DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE COMPUTER BASED TEST (CBT) SYSTEM (A CASE STUDY OF SPRING LIGHT ICT ACADEMY, UYO). A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION
Background of the study
It is widely believed that all tests will one day be delivered on a computer of some sort (Bennett, 1998, 2002). However, it is difficult to accurately predict when this day will come. It has seemingly been just around the corner since the early 1990s, when a handful of early adopters, including the ASVAB (Sands, Waters, & McBride, 1997) and the GRE® (Mills, 1999), signed on to computerbased testing (CBT). Today, dozens of admissions, placement, certification, and licensure testing programs are administered on computer, with the number growing each year. On the K–12 front, several states already conduct their annual accountability testing on computer, and many others are poised to join in. Hundreds of schools or districts also employ CBTs in a formative or diagnostic role in service of instruction.
Computer-based testing (CBT) is an efficient way for test sponsors to provide a secure, consistent environment forcertification and licensure while significantly enhancing the candidate experience. It is common for testing volumes to increase after a full conversion from paper-based testing (PBT) to CBT, often as a result of the availability of a greater number of testing locations and more flexible scheduling and testing opportunities. Migration from PBT to CBT does affect candidate behavior, however, and it is possible for some testing programs to experience brief reductions in demand triggered by candidate apprehension regarding CBT. This sometimes results in either a last-minute increase in testing during final PBT administrations or candidate procrastination to the last available computerized testing date. Therefore, the question facing licensing organizations is how to keep test volumes up and candidate uncertainty down when migrating from a paper-based to a computer-based test?
The key to mitigating test volume risk and ultimately driving an increase in demand is ongoing marketing, candidate education and outreach. In terms of promoting the new computerized testing program, marketing and effective communication can have an important impact on stakeholder acceptance of CBT and comfort with its use.
In order to allay candidate fears and minimize questions, it is prudent to launch a communications campaign early in the conversion process that directly addresses constituent concerns and promotes sustainable program interest.
The challenges faced with Pencil-Paper Test (PPT) or Paper based test is overwhelming, they include but not limited to exam malpractice, inaccuracy in marking, delay in marking results. These challenges do not help in the growth of the education sector of Nigeria.
Computer Based Test are economical, accurate and time bound. Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Institutions can adopt this system to solve challenges noted above. Examination bodies such as the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) are already adopting a system that carters for her examinations across 500 CBT centres nationwide. This has aided the examination to curb challenges faced with the PPT system of examination.
Objectives of the study
The main objective of the research project is to design and implement an online computer based test system. Specific objectives of the research paper are:
- To develop a CBT system that automatically generates exam numbers for students.
- To develop a CBT system with enhanced security features to avoid exam malpractice.
- To design a CBT system with real time processing of results for candidates.