Design And Implementation Of An Online Result Checker
In Nigerian Universities a lot of time is spent by students, faculty and lecturers in effecting result processes.
This project focuses on solving the problem by developing an application to solve the problem inherent to the delivery of examination information services in Nigerian universities using the University of Calabar as a case study.
The MyResult Application is a web-based application intended to be accessible from the internet. This allows the application to be available to both mobile phone users and PC users who can access the internet from their devices. The MyResult system was developed using open source web technologies notably HTML, PHP and MySQL.
The MyResult system produced in this research work has functions that will enable students to check course results, view computed GPAs and log complaints with maximum ease.
The developed application was tested using the XAMP application suite and the test results show that the application works as expected.
Table of Contents
- Title Page
- Table of Contents
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- Abstract xii
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Problem Definition
- 1.3 Objective of Study
- 1.4 Research Justification
- 1.5 Research Methodology
- 1.6 Scope and Limitation of Study
- 1.7 Definition of Terms
- 1.8 Chapter Layout
Literature Review and State-of-the-Art
- 2.1 Introduction
- 2.2 The internet
- 2.2.1 Rich internet applications
- 2.2.2. Adobe integrated Runtime
- 2.3 Mobile applications platforms today
- 2.3.1 The Mobile Web
- 2.3.2 Rich Mobile Applications
- 22.214.171.124 Symbian
- 126.96.36.199 Android
- 188.8.131.52 Apple Ios
- 2.4 Review of related Research
- 2.4.1 Proposed Contribution
- 3.1 Introduction
- 3.2 System Requirement Specifications
- 3.3 System Design
- 3.3.1 Logical Design
- 184.108.40.206 Input Design
- 220.127.116.11 Output Design
- 18.104.22.168 Menu Design
- 22.214.171.124 Use Cases
- 126.96.36.199 Activity Diagram
- 188.8.131.52 Class Diagram
- 3.3.2 Physical Design
- 184.108.40.206 Program Specifications
- 220.127.116.11 System Controls
- 18.104.22.168 Layout of files
- 22.214.171.124 Database Structure
- 4.1 Introduction
- 4.2 Features and Choice of Implementation Language
- 4.3 System Testing Strategies
- 4.3.1 Unit Test
- 4.3.2 Integration Test
- 4.3.3 Alpha Test
- 4.3.4 Beta Test
- 4.4 Target Computer System Requirements
- 4.5 Software Maintenance Issues
- 4.5.1 Corrective Maintenance
- 4.5.2 Preventive Maintenance
- 4.5.3 Adaptive Maintenance
Summary, Conclusions & Recommendations
- 5.1 Summary of the Study
- 5.2 Application of the software to the problem domain
- 5.3 Recommendations
- 5.4 Conclusions
- 5.5 future researches
- Appendix A: Detailed Program Code
- Appendix B: Program Screen Capture
List of Figures
- Figure 3.1: Student registration Screen.
- Figure 3.2: Student LOGIN Screen.
- Figure 3.3: View Results (Grades) Screen.
- Figure 3.4: View Results (GPA) Screen.
- Figure 3.5: Make compliant screen.
- Figure 3.6: Course Score Input Screen.
- Figure 3.7: View Student Complaints Screen.
- Figure 3.8: Use Case Model for the MyResults online results checker application system.
- Figure 3.9: Activity diagram for the MyResults examination results checker.
- Figure 3.10: Class Diagram illustrating the MyResults system.
- Figure 3.11: Section of the pseudo code underlying the MyResults application.
- Figure 3.12 Database structure.
- Figure B1: Student Login Screen.
- Figure B2: Student Registration Screen.
- Figure B3: Student Home Screen
- Figure B4: View Grades Screen
- Figure B5: View GPA Screen
- Figure B6: Log Complain Screen
- Figure B7: Admin Home Screen
- Figure B8: Record Score (Student Selection) Screen
- Figure B9: Record Score (Data Input) Screen
- Figure B10: View Student Complains Screen
- Figure B11: View Registered Students Screen
List of Tables
- Table 3.1: Help Ticket status description for the MyResults examination results information system.
- Table 3.2: Input functions identified within the proposed MyResults system.
- Table 3.3: Layout of students table.
- Table 3.4: Layout of student course table.
- Table 3.5: Layout of courses table.
- Table 3.6: Layout of school session table.
- Table 3.7: Layout of complaint table.
It seems quite a safe bet to assert that the Internet and mobile Communication have had a preponderant influence on the way the world relates today. On the other hand, education remains a sine qua non fact of life for the overwhelming majority of human society In Nigeria; the educational sector has experienced marked changes as a result of the introduction of internet-based services. In one case, results for the UTME (Universities Tertiary Matriculation Examination) are now processed and released within days of the examination being written, an ever-increasing number of universities are employing the Internet to deliver a widening range of information and support services, covering such areas as admissions, student registration, examination records, and distance learning. This work is an attempt at delivering an online system capable of delivering examination results on demand, using the University of Calabar as case study. This application will also provide capability to assist students, lecturers and administrative personnel interact in resolving any result-related complaints. This chapter introduces the work as an entity, discussing the issues which are fundamental to the work ab initio: a. The problem scenarios which, prima facie, lend necessity to the work; b. The modalities pertaining to the realization of the solution system; c. The content and extent to which the work will be carried out; d. Definitions of key terms relevant to the central theme of the work.
1.2 Problem Definition
The major problems regarding the delivery of examination information services in Nigerian universities include:
- Delays in the release of results;
- Errors inherent in handling and assessment of answer scripts;
- Delays in marking answer scripts; and
- Cumbersome response systems – where they exist – for handling result-related complaints.
1.3 Objective Of Study
From the foregoing, the objectives of the study become quite clear – as a result, the study aims to achieve the following: a. Conceptual design for a secure, accessible and user-friendly online examination results system for a university, using the University of Calabar, UNICAL, as case study; b. Development of such a system to demonstrate its functionality, using the XAMP (cross-browser Apache/MySQL/PHP) web server framework; c. Perform tests on the said system to assure functionality, accessibility and usability of the system.
1.4 Research Justification
Justification for engaging in this study can be drawn from the following reasons: a. The need to demonstrate the effectiveness of employing mobiledriven information systems as a viable complement to systems based on the regular Web, within the university information framework; and b. The need to achieve a greater degree of responsiveness among stakeholders in the results system – students, lecturers and system administrators – enabling them collaborate effectively to resolve result-related complaints.
1.5 Research Methodology
In order to realize the objectives of this study, it is pertinent that, as in all matters of substance, strategy be employed in achieving set goals. The methodology employed in the course of this study is outlined thus: a. Outline a set of requirements to be met by the system proposed; b. Conceive and implement the design of the said system as a webbased application, largely using UML, the Unified Modelling Language, along the lines of an object-oriented approach; c. Development of the solution system using Adobe Dreamweaver CS5, a RAD (Rapid Application Development) IDE for creating Websites and applications. d. Deployment of the solution system for testing: after the solution is developed, it will be uploaded onto a free web server for the purposes of demonstrating its functionality. e. Beta testing on the hosted solution to confirm its conformity to the system requirement specifications earlier outlined; f. Detailed reporting of the findings stated above, with deduced inferences, and noted grounds for future innovation.
1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study
In the course of realizing this project, I shall take into account the consideration that all development and analysis regarding the project will be centered on internet standards and technology. In full, the scope of the work is outlined thus:
- The solution, as conceived and developed in this study, will focus on examinations for undergraduate courses only;
- The questions delivered by the solution will be of two formats, viz, multiple-choice and subjective;
- As conceived, the solution shall comprise of the following modules:
- A result search application for students, based on the Internet, through which students and lecturers can search and view results, as well as interact regarding result-related complaints;
- A back-end application, to be used by lecturers and administrators, for the management of essential information for the system, such as course allocations, course student lists
- User authentication modules, which will employ unique modes of authentication to uniquely identify users, and maintain user state within the application.
In addition, a number of limitations exist which must be noted. These include:
- The proprietary nature of the school portal will make it rather difficult to access the data schema used by it; hence, the data schemas employed by the proposed system will for the most part be theoretical in nature. However, this can be surmounted with adequate cooperation from relevant agencies within the University Management;
- The time-critical nature of the study informs my use of prototype-based RAD to develop the proposed solution.
1.7 Definition of Terms
a. Beta testing:
Testing carried out on software independent of its manufacturer by external users.
b. Internet application:
A Web site with dynamic, i.e. data-source oriented user-specific, content, which usually requires some form of user authentication.
c. Mobile device:
Any device with the functionality for information management and transfer free from spatial and temporal constraints. Such devices include mobile phones, smart phones, PDAs (personal digital assistants), tablets and readers, among Others.
d. Mobile Web:
The Internet, as accessible to mobile devices and computer system
Rapid application development, a style of programming in which emphasis is placed on speed and delivery, usually employing extensive use of IDE (integrated development environment) capability.
Unified Modeling Language, the international standard for specifying, visualizing, constructing and documenting the artifacts of software systems.
g. User authentication:
The process within the context of an Internet application wherein eligible users are granted clearance to enter – and use – the application;
h. User state:
The full set of all user-specific program data within a program or Internet application.
i. online result system:
It is web based software, that can process course registration and output results to the user.
j. Web application:
See Internet application.
1.8 Chapter Layout
The work contains a total of five chapters: the first, titled “General Introduction”, true to form, expatiates on the introductory concepts underpinning this study. Chapter 2, “Literature Review and State of the Art”, offers an exposition into the research which has been carried out prior to the present time. Chapter 3, “System Design Methodology”, deals with the analysis workflow of the solution development process, while Chapter 4, “System Implementation”, focuses on the implementation workflow, discussing details of the implemented system, in relation to the processes employed in its realization. In conclusion, the final chapter, “Recommendations & Conclusion”, I reprise a brief synopsis of the work in its entirety as sequel to my inferences from the system implementation phase, in relation to those areas where innovations in this field can be made.
Summary, Recommendations and Conclusion
This project has simply been about designing an online result portal using the University of Calabar as a case study. The advantages of online result checking have been clearly stated which support the need for the MyResults web-based application.
In summary, the objective of the study was to demonstrate the viability of leveraging the strengths of online applications, such as portability, availability, affordability and mobility in the provision of real-time information, in this case students’ results information, to the stakeholders of the active system, i.e. students and the administrators. This simply means that students can check their results with minimum fuss, as they can access it with their computer systems.
5.2 Application of the Software to the Problem Domain
The utilization of the MyResult application can be shown in its usage and deployment.
The system has two users; the student and the admin user. The students register for their courses for a particular session and the admin uploads the scores so that the student can view his/her scores and grades.
This can be in terms of hosting and how a user can have access to the application.
Hosting it requires registration of domain name and uploading of the application to the web server.
For the user to gain access to the system either with a computer system, an HTML-compliance browser is required.
A number of possibilities exist for the future exploration and development of the results portal system. These include:
- Hosting the system on a virtual private network: The inherent advantage here is that the University can now isolate the system on a dedicated server which handles requests to the system separately from those going to the normal University website, optimizing its overall performance. In addition, the VPN ensures that the system is secure and accessible for its users on a 24-hour basis.
- Integration of SMS- and/or email-driven notification capability into the system, to enhance its overall interactivity with its user demographic.
As a result of this study, students and lecturers are presented with a system which would, if implemented, grant them ease in communications concerning results, with adequate capability for handling student complaints. Students can also take advantage of sitting in front of a desktop computer or laptop to access information related to their results.
5.5 Future Research
In additions to the recommendations in section 5.3, even more possibilities are there to explore. They are:
- Integration of SMS- and/or email-driven notification capability into the system, to enhance its overall interactivity with its user demographic.
- Currently the limitation in the system is that the courses and academic sessions are inbuilt, the system can be improved in future so that more courses and more sessions can be added dynamically by the administrator.
- Also for a more enhanced system the session can be divided into semesters, for example first and second semester.
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