Volume 10 Issue 1 (2021)

Secondary School Teachers’ Knowledge on Procedures for Constructing Quality Classroom Tests in Tanzania

pp. 40-54  |  Published Online: June 2021  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2021.101.3

Jaquiline Amani, Septimi Kitta, Orestes Silverius Kapinga and Christina Mbilinyi

Abstract

Background/purpose – Classroom assessment practices, being either formative or summative, form a fundamental part of the teaching and learning process. This paper presents findings on secondary school teachers’ competences for constructing quality classroom tests. In particular, the study examined teachers’ awareness of skills and procedures for constructing quality classroom tests, established the type of professional support teachers need for constructing quality tests based on the identified areas of deficiency, and determined the influence of experience in the teaching profession on teachers’ competences for test construction.

Materials/methods – This study was conducted with a convenient sample of 246 secondary school teachers who were drawn from four regions in Tanzania, namely Lindi, Mtwara, Kilimanjaro, and Arusha. The study employed a quantitative research approach with the use of semi-structured questionnaires as the data collection tool. Data were analyzed using IBM’s Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 22.0 to compute frequencies, percentages, and other relevant statistical tests.

Results – The findings show that the majority of the participant teachers lacked competences for preparing quality classroom tests, particularly on the use of Table of Specification and test-item analysis. The results showed that more than 70% of the teachers had never received inservice training on the subjects of assessment and testing. It was further found that the teachers lacked professional support on how to prepare matching items, short answers, and multiple-choice test items.

Conclusion – Based on the findings, the authors recommend strengthening initial teacher education in view of competence-based assessment.

Keywords: Teachers’ test construction skills, classroom-based tests, secondary schools, Tanzania.

References

Airasian, P. W. (2004). Classroom assessment: Concepts and applications (3rd ed.). McGraw Hill.

Ashfrod, S. J., & De Stobbeleir, K. E. M. (2013). Feedback, goal setting, and task performance revisited. In E. A. Locke & G. P. Latham (Eds.), New developments in goal setting and task performance (pp. 51-64). Routledge.

Black, P. J., & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing a theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 5-31. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11092-008-9068-5

Byabato, S., & Kisamo, K. (2014). Implementation of School Based Continuous Assessment (CA) in Tanzania Ordinary Secondary Schools and its Implications on the Quality of Education. Developing Country Studies, 4(6), 55-62. https://www.iiste.org/Journals/index.php/DCS/article/view/11781

Chidolue, M. (1999). Introduction to tests and measurements [Unpublished mimeograph]. Awka, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria.

Chonjo, P. N., Osaki, K. M., Possi, M. A., & Mrutu, M. (1996). Improving science education in secondary schools: A situational analysis of science teaching in selected secondary schools in Tanzania Mainland. Tanzania Ministry of Education and Culture/GTZ.

Deluca, C., & Klinger, D. A. (2010). Assessment literacy development: Identifying gaps in teacher Candidates’ learning. Assessment in Education Principles Policy and Practice Policy & Practice, 17(4), 419-438. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0969594X.2010.516643

Fives, H., & DiDonato-Barnes, N. (2013). Classroom Test Construction: The Power of a Table of Specifications. Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation, 18, Article 3. https://doi.org/10.7275/cztt-7109

Hamafyelto, R. S., Hamman-Tukur, A. H., & Hamafyelto, S. S. (2015). Assessing teacher competence in test construction and content validity of teacher made examination questions in commerce in Borno State, Nigeria. Education, 5(5), 123-128. https://doi.org/10.5923/j.edu.20150505.01

Irvine, M. (2010). The Quality of Teaching and Learning in Tanzanian Preschool and Pre-primary Classrooms (for Children Aged 3-5 and 5-6): A Rapid Appraisal Baseline Study. Tanzania Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.

Isaacs, T., Zara, C., Herbert, G., Coombs, S. J., & Smith, C. (2013). Key Concepts in Educational Assessment. Sage.

James, M., & Lewis, J. (2012). Assessment in harmony with our understanding of learning: Problems and possibilities. In J. Gardner (Ed.), Assessment and learning (pp. 187-205). Sage. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781446250808.n12

Jones, C. A. (2005). Assessment for Learning. Learning and Skills Development Agency.

Koksal, D. (2004). Assessing teachers’ testing skills in ELT and enhancing their professional development through distance learning on the net. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 5(1). https://dergipark.org.tr/tr/pub/tojde/issue/16931/176755

Masayile, Q., Nyoni, T., Nyoni, M., Bonga, W. G., & Musisinyani, B. J. (2017). An Evaluation of the use of Marking Schemes in the Teaching and Learning of Commerce at Ordinary level: A Case Study of Five (5) Secondary Schools in Chiefs Sayi and Jiri areas in Gokwe South District, Midlands, Zimbabwe. Journal of Economics and Finance (DR-JJEF), 2(6). https://storage.googleapis.com/wzukusers/user-28924863/documents/59550ebf8f131NAa6Zzw/DRJ-JEF20170602.pdf

Mertler, C. A. (2009). Teachers’ assessment knowledge and their perceptions of the impact of classroom assessment professional development. Improving Schools, 12, 101-113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1365480209105575.

Miller, M. D., Linn, R. L., & Gronlund, N. E. (2009). Measurement and Assessment in Education. Pearson.

Mkumbo, K. (2013). Factors associated with teachers’ motivation and commitment to teach in Tanzania. Journal of Educational Sciences and Psychology, LXV 3(1), 58-71. http://jesp.upg-ploiesti.ro/index.php?option=com_phocadownload&view=file&id=386:factors-associated-with-teachers-motivation-and-commitment-to-teach-in-tanzania&Itemid=16

Moon, T. R. (2005). The role of assessment in differentiation. Theory into Practice, 44(3), 226-233. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15430421tip4403_7

Mosha, H. J. (2011, June). The state of quality of education in Tanzania: A candid reflection. [Conference presentation]. Symposium on Education, Dar es Salaam.

Mtema, N. (2019, January 25). Form 4 Exams Pass Rate Up. Daily News. https://www.dailynews.co.tz/news/2019-01-255c4aa8a83735a.aspx

Notar, C. E., Zuelke, D. C., Wilson, J. D., & Yunker, B. D. (2004). The table of specifications: Insuring accountability in teacher made tests. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 31, 115-129.

Oduro, G. K. T., Dachi, H., & Fertig, M. (2008, September, 8-12). Educational leadership and quality education in disadvantaged communities in Ghana and Tanzania [Conference presentation]. Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management Conference, Durban, South Africa. https://www.edqual.org/publications/presentations/cceam08.pdf/at_download/file.pdf

Ololube, N. P. (2008). Evaluation competencies of professional and non professional teachers in Nigeria. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 34(1), 44-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stueduc.2008.01.004

Open Africa. (n.d.). Ufaulu Kimkoa kwa Mitihani wa Kidato cha Nne 2012 [Regional Passing for 2012 Form Four Examinations]. [Dataset]. https://africaopendata.org/dataset/ufaulu-wa-mitihani-ya-kidato-cha-nne-kimkoa/resource/007dbf62-29a3-4589-9372-e8f38f14b484?inner_span=True

Perrigrino, J. W. (2014). Assessment as a positive influence of the 21st century teaching and learning: A system approach to progress. Psicología Educativa, 20(2), 65-77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pse.2014.11.002

Popham, W. J. (2009). Assessment Literacy for Teachers: Faddish or Fundamental? Theory into Practice, 48(1), 4-11. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405840802577536

Rahman, S., & Majumder, A. A. (2014). Is it assessment of learning or assessment for learning? South East Asia Journal of Public Health, 4(1), 72-74. https://doi.org/10.3329/seajph.v4i1.21847

Schafer, W. D. (1991). Essential assessment skills in professional education of teachers. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 10(1), 3-6. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-3992.1991.tb00170.x

Sharma, S. R. (2000). Modern teaching strategies. Omsons.

Tanzania Institute of Education. (2013). Maboresho na Mabadiliko ya Mitaala toka Mwaka 1961 hadi 2010 [Curriculum Improvements and Changes from 1961 to 2010].

Umar, A. M. (2018). The impact of assessment for learning on students’ achievement in English for specific purposes: A case study of Pre-medical students at Khartoum University. English Language Teaching, 11(2), 15-25. https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v11n2p15

UnistoreTz. (2018, January 30). Necta Form Four Results Performance Report: Top 10 Students, Best Performed Schools Students and Poor Performed Schools. http://www.unistoretz.com/magazine/necta-form-four-results-performance-report-top-10-studentsbest-performed-schools-students-and-poor-performed-schools/

United Republic of Tanzania, Ministry of Education and Culture. (1995). Education and training policy.

United Republic of Tanzania, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. (2017). Basic Education Statistics in Tanzania.

United Republic of Tanzania, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. (2019). Basic Education Statistics in Tanzania.

United Republic of Tanzania, Office of the President. (2017). Pre-Primary, Primary, Secondary, Adult and Non-Formal Education Statistics Regional Data. Regional Administration and Local Government.

Van den Berg, M., Bosker, R. J., & Suhre, C. J. M. (2018). Testing the effectiveness of classroom formative assessment in Dutch primary mathematic education. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 29(3), 339-361. https://doi.org/10.1080/09243453.2017.1406376

Vlachou, M. A. (2018). Classroom assessment practices in middle school science lessons: A study among Greek science teachers. Cogent Education, 5(1), Article 1455633. https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2018.1455633

Volante, L., & Fazio, X. E. (2007). Exploring teachers’ candidates’ assessment literacy: Implications for teacher education reform and professional development. Canadian Journal of Education, 30(3), 749-770. https://journals.sfu.ca/cje/index.php/cje-rce/article/view/2973

Wolf, A. (1995). Assessing Assessment: Competence based assessment. Open University Press.

Zhang, Z., & Burry Stock, J. A. (2003). Classroom assessment practices and teachers’ self- perceived assessment skills. Applied Measurement in Education, 16(4), 323-342. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15324818AME1604_4

Announcement

UNIBULLETIN News!

Call for Papers

UNIBULLETIN is calling for submissions.

Authors are invited to submit papers from the broader fields of the social sciences and related disciplines in the international context. 

All submissions should be presented only in English. Manuscripts should be send to the Editor-in-Chief via e-mail: editor@unibulletin.com