This Chapter talks about the different histories of Computer Based Test system and how it has helped in Nigerian institutions, some features of it and the effectiveness.
A CBTS is a way in which the computer is used to access student performance in class instead of using the old method of examination known as question paper exams. It can come as multiple choices where students have the ability to take from several options and easy to use environments for the students taking it and the test conductors. The main feature of CBTS is to provide not only multiple choice examinations for students but also a theoretical way of accessing student knowledge which the lecturer can include as an optional parts, the main objective is to provide all features that an Examination System must have, with an amazing interface that is user-friendly. According to Taylor as cited in Newhouse, a Computer-Based Testing could be delivered on a stand-alone personal computer, within an isolated Local Area Network (LAN) or through the use of online technologies such as web-pages over the internet. We have two types of CBTS which are:
- Linear Test – The exam officer provides so many exam questions for the exam takers where the computer generates the exam questions randomly for individual without considering their performance level.
- Adaptive Test – In this part the exam officer provides question for the exam takers but the computer generates these questions based on individuals’ performance level. Since the questions are stored in a question bank it is generated by the computer based on categorized by content and difficulty.
How a computer based testing system functions or it being effective depends highly on some factors such as standardization, security, examination conditions, mode of administering the examination, cost and so on. We select some features and have been identified in literature as follow:
- A CBTS is cost effective especially when developed in the conduct of a mass-driven examination as there will be no need to print questions or answer booklets.
- Adewale et al inferred that human errors can be eliminated and examination malpractice eradicated when a CBTS is adopted in the process of examination. In the same part, Akunyili in her presentation in Amsterdam on ‘ICT and E-government’ stated that manually marked scripts were more prone to errors than computer marked ones.
- In their system design, Adebayo stated that security will be more effective since the systems include biometric fingerprint authentication, picture capture and data encryption and decryption.
- Osang in his study of electronic examination in Nigeria, suggested that course coordinators prefer electronic examination to pen and paper examinations as it requires lesser administrative tasks for the coordinators and enhanced a timely release of examination result.
- Al-Miri also stated that the standardization of test administration conditions is one of the benefits of the offered by CBTS. No Matter the size of the test-takers, BTS helps test developers to set the same test conditions for all participants.