DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ELECTRONIC LOGBOOKS FOR STUDENTS INDUSTRIAL WORK EXPERIENCE SCHEME (SIWES)
Scientists and engineers traditionally kept paper logbooks of their experiments and inventions. The need for the logbook is cannot be over emphasized. Scientists need to keep a record of their doings in order to remember and report what has been done. The logbook also gives a means of retracing past experiments and verifying their accountability. Searching logbooks can also determine who the first was to make a new discovery or invention. In most parts of the world, the first to invent rule is used for patents and a properly kept logbook is crucial for proving an idea is yours. Student and professional bodies use logbook on regular intervals, Altini etal (2010).
In less than twenty years the habits of logbook use has changed radically. Even though some scientists still solely use old fashioned paper logbooks many large scientific collaborations are already using electronic logbooks, wavetracks (2010).
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.1.1 THE STUDENT’S INDUSTRIAL WORK EXPERIENCE SCHEME
The students industrial work experience scheme (S.I.W.E.S) is an industrial training program for undergraduate students of Nigerian universities and other higher institutions. It is a six month training scheme in which students are attached to industries that are relevant to their field of study. The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) is the body responsible for the coordination and funding of the program.
1.1.2 Objectives of S.I.W.E.S
The basic objectives of students’ industrial training work experience scheme (S.E.W.I.S) embraces the following:
1. To provide opportunities of applying their knowledge to real practice thereby making easier the college work.
2. To enable students to practice theory been taught at school and provide access to the production equipment not available in the school.
3. To provide skillful experience to all students in the school of technologies, polytechnics and universities.
4. To inspire students about their careers
5. To provide more man power to industries.
Every student is expected to keep a record of her experience for the duration of the training period and submit such records to her department on resumption for further studies. An industrial supervisor is also expected to monitor the student’s weekly progress of work and append his signature for works actually done by the student. To ensure that the aim of SIWES is achieved, a school based supervisor is also expected to monitor the student's progress by visiting his place of primary assignment at regular intervals, and by the end of the exercise, a report is usually sent to the ITF office for verification and necessary documentation and payment of those who participated in the exercise. Each student uses a logbook to keep record of his/her experiences.
Traditionally, a logbook is a record of an event or events such as ship’s navigation, air flight, inventions, teachers’ events in the classroom etc. logbooks have been in existence since the invention of ships and the need for navigation came into existence. Today’s logbooks have diverse uses since all aspects of human endeavor need a form of reference or storage media.
However, with the advent of ICT and the internet the ways of doing things have changed. An electronic logbook is a computer based software for recording(logging) states, events or simply conditions used for complex machines like aircraft, nuclear plants, particle accelerators, various areas on board ships replacing paper based logbooks etc. An electronic alternative to record key navigation, engine watch, port calls and other operational activities on board vessels of all sizes.
1.2 THE PROBLEM STATEMENT
The need for an electronic logbook for S.I.W.E.S cannot be over emphasized. For a student to gain the required knowledge from industrial training experiences, he/she must be well monitored to ensure that he/she does not just participate in the training scheme in fulfillment of its mandatory status, but also acquire relevant experiences. The lack of electronic logbook makes this nearly impossible since distance between interns and supervisors and the lack of access to good reference source hinders the actualization of the desired goals.
As has been stated in section 1.2, there are lots of problems with the traditional logbook that justify the quest for a better way of handling internship experience logbook. Perhaps the most outstanding of this reasons is the bridging of the gap between supervisors and interns.
The Nigerian academic curriculum have witnessed a lot of disruptions in recent times mostly because of massive industrial actions to drive home a demand. Only recently, the Nigerian universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education embarked on an over six month’s nationwide strike. The students who were undergoing IT training at that time will have to depend solely on their industry supervisor and instincts.
With information technology and the gains associated with it, most nation of the world have successfully migrated from the paper method of keeping records. It is therefore a worthwhile venture to affirm the already introduced practice of modernity since we have much to learn/do if we are to be able to be able to rub shoulders with our counterparts elsewhere.
The following are the advantages of using electronic logbook.
1. It provides a better storage system and retrieval mechanism
2. It is easier to use
3. It is more secure, since users are authenticated, before they are granted access to the database
4. It provide additional functions like acting as a source of notifying interns about information the school wishes to pass.
1.4 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
To develop an electronic logbook for Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (S.I.W.E.S)
The following are objectives of the study
1. To review and analyze the existing system
2. To develop a software capable of logging students’ work entries in an electronic format.
3. To bridge the gap between the students and supervisors during the course of the industrial training.
4. To act as a source of information to interns by providing a notice board on each users page.
5. To provide important links that are capable of enhancing the performance and knowledge of the Nigerian graduate.
1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The electronic logbook will consist of various interfaces. The interfaces will be accessed by various individuals whose roles will be explicitly defined. There will be interfaces for students, industrial supervisor, school-based supervisor, the ITF and an administrator.
A student should be able to access forms that will enable him to log in entries of his daily experiences. He should also be able to fill the personal data form as well as form8 that is usually submitted to the ITF office.
There will be an interface for the industry-based supervisor who will monitor and append his signature to the work of the intern on a weekly basis.
There will also be an interface for a school-based supervisor who will have access to the completed weekly progress forms of his students’.
An interface will also be created for the school coordinator who will have access to all the forms that are completed by interns.
It is also intended that the ITF office will have an interface that will provide the number of completed forms in a printable format.
At the server end will be a database of all activities that are carried out by the various parties involved. The database information will also be used to define the functions of each of the parties involved.
Apart from this basic functions, it will serve as a point of contact with interns since information can be disseminated more quickly through this means. I intend to include a notice board on the students’ page.
It will also provide important links to other sites especially learning and information websites that may be very important for a complete internship
This project is a study of the usability of electronic logbook and is therefore may not give or meet every expectation. The main focus of the project is to develop a system for reporting IT activities within the university community, other than the paper logbook. Other extended functionality may not therefore be included or where they are, may lack some expected features. Some of the extended features may include:
The ability to tell the number of weeks a student submits his/her weekly work by incrementing a value every time the student submits her work.
The ability to search the web interfaces through a search field may not be possible since the pages are not so many as to warrant a search field.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study of the usability of electronic logbook for interns is of paramount importance considering the number of problems that will be solved in the event of a successful adaptation of such logbooks. Some of the problems associated with paper logbook are already stated in the problem statement.
Everything is going digital with the advent of ubiquitous computing and the Nigerian society should not be an exception. To change a society requires a change in the manner of perception and handling of issues by the academic community.DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ELECTRONIC LOGBOOKS FOR STUDENTS INDUSTRIAL WORK EXPERIENCE SCHEME (SIWES)