This chapter is focused on the introduction to online student information tracking system. It presents the introduction, background of the study, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, organization of the research and definition of terms.
1.1 Background of the Study
Over the past few decades, institutions all over the world have been experiencing new paradigms in the way they handle and manage students’ information due to the proliferation of ICTs and its applications such as web-based student information systems. With the adoption of such systems as the web based student information system in academic institutions, the experience is that it has now become easy to harness and fast track all students’ records in one centralized database via the internet technology. While the benefits of the system seem to be celebrated, it has been a hustle for most universities in Africa to completely go digital in their operations due poor ICT infrastructures that seem to be prevalent in the region (Bharamagoudar, Geeta and Totad, 2013).
In the pre-digital age, managing student’s information was done manually, using paper-based systems. However, with increasing number of students in educational institutes, the system could no longer handle student’s records effectively. Suffice to say, the dawn of ICT applications and databases presented unparalleled opportunities in managing students’ records in academic institutions which gradually lead to the disappearance of paper-based systems. The major concern with manual systems has been the speed with which business operations and decision making processes are carried out in education institutions. Consequently, to cope up with the rise in student’s enrollment whilst at the same time ensuring efficiency in their operations, universities had to experience a paradigm shift from using manual student’s management systems to online student management systems. Students Management Systems (SMS) whether manual or web-based are there to maintain and provide easy access to student information. As an information system, it is very useful.
An information system (IS) is any combination of information technology and people’s activities that support operations, management and decision making. In a very broad sense, the term information system is frequently used to refer to the interaction between people, processes, data and technology. In this sense, the term is used to refer not only to the information and communication technology (ICT) that an organization uses, but also to the way in which people interact with this technology in support of business processes. There are two views on (IS) and IS-centered view that includes software, hardware, data, people, and procedures. A second managerial view includes people, business processes and Information Systems. There are various types of information systems, for example: transaction processing systems, office systems, decision support systems, knowledge management systems, database management systems, and office information systems. Critical to most information systems are information technologies, which are typically designed to enable humans to perform tasks for which the human brain is not well suited, such as: handling large amounts of information, performing complex calculations, and controlling many simultaneous processes (Benyon-Davies, 2009).
In an institution for instance, there is need to record information pertaining to members of the institution especially the students so that it will be easy to retrieve needed information instantly without stress. A web based student information management system is a software system that enables the data of students to be captured, such that it will be easy to obtain needed information pertaining to any particular student or group of students. The system can also be viewed as a database system that enables capturing of large amounts of students record to facilitate manipulation by the administrators in charge. For example, every student has a unique registration number which stands as the primary key. In an information system it will be very easy to obtain the record of any student just by querying the database based on the primary key or registration ID of the student.
1.2 Statement of Problem
- The traditional flat file organization is still in use and it is inefficient as it takes time to locate any needed file. The problem is worse if the information needed was recorded years back.
- Also, it is difficult for management to get needed information instantly thereby delaying the decision making process that is based on the information needed.
It is in view of these challenges that this research work is carried out to design and implement online student information tracking system.