The Impact Of Using Computer Application In Computing Students Result In Federal College Of Education Zaria

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The Impact Of Using Computer Application In Computing Students Result In Federal College Of Education Zaria


Abstract


The study was carried out to assess the impact of using computer application in computing students result in Federal College of Education Zaria, Kaduna State. In carrying out the research, five research questions and three null hypotheses were formulated for the study. The population for the study was 102 persons. This consists of staff at exams unit and records unit in the selected tertiary institution. The entire population was studied. Questionnaire was the instrument used for data collection. This consists of items developed from the reviewed literature and used to elicit responses from staff at registrarsā€™ department regarding the research questions. Copies of the questionnaire were distributed personally by the researcher. 98% of the questionnaire was returned. Data collected were analyzed using mean while t-test for independent sample was used to test the three null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significant. After carrying out necessary analysis, it was revealed that computer is utilized but not to a very large extent in mathematical computation of student results, and securing studentsā€™ academic records, also it was revealed that certain constraints hinder the utilization of computer in computing studentsā€™ result in the two selected tertiary institutions in Enugu state. It was recommended that a network based management information system should be provided in tertiary institutions to enable lecturersā€™ forward studentsā€™ results directly to student data base.


Table of Content


Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Question
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisation of the Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Utilization of Computer for Capturing Studentsā€™ Results in Tertiary Institutions
  • 2.3 Utilization of Computers for Storing or Documenting Studentsā€™ Results in Tertiary Institutions
  • 2.4 Utilization of Computers for Securing Studentsā€™ Academic Records In Tertiary Institutions
  • 2.5 Constraints to The Utilization of Computers in Computing Studentsā€™ Results in Tertiary Institutions
  • 2.6 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.6.1 The Automata Theory
  • 2.6.2 Computability Theory
  • 2.6.3 Computational Complexity Theory

Chapter Three

3.0 Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Research Setting
  • 3.3 Target Population
  • 3.4 Sample and Sampling Technique
  • 3.5 Instruments for Data Collection
  • 3.6 Validation of the Instrument
  • 3.7 Reliability of the Instrument
  • 3.8 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.9 Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Result
  • 4.2 Discussion of Findings

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The advent of technology has changed work processes and organization in offices. The introduction and use of computer in offices has made office work easy. The computation of studentsā€˜ results that was manually done can now be easily calculated electronically with the computer.

A computer is a machine that reads, stores, manipulates, perform calculation and displays data. Computer as a mathematical tool is a programmed electronic device for storage and retrieval of data (whatis.com, 2010). A computer is a machine that had been designed to carry out numerical and mathematical operations at much greater speed (Ezinwa, 2005). The most common examples are the various personal computers. Other examples include: mobile phones, mp3 players, or video game consoles. Computers can be used in computing studentsā€˜ results using various computersā€˜ software tools.

A tool is a device that can be used to produce an item or achieve a task, but that is not consumed in the process (Urban Word 2005). Informally, the word tool is also used to describe a procedure or process with a specific purpose. Tools in (arcGIS.com, 2009) are items that perform a function such as locating streets and addresses, geo-processing, finding a place, routing, or accessing geo-database. When a tool is used inside a client application, such as arc-GIS Explorer Desktop, it is called a task. In this study, tool is taking to be that which computes, organizes and manages information in a way it can be retrieved easily when needed. A general purpose computer can serve as a tool that can capture, compute, store or document and secure studentsā€˜ academic records. It therefore reduces most of the problems such as delay, missing results and files facing students and the personnel in Exams and Records during the processing of studentā€˜s academic transcripts in tertiary institutions. General purpose computer will enable the personnel at registrars to organize, store and retrieve studentā€˜s record in much more easier way. Instead of gathering studentsā€˜ result manually through human efforts, capturing student results electronically using computer can help to minimize the problems of missing results and manipulation of grades during computation.

Computing is the study of how the computer and computer system work and how the computer system is constructed and programmed. It is the activity of using and improving computer hardware and software (Eze & Mutelo, 2001). Computer makes computation and retrieval of student results easy. Computation means the use of computer technology in information processing (Micheal, 2006). Computing as stated in (computing curricula, 2005) is any type of calculation following a well defined model, understood and expressed in an algorithm, protocol, and network topology. It is a major subject matter of computer science that investigates what can or cannot be done in a computational manner. As a matter of fact, the use of computer in computing and keeping studentsā€˜ academic records has become very important and needed in our tertiary institutions for easy retrieval and processing of studentsā€˜ results. The transferring of studentsā€˜ academic record from manual files to computer files will reduce the pains most Nigerian graduates of tertiary institutions undergo in their bid to obtain their transcript from their Alma matters. Students are in pain when their results or their academic files are missing, they are in pain when they are unable to obtain their transcript to support their application on time. The use of computer in computing student results will reduce the pain because of the fact that computers operate at a high speed and also have a kind of memory where data can be stored permanently and can be retrieved any time it is needed. Using computers in computing studentsā€˜ results or transcripts take little time, thereby saving us the stress associated with the above mentioned pains our students pass through.

A student is a man or a woman who is under the control of those that has more experience in his or her area of interest. A student according to (Lawal, 1997) is an individual who is registered for a university credit course or program. Studentsā€˜ academic record also known as education record contains information directly related to a student, which means that the student is personally identifiable. Student education records may be presented by the student, submitted on behalf of the student, or created by the university. Such records require proper documentation for easy retrieval when needed (Bearman, 1993). Record as stated by Rosen and Well (1995) is any document or other source of information compiled, kept in written form or by electronic process, or in any other manner or by any means. Records according to Emerson (1997) are those documents in whatever medium, received or created by an organization in the course of business because of the importance of the therein information. Record gives details about the students and entire staff in the schools (Reed, 2005). Record keeping is about the management of records from creation to either destruction or preservation (Emerson, 1997). Record keeping in educational setting is the art of keeping school records which by educational law must be kept by every educational institution at all levels, for the effective and smooth running of school administration. Using computer as a tool for computing studentsā€˜ results in tertiary institutions will create room for keeping studentsā€˜ academic records electronically through computer for accurate documentation and easy retrieval. This will also fasten processing of studentsā€˜ transcripts on request.

Transcript is an official copy of studentā€˜s academic record, showing courses taken and grades obtained. A transcript of academic records as stated by Alison, (2011) is a certified statement detailing studentā€˜s complete records at the university. It includes details of all program/courses in which the student has had an affective enrolment and the marks /grades obtained. Transcript also lists university prizes and conferring details where applicable (Alinson, 2011). Electronic processed transcript addresses the problem of excessive paper work, delay in transcript issuance, lack of easy access to studentsā€˜ record and data security. Computing student results using computer can reduce stress and delay most students experience after graduation. Computer can be 100 million times faster than the use of pencil and paper (Nigerian computer users dictionary, 1995). It can store large volumes of data for future use or reference. The use of computer to compute and keep studentsā€˜ records will enable administrative staff in tertiary institutions to provide studentsā€˜ academic records/transcript within 7-10 days of request. Since it possible that more than one hundred students can request for their transcripts at the same time from their alma mater due to large number of students population, the use of pencil and paper may not be the best option.

Studentsā€˜ population in tertiary institutions in the past decade was seemingly small and manageable. The manual computation of studentsā€˜ result and documentation of studentsā€˜ academic records was then easier because of the small number of students available. Little or no problem was encountered then in the calculation of studentsā€˜ results and processing of their academic transcript. The calculated results were easily recorded, managed and stored manually without much mistakes and difficulty. In recent years, individualsā€˜ interest in education began to increase, to the extent that there is increase in enrolment of students in tertiary institutions. The yearly increase in the population of students and the manual method of computation of studentsā€˜ results became problematic in tertiary institutions.

It has become uncommon in many tertiary institutions as stated by Samuel and Ede (2005) that, studentsā€˜ academic files are tucked away in filing cabinets where they accumulate dust while some of the files are eaten up by rodents and cockroaches thereby rendering information irretrievable. This is as a result of inadequate utilization of computer to compute store and secure studentsā€˜ academic record. It is important to note that studentsā€˜ result or transcript cannot be computed without consulting the studentā€˜s file. This issue of files being eaten up by cockroaches is hardly experienced in tertiary institutions where student results are captured electronically with computer.

Capturing of student result is a way of bringing together student results from different lecturers and departments to the unit where they will be computed, recorded and stored. Capture is the process or means of obtaining and storing external data particularly images or sounds for use at a later time (whatIs.com, 2012). There are various ways in which this can be done; the best method depends on the application. An electronic data capture (EDC) system is a computerized system designed for collating data electronically. EDC helps to reduce occurrence of mistakes due to human errors or data copying issues, and makes the data readily available (Gabriel, 2011). Data capturing is the process of collecting, organizing and accessing data with the help of computer sensors. The computer as an electronic and computational machine can do mathematical calculation perfectly; therefore, can be an aid in computing studentsā€˜ result in tertiary institutions.

Mathematical computation refers to the action of calculating values entered in a computer. It involves mathematical research in areas of science where computing plays a central and essential role, emphasizing algorithms, numerical methods, and symbolic methods. Computational mathematics emerged as a distinct part of applied mathematics by the early 1950ā€˜s. Currently, computational mathematics can refer to or include: computational science, also known as scientific computation or computational engineering, solving mathematical problems by computer simulation as opposed to analytic method of applied mathematics, numerical methods used in scientific computation, for example numerical linear algebra and numerical solution of partial differential equation, symbolic computation and computer algebra system, computational number theory, among others (World Journal of Education, 2010). One good thing about computer is that it has a way of keeping any document stored in it for a very long time. Student result computed in computer should be safeguarded properly in computer storage devices for future use.

In a computer, storage is the device where data is held in an electromagnetic form for access by a computer processor. There are two general usages, firstly, Storage is frequently used to mean the devices and data connected to the computer through input/output operation- that is , hard disk and tape systems and other forms of storage that donā€˜t include computer memory and other in-computer storage. Secondly, in more formal usage, storage has been divided into: primary storage, which holds data in memory (sometimes called random access memory or RAM) and other built-in devices such as the processorā€˜s L1 cache; and Secondary storage which holds data on hard disks, tapes and other devices requiring input/output operations. Student results stored in both primary and secondary storage need to be properly secured by adopting good data security measures which increase the durability of any data stored in computer.

Data security according to (Carrie, 2009) is a means of ensuring that data is protected from corruption and that access to it is appropriately controlled. It means protecting a database from destructive forces and the unwanted actions of unauthorized users. Thus data security helps to ensure privacy. It helps in protecting studentsā€˜ data from corruption and unauthorized access. Data security can be ensured through encryption, user authentication, and backup solutions. Student result stored in computer can be positioned in a way that only authorized person(s) can access it.

Unavailability of computers and lack of computer skills among staff in charge of studentsā€˜ results stand out as part of the major constraints hindering the proper utilization of computer in computing studentsā€˜ results in tertiary institutions. To establish and achieve an easy and error free computation of studentsā€˜ result in tertiary institutions, there is need for proper utilization of computer in capturing, mathematical computation, storing, and securing studentsā€˜ results in tertiary institutions in Enugu state.

The opinions of the programmer, computer operators and administrative officers will be required to enable us determine the extent computer has been utilized in computing student results in tertiary institutions.
A programmer is someone who creates computer software; the term may also refer to software engineer. Computer programmer or coder is a person who writes computer software. The term computer programmer according to (Wole and Rosemary, 2007) refers to a specialist in one area of computer programming. A computer operator is one who oversees the running of computer systems, ensuring that the machines are running, physically secured and free of any bugs. Administrative officer is a high level executive/administrator involved in planning, organizing and implementing a program or function with agency-wide or statewide impact. Their work also involves freeing the superior to focus on critical demands by performing a variety of administrative support functions under minimal direction (Wole, and Rosemary, 2007).

This study will be anchored on three theories. They are: Automata theory, computability theory and computational complexity theory. Automata theory show how computational problems can be solved using abstract mathematical machines or systems. The computational theory deals primarily with the question of the extent to which a problem can be solved in a computer. The computational complexity theory considers not only whether a problem can be solved at all but also how efficiently the problem can be solved

Most Nigerian university student experiences missing files, missing results, delay in publication of their results, delay in processing their transcripts, manipulation of grades, among others. This study is being carried out to elicit solution to the above stated problems which students are facing in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.


1.2 Statement of Problem

It has been observed that many a time academic records of students are declared missing from a universityā€˜s data system. Most times the tertiary institutions do not have back-ups for the missing results. It is worrisome that universities that ought to be in the forefront of innovation are the ones that would be dragging their students backward through poor record keeping and retrieval of studentsā€™ results.

Many prospective graduate students have lost admission opportunities within and outside Nigeria as a result of their inability to obtain their transcripts to support their application on time (Laudan, 2010). Nigerian university graduates and graduates of tertiary institutions generally go through so much pain in their bid to obtain their transcript from their alma maters. Since transcripts are official records of studentā€˜s work, showing the courses taken and grades obtained, it is hard to understand why the universities have problem responding to their former studentsā€™ request for this all- important document. This trend has certainly become not only worrisome but indeed scandalous.

Most Nigerian University graduates spend extra years after graduation going round from one lecturer to another looking for their results that were declared missing or incomplete. The worst of it all is that some lecturers find it difficult to retrieve results they have already published (Ask me.com, 2010). What this says about our tertiary institutions is that their record keeping is rather chaotic, if not altogether lousy.

Some non-academic university staff such as the secretaries and typists participates in academic frauds (Spehe, 2000). Most of them that have access to final copies of studentsā€™ results in their department engage themselves in manipulation of studentsā€™ examination grades. This is why there should be a network based management information system in tertiary institutions since it work with computer, so that lecturers can forward studentsā€˜ result direct to studentā€˜s database right there in their offices without the intervention of the third person (laudan, 2010). The use of computer in computing and keeping student results in tertiary institutions will also enable lecturers who have the original copies of all the student results to verify its authenticity before issuance. It will also automate the process of computing studentsā€™ results and processing their transcripts, so that students can obtain their transcript within few days of request.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to assessthe impact of using computer application in computing students result in Federal College of Education Zaria, Kaduna State.

The specific objectives are as follows;

  1. To determine the extent to which computer is utilized in capturing (gathering) studentsā€™ results in Federal College of Education Zaria.
  2. To determine the extent to which computer is utilized in mathematical computation of student results in Federal College of Education Zaria.
  3. To determine the extent to which computer is utilized in storing or documenting studentsā€™ academic record in Federal College of Education Zaria.
  4. To determine the extent to which computer is utilized in securing academic records of students in Federal College of Education Zaria.
  5. To identify the constraints in the utilization of computers in computing studentsā€™ results in Federal College of Education Zaria.

1.4 Research Questions

The research questions are formulated based on the objectives and statement of problem to include;

  1. What is the extent to which computer is utilized in capturing (gathering) studentsā€™ results in Federal College of Education Zaria?
  2. What is the extent to which computer is utilized in mathematical computation of student results in Federal College of Education Zaria?
  3. What is the extent to which computer is utilized in storing or documenting studentsā€™ academic record in Federal College of Education Zaria?
  4. What is the extent to which computer is utilized in securing academic records of students in Federal College of Education Zaria?
  5. What are the constraints in the utilization of computers in computing studentsā€™ results in Federal College of Education Zaria?

1.5 Hypothesis

The study attempted to test the following hypothesis:

  • HO1: There is no significant difference between the Mean responses of computer operators and programmers on utilization of computer in mathematical computation of studentsā€™ results in Federal College of Education Zaria.
  • HO2: There is no significant difference between the Mean responses of computer operators and senior Executive officers on constraints to the utilization of computers in computing studentsā€™ results in Federal College of Education Zaria.
  • HO3: There is no significant difference between the Mean responses of computer operators and programmers on utilization of computer in securing studentsā€™ academic records in Federal College of Education Zaria.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study will be of benefit to the personnel in Exams and Records, lecturers, departmental exam officers, and graduates of tertiary institutions in Enugu State. Departmental exam officers will benefit from the findings of this study under purpose one by verifying the authenticity of any studentā€˜s results from his or her department before issuance. It will also benefit the graduates of tertiary institutions by bringing to the minimal the issue of manipulation of their examination grades by fraudulent non-academic staff in the various departments in their institutions. They will also benefit by obtaining their transcript from their alma mater after seven days of request.

The findings under purpose two will be of benefit to staff in Exams and Records units by speeding up calculation of grade point average of students in their institutions. It will enable them process studentsā€™ transcripts after seven days of request and also secure studentsā€™ academic records properly.

Lecturers will benefit from the findings of this study under purpose four by giving accurate and up-to-date account of her studentsā€™ results, and releasing students result without much delay since computer can do the work faster and accurately.


1.7 Scope of Study

The focus of this study is to assess the impact of using computer application in computing students result in Federal College of Education Zaria, Kaduna State. Federal College of Education Zaria was used as the study area, and staff and students as the respondents for data collection and analysis.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

In the course of this study, the researcher encountered some limitations. There was unwillingness of respondents to fill the questionnaires. Some of the copies questionnaires were also reported missing and it was severally replaced and this affected the researcher negatively finance wise. Also, the researcher faced time constraints and had to combine the research with other academic activities and coursework. Lastly, the researcher made use of Federal College of Education Zaria since all the tertiary institutions could not be exhausted.


1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

Computer:

an electronic device for storing and processing data, typically in binary form, according to instructions given to it in a variable program.

Computer Application:

The Computer Applications program is designed to provide the skills needed in the use of application software on a computer. Applications covered include word processing, spreadsheets, databases, desktop publishing, the Internet, and the Windows operating systems.

Computing:

Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both hardware and software. It has scientific, engineering, mathematical, technological and social aspects. In this study, it focuses on the computation of results.


1.10 Organisation of the Study

This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one included the background of the study, research problem, research objectives and questions as well as limitation of the study. Chapter two contains the literature review. Chapter three includes the methodology. Chapter Four contains the results and discussion of key findings of the study. Chapter Five finally looks at the summary, conclusions, and recommendations based on the findings.


Chapter Five


5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary of the Study

The primary objective of the study was to assess the impact of using computer application in computing students result in Federal College of Education Zaria, Kaduna State. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The respondents agreed that computer is utilized not to a very large extent in capturing studentsā€˜ results on 8 items. They include: from studentsā€˜ database, from school management information system (MIS) website, from the department, from the departmental exam officers, from Exam unit, from National University Commission Database (NUCDB), from lecturers, and from faculties.

The respondents agreed that computer is utilized to a very little extent in mathematical computation of studentsā€˜ results in tertiary institutions in Enugu state on 6 items and not utilized at all in one item. The 6 items are as follows: use of computer to enter grade into grade sheet, to calculate grade point average, to calculate sum of grades, calculate grade percentages, grade average, and to select formulas, while the one item is use of computer to assign grade letters.

The respondents agreed that computer is utilized to a little extent in 3 items, very little extent in another 3 items, and not at all in the remaining 4 items on utilization of computers in storing studentsā€˜ academic records in tertiary institutions in Enugu state. The 3 items utilized to a little extent include: use of flash memory, use of floppy disk, and use of magnetic tape. The other 3 items utilized to a very little extent include: use of CD-ROM, use of hard disk, and use of optical storage medium. Then, the remaining 4 items that are not utilized at all include: use of punched card, use of paper tape, use of zip drives, and use of tape cartridge.

The respondents agreed that computer is utilized to a large extent in securing students results on 3 items, little extent on 2 items, very little extent on another 3 items, and not at all in one item. The three items utilized to a large extent include: use of password, use of an up-to-date antivirus, and use of encryption program. The two Items utilized to a little extent include: authentication of users, and use of security men. The other three items utilized to a very little extent include: use of firewall program to guard against alteration, use of codes, and use of online database. The one item not at all utilized is use of user identification number.

The respondents agreed that 3 items hinder to a large extent the utilization of computer in computing studentsā€˜ results in Enugu state. They include: inadequate supply of electricity, lack of computer network, and poor data security measures. Also 4 items hinder to a little extent, and 3 items to a very little extent. They are as follows: lack of computers, lack of computer skills among staff, fraudulent activities of staff, and poor computer maintenance, and lack of network based management information system, inadequate knowledge of mathematics, and over-familiarity of the use of calculator, respectively.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on the findings of the study, the following conclusions were made:

Computers are new in education sector, how to use computer in computing studentsā€™ results and keeping their academic records should be taught to staff in charge of studentsā€™ results. This will enable them carry out their work properly in computer. Lecturers should be allowed to have access to management information system (MIS) website to enable them verify the authenticity and accuracy of studentsā€™ or transcript before issuance. This will avoid manipulation and forgery of results in tertiary institutions.

Electronic documentation of studentsā€™ results will minimize the delay in processing academic transcript of studentsā€˜. This will enable graduates obtain their transcript within few days of request, thereby reducing loss of admission opportunities by Nigerian university graduates within and outside the country.


5.3 Recommendations

The following recommendations were made based on the findings of the study;

  1. Studentsā€™ results in tertiary institutions should be forwarded to studentsā€™ database by the lecturers directly.
  2. There should be a provision of computers and computer network by state or federal government in tertiary institutions to aid capturing and management of students results electronically.
  3. Staff at Examination and Records of Registrarā€˜s office should be encouraged by the Registrar in charge to expand their knowledge on the use of computer in doing their work.

The Impact Of Using Computer Application In Computing Students Result In Federal College Of Education Zaria


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The Impact Of Using Computer Application In Computing Students Result In Federal College Of Education Zaria

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