriation of the computer technology (Ajibade, 2006). The computer is not only useful for playing games or word processing and accounting alone, it is a great learning tool for adults and little ones, nursery school pupils and secondary school students, graduates and post graduate students. According to McCormik (2003) computers can be used to diversify, develop and improve the pedagogical relation of teaching and learning. Also, technological development can only be enhanced through proper acquisition of scientific knowledge which can only be realized through relevant training in Science, Mathematics and Computer Science Education.
With increase in technological advancement students in Nigeria especially those in primary and secondary schools are still being predominantly evaluated using the paper-based mode of examination (PBE). The outcome of student’ assessment is the criteria used in the measurement of the capability of such student in terms of academic work in the school. It is essential that a result must be obtained after each assessment. Therefore there have to be authenticity and accuracy of such result so as to ensure reliability. But ultimately, how suitable the examination mode is to students must be of ultimate concern to all parties involved in the decision making. PBE is one of the oldest and commonly used modes of evaluating students’ academic performance relative to their level of comprehension and acquired knowledge. Even secondary schools that have computer laboratory equipped with computers use those computers primarily for teaching their students computer studies, and for printing of documents. Most school-based tests and examinations in Nigeria for example are conducted using Paper-based testing methods including both public and private schools. Up till this year, some external examination bodies in Nigeria (such as WAEC, NECO, and NABTEB) evaluate their candidates through the use paper testing methods. Virtually all secondary students are familiar with this mode of examination; hence some of them are not usually curious when it comes to making use of PBE.
Educational institutions especially secondary schools that are currently using only PBE for assessment can make their students to become enthusiastic about the examination by incorporating technology into their systems through the use of CBE, this should definitely create curiosity in the student and thereby make them perform better. CBE is one of the forms of computer-based instruction (CBI). One of the ways CBE has edge over PBE is in the area of it immediate scoring mechanism, this is an added advantage to CBE apart from other relevancies it has; and it can help the students to be able to become aware of their performance without having to doubt if they have done their examination very well or not. There are constant concerns about the comparability of scores from the PBE and CBE administration modes. Although Zhang & Lau (2006) suggested that CBE offers many advantages over traditional PPE, the equivalency of scores between the two test administration modes has been a major concern to assessment experts, researchers, practitioners, and educators. In order to be considered equivalent, scores have to be similar across both formats, it is so essential to determine if PBE and CBE formats of CBM are equivalent in every bid to avoid assumption. In specific cases, substantial differences between paper-based and computer-based examinations may be seen depending on the specific measure, the participants, and the soft and hardware realizations and in whole computer familiarity and competency (Bridgeman, Lennon, and Jackenthal, 2003). Comparison concerning paper and computerized formats of the conventional multiple-choice assessment can be made using different secondary school classes and different subject areas. Eid (2005) administered a computer-based and a paper-based examination for mathematics. The tests primarily assessed adolescent students’ mathematical problem-solving skills. The results indicated that the high school students achieved similar scores on both test types. The influence gender plays on the effective use of CBE and PBE when it comes to both students’ attitude and their corresponding performance can never be overstretched beyond necessary bounds.
There is need to know the attitude of secondary students being assessed based on their behavior toward the use of PPE which is the conventional assessment mode and CBE which is new to most of them; this is done so as not to make assumptions of comparability of CBE and PBE without proper investigation within the testing context particularly. An investigation was carried out by Rezaee et al (2012) on the relationship between attitude and computer using in teaching contexts in Malaysia. They discovered that there is a significant relationship between computer competency and students’ attitude towards using computer in educational contexts, either in teaching or in testing. This is related to computer competency and experience to be fast or slow unless scores are corrected for speediness. The attitude of students towards validity control, appropriateness, performance grades of the examination as well as their computer anxiety are all of great concern. While some examinees are resistant to the computerized testing system due to the fact that they are already accustomed to taking notes and making circle around their question and/or selected answers for later consideration and changes. Some reported that, to navigate back to rework problems or correct options is more difficult. Others say that it is easier and also quicker for them to read on paper than a bright computer screen. Some technical issues in CBE that affect students’ response to the designed questions are use of the mouse, screen resolution, font size, screen visibility, screen size, display rate, and scrolling. While it is rare to experience electronic glitches, they have been known to occur, where computer crashes (for instance) can void the efforts of large numbers of test takers (Jimoh, AbdulJaleel, & Kawu, 2012).
As there is continuous increase in the growth rate of students aspiring for western version of education in Africa as a continent, and with the inadequate number of qualified educators, there is no doubt that Computer-Based Examination (CBE) proffers a solution for ameliorating the frequently occurring challenges. CBE are accurate, time bound and as well economical, and can be used across all levels of educational institutions (including Secondary schools) to solve different problem that may arise. There will be an appreciable reduction in problem secondary schools are be faced with in the use of PBE through full introduction of an electronic format of examination into the assessment of students’ performance. Different research works on comparability of CBE and PBE have shown inconsistent findings, hence, there is need to conduct this research so as to make appropriate findings that can be included into the knowledge base of this field of study and also investigation into the various conflicting attitudes of examinees serve as part of the reasonable grounds for this study.
Statement of the Problem
The electronic mode of conducting examination is less stressful (in terms of time, effort, and manpower involved in the marking and processing and collating of results) when compared with the manual method of examining the students’ academic abilities.
Notwithstanding, as stress-involving as examining of students manually may be, it is nevertheless, cheap with regards to finance; as it involves only typing, printing (or photocopying) of examination question papers, and this can be greatly achieved by having at least a computer system, a printer and probably a photocopier machine, while in order to setup a computerized examination center, purchase of computer systems (either desktop or laptop) and its accessories (which include UPS for desktop computers) and maybe wireless network gadgets and cables has to be included in the budget. Nonetheless, manual format of examining students is quite prone to human errors, while electronic mode of examination may prove more accurate as it deals with GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) that is, what is been entered into the system, is what is being obtained. Examination mode involving usage of the desktop computers may have electrical errors and disconnections issues, which may inhibit the overall relevance of such.
Hence, computer-based examination and Paper-Based examination has both pros and cons, yet researchers’ findings have shown that CBE has more advantage over PBE in terms of the emerging technologies and based on these reasons, challenges that do not support the growth of the educational sector are being face with when making use PPE, some of these undesirable issues are exam malpractices, inaccuracy in marking and most times delay marking and recording. Consideration for the choice of examination mode may involve much rational and critical evaluation based on needs and requirements. But regardless of the needs and requirements, the accuracy of the results obtained and especially the consideration of students’ overall performance in course of the examination is of utmost priority in the decision making of the mode of examination. Evaluation and comparison of students’ academic performance (particularly those in secondary school) which may be measured in terms of their result is of remarkable importance in the selection and application of examination mode. This study wishes to bridge the gap established by previous researchers in terms of comparability of CBE and PBE results.
Purpose of the study
The main purpose of this research is to obtain and compare results of private secondary school students’ academic performance in both Computer-Based Examination and Paper-Based Examination. Also, to find out some of the factors that may affect their academic performance either positively or adversely. This study investigated specifically:
1. The difference in the attitude of secondary school students toward the use of CBE and PBE;
2. The difference between male and female students’ academic performance and the use of PBE;
3. The difference between male and female students’ academic performance and the use of CBE; and
4. The relationship between students’ academic performance and the use of CBE or PBE.
The study answered the following research questions that guided the study. They are:
i. What is the attitude of secondary school students toward the use of CBE and PBE?
ii. What is the difference between male and female students’ academic performance and the use of PBE?
iii. What is the difference between male and female students’ academic performance and the use of CBE?
iv. What is the relationship between students’ academic performance and the use of CBE or PBE?
H01:- There is no significant difference between male and females secondary school students’ attitude on the use of CBE and PBE.
H02:- There is no significant difference between male and female students’ academic performance and the use of PBE.
H03:- There is no significant difference between male and female students’ academic performance and the use of CBE.
H04:- There is no relationship between students’ academic performance and the use of CBE or PBE?
Scope of the Study
The research work was aimed at evaluating academic performance of students; this will be done by obtaining and comparing their results in Computer-Based Examination and Paper-Based Examination using different private Secondary Schools in Kwara State. The study was limited to Floral College, Tanke, and St. Joseph Catholic Centenary College, Offa Road, Ilorin, Kwara State. A forty (40) students comprising of twenty (20) male and twenty (20) female respondents was selected from senior class in two (2) private secondary schools in kwara state.
Clarification of Major Terms and Variables
• Examination: This is the formal test involving answering written or oral questions, with no or limited access to text books or any related academic material in course of the test. This is to formally test knowledge or proficiency in a subject or skill. The essence of examination is to check progress or test qualification or knowledge.
• Paper-Based: This is the keeping of information using paper rather than an electronic system. This has to do with written document. This involves imprinting of text on paper using ink of any type.
• Computer-Based: This include any document the is electronic in nature, that is, any document that can be inputted, modified, accessed, and deleted (removed) or delivered using the computer system. This mostly involves the use of both computer hardware and software. This has a lot to do with the interaction between users and the documents or software on the computer.
• Assessment: This is the process of observing a sample of a student’s behavior and drawing inferences about the student’s knowledge and abilities. This may be done informally or formally.
• Academic Performance: This is the extent to which student has achieved his/her educational goals (long-term) or objectives (short term). It is commonly measured through examination or continuous assessment. It is used to represent and show students’ academic achievement.
• Examination Result: The sum total of all marks obtained by the student after evaluation of his/her academic ability based on a specific subject. It is the final score or overall grade in an examination, that is, numbers or information obtained from carrying out a test.
• Comparison: This is an act which involves a consideration of the similarities and differences of one or more things relative to some other or each-other.
• Attitude: This refers to a tendency to give a positive or negative response towards analysis/comment/judgment on computer-based examination (CBE) and paper-based examination (PBE) uses.
• Secondary School Student: A student who is studying for his/her leaving certificate in a secondary school.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be of huge benefit to diverse examination bodies; national and international, the school administrators, teachers and also to the students on how to improve their orientation about the use of the CBE mode of Examination.
The various examination bodies will be enabled to make proper planning and decisions on how to appropriately adopt the CBE mode of conducting their evaluation of students’ academic potentials in such a way that the students’ or candidates’ interest and examination reliability will be ensured. And on the part of the school administrator the outcome of this study will foster the discovery and understanding of the importance of both Computer-Based Examination and Paper-Based Examination; this will in turn provide adequate aid in decision making process.
This will help the teachers in understanding how the important of harnessing the available technology for classroom instruction and for assessment through the use of CBE mode of examining the academic performance of their student in consideration of the advancement in technology. Based on the appropriate selection of the best mode of Evaluation, students will enjoy the benefit of having results that is commensurate with their effort and this in no doubt will help them to be aware of their actual academic abilities as a result of their performance.
If this is accomplished, there will be increase in the reliability of PBE and CBE in terms of their results equivalence so that students will not be under-assessed. Ensuring the equivalence of CBE and PBE results will help to decrease the inconsistencies that may be between the results of students’ performance and their actual academic capabilities. The finding of this project will create awareness for textbook writers and publishers on producing materials that will meet both the PBE and CBE needs of students.
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REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Related literatures were reviewed in this study under the following sub-headings.
1. Information and Communication Technology in Education
2. Concept of Computer-Based Instruction in Schools
3. Trends and use of Paper-Based Examination
4. Comparative effects of Computer-Based Examination and Paper-Based Examination on Secondary School Students’ academic performance.
5. Influence of gender on the use of Computer-Based Examination and Paper-Based Examination
6. Comparative effects of Computer-Based Examination and Paper-Based Examination based on Students’ attitude.
7. Appraisal of reviewed literature.
Information and Communication Technology in Education
The interconnection of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with teaching and learning has produced and is still producing immense benefits, especially in the acquisition of relevant and time-bound information which are appropriate for the impartation of the required knowledge. Over time, Educational methodologies are being transformed to match up with the expected digital age technologies, and with hope of improvement for the future generation. According to Udokang (2006), the provision of opportunity for a child to accurately realize his/her potentials, goals and abilities in life is education. Education has a whole lot to do with the acquisition of functional skills, moral identity; and attribution to succeed in life, and the society is being improved as a result of this (Fareo, 2012).
Various set of technological tools and resources that are used for communication, creation, dissemination, storage and management of information are called ICTs. Some of these technologies that are being used among others include computers, the internet, broadcasting technologies (television and radio) and telephony (Wikibooks, 2017). ICT will continue to be an integral part of the modern economic and social setting, with its relevance in the field of education being increased continually as it promises to enhance and advance rapid information processing and transmission among links (persons or groups) at different terminal (locations). ICT has made provision for the opportunity of using and adopting different communication media which allows both short and far distance sharing of knowledge and information, and thereby making distance learning easy and readily available also encourage the existence of different online educational resource platforms.
There is a constant evolution on an almost daily basis in the concepts, methods and applications involved in ICT; lack of universally acceptable definition of ICT is the resultant effect of this constant change. ICT is broad enough to cover any product that will be used for storage, retrieval, manipulation, transmission or receiving of information electronically in a digital form (Wikipedia, 2017). ICT has a wide range of coverage and application in different areas and organization which include but not limited to; health related establishments, financial institutions, production factories, construction organization, law firms and institutions, and educational settings. ICT is apparently indispensable in many of these economic and social institutions as it usage is mostly on a day-to-day basis, information are being shared, collected, organized, stored and disseminated between the organization and their valuable clients using these tools and resources. According UNESCO (2002), ICT has remarkable advantage to the future industrial and commercial health of a country, hence, effective delivery of an ICT-based curriculum should be rated high in any set of government priorities by investing in the equipment, teacher education, and support service necessary for such.
There is a significant difference between Information Technology (IT) and Information and Communication Technology; The concepts and techniques which are connected to computer science, including hard coding, software development, hardware development, scripting and such other concepts are being described using IT (Information Technology). While the use of these in the context of people and society which involves sharing of information using communication media is termed ICT (Information and Communication Technology) (Wawasan Open University, 2011). Hence, based on the above, the definition of ICT may be given as the support and enhancement of teaching and learning through meaning engagement and application of technology so as to achieve the objectives which are specified in the curriculum.
The productive combination of Information Technology and that of Communication mechanism has given rise to Information Communication Technology (ICT) which is a perfect blend of technological approaches and features of both. ICT as a whole has resulted in appreciable advantages to educator when integrated into teaching and learning especially for assessment purposes. Yusuf (2005) asserts that teaching, learning and research have been doubtlessly affected as a result of the effect of ICTs on the field of education. This implies by implication that the more governmental and private (non-governmental) organizations invest in ICTs especially with great consideration of the field of education, the better teaching and learning will be enhanced while research will also not be left behind in the benefit obtained. It is also the intention of government to provide necessary infrastructure and training so as to aid the integration of ICTs in the secondary school system (Cantoni and Danowski, 2015).
ICT is key to effective and efficient utilization of some educational approaches and techniques. Many teaching methods and techniques will yield higher and far better result as regards achievement of educational objectives when the appropriate usage of necessary ICT is being encouraged and enhanced.
In learning of different subject areas, ICT is also seen as a key skill that can be used (Tanner: 2003 and Kennewell: 2004). He asserted that ICT is not beneficial to only computer-related subjects or topic, but it also has relevance in the acquisition of knowledge in other subjects. The introduction of ICT in the school curriculum in the developed nations as said by Akudolu (2007) is as a result of its identification as a skill for life. There are potentially three positions that it has in the curriculum which include; learning with ICT, learning about ICT and finally learning through ICT. He posited that ICT concept as a subject of learning in the school curriculum is referred to as learning about ICT while learning with ICT has to do with using ICT as a medium to facilitate instructional needs. The use of ICT in secondary school education add value in teaching and learning, by enhancing the effectiveness of learning, or by adding a dimension to learning that was not previously available (Wima and Lawler, 2007). Since examination or assessment is used to determine educational achievement, hence the usage of computers for computer-based examination (CBE) can be seen as one of the ways in which students can learn with ICT.
There are many obvious factors inhibiting the effective use of ICT in education, but one prominent of the factors is that of unavailability of the tools and the devices that may be adapted to educational advantage. Obinwa (2015) found that teachers’ use of ICTs in schools is being hampered due to some ICT components not being available. In combating this challenge of under-utilization of ICT in teaching and learning both government (especially state government) and other non-governmental organization need to take up the responsibility of providing ICT gadgets and facilities, and funding of ICT related projects in schools. His findings is a clear indication that though there are ever-increasing advantages of the integration of ICT into education, yet there has not been major improvement in the rate at which it is being used in many schools due to little or no investment into it. Kozma (2005) found that ICT is now predominantly viewed as a principal driver of economic development and social change, worldwide. It offers the potential to restructure organizations, promotes co-operative working, increases participation of citizen, and improves responsiveness of governmental agencies. It also makes education and health care more widely available by adding luster to those sectors, fosters cultural creativity, and enhances the social integration of individuals with people of different abilities and cultural backgrounds.
According to Zhao and Cziko (2001) three conditions are necessary for teachers to effectively introduce ICT into their classrooms: teachers should believe in the effectiveness of technology, teachers should believe that the use of technology will not cause any form of disturbances, and finally teachers should believe that they have control over technology. When teachers believe in the effectiveness of the technology and are able to gain their control over it, this will help them to make use of ICT for educational relevance. Despite the positive impact of ICT in the transmission and reception of information and knowledge, Aduwa-Ogiegbean and Iyamu (2005) concluded that many developing countries, especially those ones in Africa, unfortunately, are still below average standard in ICT application and use. This suggests that though ICT is of great importance and it has almost innumerable applications, its benefits has been enjoyed and is being enjoyed at its apex mostly by developed countries while a large number of the developing countries are yet to maximize the relevance and application of ICT. This is has been identified as a problem in African countries, for instance, Nigeria.
A technologically-advanced workforce will lead to ICT growth in Nigeria, with the potential to improve military technology and telecommunications, media communications, and skilled ICT professionals who will be well-equipped to solve IT problems in Nigeria and other parts of the world (Goshit, 2006). He concluded that the prime problem Nigeria and its ICT programme are being faced with is workforce training. He argues that training of workforce is essential if Nigeria will experience victory over the problem of under-utilization of ICT.
The possible explanation for this lack of success by teachers is not only that the use of technology in the classroom has not been encouraging and teachers are not well trained in using ICTs in teaching as a means for educational sustainability (Ololube, 2006), but the level of the educators’ exposure to the tool of ICT (the computer) has been very minimal notwithstanding the specifications in the National Policy of Education by the Federal Government of Nigeria (2004). In recent times the integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in teacher training programs has been the topic of much debate (Larose et al., 1999), because educational systems around the world are under increased pressure to use the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) to teach students knowledge and skills they need in the 21st century.
Enakrire and Onyenenia (2007) posited that this discovered problem may be as a result of underfunding. This underlying factor resulting in the known problem still centered on inadequate investment in education with collaboration of ICT. Evoh (2007) observes that despite the recognized role of ICTs in improving education, ICTs remain a low financial priority in most educational systems in Africa. He further observes that most countries in the region lack resources for a sustainable integration of ICTs in education, and that African countries face numerous competing development priorities.
Cost has been reported as one of the factors which influence provision and use of ICT services (Adomi, 2006). The cost of computers is too high for many to afford. Monthly Internet rates are exorbitant and the charges for satellite television are unaffordable for most people in Africa (Brakel and Chiseuga, 2003). Through adequate provision of its tools in the enhancement of teaching and learning processes, ICT plays an enormous role in education. But how effective ICT will be in the field of education is dependent on the conditions surrounding its usage, and these include; where it came from, training and support.
ICT is an essential skill for life and is not being considered as just applications and systems only. In the light of this, when ICT is pictured in line with literacy and numeracy, it is viewed as a fundamental skill that is important to every individual for a confident, effective and independent living in a contemporary or modern society (Clarke, 2006). This serving as a skill provides a mean of entrepreneurial empowerment as a result of the progressive practical application of knowledge, and this practical application is the relatively permanent change in behavior, which is the essence of being educated.
ICT in Education has to do with the effective and efficient usage of technological tools and devices for the purpose of teaching (as an instructor) and learning, that is, for instructional benefits. It has direct and indirect influence on both teachers and students, teachers’ capacities are being fostered, as students are being updated on regular basis. In acquiring, processing and disseminating sufficient knowledge particularly in this 21st century, ICT has become a majorly essential tool. In fact, in the measurement of a nation’s development in the 21st century, effectiveness in its usage has become an imperative tool (Adedoyin et al., 2010). This is so because; ICT is playing no small role in the sustenance and development of a digitalized world. As time is of essence in the acquisition, processing and dissemination of information, a fast mechanism that can be used in doing this is, such as ICT is much needed.
ICT can be used for enhancing teaching and learning process, its usage is as well relevant to education in the following area; through enhancement of it quality and accessibility, provision of enhancement to the teaching and learning environment in order to promote motivation. Ofodu (2007) submits that the following ICT facilities are always available for teaching and learning activities of students: radio, television, computers, overhead projectors, optical fibres, fax machines, CD-Rom, Internet, electronic notice board, slides, digital multimedia, video/VCD machine, among others. Grossman and Helpman (2005) maintained that laptops are now becoming the preferred method of computing, ICT continues to insinuate and alter itself in the ever-changing globe where students have access to them in their schools, home or business environments.
Children especially students have great expectations and demands from the educational experience so as to be able to connect both the visible and abstract concepts together in a way that suits the modern and digital requirements. (Selwyn and Bullon, 2000) opined that there should be a striving by teachers for children to use computers through the construction of meaningful and really useful opportunities and, this will therefore make the desire for the use of ICT in school to be well stimulated. Mishra and Koehler (2008) concluded that teachers need to develop technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) if they desire to be successful users of technology in their teaching.
Concept of Computer-Based Instruction in Schools
Introduction of computer into information technology as stated by Emmanuel and Choji (2012) has massively improved the information organization. This indicates that there is an upward movement in the way in which information is being organized and processed with regards to the incorporation of computer into information systems. Usage of instruction for communication is an essential part of teaching and learning activities, the attainment of the essence of this process largely depends on the effectiveness of the instruction and instructional procedures being used in achieving the needed educational experiences. Information transmission (in form experience) is the life-wire and blood of teaching and learning process. Instructional process and sequences can be effectively organized and managed by teacher and other academic experts to suit learners’ needs by using computer-based applications and tools. Computer usage and application will continually vogue as longer as there is need for various occupational tasks to be done effectively with fewer resources in terms of time and space. Aluko (1991) stated that “in virtually any job whether clerical, technical, business, or professional; whether it is a banking, medicine, education etc. Computers are useful tools” and that “computers are tools with which we calculate, measure, assess, store, retrieve, regulate and monitor information”.
Reith (1993) defines computer as an electronic device which stores information on disc or magnetic tape; analyses it and produces information as required from the data on the tape. The incursion of the electronic computer system into the educational parlance, according to Sherman (2005) provides the essential resources to solve teaching and learning problems even more rapidly and accurately than it has ever been thought of. This has eventually made the computer system the doyen of humanity as it continues to exert greater acceptance. Computer, according to Jayesimi (2004) has become the “presentology” in our society and possibly futuristic years ahead. This point attention to the fact that computers and its usage is most likely not going to witness any form of extinction. Elkhalm (2009) stated that computer might also be used to handle the extremely complex programs that are necessary for more individualized learning. At the primary and secondary level of education, students can explore and generate learning through computer programs. It is not only learning that can be achieved with the use of computer and computer programs but, assessment of students can also be done through computer based examination.
Data is accepted by the computer through its input devices such as the screen, mouse, light pen, scanner, micro-phone, joystick and the like. It processes data, stores it and outputs it through the output devices which include the printer, loud speaker, computer output, microfilm and others. The basic types of computer are the analog, the digital and the hybrid. The analog computers are used for measuring changes in continuous physical or electrical states. These include speed, pressure, voltage, length, volume and temperature. The digital computers perform calculation by counting number precisely while data are represented by discrete states of the computer electronic circuitry. Digital computers convert data to binary form. The hybrid computers represent a combination of digital and analog computers and known to have found much application in control and feedback processes.
Computers, irrespective of type and size have five basic parts namely, Input Unit, Memory Units, Control Units (CU), Arithmetic and Logic Units (ALU) and Output Units. Both ALU and CU are joined into one piece of hardware known as the Central Processing Unit (CPU) which is the brain of the computer. According to Adekomi (2001), the primary functions of computers are: Imputing and storing information, processing information, outputting information.
The definition of Computer-Based Instruction (CBI) may be given as the use of computers in the teaching and learning activities. The fact that they are well-defined as well as properly designed makes CBI quite unique. The use of computers in the teaching and learning activities is CBI (Brophy, 1999). Computers can be used in many obvious ways for the facilitation of learners’ positive attitude toward the teaching and learning process.
Computer-based instruction is a combination of both computer-assisted instruction programs that uses dialogue format to interact with students and a broader array of educational computer applications. Delivery of instruction is done directly to learners through the use of computer system by allowing them to interact with lessons preprogrammed into the computer. With CBI computer can be utilized with or without the teacher to carry out the teaching and learning activities. Previous research by Ikwuka (2010) has shown that learners are motivated when their learning is supported by technology, which in turn leads to increased understanding. Some educators argue that the fulfillment of the traditional values of progressive education can be aided through the use of computer-based instructional approaches: the simulation of intellectual curiosity, initiative, and democratic experiences. Educational software packages and program can be easily adapted for computer-based instruction; some of these packages may be use even as either assistive or adaptive technologies.
According to Alessi & Trollip (2005), to divide educational software into five different types is a very possible, and these types may include; tutorial, drill and practice, simulation, educational games and hypermedia type. Computer-based examination (CBE) is a form drill and practice type of the divisions of educational software and program packages. Classroom activities should be blended with these techniques for effective and productive teaching. Since, the major concern of any educational setting is to see both its teaching and especially learning objectives being actualized with little or no internal or external constraints; then any mechanism or methodology to facilitate the achievement of these objectives should be put in place.
To computers in the process of teaching and learning makes the learning environment suit the definition of a computerized mode or version of education, which may result in enthusiastic behavior by the teacher and learners. Learners’ attention can be enhanced with the use of Computer-based Instruction, thereby, making learners become more active rather than being passive and also aid both creative and computational thinking which may help in problem solving.
Using computer technology enables learners become active in the learning process, to construct knowledge, to develop problem solving skills and to discover alternative solutions (Özmen, 2008). Learners’ attention is essentially required for both effective and efficient learning exercise (process), making a good use of the computer-based technology will certainly lead to having attentive and active learners. Educational technologies, especially computers play an important role in concretizing abstract concepts, which are difficult for children to learn, by means of animations (Akpinar, 2005). With the proper application of these technologies, there will be a considerable reduction in the problem students do have with the acquisition of fundamental principles and understanding needed in the comprehension of abstract phenomenon, thereby making them (students) become less anxious in course of the learning process.
E-education is an electronic mode of knowledge sharing and transmission, which may not necessarily involve physical contact between teacher and student (Mac-Ikemenjima, D. 2003). The concepts of computer-aided teaching and learning have given birth to computer-aided instruction, which represents a combination of both teaching and learning (Osah-Ogulu, D & Mac-Ikemenjima, D. 2004).
Owusu et al. (2010), “the use of computer-assisted instruction especially in tutorials mode is supported mostly by the behaviourist view of learning. This is due to the principle of practice and reinforcement. Therefore, the developers of tutorials mostly incorporate this theory of learning in their programme”.
Computer-based instruction encourages the appropriately social interaction which is expected to go on in the classroom setting; this may foster internalization of concepts. In a study to find out the effects of Animated Agricultural Science instructional packages on Attitude and performance of Junior Secondary school Students in South West Area, Nigeria, Abass, Bimbo and Ojo (2012) found that there was significant influence on academic performance of the selected students based on the animated Instructional packages.
Computers and customized software in the form of Learning Management System (LMS) now constitute the bedrock of computer-based learning tools in ODL system of education. A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application or Web-based technology used to plan, implement, and assess a specific learning process. Typically, a Learning Management System provides the instructor with a way to create and deliver content, monitor student participation, and assess student performance. A learning management system may also provide students with the ability to use interactive features such as threaded discussions, video conferencing and discussion forum (UNESCO, 2000). The Learning Management System (LMS) can be greatly use as a sufficient software for the purpose of assessing the progress of students’ learning process.
Traditional instructional methods have given insufficient opportunities for student to construct their own learning. Eliciting students’ individual capabilities, intelligence and creative thinking can only be achieved through student centered instructional methods (Adegoke, 2011). Though students have doubtlessly benefitted from the traditional instructional methods, but the collaborative use both traditional methods of instruction and the computer-based instructional methods will make room for the consideration of individual differences of students and also give them opportunities for individualized learning.
Therefore, using interactive learning environment such as computer simulations and tutorial instruction to teach abstract topics enables students to become active learners. It also provides opportunities for students to construct and understand difficult concepts more easily (Gambari, Yaki, Gana & Ughovwa, 2014). In this context, appropriate simulations and applications based on simulations generally increase learning speed by allowing students to express their real reactions easily (Tuysuz, 2010). According to Burns and Myhill (2004), complex information given to the students is simplified by technology and provides them opportunities to learn by doing.
Brown (2001) concluded that there exists in learners and learner choices considerable variability and this will be increasingly important as a determinant of overall training effectiveness. Initially an attempt was made by the researcher theorist to determine a quantitative study that would further the knowledge of learning using computer-based instruction, recognizing the various constructs that had been included in research on computer-based instruction. Adeyemi (2012) also submitted that instructor’s behavior is the major emphasis of the conventional instructional method rather than students’ behavior, minimal responses of students to the instructional materials and delayed feedback on students’ performance. By effectively implementing use of CBI there will be appropriate focus on both students’ behavior and that of their instructor.
Studies have reported that when students know what will be expected of them, they tend to perform better. For instance, research on effectiveness of objectives in computer-based cooperative learning reported that students who were exposed to the instructional objectives performed significantly better on posttest items than those who received either advanced organizers or no orientation activities (Klien & Cavalier, 1999). In a study by Fakomogbon, Omiola, Morakinyo and Ibrahim (2012) it was discovered that students’ performance in basic technology could be improved significantly through the use Web-based instruction. The study was conducted on upper basic secondary school students using the quasi-experimental design involving the pre-test, post-test, nonrandomized, non-equivalent control group design.
There are quite a number of merits that may be obtained through the application of CBI. It may as well including cost-effectiveness, enhanced responsiveness to change, consistency, timely content, flexible accessibility, and enhancing teaching and learning experiences. The world is moving at an unimaginable speed in the area of information use and dissemination. According to Olaniyi (2006), the use of Information technology, knowledge and information can be transferred and cross-fertilized in real time. Nwana (2012) asserts that teachers should have adequate training for computer education. Also, that necessary facilities and e-learning materials should be provided for effective curriculum implementation in secondary school. Hence, the obvious foundation of CBI is the provision, availability and utilization of computer systems with or without other computing accessories (hardware) and software.
Odera (2011) asserts that teacher’s work can be enhanced through the use of creative methods such as computer, thereby making the teacher a facilitator. Also, use of computer in classroom instruction for multimedia presentations can be beneficial to both the teacher and the learner by making the subject interesting. In addition, it was observed through the study that there has been a progressive demand for a new method of teaching and learning to suit the needs of teachers, students and stakeholders. It has been proven through research that Computer based instruction is an effective teaching method and therefore it can fill gap. In order to make subject matter clearer and well understood by the learners, the adoption and use of various instructional methods and approaches by teachers for the enhancement of learning is imperative. An instructional method which has been proved by researchers to have positive output is computer based instruction (Sharma, 2003).
Concept and use of Paper-Based Examination
The West African Examination Council (WAEC) was established here in Nigeria in the year 1952; this was done purposely to serve as examination body for Anglophone (English-speaking) West African Countries. The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) established in 1976 conducts entrance examinations for Universities. Assessment of candidates by JAMB as an examination body has always been conducted using paper-based examination; this is the mode of examination used by the body right from its inception until recently in 2013 when there was introduction of computer-based examination into its examination system.
Evaluation (Onuka, 2006) was classified by into two main types: formative and summative evaluation. Formative evaluation is the assessment during the developmental stage of a programme or in the course of teaching of teaching and learning in order to actualize the purpose of guiding and assisting a programme to achieve its objective. Summative evaluation takes place at the end of a programme. Students in secondary schools of Nigeria primarily have their assessment conducted based on the use of written examination. This has predominately been characterized by the reoccurring problem of the delay in examination results and even in some cases, not released especially when it has to do with large classes or public examinations. This undesirable condition could be due to delay in the marking of students’ answer sheets, loss of answer booklets and sometimes mistake in recording of students’ scores.
The first written tests were the informal examinations used by the Chinese to recruit people into the civil service in about 2200BC. Significant contributions in achievement test were made by Edward L. Thordike (Agbama, n.d). During the 1920s, there were widespread knowledge about paper-based standardized examinations and it was often used as forms of accountability; this was used primarily to obtain information on the educational achievement of the examinee. These examinations were adopted by schools in order to receive educational funding from government or private investors. There was growth in popularity for standardized, multiple-choice assessments in the 1960s where they have been used in school settings since that time (Pearson, Vyas, Sensale, & Kim, 2001). There has not only been growth in the rate at which PBE is being used, but there have also been changes in the modalities of examination administration.
In Nigeria, PBE is characterized by different forms of examination malpractices which include; bringing in unauthorized materials, writing on currency notes and cards used for identification purposes, spying of other candidates in the examination hall, substitution of answer sheets and alteration of examination scores and grades. Others vices include; impersonation, leakage of questions to students before the examination, conspiracy with supervisors and school authorities to cheat, body writing or tattoo in which students mostly females writs on hidden parts of their bodies (Ogunlade & Olafare, 2011; Abubakar & Adebayo, 2014).
Comparative Effects of Computer-Based Examination and Paper-Based Examination on Students’ Academic Performance
There are quite obvious differences between the administration of computer-based examination and that of paper-based examination. But over the years there have been studies by various researchers to find out if there exist differences between the performances of the subjects (participants) that were involved in the research. Some of these research works been carried out were experimental in nature, others used quasi-experimental approach, while few others adopted descriptive survey type. Both CBE and PBE have benefits and limitations, but the performance of the examinee (students) is of utmost concerned in determination of the suitable mode of examination to be used for assessing them. Observations, findings, and conclusions have been made by these different researchers concerning the effects CBE and PBE have on students’ performances in their academics.
There are numerous factors that may make mode effect to occur when carrying out research on PBE and CBE formats of assessment, while some of these factors are obvious, others can only be assumed to have caused such effects, as different researches are being carried out findings are been made which sometimes support or contradict the already existing ones. Kolen and Brennan (1995) suggested that it is indeed necessary to carry out research on mode effects for every assessment available as PBE and CBE. Many different factors arises which contribute to mode effects, and this happens for each assessment presented in both PBE and CBE formats, these factors produce significant changes. There may be differences in the factors contributing to mode effects of multiple-tests from those in an essay or short-answer test. Different factors can greatly or minimal affect tests in different content areas (either subject or topic). Diverse results may be obtained as a resultant effect of differences in timed or untimed tests. The need for research before making assumptions regarding comparability is due to these differences coupled with the lack of consistent findings in the existing research lead to the. Test developers and test users will as a result of this be given an unnecessary additional responsibility (Wang, Jiao, Young, Brooks, & Olson, 2007).
Researchers in a study with 10-year-olds in England examined the comparability of PBE and CBE formats using only mathematics assessment composed of multiple-choice and short answer questions (Hargreaves, Shorrocks-Taylor, Swinnerton, Tain, & Threlfall 2004). Tests that are identical were created in PBE and CBE formats. A questionnaire about their familiarity with computers was also completed by participants. Scores found through the study were slightly, but not significantly higher on CBE versions of a mathematics assessment, but no patterns to connect computer skill and performance was found at all. However, there were present a small number of children (24 out of 260) in the within-subjects analysis, who obviously performed better on one version over another, this then suggests that the change in formats does affect some students, even though the overall results reflect no significant difference. Conclusions could be made that there may have been a practice effect due to the fact that authors also noted that all participants completed the PBE version first.
Lack of inadequate computing facilities was seen as a major impediment to the required use of computers in the educational sector for instructional purposes. Fakeye (2010) also in a study carried out in Ibadan found out that most schools covered are not connected to the internet, and this is solely because they do not have computers. He added that those who even have access to computers mainly use them for administrative purposes and not for teaching. The fact that CBE has a great number of benefits for the improvement in quality of education has been proven by quite a number of research works. But no matter the increase in the advantages being obtain from the use of CBE, only those who have access to them will benefit maximally from it application and this may in turn create a wide gap between in educational experiences between those who have little or no means of using it (CBE) and those who are appropriating its use.
With the emergence of new educational technologies and the further extensions technology is giving the territories of assessment in education, CBE without doubt will replace PBE in most of the conventional assessment scenarios. Mason, Patry, and Bernstein (2001), found no difference in performance between PBE and CBE versions of unit tests. In the study, in order to examine the effects of familiarity with computers, they used a computer attitude inventory, but all participants involved felt confident in their computer skills. A more accurate reflection of the similarity of students participating in the study produces similarity in performance and confidence in computer skills, instead of showing that computer skills may be a factor in differences between PBE and CBE scores. In attempt to examine the comparability of PBE and CBE versions of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), studies have also been completed. Bennett et al. (2008) conducted their study on PBE and CBE versions of the mathematics section of the NAEP. Overall, there were significant differences in PBE and CBE scores, though there was greater variability of CBE scores. Majorly comparisons of participants were made by sex, race/ethnicity, parent education, region of the country, type of school, and computer proficiency. For the entire sample, scores were higher on PBE. The difference was small in terms of effect size (0.14), though it was found to be statistically significant.
In a study with participants from a computer fundamentals course, a 100-item multiple-choice test was completed by participants, this was presented in PBE and CBE formats. As observed from the results there were indications that performance on CBE was higher than PBE significantly. With further examination of participant characteristics, a significant difference based on content familiarity was found, while there was no difference at all based on sex or computer familiarity. Identical computer-based and paper-based assessments should result in the same scores. High performing students were enhanced by the CBE version, while when comparing performance on PBE and CBE assessments there was no significant difference for low performing students. In any case when the scores are not the same, or at least close to the same, this kind difference in scores is a test mode effect. (Clariana & Wallace, 2002).
Students taking CBE need to become adjusted with it use and mode of operation, this will give mastery of CBE, and this will in no small way help in building confidence and competence in them, thereby ensuring equivalence of performance in PBE and CBE. According to Noyes, Garland, and Robbins (2004), the computer-based assessment may be too difficult for younger students to manage in term of the “task demands” (p. 111). Cognitive overload may be experienced by younger students when testing on the computer. Students’ cognitive workload as stated by researchers was high when exposed to a computer-based assessment, which caused the students to perform better on the paper-based test. Overall, the researchers concluded that “more effort appears to be needed to complete a computer-based test” (p. 112).
As reviewed in this research work, Dosch (2012) conducted another notable similar study, where computer-based testing was examined by him; this was done in nurse anesthetists national certification exams. He discovered that there was no obvious difference in the pass rate between students who wrote a computer-based examination (CBE) and those who wrote a paper-based examination (PBE), reasoning that students who had high ability were indifferent to test modes (p. 63). However, he does state that when writing computer-based tests “students may perceive CBTs more negatively, elevating anxiety and perhaps decreasing scores” (p. 63). This shows that students who took CBE may tend to have increase in their anxiety level, especially when using it for the first time, this may be as a result of the negative perception they may initially have about such mode of assessment.
When the CBE is made to be a perfect copy of the PBE content-related issues can greatly place under appropriate control, this definitely ensure that the results obtained are considerably accurate, and thereby making the use of CBE reliable. It was also concluded by Stevenson, Touw, and Resing (2011) that when testing students on the computer there is a noticeable increase in cognitive workload demands on them. However, they found results between the two testing types to be similar. As the results demonstrated similar scores between the CBE and the PBE, the researchers found that computer-based examination was a suitable assessment method for five-year olds. The researchers suggested that so as to ensure accuracy of scores in comparison to the paper-based examination, the CBE should “mimic” to a considerable extent the PBE as much as possible. Though students when faced with a CBE, there seem to be high cognitive demands placed upon, various studies demonstrated different results from computer-based examination and paper-based examination. While some concluded that students performed better on the paper-based tests, some concluded that students performed similarly on the CBE and the PBE, other studies concluded that students performed better on computer-based examination.
Computer-based assessment was recommended by King (2012) because it gives the students opportunity to “better demonstrate what they know and are able to do” (p. 5). It was further stated by him, that there would be instantaneous beneficial output in the use of computer-based examination for teachers and administration, this would allow for instructional planning. Also comparison of a paper-pencil version of a test and an internet version of a test was conducted in a study completed by Kapes, Martinez, and Ip (1998). The participants included 279 students in 11th and 12th grade who were enrolled in Child Care vocational programs and Auto Body vocational programs. Two tests of the same type were administered to each participant. According to the results, it was shown that higher scores were achieved on the internet test during the second administration. As the students in each group took the same test twice, one possibility for higher results on the computer-based tests may be due to a “practice” mode (Kapes et al., p. 217). On the contrary, CBE items may generally be perceived as harder than PBE items in many different subject areas. Overall, students in the PBE group and the CBE group performed at about the same level. The ninth grade statewide English test was analyzed by Kim and Huynh (2010) in two testing formats: Paper-based and computer-based. Both tests consisted of 52 multiple-choice questions. Other research, which resulted in similar test scores for computer-based tests and paper-based tests, utilized adolescents as the participants. The two tests were exactly the same; however the tests were administered to each student in a paper-based format or a computer-based format.
The equivalence between CBE and PBE in regards to reading comprehension was also investigated by other researchers. Each group took a CB assessment and a PB assessment. In course of the research work Forty-two students were divided and assigned into two equal groups, with ages 13-16. The analysis of the results from the two test types by Li and Pu (2010) indicated that the scores on both tests were similar. Scores were analyzed for third through twelfth grade students on reading, math, and science tests as test scores from students with disabilities who had a read aloud accommodation were investigated by Flowers, Kim, Lewis, and Davis (2011). Overall, students performed better on the paper-based assessment. One possible explanation for higher results on the PBE was because students who took the PBE were given a read-aloud accommodation, while students who took the computer-based assessment did not receive an accommodation. Studies have also observed how some specific characteristics of the test format could change the comparability of score, including whether or not answers can be changed and how they can be changed, size and color of font, and whether or not the test has a displayed (count down) time. In general, K-12 comparability studies (Peak, 2005) show little or no effect of mode of administration on performance across grades and academic subjects. According to this researcher there are two areas where differences remain are items relating to long passages in reading and graphical questions in mathematics.
Studies on comparability of PBE and CBE formats of test, found that scores on PBE formats were higher than scores on CBE formats. Participants who have higher levels of computer familiarity most times outperformed those with lower levels of computer familiarity on CBE versions. There have been questions in an attempt to make findings about whether there is equivalence in CBE- and PBE-generated results for the measurement of student performance. This pattern also held for other subtests. In terms of raw scores, on all subtests, scores obtained through PBT administration produced significantly higher than those obtained through CBT with or without review (Goldberg & Pedulla, 2002). It has been observed by scholar that some students after seeing their CBE results tend to complain that their examination score does not actually represent their true academic potential and proficiency, and this is due to them not being familiar with the mode of examination. Lottridge, Nicewander, and Mitzel (2011) compared End-of-Course assessments in Algebra I and English I; the researchers made participants complete PBE and CBE versions of a multiple-choice examination created by the state. Areas included in the analysis were computer skills, reading scores, math scores, areas of the state, free and reduced lunch status, special education/gifted status, and ethnicity. The authors felt that even though there may be some construct irrelevant variance connected to the CBE, these differences could be removed through a process of equating scores. While the CBE was shown to be slightly more difficult than the PBE, although not significantly so, the within subject results suggest that the PBE and CBE versions are measuring the same content with the same levels of reliability. As now CBEs are launched especially at primary and secondary education level to be applied, for such reasons like: their exam results are scored immediately and reported in detail, their applications are effective and reliable, flexible, they reduce the costs for long – term, make the integration of audio – visual materials is possible, and enable the rater to easily adjust the student response time compared to traditional PBE (Ko & Cheng, 2008).
Influence of Gender on the use of Computer-Based Examination and Paper-Based Examination
Male students have higher ratings of self-efficacy when it comes to taking assessment with CBE than that of their female counterpart. E-examination systems that are easier to use will be less threatening to the individual. Studies have shown that male students have more cognitive capacity and interest in terms of working with computers and CBE, and they exhibit more positive attitudes than female students. Their investigations into gender-based perception towards using computer-based assessment (CBA) amongst secondary school students have revealed that male students preferred using CBA in contrast to female students. It has been observed that girls and women consider that CBE are less appropriate for them when compared with men and boys, while males believe themselves more competent when performing computer-related tasks such as using it for CBE and other computer-based instruction (CBI). Also, it can explain that male secondary school students rated CBI as more useful than female students.
In a study of PBT and CBT formats of the Graduate Record Exams (GRE), Goldberg and Pedulla (2002) compared a PBT format of the GRE to two CBT formats. They observed that one CBT format allowed the participant to review and make changes, but the second CBT format did not allow review or changes. On the PBT version of the Verbal subtest, 96% of the participants reached the last question. On the CBT version with the ability to review and change answers, 60% of the participants reached the last question, and on the CBT version with no review, 78% reached the last question. It can be suggested that the influence gender has on students’ performance is negligible when compared with that which it has on their attitude. Studies have shown that the ability to process information, the ability to use a computer, and the level of anxiety, but primarily the user’s gender could have an influence on an application such as CBE systems.
In a study in Nigeria by Achuonye (2011) it was discovered that there is no significant difference in the performance of the male and female students in the use of computer in the learning of Science. In other words, gender does not affect the use of computer in the learning process, that there is no gender-based influence in the utilization of computer in actualizing teaching and learning processes. In her study on the effect of gender on the use of computer in a science class and its effect on the students’ academic performance in Nigeria, she found out that the use of the computer is weakened by factors such as gender stereotyping. Results showed that gender had no significant effect on the use of computer, but the use of computer in teaching improved the academic performance of the students.
Gender differences found across a wide variety of disciplines apply equally well to emerging computer-based technologies. Gender differences are one aspect of the overall cultural differences that exist between human beings. Socio-linguistic literature on gender differences show that, to some extent, women and men mean and understand similar messages quite differently (Gefen, D & Straub, D. 2005). It was found in the study that male college students had significantly lesser computer anxiety than female students. The ways in which male and female students respond during the CBE assessment process could be essential for quality of performance in the educational environment. It can be established that women and men respond in different ways when it comes to using CBE as oppose to the use of conventional PBE assessment mode.
Comparative Effects of Computer-Based Examination and Paper-Based Examination Based on Students’ Attitude
Collection of data and scoring requires little work or wait on the part of teachers, as computer scoring provides almost instantaneous results. Paperless format of tests eliminate the need for printing, shipping, and keeping track of paper testing materials. Even when the CBE assessment is simply a direct translation of the PBE; all the options available make CBE an attractive choice. Advancements in CBE scoring now allow for the computerized scoring of essays and constructed response items through techniques such as latent semantic analysis. One of the benefits of computer scoring is that it gives opportunity for quick feedback that can be customized to a variety of audiences. Computerized scoring of essays and constructed response items through techniques such as latent semantic analysis is another obvious advancement in CBE scoring. Problem-solving sequences can be monitored, allowing for the investigation of how a student arrives at his or her answer. With developments in technology, capture of detail that was not possible with PBE is now allowed. This can provide information to educators on where mistakes or misunderstandings occur, leading to the ability to make stronger instructional decisions, and also allow for the extraction of patterns that correlate with levels of achievement (Quellmalz & Pellegrino, 2009).
Studies have shown that while most students are highly motivated by the use of technology especially for computer-based instruction, it is only few students that do not enjoy taking CBEs. Flowers, Kim, Lewis, and Davis (2011) in one of the studies previously mentioned, administered a survey to gain perspective into students’ preferences for paper-based testing and computer-based testing. Findings from their survey include a high preference for computer-based testing. But a negative correlation between student preference and test score was found to exist. Overall, students preferred to take the computer-based test but performed better on the paper-based test. The third through twelfth grade students who preferred computer-based testing received lower test scores on that test. It has been discovered that some students after taking such computerized tests complain that their test score is not the real representation of their language proficiency because of their unfamiliarity with such test modes. In his study of Danish medical undergraduates, Dorup (2004) expounded that majority of the students had access to computers at homes. He further added that male students had more favourable attitudes toward computers than female. Male students manifested their desire to change traditional learning methods with better information and communication technology.
Also, Schumacher and Morahan (2001) in a study found that females exhibited negative attitudes towards computers. They also discovered that females possessed less experience of computer usage than males. There were also found prominent differences with regards to computer literacy and between males and females. Since, computer usage is the foundation for the application CBE in schools, therefore, attitude shown towards the use of computer may correspond to the one displayed toward CBE. Being able to monitor the remaining time of examination makes some students enjoy the use of CBE.
In a similar type of study carried out in Turkey. The study involved primary school students and measuring their attitudes towards Computer-based testing. Students generally held positive attitudes towards CBE and they even went further to distinguish that there was no significant difference between males’ and females’ attitudes (Yurdabakan & Uzunkavak, 2012, p. 183). Findings indicated that students were favorable of computer-based testing. Furthermore, the results implied that students enrolled in public schools favored computer-based testing more so than students enrolled in private schools. Vispoel (2000) maintained that the ability to review and change CBE assessment items increases test score validity because examinees are able to correct for typing errors, items that may have been misunderstood, lapses in memory, and reconceptualization of answers. One technological issue that has continued to show up in the research comparing PBE and CBE has to do with item review. Item review is the ability to review, skip, and change answers on CBE formats of assessments. On PBEs, there is no way to control how individuals move through the test. Skipping questions, reviewing responses, and changing answers are simple. On CBEs, depending on how the testing software is configured, it can be impossible to skip questions or to go back and review or change an answer once it has been submitted. Accessibility features can be conveniently embedded into CBTs, allowing for supports and accommodations such as glossaries, color contrast, text-to-speech, spell check, highlighting, and closed-captioning (Bennett, 2015).
Only one study was found in which students favored the paper-based test over the computer-based test. Differential effects of computer-based, web-based, and paper-based administration of questionnaires were analyzed by Hardre, Crowson, Xie, and Ly (2006). In this study, Three types of questionnaires were administered two groups of undergraduate students: Computer-based, web-based, and paper-based. All questionnaires included 16 items. Results suggested that students favored the paper-based questionnaire over the computer-based and web-based questionnaires. Medical students’ attitude about CBE versus PBE formats of testing was carefully examined by Lim, Ong, Wilder-Smith, and Seet (2006) in Singapore. Through an online survey, 213 (53.5%) MBBS students in their final-year were tested, out of which 91 (79.8%) preferred CBE, 11 (9.6%) preferred PPE format and 12 (10.5%) were unsure. The study found that due to good quality of images and independent of assigned seating positions, 42 of them liked CBE; 22 liked CBE because they could proceed at their own pace; one stated that CBE examinations was fun; the convenience of CBE was enjoyed by 4, and 6 cited “equality” as the reason they preferred CBE over PBE format testing. Hence, it is essential that certain necessary information about secondary school students’ attitude toward CBE this is so that the stakeholders might be enabled to make appropriate integration as well as improvements to the use of CBE system.
Appraisal of the Reviewed Literature
The literature reviewed in this work has given an in-depth knowledge on the various parameters involved in this study such as; Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education, Concept of Computer-Based Instruction (CBI) in Schools, Trends and use of Paper-Based Examination (PBE), Comparative effects of Computer-Based Examination (CBE) and PBE on Secondary School Students’ academic performance, Influence of gender on the use of CBE and PBE, Comparative effects of CBE and PBE based on Students’ attitude. In a tremendous way, this review has contributed in giving this study a focus.
With constant migration of teaching and learning to various ubiquitous platforms, ICT has therefore become an essential tool in pedagogy administration. Generally, ICT facilities as observed by some scholars are materials or tools which can be used to record, store, preserve, transmit and receive information. When teachers become more competent with the use of these facilities, they experience more comfort and satisfaction, and they tend to give their best to teaching and learning process through the use of those facilities. Teaching and learning process can become more interesting and fun to engage in as well as making the school more productive by the use of ICTs.
Literature reviewed also discussed on problems, importance and benefit of CBI in education, and advantages of using computer-assisted instruction (CAI) for the facilitation of learners’ interest. It showed that the effective adoption of CBI is being hampered so much by the inadequacy of computers and some other ICT components in such schools. The availability of only computers (without the provision of other necessary components), do not ensure that they can be used appropriately for CBI. Ibadin (2001) maintained that there is acute shortage of well-trained ICT handlers. There is need to provide adequate manpower, train and retrain personnel on ICT programme management such as CBI. This will help to ensure that these personnel become conversant with techniques and strategies necessary for CBI.
It has been uncover from the literature that quite a number of researchers have taken their time to carryout investigation in a bid to improve CBE, for awareness and utilization of ICT, to make students’ attitude and impact of CBE on studies become better. The different researchers were therefore investigated in the review. The literature review on the Nigeria Secondary School framework and the use of computer for examination revealed that CBE have been under-utilized even if utilized at all in most secondary schools in Nigeria. Instances where CBE is being utilized, it usually not utilized for planned reason, low utilization of CBE has been, and it is still greatly witnessed in most secondary schools in the country including both private and government owned ones. Obioma et’al (2013) discovered that a noticeable part of the frameworks for mechanized assessments are already outdated or overstretched with regard to limit, openness, unwavering quality and security. Again, the nonattendance of online offices in our provincial ranges requires understudies venturing out long separations to urban focuses to approach web. Some secondary school students are not enjoying the imports of CBE despite its benefits on the improvement of their academic performances, and this is due to the fact that their schools don’t have computer system, or the ones present in those schools are not being used for the achievement of educational goals and objectives not to even talk of it being used for examinations. CBE systems offer so many advantages in enriching the quality and the quantity of students’ assessment, and it can be made available and accessible to both teachers and learners.
Literature reviewed on comparative effects of CBE and PBE on Secondary School Students’ academic performance revealed that, there exist different findings by various researcher based on the academic performance of student in the two formats of assessment. In several studies, the test scores between CBE and PBE were similar in most cases (e.g., Kim & Huynh, 2010; Li & Pu, 2010). Nonetheless other studies resulted in students having higher scores on PBE (e.g., Flowers, Kim, Lewis, & Davis, 2011). Contradictory findings resulted in students performing much better on computer-based tests (e.g., Kapes, Matrinez, & Ip, 1998).
The literature review has pointed attention to the attitude of students toward the use of CBE and PBE in schools in order to know the scholarly findings that have been made. Karadeniz (2009) stated that paper based, web based, mobile based and computer-based assessments have impact on students’ achievement. The study revealed that due to ease of use students had positive attitude towards web based mobile based and computer-based formats of assessment, and comprehensive and instant feedback. Moreover, the least favoured were paper based, while the other ones were favoured. Gender as shown by researchers has played a great role in influencing CBE and PBE both in terms of students’ attitude and their eventual performance. More male students in some instances have been observed to express positive attitude towards CBE than the female ones, and their performance have sometimes been commensurate with the level of their reception.
This Chapter describes the methodology of research that was adopted in the collection of data for purpose of this study. It will be discussed under the following sub-headings: Research Design, Sample and Sampling Techniques, Research Instrument, Validation of Instrument, Procedures for Data Collection and Data Analysis Techniques.
This study adopted descriptive survey type and quasi-experimental research. The study employed the use of researchers-designed questionnaire to collect necessary information on the attitude of secondary school students toward the use of CBE and PBE. Quasi-experimental research was also adopted because the researcher observed situation and response, and also obtained students’ scores by setting up experiment for participants involved in the study, this enabled researcher to obtain appropriate response. It involved two non-equivalent groups using pretest-posttest design. The main aim of this study was to obtain scores of PBE and CBE and to perform comparison on these results among private secondary school students in Kwara state.
Sample and Sampling Techniques
The populations for this study were the students in private senior secondary schools in Kwara state. The target population of this study comprised of senior students of two private secondary schools. These schools are Floral College, Tanke, and St. Joseph Catholic Centenary College, Offa Road, Ilorin, Kwara State. The choice of the one of the two schools was purposive in that computers that can be used assessment purposes were present there. Non-random sampling techniques was used to select the sample of forty (40) students without randomization with nineteen (19) students from St. Joseph Catholic Centenary College which were assigned to the treatment group and twenty-one (21) students from Floral College, they were assigned to control group. Only senior secondary school two (SSS 2) students were used for conducting this experiment.
The study used a researcher designed questionnaire, PBE question paper and developed CBE application as instrument for data collection. The questionnaire consisted of a list of questions relating to one of the research questions of the study and one of the hypotheses. The questionnaire was divided into two sections: Section A comprises of respondents’ demographic information such as: Name, Sex, Age, and Class. Section B contained 14 question items which provided information on Students’ attitude towards PBE and CBE. The PBE question paper which had answer leaflet at the back was used to conduct both pretest and posttest; this consists of 40 mathematics questions based on the topics in the SSS 2 syllabus. A researcher developed equivalent CBE was also used for both pretest and posttest, the developed CBE was in form of a JAVA application that runs on computer systems with Windows operating system.
Validation and Reliability of the Instrument
The research instrument was validated by the researcher’s supervisor and other lecturers in the Department of Educational Technology. The appropriate corrections were made as given by them. Their corrections and suggestions were used to produce a final copy of the research instrument.
Procedures for Data Collection
The researcher visited the selected schools and requested the permission of the school head before carrying out the research. The research spans for three (3) weeks in which the researcher was consistently going to the two schools involved. The PBE and the CBE had the same type and number of questions. The control group took one (1) pretest and one (1) posttest, the designed PBE was initially used to conduct pretest for them after which they were personally taught by the researcher the selected mathematic topics, and the same PBE was also used by the control group for posttest with the questions placed in a different order. The researcher personally installed the CBE application on the computers in the computer laboratory, and ensured that both the computers and the application were working fine. The treatment group took three (3) tests; two (2) pretests and only one posttest. The same PBE pretest that was used by the control group was also used for them to conduct one of their pretests, the equivalent CBE application was used for the other pretest. The participants in the treatment group were also personally taught by the researcher the selected mathematic topics. The developed CBE application on the computers was updated by the researcher so as to change the order of the questions. The CBE posttest was then taken by the subjects in the treatment group. Immediately after the posttest, the questionnaire on students’ attitude was administered to the treatment group personally by the researcher. The researcher collected the filled questionnaire from the respondent. The questionnaire was treated with ultimate confidentiality. The test results and the properly filled questionnaire were used for data analyses.
Data Analysis Technique
The researcher collected and collated the data. The analysis was done using items by item analysis; the data collected was analyzed with the use of simple percentage, frequency count and mean while t-test was used to test research hypotheses.