Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Concept of Continuous Assessment

Concept of Continuous Assessment

Concept of Continuous Assessment

        Continuous assessment according to Griffith (2005) was formally introduced in 2004 and is often regarded as “assessment for learning” because the purpose of assessing the child is to help him learn and not find out if he has satisfied the objectives of learning. In continuous assessment, the students are assessed in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains, a number of times and at certain intervals using variety of assessment techniques such as tests, projects, assignments, observations, questionnaires, interviews, portfolios, checklists, stoichiometry etc. (Denga, 2007).

        The results of the assessments are recorded and kept on a continuous basis for future use in decision making on the students and for guidance purpose. Continuous assessment is therefore different from former system of assessing students at the end of teaching. It is therefore a formative mode of assessment as the Federal Ministry of Education (2005) reinstates. It is a method of ascertaining what a pupil gains in school in terms of knowledge, skills, industry and character developing, taking account of all his performance in tests, assignments, projects and other school activities during a given school period, using his record performance to help his learning by identifying and remedying areas of difficulties in the learning. Thus, continuous assessment is sensitive to the need of the developing child and within an educational environment (Olatunji & Odemu, 2004).
        From the above definition, it shows that continuous assessment is:
1.  Comprehensive: As it will assess all aspects of learning in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor using all possible techniques in data collection (Anikweze, 2005).
2.  Systematic: As every action is planned and well thought of before it is taken (Ojerinde & Falayajo, 1984). What to assess, how to assess, time of assessment, time to be spent by the student, instrument to be used etc. are determined and planned in advance.
3.  Guidance Oriented: Since the information obtained can be used as a basis for encouraging students work, including remedial work and improvement of teaching methods.
4.  It involves keeping of accurate records of all measurement taken on the child in a given school year.
These records are used to give a true picture of the child at any moment (Afe, 1991). As stated in the handbook of continuous assessment (Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 1985) if this policy is properly implemented, it would:
-      Involve the teacher more in overall assessment of the students.
-      Give a more valuable and reliable measure of the child’s overall ability and performance.
-      Provide a basis for a more effective guidance of the child.
-      Help the teacher to improve on his teaching methods.
-      Provide the learners with the knowledge of his achievements in relation to stated objectives.
-      Provide a useful and objective basis for diagnosing students’ learning difficulties.
-      Enable the teacher to be flexible and more innovative in their learning.

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