Studies of continuous assessment have generated varying reactions. It is commonly believed to be an effective substitute for the terminal examination system, which was practiced in Nigeria prior to 1982. This chapter examines some pertinent literature as they relate to the old and new assessment strategies as a means of enhancing learning among art students as well as in other subjects in general education. While some express acceptance of this innovative assessment technique, others express some fears. Reactions such as these are to be expected particularly when such revolutionary activities are introduced in any system.
Bumham-West (1999), regards assessment as a form of “performance driven accountability”, which is increasingly common in educational systems around the world. This view is supported by Ebegulem (1982), and Ogunniyi (1984), when they stated that the system appears to be widely and because it assesses the over all performance of the students in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domain of learning throughout the schooling career of students. This is a major departure from the old examination system, which concentrated assessment in the cognitive domain. Even the cognitive domain was inadequately assessed since it was based on the outcome of a single final examination. Turton (1984) and F.M.E.S.T. (1985) regard this inadequacy as the major disadvantage of the old assessment system when compared to assessment based on a regular and predetermined interval as required by the continuous assessment strategy. Ogunniyi (1984), and Obanya (1985) however uphold the continuous assessment is not problem-proof. They point to several inadequacies, which include lack of qualified personnel both in quality and quantity to operate the system; lack of infrastructures and equipment that are basic pre-requisite for successful operation. The absence of these can constitute clogs in assessment activities. However, the new assessment strategy is advantageous to the students because it takes into account the total learning experiences and achievement of the learners throughout their schooling career in a manner that is systematic, cumulative, comprehensive and guidance-oriented (Ogunniyi, 1984).