DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE RESULT CHECKER


DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE RESULT CHECKER

                                                              ABSTRACT:         

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                                            i

 Certification                                            ii

 Dedication                                            iii

 Acknowledgements                                        iv

 Table of Contents                                        v

List of Figures                                        x

List of Tables                                        xi

Abstract                                            xii                                       

Chapter 1: General Introduction                            1

1.1    Introduction                                        1

1.2    Problem Definition                                    2

1.3    Objective of Study                                    3

1.4    Research Justification                                3

1.5    Research Methodology                                4

1.6    Scope and Limitation of Study                            5

1.7    Definition of Terms                                    6

1.8    Chapter Layout                                    8

Chapter 2: Literature Review and State-of-the-Art                    9

2.1    Introduction                                        9

2.2    The internet                                         10

2.2.1    Rich internet applications                                10

2.2.2.   Adobe integrated Runtime                                12

2.3       Mobile applications platforms today                        12

2.3.1    The Mobile Web                                    13

2.3.2    Rich Mobile Applications                                14

2.3.2.1 Symbian                                        15

2.3.2.2 Android                                        15

2.3.2.3 Apple Ios                                        16

2.4    Review of related Research                                18

2.4.1    Proposed Contribution                                20                                       

Chapter 3: System Design                             22

3.1    Introduction                                        22

3.2    System Requirement Specifications                        23

3.3    System Design                                    25

3.3.1    Logical Design                                    26

3.3.1.1    Input Design                                        28

3.3.1.2    Output Design                                    28

3.3.1.3    Menu Design                                        33

3.3.1.4    Use Cases                                        35

3.3.1.5    Activity Diagram                                    37

3.3.1.6    Class Diagram                                    39

3.3.2    Physical Design                                    41

3.3.2.1    Program Specifications                                45

3.3.2.3    System Controls                                    45

3.3.2.3 Layout of files                                    46

3.3.2.4    Database Structure                                    51                                           

Chapter 4: System Implementation                            52

4.1    Introduction                                        52

4.2    Features and Choice of Implementation Language                52

4.3    System Testing Strategies                                54

4.3.1    Unit Test                                        54

4.3.2    Integration Test                                    57

4.3.3    Alpha Test                                        58

4.3.4    Beta Test                                        58

4.4    Target Computer System Requirements                        59

4.5    Software Maintenance Issues                            61

4.5.1    Corrective Maintenance                                61

4.5.2    Preventive Maintenance                                62

4.5.3    Adaptive Maintenance                                63

Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions & Recommendations                64

5.1    Summary of the Study                                64

5.2       Application of the software to the problem domain                64

5.3    Recommendations                                    65

5.4    Conclusions                                        67

5.5    future researches                                    67

References                                            68

Appendix A: Detailed Program Code                            68

Appendix B: Program Screen Capture                            127

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 3.1: Student registration Screen.                            29

Figure 3.2: Student LOGIN Screen.                            29

Figure 3.3: View Results (Grades) Screen.                        30

Figure 3.4: View Results (GPA) Screen.                            30

Figure 3.5: Make compliant screen.                            31

Figure 3.6: Course Score Input Screen.                            32

Figure 3.7: View Student Complaints Screen.                        33

Figure 3.8: Use Case Model for the MyResults online results checker application system. 36

Figure 3.9: Activity diagram for the MyResults examination results checker.                                                        38

Figure 3.10: Class Diagram illustrating the MyResults system.            40

Figure 3.11:Section of the pseudo code underlying the MyResults application.    45

Figure 3.12 Database structure.                                51

Figure B1: Student Login Screen.                            127

Figure B2: Student Registration Screen.                        128

Figure B3: Student Home Screen                            128

Figure B4: View Grades Screen                            129

Figure B5: View GPA Screen                            129

Figure B6: Log Complain Screen                            130

Figure B7: Admin Home Screen                             130

Figure B8: Record Score (Student Selection) Screen                131

Figure B9: Record Score (Data Input) Screen                    131

Figure B10: View Student Complains Screen                    132

Figure B11: View Registered Students Screen                    132

LIST OF TABLES

Table 3.1:Help Ticket status description for the MyResults examination results information system.                                       25   

Table 3.2: Input functions identified within the proposed MyResults system.    28

Table 3.3:  Layout of students table.                            47

Table 3.4 Layout of student course table.                            48

Table 3.5Layout of courses table.                                49

Table 3.6Layout of school session table.                            50

Table 3.7Layout of complaint table.                            50

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1 Introduction

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:

a. Delays in the release of results;

b. Errors inherent in handling and assessment of answer scripts;

c. Delays in marking answer scripts; and

d. 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 becentered on internet standards and technology.

In full, the scope of the work is outlined thus:

a. The solution, as conceived and developed in this study, will focus on examinations for undergraduate courses only;

b. The questions delivered by the solution will be of two formats, viz, multiple-choice and subjective;

c. As conceived, the solution shall comprise of the following modules:

 i. 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;

ii. 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

iii. 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:

a. 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;

b. 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

e. RAD: 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.

f. UML: 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 tothe 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 tothose areas where innovations in this field can be made.

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DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE RESULT CHECKER



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