By Dr B. A. Bassey, Dr Sylvia V. Ovat & Usani J. Ofem
Measurement in the behavioural sciences is not devoid of errors. Unlike in the physical sciences where they are already existing standardized calibrated instruments and the measurement is direct; it is quite different in behavioural and psychological measurement where education is a subset. The variables measured in education are hypothetical and indirect. It requires the effort of the classroom teacher to develop a test, and he/she may not have the right skills and techniques to construct a valid and reliable test. These skills inadequacy, lack of expertise and a host of other factors, bring error in measurement. The question that arises then is this, why do we take decisions with scores that are affected by measurement error? This was the thrust of this research work. The authors explored measurement errors, causes of measurement errors, steps in reducing errors in measurement as well as the implications of the effect of measurement errors in learners’ assessment in the classroom setting. It was recommended that if examinations and tests are to be utilized for decision-making on the future of the learner, then, there is need to ensure that all testers, testing situations and variables are well planned to ensure that errors are reduced if not eradicated.