Analysis of Non-parametric Qualities of Undergraduate Biology Examination Questions in a Nigeria University: Implications for Quality Assurance and Students’ Learning
- Non parametric qualities, biology examination questions, quality assurance, students learning
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This study employed ex-post facto research design to ascertain non-parametric qualities of past undergraduate biology examinations questions in a Nigeria university. The study covered a period of five years examination sessions from 2012/2013 to 2017/2018 but excluded 2016/2017.One hundred and seven examination question papers with a total One thousand one hundred and ninety eight mainly essay and sub-essay questions were collected for this study. Using descriptive content analysis method, the study analysed the content validity and the cognitive content of the biology examination papers. Descriptive statistics, mainly percentage was used to determine the proportion of the questions set on the content of each course in context of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja, Nigeria, Benchmark for Minimum Academic Standard (BMAS, 2007) and the in-use university academic prospectus undergraduate biology curriculum. The analysis revealed;
i.80% of the content of the biology curriculum was tested and
ii.(ii) the examination tested more of lower order cognitive abilities; knowledge and comprehensive (76.11%) with deviation +36.11, application/problem solving (1.83%) and cognitive abilities; analytical, creative and evaluative thinking (22.02%); higher order total 23.85% with deviation -36.15
The implications of the findings to quality of students learning were discussed. Appropriate recommendations that could lead to improvement of the content validity of the examinations questions, increasing proportion of problem solving/application and broad range of higher level analytical, creative and evaluative thinking questions were made. It was concluded that the examination question papers could be considered suitable assessment tool that satisfy content validity but low towards the attainment of cognitive objectives of biology of the undergraduate programme. The overall finding calls for further improvement in the qualities of the examination questions.
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