Design And Implementation Of Electronic Marking Of Exam Scripts

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Design And Implementation Of Electronic Marking Of Exam Scripts


Abstract


The end-of-course grades assigned by lecturers are intended to convey the level of achievement of each student in the class. These grades are used to make a multitude of decisions. Unless a sufficiently accurate and efficient method is used for the marking and grading, the grades are apt to convey misinformation and lead the decision-maker astray. In itself, the marking process of exam script is found to be rather tedious, especially when carried out manually, and when the number of students is large. It is time-consuming and error prone. The process, however, becomes a lot easier and much more accurate when carried out with a computer running a suitable software application. To find a sufficiently fast and accurate method of carrying out this marking process is a problem that is both challenging and interesting. In this work, an electronic marking system was developed to facilitate the automated processing marking script. The software was developed in Java programming language in the form of a database, employing PostgreSQL Relational Database Management System. The developed software performed well and produced expected results on completion. With it, it was possible to mark exam script automatically andgrade the score based on student answers corresponding to the correct one trained into the system data set.


Organisation of the Work


This work is organized in five chapters and appendices as follows:

Chapter One:

In this section the introduction to the work is made and the whole idea of this research work presentation, like objective of the study, statement of the research area of coverage limitation and definition of terms all this makes up the chapter one.

Chapter Two:

This section deals with the review of study, review of concept, theories upon which this work is built on as its theoretical framework, the empirical study for this work and some potential issues in the study.

Chapter Three:

This section talks about the software tools used in the project the design pattern that will be employed to the design the algorithm to be followed in the design and all the software framework.

Chapter Four:

In this chapter the system is implemented and presented with its analysis. Functions of the system and the operation of the system is also, in depth explained for reader understating and comprehension. The system requirement is also detailed and the platform at which the system can run on.

Chapter Five:

This chapter summaries the whole work done and make possible recommendation and suggest other points to be included into the work for future propose


Table Of Content


  • Cover page
  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgment
  • Table of content
  • Abstract

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Significance of the Study
  • 1.5 Scope of the Study
  • 1.6 Limitations of the Study
  • 1.7 Definition of Technical Terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Marking Exam Scripts
  • 2.3. Electronic Marking
  • 2.4 Computer Systems and Other Related Concepts
  • 2.5 Benefit of E-Marking System

Chapter Three

3.0 Methodology And System Analysis

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Problem Identification
  • 3.3 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.3.1 Interviewing
  • 3.3.2 Observation
  • 3.4 Problems of the Existing System
  • 3.5 Analysis of the Current System
  • 3.6 The Organization and Its Environment
  • 3.7 Analysis of the Proposed System

Chapter Four

4.0 System Design And Implementation

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Objectives of the New System
  • 4.3 System Design
  • 4.4 Program Design
  • 4.5 General Flowchart of the Proposed System
  • 4.6 Program Specification Flowchart
  • 4.6.1 Program Modules
  • 4.7 Database Specification
  • 4.8 Data Dictionary
  • 4.9 Input/Ouput Design
  • 4.9.1 Input Specifications and Design
  • 4.9.2 Output Specifications
  • 4.10 Choice of Programming Language
  • 4.11 Program Documentation and Implementation
  • 4.11.1 System Implementation
  • 4.11.2 Hardware and Operating System Requirement
  • 4.11.3 Software Specifications
  • 4.11.4 Requirements for Processor
  • 4.11.5 Detailed Implementation Plans
  • 4.11.6 File Conversion
  • 4.11.7 Training of Operators and Users

Chapter Five

5.0 Introduction Summary, Conclusion

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary
  • 5.3 Conclusion

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

Electronic marking (E-marking), also known as onscreen marking or digital marking, is the use of digital technology in the education or accreditation sector specifically designed for marking or grading an exam or assessment.

E-marking applications allow markers to mark exam responses which have been scanned and uploaded as digital images, or online assessment responses on a computer screen, rather than on paper. It is the opposite of traditional ‘pen and paper’ marking, and can be executed via a local application, or via a browser-based application delivered over the Internet.

There are no restrictions on the types of tests that can be marked using e-marking. E-marking is widely applied amongst high stakes examinations throughout the world, with two thirds of marking completed in this way in the Nigeria. It is also used to assess other types of qualifications such as exams for accountants, as seen by its use by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.


1.1 Background of the Study

Manual Examination marking System is replete with several problems. A cursory glance at Manual Examination marking Administration System reveals cases of partiality, favoritism and injustice in the marking process by the staff or the class instructor, also, outside the above the person could be under physical or emotional trauma that could result in failure to carry out the required duty in safe state. The manual Examination marking System also has been discovered to has more issues, as it gives room for written examination to be updated by the student or lecturer when bribe has taken place, exchange of results marks and many more.

In furtherance, during manual computation of results, errors may arise due to “omission” or “commission”. There are also cases of missing examination scripts during marking. There is also a problem of time wasting, among others.

This research suggests that if an efficient and effective electronic examination script marking system is developed, where examinations will be taken online, and results computed and released immediately, as well as stored in a central database for documentation and future planning and evaluation purposes, there shall be relative balance and harmony within the University System. The staff will take the advantage of time that would have been spent on marking examination and preparing results to enable them do their research work. This will also cause the unserious students to be committed to their studies.

The errors associated with the existing manual method of examination marking process of students’ exams in most universities 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 exam marked results. Worst still, sometimes wrong scores are calculated for and entered for the. 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. The problem, therefore, that arises is to find a method of marking examination scripts that would be sufficiently accurate and reasonably timely.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The problems posed by manual methods of marking exam script are enormous. Manual marking slows the process of exam script processing as it has to be done by hand. This has result to procrastinating the results of academic students hence, delay in leaving in student time of graduation and possible for the National Youth Service when they ought to have gone. This problem has dominated the academic.

To arrest this problem, there is a need to step up the use of electronic marking system that is accurate, error free, and that can if possible run on the web (using real time) in order to give students access to their score as at when needed. This will also help reduce the time wait for exam script score.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objective of this project is to design and develop an electronic marking system that can curb the errors and issues associate to the manual exam script marking.

Other objectives are:

  1. Provide a reliable solution to exam script marking processing that is corruption free.
  2. Provide a software that will generate result that is accurate, timely and error free.
  3. Maintain a reliable database for storage of students’ records and update as the need arises.
  4. Restrict unauthorized access to the students’ record.
  5. Produce relevant report of students’ general performance at the end of every academic semester, presented in the form of tables, charts and graphs, etc.
  6. Enhance the time and speed spent on marking and calculating of student exams script.

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 schools 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.

1.5 Scope of the Study

This research work will concentrate on examination script marking system, as well as the staffs to interact with the application effectively. This work will also use Information Management Technology department as the organization in question for its development. The system developed will only cover students marking of exam script, score calculation and security of students’ record functions.


1.6 Limitations of Study

In the course of this design, some factors led to constraints in the effective actualization of the project.

  1. This research work will not be cover the area on online examination of any kind.
  2. The research work program can only function with power supply without which the program cannot function.
  3. The duration for this project was too small for the study to be carried out in a more complex scope. There were some other programmes like exams, to be attended to which curtailed the time spent on the project. The above constraint led to limiting the application functionalities.
  4. 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.

1.7 Definition of Technical Terms

Information System:

It is a collection of procedures, people, instructions and equipment to produce information in a useful form.

E-Marketing:

Is the use of digital educational technology specifically designed for marking

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.

Examination:

Is a formal test that you take to show your knowledge or ability in a particular subject, or to obtain a qualification.


Chapter Five


5.0 Introduction Summary and Conclusion

5.1 Introduction

This research work focuses on the use of computer system with reference to exam script marking in our educational system.

The work covers the manual system of operations as regards the problems identified, stating the aims of the new system, stating the various specifications and then implementing the programs. The work was successfully developed using Java programming language, a user- friendly programming language, and the package was tested and improved upon which yielded an electronic marking system of examination script. The project work cannot be said to be perfect, but however, its benefits cannot be overemphasized. It has led to the improvement in the speed of processing operation, efficiency, accuracy and improved storage of data.


5.2 Conclusion

We have identified the problems in trying to reach an accurate mark using manual marking which turns out to be a feature of examinations and not the method of marking. Therefore, electronic marking must be based on a process that takes these issues into account.

The experiments reported here have shown that acceptable scores that compare favourably with manual marking can be obtained. The average difference between the human markers and the automatic marking over all scripts was 4.73. The difference between the averages of the human markers and the automatic marker was 2.65. These results indicate that although the automatic marker consistently underestimates the final mark and, at most, differs by 11 from the human markers’ average, there is good agreement. It should be noted that the difference between individual human markers could also be quite large: up to 8.5 in the case of one student.

We also catalogued the types of deficiencies found in the electronic marking process. Whilst it was not surprising that the largest numbers of errors occurred in the solution trees and thesaurus, it was clear that the iterative solution tree improvement process did rectify the specimen solutions and led to a more comprehensive thesaurus. However, the results also confirm the existence of deficiencies in questions and specimen solutions, although these were detected early on in the process. Candidate’s spelling errors can have a significant effect on the marking process and we need to improve the system to deal with them effectively.


5.3 Summary

Realizing a project of this nature is very exciting. However, the students encounter a lot a problem which I believe if looked into, will go a long way toward reducing the tension associated with the design implementation and construction of the project.

In spite of the constraints encountered during the implementation of this project, the aim of my project is well accomplished.

Moreover, an attempt to accomplish this project has taken care of the delay between examination and result processing with minimum mistakes. This has also forced me to learn, practically, what is involved in the design and implementation or computerization of project (existing or non-existing).

Finally, I wish to commend the university system and indeed the department of Information Management Technology for this project inclusion as a course that must be taken by graduating students it is a step in the right direction to withstand the future challenges in computing in companies, industries, institutions and the world at large.


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