Online Continuous Assessment Tests: Experiences and Lessons from Kenyatta University


  • Mukirae Njihia Kenyatta University
  • Elizabeth Mwaniki Kenyatta University
  • Anthony Ireri


Between October 2015 and April, 2017, the School of Education, Kenyatta University in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) organized three capacity building workshops for its lecturers on Integration of ICT in teaching and learning. During the 3rd workshop held in March, 2017 and whose focus was on online Assessment, it was noted that despite the university’s investment in a Learning Management System (LMS) for online teaching and learning, lecturers had not utilized it for formative learner assessment. Therefore, it was agreed that the departments of Educational Psychology and Educational Management would play the role of trailblazers in giving online Continuous Assessments Tests (CATs) in the School of Education. In the 2nd semester of 2016/2017 academic year and the 1st semester of the 2017/2018 academic year, the two departments gave a total of four online CATs in four different units to over 9,000 undergraduate students. This innovation in assessment informed this study whose purpose was to document the views and experiences of both students and lecturers on online CATs. The study embraced a mixed method design that enabled collection and triangulation of quantitative data from students and qualitative data from lecturers. The results indicated that the students were initially apprehensive before the online CAT but after they were done, a majority stated that they enjoyed the experience. The students also praised the technical support given during the CAT, the immediate feedback and the sense of control of their marks. Lecturers were initially sceptical about mounting online CATs but their perception changed after they were rolled out as they appreciated the reduced workload in terms of marking and grading as well as reduced human error. Some key challenges that hindered effectiveness of the online CATs included a few students’ registration numbers missing in the LMS, slow internet during online CATs, students using wrong passwords to get into the LMS, interruption from other students in computer lab and strict marking in the short answer items

Author Biographies

Mukirae Njihia, Kenyatta University

Lecturer, Department of Educational Management, Policy & Curriculum Studies, School of Education

Elizabeth Mwaniki, Kenyatta University

Lecturer, Department of Educational Psychology, School of Education

Anthony Ireri

Lecturer, Department of Educational Psychology, School of Education




How to Cite

Njihia, M., Mwaniki, E., & Ireri, A. (2022). Online Continuous Assessment Tests: Experiences and Lessons from Kenyatta University. Msingi Journal, 6(1), 53–68. Retrieved from

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