1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Grading in education is the process of applying standardized measurements of varying levels of achievement in a course. Semester/session grade-point average and cumulative grade-point average (CGPA) are calculated to represent numerically a student’s quality of performance. All grades from all current classes are averaged to create a grade point average (GPA) for the marking period. The GPA is calculated by taking the number of grade points a student earned in a given period of time. These averages are used to determine if a student qualifies for certain academic actions and programs. The life and success of every student is visible through his academic performance, hence it is required of every student to keep, and monitor his academic performance. Therefore the act of keeping academic records and yearly performance of a student every session is very essential, which can encourage a student to add more effort during has course of study. The social and economic development of the country is directly linked with student academic performance. The students’ performance (academic achievement) plays an important role in producing the best quality graduates who will become great leader and manpower for the country thus responsible for the country’s economic and social development (Ali et.al, 2009).
Grading in Nigerian Universities differs, though there are much similarities. Grades are assigned in letters (for example A, B, C, D, E or F), as a range or as a percentage of a total number scored, as a number out of a possible total (for example out of 20 or 100), or as descriptors (excellent, great, satisfactory, needs improvement). Each grade is assigned a point (0- 5) called the grade point and the each course is also assigned a point called the credit unit(CU) or credit load(CL). The computation of a student GP is done by obtaining Grade Point Equivalent (GPE) for each course; which is the product of his credit load and the grade point obtained. Performance in any semester is reported in Grade Point Average, this is the average of weighted grade points earned in the courses taken during the semester. the purpose of calculating a student’s cumulative GPA is to determine the class of degree to be awarded, grades obtained in all the courses whether compulsory or optional and whether passed or failed, must be included in the computation. Even when a student repeats the same course once or more before passing it or substitutes another course for a failed optional course, grades scored at each and all attempts shall be included in the computation of the GPA. (NUC, 2007)
Student academic performance measurement has received considerable attention in previous research, it is challenging aspects of academic literature, and science student performance are affected due to social, psychological, economic, environmental and personal factors. These factors strongly influence on the student performance, but these factors vary from person to person and country to country. The students in consideration in this research are basically the youths. This age are known to be highly influence with social trends and other environmental factors. It’s important to note that the fastest tool to affect a student academic performance is to introduce academic related gadgets into his hubbies. Since the use of smart phones has become more trendy with the development of mobile applications, introducing educational apps will go a long way to change the use of mobile apps from an entertainment and relaxation tool to a learning and help tool.
From the study it was observed by the researcher that among undergraduates in the department of computer science Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, GPA computation is usually done manually using a piece of paper or an exercise book, which can be easily misplaced or wrongly calculated, thus leading the student to an emotional trauma if he/she later discovers that he has being doing a wrong calculation. It was also observed that students do have difficulties computing missing scripts and carryovers. To curb these problems, introducing a user friendly application which is capable of computing GP for each semester and session, storing all the records in a server will be of great significance.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
An undergraduate at some point of his academic year of study is faced with so much challenges keeping an accurate CGPA every academic session. Most times, he surfs the net for solution, he ends up not finding a GP calculator compactible with the his school format. The following are some of the challenges discovered :
- inaccurate record of his/her Grade point (GP)
- remembering credit load of some course after a long period
- misplacing credit loads with credit unit of a course.
- Poor storage platform which cannot be queried or easily retrieved
This record does not have any good platform for storage after a session or a semester. This frustrates every interest that the students have in computing his CGPA therefore resulting in student being nonchalant about their CGPA.
1.2 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of the study is to design and implement an online application capable of running on mobile phones for the computation and storage of students CGPA. This aim is to be achieve through the following objectives:
- To calculate the semester grade point average
- To calculate the performance of total academic year
- Develop a log-in platform to ensure privacy and authentication to various users.
- To keep a database for each user’s academic records and computations for future use.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Mobile phones and applications that run on them are the most functional tool and a predominant part of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The effect of mobile connectivity through apps amongst students is also a global phenomenon, as 79% of young adults (ages 18–24) own smartphones, and 70% of these students are using their devices in class to stay connected (Skiba 2014).
A Mobile application for calculating students GP will significantly:
- Automate the process of computing result without errors.
- Automate the mechanism for search and retrieval of results
- Provide a centralized database for all information and computation for future reference
- Save time and cost.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Implementing a mobile CGPA calculator is vast and covers the computation of the Result module, instant messaging, monthly remainder and notifications, auto suggestion for better performance, etc.
In order to meet up with the time scheduled for this research, the study will be scoped to the implementation of a web version application of a CGPA Calculator; using the Computer Science department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka as a case study. The application will calculate students’ semester GP using a five (5) point scale , keep records of all inputs and computations and develop the CGPA at the end of each session and also the FCGPA at the end of the 4 years of study
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The limitation of the study focuses on the difficulties encountered during the study, they are:
- Balancing Time constraint with studies
- Problem encountered compiling and implementing the information gotten from the end users of the application.
- Epileptic power supply and poor internet facilities
- Inadequate consistency focusing on the study.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Credit Unit (CU):
This is a point assigned to a course. Usually zero (0) to Four (0). It denotes the course significance.
Grade Point Equivalent: this is the product of a student’s grade point achieved in a course and the credit unit of the course.
Grade Point (GP):
The Grade Point derives from the actual percentage, raw score for a given course; the raw score is converted into a letter grade and a grade point.
Grade Point Average (GPA):
This is the average of weighted grade points earned in the courses taken during the semester. It is obtained by multiplying the Grade Point Average in each course by the number of Credit Units assigned to that course, and then summing these up and dividing by the total number of Credit Units taken for the semester.
Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA):
This is a calculation of the average of a student’s grades for all courses completed in a session. It is an indication of the student’s overall performance at any point in the training programme. To compute the Cumulative Grade Point Average, the total of Grade Points multiplied by the respective Credit Units for all the semesters are added and then divided by the total number of Credits Units for all courses registered by the student.
FCGPA: Final Cumulative Grade Point Average is the summation of the student CGPA at the end of the study.
Application: This is a computer program or group of programs that is designed for the end users.
Web Application (Web App): This is any application that uses a web browser as a client.
Server: This is a computer program that provides services to other computer programs.
Query: a user’s request for information. Generally a formal request to the database or search engine
Module: an independent piece of a program which forms part of one or more larger program
Database: A database is a system intended to organize, store, and retrieve large amounts of data easily. It consists of an organized collection of data for one or more uses, typically in digital form.
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