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CHAPTER ONE

  INTRODUCTION

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 1.1 Background of the Study

One of the regular yet administration-intensive processes that occur within every department is the procedure for students’ final year projects. Most public and private higher academic institution all over the world requires their students to undertake an academic project in their final year of study. For example, Houdegbe North American University, Benin (HNAUB) is a four years private institution in which all 400 level students must undertake an academic project. This process begins with students’ proposals of project topics which must be approved. Students can either choose to take any topics offered by the lecturers or project supervisors or might suggest their own project topics. The purpose of project writing is, in the context of the degree one studies is to integrate various aspects of taught material and to demonstrate ones (academic) research skills and (professional) analysis, design and implementation skills. It gives one the opportunity to conduct in-depth work on a substantial problem to show individual creativity and originality, to apply where appropriate knowledge, skills and techniques taught throughout the degree program to further oral and written communication skills, and to practice investigative, problem-solving, management and other transferable skills. The management and execution of the project is one’s responsibility, but one should seek and take advantage of advice from ones’ supervisor. But most project topics submitted by students of now-a-day are topics already used by past graduate and it’s quite hard to differentiate the used topics from fresh ones. Approving used project  topic leads  to  copy  and paste. It quite difficult  to differentiate used  ones

 

 

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from fresh ones since the project supervisors or lecturers can’t tell used topics from fresh ones. This in a long run lead to the idea of a project database management system. One way to overcome this problem is to develop a database system that can store all the information about projects. A few institutions have actually adopted this project database management system. However, not much information on how this system works has been made available or documented in literatures. Some of the systems have limited features in that they can only display the project titles only.

1.2 Problems Statement of the Study

The problem currently facing the School of Computer Science, Mathematics and Information Technology, HNAUB is the selection of suitable project topic which is quite daunting at first.

Till date, students use past graduate project therefore pushing aside their ability and skills which leads to lack of experience and knowledge of what the outside world holds. Good projects can vary dramatically in complexity, scope and topic. The only requirement is that they should be related to something learnt in class that contains some element of research, e.g. that you do more than simply engineer a piece of software that someone else has described or architected (copy and paste). It should also be something of our capability.

There is also the problem of not been able to differentiate used project from the past graduates from fresh project.

To help overcome this weakness, a computerized database management system that can store all necessary information about the project topics should be developed to make the process smother and orderly.

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1.3 Objective of the Study

The aim of this study is to develop a database for the final year student’s project in Houdegbe North American University. Benin (HNAUB). The specific objective of the study includes:

  1. To tackle these issues, this research aims to develop a database management system to store and manage students’ final year project data.
  2. To make the process of academic project topic differentiation and selection easier for all lecturers or project supervisors in the Department of Computer Science, Mathematics and Information Technology, HNAUB. This offers a more systematic and organized mechanism of managing the project topic selection process because through this project database management system, lecturers or project supervisors can input and search to indicate already used projects from the lists of final year student’s project topics.
  • It’s also for easy listing and viewing of topics, updating of system or the required information. For example, updating of the system by inputting the present final year project topics and required data into the system.
  1. To ensure that students use their own ability and skills. This widens one’s way of thinking enabling one to think further which increase one’s knowledge due to the amount of effort, time and hard work.
  2. To protect the hard works and effort of the past graduates.
  3. To make sure that the data is accessible at all times. It will be developed as an online system with access currently limited to the

university’s network.

  • A final and important aspect of the system is its user-friendliness and usability considering the background and skills of the users.

 

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1.4 Significance of the Study

This project’s completion will be of great benefit to this academic institution and other institutions facing the same problems. Some of the benefits and significances of the research are:

  1. This research will differentiate all-ready used project topics from the fresh ones. This is done by inputting the topics into the system and the system will indicate if it is a used project or not by displaying data relating to the topic if it is a used project.
  2. This research is also an avenue to know\ query the database so as to know related topics that have been researched on which can serve in a review in one’s proposal research work.
  • This research encourages fresh topics to help the students think and explore knowledge. Project works plays a crucial role in interviews especially in core companies. Most of the core companies consider project work very seriously. Instead of asking what are the concepts one learnt throughout one’s time in university, they can sum it all up by just asking one to explain one’s research work. If one’s project STANDS-OUT then consider it a jet-pack for one to hop over most difficult part of interview which other candidates face.
  1. This research work is one part where one can answer questions which other candidates can’t. If the recruiting company is working on same technology as is used in your project, the probability of getting a job will be  pretty  high  than  others. If  this  is  the  case, one has  both  an

advantage and disadvantage.  The disadvantage is that if one bought the project from outside and couldn’t do it by oneself or one’s involvement is less, then one will not be able to answer the questions they throw at

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one which leads to negative impression and one been judged straight away as someone with no knowledge and experience. But if one have a detailed knowledge of one’s project, good communication skills and can answer any question, then consider it cracked already.

  1. It prepares one for the world out there and also to test one’s ability, ideas and skills with the knowledge one gained from school. Learning is an active process. Project gives an active learning opportunity. It gives the opportunity to apply the principles you learnt in class.

1.5 Scope of the Study

This research focuses on the database system and student’s project of the final year students in the Department of Computer Science, Mathematics and Information Technology, HNAUB. The database system is created to display project topics along with other crucial information such as:

  • The student’s name and
  • Matriculation number.

All data used in this system will be stored in a database.

1.6 Limitation of the Study

The project database is built for the use of Computer Science, Mathematics and Information  Technology  Department, HNAUB only. Access  to  this  database  is limited only to the university local network and it’s user-friendly. It’s built in a way to permit extension or upgrade for future purpose. It’s feasible and flexible to suit new conditions or situations.

 

 

 

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1.7 Definition of Terms

ANSL

American National Standard Institute.

Apache

Apache is a feature-rich web server that works well with PHP. It can be downloaded in both source and binary form for a variety of platforms.

Data

Data are raw facts, events, activities, figures, words – symbols which have not been processed by human beings, machine or a computer. Data is the foundation of information, which is the bedrock of knowledge. Data are said to be managed more efficiently when they are stored in database.

Database

An organized collection of structured, organized and related data that can be accessed from various points of view. It is a shared, integrated computer structure that stores a collection of data.

Database management system (DBMS)

DBMS is a collection of programs that manages the database structure and controls access to the data stored  in  the  database. Its serves  as  intermediary  between  the user and the database.

Data integrity

 This is defined as the condition in which all data in the database are consistent with real-world events and conditions. In other words, data integrity means that:

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  • Data are accurate—there are no data inconsistencies.
  • Data are verifiable—the data will always yield consistent results.

Data management

A discipline that focuses on the proper generation, storage, and retrieval of data. It is an organized collection of related data which means that data is structured in manner suitable to be stored, manipulated and retrieved by users, and the only way to access the data in those files is through the DBMS.

End user

The person who uses a computer or a program.

Information

Information is the result of processing raw facts to review its meaning. Data processing can be as simple as organizing data to review patterns or as complex as making forecasts or drawing inferences using statistical modeling. To reveal meaning, information requires context.

My SQL

A high-performance, multiuser relational database management system that is today the de facto standard for database-driven software applications, both on and off the web and uses structured query language (SQL) as its standard language.

PHP (Hypertext preprocessor)

A widely used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development.

 

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UML

 

Usability

This is the ease of use and learning ability of human-made object (e.g. software). It is more efficient to us, easier to learn and more satisfying to use.

User-friendliness (user-friendly)

Often used as a synonyms for usable, though it may also refer to accessibility. It means easy to use without learning.

User ID

A name or number used for identification when logging a system, information service or web-based software.

User-interface

The features of a computer or a program that determines how it interacts with a user. For example, menus and commands are part of the user interface.

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