Teachers’ conceptions and choices of assessment tasks in a Nigerian postgraduate teacher training
Student assessment is a process that entails the collection of evidence of learning in diverse and systematic ways to make judgments on students’ learning. What then is the perception of this vital tool in the hands of the users (teachers)? This study investigates teachers’ conceptions of assessment and their choices of assessment tasks in postgraduate teacher training. Action research with one group pretest-posttest design was adopted for the study. The survey used to collect data for this study has three sections (A, B, & C). Section A elicits participants’ personal information; Section B contains 20 different assessment tasks. Section C includes 26 items that examined participants’ conceptions of assessment from four different sub-scales (school accountability, student accountability, improvement of teaching and learning, and irrelevance factors). The researchers further validated the survey, and the Alpha reliability coefficient of the whole scale was 0.85. Data collected from twenty-eight randomly selected teachers out of forty-five were analyzed using descriptive measures and paired sample t-test. Findings revealed that teachers enact both summative and formative assessment tasks but with preferences for summative tasks. A significant difference in teachers’ conception of assessment was recorded, but there was no significant difference in teachers’ assessment conception based on gender. Recommendations are presented to improve the research knowledgebase on assessment in the Nigerian education context.
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