Influence of formative evaluation on learner performance in mathematics in secondary schools in Embu county, Kenya
Assessment of students’ academic achievement is a basic step in any educational project since it provides information about the success in the attainment of specific teaching objectives. Continuous quality improvement in formal learning depends upon well-conceived approaches to evaluation that have both formative and summative functions. Learning takes place in a context and within a system. Mathematics is perceived by society as the foundation for scientific and technological knowledge that is cherished by societies worldwide. A formative evaluation of students’ performance is the best predictor of academic achievement in mathematics. The performance of Kenyan students in mathematics in the national examination has been very poor and more than 50% of the students fail mathematics in the national examination. Performance of students in Mathematics in Embu County in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education for the last three years has been very poor. Thus, there is need for a research to be conducted to investigate the influence of formative evaluation on learners’ performance in secondary school mathematics in Embu County, Kenya. The study employed a descriptive survey research design. The target population for the study was 173 Secondary schools while simple random sampling technique was used to sample 130 respondents composing of 70 students and 60 teachers from five school one from each Sub-County. Questionnaires and tests were used to collect primary data. The study generated both qualitative and quantitative data where quantitative data was coded and entered into Statistical Packages for Social Scientists (SPSS Version 17.0) and analyzed using descriptive statistics. The data was presented using tables and figures while explanation was done in prose. The study found that Mathematics teachers employ assignments test as a formative evaluation approach to way of measuring students’ progress in mathematics performance which form an integral part of education system and that frequent assessment of students performance has demonstrated to improve student outcomes. The study also found that assessment is a crucial tool for simultaneously improving classroom practice and students’ performance, and that it can enhance teaching and learning by providing a more focused application for learners. The study concludes that formative evaluation enables teachers to adjust their teaching to meet individual student needs, and to better help all students to reach high standards. The examinations have played a central role in the entire school programme influencing each activity that took place in the school. Examinations also made teachers to be selective in the content to be taught. Based on the findings of the study, the study recommended that teachers should carefully plan and administer mathematics quizzes, out of class assignments, supervised classroom mathematics assignments, end term and end year mathematics examinations. Incorporating various techniques, formative assessment can enhance teaching and learning by providing a more focused application for learners. To be truly effective, assessment should also be “formative” in other words, identifying and responding to the students’ learning needs. Good feedback should be tied to explicit criteria regarding expectations for students’ performance, thus making the learning process more transparent and modeling “learning to learn” skills for students.
The following license files are associated with this item: