RESEARCH conducted has revealed that for students to perform excellently in national and international examinations, it is time they familiarized themselves with Computer Based Test (CBT) which should replace the Paper Pencil Test (PPT) in primary schools’ common entrance examinations. The research study was to confirm how well students will perform when faced with CBT rather than PPT.
The study conducted by Dragnet Solutions was done using a total of 100 students from public primary schools within Apapa Local Government Area. The study sought to find out if assessment delivery methods (CBT or PPT) could significantly affect the performance of primary school children on routine tests given to them on a daily basis.
Prior research in other parts of the world has shown that children would perform well on both assessment types, with no sharp differences in scores if the conditions under which testing took place was uniform and devoid of extraneous variables which could have affected results.
Similar conditions were created and all students were randomly divided into two equal groups of 50 children each to participate in the exercise which involved completing a timed assessment in pencil and paper format and the Computer Based Test format respectively. The children were assessed using their regular English and Mathematics curriculum currently used in primary schools in Lagos state.
One pertinent research question which was asked was: Is there a significant difference in test scores between students who use CBT and those who use PPT? Results indicated that there were no differences in performance using either paper or CBT. Although there were differences in average scores for each group, it was not significant enough. This result is in congruence with other studies conducted on the same variables. The ability to replicate the same results is an indication that our children here in Nigeria are no different in terms of knowledge, ability and skill needed to embrace the use of technology for learning.
This research, conducted by the Research and Development Unit at Dragnet Solutions and Dr. Alex Igundunasse of the Department of Psychology, University of Lagos, affirms that since the results indicate no difference in performance using paper based and computer based assessment delivery methods, it is time for Nigeria to adopt CBT with its benefits of timely results feedback with detailed analysis, cost elimination of paper materials, flexible, effective and reliable test delivery as the preferred assessment delivery method for admission into secondary schools.
You will recall that the Federal Government of Nigeria made computer education a compulsory subject for all secondary school students with the introduction of the new secondary school education curriculum (SSEC) in 2011. It is therefore important that primary school students are exposed to computer literacy as preparatory steps towards admission into secondary schools. A way of achieving this is to replace the current pen and paper (PPT) entrance examinations into secondary schools with computer based test (CBT).
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