Development Of An Attendance System In Schools Computer Science Essay

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The aim of this project is to provide primary school with an automated system to record daily attendance easily and quickly. Primary school are still using register (hardcopy) to record attendance and punctuality of the pupils twice a day, morning and afternoon. Now and then teachers have to pick up the register from the administrative office in order to record the attendance. After it is being done, they have to return them to the office where the school Attendance Officer re-record them on the system.

This project is concerned with the design and implementation of a system that will enable the teachers to record attendance easily and accurately. This will allow the teachers to do it faster and reduce the time consumed in moving up and down to the office. The new system will allow them to work efficiently and effectively.

1. Background, Sponsor and Problem

The aim for developing this system is to enable teachers to record daily attendance in school easily and accurately. It will also help the staffs running the attendance system smoothly and safely thus, this will improve efficiency; reduce cost and paper work load. The school is actually using manual system and the conventional filing system which can be complex as the processes involved filing the attendance sheet, known as OMR sheet twice a day, then it is sent to the attendance officer who scan it in order to record on the computer using a system called SMS.net. Thus, the former system is extremely consuming time, wasting resources, very high in cost and information is not safe and secure.

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This particular project focuses to the above problem and come to a solution of developing a new system that will be database based. Teachers will be able to record attendance professionally and successfully. This will help the school to produce full results for any absentees and lateness, full information on any pupil, chart of progress in lateness and absentees, compare performance in different levels of classes and print automatic report for teachers and other staff. The new system will help to amend and update the attendance system instantly.

This project is concerned with the design and implementation of an attendance system that will enable the school to work effectively, economically and efficiently. Eventually, this database will help the teachers to use less time in taking attendance and focus more in teaching. It is hoped that this proposed system will create significant changes in the process of enabling quick access and easily editing.

2. Practical Outcomes for client

The aim of this project is to design a functional platform to allow teachers and authorised staff to access the school attendance system at any time effortlessly and perfectly. This will be a database system which will be user friendly to store pupil's details where staff can interact straightforwardly by entering data, editing record, updating and retrieving pupil's file. Hence, this automated system will reduce the work load, loose paperwork, quicker daily access and good time management, as the system will create reports and lists of necessary information. It will speed up the time it takes to register the attendance and remove errors. It will also keep past records of pupils and attendances. It will improve the school by allowing information to be readily available. Resources and time will be allocated efficiently and effectively. Teacher will have more time to focus with the teaching process and the Attendance Officer will reduce the amount of scanning the OMR sheet daily. Hopefully this system will deliver the outcome that is required by the staffs.

3. Focus of the Investigation and Proposed Methodology

The purpose of the research is to have a good knowledge of database systems, the way it functions and the technologies involve. These will be fulfilled by visiting the local libraries, surfing the net, reading the computer journals and observing the existing database system. Some of the books that are recommended by my supervisor and tutors will also in use.

3.1 Business Case

At this stage of the process, information will be gathered by visiting few local primary schools. Survey will also be conducted at the school to investigate the current attendance system and to find out the requirements needed to design the new system. Interviews with the staffs will be designed to investigate the problem. The purpose is to establish how the current system functions and to analyse the existing documents, for example pupil record and attendance record. The most important one is to establish the end-user requirements. Staffs to be interviewed are teachers and Attendance Officer.

3.2 Reviewed Literature

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The database is an electronic filing system in which a collection of information is stored and organised in such a way that a computer program can quickly select desired pieces of data from it. [1] A database is a collection of information that is related to a particular subject or purpose, such as tracking the pupil's attendance or maintaining the register. For example, suppose the phone numbers of the pupils are stored in various locations such as in a file cabinet or in a spreadsheet containing the attendance information. If a pupil's phone number changes, the school will have to update that information in all two places. But in well-designed access database, the phone number is stored just once; therefore the school administrator only has to update that information in one place. As a result, when one updates the pupil's phone number; it is automatically updated wherever one uses it in the database. Hence, this example illustrates clearly the way the proposed system will work with the chosen software mentioned above. In this project, Microsoft Access 2007 will be employed in the research and development of the system.

3.3 The User Interface

The staff will be provided to have a user friendly, simple and easy to use interface. Therefore, a clear and trouble free interface will be designed using Visual Basic (VB) 2008 since this is the latest version and easy to apply the coding.

3.4 The development methodology

A methodological approach is preferred to the development of this system in order to tackle risks and errors. This is actually followed to save time, cost and produce a feasible and profitable system. The system development model uses to develop the attendance system will be the Spiral Model as a result of involving more users' iteration.

4. Aims and objectives

The scope of this project is to design a functional platform to allow teachers and other staff to have access to the attendance record easily. The system is a database that will allow the user to run, record, enter, edit, access and update attendances record successfully. In order to achieve the scope of the project as mentioned above, the project is broken down into the following objectives:-

1. To gather information and conduct a survey at the school

Activities:

Visiting the school and investigate the current attendance function.

Checking the existing system and get to know how it works.

Finding out the requirements needed to design the new system.

Deliverable:

Report explaining how the actual system is working and followed by a Data Flow Diagram.

Who will use them and why:

This report will give me a clear picture of the actual system and will convince me to find out more information that is required for the new system.

2. To do requirement specification of the attendance system.

Activity:

Produce a requirement specification so that the system can be developed.

Deliverable:

The requirement specification of the system and the improved system.

Who will use them and why:

The teachers and the Attendance Officer can go through the specification and confirm on the system requirement.

They can also amend it if necessary.

We can discuss the changes required to be made and integrate into the new system.

The system will be designed after the requirement has been fully satisfied by the teachers.

3. To develop the proposed system and design it as required.

Activities:

Choose the most appropriate approach for designing the system.

Designing a prototype.

Testing using dummy data.

Deliverable:

A prototype of the proposed system, data model and testing results.

Who will use them and why:

Prototype in order to enhance feedback and hence the system can be improved accordingly.

4. To design and implement the new system.

Activities:

Choose the most suitable approach for implementation.

Implement the system.

Provide training for staff if necessary.

Deliverable:

The functioning attendance system.

Who will use them and why:

Thorough checks can be made to find out whether the new system meets its requirement.

5. To produce documentation for the system.

Activity:

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To produce a manual with all the documentation on how the system works effectively.

Deliverable:

A user manual for the staff and the teachers.

Who will use them and why:

In case of difficulties, they can refer and seek assistance to the manual on how the system functions.

6. To perform Testing and Maintenance.

Activity:

To keep in contact for future references and to seek help and get feedback on whether the system is performing as requested.

Deliverable:

To provide help when necessary.

Who will use them and why:

To make sure that the teachers are fully satisfied with the new working system.

4. Scientific Outcomes

Outcomes for the project sponsor:

An effective attendance system

An accessible database

Staff will get state of art technology that will provide them on attendance record and reduce work load and working more efficient

A User Manual and a documented report

Research Project outcomes:

Choose a solution

Identify tools

Implementation process decision

A report for research

5. Proposed Evaluation

Comparative studies will be used to carry out evaluation of different research reports. This process compared the differences and similarities of the research. A more in-depth knowledge of the research process will be obtained and hence the difference will be examined thoroughly. Interviews and questionnaire will be carried out. Furthermore, as it is mentioned above that other schools will be visited to analyse their attendance system. Then, the most appropriate one will be selected to design the proposed attendance system.