1.1 Background to the Study
The importance of assessing students at the university level stems from the fact that it is an essential instrument for determining educational outcomes. These outcomes are important for a variety of reasons, including the upkeep of standards, the increase of productivity, accountability, and quality, among other things (Ogadinma, 2017). It is also necessary for the assessment of whether student should be pulled from the class or placed on academic probation.
Etymologically, the act of gathering information and arranging it in a format that can be understood for the sake of making judgment calls is known as evaluation. According to Nkwocha (2015), evaluation is the method of utilizing a variety of methods and sources in order to gather and estimate multiple different sorts of information about a person, group of people, or event in an all-encompassing manner. All of the aforementioned meanings of the word "evaluation" refer to the process of amassing information in order to form opinions about the merits of an individual, an item, a group, or an event.
Examinations given during the semester as well as final exams given at the conclusion of the academic year make up the evaluation component of the university education system in Nigeria; these exams account for 30 and 70 percent of the total score, respectively. Therefore there is an immediate and pressing need for the quality assurance of the evaluation of students' academic success, particularly at the university level, in order to make certain that the goals outlined above are actually accomplished.
Okebukola (2022) made the observation that one may interpret quality as meaning "fitness for purpose." According to him, the examination of the efficacy and efficiency of tests and assessment techniques, test administration, processing of results, and moderation of examination materials among students is what quality assurance in the evaluation of academic performance at the university level entails. According to Nworgu (2021), one of the techniques for the assurance of quality in the evaluation' academic performance in Nigerian Universities, particularly the University of Lagos, includes the construction of high-quality test items. This pertains to lecturers who have sufficient knowledge of test construction mechanics and who should be employed to teach in the universities. Lecturers who are already working in the university system but do not have the necessary knowledge should also be given the opportunity to participate in workshops and seminars, where they would receive training and re-training to enable them to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills in the construction and utilization of evaluation tools, as well as in the use of man-constructive techniques of assessment. It also covers the creation of the instruments that will be used for evaluations. For instance, university undergraduate students should be assessed using a range of test forms including multiple choice tests and essay test formats. However, in order to address the issue of students and the accompanying student population boom across all levels of the Nigerian educational system, with a particular focus on the university level, there should be a greater emphasis placed on the usage of multiple choice exam formats (Ugodulunwa and Mustapha, 2015).
Similarly, Nkwocha (2019) opined that the manner in which an examination is carried out is a highly significant factor. He believes that timetables for invigilation should be created, and that instructors should be responsible for ensuring that the timetables are strictly adhered to. Additionally, he proposes that sufficient question papers and answer scripts be given, as well as the hall in which the examination or tests will be held, and that this hall should be furnished and set in advance before the examinations take place. That prior to the beginning of any examinations or tests, the students should first get appropriate instruction on the right and improper ways to complete the examination. According to Fredrick (2019), the quality of the evaluation of students' academic performance at the university level, in particular at the University of Lagos, can be ensured by the use of information and communication technology (ICT), particularly the use of computers in universities across the nation for data banks, for the collation of answers, and especially for examinations involving multiple choice questions. Balogun (2016) is likewise of the opinion that computerized cameras and transmitters ought to be employed in order to film, record, and broadcast the operations of inspection. He claims that these devices can identify dishonest activities in the testing process. Because of this, disciplinary actions may be handed out to those responsible, which can serve as a deterrent against such occurrences.
According to Anyanwu (2015), other initiatives that can be launched in the assurance of quality in the evaluation' academic performance include the following: the settlement of all disputes to avoid incessant strike action and the regular payment of university staff salaries and allowances, proper funding of the universities; the provision of adequate facilities to take care of the ever-increasing student population; and adequate provision of computers to all universities in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem and challenges inherent in the assessment of students’ academic performance cannot be over-emphasized. As observed by Micah (2022), the poor and inadequate strategies applied by the main stakeholders of the university administration , has without doubt caused the low or poor academic standards in the Nigerian educational system these days. The low or non-quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic achievement at the tertiary institutions especially at the university level is one of the failures of the Nigeria higher educational system which cannot be compared with that of the developed countries of the world. Bassey (2019) established that the non-availability of data bank on the evaluation of students’ academic performance, the non-provision of functional infrastructure, to take care of the ever increasing population of students, the poor and improper handling of examination and class tests matters; the mediocrity in the conducts of students’ continuous assessments in schools, corruption in the school system; the epileptic power supply, lack of functional academic system in Nigeria especially at the apex level, the university and so on, have to a large extent, contributed to faulty technique for quality assurance in the assessment of students academic performance at the university level which is the major problem of this study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objectives of this study is to examine the techniques for quality assurance in the evaluation of university students’ academic achievement. Other specific objectives includes to:
i. To investigate the level quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic performance at the university level.
ii. To examine if techniques use for for quality assurance in the assessment of students academic achievement are appropriate and effective.
iii. To identify factors contributing to lack of quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic performance .
iv. To proffer solutions to the problems of lack of quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic achievement.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions will be raised in this study:
i. What is the level quality assurance prevalent the assessment of students’ academic performance at the university level?
ii. What are the techniques use for for quality assurance in the assessment of students academic achievement are appropriate and effective?
iii. What are the factors contributing to lack of quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic performance?
iv. What are the solutions to the problems of lack of quality assurance in the assessment of students’ academic achievement?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will be beneficial to students would find the findings and recommendations of this study very rewarding, as the study will be both educative and informative to the students who would be enlightened more on the importance of quality assurance in any functional educational system be it in the developing countries or the developed countries of the world. With this study, students would have deeper knowledge on the strategies applied in the school for the assessment of students’ academic performance and or even the teachers (lecturers’) work performance in the higher institutions, especially, the universities. To lecturers, this study as very imperative in the day to day assessment of students’ academic achievement in the school. With the findings and recommendations of this study, lecturers would be able to have further insights on the need to have good and functional strategies for the assessment of educational standards, especially the academic performance of students in the tertiary institutions, particularly, the university Also the school administrators would find the findings and recommendations of this very useful because, if they heed to the recommendations, they would improve on the current strategies that have embarked upon in the quality assurance for the assessment of the students’ academic performance in the schools. To scholars and other members of the society, researchers and scholars would find this study a reference material to carry out further studies in related fields
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study borders on the techniques for quality assurance in the evaluation of university students’ academic achievement. The study was delimited to University of Nigeria Nsukka in Enugu State.
1.7 Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only University of Nigeria Nsukka in Enugu State. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other universities within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Operational terms would be defined in this study thus:
Quality: This means degree, especially high degree of goodness or worth. Something that special in or that distinguishes a person or a thing.
Strategies: This means the art of planning operations in war, especially of the movements or armies and navies into favourable positions for fighting; it is a skill in managing any affair of an organization or an institution, etc.
Assurance:This connote self-confidence, belief and trust in one’s own powers; a promise; stamen made or give confidence; insurance that something that is certain, certainty; confidence.
Quality assurance: his refers to degree of high confidence or certainty. Something that has high degree of confidentiality.
Evaluation: This means decision; to fix the amount of something; appraise; fix or decide the value of something. To test the value of something e.g academic performance of students, etc.
Academic performance: This is the rate or level at which students’ outcomes are measured or rated. It is the general activities of students in class tests and terminal examinations over a period of time.
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