In our society today, the dependence on automated systems and their uses are really appreciated due to their enormous advantages. Virtually all types of computation and analyses are done easily and timely using an automated system. The list cannot be over emphasized. One of them is student result and grading system in departments of every academic institution.
Result processing is a task that must be carried out accurately and thus should not be done manually to avoid loss in filling datas and computations.
This has promoted the need for a computerized database management system for computation grading and result processing.
Obviously this will positively affect the release of results and improve the grading system to its standard. Hence the improvement of performance in the processing of students in the Heritage polytechnic is what this project work is all about.
1.1 Background of the Study
The errors associated with the existing manual method of processing of students’ results in most Polytechnic in Nigeria, make it not only desirable but imperative that computerized approach be used to the full in measuring students’ academic progress. The manual methods being employed suffer a number of set-back. They make the process to be time-consuming and prone to errors even as they lead to late publication of examination results. Worst still, sometimes, wrong grades are being entered and students’ grade point averages are computed wrongly. Consequently, the cumulative errors being generated are ultimately linked to awarding of erroneous class of grades. Some students could end up with undeserved good classes of grade, while others could be unfairly victimized, bringing about frustration. In this case, the image of the department(s) concerned and the whole Polytechnic alike could become tarnished. The problem, therefore, that arises is to find a method of processing examination results that would be sufficiently accurate and reasonably timely.
Result processing is a routine activity. Every semester in the higher institution calls for assessment of the performances of the students. This assessment usually comes in the form of examinations, tests, practicals, labs, and the like. Without an assessment of the students, there will not be the need to work hard.
Assessment takes the form of a reward system. Students are interested in a competitive environment. Tracing this to the primary and secondary school systems where the students are graded in positions; each student works very hard to make the best results. The higher institution system is no difference. At the end of each academic semester, the results of the semester academic activities are computed. The issue here is in the conversion of the levels of involvement and expertise of the students into relative figures which ranks the students.
There are over ten (10) departments in the Noel Polytechnic, each having an average of over four hundred students. A simple calculation here surfaces that there are over five thousand students in the institution. Each of the students in every level has results to be computed. The task of result processing and other academic activities mandates the assignment of course advisers to take care of such functions.
Result, by way of definition is the consequence of an action; the conclusion of a problem, or experiment after a period of time. At the end of each academic semester, the results of the exams, tests, practicals and labs are calculated and the grades are correspondingly computed. This is done by the various course lecturers. The next phase of the result processing process is done in the exam and records office. The exams and records office acts on the list of results of all the students who sat for exams. The task ahead is to convert the grades of the students submitted to her into grade equivalents.
The Noel Polytechnic, Eket is characterized by four faculties. The faculties with the associated number of departments are tabulated below.
Table 1.1:Noel Polytechnic Faculties and associated number of departments
|S/NO||FACULTY||NUMBER OF DEPARTMENTS|
|2||Sciences and Technology||2|
In Noel Polytechnic, the need for automated method of keeping data is highly required. There have been several attempts to develop systems for automating result processing most of which has one technical deficiency or the other.
The major focus is the Department of Computer Engineering asthis work is considering providing providing alternative solutions to the general problems associated with results processing, adding and dropping of courses, registration of extra course units, timely computation of students’ grades, course registrations, and above all, security issues which hinders unauthorized access to results by students and lecturers.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problems posed by manual methods of result processing are enormous. The issues here can only be addressed by employing advance technology. The effort expended in the process of registration of students and computation of their examination results is tedious. Quite worrisome is the fact that these processes are carried out every academic session, putting the operators in a continuous and ever demanding cycle. The computation of examination results and registration of students is obviously an object-centred activity, the student being the dominant object in this case. Hence, the need to evolve not just a computerized process, but an object-oriented software design and implementation that will effectively and efficiently capture all the important objects associated with the registration and examination result processing within the institution and the interactions among the objects.
This genuine and noble desire necessitated the design and implementation of an enhanced web-based results processing application.
So many softwares have been developed and even sold worldwide to solve this problem but most of such softwares have been discovered to be inefficient. Another problem which these softwares have posed is non-user specific problems as they are rather general use softwares, than specific use softwares. Students as well have researched and developed their own software but they could not give or develop error free software that will assist in result generation and automated course registration to keep or build a database of results in the institution that will facilitate students’ transcripts.
To arrest the problems posed by this manual result processing method, there is need to develop software that is accurate, error free, and that can run on the web (using real time) in order to give students access to their results as at when needed. This will also help reduce the queue usually seen when result is pasted and in turn tackle the so much stress on both exams and record and the management in Polytechnic.
The work is intended to ginger the students and the lecturers in the application of Information Technology (IT) as applied in the academic system which involved the paramount rules in subject of the following:
- Provide opportunity for students to access the results and confirm their grade anywhere and at anytime.
- Provide opportunity for effective time management by making result processing and grading system absolutely computerized
- To eliminate the reoccurrence of result related problems like missing scripts or otherwise. Error is detected immediately and correction can be done in seconds.
1.4 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The major aim of thisproject is to develop an Enhanced Web-Based Students’ Result Processing and Management System. The specific objectives are as follows:
- To carry out preliminary investigation of the existing system.
- To interact with different officers within the field of results processing and the students alike in other to acquire data needed for the development of the proposed system.
- To design algorithms appropriate and precedence for detailed analysis and overview of the proposed system.
- To develop a database for individual registered student in other to enhance results processing management.
- To design an Enhanced Web-Based Students’ Results Processing and Management System using Structured System Analysis and Design Method (SSADM) capable of computing overall students’ results
- To provide a software that will generate result that is accurate, timely and error free.
1.5 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study hovers around identifying all the problems associated with the manual record/storage and retrieval during result processing in the institution and to compare the newly developed system with the existing one thereby making suggestion for necessary upgrade.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The project work will help in a good number of ways to ease the usual delay in manual examination processing. The software developed will help school’s management to achieve efficient Information Management System. There are many other advantages, and some of them are listed below.
- It saves time during examination processing.
- Database for course registration and examination result is maintained.
- References are very fast and delays can be avoided.
- It allows easy access to stored information.
- It provides a medium for the students to interact and discuss their results and the way forward of their academics.
- It helps in reducing the costs such as labor, inventory and stationery.
- Generation of accurate results/information on transactions is ensured.
- It guarantees the students unshared access to their individual results.
This research work will concentrate on course registration and examination processing system. It also contains student login where all registered students can view their results individually from internet enabled system. This will enable the administrators as well as the students to interact with the application effectively. This work will also use Computer Engineering department as the organization in question for its development. The system developed will only cover registration of students, course registration, result processing, course creation and mapping and security of students’ record functions alongside with the students’ result viewing page.
1.8 Limitations of Study
In the course of this design, some factors led to constraints in the effective actualization of the project.
- The duration for this project was not sufficient enough for the study to be carried out in a more complex scope. There were some other programmes to be attended to which curtailed the time spent on the project. The above constraint led to limiting the application functionalities.
- The limited resources available for carrying out this project posed a major constraint. There was much work to be done but, limited cash was available. The available related materials in this research topic were insufficient and some of the respondents were unwilling to supply useful information. There is not sufficient knowledge in the programming languages chosen for this work which led to involving upper hands at an expense.
- Moreover, some modules suspended and reserved for future upgrade due to lack of time and resources to actualize and integrate them in this research work. This includes:
- A lecturers’ portal, different from admin portal and student portal. The purpose of this site is for each lecturer to have direct access strictly to the database of the students he lectures and their registered courses for the semester. The lecturer will not be able to edit the database but to input the grades of each student to the online score sheet directly and submit it online which will be received and reassessed online by the admin in the exams and records office where results will be generated.
- The admin portal will have overall control of all accounts in the system. The security of the system in terms of password management will be controlled by the admin. Total control of the database also will be done by the admin.
1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE WORK
This project work consists of five chapters. Chapter one is made up of introduction, background of study, statement of problem, motivation, aim and objectives, purpose of study, significance of the study, organization of the work and definition of terms. The second chapter is a review of the technology behind the project while chapter three is all about the Research Methodology. Design and Implementation of the project is contained in chapter four while the last chapter captures the Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation.
1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Information System: It is a collection of procedures, people, instructions and equipment to produce information in a useful form.
Technology: It is study of techniques or process of mobilizing Resource (such as information) for accomplishing objectives that benefits man and his environment.
Information: Information can be defined as the process of gathering, transmitting, receiving, storing and retrieving data or several items put together to convey a desired message.
Computer Network: Computer Network is a system that connects two or more computers together using a communication link.
Databases: A systematically arranged collection of computer data, structured so that it can be automatically retrieved or manipulated. It is also called databank.
File Transfer: Any kind of computer file can be sent via the Internet from one Internet user to another. Table of accounts on spreadsheets, design by a graphic artists, music sound files etc, can all be exchanged in this way.
Database Table(s): It is a collection rows and columns where in the database which are used for logical data storage and retrieval in the database.
Database Management System (DBMS): This is the software that performs the task of database management.
Transaction: This is a group of operation (database operations) that must be executed as one.
Encapsulation: This is the concept of hiding specific behavior and attributes from a user.
Class: This is the prototype from where an object can be created.
Object: This is an instance of a class that which has both attributes and behaviors.
Inheritance: This is the one of the features of Object Oriented Programming (OOP) that gives it the capabilities or properties of a class.
Entity: This is an object with a set of properties that makes it easily identifiable.
Attributes: There are the properties of an entity. They provide information about and entity and also differentiate one entity from anther.
Relationship: This refers to the association among entities.
Entity Relationship Diagram: This is the pictorial representation of a database. It lists the various components of a database and depicts the relationships between components in the database.
Programming Language: This is the language used to give instructions to the computer.
Structure Query Language (SQL): This is a very high level programming language that is used to query the database
Java Programming Language: This is an object oriented programming language that is used to develop different types of software application.
Programmer: Someone who can read, understand one or two programming(s) and has the ability to develop software applications using some programming languages.
Application Programming Interface (API): This is a class library that provides a collection of classes which the programmer may take advantage of when programming.
Java Database Connectivity (JDBC): This is a Java API for communicating with different database systems.
Method: This is a data member of a class which is used by the objects of such class for performing its actions.
Constructor: This is a method like construct that has the same name as the class. It is also used to create an object.
Java platform 2 Standard Edition (J2SE): This is the technology platform used in developing standalone applications
Java platform 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE): This is the technology platform used in developing enterprise applications (web based applications).
Java platform 2 Micro Edition (J2ME): This is the technology platform used in developing mobile applications (software for mobile devices).
PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It is a widely used open source general purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and canbe embedded into HTML.
Mysql: Mysql is an open source relational database management system (RDBMS) based on Structured Query Language. It runs on virtually all platforms, including Linux, Unix and Windows.
Html: (Hypertext Markup Language) is the set of markup symbols or codes inserted in a file intended for display on a World Wide Web browser page. It tells the browser hoe to display a web page’s word and images for the users. Each markup code is referred to as element (or tag). Some elements come in pairs that indicate when some display effect is to begin and when it is to end.
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