Musa Saimon

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fredrick Mtenzi

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Jane Rarieya


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Summative assessment of language literacies in Tanzanian primary education is based on paper-pencil. This kind of assessment limits learners from being assessed in other significant aspects of literacies such as oral, digital, and listening skills, which results in learners‟ lack of proficiency in using language, especially the English language. As an effort to improve the current situation, the present study explored the possibility of using mobile applications in summative language assessment of primary education in Tanzania. The study adopted a qualitative research approach and participatory action research design in which the researcher underwent three stages: reconnaissance, planning, and action. The action part of the participatory action research involved two cycles. I collected data through interviews, document analysis, observations, and reflections from documents, teachers, and students, all of which were sampled purposively. Findings from reconnaissance suggest that current practices in summative assessment of language literacies mismatch the goals of the language literacies curriculum for primary education. They also show that students and teachers are dissatisfied with the paper-pencil-based language literacies‟ assessment. Moreover, findings from intervention indicate that teachers and students view the use of mobile applications positively since it transforms paper-pencil assessment. However, it was also clear that the use of mobile applications is associated with challenges such as failure of the mobile app system to automate various responses for the same question and lack of teachers‟ skills. Therefore, it is recommended that NECTA should revise the current practices in summative assessment to ensure they meet teachers‟ and learners‟ expectations. Based on the improvement of language literacies‟ assessment experienced through the use of mobile applications, it is also recommended that NECTA should consider the use of mobile applications in the summative assessment of language literacy. However, the integration of mobile applications in assessment should be accompanied by training of teachers on the necessary skills for using mobile applications. Besides, other action research with several cycles than the one used in this study may be conducted for more insights on the use of mobile applications in assessing language literacies.