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Proposal for the Access and Distribution of Exam Papers within the School of Computing

10,000 3,000

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Summary
At the start of the project I identified a number of objectives that needed to be completed.
This was to basically investigate the current system, identify the problems with it and to then
propose a solution. Some of the problems for the staff side of the system were already
known as Sarah, my project supervisor wanted the problem of inconsistent exam papers
solved and implemented. This was another of my objectives and throughout the course of
the project I feel I achieved what I set out to do. A number of interviews and information
from a previous project aided me in understanding the problem and producing a solution.
The objectives were met to a good standard.

TABLE OF CONTENT

1 Introduction……………………………………………………………. 1
1.1 Project Statement ……………………………………………………………………………. 1
1.2 Project Aim……………………………………………………………………………………… 1
1.3 Project Objectives ……………………………………………………………………………. 1
2 Methodology and Project Management …………………….. 2
2.1 Methodology …………………………………………………………………………………… 2
2.1.1 Overview………………………………………………………………………………….. 2
2.1.2 Possible Methodologies……………………………………………………………… 3
2.1.2.1 Waterfall Model ……………………………………………………………………………… 3
2.1.2.2 Boehms’ Spiral Model …………………………………………………………………….. 3
2.1.2.3 RAD (Rapid Application Development)………………………………………………. 4
2.1.3 Which Methodology? …………………………………………………………………. 4
2.1.4 Methodology Decision………………………………………………………………… 5
2.1.4.1 Phase 1………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
2.1.4.2 Phase 2………………………………………………………………………………………… 6
2.1.5 Overall …………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
2.2 Project Schedule……………………………………………………………………………… 8
3 System Analysis……………………………………………………… 9
3.1 Overview………………………………………………………………………………………… 9
3.2 Current System……………………………………………………………………………….. 9
3.2.1 Staff Side of the System …………………………………………………………….. 9
3.2.1.1 Deadline……………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
3.2.1.2 Template / Application Used ……………………………………………………………. 9
3.2.1.3 Rubric / Layout…………………………………………………………………………….. 11
3.2.1.4 Checking of the Exam Papers………………………………………………………… 11
3.2.1.5 Rubric Check ………………………………………………………………………………. 11
3.2.1.6 External Checking of the Exam Papers……………………………………………. 12
3.2.2 Student Side of the System ………………………………………………………. 12
3.2.2.1 Student Union ‘Print Shop‘ …………………………………………………………….. 12
3.2.2.2 Library Access …………………………………………………………………………….. 14
3.2.2.3 Electronic Access…………………………………………………………………………. 14
3.3 Problems with the Current System……………………………………………………. 15
3.3.1 Staff Side of the System – Problems …………………………………………… 15
3.3.1.1 Writing the Exam Paper …………………………………………………………………15
3.3.1.2 Wrong Paper Uploaded…………………………………………………………………. 16
3.3.1.3 Braille Facilities ……………………………………………………………………………. 16
3.3.2 Student Side of the System – Problems ………………………………………. 16
3.3.2.1 Student Union ‘Print Shop’ …………………………………………………………….. 17
3.3.2.2 Edward Boyle Library ……………………………………………………………………. 19
3.3.2.3 Electronic Access…………………………………………………………………………. 20
3.3.2.4 Braille facilities …………………………………………………………………………….. 20
3.4 System Requirements…………………………………………………………………….. 20
3.4.1 Requirements …………………………………………………………………………. 20
3.4.1.1 Staff Side ……………………………………………………………………………………. 21
3.4.1.2 Student side………………………………………………………………………………… 21
3.5 System Environment and Development Tools Analysis……………………….. 22
3.5.1 Environment the System will be used in ……………………………………… 22
3.5.1.1 Current Environment …………………………………………………………………….. 22
3.5.2 Development Tools………………………………………………………………….. 22
3.5.2.1 HTML – Web page Interface…………………………………………………………… 22
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3.5.2.2 Data Storage……………………………………………………………………………….. 23
3.5.2.3 Client / Server Architecture ……………………………………………………………. 23
3.5.2.4 Scripting Language ………………………………………………………………………. 23
3.5.2.5 XML (Extensible Mark-up Language) ………………………………………………. 25
3.5.2.6 ActiveX……………………………………………………………………………………….. 25
3.5.2.7 VBA Scripts (Visual Basic for Applications) ………………………………………. 25
3.5.2.8 Overall ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 25
4 Proposal for New System ………………………………………. 26
4.1 Overview………………………………………………………………………………………. 26
4.2 Ideal Solution ………………………………………………………………………………… 26
4.2.1 Ideal Solution for the Current ‘Staff’ System ………………………………… 26
4.2.1.1 Application / Method used for Exam Paper Template…………………………. 27
4.2.1.2 Other Applications / Methods Available……………………………………………. 27
4.2.1.3 Automatic Front Page Consistency …………………………………………………. 28
4.2.1.4 Which is best?……………………………………………………………………………… 29
4.2.1.5 Application Choice ……………………………………………………………………….. 30
4.2.1.6 Extended use of HTML to Create Full Exam Paper……………………………. 31
4.2.1.7 Allowing Students Access to Past Papers ………………………………………… 32
4.2.1.8 Correct Version?………………………………………………………………………….. 33
4.2.1.9 Braille Exam Paper Process…………………………………………………………… 34
4.2.1.10 Breakdown of the ‘ideal’ proposal for the staff ……………………………….. 35
4.2.2 Ideal Solution for the Current ‘Student’ System ……………………………. 35
4.2.2.1 Accessing the past papers electronically………………………………………….. 35
4.2.2.2 Individual Question Selection…………………………………………………………. 37
4.2.2.3 Braille Past Exam Papers………………………………………………………………. 39
4.2.2.4 Human-Computer Interaction…………………………………………………………. 39
4.3 Realistic Solution …………………………………………………………………………… 39
4.3.1 Realistic Solution for the Current ‘Staff’ System …………………………… 39
4.3.1.1 Application / Method used for Exam Paper Template…………………………. 39
4.3.1.2 Automatic Front Page Consistency …………………………………………………. 40
4.3.1.3 Which is best?……………………………………………………………………………… 40
4.3.1.4 Extended Use of HTML to Create Full Exam Paper …………………………… 41
4.3.1.5 Allowing students access to papers ………………………………………………… 42
4.3.1.6 Correct Version……………………………………………………………………………. 42
4.3.1.7 Braille Exam Paper Process…………………………………………………………… 42
4.3.2 Realistic Solution for Current ‘Students’ System…………………………… 43
4.3.2.1 Accessing the past papers electronically………………………………………….. 43
4.3.2.2 Individual question selection ………………………………………………………….. 43
4.3.2.3 Braille exam paper process……………………………………………………………. 43
4.4 Security Issues………………………………………………………………………………. 44
4.4.1 Current Security Arrangements …………………………………………………. 44
4.4.2 Staff System Security……………………………………………………………….. 44
4.4.3 Staff System Security……………………………………………………………….. 45
4.5 Affects on Existing Methods / System……………………………………………….. 46
4.5.1 Staff Side ……………………………………………………………………………….. 46
4.5.2 Student Side …………………………………………………………………………… 46
5 Design, Implementation and Testing ………………………. 47
5.1 Overview………………………………………………………………………………………. 47
5.1.1 Which Application is being used? ………………………………………………. 47
5.1.2 Decision on Application to be used…………………………………………….. 47
5.2 Design Stage ………………………………………………………………………………… 47
5.2.1 Three – Tier Architecture…………………………………………………………… 47
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5.2.2 Client / Server …………………………………………………………………………. 48
5.2.3 Data Source……………………………………………………………………………. 48
5.2.3.1 Database ……………………………………………………………………………………. 48
5.2.4 Interface Design………………………………………………………………………. 48
5.2.4.1 Human Computer Interaction …………………………………………………………. 48
5.2.4.2 Usability ……………………………………………………………………………………… 49
5.2.4.3 Performance ……………………………………………………………………………….. 50
5.2.4.4 Web Design – HTML Form…………………………………………………………….. 50
5.2.5 End-Product Source…………………………………………………………………. 51
5.2.6 4.2.6 Storage ………………………………………………………………………… 52
5.2.7 Using RAD……………………………………………………………………………… 52
5.2.8 Incorrect / missing data…………………………………………………………….. 52
5.3 Implementation ……………………………………………………………………………… 53
5.3.1 Website………………………………………………………………………………….. 53
5.3.2 Perl Implementation…………………………………………………………………. 54
5.3.3 PostgreSQL Database……………………………………………………………… 54
5.3.4 SQL Statement ……………………………………………………………………….. 55
5.3.5 Correct Year Displayed…………………………………………………………….. 55
5.3.6 Selecting data for selected module…………………………………………….. 56
5.3.7 Error checking…………………………………………………………………………. 56
5.3.8 Output File ……………………………………………………………………………… 56
5.4 Testing …………………………………………………………………………………………. 57
5.4.1 Overview………………………………………………………………………………… 57
5.4.2 Test Plan………………………………………………………………………………… 57
5.4.3 Unit Testing…………………………………………………………………………….. 58
5.4.3.1 Testing HTML Form……………………………………………………………………… 58
5.4.3.2 Selecting Modules in the Form……………………………………………………….. 58
5.4.3.3 Correct Details Returned / Inserted…………………………………………………. 58
5.4.3.4 Errors not present ………………………………………………………………………… 59
If the year is not known then this message is also displayed to the user……………… 60
If the form is submitted without ‘selecting a module’ then this message is displayed.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 60
5.4.3.5 Was the testing a success?……………………………………………………………. 60
5.4.3.6 Will successful testing make the system foolproof?……………………………. 60
5.4.4 User Acceptance Testing………………………………………………………….. 61
6 Evaluation…………………………………………………………….. 62
6.1 Project Objectives ………………………………………………………………………….. 62
6.1.1 How the intended goals achieved? …………………………………………….. 62
6.1.2 Project Objectives Completed?………………………………………………….. 64
6.2 Methodology Evaluation………………………………………………………………….. 64
6.3 Evaluation of the Solution Produced…………………………………………………. 65
6.3.1 Criteria …………………………………………………………………………………… 65
6.3.1.1 Effectiveness……………………………………………………………………………….. 65
6.3.1.2 Efficiency ……………………………………………………………………………………. 65
6.3.1.3 Satisfaction …………………………………………………………………………………. 66
6.3.2 Extra Evaluation Criteria …………………………………………………………… 66
6.3.2.1 Robustness…………………………………………………………………………………. 66
6.3.2.2 Delivered On Time? ……………………………………………………………………… 66
6.3.2.3 Reliability ……………………………………………………………………………………. 66
6.3.2.4 Database Maintenance …………………………………………………………………. 66
6.3.3 Problems………………………………………………………………………………… 67
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6.3.4 User Satisfaction……………………………………………………………………… 67
6.3.5 Main Stakeholder Satisfaction …………………………………………………… 68
6.3.5.1 Maintenance ……………………………………………………………………………….. 68
6.4 Solution Success? …………………………………………………………………………. 68
6.5 Limitations…………………………………………………………………………………….. 68
6.6 What would I do differently?…………………………………………………………….. 68
6.7 Future Enhancements…………………………………………………………………….. 69
References………………………………………………………………… 71
Appendicies………

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