DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF RESULT COMPUTING AND ONLINE RESULT CHECKER
A result is an official school report on the record of student, listing courses, grades received. Students’ result is a critical component of admission, transfer credit processing, and graduation processing. The majority of result come into the University in paper form through multiple points of entry and are processed in multiple areas depending on the reason the result is requested (admissions evaluation, additional credit, pre-requisite requirements, special programs or graduation processing). Currently, until result details are entered and processed, there is no reliable way to track incoming result. This creates many problems for students and staff. Students may be required to send in their result if their initial submissions cannot be located. Staff spend a considerable amount of time trying to locate result. Lost or misplaced result can delay admission decisions, prevent a student from registering into a course with pre-requisites and ultimately delay graduation, which can lead to unwanted consequences. This study aims to provide many benefits including proper routing and tracking of turned in results, improved processing efficiency of
the system, and increased satisfaction for both the staff and students for processing of result. The purpose of this study is to design, develop and implement an efficient computer-based result processing system to replace manual processing modes for Tertiary Institution, with a private tertiary institution in Edo State, Nigeria as a case Study. The which was designed using PHP programming language and MySQL as the database will accommodate multiple points of entry and aid course advisers carry out their responsibilities effectively. The system will interact with the existing system and provide a real-time status of the result processing.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
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, practical and labs are calculated and the grades are correspondingly computed. This is done by the various course coordinators of the courses. The next phase of the result processing process is done by the level course adviser. Each level of every department has its own dedicated course adviser. The course adviser acts on the list of results of all the students in his/her level and those of other students who sat for courses in other levels; either as borrowed courses or as carry over courses. The task ahead of the course adviser is to convert the grades of the students submitted to him into grade equivalents. 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, practical, 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.
With a web browser, one can view web pages that may contain text, images, videos,
and other multimedia and navigate between them using hyperlinks. The World Wide
Web [I] enables the spread of information over the Internet through an easy-to-use
and flexible format. There are many schools and colleges in our country. They have
to do a tough job of result processing. Teachers make tabulation sheet manually,
they make progressive report for every student and also make merit lists according to students' performance manually. So, it is an erroneous and time-consuming process. Many schools and colleges have websites in Nigeria. These websites are basically of static format, which are used only as a bulletin Board. They display only the information of teachers, students and the school/colleges itself. They have no result processing. Again, many schools and colleges have their branches in different places. It becomes quite difficult for them to process results combinedly according to students' merit and compare their results among the branches.
It is the university policy to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of course registration and result processing operations and services through the implementation of an integrated automated database system (Grey,2010) In a University like NOUN, the need for automated method of keeping data has been there. There have been several attempts to develop systems for automating result processing, but most of the work of this project will be on the processing of the results of the students at the undergraduate levels; and also span across other course advisers’ functions. With Information Management Technology department as the organization’s case study, this work is focused on providing alternative solutions to the general problems associated with result 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 errors associated with this current paper and pen method of processing is enormous. They make the process 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 degree. Some students could end up with undeserved good classes of degree, while others could be unfairly victimized, bringing about frustration. In this case, the image of the department(s) concerned and the whole University alike could become tarnished.
Also, 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-centered 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 University and the interactions among the objects. This genuine and noble desire necessitated the design and implementation of a result processing application for a course program, with National Open University as the organization in question.
So many pieces of software have been developed and even sold worldwide to solve this problem but most of such software have been discovered to be inefficient. Another problem which these pieces of software have posed is non-user specific problems as they are rather general use software, than specific use software. Students as well has researched and developed their own software but they could not give or develop error free software that will assist in result generation, automated course registration to keep or build a database of results in the university that will facilitate students’ transcripts.
This problem has been procrastinating the results of graduating or graduated students hence, delay in leaving for the National Youth Service when they ought to have gone. This problem has dominated the system. To arrest this problem, there is a 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 at the course advisers’ office during result’s check and in turn tackle the so much stress on both exams and record and the management in Universities.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main aim of this work is to design an automated result processing system that will increase throughput and reduce the response time involved in processing students result immediately after they graduate from the institution. The system will enable students register courses and in turn, enable lecturers upload students results every semester which can be viewed by registered students. To achieve the stated objective, the following specific objectives were laid out:
i. Provide a reliable solution to result processing that is corruption free by restricting unauthorized access to the system, hence ensure that the normal credit load in line with the school is maintained.
ii. Provide a software that will generate accurate, timely and error free results, using the latest security technologies.
iii. Maintain a reliable database for storage of students’ records and update as the need arises.
iv. Provide an advice engine based on the current status of the student advices the student result which on the next course of action to take in his/her academic pursuit.
v. Produce relevant report of students’ general performance at the end of every academic semester, presented in the form of tables, charts and graphs, etc.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The project work will help in a good number of ways to ease the 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.
1. It saves time during examination processing.
2. Database for course registration and examination result is maintained.
3. References are very fast and delays can be avoided.
4. It allows easy access to stored information.
5. It provides a medium for the students to interact and discuss their results and the way forward of their academics.
6. It helps in reducing the costs such as labor, inventory and stationery.
7. Generation of accurate results/information on transactions is ensured.
8. It guarantees the students unshared access to their individual results.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This can be used in educational institutes can be used anywhere anytime as it is a web-based application (user location doesn't matter). No restriction that examiner has to be present. Since it’s web-based, it can only be accessed using a browser in an internet enabled system. For the purpose of this project, the system source files will be hosted on a localhost and accessed only the host system.
Due to usage concurrency, the system enables the course adviser, the Head of Department, seen here as the enroller and the validator respectively, as well as the student to interact with the application effectively at the same time. This work will also use Information Management Technology department as the organization in question for its development. The system developed will only cover profile registration of students, course registration, result processing, advising functions, course creation, mapping of students’ record functions and result display.
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
In the course of this design, some factors led to constraints in the effective actualization of the project.
i. The major constraints experienced during the course of this project is during the actual software development. PHP codes required for some mathematical manipulations were difficult to obtain. This made me use the available but less preferred code for its implementation.
ii. Also, money unavailability posed another constraint. There was much work to be done but, limited cash was available. The available related materials in this research topic were insufficient and so required the purchase of more relevant material.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
i. Computer Network: Computer Network is a system that connects two or more computers together using a communication link.
ii. Databases: A systematically arranged collection of computer data, structured so that it can be automatically retrieved or manipulated. It is also called databank. File
iii. Database Management System (DBMS): This is the software that performs the task of database management.
iv. Structure Query Language (SQL): This is a very high-level programming language that is used to query the database
v. PHP: is a server scripting language, and a powerful tool for making dynamic and interactive Web pages
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