Computerized system to aid setting of university examinations
Kenyan university examinations offices depend on external examiners report as well as internal examiners professionalism to get quality examination questions. To improve the quality of teaching and learning, examiners must set good questions to test the students in the examinations. Tracking previously examined questions is important if examiners want to improve on the quality of examinations. However, it is not practically possible for the examiner to remember all the questions previously examined. When setting or moderating an examination, it becomes difficult to know if the questions presented in the examination have been used in a past examination, which topics were examined and difficulty levels that were tested. There is a possibility therefore, for questions to be recycled from one semester to the next. This problem is more common in academic programmes where lecturers have to examine the courses they teach. The purpose of this study was to investigate re-using of examination questions in Kenyan universities. The study was conducted in a sample of 501 respondents selected from both private and public university students and their internal examiners. Data was collected from the respondents using semi structured questionnaires and a review of past examination papers. Data was then summarized and analyzed using statistical charts. The study found out that fifty eight per cent (58%) of students sitting for a university examination anticipate that they will find recycled questions while fifty four per cent (54%) of internal examiners admitted that examination questions are being recycled. A system was then designed to help examiners set examinations. The system is used to create questions for given programme, course and testing a given topic and difficulty level. The questions are then stored in the database from where they will be selected to be used in the examination .If a question has been used in a previous examination, its counter increments by one (1) and will show the date when it was lastly used. By studying this information presented about the question, the examiner can choose or ignore the question(s).This way, the examiner can make an informed decision to set a quality examination that covers topics, difficulty levels and has not been used recently.