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‘Study shows student performance not affected by CBT’


A recent study on Nigerian primary school children has shown that there is no difference in performance using paper-based and computer-based assessment delivery methods.

The study, which sought to find out if assessment delivery methods (pen and paper, or computer based) could significantly affect the performance of primary school children on routine tests.

Prior research in other parts of the world has shown that children would perform well on both assessment types, with no differences in scores, if the conditions under which testing held was uniform and devoid of extraneous variables that could have affected results.

The study was done with students from public primary schools in Apapa-Iganmu LCDA of Lagos, the commercial capital of Africa’s most populous country.

While some of the young students knew the names of computing equipment like the mouse and the keyboard, not many had seen them or knew how to operate the devices.

It is in this context that similar conditions were created and all students were randomly divided into different groups 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.
At a time when public exams are more and more being driven to CBT, the results indicated that there were no differences in performance using either paper or CBT.

Of significant concern, however, was the observation on the lack of ICT knowledge/skills of school children in the country.

Findings concluded that children with little or no knowledge of computers were not hindered by the use of CBT for academic assessments.

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.

The study was conducted by Dragnet Solutions, an indigenous firm with vast experience in deploying Computer-Based-Testing for educational and recruitment purposes, in partnership with Dr. Alex Igundunasse of the Department of Psychology, University of Lagos.

He is social psychologist/Behavioural researcher, with published articles in academic journals of international repute and author of several papers on qualitative research using modern tools such as IPA (interpretative Phenomenological Analysis).

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