Meaningful Learner Assessment: Ensuring Quality of Test Items

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Meaningful Learner Assessment: Ensuring Quality of Test Items

Learner assessment is very critical in any instructional programme, therefore assessment processes should be based on best practices. This paper presents the outcome of an evaluation of samples of examination papers of an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) university. The analysis covered issues as instructions, item types and formats, quality of items and domains of learning tested. Result showed that but for a few papers, most failed to satisfy the requirements for constructing quality test items. For instance, most papers did not give clear instructions while some did not have appropriate stems for multiple choice items. This could have confused theexaminees as well as cost them time figuring out what was expected of them. Some papers failed to group similar items, a situation that could have affected the examinees’, line of thought. A major weakness of many papers is that items focused on recall of facts, a pattern of questioning that could produce learners who regurgitate facts instead of learners who are challenged to apply facts to solving problems.The , implications of these findings for improvement of learnerassessment in the university and similar institutions of learning are discussed.

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