DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE ASSIGNMENT SUBMISSION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM A CASE STUDY OF UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS (UNILAG).
The paper examines the design and implementation of an online assignment submission system. The challenges faced by students in meeting assignment deadlines and cost associated with printing hard copies of paper, necessitated the researcher to develop a user friendly system to tackle these challenges. The system allows students to submit assignments online to a particular course lecture, who have access to the system for grading purpose. The system was developed using PHP and MYSQL technologies.
An online assignment handling is a system contained within the Module virtual learning environment. The functionality of the standard assignment handling module has been extended to cater for all the Department's needs in terms of receiving assignments from students, making them available to tutors to mark, returning grades, comments and marked work to students and keeping Registry and course administrators informed at all stages of the process. Extension requests are an integral part of the system.
Universities, Polytechnics and colleges of education are considered the main provider of knowledge in various fields. Various courses of studies are taught in institutions, covering several fields including applied Sciences, Math, Computer, Human Resource, and Accounting. Most courses at universities consist of theoretical as well as practical subject matter. To evaluate the level of understanding and degree of comprehension among students, assignments are often given.
Assignments are submitted by students either individually or in groups. Assignment management involves collecting, marking, and redistributing to students. Tregobov (1998) breaks the process down into four stages: submission, recording, marking, and return. Online assignment submission and management (OASM) involves the use of the World-Wide Web, the Internet and computers to aid this process (Jones, 2003). With traditional assignment submission system, lots of problems arise especially when the students have to submit the answers of the assignment to the lecturer. There may be problems due to distance, time, or format of the assignment (written or printed). Also every learning process requires administrative support. Much of this administrative support is to some degree transparent but if the latter is not well organized it could disrupt the flow of learning between students and the staff.
As the educational world is moving faster and becoming more competitive, almost every university started to use an online submission system, or newer technologies to facilitate their task, to have more time, and to be in pace with this fast moving IT world.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Many reported failures in courses thought in the tertiary institutions can be attributed to the careless of the course representative or the teaching assistant who failed to submit an assignment paper to the lecturer for marking (Jones, 2003). Such careless could lead to a zero mark for the victim whose paper was declared missing or simply not found. The manual method of submitting assignments to the course lecturer or directly to the lecturer in most Nigerian Universities is simply not effective as these papers could get damaged or get missing due to the carelessness of the course representative or the lecturer.
Moreover, assignments that are large in terms of pages or volume could easily discourage a student from submitting due to financial constraints brought about by high cost of printing an assignment. All these problems highlighted are the main reasons the researcher is developing an electronic assignment submission system to curtail these challenges and make studying more enjoyable in our tertiary institutions.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main objective of the paper is to design and implement an online assignment submission system. Specific objectives of the study are:
i) To develop a system for proper documentation of students’ record in the in the school system.
ii) To Create a database that will manage each student assignment submission and allow access by leacturer to access those files submitted by the student.
iii) To Create a quick search and advance search that the student / lecturer when sorting a file.
iv) This proposed system is geared towards providing a system to assure equal opportunity and impartial review of student assignment submission
v) The system to be developed will provide a full school system by that will take cares of faculty registration, lecturer registration, course registration, department registration, users registration, student registration, perform scores /grades registration, test scores assessment and article entry.
SCREEN SHOTS OF THE APPLICATION
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will aid lecturers to have a well structured system for assignment submission and grading. This will eliminate paper work in their offices and improve on their efficiency in managing students assignments. Unlike attaching files in a mailing system like yahoo mail and gmail and sending to a lecturer, this system systematically arranges assignments with respect to courses, departments and students ID, creating a more user friendly environment for both the students and the lecturers.
1.5 ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE
Founded in 1962, the University of Lagos has, for over 5 decades, provided qualitative and research-oriented education to Nigerians and all those who have entered its domain in search of knowledge. The University has built a legacy of excellence and has been instrumental in the production of top range graduates and academia who have had tremendous impact, directly or indirectly, on growth and development in Nigeria..
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Assignment: a task or piece of work allocated to someone as part of a job or course of study
Student: A student or pupil is a learner, or someone who attends an educational institution.
Online: online" indicates a state of connectivity.
Lecturer: A lecture is an oral presentation intended to present information or teach people about a particular subject, for example by a university or college teacher.
Submission: the action of presenting a proposal, application, or other document for consideration or judgement.