Teachers’ conceptions and choices of assessment tasks in a Nigerian postgraduate teacher training

  • Monsurat Omobola Raji Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
  • Dorcas S. Daramola Department of Social Sciences Education, Faculty of Education, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria
  • Jumoke I. Oladele Department of Social Sciences Education, Faculty of Education, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria
Keywords: teachers, assessment, conceptions, practices, Nigeria


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.


Download data is not yet available.


Afemikhe, A., & Omo-Egbekuse, J. (2011). Classroom assessment in secondary schools in Nigeria. Educational Studies, 12, 1-5.

Ayodele, C. S. (2012). Transformation of continuous assessment scores among schools in Nigeria. European Scientific Journal, 8(26), 172-180.

Barnes, N., Fives, H., & Dacey, C. M. (2015). Teachers’ beliefs about assessment. In H. Fives & M. G. Gill (Eds.), International handbook of research on teacher beliefs (pp. 284-300). New York, NY: Routledge.

Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in Education, 5(1), 7-74.

Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2018). Classroom assessment and pedagogy. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 25(6), 551-575.

Brookhart, S. M. (2011). Educational assessment knowledge and skills for teachers. Educational Measurement, Issues and Practice, 30(1), 3-12.

Brown, G. T. L. (2002). Teachers’ conceptions of assessment (Doctoral Dissertation). The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Brown, G. T. L. (2006). Teachers’ conceptions of assessment: Validation of an abridged instrument. Psychological Reports, 99, 166-170.

Brown, G. T. L., & Hirschfeld, G. H. F. (2008). Students’ conceptions of assessment: Links to outcomes. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 15(1), 3-17.

Brown, G. T. L. (2011). Self-regulation of assessment beliefs and attitudes: A review of the students’ conceptions of assessment inventory. Educational Psychologist, 31(6), 731-748.

Brown, G. T. L., Gebril, A., & Michaelides, M. P. (2019). Teachers’ conceptions of assessment: A global phenomenon or a global localism. Frontiers in Education 4(16), 1-13.

Chu, M-W., & Fung, K. (2018). Relationships between the way students are assessed in science classrooms and science achievement across Canada. Research in Science Education, 50(2), 791-812.

Davis, D. S., & Neitzel, C. (2011). A self-regulated learning perspective on middle grades classroom assessment. Journal of Educational Research, 104, 202-215.

DeLuca, C., Chapman-Chin, A., & Klinger, D. A. (2019). Toward a teacher professional learning continuum in assessment for learning. Educational Assessment, 24(4), 267-285.

Deneen, C. C., & Brown, G. T. L. (2016). The impact of conceptions of assessment on assessment literacy in a teacher education program. Cogent Education, 3(1), 1-14.

Federal Government of Nigeria (2004). National Policy on Education. Lagos: NERDC press.

Gebril, A. (2017). Language teachers’ conceptions of assessment: An Egyptian perspective. Teacher Development, 21(1), 81-100.

Gebril, A., & Brown, G. T. L. (2014). The effect of high-stakes examination systems on teacher beliefs: Egyptian teachers’ conceptions of assessment. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 21(1), 16-33.

Gebril, A., & Eid, M. (2017). Test preparation beliefs and practices: A teacher’s perspective. Language Assessment, 14, 360-379.

Jurow, A. S., Tracy, R., Hotchkiss, J. S., & Kirshner, B. (2012). Designing for the future: How the learning sciences can inform the trajectories of preservice teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 63(2), 147-160.

Kane, M. T., & Wools, S. (2020). Perspectives on the validity of classroom assessments. In S. M. Brookhart & J. H. McMillan (Eds.), Classroom Assessment and Educational Measurement (pp. 11-26). New York, NY: Routledge.

McMillan, J. H. (2015). Classroom assessment. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 3, 819-824.

Ndubueze, M. O., Iyoke, J. O., Okoh, S. C., & Akubuilo, B. N. (2015). Trends in educational evaluations in Nigeria: Issues and challenges. Journal of Education and Practice, 6(21), 71-76.

Norton, L. S. (2009). Action research in teaching and learning: A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Abingdon: Routledge.

Nwachukwu, P. O., & Ogudo, A. P. (2014). The standard of teachers’ assessment practices in three domains of learning in Nigerian secondary schools. Developing Country Studies, 4(14), 179-184.

Offerdahl, E. G., & Tomanek, D. (2011). Changes in instructors’ assessment thinking related to experimentation with new strategies. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 36(7), 781-795.

Ogunjimi, M. O., & Lawal, B. M. (2020). Lower and middle basic school teachers’ conceptions of classroom assessment in Ilorin Metropolis. Journal of Evaluation, 5, 161-169.

Omebe, C. A. (2014). Continuous assessment in Nigeria: Issues and challenges. International Journal of Humanities, Arts, Medicine and Sciences, 2(9), 89-96.

Opre, D. (2015). Teachers’ conceptions of assessment. Social and Behavioral Sciences, 209, 229-233.

Owolabi, H. O. (2016). The concept of research. In H. O. Owolabi (ed.), Educational Research Design, (pp. 1-7). Ilorin, NG: Published by Department of Social Sciences Education, Faculty of Education, University of Ilorin.

Remesal, A. (2011). Primary and secondary teachers’ conceptions of assessment: A qualitative study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27, 472-482.

Sadler, I., & Reimann, N. (2018). Variation in the development of teachers’ understandings of assessment and their assessment practices in higher education. Higher Education Research & Development, 37(1), 131-144.

Segers, M., & Tillema, H. (2011). How Dutch secondary teachers and students conceive the purpose of assessment? Studies in Educational Evaluation, 37, 49-54.

Suurtamm, C. (2004). Developing authentic assessment: Case studies of secondary school mathematics teachers’ experiences. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education, 4(4), 497-513.

Suurtamm, C., Koch, M. J., & Arden, A. (2010). Teachers’ assessment practices in mathematics: Classrooms in the context of reform. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 17(4), 399-417.

Tigelaar, D. E. H., & Beijaard, D. (2013). Special issue: Formative assessment and teacher professional learning. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 19(2), 109-114.

Vlachou, M. (2018). Classroom assessment practices in middle school science lessons: A study among Greek science teachers. Cogent Education, 5(1), 1-19.

Wiliam, D., & Leahy, S. (2015). Embedding formative assessment: Practical techniques for K-12 classrooms. West Palm Beach, FL: Learning Sciences International.

How to Cite
Raji, M. O., Daramola, D. S., & Oladele, J. I. (2020). Teachers’ conceptions and choices of assessment tasks in a Nigerian postgraduate teacher training. Asian Journal of Assessment in Teaching and Learning, 10(2), 82-93. https://doi.org/10.37134/ajatel.vol10.2.9.2020