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Two-Scheme Grading Management and Student Profiling System


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Chapter 1 - The Problem and Its Background

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Two-Scheme Grading Management and Student Profiling System

  1. 1. Chapter 1 The Problem and Its BackgroundIntroduction Computer technologies are changing the practice of research and business, and – veryslowly – the content and practice of education are beginning to follow suit. For one, mostschools in the country are adapting to these changes by gradually shifting their manualtransactions to computer-based systems allowing a smoother flow of operations. The hallmarkof computer-aided systems in education is that they attempt to revolutionize conventionalschool routines such as enrolments into an efficient and seamless process that saves time, cost,and accuracy of work. Lesser human intervention in tasks involving numerous transactions and distributedwork has proven increased competency in Information Technology and other communications-related industries. We see this as growing evidence on IT industries leading to substantialimprovements in productivity by automating their routine activities. If this capability will beincorporated to school works such as grading procedures, the arduous task of records-keepingmight be delegated to machines or tools which can handle various automated and computingjobs and thus improve work outcomes. 2
  2. 2. The aim of this study is to address concerns of instructors over the management ofgrades computation and file handling of student profiles. A good feedback mechanism relatingto the learning progress of students in terms of their performance in each subject ensures agood development assessment. This will give both the teacher and the student the idea abouttheir growth and may promote a good teacher-to-student relationship. A fast and accurategrading system can give a clearer perspective on the standing of the students in the class asindividuals and in the learning environment as a whole. The grading process is the practice of evaluating the academic performance of studentsby assigning them ratings based on standard grading scales programmed in the educationcurriculum. Different interrelated procedures such as student information listing, academicgrading, and class standing assessment build up grading processes called Academic GradingSystem or AGS. AGS is used particularly in keeping and retrieving information on a student’sgrades profile and academic status. Tracking their progress in subject courses and providingthem responses on the form of points-based, letter-oriented, or ratings measurements are thefeatures of AGS. An automated grading system is a good example of computer-generated process. Thiscan significantly reduced the workload and provide accurate report of grades needed by thestudents and the institution in the assessment of learning. In the case of San Isidro ElementarySchool, manual computation and recording of grades are still exploited by teachers renderingdisputed and mishandled results. Computerization is a control system that can manage thesetasks and give accountability to the outputs. 3
  3. 3. In this study the proponents focused on addressing problems posed by the existinggrading system through seeking alternatives to the manual routines and developing a software-based tool that will facilitate transition of grading procedures from subsisting operations tocomputerized transactions.1.1. Project Context This study is divided into two phases: the project feasibility and project acquisition. Theproject feasibility phase is consisted by concept and design plans outlining primarily the areasof work relating to the viability of the project and conception of strategies and systemsapproaches such as systems philosophy, analysis, and management. Under the projectacquisition phase, lines of work are concerned to implementation and procurement strategiesthat will materialize model plans and the development of the system itself.1.1.2. Defining Project Attributes The project commenced with identifying first the key elements integral to the formationof strategies and approaches to planning and drawing of project architecture. To recognize thepersisting problems of the existing grading system in the target school, the proponentsperformed site visits and continuous correspondence with project stakeholders which initiatedthe concept planning. After investigations and problems outlining have been made, thefollowing factors have been defined: 4
  4. 4. a. The Three-Sphere Model. The proponents determined the relation to the three-sphere model of project management which identifies the business, organizational, and technological aspect of the project. Since the tool developed for the school is a non- commercial system and will not be used to gain profits or promote investments, the project’s business factor dwells only on the financial sense of settling cost requisites necessitated in the development and maintenance of the system. Stakeholders influence the changes and advancements to the improvement of planning and designing in that they give the foremost inputs to the specifications of the system and change requests which adjusted requirements. People problems or the interests of the organization and key players also concern the organizational factor. The approaches used to develop the system imposed the technological side of the project.b. The Needs Analysis. Documenting the requirements played a crucial role to classify what areas of concern should be addressed and what requirements from all project stakeholders affected the features of the system. Observations were made and questionnaires were given to quantify requests, weigh demands, and perform analysis of the parameters which will control the bounds of the study. This is important to avoid scope creep, project rollback, or major overhauling of project due to rising adjustments and unattended and uncontrolled demands.c. The Triple Constraints. This study is confined to scope, time, and cost goals. The scope goal lists the work breakdown to achieve specific enumerated tasks for each line of work, the time management goal centers on schedules and deadlines to be met to complete the 5
  5. 5. project, and the cost goals estimates the budget and authorized changes to costs and expenditures of the project.d. The Project Deliverables. Stakeholders agreed to produce product-related or process- oriented results in the form of project charter documents, system flow analysis, work breakdown structure and schedule plans, and minutes of the meeting on a regular basis.1.1.3. Classifying Project Stakeholders After the characteristics of the project have been defined, it is necessary to delineateduties and tasks for each specific work goals per time frame to divide responsibilities andobligations among stakeholders. The human resource management area provides descriptionof the division of work to every personnel involved in the procurement of the study.Name Role in the Project ResponsibilityFlorida F. Sumugat, principal of Project Sponsor Approves all prerequisites andSan Isidro Elementary School changes to the plan and development of project Provides primary information and consultationRicky S. Morales Jr. Project Manager Plans, monitors, and executes project Oversees development 6
  6. 6. Ma. Cherus Florenlee F. Sumugat Project Moderator Serves as back-channel negotiator and provides feedback and communication to project sponsorHanna Marie P. Atienza Implementation and Provides implementation plan Training Manager and training schedule contained in changeover timetableGliezel V. Melchor Support Staffs Adds additional inputs and support to revisions ofNova Lea E. Gimeno documentsTable 1.1 Project Stakeholders Charter1.1.4. Conceptual Model of the Study The core of this study centers on the designing and building of an electronic systemsystematizing grades computation, recording, and managing of files and its dissemination toconcerned personnel. On the designing phase, the proponents started on knowing the specificsystem requirements desired by the school. These specifications are met by determining firstthe data flow of grades and adopting a framework conceptualized how these data areintroduced, generated, and handled by the system. It is imperative that the system cantransform raw data into manageable and simpler inputs and that the design can produceproper and acknowledged outputs in terms of digital and printable files. The digital files shouldbe stored properly and accordingly by the database of the system. 7
  7. 7. The proponents adopted the Iterative Implementation/Continuous IntegrationApproach otherwise known as Design Implementation Increments made by Stephen McHenry inplanning and designing the proposal. With this approach, the overall functionality of the systemis broken down into feature sets. These feature sets conceived the structural architecture of theprogram involved in the planning and analysis phase. The design is represented in a conceptualframework that is essential in the conception and progress of the study and researchers’ frame. This section outlines the possible courses of action needed to present the preferredapproach of the project target used in the program system. This framework best presents thesteps involve in the analysis and planning of the program design explaining how the system isconstructed. Data Gathering Design Proposal Data Introduction Data Handling System Analyzation Data Processing and Specifications Feedback Data GenerationFigure 1.1 Conceptual Model of the Design of Computerized Grading System for San Isidro Elementary School, structured byStephen McHenry’s Iterative Implementation. The framework of this design starts in knowing the specifications of the program desiredby the project target. These requirements include research on the target school’s backgroundand current standing, the existing system they employ in data processing, and the interrelation 8
  8. 8. of these processes. The framework also covers the identification of common problemsencountered by the school regarding the existing systems that process their data.1.1.4a. Parts of the Conceptual Frameworka. System Specifications. Includes identifying existing problems regarding the data processing and generation of the grades of the school. This produces functionality that the system provides, which describes functions the system performs, the logic that processes that data, what data is stored and used by the system, and how user environment works. This should result to a program that the school desires and how this program works and is implemented.b. Data Gathering. This involves getting relevant and related data from the school that will undergo design proposal. Data gathering was assorted in three features, namely: Background Research, Existing I.T. Infrastructure, and Process Interrelationship. i. Background Research: Includes school’s profile, their current status, and the common problems they encounter with their existing grading system, and its effect on the proficiency and integrity of their data. ii. Existing I.T. Infrastructure: Includes existing computer units/terminals (if any) and the hardware and software components that can be a factor in designing phase iii. Process Interrelationship: Contains processes involved in the existing grading system and their relation to each other. 9
  9. 9. c. Analyzation. Covers the data flow of grades, the proposed design of the system itself, and determination of programming language used to structure the design.d. Design Proposal. Contains the conceptualization and structuring to form a design proposal. In the case of San Isidro Elementary School, the proponents divided this phase into four main features: i. Data Introduction: The process of inputting data into the system. This is defined in the inputs requirement. ii. Data Processing: Involves saving/deleting data, updating of data, and editing of the data. iii. Data Generation: This includes the computation and evaluation of the data. iv. Data Handling and Feedback: The process of keeping a sorted registry of files and its management into categories. It also involves the assessment of data.1.1.5. Profile of San Isidro Elementary School The elementary school of San Isidro was established from the mounting pleas ofcommunity dwellers to build a school in the area that will address their problems on theattendance of their children especially during rainy seasons. The common problem of theparents that time is the risk their children have to take in travelling to the nearest elementaryschool of La Curva especially the danger of floods and slippery roads along the way to school.Through the headship of Mr. Basilio Gamboa, then Sitio Leader of Barangay San Isidro (formerlynamed Sitio Canwaling), the requests of the community was introduced to the late MayorJohnny Santos Sr. and in 1963, a primary school was built. The site of the school that time waslocated at the pasture land of Mr. Gamboa. Two years later Mr. Mamerto Castillo donated a 10
  10. 10. portion of his land intended for the barrio site of Sitio Canwaling including the present schoolsite containing an area of 8,009 square meters. Today the school has several physical andancillary services including 13 instructional classrooms, 14 shared comfort rooms, two non-instructional rooms, three reading centers, and one computer unit (as of 2009).Table 1.2 Basic School Information Name of school: San Isidro Elementary District: San Jose North District School Grade levels offered: Elementary Grades Type of school: Complete Non-central Curriculum: Elementary Basic Elementary School Education Curriculum Year established: 1963 (BEC) as per DepEd Order School I.D. : 110272 No. 43, series of 2002 Population: 460 A SWOT Analysis from SIP report of SIES for 2009 reports that results in NAT 6 (NationalAchievement Test) and NAT 3 MPS (Mean Percentile Score) is below the national standard of75%. Results of oral and silent reading in comprehension level are 85.34% and 89.65% belowthe national standard of 100% independent reader. Fifty-eight percent of the teachers arebeginners in recognizing general learning process as well as unique processes of individuallearners. All teachers are in the level of beginner in demonstrating skill in the use of ICT inteaching and learning process which may include competencies in modern instructionalmaterials like computers and quick responses to development in learning. Such response toprogress is measured through traditional rating scheme utilized by the school. If this type offeedback is addressed by the upgrading of the grading system, the learning development of thestudents will be supervised simultaneously. 11
  11. 11. Part of the School Improvement Plan (SIP) for 2009-2012 of San Isidro ElementarySchool is to raise the quality of education in the school by initiating new approaches and skillsto teaching and learning processes. They believe that the computerization of their gradingsystem will play a crucial role in promoting their standing in academic performance.1.1.6. Statement of the Problem The design and implementation of electronic media in school transactions have grownexponentially in the last years, spurred by the fact that the growing rate in enrolment everyyear calls for a change in the systems employed by schools to facilitate and weigh demand overworkload. Increase in student-to-teacher ratios has therefore increase the workload of theteachers. With these emerging concerns, many schools today see the promises ofcomputerization to solve their problems on a task’s speedy accomplishment withoutcompromising the integrity and accuracy of the results. The grading process is one of the taskswhich need to be resolved in San Isidro Elementary Schools. To address this issue, theproponents determined first each factors affecting one problem after another whichcontributes to the grading system of the school. These problems are as follows:a. Flexibility of records. An error in one entry on a manual class record affects several entries on the list. If the teachers wish to change something on the records, they will have to make numerous adjustments on the listings just to cater one modification. On occasions when the criteria for subjects are modified, changing the records and adapting them to modifications can be tricky. 12
  12. 12. b. Assessment of entries. Teachers have to commit more attention to the records if they wish to evaluate each item on the inventory. Each subject has different category items such as quizzes and homework, and each item has multiple entries before the subject grade can be computed. Providing a class section has many students enrolled, it would be difficult for the teacher to appraise the grades of each student on every subject the teacher holds. Obscurity is demonstrated on manual auditing.c. Time management. Because the school follows a growing trend on enrolment, keeping the files up-to-date is difficult since their workload is increased. Submitting records and other reports to the school administration on time proves constraining for teachers holding too many loads. Errors found on records also hamper the speedy accomplishment of the grading process.d. File handling. Keeping an inventory of files on papers can serve several purposes, but on some occasions this practice can also get messy and unmanageable. Stacks of reports are not handy and management of files according to their nature demonstrates disadvantages. Records take time to be sorted out efficiently and accordingly.e. Integrity of data. Human error is one of the factors contributing to compromised results. Grades reports are undermined by miscalculations and erroneous recording. Control and influence over the result of students’ grades are also at stake. It’s long been argued that maintaining work as objective as possible is disputable; no amount of personal influence can be eradicated on every man’s work and judgment since people are subjective creatures. Impartiality is deemed as achievable only by machines. 13
  13. 13. f. File Security. Manual records are prone to unauthorized access and alteration. Unanticipated events can also undermine the safekeeping of documents; precautions and safety measurements for records such as storing in file cabinets, performing redundant works to secure accuracy, and keeping of physical backup are not guarantee for security and can be labor-intensive. Through a simpler, efficient, and practical design of grading system, the stakeholdershope that these problems will be dealt with by the incorporation of a much improved andadvanced system. In this light, delays in processing and data submission accomplished by theold system will be met. Time proficiency and data accountability are key indicators indetermining the success of the computerized grading system introduced to the school.1.2. Purpose and Description This chapter covers explanations depicting the existing grading system of the school, theimplementation of new grading scheme by the education department, the possible impact onthe system design of the program, and the system’s performance and influence on datahandling and data generation of the school.1.2.2. Project Narrative The introduced system is designed according to the specifications given by the targetschool. This design should administer above all simpler method in the processing of raw datainto appropriate output. The design proposal is planned to cover a suitable, easy, and 14
  14. 14. negotiable environment framed in a user-friendly user interface. This user interface shouldincorporate (1) DIDO (data in, data out) approach where users can instantaneously produceoutput as they enter inputs and (2) real-time update and date generation. Regarding the new grading scheme of the K-12 program, the method will include newrating method involving letters which represent “levels of proficiency as abbreviated”. In thenew grading system, letter “A” will reflect the highest grade, letter “P” as second highest, andletter “B” as the lowest. To rate the learning outcome of students, the teachers will be giving agrade “A” (“Advanced”) to students with 90% and above rating, “P” (“Proficient”) to studentswith 85%-89% rating, “AP” (“Approaching Proficiency”) to students with 80%-84% rating, “D”(“Developing”) to students with 75%-79% rating, and “B” (“Beginning”) to students with 74%and below rating. This new method is presented on the Subject Grade and Final Gradeprocesses.1.2.3. Project Significance Grading system helps students figure the amount of knowledge they have gained.Grades can also help students in making decisions about their career. Without grades, howwould students know how much they have learned? Students need to be tested and graded inorder to determine how much they have learned through their courses in school. Assigningstudent grades at the end of a term can be a painless process for teachers who have a cleargrading system in place. A grading system is a breakdown of how a teacher (or a school)categorizes and weighs student’s academic performance to determine his standing in learning.Most of the public schools in the country today still adopt manual computation and recording 15
  15. 15. of grades, which greatly consumes time, and yet errors are still encountered along the way. Theadvent of information technology has made it easier to transact with almost all sorts of datasince computerization of data are effectively handled and managed.Features of a Grading System A good grading scale is performance-based, including categories such as quizzes, tests,group projects, essays and homework. According to the University of Michigans Center forTeaching and Learning, "items as effort, attendance, or frequency of participation, althoughcontributing factors to student learning, do not actually reflect the extent to which studentshave learned the course materials."Benefits of Data Computerization Students not only take more ownership for their work and learning when a good gradingsystem is in place, but they also learn to trust their teachers. Additionally, the numbers makesense. Data is valid and can be used to track student progress, pinpoint problems, and tweakcurriculum to meet student needs. The computerization of such grading schemes will practicallyinduce development, as this will provide immediate supervision to the status of each student.Another way a systematized grading design can be beneficial for students is that it influencesstudents to exceed their previous performance and promote healthy competition amongstudents in a class or around the school. Because a processed data can be produced in no timeby an application system, students can see right away the amount of material they havelearned. 16
  16. 16. The Future Researchers For the future researchers, this study could be used for their reference in having anautomated and upgraded version of grading system if the future researchers would like toformulate a system such as this.The Proponents Proponents would also be a beneficiary of the study since they would value theimportance of enhancing their skill and work performance while inheriting knowledgethroughout the study.1.3. Objectives This paper has four purposes: (1) to design an input-output form of grading system, (2)eliminate the spreadsheet-type form of recording and computing on the input level, (3)minimize time-consuming grading workload, (4) synchronize all data into manageable, “see-as-you-look” type of grading system, and (5) produce a printable output for documentation.1.4. Scope and Limitations The purpose of this chapter is to tackle the possible courses of action and pertinentfactors that may be considered and scoped out in the development of this systems proposal. Asmuch of the related aspects including the target subject of this proposal, purported detailsabout the design of the proposed systems, and the restrictions that may be encountered in thispaper will be discussed. 17
  17. 17. 1.4.1. Scope The proposed computerized grading system of San Isidro Elementary School coversthese processes: (1) recording of student names and the sections they belong to, (2) the coursetitle (subject) and the units assigned to each course, (3) the course I.D. (if any) and theschedule, (4) the measuring parameters of each course (i.e., quizzes, assignments, etc.), (5) thepercentage breakdown of grades and the formula for grades computation, and (6) the name ofthe instructor. Concerning the design of the proposed system, the user environment shouldincorporate a GUI comprising (1) DIDO (data in, data out) approach where users caninstantaneously produce output as they enter inputs, and (2) real-time update and datageneration. The primary subject of the proposal will be Grades 4-6 only, but changes may applyespecially with regards to the implementation of Education Department’s letter-rating method.For the moment, the system will be concerned only with numerical data inputs. The system willbe anchored on the present grading scheme of the school.Measure of Achievement English Filipino Science Math HEKASI E.P.P. Music Arts P.E. Periodical Test 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% Quizzes 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% Class 20% 20% 20% 25% 30% 15% 15% Interaction/Recitation Homework 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 15% 15% Projects 10% 10% 10% 15% 10% 25% 10% 5% 5% Informal/Formal Themes (Literary Writing) 10% 10% 20% 10% Experiments 15% Other Performance 15% 15% 10% 15% 15% 15% 30% 20% 30% Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% Table 2 Grades Schedule of San Isidro Elementary School showing percentage breakdown for all levels 18
  18. 18. 1.4.2. DelimitationsThe system design will not be capable for file transference to a network, meaning that theinputs and its outputs will be limited only to the system to which these data are entered.Furthermore, the system does not provide the assurance that the processing of all dataincluding the raw data recorded and the output yielded by the system will be error-proof. Thesystem will not also provide a systems-restore point or data recovery in the event an unlikelysituation happened while using the system (i.e., a power-out or momentary system failure).With regards to the implementation of the new letter-scheme program of the Department ofEducation, this may affect the designing and implementation of the proposed system. Grade 1will not be covered on this study because that level will be using the said letter-scheme. Thegrades output will be limited only to the paper of the yielded printout and will not be possiblefor printing on Form 137. A data overflow may also happen on the processing of data and othertechnical failure may come along the way. These restrictions are open for further discussionand improvement. 19