COMPARISON OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EXAMINEES’ HANDWRITING RATING AND THE AVERAGE MARK CHANGES IN ESSAY TEST SCORES IN WHOLE SCRIPT AND SEGMENTED MARKING METHODS.
AGBONKPOLO, MONDAY UGIAGBE
The main purpose of the study was to find out experimentally whether there is difference between the influence of examinees’ handwriting clarity on marking error in whole script marking method (WSMM) and segmented marking method (SMM) in essay tests with regards to the systematic and random errors. Thus the average mark changes (AMC) was used to measure the effectiveness of the two methods with regards to the minimization of marking errors arising from examinees’ hand writing clarity. Two research questions and one hypothesis were raised for the study. The post test – only control group design, in which two equivalent groups are subjected to different treatments, was used in the study. The two methods (treatments) were explained and randomly given to two equivalent groups, each consisting of 24 NECO markers (one group to one method), to mark thirty two examination scripts in a conference marking. Clean photocopies of the thirty two scripts were also assessed for examinees’ hand writing clarity by twenty independent research assistants. Thereafter the AMC in the scores awarded by the twenty four (24) markers for each of the thirty two (32) examination scripts and the mean hand writing clarity rating for the same candidates were used for correlation analyses and testing the hypothesis. The statistics used were the Pearson correlation, Fishers’ Z transformation test and regression statistics. Findings showed that poor hand writing clarity of some of the examinees tends to increase AMC in SMM more than in WSMM, which implies that poor handwriting clarity was more influential in the SMM which employs direct comparative scoring technique, than in whole script scoring and as examinees’ handwriting clarity increases, AMC becomes smaller in SMM than in WSMM although the difference in the Pearson r was not significant. These findings showed that WSMM is more effective than SMM in minimizing marking errors arising from poor examinees’ handwriting clarity. The researchers thus concluded that the WSMM may be better than the SMM for marking examinees’ scripts with poor hand writing clarity.