DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE PORTAL REGISTRATION: A CASE STUDY OF NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA, DAMATURU STUDY CENTRE.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The term portal is known as links page which presents information from diverse sources in a unified way. It may contain services that provide standard search engine feature, e-mail, news, information, databases and entertainment. Portals provide a way for enterprises to provide a consistent look and feel with access control and procedures for multiple applications and databases, which otherwise would have been different entities altogether.
Electronic registration or e-registration, web based registration or even online registration is a secure website that students enter to indicate that they will attend classes in the upcoming (fall or sprint) rain or harmattan semester (Strauss, 2000). Students can access the e-registration site from anywhere with an internet connection. Mostly these sites are portals. Pena-Lopez (2007) describes a web portal as a site that functions as a point of access to information on the World Wide Web and portals present information from diverse sources. The Google directory describes the term portal as where users control the content. There are several terms in library and information science and indeed IT that have their origins borrowed from other disciplines and a portal is one of such (Brakel, 2003). It must be borne in mind that the Web, a resource of the Internet, and a tool to browse the Internet is the first ever innovation that allows anyone to publish to a vast number of users via the Internet. The portal in this context, is more than a gateway, it is a hub from which users can locate all the Web content commonly needed (Nielsen, 1999). The portal is a platform for organizations – universities, colleges, companies to leverage and for efficient communication and other in-house operations. Put more simply a portal collates ― a variety of useful information into a single, one-stop` web-page, helping the user to avoid being overwhelmed by infoglut` or feeling lost on the web‖ (Looney and Lyman 2000 33). However, the Internet (Internet gateways or libraries) are not focused on internal enterprise functions. Reasons why organizations have a portal according to (source) include: Information customization: Information personalization: Efficiency in accessing information (work flow): Link integrity software issues that link work: Enhancements and features such as calendars, to do lists, schedules, hours of operation, discussion groups and chat, announcements and alerts, job openings, career opportunities, reports and documents, search, emails, course schedules, grades, CPGAs (Cumulative Point Grade Average), transcripts, campus and world news, links to reference materials, bookmarks, etc. (Brakel, 2003). The roles that a portal supports includes those of students, faculty, staff, managers, workers, provosts, academic departments, IT facilities, scholars, researchers, prospective students, alumni, visitors, friends and vendors. (Katz, 2002).
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The purpose of this study is to develop a web based Online Registration Portal that as a solution to the problems of the students registration currently in the institution. The purpose of this study is aimed to solve the following problems:
- The registration problem due to some manual means of operations which easily lead to misplacement or loss of student information.
- The manual pre-assessment of student registration system is very slow and consumes a lot of time which causes the delay in completing the entire enrolment process.
- Consume time and human effort due to long queue in the process of paying money in the bank and registration processes.
- Due to manual means of generating report, such report can easily be misplaced or loss. The outcomes from this study will assist the university to know whether or not the problems of manual handling of students` registration and mismanagement records have been overcome. The level of acceptance and use of e-registration by the students of the university that will be unraveled in this study will provide a framework for the improvement of e-registration at the university from which other universities in the country can copy to improve their own e-registration exercise.
AIM AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to prefer solution to the above stated problems being faced and to develop a web based online registration portal for National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Damaturu Study Centre using Adobe Dream weaver PHP to develop each web page and MYSQL as the database for storage of information on the website. The objectives are as below:
- To have an effective way of providing courses information and exam information or notification anywhere and anytime to the students about rapid changes of schedule.
- To improve the privacy, user-friendliness and to enable convenient access to the different kinds of information and services mounted on the web by users, it would be desirable to set up a portal for channeling the vast information resources to the different users in an efficient and effective manner.
- To create an online Course Portal which provides a pre-assessment module that allow courses verification to the students when login on the website. In addition, the course portal can also automatically evaluate and showcase the report of courses of the students.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1. To the Students,
Through this system, the students will be able to use the Online Registration Portal effective for their online registration process especially for registering their personal information, courses registration and exam registration. Example: It will also promote students easy access to information resources, materials etc.
2. To the Faculty Members,
Through this system, the faculty members can provide all the necessary information and resource material to their students and also be able to get the student information from the website.
3. To the Future Researchers,
The future researchers could gain knowledge from the study on the benefits, advantages and disadvantages, impact of developing web portals which they may apply to their research in the future. By improving on the portal in such a way that is being connected with inter-switch whereby students will be able to make any necessary payment through the website, payment like school fee, acceptance fee, and departmental fee and so on.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
In this study, online registration portal for National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Damaturu Study Centre and plan to implement the system. The study intends to provide an online registration portal home page in which it should contain the description and brief overview about the students, courses and exam registration processes for Computer department. The scopes of the study are:
- Online Registration portal for student information registration
- Courses Registration
- Exam Registration
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Administration – can access and controls the whole system
Payment: is an amount of money that is paid to someone.
Bank: is an institution where people or businesses can keep their money.
Accounts: are detailed records of all the money that a person or business receives and spends.
E: means electronic
Internet: is the computer network which allows computer users to connect with computers all over the world, and which carries e-mail.
Design: it is a detail plan or arrangement to achieve a particular purpose.
Implementation: is the carrying out execution or practice of a plan.
Transaction: is a piece of business, for example an act of buying or selling something.
Student: is a person who is studying at a university or college.
Lecturer: is a teacher at a university or college
Institution: is a large important organization such as a university, church or bank.
Database – a collection of data neatly organized which stores the operational records
Portal – presents information from diverse sources in a unified way. Apart from the standard search engine feature, web portals offer other services such as e-mail, announcements, discussion board, registration, inquiry, information, databases and entertainment.
Registration – students or faculty members submits personal information to be a member to have an access inside the campus course portal.Courses – is a series of lessons or lectures on a particular subject