The world is moving on. Everything has changed and will still continue to change. One of the major contributors of these changes is the unending discovery of new advances such as tools and information technologies worldwide, from conventional Information System (IS) to computer-based IS, even become web-based IS. These advancements have been widely absorbed to improve efficiency of the organization’s operation and effectiveness in providing service to its employees and customers for them to survive in the realm of business world. Organizations such as universities have increasingly adopted advanced technologies to automate their information systems.
It includes tools that are used to create, retrieve, store, change and transmit information. Online services have been offered by universities to provide information and applications for various stakeholders such as students, parents, benefactors and school personnel in timely manner and with greater ease (Lee & Kim, 2010). The Southern Leyte State University- San Juan spent considerable resources and efforts in applying computer-based information system in some transactions in school. The university has a computer-based system for accounting, enrolment and grading. Students, parents and benefactors ask for grades, schedule, statement of 2 account and other relevant information. Though the computerization automates the abovementioned processes but some of the students claimed that sometimes the releasing of requested information took hours or even days for some operations like retrieval of data since it is still done semi-automatically or manually.
Aside from that, the university also collects a processing fee for grade inquiry. Truly, indeed, there is a call for improving student’s information system such as in students academic performance monitoring and billing system to satisfy the information needs of the clients. One of the responsibilities of the university is to inform the parents and/or sponsors about the academic performance of the students and it is usually done by sending grades through the post office. The problem is some of the parents and/or sponsors will not be able to receive the grades in timely manner or will never reach their hands. For any reason and maybe to facilitate decision making purposes, some of the parents and/or sponsors will personally visit the University Registrar to follow up the student’s performance.
Undeniably, it is a burden to the parents to do such. That is why it is necessary for the university to find ways to aid the personnel in the Registrar’s Office in handling the student’s permanent record and to deliver accurate data pertinent to some clients. The academic performance of the university scholars has been also monitored by the school. The scholar’s grade is evaluated manually by the Guidance Counselor every semester if it still meets the qualification standards. Also, reports are to be generated for recognized private sponsors and for institutional purposes. During evaluation, the Guidance Counselor will require the scholars to submit their grades and so the students will also collect their grades from their instructors or at the registrar’s office. The thought of accessing data directly from the centralized database will speed up the evaluation process. The plus factor for university’s financial growth is how committed the sponsor and the parents pay the fees of the students.
But in the present situation, paying bills on time can never be realized for the university fails to issue statement of account to the students every after payment is made. As a result, parents or sponsors are not updated of their dues and no assurance that the students pay the fees religiously. Though the students are required to pay before midterm and final, the parents or sponsors have no idea how much are they going to pay for each term. As part of the university, it is the earnest desire of the researcher to contribute something to address the problems encountered by the clients of the university with regard to academic performance monitoring and generating of an updated statement of account.
Since the problem concerns the delivery of information such as updated report of grades and billing statements to the parents and/or sponsor of the students in the university, the researcher found it helpful to have a Web-based Student Information System. The availability of Internet Service Providers such as Smart and Globe Broadband in Southern Leyte will make the designed system more accessible to the clients especially those students who are from other towns which constitute 66 percent of the total population at SLSU-San Juan. Aside from that, it will give the university personnel-in-charge in Grading, Scholarship, and Billing the capability to organize and present student information that suit the specific needs of the clients.
This study is based on the theory of Shelly et al (2005) which states that webbased systems are popular because they offer ease of access, cost effectiveness and worldwide connectivity, all of which are vital to companies that must compete in a global economy. Both personal and organizational processes influence a culture of innovation. In a culture of innovation, people will have a habit of constantly looking for ways to improve things (Denning, 2004). Continuous search for innovative ways has been made to cater the need of the people to access and share information resources worldwide.
As what Newell and Turner (2006) said, “Innovation means change: sometimes radical change and sometimes incremental change”. This incremental change refers to the movement of change from traditional IS to computer-based IS and even now to the recent trend which is the web-based IS that runs through an internet technology. The explosive growth of the Internet is making available radical new means of communication that affect such diverse areas as business, entertainment and education. Network technology supports distributed systems and until today, the most popular system that is currently being used to make such systems possible is the World Wide Web and they even claim that this web technology is “fundamentally a new medium of human communications” (cited in Carstensen & Vogelsang, 2001). True enough that in areas of education, Internet offers a medium that has the potential to be more responsive to students, to encourage greater participation in their own learning, and to give greater access to different sources of information than what traditional methods can offer (Brooks, 1997).
The anchor theory is also supported by Young (1999) who argue that the Internet is the most cost-efficient medium for business-to-consumer dealings (cited in Voiculescu, 2005). Beller and Or (2003) also added that the decreasing costs of internet services, coupled with availability and convenience are likely to accelerate adoption of internet-based technologies. According to Shelly et al. (2005), Internet is a worldwide network that integrates many thousands of other networks, which in turn link millions of government, business, educational and personal users around the globe. Levine (2003) also added that internet technologies can reduce the time burden and provide easy-to-use and helpful information to the end user. These features of internet technology are vital to any organization for them to be globally competitive.
Chae and Poole (cited in Brown & Cooke, 2005) discussed that requirements and accountability have become more stringent and require better reporting for higher education. Additionally, mechanisms for evaluation and reporting have a growing role in university management. Traditionally, information sharing among university members has relied on a range of printed materials. Computer technology created opportunities on university campuses for sharing data and information among the staff and the students, and has been deployed since the late fifties (cited in Semiawan and Middleton, 1999). These information systems range from library systems, registration systems and financial systems, to campus-housing systems and other university service systems.
Student Information System incurs such application software designed for educational establishments to manage student data. It is an application that keeps track of student records such as name, address, teacher, classes, grades and other pertinent information. Once the information is inputted into the database, it will provide the ability to quickly get information related to a particular student and print out their vital records (Freewareseek, 2009). As cited in Ngoma (2009), Barrett also encapsulates the essence of a student management information system (SMIS). He defines SMIS as “an integrated software package that maintains, supports, and provides inquiry, analysis, and communication tools that organize student accountability data into information to support the educational process”.
From this so called student information system (SIS), the idea of developing a student information system specifically in academic performance monitoring and generating of statement of account for SLSU- San Juan was conceived. Student Information System development moved from mainframes to a network or workstation environment and the tools has also been changed from the traditional IS platforms to tools with support such as Gopher, World Wide Web and multimedia systems. Because of these developments, methods and procedures by which users obtain information are changing rapidly. Daily, hundreds of thousands of individuals use the Internet and Web browsers to obtain a much broader range of information than has previously been possible. According to Kitchens (cited in Brown & Cooke, 2005), web-based student information systems have been widely adopted by institution to facilitate a range of operations such as grading, attendance, demographic data and reporting.
Advantages of such a system is that information is accessible anywhere by using a standard internet browser; instructional management such as tracking student performance and monitoring progress can be handled through the online tool; teachers can define each assessment used in their courses and; the system makes individual student data available. A centralized web based system also enables educators to collect, analyze and communicate student information through desktop computers, however good databases also require data integrity so the information is consistent and valid. Many schools have online systems for managing classes, requesting financial aid, and performing other routine tasks. In these institutions, people can access school grades online once they enter the dashboard area where they manage other schoolrelated tasks, and the dashboard is accessed with a username and password.
These types of systems can be very useful for parents who may want to keep a close watch on the progress of their children, and for students who want to keep an eye on their grades. The advantage of viewing school grades online is that it is usually possible to do so as soon as grades are received and posted. By viewing grades immediately, people don’t have to wait for weeks while report cards are generated and mailed, which can relieve stress and tension. There may also be other reasons for wanting to see grades online, like wanting to check midterm grades to monitor progress in a class, or needing to know grades for the purpose of reporting them to colleges as quickly as possible. (Smith, 2008). Academic performance refers to how students deal with their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers.
The indicator of how well the students perform in the class is the student grades. Grade availability and immediate distribution through the use of SIS, which is called by Knievel (2001) as “full disclosure”, is of importance to concerned party mostly to the students and parents. Liao et al. (2007) asserts that SIS process within such technological sophistication does create precise knowledge edge, that such SIS application can be appealing to students and to the academic faculty as well as the parents. Student data acquired is usually used for effective decision making purposes. It is also an enduring belief in the academy that knowing one’s grade will change student’s negative behaviors or sustain positive ones (Knievel, 2001).
Specifically, web-based student information systems have helped improve student records management, and school improvement plans. According to The Journal (2000), “Administrators no longer need to run from classroom to classroom or search from file to file to get the information they need, as the system (PowerSchool) provides instant access to all student records with a simple point and click”. SchoolWorks (2009) student information systems enable complete tracking and management of student data.
The complete student information system includes student activities, daily attendance, period or classroom attendance, discipline, health and immunizations, grades, schedules, and more! SchoolWorks student information system manages your student data with a browser-based user interface. This allows platform independent student data entry. SchoolWorks student information system includes standard reports and allows custom report creation. The data structure is easily customized to match your state board of education’s requirements for electronic submission of student data.
At Westside Community Schools in Nebraska, Bird (2006) argues that there were significant improvements as a direct result of the adoption of the new SIS. “Since the implementation of the SIS, attendance at Westside is better than ever, discipline reports are down, and, instead of declining test scores that are common in schools with similar demographics, test scores are consistently above the national average and among the highest in the state of Nebraska. School administrators attribute this in good part to the SIS”. Bernhardt (2005) analyzed student demographic and perceptual data of elementary, middle, and high schools of Canyon View School District (an 8,000 student district) and concluded that fact-driven decision making can provide each district, each school, each class and each student with a reliable way to facilitate breakthrough performance and continuous education improvement.
Her findings revealed that effective use of school data leads to more objective education-enhancement decisions. In North Carolina, a vast number of school teachers, administrators, leaders, parents, and students are using NCWISE to access and manage student data. NCWISE is described as a web-based, integrated, and secure tool for effectively managing student information and improving instruction in North Carolina schools. It was designed to provide teachers, principals, counselors, nurses, central office staff, and others with direct and immediate access to a full spectrum of data on a student’s entire career in the North Carolina school system. (Ngoma, 2009) As cited in Ngoma (2009), North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCPDI) report lists some of the features of NCWISE which include “the ability to move student transcripts immediately when a student transfers from one school to another; produce progress reports and report cards; share student grades and emergency information with appropriate school employees; and more quickly and accurately report student grades, attendance, and information used to support public school business processes”.
The reason given for the adoption of NCWISE is that SIMS, which was the official public schools’ data collection source for more than 20 years and relied on antiquated technology. Let it be noted that NCWISE replaced SIMS. De La Salle University (DLSU), Manila created a My.LaSalle (MLS) university portal to extend efficient services to its clientele. Students can enroll online, thus, no more lining up at the Registrar’s Office. They can enroll anywhere within their scheduled period, in their preferred course and section, provided it is still open. Students can always view the actual enrollment count per course and section. Students can also inquire through the portal, information about course schedule, account balance, grades for the term, schedules of final exams and course card distribution.
However, transactions could be denied due to unsettled accountabilities such as payables in the accounting or registrar’s offices, or library dues. These records will be reflected in a student’s personal account and they are updated as frequently as needed. On the other hand, faculty members can submit final grades and request for change of grade online even in the comforts of their own homes. (DLSU, 2010) University of the East, Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, Inc., Manila developed a UERM portal for their students and employees. The portal contains Faculty Portal and Student Portal. Faculty Portal is an exclusive gateway for UERM faculty members for online information, faculty evaluation, faculty load, uploading lectures, quizzes and other materials for dissemination to their classes.
It also provides access to profound discussions among faculty about lesson and other topics for the creation of knowledge. The Student Portal is for online student information, lectures, discussions, resources and other services exclusive to UERM students. It aims to enhance and extend the student’s learning experience through information technology beyond the bound of the classroom. (UERMMMC, 2010) The University of Baguio (UB) E-Reservation System is an extended feature of the UB enrollment System wherein transactions are done via the internet. The student is allowed to reserve schedules and be evaluated by the college dean. Grades are available for viewing online using UB-Online Information Service. Final grades for a given term may be viewed in a Final Grade Report or in an Unofficial Academic Transcript (UB, 2010).
All business transactions revolve around one thing- payments. Many ecommerce websites integrate all the possible payment gateway modes for customer’s choice so that payments never get delayed. Through technologies the organization business operations have become easier and fast. Billing is the process of sending bills for payment (Macmillan English Dictionary, 2010). The term E-billing is the electronic delivery of financial documents to the customer, that represents and replaces the conventional paper based document (Email connection, 2001). Universities adopt this so called on-line billing for its perceived advantages than traditional billing system.
Southern’s eBill offers both students and parents a number of advantages over traditional paper bills, including: students can authorize others (parents, spouse, etc.) to view and pay bills; easy to read online history of past statements and payments; ability to schedule future payments; ease of use and convenience (Southern Connecticut State University, 2009). The Students Accounts Office at Macalester College implemented a new billing process. This change in process has taken place for several reasons.
One reason and advantage of the change in process is that students and authorized users may view information relating to billing accounts, statements, and account activity at their convenience. The change in process correlates directly with the leadership role Macalester College has taken in sustainability for higher education. This change also will not only save paper by not having to print statements but will also reduce the need for other paper products such as two forms of envelopes. For students monthly billing, the student and authorized users will receive email notification announcing that the newest electronic eBill statement is ready to view. All students and authorized users must go online to view the statements. If a paper statement is required, the student or authorized user must print it at their convenience (Macalester College, 2009)
In San Diego State University, they used a billing system wherein student billing statements are sent out on a monthly basis when money is due to the University. Student statements will be delivered in electronic format. Students are sent an email directing them to a secure website to review their bill, so it is important that their email address be kept up to date in their Portal account. Another feature is that the student may set up a parent PIN so that in addition to the student receiving the email, the parent may also receive an email (San Diego State University, 2009). Another motivation for online technologies as emphasized by Kemelgor, Johnson and Srinivasan (2000) is that “to attract good students, educational institutions must continue to innovate.”
Technology is a tool recognized by many institutions that can be utilized to improve levels of service while aiming to personalize and extend the relationship with students (as cited in Savarese, 2004). Therefore effective student systems need to be student oriented and designed so administrative requirements don’t negatively impact on the student. It is in the light of these theories and related literature that inspired the researcher to develop web-based student information system specifically on student performance monitoring and generating statement of account in Southern Leyte State University-San Juan to keep pace with the above-mentioned innovations and of course to be able to cater the information needs of the stakeholders.
14 THE PROBLEM Statement of the Problem This study aimed to analyze, design and develop a prototype Web-Based Student Information System for Southern Leyte State University- San Juan, Southern Leyte. Specifically, it sought to: 1. analyze the services provided by the university as they relate to 1.1 1.2 student academic performance monitoring and; generating statement of account;
2. determine the status of the present student information system in terms of 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 relevance; accessibility; reliability and; timeliness;
3. identify the problems encountered by the students, parents, benefactors and personnel-in-charge in the present student information system; 4. determine the features of a good Student Information System; and 5. design and develop a prototype of a Web-Based Student Information System.
Significance of the Study The results of the study would benefit the following entities: Commission on Higher Education (CHED). This study will help CHED, as a governing body to all education institutions, to encourage colleges and universities to implement research and development for the purpose of delivering quality service to each of its clients. SLSU. This study would enable the university to improve their student information system. It will give them the opportunity to give quality service to their clients. Students. The developed system would benefit the students for they can inquire their information needs with regard to their academic performance and billing statements at their convenient time and place. Parents. The output of this study would allow the parents to monitor the academic status and billing account of their child by accessing the records through the internet. Benefactors.
The student information such as grades and statement of account that is extracted from the system would facilitate the sponsors for their decision making purposes. Also, they would be guided constantly with their bills. Student Affairs Office. The output of this study would significantly give ease to the Guidance Counselor in performing his tasks especially in monitoring, record keeping and generating reports. Registrar’s Office. Through the system, the work of the personnel in the Registrar’s office in disseminating grades to the students will be lessened for the records are now available online. Accounting Office. The staff in Accounting Office will not be disrupted with students who constantly inquire their statement of account.
This study would give an opportunity for the researcher to gain more knowledge in programming and enhance his/her skill in designing and solving analytical problems. Aside from that he/she will gain confidence from her experiences in the making of this research. Future Researchers. The future researchers would greatly benefit from this study for the findings of this study would encourage them to design an improved system. Other HEI’s. The output of this provides insights to other higher education on how to disseminate information to their clients in a better way. This study may also assist them in achieving successful outcomes in similar projects.
The study will utilize the descriptive research method using a researcherconstructed questionnaire to gather data from various stakeholders such as students, parents, benefactors and some personnel in charge in Scholarship, Registrar, and Accounting at SLSU- San Juan. The questionnaire simply asked the respondents to examine the current information system in the university and suggest some good features of a good student information system. The data that will be collected from identified respondents will be presented, analyzed and interpreted. The results and findings of the research study will serve as the basis for the design and development of the Web-based Information System for SLSU- San Juan.